Carnegie Mellon University

Jonathan Tanner

December 09, 2019

Building Global Successes: Jonathan Tanner

As a management consultant in the automotive, aerospace, travel, and information sectors for A.T. Kearney, Johnathan Tanner brings to bear his background in engineering and business to help clients control costs. The projects on which he has worked have ranged from helping clients develop research labs to developing new business units.

The fact that he has the opportunity to work abroad – he has been working in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia for more than a year, is a bonus, he says. It has been exciting to see, and be part of, change in the region, he adds.

“I am most proud of being part of developing a Research and Development ecosystem for a few million people,” he says. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It makes it worth the sometimes 15- to 20-hour days.”

A.T. Kearney is an American-based global management company that works with businesses, governments and other institutions around the world. It is considered one of the elite management consultancy firms worldwide.

It is the variety of the work Tanner (CEE ‘15, ETIM ‘15) enjoys, as well as the real-world realization of all he learned while at CMU, both as a student and as a member of the Tartans’ football team.

He uses modeling and analytics to analyze large data sets, which he uses help clients make determinations about their business plans. He says he specifically does a lot of analysis for clients in terms of entering new markets, reducing costs, and improving logistics. He credits both his engineering and business background in giving him the skills to be effective for his clients.

As a student-athlete, he learned how to set priorities and manage his time. He credits professors and academic staff, as well as coaches and members of the athletic department’s staff, with helping him develop the skills that have helped him find professional success, as well as the support he needed to excel during his time at CMU. As both an undergraduate and graduate student at CMU, he learned how to work with people from diverse backgrounds, religions, and areas of expertise.

“CMU definitely prepared me for what I am experiencing now,” he said, adding, as an example, that his current team is comprised of people from Russia, Italy and India. “The value of CMU is that I learned the real value of hard work and the ability to collaborate in an environment with people who don’t think or look like me.”

His first job after completing his master’s degree was with Northrup Grumman, where he worked as a quality engineer on Microwave Monolithic Integrated Circuits, which he describes as a “high-tech way for satellites to communicate.”

Tanner says it was a “great experience,” but when the opportunity came to work abroad with A.T. Kearney, he jumped. He says his current project is nearing completion and he is hopeful that he will join another project soon, possibly in another part of the world.

Regardless of where he ends up, Tanner says he plans to continue making his regular visits to Pittsburgh. He maintains close relationships with friends from school as well as faculty members who encouraged him and helped him keep focused on his goals.

“The support you get from the faculty is amazing,” he says. “I will never forget the time that they took to make sure I was okay. I will always appreciate that.”