May 9, 2023
Fatimata Simina Diagana is from Bethesda, Maryland, but she is originally from Mauritania a country in West Africa and uses she/her pronouns. She is a senior who is set to graduate this May!
Fatimata will be working for Booz Allen after graduation.
We asked Fatimata to share both her post-graduation plans and Pamplin experiences with us.
How did you pick your major or concentration? Does it relate to your job?
Regarding my major, I believe that my ability to grow an agile, growth-oriented mindset due to having lived in six countries has led me to pursue management consulting. I think that having the right mindset is just as important in determining success, and consulting provides endless opportunities to be curious and purpose driven. I also appreciate the inclusiveness of the consulting world and value diverse perspectives. Up until Junior year, I was an Accounting Major, being able to use Pamplin resources and the help of my advisors I was able to find the right fit for my future goals and objectives in my Management Consulting and Analytics major.
Booz Allen is a management consulting firm that helps clients solve complex problems and make strategic decisions, so having a strong background in business and management principles, data analysis, and problem-solving skills would be essential for success in this type of role. A major in Management Consulting and Analytics provides me with the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in a consulting role, as the coursework covers topics such as project management, organizational behavior, and strategic planning that are directly applicable to consulting engagements.
How did you find your job? What is your job title and what do you think you will do for them?
I found my job position not only through research on handshake but also after having been contacted through handshake by my recruiter. I then had many discussions with my peers and attended Business Horizons, the career fair. My Job Title is General Management Consultant and as an Associate General Management Consultant at Booz Allen, I would be responsible for assisting in the delivery of consulting engagements to clients. My duties may include conducting research and analysis to identify business problems and opportunities, developing solutions and recommendations, and presenting findings and recommendations to clients as we are currently doing in my management Consulting class semester project. Essentially, I would be expected to collaborate with team members and stakeholders, communicate effectively, and maintain a high level of professionalism and client service.
What do you think the day-to-day roles and responsibilities will be in your position?
In terms of my day-to-day roles and responsibilities, I am not yet certain, but I am eager to find out. I am looking forward to the opportunity to develop my skills, put my knowledge into practice and contribute to my team.
How did you find out about this position and how was the recruitment process?
I found out about this position through being contacted by my handshake profile by my recruiter. I then applied on handshake by submitting all the necessary information. This included my resume, communication with my recruiter, and any other document leveraging my skills. The recruitment process consisted of different stages, including submitting an application, and completing a phone and video behavioral interview. Behavioral interviews are a common part of a recruitment process. The interview focuses on past behaviors as an indicator of future job performance. During the behavioral interview, I was asked questions that prompted me to describe a situation I for example faced in a previous job or academic setting but also helped get to know me and my personality traits
What are you looking forward to in starting your new position?
As I start my new position at Booz Allen, I am excited about the opportunity to work with a diverse group of colleagues and clients. I look forward to learning from people with different backgrounds and perspectives and contributing my own unique experiences to the team. I am excited to work on a wide range of projects that have a positive impact on society, from supporting government agencies to helping non-profits achieve their missions. Overall, I feel fortunate to have the chance to work for a company that values diversity and social responsibility, and I am eager to see where this new journey takes me.
Where is your current job located? Are you excited about your work site?
My Current Job is Located in Mclean, Virginia, and Washington D.C. As my Hometown is only a couple minutes away from the offices, I am excited to feel a sense of familiarity and comfort being close to home while embarking on a new journey with Booz Allen.
Please give a brief description of the job, internship, and or school leadership positions that you led to your future career
In terms of my school leadership positions, while being a member of the French House at Mozaiko I applied to be the International Business Director of Mozaiko, the international living-learning community at Virginia Tech. My major gave me the opportunity to work with the Pamplin College of Business. I use these two communities that I am a part of to create a bridge. As someone who has lived in 6 countries and visited more than 13 countries and was able to study abroad during my Junior year in Spain wanted students like me to be able to have these authentic experiences.
During the course of my academic career, I also managed to accrue nearly a year of work experience. I had the privilege of working for Ernst & Young as a Launch and Audit Intern as well as a Federal Client Intern at Kearney & Company these past two summers. Having the unique opportunity to work at both a Big-4 company and a certified public accounting firm, I have been able to improve my agility and malleability when it comes to tackling diverse projects and mentorship.
