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Kevin DeLury MBA 07 Solves Complex Problems at Booz Allen Hamilton

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Kevin DeLury was “fortunate enough to have an internship through the GSM that ultimately led to my first position after business school. At Blue Shield of California I assumed a broad range of roles in their operations division, where I did everything from write and negotiate contracts, manage overseas call centers and internal operations, to automate manual enrollment processes. At every turn I found myself using the skills I learned at the GSM to help improve operational processes and drive better performance. I worked with a lot of great people and managed some exceptional teams during my tenure.”

DeLury’s experiences with Blue Shield, combined with his MBA, provided the set of functional skills and the experience necessary to become a consultant. Today he’s an associate in Booz Allen Hamilton’s San Francisco office. The firm provides management and technology consulting services to a broad constituency of clients, ranging from cabinet-level departments of the U.S. government to corporations, institutions and organizations.

What drives you in your work?

I joined Booz Allen Hamilton about a year ago because I was excited by what was a really interesting opportunity. Booz Allen was building a commercial healthcare practice in the San Francisco office, so it was a rare opportunity to experience the pace and excitement of a start-up company but with the resources, stability and capabilities of a 100-year-old established firm. During my time at Booz Allen I’ve been constantly stretched by the demands of building a new business as well as the variety of challenges our clients are facing. It’s an extremely rewarding experience, both personally and professionally.  

Where is your career headed?

I realized early on that I really enjoy leading teams in solving complex problems for organizations. I have had success over the past few years of being placed in a situation where I start with little knowledge about the details of a problem, over time gain understanding and perspective by working closely with expert resources on the ground, and ultimately help guide teams toward a workable resolution. There is a great deal of satisfaction in hearing people who at the beginning of a project are outspoken critics become the biggest advocates of its success. I’m not sure where this interest and skill will ultimately lead me in my career, but I look forward to all the challenges the future may bring me.

How has your UC Davis MBA experience helped shape your success?

When I embarked on my MBA, I expected to get the fundamental analytical skills that would help me in my career (accounting, stats, market analysis, etc). What has surprised me is how my MBA experience has fundamentally altered the way I approach business challenges. I see problems through a different lens now that allows me to tackle them more creatively and with better outcomes than I would have thought possible before. Applying the lessons I learned at the GSM to everyday real world problems has directly accounted for the professional success.

What is the most significant thing that’s happened to you since graduating?
Early on in my post-MBA career it was a bit intimidating to be in a room with a group of accomplished leaders, who often with as much as 30 years of experience. But as I had more and more opportunities to be involved with leadership—occasionally leading projects for them—I realized that sometimes my relatively short career allowed me to bring fresh perspective and creative solutions that may provide a solution that they wouldn’t have thought of otherwise. I’ve been fortunate to work with some really great leaders who look for the best solution to the organization and are open to input. 

Your favorite GSM memory?

I have so many great memories from my time at the GSM, but my favorite is probably the Challenge for Charity weekend during my first year. We had such a great time representing the School and competing in all the events (even cheerleading—which lives on in infamy on YouTube). I don’t think I’ve ever been as sore as I was trying to get out of bed Sunday morning for four more hours of basketball.

How do you support and participate in the GSM now?

I was very happy with the experience I had at the GSM and continue to support the program the best I can. I was fortunate enough to receive some financial assistance during my MBA studies and now, as an alumnus, I contribute to the Annual Fund to support current students. I also make an effort to participate in mock interviews on an annual basis, trying to lend helpful insights on interview skills as first-year students go through the dreaded experience of watching themselves on film. I am constantly advocating for the program as I interact with colleagues and contacts throughout the Bay Area who are looking to hire talent or maybe contemplating returning to school for their own MBA.

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