Alum Savors Diverse Work Experiences

2010-05-05 14:21

After graduating from Duke in May 2007 with a triple major in Biomedical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Economics, Andrew Longenecker joined McKinsey & Company in their New York City office. As a management consulting firm, McKinsey offers strategic business consulting to companies all over the world. Longenecker has the role of Business Analyst, a unique post-undergraduate opportunity in which he spends 1-3 months on a particular project, helping to support the assignment through quantitative and qualitative problem-solving, developing Excel models, conducting expert interviews, and managing client teams.

Longenecker’s McKinsey career has been defined by diversity: In two years, he has worked on 16 different projects, across numerous industries, capabilities, and geographies. He has done some work in banking, electronics, Private Equity, media, non-profit, pharmaceuticals, and even a women’s magazine, and this work has ranged from purely quantitative (e.g., developing sophisticated Excel models to forecast hedge fund growth) to purely qualitative (e.g., test-driving luxury cars). He has also been given the opportunity to work on many international studies, ranging from Belgian to Brazilian. In fact, more than half of his time at McKinsey has been spent working on international projects, including 8 straight months in Latin America. He notes that this international travel is one of the “great perks” of working at McKinsey, and that he has “taken full advantage, particularly through personal travel during the weekends when . . . abroad."

While management consulting is not directly related to Longenecker’s studies at Duke, he says that he finds himself using what he learned at Duke nearly every day. For instance, he feels that the time-management skills he refined in Pratt have been critical in his ability to work efficiently on his numerous time-constrained projects. He also mentions that his varied experiences in extra-curricular activities at Duke have allowed him to juggle multiple work-streams on assignments. “Even my time as a proud member of the Cameron Crazies was useful,” he divulges, explaining that he would often teach Brazilian call-center employees the “Go to Hell Carolina” cheer.

When working on domestic projects, Longenecker still keeps in touch with the Duke community: "New York has a fantastic Duke community, both full-time and visitors.” There are still many Duke ’07 graduates in NYC, and he sees many around the city on a weekly basis. Plus, the Duke Club of New York is always planning great events, ranging from “Duke Watch” parties to various networking opportunities, and New York has been the site of numerous informal Duke reunions. He has enjoyed maintaining this connection to Duke, and is “very happy to be in a place where I can continue my Duke relationship."

Although Longenecker has had a great experience at McKinsey and in New York, he will likely leave both within the next year to pursue opportunities in alternative energy and sustainability. He explains, "My time at Duke, which gave me a background in engineering and technology, and McKinsey, which introduced me to the world of business, has set me up well to follow my passion of a career in clean tech. I am excited to use what I have learned at Duke and McKinsey to make an impact in the industry." We hope for his success and look forward to hear about his new experiences in this field.  

By Francesco LaRocca, BME

Editor's Note: the following story is reprinted from DukEngineer, the annual magazine written entirely by Pratt undergraduates. The whole issue can be seen here.