What do you want to accomplish within your first year?
As I begin my new role at Booz Allen, I have a few goals I would like to accomplish within my first year. Firstly, I want to establish strong working relationships with my colleagues and clients. Secondly, I aim to develop my skills in areas such as project management, data analysis, and communication, which are all critical for success as a management consultant at Booz Allen. I plan to take advantage of the training and mentorship opportunities offered by the firm, as well as seek out opportunities to learn from my colleagues.
As I start my new position at Booz Allen, I am excited about the opportunity to work with a diverse group of colleagues and clients. I look forward to learning from people with different backgrounds and perspectives and contributing my own unique experiences to the team.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In the next five years, I envision myself growing both professionally and personally. Professionally, I am eager to gain more experience as a consultant and to work on increasingly complex projects. I would also love to have the opportunity to travel and work on projects in different parts of the world, gaining exposure to diverse cultures and business practices.
In terms of personal growth, I am planning to complete my MBA within the couple of years. I believe that pursuing an MBA will equip me with the skills and knowledge necessary to take on more leadership roles and to make a greater impact in the consulting field. Overall, I am excited about the opportunities that lie ahead, both in terms of my career and personal development.
What advice would you give to someone looking to pursue the same career as yours?
Firstly, I'd recommend doing some research to gain a better understanding of what the role entails and the skills and knowledge required to be successful in the field. It's important to identify your own strengths and areas of interest, so asking for advice from professors and family is crucial. Networking is another important aspect of pursuing a career in Management Consulting. I learned from Professor Cordova in my Careers in Management Class that building connections with professionals in the field can provide valuable insights and opportunities for growth. Attend industry events like Business Horizons at Virginia Tech, connect with alumni from your university who work in the field, and utilize online resources like LinkedIn to expand your network.
In terms of education, practical experience is equally important as having a business major. Seek out internships or entry-level positions in the field to gain hands-on experience and learn from professionals. Finally, be willing to work hard and be adaptable. Management Consulting can be a demanding field, but the rewards can be significant. Remain open to new challenges and be willing to take on tasks outside of your comfort zone. And most importantly, stay curious the Consulting field is constantly evolving
What type of student would you recommend to apply to this job and why? (This may include a student's interests, what they are good at, characteristics etc.)
Booz Allen is a company that values diversity and seeks employees with a range of backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. As such, I don't think there is a "type" of student that I would recommend for this job. However, any student interested in pursuing a career in management consulting, some qualities that could be beneficial include analytical and problem-solving skills, a desire to learn and adapt quickly, the ability to work well under pressure, and good communication and teamwork abilities. Additionally, having a background or coursework in fields such as business could be helpful in preparing for a career in Consulting. Ultimately, it's important to have a passion for making a positive impact in the world and a willingness to learn and grow in a dynamic and fast-paced environment.
What is your favorite part of being a management and or Pamplin student?
The Pamplin Building where I studied is not only beautiful and peaceful, but the professors and advisors provided exceptional support. Throughout my four-year journey, Mrs. Brown Lee, my advisor, always gave me the right advice and resources to be successful. Additionally, I am grateful for Mrs. Emily McCorkle, the Director for Student Success Office for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB), who provided me with valuable advice not only as a Pamplin student but also in life. She always directed me toward the right path, and I am thankful for her guidance.
What is your LinkedIn?
Has there been a faculty member or staff member within Pamplin and/or the MGT department that has served as a mentor or source of inspiration for you during your journey?
- Professor Denise Cordova : Careers in Management
- Leanne Brownlee : Academic Advisor
- Emily Mccorkle : Director for Student Success Office for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB)
- Professor Dirk Buengel : Management Consulting
Professor Denise Cordova has been a great resource for learning about careers in management, and her guidance has been invaluable in helping me identify my career goals and develop a plan to achieve them. Leanne Brownlee has been an amazing academic advisor who has provided me with the right advice and resources to be successful during my four-year journey. I am also grateful for Emily Mccorkle, who has directed me through the right path and valuable advice not only as a Pamplin student but also in life. Finally, Professor Dirk Buengel has been a great source of inspiration for me as he has a wealth of experience in the field of management consulting, and his knowledge and expertise have been critical in shaping my interest and career path in this area.