Devin Tyler '17
Area(s) of Study
Business, Political Science, Entrepreneurship
Student Government, Student Programming Board, Alpha Tau Omega
MBA at Northwestern. Class of 2023.
Consultant, Axiom Consulting Partners
From an unknown career path to a thriving corporate experience
What is one of the things that you are most proud of professionally?
One of my proudest accomplishments professionally is being tasked with the responsibility to align our firm with diversity, equity, and inclusion values. At the onset of me joining the firm, I made it very known that I was passionate about diversity, equity, and inclusion. Having leadership in the firm gives me the responsibility to see how we can improve it, see if there are gaps/areas that we could identify, and make some notable changes. Having this opportunity at such an early age in my career was super important because not only is it something that I'm personally passionate about, but it also gives me the opportunity to cultivate my skills and leadership growth that are necessary to my career outside of just this internal process.
Who is the one person, student, organization, mentor that impacted you the most?
At Lake Forest, I think there are a couple of student organizations in particular that influenced me. It was definitely student government, Alpha Omega, my Greek fraternity, the student programming board, and the Gates Center. They were really influential in making me come out of my shell. Freshman year, I was definitely not focused on trying to be super involved. I didn't really care that much. I was really focused on academics. It wasn't until sophomore year joining my fraternity that I was pushed out of my shell. The other fraternity members said, you know, if you're going to be in this Greek organization, you have to want to do some kind of leadership roles, not just within here, but outside of it. They pushed me to try to be in other clubs and organizations and that helped me get involved, get my footing, and become a leader amongst my colleagues and my friends. The people at the Gates Center were influential in making sure that I demonstrated those leadership skills. They saw the early infancy of it and really helped cultivate it and really pushed me to demonstrate true leadership skills. The lessons that I learned from that program I still use in my day-to-day life.
What experiences at Lake Forest have you had that you think have been invaluable to your career?
I credit Lake Forest for really pushing critical thinking skills. If you're at Lake Forest now or if you're interested in Lake Forest, one thing that you'll find immediately is that it's not just about the things that you write on the paper or just solving a problem. They really push you to become a strong critical thinker, looking beyond what's on the paper, looking beyond what the project requires, and thinking about what does this mean? Exploring the who, the why, the what. I didn't really enjoy it when I was at Lake Forest. I didn’t like having to explain and dive deeper and deeper, but that push really helps me now in my career. Employers could use machines to do analysis. They can hire folks with artificial intelligence backgrounds to really run those basic answers. What they're looking for now are people that can go beyond some of the data and analysis and be strong critical thinkers. I think having that experience and being challenged in a way that was unique to me and developing those critical thinking skills became the invaluable piece of Lake Forest that has helped me throughout my career and continues to help me now in grad school.
When you look back at your time at Lake Forest, what is one of the best lessons you learned that you've carried with you?
One of the lessons that I learned at Lake Forest, and it was kind of a hard lesson to really acknowledge, but it was that you don't always have to have the answers. You don't always have to know what the next steps are going to be. It's okay not to have a full plan, especially when you're getting closer and closer to graduating. I came in and knew that I had an interest in the area of study that I wanted to pursue, but when it came down to trying to figure out what the career path would look like or what the day after graduating looked like, I had no answers. My time at Lake Forest taught me that it's okay not to know exactly what the next steps will be. It's okay that you do not have an answer to everything. The world does not expect you to have an answer to everything. You will always be forever learning. You will always be trying new things. It's okay to fail as long as you get up and you're taking every new day as an opportunity to continue to grow, to learn, and to develop.
Who at Lake Forest inspired you to pursue your career?
The staff at the Gates Center and Career Advancement Center. I knew that I wanted to go into business but beyond that, I did not know which area of business interested me. It was the staff at these two centers that helped me realize that 1) it was okay to not have a complete picture for what your career path should be and 2) there are options for me to find a career that incorporates the things that I enjoy about business. It was through their guidance that I was able to realize that consulting was the right path for me. Once coming to this realization, they were able to help me make the connections to the right people to get in the door to the job that I currently have.