2014-06-27

Project 351

Served: City Year Boston ’11, ’12

Current Occupation: Business Analyst, Deloitte

Fun Fact: As a child he was a historical reenactor in Concord, MA

When Brendan Lehan joined City Year in the fall of 2010, he had no idea that his experience would lead him through two successful years of service and to a career in the private sector. We caught up with Lehan to learn what he’s been up to at Deloitte since graduating City Year in 2012.  

City Year Boston (CYB): Could you describe your transition from City Year Boston to Deloitte?

Brendan Lehan: My transition sort of started during my senior corps year. When I was in the senior corps, I participated in the Deloitte Mentoring Program. As you may know, Deloitte pairs Deloitte practitioners with senior corps members in a year-long mentoring program. It helps prepare corps members for their careers and for what they want to do after City Year.

When I started that program, I did not know that I wanted to go into consulting, but over the course of getting to know my mentor and getting to know more about Deloitte and consulting in general, I decided like it would be a really interesting opportunity for me. […] I was hired during my senior corps year but I had a gap before I started. I ended up staying on as a contractor for City Year Boston for a few months and continued to work on an initiative called the Learner and Leader Plan, which I had started as a senior corps member.

CYB: What was it about consulting and about Deloitte’s company that really sparked your interest?

BL: While I was at City Year, one of the things that really impressed me about the organization was that they were really focused on building collaboration between the private sector, government and nonprofits, etc.—bringing everybody to the table to talk about the issue and to continue to talk about the dropout crisis and possible solutions.

City Year had been pretty unabashed about the fact that they have really been able to learn a lot from the private sector in terms of making City Year the organization that it is. I think that really resonated with me. I felt like I’d had this really great experience of working a few years at a nonprofit and I want to go to the private sector and learn more about what makes companies successful.

In consulting, you’re working with different clients across different industries; I felt like it would be a really educational experience for me.

CYB: How do you feel City Year helped prepare you for your work?

BL: I think there are a couple of things. One is Teamwork. City Year gave me an opportunity to have some really good practice working on diverse and different teams. You know, there’s your school team and there are those initiatives with the whole school, then there’s your senior corps team. I got a lot of really great practice and great role models about how to work on function on a team. I also learned to be really thoughtful. City Year is intentional about to not just putting people on teams but helping them to really think about what it means to be a team player. Both of those are valuable.

CYB: We recently had our corps graduation. Many of our newest alumni are in the process of job hunting. What advice do you have for them as they continue developing their Leadership After City Year plans?

BL: I think the last thing you want to do is to think about City Year as an exceptional experience or a break from what you were doing before, whether it was a gap year, or something like that. Instead, think about how your story ties into what you want to do, whether that’s to become teacher or a school administrator or something else. What's the common thread?

City Year is part of your story now. Understanding what connects what you did before City Year, what you’re doing during City Year, and what you’re doing next in terms what that part of your story might be—that will help you identify what types of jobs you want to apply to. Then, when you start applying, it will help you articulate why you’d be valuable in that position.

What are our other alumni up to?

What are you up to? Email Sarah Binning, Communications Coordinator, to share your alumni story on our blog! 

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