It’s Not All About The (Technical) Skills
June 29, 2017
Advisor Preston Webb (‘10, ’11) has a lot of experience mentoring students on AGGIEvisors, Texas A&M Mays School of Business’ alumni mentorship platform. A Manager in the Technology practice at Deloitte Consulting, Preston primarily consults with MBA and MIS (Masters of Information Science) students looking to get into the consulting field.
His surprising advice to them? Focus less on technical skills, and more on “soft” skills in your résumé in order to land consulting jobs.
On AGGIEvisors, Preston often mentors international students, who might come from technical roles in India, China, or other nations. Their résumés, he said, tend to look like a string of acronyms and programming languages that the candidates are proficient in. But he tells these students to stop prioritizing these skills when looking for consulting jobs—because it’s even more important to emphasize soft skills, such as communication and leadership abilities. Skilled candidates need to not only be technically proficient, but also be able to communicate technical problems to business leaders.
“You need to highlight skills like your ability to manage and lead individuals, and your ability to interface with business individuals,” Preston explained.
Preston appreciates the ability to connect with students on AGGIEvisors. It’s an opportunity to give back to Texas A&M, and Preston often meets high-quality candidates whom he could refer to his employer.
One of Preston’s advisees is Mohammad Atif Tahir (’17), who graduated from Texas A&M with an MIS degree.
Atif noted that Preston provided feedback on his résumé, and helped him understand the expectations and preferences of recruiters in that industry. In addition, Preston offered valuable insight into the life of a consultant. “It’s very important to know what is going on in the industry and what is expected of you,” Atif said. “It was very helpful in deciding where I needed to go finally.”
Now on a competitive fellowship, Atif says he will continue to use the platform to learn about different industries so that, when he’s ready to job search, he’ll have strong insights into where he needs to focus his efforts. Atif now knows to tailor his résumé and experience to the targeted industry, and that there are advisors in his network who are willing to help.