Monica Wallace means business. On any given day during her senior year, she could be seen bouncing from class to internships to Student Government Association (SGA) meetings, all while dressed in her best business attire. That’s why it comes as no surprise that she is the first Catholic University graduate to be offered a position at McKinsey & Company, one of the top three business consulting firms in the world, immediately after graduation this spring.
Monica has accepted a full-time position as a business analyst in McKinsey’s Atlanta office where she will be working with analytics, producing presentations, and doing other work needed to help McKinsey’s business clients improve their services.
“What’s really exciting is that the day-to-day looks so different and there’s so many opportunities to be involved with private companies, public companies, nonprofit firms, and all these different initiatives,” Monica said. “A firm like McKinsey opens up so many doors to whatever I’d like to be involved in.”
Her academic coursework and numerous internships helped prepare her for this next step. In addition to majoring in economics, Monica minored in politics and finance, has been an economics research fellow at Catholic University, and has completed several internships, including ones on Capitol Hill and at King & Spalding and Inveniam Capital Partners.
Monica also made it a point to be as involved as possible in Catholic University’s student life. This led her to various student leadership positions on campus, the most prominent of which were her roles in SGA.
As a sophomore, Monica served as the treasurer of SGA. As a senior, she served as the vice president, overseeing the student Senate and helping senators pass resolutions that aimed to improve the student experience.
“[SGA] really combined my love of service through government, finance, and economics. I have been able to work on projects that focused on improving key aspects of the University such as its advising services, marketing, and funding for our student organizations. I have loved having the opportunity to improve our school in these ways and as a senior, help others in SGA grow and develop in these leadership roles as well,” she said.
In fact, Monica sees many of her academic and professional endeavors as inseparable from service.
“You’re not thinking about economics in a vacuum. It is about ‘how does it impact real people in their daily lives to set them up to succeed?’,” she said.
“You’re not thinking about economics in a vacuum. It is about ‘how does it impact real people in their daily lives to set them up to succeed?’"
The service aspect of business consulting is also what largely excites her about working at McKinsey. She looks forward to continuing that service through working on projects that ultimately help businesses solve problems for the individuals they serve.
“At the end of the day, consulting, especially at McKinsey, is an opportunity to contribute toward solving challenging problems for meaningful projects and the ability to learn and grow under the guidance of some of the best consultants in the industry,” she said.
Monica feels her Catholic University education has prepared her for this position largely due to its academic rigor, which has provided her the knowledge needed for the kinds of data-driven projects she expects to encounter at McKinsey.
"You have that marriage of quantitative and qualitative skills in the economics program that I’ve been able to receive, supplemented by my education in politics and finance, that really help you to understand and tackle a problem based on the information you’re given.”
What really sets Catholic University apart for Monica is the supportive community she has found here, both through faculty and fellow students, who have inspired her to take on internships and truly make the most of her campus involvement.
“You want people that push you to be the very best that you can be and Catholic has those students everywhere,” she said. “No matter what program you end up in, I was surrounded by a group of students that were really motivated to learn and to push themselves in every area, which includes their faith life, athletics, community involvement, and all these other things that form you intellectually and also spiritually. That was huge.”