Pictured: Tanya Galan (C’20). Photo courtesy of Galan.
By Luke Gair
Transitioning from the quaint environment of the Domain to Boston’s sprawling city blocks would pose a disorienting experience for some, but for Tanya Galan (C’20) this is only part of the formative opportunity the Carey Fellowship offers.
Living in a house with a few other roommates, taking the typically unreliable public transportation, and cooking dinner after an eight-hour workday all may offer a taste of what life post-grad might look like, but a chief portion of her time in Boston all goes into an intensive, semester-long internship at Forrester Consulting. Galan stated the research company “offers various products to clients looking for ways to grow their company through customer-obsessed innovations.”
Day to day tasks in the office pertain to the “behind-the-scenes” work for consultants.
As a member of the Consulting Operations team, duties typically consist of small scale projects along with the presumable intern labor entailing “data entry, file updates and the like.” She noted that more recently though, she’s been “appointed Project Manager for a small internal project at the company,” going on to say how with a new position comes slight adjustment to yet another learning curve.
When Galan first arrived in Sewanee, she hadn’t yet selected a field of study but regardless, she said a career in business was on her radar before coming in as a freshman. After finding out about the Carey Fellows, she decided to shoot her shot and apply.
Since enrolling in the program, she said that “it has been nothing like I expected and I mean that in the most positive and grateful way.” The internship has also provided productive clarity on which way she intends to steer her career, whether that’s something more in line with her current posting or not.
She admitted that before becoming a Fellow, she was unaware of “how much the internship portion would impact current and future goals.”
The liberal arts education at the University is exceptionally multifaceted, and Galan’s time interning at Forrester has only strengthened this assertion. She emphasized how the research company serves as “a host to liberal arts graduates.”
“Many of the employees hold degrees in social sciences, something that always reassures me. I say this because as an International and Global Studies major in a business firm, I thought I would stick out as an outcast,” she continued, “the truth is that business, and consulting specifically, is fairly broad. A liberal arts education is all about teaching you how to learn and think.”
She went on to say how knowledge learned both in and outside of the classroom at Sewanee has been utilized in the workplace both “for my work or during conversation… a liberal arts education has intellectually prepared me for an environment of research and analysis.”
Although she may not use concrete knowledge directly channeled from her International and Global Studies classes, she assured that the skills stemming from these courses are what polish her internship experience as a whole, whether that be critical thinking or analytical expertise.
Babson Center for Global Commerce Director David Shipps (C’88) highlighted how “the overall design and sequence of events for the program has largely remained in tact as students move through various elements of the experience,” but noted that they strive to “keep the program contemporary,” which includes flying out to San Francisco to meet with alumni and learn how they made their way from the Mountain to more “digital careers” in Silicon Valley.
Without the impressive alumni network of the University, many internship opportunities would presumably be absent. Shipps discussed how this “incredibly engaged and enthusiastic collection of individuals” serves as a resource to students “as they begin to contemplate their post-Sewanee careers.”
For Galan, this means contextualizing her work at a consulting company in scope of where she hopes to land post-baccalaureate. When off the clock though, she has “enjoyed everything I’ve done and seen in Boston so far… I’m looking forward to that and catching a Red Sox game before I leave.”
Beyond Galan’s work in Boston, the Junior Carey Fellows working off-campus this semester include Henry Broeksmit (C’20) at Coca-Cola Enterprises, Emily Cashman (C’20) at SpringBot, Chase Covett (C’20) at Regions Bank, Adriana Jones-Quaidoo (C’20) at BrightHouse Consulting, Rutledge Riddle (C’20) at Capital Financial, and Davis Shill (C’20) at Mansfield Oil Corporation.