A Passion for Technology
Dana Cramer BS'06
Consultant, Deloitte Consulting
“Technology is actually the driving competitive advantage in a lot of industries today. Being involved in that is really exciting.”
Before entering Kelley as a direct admit student in 2002, Dana Cramer’s technical skills were pretty much limited to e-mail.
“Computer information systems was probably the furthest area from my mind,” says Cramer, now a consultant with Deloitte.
But Cramer—who graduated from Kelley in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems and management—so enjoyed her K201 The Computer in Business and X201 Technology classes, she became a peer tutor for both.
“I got to know the staff and loved how passionate they all were about their respective areas of expertise,” she says. “I knew that these were the kinds of people that I would really love to work with after school.”
Most Operations and Decision Technologies students choose a career in either consulting or the corporate world. Cramer decided on consulting after talking with people who worked in both fields. “The Kelley School’s role in this was making all of these people accessible to us. Through X220 [Career Perspectives], career fairs, roundtables, and class presentations, I got to know people who worked in all areas and I was able to make a decision based on their experiences.”
Cramer used the resources of the Undergraduate Career Services Office to find an internship with Deloitte, which led to a full-time consulting position at the firm.
A typical day for her involves critical reasoning, problem-solving, and dealing with complex nested functions (a function that is encapsulated within another function), working with a team of ten. Her duties include meeting with client vice presidents, discussing high-level strategy, writing Excel functions, and making PowerPoint presentations. Kelley’s team-oriented environment helped prepare her to work in an office with diverse personalities.
“I sit in a very small team room with ten other people, and as much as I like and respect all of them, our working styles don’t always align. The team-oriented environment at Kelley has made working with people a lot easier,” says Cramer.
Her Kelley experience also prepared Cramer for working with clients.
“I had so many group projects in my classes that included external client interaction that I was ready to tackle the challenges that come with clients. I know that I have found a place where I can be successful and still really enjoy what I do.”
- The go-to person:
"I am the go-to person on my team for anything Access- or Excel-oriented.”
Classes I use on the job:
“K201 The Computer in Business taught me all I need to know about Access—yes, we really do use that in the real world—and Excel, but it also taught me effective problem solving skills. I remember having to come up with creative combinations of what we had learned to solve problems. S310 Systems Analysis and Design taught me some of the most important skills I use on a daily basis, such as translating a conversation into usable information, sifting through massive amounts of information to get to three simple facts, and dealing with corporate politics.”
Advice for today’s students:
“Technology is a great field to be in right now. Companies are starting to realize that technology plays a much more important role in their business than simply supporting it. Technology is actually the driving competitive advantage in a lot of industries today. Being involved in that is really exciting.”
Funniest Kelley memory:
“Parking LEGALLY in the parking garage with a pass after 5 and not being able to leave because the garage attendant didn’t believe that my group worked all night on a project—despite the fact that we were leaving at 8 a.m. and all looked like we hadn’t slept or showered.”