Make a Difference Day 2014

On Saturday, October 18th, 117 Whitman students went out to serve on over a dozen service projects. SCORE groups were reunited, friendships were kindled, and a difference was most certainly made. Whitties gardened, cleaned, promoted, planted, and so much more in their effort to make service their thing. We are proud to have contributed so many volunteers to this national day of service. At the end of the day, any participants reflected on their experiences, especially how their service relates to their life goals:

I want to make events like Make a Difference Day and Service Saturday a tradition during my time at Whitman”

I love that art is seen as valuable to the community, and it is certainly personally important to me.”

I want to be a doctor and taking care of others and caring for their well-being is an important aspect of the career.”

I want to stay involved in my community after Whitman.”

I loved reuniting with my SCORE and with the people from other SCOREs. I also loved seeing the progress made at Valle Lindo since I was last there.”

Service is fun!”

Thank you so much to the dedicated volunteers who participated, the amazing interns and staff of the Student Engagement Center, and the incredible community partners who hosted our students. Events like this would not be possible without your support, leadership, and commitment.


A look at Management Consulting firms

Management Consulting is a great first job for many liberal arts majors – experience working with a wide variety of organizations on an even wider array of projects, work that is well suited to your critical-thinking aptitudes, opportunities to travel and experience many locations, organizations and roles while determining your career path.

Recruiting in Management Consulting begins in August and the time to apply for internships or post-graduation jobs is almost past. If you missed the Management Consulting panel that the SEC hosted last may, here are some resources to help you understand and connect with various firms; including a list of companies where some Whitman graduates have found the start to their career or a longer-term occupation.

NOTE: If you’re a junior or senior seeking entry into the industry, focus on Boutique Firms toward the bottom of the list – the top firms are well into their recruiting process and your best bet to access these organizations is to gain experience elsewhere and apply post MBA.

If you’re a sophomore or first-year, consider gaining some work experience this summer while you prepare for the application process at the bigger firms next fall.  You can also reach out to alumni at some of the boutique firms for informational interviews and interest in any internships.

Firms are categorized by size.

The Big Firms:

Bain & Company has offices in San Francisco and DC, and is one of the world’s leading consulting firms. They offer a large variety of consulting services from 51 offices in 33 countries. Bain & Company was named number 1 in Glassdoor’s 2014 “Employees’ Choice- 50 Best Place to Work”, #1 in Consulting Magazine’s “Best Firms to Work For” in 2013, and #2 on Vault’s “Vault Consulting 50” list in 2014, among other awards including awards for equality in the workplace. They have worked for the majority of the Fortune 500. Matthew Dittrich ‘12 is an associate consultant at Bain & Company. Apply online.

McKinsey & Company, another global firm, has offices in Denver, DC, Seattle and San Francisco. They were listed at the top of “Best Consulting Firms” and “Top 50 Consulting Firms” for North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific by Vault in 2013, and received the “Triple Crown” award in 2014 for being ranked number 1 in all three regions. They have received human rights in the workplace awards similar to Deloitte and Bain. They boast serving more than 80% of Fortune magazine’s “Most Admired Companies”. They have more than 90 offices in more than 50 countries. Sean Collins ‘01, Aaron Perrine ‘99, and Michael Wert ‘06 are alumni at McKinsey. Apply online.

The Boston Consulting Group is another international firm, and has an office in DC, Seattle and San Francisco. It was #3 in Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” in 2014, and a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s “LGBT-friendly policies and practices” list. They boast that more than 25 percent of their consultants work outside of their home country every year, and more than half work with global teams of BCG members. Joseph Davis ‘80 works in the San Francisco branch as a senior partner and managing director. Apply online.

Other National Firms:

Deloitte, with branches in Denver, Seattle, San Francisco, Portland and DC, consistently receives awards such as “Top 50 Companies for Diversity,” “Best Companies for Working Mothers,” and “Corporate Equality Index – perfect score of 100%,” as well as “100 Best Companies to Work For” by Fortune in 2013. They label themselves the “largest private professional services network in the world,” serving people in more than 150 countries. They emphasize an “inclusive” workplace and boast that “our people are anything but average”. John Andrews ‘13, Brian Percival ‘12 and Rashid Farooqui ‘00 are Whitman graduates at Deloitte. Apply online.

