Jack Wisnefske, '12
Political science major charts a career in federal consulting through internships
May 8, 2012
Wisnefske, a political science major, was a bit nervous about pursuing consulting, as he was not a Business School student. However, his liberal arts background gave him the skills he needed: to research, analyze and self-teach. Most importantly, he knew Deloitte was searching for candidates with a passion for the public sector, which he had developed through his past internship experiences.
"Jack's internship and classroom experiences combined put him in a great position to stand out as an applicant for consulting because he has a strong background in research, writing, and working for government organizations," said Beth Chancy, assistant director in the Office of Alumni and Career Services. "Jack is also a good listener, good at taking in information and seeing the big picture, which is important for someone pursuing consulting."
Wisnefske started using the resources in Career Services as early as his first year. He applied for a summer internship after seeing a posting in SpiderConnect, the Career Services opportunities database. He spent the summer interning with Karamah, a nonprofit organization of Muslim woman lawyers for human rights in Washington, D.C.
When former Virginia governor, Tim Kaine, began teaching at the university, Wisnefske made an appointment with him during his office hours. Kaine encouraged Wisnefske to get involved with the Democratic National Convention that summer. He did – and spent the following summer interning at the DNC with Organizing for America, a legislative ground force that promotes President Obama's policy agenda in Washington D.C.
"Jack looked, pursued and networked with as many people as he could, which is an important step in career planning," Chancy said. "He also took advantage of every opportunity that the University had to offer, which translated into great success."
After a semester abroad in Geneva, Switzerland, Wisnefske developed an interest in transatlantic security. He spent the summer before his senior year interning at the Department of Homeland Security in Washington D.C. This experience dispelled many of the stereotypes he heard about federal agencies and his internship provided him with insight into the day-to-day challenges faced by federal agencies. He became passionate about implementing solutions to these challenges.
In preparation for his interview with Deloitte Consulting this past fall, Wisnefske used Career Services to gear his liberal arts degree toward a career in consulting. He attended workshops on a variety of topics from interview preparation to professional development. Wisnefske also participated in mock interviews organized through Career Services to prepare him for his interview with Deloitte Consulting.
"Jack exemplifies what can happen if you use Career Services early and often, because he sought out experiences to help him figure out his path, Chancy said. "Later, he was able to make choices about what he wanted to do based on those experiences."
While wrapping up his senior year, Wisnefske is keeping himself busy by interning for Tim Kaine's campaign for the U.S. Senate. He will begin working at Deloitte Consulting in mid-August. He looks forward to learning a new business-oriented skill set and meeting new people.