Day in the Life: Business Intelligence Consulting

What does Business Intelligence Consulting have to do with technology? And, what is it exactly?  We’re excited to welcome alum, Corey Hulse, to @PennCareerDay on Friday, March 30th.  Corey will talk about this unique career path that combines technology and business development in the consulting arena. To learn more about Corey, read below and follow him on the 30th!

Corey Hulse graduated from Penn in 2007.  He concentrated in Operations Information Management (OPIM) and Legal Studies (LGST) at Wharton.  During OCR his senior year, he was fortunate to find a job as a Consultant with Thorogood Associates, a Business Intelligence consulting firm, and has been with the firm for just about five years.

Thorogood’s clients are large multi-national enterprise organizations that have large amounts of data, and they work with them to implement solutions that allow them to make faster, more informed, and better business decisions.  The company will work with the client to figure out what’s best to address their challenges, and implement solutions using technologies from Microsoft, SAP, IBM, Oracle, QlikView, and Tableau.

During his time at Thorogood, Corey’s worked with retail clients like Chanel and multiple different clients from the Consumer Packaged Goods sector.  He’s been able to learn about, work with, and build solutions for multiple different business areas like finance, logistics, human resources, and factory production.  He’s also been able to travel to the company headquarters in London on multiple occasions for both client work and to contribute to internal company initiatives.

When he’s not working, Corey enjoys photography, board games, and spending way too much playing in Excel.  He’s developed a passion for interesting graphs and visualizations, and blogs for both and

Day in the Life: IBM Client Executive

What’s life like at a leading technology company?  Learn first hand from Jeannine Carr on @PennCareerDay, Tuesday, March 27th.  Jeannine has worked for IBM in various areas over the course of her career.  It’s important to understand the different areas one company has to offer in technology and other industries, as well.  What better way to learn the diverse functions at a large organization than from an experienced Penn alum?! Read more about Jeannine below and to view her posts from Tuesday, March 27th, 2012 – visit her story on our Storify account!

Jeannine is a Client Executive in IBM’s Distribution Industry Sales Organization.  She is responsible for IBM’s relationship, revenue and client satisfaction for 4 global clients:  3 in retail and 1 in consumer products.   Her career at IBM has spanned a number of roles including Manufacturing Engineer, Project Manager, Technical Sales Specialist, Services Business Development Executive, and Operational Contract Specialist.

Day to day activities include:  developing relationships with clients, meeting with executives at clients in both IT and the business to understand business strategies and issues in order to identify sales opportunities, working with the extended IBM team to develop and execute plans to close business, acting as the IBM single point of contact and escalation point when clients have problems in their interaction with IBM, coordinating communication and activities among the extended IBM team in order to drive increased revenue and improved client satisfaction.

In addition to her professional responsibilities, Jeannine is a Mom with two sons – – one a junior in college and one a junior in high school.  Her husband, Thomas Carr, is a Penn graduate with a BS in Economics from Wharton.    She is also an active volunteer for the Theater Arts program at her local high school as a costumer for musical productions and is a member of the Penn Engineering Alumni Association Board.

Jeannine graduated from Penn Engineering in 1983 with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering.  She earned an MBA in 1997 from the Leonard Stern School of Business at New York University with a concentration in Finance and International Business.   She has also completed IBM’s Professional Certification program for sales professionals.

A Day in the Life: Environmental, Health, and Safety Software

Last year’s Year of Water theme demonstrated the variety of green career paths out there.  We are excited to continue to explore these paths during our week focused on Green Careers, leading up to the All Ivy Environmental Career Fair on Friday, February 24th.  We welcome alum, Clare Epstein, to @PennCareerDay on Wednesday, February 22nd.  Clare will post about her role with TRA, an environmental, health and safety software company.  To learn more about Clare, read below and remember to follow her on the 22nd!

Clare Epstein graduated from Penn in 1994 with a Bachelor in Urban Studies and has ended up 18 years later as Vice President of TRA, Inc in charge of the IndustrySafe Safety Management Software.  How did her time at Penn help her prepare for her current position? How did she end up 1) working from a home office in the suburbs 2) starting in environmental, health and safety software and 3) managing programmers and developers (among others)-  all things she did not anticipate upon graduation and some of which she swore she would never do?  Learn what “A Day in the Life” is like for Ms. Epstein as she conducts virtual meetings, participates in webinars and sales demos, utilizes social media and technology for sales and marketing efforts and makes time for “real” non virtual activity in the work day too, like exercising and eating.