Accenture provides management consulting, technology and outsourcing services. They have branches all over the world, including San Francisco, Denver, Seattle, and DC.  Accenture proudly calls themselves the “world’s largest independent technology services provider” and boasts “enduring collaborative client relationships at the C-suite level with many of the world’s leading companies”. They received the “Perfect Score on the Corporate Equality Index” award by Human Rights Campaign, were listed on “100 Best Companies to Work For” by Fortune, “Best Companies for Leaders” by Chief Executive Magazine, “Best 100 Corporate Citizens” by CR Magazine, and “Top 50 Companies for Executive Women” by National Association for Female Executives (NAFE) in 2014, among others. Billy Way ‘80 was a Partner at Accenture, and Chau Dang ‘06 is a Senior Technology Analyst in Data Insight R&D at Accenture. Information about applying here.

Protiviti is a public, global consulting firm with offices in San Francisco, Denver, Portland, Seattle and DC. They have served more than 35 percent of Fortune 1000 and Fortune Global 500 companies. They have a network of over 70 offices in more than 20 countries. They also work with smaller companies looking to grow/go public, and government agencies. They were named the “Best Place to Work for Recent Grads” by Experience a ConnectEDU company in 2014, and their parent company Robert Half was on Fortune Magazine’s “Most Admired Companies” list in 2013. Brian Vieth ‘11 is an Experienced Consultant at Protiviti. Applications for Seattle students are due October 15th. Apply online.

Hitachi Consulting is a unit of the Japanese tech giant Hitachi. It has offices in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Denver, and DC. It was the number 1 “100 Best Companies to Work for in Oregon (Large)” and on the “100 Best Green Companies” lists by Oregon Business in 2009. They provide business management and information technology consulting services. Hannah Payne ‘11 is a consultant at Hitachi and and Alyson Schweitzer ‘02 is a manager in Communications, Media and Entertainment at Hitachi. Apply online.

Boutique Firms:

The Spur Group is located in Redmond, WA, and is the only consulting firm currently interviewing on Whitman’s campus. A lot of recent alumni work for the Spur Group, like Signe Burke ‘14, Andrew Hawkins ‘13, and Tiluk Bhatt ‘13. The Spur Group specializes in three main categories: Business Operations, Connected Communications, and Channel Management, promising to bring “instant business momentum” for their clients. They serve Microsoft, Starbucks, Google, and other big businesses. They were named one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” by Seattle Business Magazine in 2014. Their application process begins in March. They’ll likely return to campus for interviews.

Sapere Consulting is based here in Walla Walla, and serves Technology, Energy & Industry, Media and Communication clients in both private and public sectors. They foster a small and selective employee base to focus on the individual, and emphasize an open and accessible environment and mentorship. They were founded in 2003, and have since expanded to Half Moon Bay, CA, Spokane, WA and Alexandria, VI. Sapere has worked with the Department of Agriculture, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, and NASA in the public sector. Sapere was named a “Top Small Company Workplaces” Finalist in 2011 and 2012 and listed on the Inc. 500/5000 by Inc. Magazine and Winning Workplaces. Erich Wolf ‘02 and Kirsten Adams Gable ‘01 joined Sapere. You can find their recruiting brochure here, and you can contact to submit your qualifications. More information on their website here.

ACME Business Consulting has offices in Portland and Seattle, and about 70 employees. ACME was started 12 years ago, and was listed on “Top Work Places” by The Oregonian and Seattle Business Magazine’s “Washington’s 100 Best Companies to Work For” in 2014. Whitman’s John Rush ‘91 was a Senior Project Leader at ACME before moving to Percipio Consulting. Apply online.

501 Commons is a Seattle-based non-profit that aims to help nonprofit organizations sustain themselves long-term and serve the community most effectively. Their Executive Service Corps program was a featured finalist for the America’s Service Commissions Innovation and Leadership Awards. Robert Dalton ‘14 worked at 501 Commons as well as the Spur Group, Jordan Dickson ‘14 now works at Great-West Financial after 501 Commons and Maura Barstead ‘14 was a Consultant Intern with them. Apply online.

Revel Consulting was on Inc. 500’s “Fastest Growing Private Companies” four years in a row, Puget Sound Business Journal’s “Fast Growing Private Companies” and Seattle Business Magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list in 2010. They have offices in Seattle and San Francisco. Christopher Hansman ‘11 is an Associate and Kristin Jamer ‘93 is a Senior Consultant at Revel. Apply online.

