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Meet Erik Hammill

Alumni Spotlight

Erik Hammill (‘19 MBA, industrial engineering) is a technology consulting manager within PwC’s Cloud and Digital–Functional and Industry Technologies practice. He serves power and utility clients undergoing technology transformation to meet the needs of their customers and sustain their capital investments to modernize the power grid.

Q: Why did you enroll in the Ivy MBA program?

Early in my junior year, I knew I wanted to enroll in the concurrent MBA program to build upon my engineering foundation and explore more opportunities to bring together foundational business principles and the technical expertise that comes with an engineering degree. What I didn’t know when I joined was where the MBA program would take me. My leap of faith was days before joining the MBA program and discussing other career paths with Tabatha Carney in career services. This led me to turn down an offer to return to work as a project manager at 3M, an excellent company, because I wanted to use the extra summer to try consulting. Given the job placement of an Iowa State University MBA, I was confident that I would have an early career opportunity to be excited about. A couple of weeks later, I joined CyBIZ Lab as a student consultant through a graduate student assistantship and had an internship offer at PwC a few months later. I have been at PwC since graduating.

Q: How did the concurrent MBA program open doors for you?

There are opportunities wherever you look at Iowa State. It is 100 percent what you make of it. I had the opportunity to put principles into practice and gain consulting experience at CyBIZ lab. As an MBA student, the expectation was that you lead the projects and manage client expectations along with the team’s progress. I participated in case competitions. The MBA study abroad trip took me to places like Nestle HQ and the World Trade Organization in Switzerland. What I didn’t expect was how connected I would stay to other alumni of the program and the value of having a network of people experiencing success across industries.

Q: What valuable takeaways did you get from the MBA programs?

Outside of coursework, I learned how to work with people with different backgrounds and experiences while being taught the latest in organizational behavior. Maybe that sounds a bit cliché, but it is a situation I find myself in daily at PwC and with our clients. Having direct access to the professors and staff who were excited and willing to help made a noticeable difference.

Q: What advice do you have for anyone considering an MBA?

If it is something you are genuinely considering, having your MBA will open more doors than saying, ‘I might go back and get my MBA later.’

Q: You work for a large consulting firm in which you have been able to grow in your roles and experience. What is the key to your success?

The key to success is leaning into difficult situations, whether it be internal or client related. Being consistent and reliable over time increases the odds of you making your own luck. And lastly, in client services, the key is to be honest and candid — acknowledging that no one knows the client’s business better than the client.

Q: How do you foresee the MBA continuing to help you in your future roles?

The program prepared me to forge an accelerated path in my first few years at the firm. The MBA sustained the transition to management at PwC and became more valuable now that I am responsible for building teams and project plans, having already been exposed to those concepts from day one in the MBA program.

February 17, 2023