A Day in the Life: Product Marketing at LinkedIn

To wrap up our week on Careers with Startups, as shared by alum Adam Levin and our Penn in Tech Panel: The World of California Start-Ups, we’ll be focusing on post-startup life.   We welcome Ada Chen Rekhi to @PennCareerDay on Wednesday, November 9th.  Take advantage of this opportunity to learn more about her experience in the startup world, and her new role at LinkedIn.   This is also a great follow up to her recent blog:  Should I Join A Startup? Examining the Pros and Cons.  Read more about Ada below, and check out her posts from November here on our Twitter resource page.

  Ada Chen Rekhi is co-founder and head of user growth at Connected (, a startup based in San Francisco which provides contact management without the work. Connected was recently acquired by LinkedIn, and Ada is now on the Product Marketing team there. She is a recent Penn alumna who graduated in 2006. You can connect with Ada on her blog at or on Twitter as @adachen.

Should I Join A Startup? Examining the Pros and Cons

by Ada Chen Rekhi

Startups are the hot new thing these days, and everyone wants to get into technology startups with high profile companies like Facebook, Twitter and Zynga making headlines and millionaires being created overnight. But should you join one?

As a recent Penn grad, I’ve seen both sides of the table. After graduating from Penn in 2006, I moved to Redmond for my first job at Microsoft. After that, I headed down to Silicon Valley to work for a small online games startup Mochi Media. I had an amazing experience at Mochi, working with some of the most fun and brilliant people that I know, and making great friends. Even better, the company was acquired for $80 million last year. Since then, I’ve recently co-founded my own startup, Connected, which provides contact management without the work.

As someone who’s in the startup community, I often speak with alumni who reach out and ask: should I join a startup?

The pros and cons of joining a startup

Choosing whether or not to join a startup is a deeply personal decision. Startups are definitely not the best fit for everyone. The reality of startups are two-fold: they can be intensely rewarding and uplifting experiences, but are also often long hours and low pay with a high variance on your results.  Here are some of the pro and cons I’ve observed in startups:


 Wearing lots of hats – At any small and rapidly growing company, it’s all hands on deck. Startups offer fantastic opportunities to wear multiple hats and really get to know what it’s like to run an organization.

 Big career opportunities – Working at a startup can present big opportunities to step up and lead a time. As your startup grows, your scope of responsibility and experiences grow alongside it. Careers can progress much more quickly inside of startups.

 Learn by doing – In startups I love that so much learning takes place by simply rolling up your sleeves and doing, with fast feedback on how well you’re doing. Startups tend to encourage a culture of learning by experimentation, and small projects have the potential to become game-changing projects.

 Passionate people – Startups are almost invariably made up of passionate, excited people who are working there because they truly want to be working there. I love the energy and passion in small teams that believe in the idea that they’re working on.


Less Specialization – While startups offer opportunities to wear multiple hats, it’s rare to find opportunities to focus and become a deep domain expert in one area.  As a startup marketer, I was a generalist with responsibilities ranging from managing press and events to product decisions around launch, pricing and engagement. In a larger company, there are more opportunities to get deep and specialize.

 Career Development – With exceptions, startups are not run by people who have extensive people management experience and see it as their goal to shepherd personal career development. While startups can offer opportunities for career growth, the responsibility for this largely falls on you, the employee.

 Less Stable – Everything moves quickly in startups. Everything is fair game to change, including the startup’s name, the business model, and your role in the organization. Being part of a startup means being comfortable with constant large and small changes, and comfortable with the potential risks involved.

More Hours, Less Pay – Generally, you’ll work harder and get paid less while at a startup compared to your comparable role within a larger company. Very young companies often don’t offer the same type of compensation and benefits packages as larger organizations.

 Finding success in startups

Startups come in all sizes and shapes, and your experience can be very different depending on the team and business you choose. It’s like finding a shoe that fits. Every company is different, and the differences are magnified by team size.

As some final piece of advice, make sure you understand your career goals, what you hope to get out of the experience and how it all fits together.  Good luck on your startup adventures!

Ada Chen Rekhi is co-founder and head of user growth at Connected (, a startup based in San Francisco which provides contact management without the work. Connected was recently acquired by LinkedIn, and Ada is now on the Product Marketing team there. She is a recent Penn alumna who graduated in 2006. You can connect with Ada on her blog at or on Twitter as @adachen.  Ada will be posting about her day on our @PennCareerDay feed on Wednesday, November 9th.  Check back here next week for details on that!