Innovator Article

Honored for Standout Accomplishments, Contributions

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Cathinka Wahlstrom ’91 has forged an extraordinarily rich career in the financial capital of the world since earning her UC Davis MBA 20 years ago. Today she holds two senior positions at Accenture, the global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company.

As managing partner for the New York metro region and global client partner for one of Accenture’s largest clients, she has built deep client relationships among capital markets, stock exchanges and banking clients throughout North America, Europe and Asia.

It is important to give back. Looking back, mentoring relationships that I had early on in my career were very helpful, and I enjoy doing the same for young professionals both inside and outside the firm. –Cathinka Wahlstrom ‘91

The GSM Alumni Association recognized her professional accomplishments with the 2010–2011 Distinguished Achievement Award.

Wahlstrom began her career at the International Monetary Fund, Citibank and Hay Group. She joined Accenture, then Andersen Consulting, in 1994 and made partner in 2000. Today, Accenture is a consulting powerhouse with over 210,000 employees in more than 120 countries.

Wahlstrom oversees Accenture’s New York and New Jersey offices, including local sales, community outreach and people initiatives.

In her other role, Wahlstrom works with clients to support mergers and acquisitions, business change and transformational programs and technology initiatives. “My job is to bring the best of Accenture to whatever opportunities and challenges face our clients,” she says.

Wahlstrom takes pride in helping her clients achieve their goals. She also enjoys mentoring Accenture employees as well as UC Davis MBA students and recent graduates. Wahlstrom is working with fellow graduates to develop an organized GSM alumni presence in New York and eventually across the East Coast, to provide a networking base for alumni and help students find internships and career positions.

“It is important to give back,” says Wahlstrom, who also donates regularly to the GSM Annual Fund. “Looking back, mentoring relationships that I had early on in my career were very helpful, and I enjoy doing the same for young professionals both inside and outside the firm.”

Wahlstrom serves on the board of the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce in New York. She also mentors executive directors of grantee organizations of the Robin Hood Foundation, which works to fight poverty in New York City. She is on the board of NPower, an organization that brings IT services to nonprofits and training to young adults. And she serves on the corporate board of the Global Fund for Women, an international grant-making foundation focused on organizations led by women.

Wahlstrom also enjoyed her recent experience as a David Rockefeller Fellow, where she and other private sector leaders deepened their understanding of the public needs of New York City.

Wahlstrom advises women graduates interested in the banking industry to “develop deep industry skills,” be a team player and take on profit-and-loss responsibilities as a way to measure their own achievements and for others to better understand their contributions.

“That might feel like you’re taking a big risk, but ultimately you will get higher rewards and opportunities as well,” she explains.

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