Preston Chakara

Preston ChakaraMajor: Finance
Hometown: Lancaster, PA

Describe your current job role:

I am currently an Analyst within the Strategy & Operations Division for Deloitte Consulting where we provide management consulting services to clients across several commercial and federal industries. My team and I provide process improvement support, financial analysis and tech strategies to our clients while also furthering Deloitte’s business development opportunities.

What professional experience(s) did you have prior to your current job role?

Prior to joining Deloitte, I completed a Financial Analysis internship for a Federal Credit Union in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and during my senior year, I was a Research Analyst for a residential real estate firm based in Miami, FL. I’m forever grateful for these opportunities because the combination of these experiences equipped me with the technical and soft skills needed to succeed at Deloitte.

What do you know now that you wish you had known about being a working professional?

Looking back, I wish I had known more about the importance of time management. In a firm the size of Deloitte, it is easy to be excited by every opportunity that crosses your path. I would encourage recent post grads to dive into every opportunity that excites you as opposed to every exciting opportunity. Use this time in your career wisely so that you can take advantage of the projects that will push you to your limits and force you to learn more than you ever imagined.  

"I will forever cherish the moments I share with the PBA community."

How did PBA prepare you for the world of work?

The size of PBA gives us a competitive advantage compared to a many other schools because it allows us to build life-long relationships in the midst of one of the busiest times of our lives. These relationships aren’t just built with students but also through discussions with alumni, professors and University leadership. Whether it was staying after class to talk economic trends with Dr. Barnhart or discussing Biblical history with Dr. Cueto, these every day interactions have shaped me as a professional and have influenced the way I approach my work. I will forever cherish the moments I share with the PBA community. 

What advice would you give to current PBA students and/or young alumni who are about to start their first professional full-time job?

If you already have signed your offer letter, congratulations, you have accomplished the hardest part. If possible, enjoy your time off between graduation and day one; but, prepare yourself for your role so that when you start you can hit the ground running. If you haven’t accepted a position yet, do not be discouraged. Aim as high as possible and keep fighting for that dream job. Engage alumni and professors so they can help you to network diligently while you chase your goals. As they say, practice makes perfect so prepare to make an impression in every discussion you have with people from your industry.

Have you been mentored by anyone in your professional field since entering the workforce? If so, what impact has that had on you?

Yes, I have had mentors throughout my time both at PBA and at Deloitte. Without my mentors, I would not be blessed with the position I am in today. I have surrounded myself with people who challenge me in all factors of life, not just in my work. I have been lucky to have people around me who influenced my career, my worldview and my faith for the better.

Spotlight posted in November 2017. For current updates from Preston, visit his LinkedIn page.