Ivan Delgado wasn’t ready to leave home straight out of high school. But after professors at Dalton State guided him into stepping outside his comfort zone with confidence, Delgado left Northwest Georgia for a consulting position at Deloitte in New York City.
“I was scared to go to a new city without my parents,” said Delgado, a 2017 accounting graduate of Dalton State and a 2014 graduate of Murray County High School.
“Dalton State is a good school close to home, and they have a great accreditation for the degree I wanted,” he said. “I was already a dual enrollment student, which meant I finished my associate degree after just one year in college full time. I knew a degree from Dalton State was going to be worth it and a great value. My professors taught me to always push myself to do better and look beyond what is directly in front of me. They motivated me to push myself into something that was uncomfortable for me. But doing that brought about a new experience, a good learning experience.”
Dalton State’s Wright School of Business (WSOB) is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), which represents the highest standard of achievement for business schools. Less than 5 percent of business schools worldwide have earned this accreditation.
Networking and internships are experiences not only offered through the WSOB but strongly encouraged. Both played a large role in how Delgado landed his job as a consultant with one of the “Big Four” accounting organizations in the world. Deloitte provides auditing, consulting, financial advising and other services to leading businesses, including many Fortune 500 companies.
“In the WSOB, placement of our graduates in career positions is our ultimate goal,” said Dr. Marilyn M. Helms, dean of the WSOB. “To prepare for the world of work, we have a number of activities in place that start with career counseling and even job shadowing for freshman and sophomore-level students who have declared a business major. Through advising by our WSOB faculty, students are encouraged to participate in internships as early as the beginning of their junior year after they have completed several of the core classes within their major.
“We have a number of opportunities for team presentations as well as oral and written communication throughout our WSOB courses as well,” she said. “This comprehensive approach with a number of key activities ensures our students are ready for their internships experiences. Our feedback and comments from the community who hire our graduates tell us we are on the right path to prepare business students for the world of work. Ivan is such a great example of the work our WSOB faculty do to change the lives of our business students.”
As a member of the Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA) while a Dalton State student, Delgado connected with a senior consultant at Deloitte who guided Delgado on being hired by the company. The senior consultant even gave Delgado key words and phrases to put on his resume to make sure it stood out and helped coach him on interviews.
“People in ALPFA are already working and willing to help students,” Delgado said. “They know these are students they’ll want to hire because they’re taking the initiative to contact them and put their best foot forward.”
Delgado attended a conference at the encouragement of other ALPFA members where he interviewed with several companies, including Deloitte. Before leaving the conference, he had offers to intern from other leading consulting firms.
“Normally with Deloitte you do two interviews, but I had an internship offer to audit at another leading firm,” he said. “I wanted to go into advising, which was the position at Deloitte. I reached out to them, told them I had other offers, and they pushed my interview forward. I was offered a two-month summer internship in New York City.”
At the end of his internship, Delgado had the option to begin at Deloitte full time. But he delayed starting the job for a year so he could return to Dalton State, attend more classes and become a certified public accountant. He also took some time to travel with his family.
“I do consulting and that can be a wide variety of things depending on the client’s needs,” Delgado said. “It might require different skills or solutions. Sometimes I help with financial restructuring or logistics and supply chain management. The thing that prepared me most for this position was doing activities through ALPFA. In addition to networking, I coordinated events. I developed my leadership skills and soft skills through participation in that organization.”
Delgado said some classes in particular prepared him for this position, including accounting classes and a quantitative analysis class with Dr. Dong-gook “DK” Kim, an associate professor of supply chain management.
“What really prepared me was Dr. Kim’s class where we did a lot of work in Excel,” Delgado said. “I took all the Excel tricks and shortcuts he showed us in class with me to Deloitte, and while I was working a senior consultant asked how I knew all that information. That by far was the class that prepared me the most for this career.”
Jamie Connors, associate professor of accounting, taught many of Delgado’s accounting classes.
“Ivan was an outstanding accounting student with an intuitive logic for the subject matter,” she said. “At times I felt we could not challenge him enough.”