Iwona

Project Leader, Smith School of Business

 

"My work has an immediate impact on and visibility to clients"

Iwona

Project Leader, Smith School of Business

 

"My work has an immediate impact on and visibility to clients"

Iwona

Why did you join Dean & Company?

Several factors attracted me to Dean & Company. I liked the company’s focus on data driven analysis in problem solving and was very impressed with the quality of people I met during recruiting. I also liked the fact that Dean & Company is not a “pure-play” strategy consulting firm, but it has a long-term relationship with a major private equity firm and has spun off an energy trading operation and a start-up hedge-fund, reflecting a thriving entrepreneurial spirit. Dean & Company’s smaller size also means my work has a more immediate impact on and visibility to clients. And finally, location in the D.C. area was an added bonus.

What types of experiences have you had working at Dean?

Initially I focused on working with our largest private equity client. This has provided a great combination of breadth and depth of experience: I gained broad experience in a number of industries, and on the other hand had the opportunity to pursue in-depth analysis of key issues and performance drivers at selected targets. Over a year I evaluated targets in industries ranging from financial services to power transmission and distribution, gaming, food processing, hazardous waste, industrial maintenance services, BPO outsourcing, and pharmaceuticals, to name just a few. And we are not exclusively focused on the U.S. market. We have performed due diligence for targets in markets as diverse as Latin America, Russia, Italy, and Norway. We work closely with our client to understand industry dynamics and analyze the target’s strategy and competitive positioning, as well as their financial and operating performance. Our goal is to evaluate future outlook for each target’s performance and identify and quantify potential risks and upside opportunities. In addition to analysis of internal data and publicly available sources, our due diligence also involves discussions with company management, current / prospective customers, competitors, as well as industry experts. One of the great benefits of working with a private equity client at Dean & Company is that early on you get a chance to participate in meetings with client and target top management and even discuss the business with CEOs, who oftentimes are the entrepreneurs who founded and built the company. That’s a real life learning experience you don’t get in any classroom!

What do you like to do outside of work?

In my “previous life” working in international development I had the opportunity to visit and live in many great cities in Europe and Africa, and I must say Washington D.C. in among my favorite places. I grew up in a large city and love the urban feel of D.C.’s downtown neighborhoods – you will find here plenty of great restaurants, clubs, theatres and other cultural venues. As a foreign-born resident, I also like the international character and diversity of the city – you can spend a Polynesian Luau night at the Embassy of New Zealand or head to a Global Issues Seminar at the World Bank. I also try to spend as much time as possible outdoors, and have very much enjoyed the many bike trails around the D.C. area and great hiking trails in nearby Shenandoah National Park. Dean & Company’s social events also take advantage of what the city has to offer, and range from picnics in area parks to wine tastings to Wolf Trap concerts to major league sporting events to the annual black tie holiday party.