Student Spotlight: Joshua Sens, Second-Year MBA
Weatherheadlines recently sat down with Joshua Sens, second-year full-time M.B.A. student, to learn about working on Wall Street, his new job with McKinsey, and some very exciting family news.
Q: In which program are you enrolled?
I’m in the full-time M.B.A. (graduating May 2007) with concentrations in marketing, e-business, and possibly consultancy.
Q: From where do you originally hail? What brought you to Weatherhead?
I’m originally from Dayton, Ohio, and I graduated from Carroll High School. I came back to Ohio after being on the east coast for 10 years for school and work. My intent in returning to school was to formalize my “on-the-job” business knowledge in specific areas (i.e., marketing and finance), but also to broaden the scope of my abilities by adding specific training in technology and personally developing myself into a leader.
Early in my application process I visited Weatherhead as a prospective student and was extremely impressed with the caliber of students and alumni that I met.
The students were excited about their studies as well as their opportunities following the program (one had just accepted a position at McKinsey and the other was involved in commercializing new technologies). We also had lunch with alumnus Rafi Rahman who talked about the strong network and convinced me of the impact that Weatherhead graduates have on the Cleveland community.
I also was intrigued with the educational philosophy of the school and how the integration of personal and organizational behavior concepts were integrated throughout the curriculum (i.e., LEAD). I thought that the focus on emotional intelligence would be the best path for my personal growth.
Q: What about your time prior to Weatherhead?
I received a BA in Behavioral Neuroscience (Psychology/Biology) from Yale University in 1998.
After Yale, I went on to New York City and helped to launch a small, start-up firm (CPMI) on Wall Street that provided customer relations management, asset retention, and direct marketing/sales services for major financial services companies. My role began as a project manager where I led client projects resulting in over $12 million in revenue and over $1 billion in retained assets. Later my role changed to chief operating officer and I helped to complete a $2.5 million private equity transaction that enabled the company to grow to over 50 people with offices in New York and San Francisco.
In 2002 I left CPMI to form Client Conservation Consulting, Inc., a small consulting practice focused on customer retention. In 2003 I returned to Ohio to open the Cleveland office (we also had an office in St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands).
Q: Any post-graduation plans yet?
I recently accepted a position as an associate with McKinsey & Company in the Cleveland office.
Q: Please tell us a little bit about your job and the interview process you went through.
My new job will be an associate role where I will be an integral part of client teams working to provide strategic solutions for our clients. I am planning to start at the end of the summer (August 2007). Initially it will be a generalist role which will allow me to be exposed to a wide variety of functional areas and industries. I hope to specialize in an area that combines my interests/experience in marketing, technology and organizational behavior.
The interview process was extremely competitive and consisted of three formal rounds of interviews, each with case and personal experience interviews. I received an amazing amount of support from McKinsey people in the process, and specifically from the Weatherhead alums there. Weatherhead alumni at McKinsey contacted me prior to my first round interviews and offered to practice case interviews with me. Throughout the process, I developed a strong network of alums within McKinsey that were extremely supportive and played an integral role in my success.
Q: How did the Weatherhead M.B.A. program/coursework/faculty help prepare you for your new position?
My Weatherhead experience has helped me in many ways including:
- Confidence in my own abilities: I have found that the self-analysis I did as part of the LEAD program has really helped me to both understand and develop my strengths.
- Ability to think critically: Not only did I learn about business concepts, but I now have the ability to apply the concepts that I learned in classes to new situations in order to provide innovative solutions to problems.
- Ability to work with diverse groups: Weatherhead provided me with a supportive environment where I could “practice” my skills at working in group settings with diverse team members.
The faculty at Weatherhead has played a significant role in my development as well and I have been able to form relationships that will last well beyond my academic career. Specifically:
- Fred Collopy – taught me to think about how I think and apply critical thinking techniques.
- Mohan Reddy – taught me how to apply frameworks to real-world situations.
- The “Gorilla”– helped me to understand the importance of commitment, integrity, and caring about people as a leader.
- Richard Boyatzis – showed me how the same concepts that I learned in LEAD (i.e., the Theory of Intentional Change) can be used to facilitate change in all levels of organizations.
Q: Did you pursue your new position with the assistance of the Career Development Center?
Yes, the CDC played a vital role in my career search. For example, my internship last summer with Fisher Scientific was obtained through an on-campus interview. In addition, I worked directly with the CDC on my resume, career search strategy and interview techniques. I attended Career Friday events (including a seminar on case interviewing by the author of Case In Point). McKinsey originally contacted me based on my resume in WeRS and round one interviews were on-campus. The CDC is an amazing resource. The staff was committed to providing me with the tools for my search and really took a personal interest in my success.
Q: What do you like to do in your spare time?
I really enjoy traveling and I’ve been all over North America including trips to Alaska and Newfoundland. I also spent time in the Caribbean and have an office in St. John (U.S. Virgin Islands). This year my wife and I spent our honeymoon in Bora Bora (French Polynesia).
In addition to travel I also enjoy music. I play (very recreationally) the guitar and keyboards. I also enjoy theater and have season tickets to Playhouse Square. I enjoy sports and I’m an avid Ohio State fan, as well as fan of the Cleveland Browns. Lastly, I enjoy playing with my dog, an Old English Sheepdog.
Q: What is the last good book you have recently read or are currently reading?
I enjoy mostly non-fiction “how-to” books (whether it is business, technology, self-help, etc). The book I am currently reading is What to Expect When You Are Expecting.
Q: What is one surprising fact about yourself that you would like to share with the Weatherhead community?
My wife Lindsey and I were married on New Year’s Eve of last year at the Cleveland Athletic Club and we are expecting our first child at the end of March (and keeping it a surprise whether it will be a boy or a girl!).