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Junior offers tech-consulting to clients as side venture

Student with passion for consulting connects academic and professional life to the field

Shawn Graber, a junior in the School of Management, is president of the  Management Consulting Group at Binghamton University. He helped organized the University's TechX Case Competition this fall.
Shawn Graber, a junior in the School of Management, is president of the Management Consulting Group at Binghamton University. He helped organized the University's TechX Case Competition this fall. Photography: Jonathan Cohen.

Shawn Graber has been motivated since high school to work in consulting, and even started his own consulting firm at seventeen — both of which helped him secure an internship at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) this upcoming summer.

Graber started VooLoo LLC. the summer before his senior year of high school while he was interning with Emerald Financial, a subsidiary of MassMutual.

“As an intern, I was responsible for implementing a customer relationship management system (CRM) for a small team of financial professionals. After completing my work and internship for that small team other professionals in the office were interested in the same system and services.”

Due to the knowledge and experience that he gained through this internship, Graber was inspired to start his own consulting firm. “During my senior year of high school, I would bring a suit to school, change before leaving and then drive to the client site,” said Graber, a junior majoring in business administration with concentrations in management information systems and leadership/consulting.

“My advice to incoming students is to get as involved as possible. While the information I learn in the classroom is important (learning ‘by the theory’ as I call it), it is important to learn what things are like in the real world as well (experiential learning). By getting involved, students can learn significantly more than just by reading a textbook. Don’t get me wrong, a strong GPA is important, but there is not much to talk about in an interview about a GPA,” Graber said. “Regardless of your major, try to participate in many case competitions to improve your business acumen. Become involved with clubs on campus that can help teach you what a career in certain fields looks like.”

Graber’s first college internship was with Cheyne Capital in New York City, one of Europe’s largest asset management firms. Working at Cheyne Graber developed a proposal to implement a new CRM system to increase efficiency and optimization across the organization.

“The proposal was accepted and, at the end of the internship, Cheyne hired me to implement the new system,” he said.

Graber, who is president of Management Consulting Group (MCG) at Binghamton University, became instantly obsessed with case competitions in college.

“My case competition experience along with my involvement in MCG confirmed my career interest in management consulting,” he said. “Over my time at SOM there has been a rapid explosion of experiential learning opportunities.”

Graber’s favorite case competition at Binghamton thus far has been the APICS competition, which focuses on business problems related operations management, because he said it exemplified the importance of teamwork, communication and commitment.

As president of MCG, Graber also experiences case competitions from the judge’s seat.

“I enjoy this role just as much as participating in case competitions because this allows me to see the talent of Binghamton University on display and cultivate this talent to improve.”

Last Updated: 8/30/16