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How to turn a civil engineering degree into a job with one of the country’s ‘big 3’ consulting firms

Thursday, April 21, 2016
Daniella Remolina, who graduated in December and started work this month with the Boston Consulting Group.
Remolina

This month, Daniella Remolina started work at one of the world’s largest consulting firms, the Boston Consulting Group.

It’s an unexpected, but certainly welcome, turn of events for Remolina, who finished an internship with the company and her bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in December.

“I am 100 percent sure that doing my bachelor’s in civil is what helped me get the internship and then the full-time job,” she said. “Throughout [my] career, I acquired skills that you can’t necessarily acquire in other majors.”

Among those skills, she said: adaptability, teamwork, and the problem-solving aptitude that is the hallmark of engineering.

“What this consulting company is looking for is those analytical skills and that type of thought processes required as an engineer. By having that, you can learn about any type of industry.”

Remolina said she credits the undergraduate research opportunities she found with her professors in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering with preparing her to work in the always-shifting world of consulting. Those research projects led to an internship with a structural engineering firm, which led to the internship at BCG.

“I was able to do research, I was able to do structural engineering, and I now I’m going to be doing consulting. That proves that by studying this major, you can pretty much do whatever you want.”

“What helped me is all the variety of experiences that I could have because of the major. I learned to work with different types of people and in different environments, so that made me a person who can easily adapt,” Remolina said. “That’s something you really need in consulting, because you are changing projects every three months.

“You are changing not only the topic and the sector and your role in the project, you’re also changing your teammates. You really need to adapt quickly. I know I was able to do that because of all my experiences in civil.”

In her first two years as a BCG associate, Remolina said she will work throughout the company on projects ranging from travel and tourism to infrastructure, retail to telecommunications. That means she’ll have the opportunity to home in on the areas where she really wants to work.

And whatever that ends up being, Remolina said she’s ready, thanks to her civil engineering background.

“You can literally graduate and do anything you want. I know it from experience, because I was able to do research, I was able to do structural engineering, and I now I’m going to be doing consulting,” she said.

“That proves that by studying this major, you can pretty much do whatever you want.”