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Northwestern University

Alumni Connection: Annie Lee '19 from Neuroscience to Organizational Change Management Consulting

Annie planned on studying psychology/economics to later pursue her PhD - a few years later she graduated with a major in nueroscience and landed a job at a technology consulting firm.


Annie Lee '19

Current Job Title: Organizational Change Management & Business Transformation Consultant
Organization: Capgemini
Undergraduate Major:

When I came to Northwestern:

I originally wanted to study Psychology and Economics. My end goal was to work towards a PhD in some sort of health sciences field. I soon recognized that those two majors did not perfectly align with my interests, and thus I switched to Neuroscience and BIP, along with adding French in the mix. My idea of obtaining a PhD shifted relatively early in my college career as well, as I did not find the research process to be as fulfilling and stimulating as I had originally hoped.

More broadly, when I came to Northwestern, I knew I wanted to keep dancing (a huge passion of mine) and seek ought a well-rounded liberal arts education. I am happy to say that I have met both of those goals.

When I graduated from Northwestern, I wanted to be:

Upon graduation, I honestly had no idea what I wanted to pursue career-wise. I was curious in NGO work regarding global development, health, and international relations. On the other hand, I was considering continuing down the path of the medical industry, which I had dabbled in during internships. I was very open to any opportunity, and I was not actively seeking to find a "dream job" after college as I anticipated my career being a multi-faceted zig-zag rather than a straight line. The only requirements I had for a first job were for it to be intellectually stimulating, to allow for a lot of social interaction, and to have global connections.

I am now working as:

I am now an Organizational Change Management & Business Transformation Consultant at Capgemini, a global technology consulting company with its roots in Paris, France. I never thought I would be in consulting; I had a very singular view of what consulting was and what type of people wanted to be consultants, and I felt that I did not align with that at all. However, stumbling upon an opportunity with Capgemini was an eye-opening and extremely enjoyable process, and I am thankful that I set aside any preconceptions and kept my mind open to whatever opportunities came my way.

The pros and cons of my work are:


I am given responsibility and ownership of my work, I have incredibly intelligent and compassionate colleagues, I get to utilize my skills in foreign language to speak to client members and Capgemini colleagues from around the world, I get the opportunity to travel, I get the flexibility of often working from home, I achieve work-life balance and do not have to overwork myself to achieve the results I desire, I am presented with many opportunities to grow, I get to connect with insightful mentors and also serve as a buddy to incoming hires, I've gotten to start a club focused on cultural diversity and work with a team to build it from the ground up, my company encourages me to pursue my passions, and I feel that I have a voice in my current role.


I often have to "put out fires" that are occurring in business with a client, and within a company of 250,000+ people, it can be difficult to know where I stand. Furthermore, project work in consulting can make you feel a bit isolated from the greater company's work.

My advice to students is:

Number 1:

Don't worry so much about finding your first job. The job search process does not have to be so high-pressure, competitive, and intense. I personally did not put much weight on my career preparation while in college: during my summers, I danced, did research, and studied abroad twice. Employers appreciate life experience just as much as work experience, and I believe there should not be such a strong focus on internship experience or functional/technical skill development while in undergrad. What matters most to many companies today is that their employees have high emotional intelligence and can connect with people on all levels. Only through building relationships can one nail an interview, work with clients, and represent a company well. Technical skills can often be learned on the job; it's one's mindset when solving problems and one's ability to build rapport that I feel drive an interview and one' s job performance


Number 2:

Have the courage to not conform to what everyone else around you is doing or pursuing. Everyone questioned why I was studying Neuroscience if I knew I was not pre-med. Interviewers questioned why I was studying such seemingly unrelated things as Neuroscience, Business, and French. Everyone questioned my decision to take a leave of absence from Northwestern to prolong my study abroad experience while interning in Paris, France. Everyone questioned why I was not terrified during career recruitment during my senior year. The moral of my story is that by staying true to yourself and staying firm in your values and beliefs, you can block out the noise and external pressure that Northwestern's system and even students often put on you.

Number 3:

Take the time to reflect about what you really want in life. Aim for what stimulates and inspires you, and surround yourself with people that do the same.

Want to connect?

Contact Cassie Petoskey, Director of the Waldron Student-Alumni Connections Program, at Include a short paragraph on your background as well as what you are hoping to get out of this connection and Cassie will touch base about next steps.
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