Stuart Robertson '12
Stuart Robertson ’12 graduated from Wofford with a degree in Finance & Mathematics. During his time here, Stuart played tennis as a scholar athlete. In the summer before his senior year, he participated in the Institute for Professional Development. During this program, Stuart consulted for OTO Development, a large hotel management and investment company. He currently works as a Capital Markets Analyst with EDENS, a commercial real estate company that operates throughout the East Coast.
Why did you decide to participate in the Institute?
Scott Cochran has a lot of great information, especially for students who are about to join the workforce. The Space is a great resource for resume preparation and public speaking practice. Some of these skills, such as negotiation or professional emailing, are not practiced in college classes but are essential when joining the workforce. I elected to work on the OTO Development project because it was the most challenging, it developed my Excel skills, and I thought I would learn the most from it.
What did you do in your OTO Development project?
I was the lead consultant on a team of six. We created a platform for OTO Development to analyze and dissect a plethora of data, allowing them to drill down into regions and markets that they should target. Additionally, my team looked at where OTO Development’s current assets were located and whether or not they should exit the area based on future expansion potential and demographic trends.
How was the project helpful in preparing you for your current job?
The knowledge gained from the project itself was not very helpful since I don’t currently work in hotel management. However, the Microsoft Excel skills and leadership skills that I learned throughout the course of the project have been useful tools in my career.
What was the hardest part about working on a consulting project? The best?
The hardest part was getting my head around the huge amount of data that we used in our research for OTO. My team had to develop a mechanism that manipulated over 70,000 rows of cell data. This project helped emphasize the value in taking a large problem and breaking it down into many, smaller pieces, which are much easier to manage. This has been a skill that I have taken with me into the workforce, and I am sure will be a great asset in the future.
Do you have any advice for current Wofford students? (Does not necessarily have to be related to consulting.)
Don’t waste your summers at Wofford. Right now I’m helping read through resumes – over 400 applications – and work experience, among other things, is a determining factor in who gets cut in the first round. I’ve seen so many people graduate and walk into the workforce and say “how do you get work experience if you need work experience to get the job?” It seems like a paradox, however, summers offer an easy way to build work experience and give students the best chance at a job after college. Make the most of your summers. Also – use every resource that Wofford has to offer to help you with your endeavor. Make sure you visit The Space! Scott Cochran and Jennifer Dillenger, among others, are a great resource and should be used for advice as often as possible.