Carnegie Mellon University
October 11, 2018

Student Spotlight: Tech-Focused MBA Finds Footing at Deloitte

When Purvil Patel applied to the Tepper of Business, he was hoping to launch a career in product management. Carnegie Mellon University’s strong reputation for building leaders in technology drew this former research and development engineer from Texas to come get his MBA in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

But when the time came to recruit for internships this past summer, Patel instead found consulting to be a more attractive path. “I was in a very pure engineering role,” he said. “I wanted to move into something that was more on the business side.” He was eager to accept an offer to join Deloitte as a summer associate — “which is equivalent to a senior consultant.”

Over the course of the summer, Patel’s role involved working with a team of consultants on client projects, such as a vendor selection process. He conducted cost analysis for customized materials and prepared presentations for the client company’s executive teams 

“I’ve realized more and more as I was working on the client side how important the relationships were with my teammates on the project as well as the client team,” he said. “Those relationships are important in making sure the projects are successful and that both sides of the project team — from Deloitte as well as the client — are happy with the direction of the project as well as the results.”

Many of his duties built on the technical skills he developed in his first year at the Tepper School, concentrating in strategy, marketing, and organizational behavior. In particular, he needed to understand all of the underlying calculations involved in cost equations so he could more easily communicate them with the client and help them make informed decisions.

“Classes based on presentations in the Tepper curriculum were very helpful when I was put in front of the client to speak about topics that I had worked on or the team had worked on,” he said. “We start off with Management Presentations in the first mini. That was helpful not only within the Tepper first-year curriculum, but also within the internship. I was more confident with getting in front of people — especially people that I wasn’t really familiar with — and being able to present ideas that I had some part in developing, but also were a result of the team effort.”

Returning to the Tepper School for his second year, Patel is focusing his coursework on disciplines he has not yet had much exposure in, including finance and marketing. But, he said, “I think a major part of what my second year is going to look like is going to be defined by my club involvement. I’m heavily involved in a couple professional clubs on campus.” Patel serves on the board of the Tepper Consulting Club — an MBA professional club focused on preparing Tepper MBA students for careers in consulting — helping club members to hone their interview skills. He will also be leading a first-year group on a consulting trek to Chicago, Illinois during the fall break, where MBA students meet with consulting companies to network and learn about internship opportunities.

One thing Patel won’t be focused on during his second year is career recruiting: He has already accepted a full-time offer from Deloitte.