Posted 2.16.06

By Kim Palmer, University Marketing and Communications

Talking to Brian Latko about his accomplishments the past 4 years can be a little bit intimidating. There's his impressive cumulative GPA (3.97) and other honors, his work on revamping and automating the USG (Undergraduate Student Government) website, and his management of The Observer’s $75,000 budget -- but that is just the tip of the iceberg.

This management and information systems undergraduate student also secured one of the most sought after post-Weatherhead positions out there.

“I start in the fall at McKinsey as a business analyst. It’s pretty exciting,” explains Latko about this future employment.

Of course nothing worthwhile is easy, and that was also true with the McKinsey job. Before receiving his offer, Latko went through a lengthy interview process – one that was made easier by a Case alum who also worked at McKinsey.

“He really helped coach me before my interview here and then again for the one out of town,” says Latko, who credits the Case alumni network for other recent career opportunities – including a position he declined at another big Cleveland company.

“I walked into, what I think was the third interview for Accenture (a job he was offered but declined) and the first person I met told me he had held the same position at my fraternity, Sigma Nu. It really helped with the interview because it instantly gave me something to talk about.”

After securing a post graduation job so early in his senior year, it is a wonder how he is able to motivate himself to stay focused in his last semester at Weatherhead.

“At this point, it really is a matter of personal motivation to keep that GPA up. It helps that in a few years I want to go to graduate school,” Latko explains.

Modesty aside, his personal motivation is well intact. Instead of resting on his laurels, Latko and two other Weatherhead students are using his last semester to conduct an independent study project on the effect of direct foreign investment in a Northern Province of India. He plans on traveling to India at the end of the semester to join them and gather data.

So, here we have a great student, active in his fraternity, USG and other on-campus groups (including La Dolce Vita, an Italian heritage organization) who landed a great job in his senior year, and still plans on conducting an ambitious independent study program abroad – but is that all?

“I also have a music minor. I took three years of voice at CIM (Cleveland Institute of Music), and I’m a founding member of the Case concert choir,” he mentions almost as an afterthought.

Fortunately, Latko is as humble as he is accomplished and his passion for what he does was something he hasn’t wavered from since he began at Weatherhead.

“I haven’t gone after the most glamorous positions,” he says of the posts he has held. “There aren’t a lot of people clamoring to be the business director of The Observer, or the IT guy for USG, but I’ve always liked the mix of technology and management,” says Latko.

Latko will be missed but he has plans to stay connected to the school and become part of the network of graduates that were there for him.

“I’m not sure in what form I will stay involved with Weatherhead, but I will stay connected. Now I just have to find people to replace me at The Observer and USG before I graduate,” adds Latko, which he has proven will be no small feat.

Around this time of year, May can seem pretty far off. After all, May is the end of winter, the culmination of all those cold, dark months and for students like Latko, the culmination of years of hard work.


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