The Right Fit

PROVO, Utah – Apr 23, 2020 – While many alumni may have forgotten about the jobs that they held during their undergraduate years, BYU Marriott alumna Michelle Carroll will probably always remember her student job at the BYU Marriott advisement center. That job was a life-changing opportunity that led her to her strategy degree, her future husband, and a career path that took her to Bain & Company in Dallas.

Carroll has found a career path that has brought her success, but she didn’t always know that she wanted to be a part of the strategy program. When she first came to BYU, she took classes in political science, English, and economics among other subjects. When a former colleague recommended that she apply for a student job at the BYU Marriot advisement office, Carroll felt she was an unlikely candidate because she was an English major at the time. Nonetheless, she applied for the job and began working as a peer mentor. While there, she met Brian, a coworker who would eventually become her husband.

As Carroll worked in the advisement office, she saw that the strategy program she discussed with students who visited the office matched both her interests and her career goals. “I realized that if I wanted to set myself up for the type of career that I was looking for, I needed to study in the strategy program at BYU Marriott,” she says.

Carroll is grateful for the resources that were available to her as she progressed through her degree and prepared herself to be a competitive candidate in the workforce. “Beyond providing a quality education, BYU Marriott also focuses on making its students employable,” Carroll says. “The school has that outcome in mind, and the faculty and staff are oriented to help students reach their career goals.”

Carroll’s experiences at BYU Marriott ultimately helped prepare her to accept a position at the consulting firm Bain & Company in Dallas after graduating in 2009. Carroll and her husband later decided to move to Chicago, where they both earned MBA degrees from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business in 2014; after graduation, they returned to Dallas, and Carroll went back to work for Bain.

Carroll has found professional fulfillment through her work at Bain & Company and has enjoyed working on teams throughout her time at the consulting firm. “I’ve always placed a high premium on positive peer pressure and surrounding myself with people who support me,” says Carroll.

Carroll draws energy from the people around her. “I don’t necessarily enjoy sitting by myself crunching on projects,” says Carroll. “I like to be learning from and collaborating with the people around me.” Carroll feels that the most meaningful part of her job has been the relationships that she has developed with her coworkers.

In addition to building meaningful work relationships, Carroll appreciates the impact that she’s been able to make on organizations. One of her most memorable projects focused on helping the University of North Texas at Dallas identify the needs of its prospective and current students and developing programming recommendations to better meet those needs.

“I was passionate about helping UNT because the school serves nontraditional students, and I wanted to create opportunities for those students to receive a high-quality education” says Carroll.  “I was able to help school officials determine what they could do differently to better serve that segment of the population.”

For Carroll, consulting at Bain & Company has opened up opportunities for her to enjoy a variety of professional experiences. “I wanted to start my career in an industry that would close as few doors as possible and open many more,” says Carroll. “Consulting gave me those options.” She’s worked in industries such as retail, technology, education, and aerospace, across a variety of capability and functional areas.  She’s also been able to work for several non-profits, and has enjoyed work-related opportunities to travel.    

In order to juggle the many opportunities that she’s been given, one of the biggest lessons that Carroll has learned in her work life has been the true definition of prioritization. “Rather than just putting things in order, prioritization is also focusing my energy on a few things that deserve my A-plus effort,” says Carroll. “It’s also knowing what can fall off the plate.”

More than anything, Carroll has focused her life and priorities on her relationships with other people. “I count myself incredibly fortunate and blessed in my life experiences and with my family, friends, and colleagues,” says Carroll. “I’m proud of the investment I’ve made across those areas of my life.”

BYU Marriott alumna Michelle Carroll with her husband, Brian, and their two children
BYU Marriott alumna Michelle Carroll with her husband, Brian, and their two children. Photo courtesy of Michelle Carroll

Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Kenna Pierce