Simplicity Consulting, located in Seattle, specializes in marketing. They were also on the Inc 500 “America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies” in 2011, 2012, and 2013. They’ve worked for Amazon, Microsoft and Xbox 360. Dorian Zimmerman ‘12 is a Marketing Consultant at Simplicity. Apply online.


My experience with Adopt-A-Grandparent


My involvement with the Adopt-A-Grandparent program has been an extraordinarily valuable experience for me. I started volunteering my junior year and regret having not started earlier because by the first week of my involvement in the program, I had already found a very special place amongst a community of wonderful residents and staff at Odd Fellows. I love being able to engage creatively with the vibrant group of residents in the Mudhut, Odd Fellows ceramic studio, and share stories and music with those at the Friday ice cream socials.

Now, as this year’s AAG intern, I am privileged to have an even more engaging role in this fantastic program. I am amazed at the number of students involved in AAG and their continued dedication through multiple years. It is exciting to be able to bring new students into the program and to organize fun events where all of the grandparents and grandkids can be brought together. I continue to meet new residents, students, and staff every day, and, through this position, am learning so much about the effort, time, and commitment needed to sustain such a program as AAG. I am continuously looking for ways to improve the AAG program and hope to incorporate more education and reflection into this year’s program to further enhance student service.

So far, the best part in this position is being able to facilitate other students’ engagement with grandparents and to hear, as a result, wonderful stories from both grandparents and grandkids. Just last week, a resident approached me bearing a big grin saying, “I love my Whitman grandchild; we’re going to get along so well!”  It is also such a privilege to be able to see Whitman students take initiative and lead activity groups, swimming classes, etc. I am impressed and amazed by the extent to which many Whitman students go to enrich the life of their grandparent. It is humbling.

As a senior, I look ahead with sadness at having to say goodbye to the many grandparents and friends I have thanks to the AAG program. In committing my time to this program, with the intent of enriching the life of residents at Odd Fellows, I have in return been so greatly enriched. I have learned, in my many conversations with grandparents, about love, loss, life, values, morals, death, grief, regret, and the list goes on. I remember distinctly one grandparent telling me over ice cream, “I have made many mistakes in my life, but I don’t regret any of them. I’m still here so I must have done something right!” I find this statement empowering. I am so thankful for my experiences with the AAG program, for the many individuals who have encouraged me throughout, and for the stories, laughs, and tears shared with my many “adopted” grandparents. It is with gratitude that I will be taking my experiences from AAG with me as I leave Walla Walla this spring and move forward in my life.

2015 Spring Internship Grant: Applications out now!

The Spring Internship Grant can provide funding for students to participate in unpaid internship experiences at non-profit  and for-profit organizations in Walla Walla during the 2015 spring semester.

Possible examples of local non-profit organizations include: Blue Mountain Action Council, Friends of Children, The Kirkman House, Planned Parenthood, Red Cross, Trilogy, the YMCA, and the YWCA. To explore more possibilities, check out iEngage for internship postings and this guide which has a list of local organizations by industry.

** Applications are due at noon on Monday, December 15, 2014.  Applications must be send to the Student Engagement Center via email ( and signed supervisor contracts must be turned in to the SEC directly (219 Reid Campus Center).

Download the application and instructions here:

The Buddy Program: Gettin’ Crafty!


One of our community buddies, Mary, showing me her picture frame!

With Fall bringing chillier temperatures and shorter days, the Buddy Program has moved indoors! On October 16th, Whitman students met up with their community buddies in Reid Campus Center to get crafty and make picture frames for the photos they took during the photo scavenger-hunt on October 3rd. It was fun to see the thought and creativity that each buddy put into their work–we’ve got some true artists in this group!

Rachel Brock '16 and her community buddy Rachel got especially creative, making a birdhouse out of the supplies they were given!

Rachel Brock ’16 and her community buddy Rachel got especially creative, making a birdhouse out of the supplies they were given!

Along with interacting with our community buddies, I had the opportunity to talk with a number of the parents and guardians who bring the community buddies to our programs. Hearing about their experiences raising, living with, and working with special-needs individuals is truly inspiring, and serves as a constant reminder of why I took on this job. I’m excited to see what else I can learn from them as the year continues!