Kelley Launched Me in the Right Direction
David Hanfland BS'88
Partner, A.T. Kearney
“Kelley students are absolutely top notch. They’re very prepared to step right into the workplace.”
David Hanfland is a problem solver. As a partner at A.T. Kearney, he works with clients to solve “operational challenges”—from helping a pharmaceutical company become more efficient managing inventory to showing a technology solutions provider how best to integrate successfully after a merger.
His two big roles are identifying and working with clients to understand their business issues, and hiring and developing consultants who can resolve those issues. “A lot of my job is developing relationships with clients and learning how to work best with them,” Hanfland says. “Once we identify the issues, we do the analysis required to find alternative solutions.”
Hanfland, who also holds an MBA in financial management from the University of Chicago, started his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers as an auditor, and then transitioned to financial consulting. He joined A.T. Kearney after completing his graduate studies and became a partner with the firm in 2001. He believes in giving back to the institutions that helped him along the way, and given his extensive continued involvement with Kelley—Dean’s Advisory Council, Consulting Academy Advisory Board, and student recruiter—it’s a notion he takes seriously.
“I had a wonderful undergraduate experience that was instrumental in my career,” he says. “Kelley launched me in the right direction. Plus, I like interacting with students and talking about my job, so staying involved is enjoyable.”
He looks for top students who understand the industry and can work successfully with clients—and he finds them. “I was involved with recruiting from more than 15 universities last year, and Kelley students are absolutely top notch,” he says. “They’re very prepared to step right into the workplace.”
He attributes this largely to the Consulting Academy, where “students get the tools and training they need.” Hanfland regularly speaks to Academy members about the industry and has hosted academic teams to come do pro bono projects, where they get practical experience working in the field.
Because of his own experience at Kelley, Hanfland knows that the environment is well suited for students to become successful in the workplace. “At Kelley, you learn technical and social skills, working in teams and interacting with your peers,” he says. “If you can be successful at school, you can translate that to working well with clients.”