Foundations: My career journey

Go-to-market Strategy and Operations Lead at Prefer, 2016-2018

I was on the founding team of a software startup, where I co-led our go-to-market efforts. While I loved the entrepreneurial hustle, I wanted to take my operational and commercial skillset and apply it to larger scale projects.

Operations and Strategy Manager at McMaster-Carr, 2019-2020

I joined a management rotation program at McMaster-Carr, focusing on operational improvement for a multi-billion-dollar e-commerce business. I was drawn to the consultative nature of working with some our larger customers, including Boeing, Tesla, and SpaceX, and the quick pace of a logistics-focused company. I learned a lot, from problem-solving in a fast-paced environment to building alignment across a functional organization to creating value for both the firm and our client.

While I enjoyed helping businesses operationally, I wanted to learn how to help a business on its balance sheet and how to create value at a later-stage company.

MBA student at Columbia, 2020-2022

Business school was an essential next step, given that I had a somewhat unconventional background as a liberal arts major and I wanted the opportunity to gain more financial and business acumen. At Columbia, I explored different fields related to value creation, from private equity and corporate development to banking, and, of course, consulting. I ended up interning at Anheuser-Busch in a corporate M&A role. While I was excited about the nature of M&A work, I missed the consultative nature of my previous role and felt that working on the advisory side would be a better fit for me.

M&A Consultant at AlixPartners, 2023-Present

I previously thought consultants were hands-off and focused only on strategy.  At AlixPartners, consultants roll up their sleeves, work side-by-side with clients, and drive real results for companies when it matters most. That’s the kind of work—where I can see my direct impact—that I thrive in.

To see what I mean, I shared a week-in-my-life, which included leading the commercial review of a carve-out in Sao Paulo, Brazil, developing a business development strategy for one of AlixPartners' key referral partners, and drinking a lot of espresso.

A week in my life as an M&A consultant


8:30 am: It’s my second week in Sao Paulo and the fourth week of my first AlixPartners engagement! During my first week at the firm, M&A Partner Gabe Koch reached out to see if I’d be interested in joining his project team, which would be advising a US-based financial services company in exiting their Latin American operations, based mostly in Brazil. Given my language skills (I’m fluent in Spanish and studied Portuguese in college) and my commercial experience that would be helpful for this type of carve-out, it seemed like a perfect first project and I said yes without hesitation.

8:35 am: My team and I kick off the day with an espresso and align on goals for the day before hopping into Ubers to head to the client site. After only a week in Sao Paulo, I’m starting to get my bearings and feel like we’ve established a productive routine as a team.

2:00 pm: Head into a meeting with one of the key executives of the local Brazilian management team. I’ve prepared questions to ensure we’re gathering the right data for our commercial evaluation. It’s important that I maximize this facetime opportunity so I can advance my workstream.

7:30 pm: Team dinner! I made reservations for our team at a restaurant that specializes in elevating Amazonian and traditional Brazilian ingredients. We’re a bunch of foodies, so it’s great that we can take time to connect over a shared interest and talk about our work in a more casual setting.


7:15 am: Meet for our daily espressos before hopping into a van that will take us around for a day of site visits—we are visiting a large vendor and a call center. One of my rotations in the management program I was a part of before business school was in a high-volume call center. I leverage my operational experience to share unique insights with the team.

3:00 pm: Drive to the local law firm to review contracts and check in on progress made with our legal review. It’s an amazing opportunity to work with local professionals and build connections and a strong reputation for AlixPartners.

4:00 pm: Join Gabe and fellow M&A VP, John Tetnowski, for our monthly M&A call. My first one! I give an update on our project in Brazil and on my work on our M&A Law Firm Business Development Team. I joined the cross-functional team to identify and develop revenue growth opportunities. It’s also a great opportunity for me to gain exposure across the firm.

7:30 pm: Connect with Jen Chiang, a Director in our Turnaround & Restructuring team on to discuss the law firm referral channel account program strategy that we will be presenting at the next quarterly meeting.


7:30 am: Check out of hotel and hop in Uber to the airport. Since I’m traveling today, I’m looking forward to some quality heads-down time where I get to make progress on a model I’ve been working on. There’s quite a bit of number crunching to do and, given the front-loaded client work at the start of the week, I value this time to focus on my analysis.

5:30 pm: During a layover in Atlanta, I jump onto a call to walk my team through my updates to our model. It was a long flight, but I was able to get a lot done, so I am feeling accomplished! After the call, I turn my focus to what we will present to the project steerco during our weekly check-in…I sketch out some ideas for slides and review my notes from the week to gather our insights.


9:30 am: It’s time for our daily morning check-in. I’m working from home, so I dial into Teams and the team goes around giving updates on our individual work streams. I especially enjoyed hearing the cash management update from TRS Director Chris Sanchez. It’s a new topic for me and he’s a wizard! I message him on the side asking if he’d be willing to walk me through his cash model and he says he’d be glad to. This is something I really appreciate about the firm; everyone is generous with their knowledge and expertise!

2:00 pm: Check in with the entire team to share the steerco presentation John and I have been working on. The engagement leaders share great feedback, and John and I have clear direction on how to elevate the deck from good to great. The rest of the afternoon is full steam ahead on edits, polishing, and collaborating with the team on our narrative and talk track for the next day’s steerco meeting.

6:30 pm: I take a break from slide-making for some important admin work—entering my billable hours and taking care of expenses.


8:30 am: Weekly steerco time! It’s an exciting meeting because it’s our first check in where we can share our initial assessment after being on-site in Brazil. Our presentation goes over well! With positive feedback, we move forward into the final stretch of our first phase of the project.

11:30 am: Switching to the other deck I worked on this week, Jen and I present our M&A law firm BD strategy to TRS Partner and Managing Director Jim Bienias for his feedback. I was focused on looking at historical revenues from deals with our target law firms, pulling out key insights on what services lines have performed well and landed the biggest wins. I enjoyed getting into the weeds on potential revenue growth areas for the firm and develop my own POV. I am excited for the new opportunities and challenges next week will bring.

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