Learning about Consulting at Blue Canyon


Name: Peter Bartlome

Year: Junior

Major(s): Economics and Statistics

CFS Class: Field Studies in Modern Workplace

Employer: Blue Canyon Partners

This quarter I’ve been interning at Blue Canyon Partners, a management consulting firm that provides Fortune 500 business-to-business executives and private equity firms strategic direction on how to drive profitable growth. I chose this internship over opportunities in investment banking and private wealth management because of my perception that it is a fast-paced environment with the chance to learn about a multitude of industries, which I thought together would make the job constantly interesting and thought provoking. I started off the internship with the first week being some basic training. I had to watch about 10 hours’ worth of Excel and PowerPoint training videos and then complete a lot of excel exercises, which were ultimately very useful. I had to do a lot of reading as well that wasn’t very helpful, but overall the training was exactly as expected, very time consuming and boring but with just enough value to make it worthwhile. Immediately after I finished my training, I got thrown onto a project which was very exciting. Most of the projects we do are about 12 weeks long, but this one was 2 weeks so I was really being thrown into the fire which was exactly what I had hoped for when joining a small firm. I had to do a lot of market research and sat in on calls with our CEO and the other company’s top executives so that was a really great experience. It was the first time I could actually see myself doing this job for a living as I genuinely enjoyed learning about the future of the automotive industry and having to piece together all the market research, internal interviews, and market trends to see the bigger picture of what is going on and then using that to develop a growth strategy for the company that hired us. It was just really satisfying to be a part of the whole process and see my work actually be used to change the other company’s growth strategy and know I played a role in that. This past week, however, I received a bit of culture shock as the senior consultant who was the project manager on that first project was laid off. He was my favorite coworker and had given me a lot of advice during coffee chats, lunches, and company outings and just seeing him go when the company is only about 20 people actually hurt me a lot. That was my first taste of real world hardships and its effect on me still hasn’t worn off and will definitely always stick with me. I love being a part of a small company as the culture is a lot better in my opinion and the relationships are a lot more personal, but I never thought about how much tougher that would make it when people get fired or laid off. I had only known him for a month, so I can’t even imagine how difficult seeing one of my favorite coworkers being laid off would be if I had known him/her for years, which is a scary thought as it is something I will probably have to deal with in the future.

A few weeks ago, I was put onto a more typical project that will be about 12 weeks long, which means I won’t be around to see the final deliverable, but it will be a really telling experience as to whether or not this is something I could see myself doing in the future. As of now, overall, consulting seems like a great fit for me. I’ve really enjoyed the strategic side of things as it is really fulfilling for me to see all these pieces to these large growth strategy puzzles and figure out where they all fit together and then knowing that solution we find has a concrete benefit to our clients. I’ve already learned so much about many industries, and even though some can be very niche and boring, we will rarely spend more than a few months on it, so it’s not the worst thing in the world. The one thing I need to figure out though is how important working in a small firm is for me in comparison to the larger consulting firms and see for myself how much this affects the work culture. Hopefully, I can get an internship like that this summer to figure that out. But overall, this internship has solidified that this is the industry I want to be in long-term, and although it was tough at first adjusting my lifestyle to having a job, I can really see my life being just like this in the near future. And although no first job is perfect, I think a job at a firm like this would be a great launching pad to start off my career in consulting.