Young Alumni Series

Drake Pooley ’16: Experiencing the World Through Global Consulting

By September 25, 2018 No Comments

In just one year, Drake Pooley ‘16 visited 31 countries. The one-year master’s program was operated by the University of Virginia and the Esade Business School in Spain.

“It was a challenging and eye-opening experience constantly because it was 20 Americans, 20 Europeans and 20 Asians,” Pooley said. “We all lived together.”

He shifted into his destined career field after his year of travel and now works for A.T. Kearney, a management consulting firm.

The 90-year-old firm is a part of the core group of eight global consulting firms. Pooley is based in the New York office but travels almost weekly to wherever the client is.

His first assignment was to create a platform for the retail store of the future. It required research into what the best stores in the world were doing and how they were making it work.

“My next project was to work with the World Economic Forum,” Pooley said. “This year’s report was on the future of production and how countries can better enable themselves for the fourth industrial revolution.”

Pooley looked at 80 countries and ranked them on their readiness for the future of technology and artificial intelligence. Working on something of this magnitude was thrilling and he learned a lot from the experience.

“It’s a challenging environment in a good way, and so I end up pushing myself harder than I think I can,” Pooley said. “There is such a strong focus on mentorship and strong working relationships.”

Pooley said he agrees with the saying that, “One year in consulting is three years in the real world.”

His time at Auburn prepared him for his time abroad after graduation and his time working with A.T. Kearney. He graduated with degrees in finance and international business with a focus in Chinese. Pooley was a part of the Finance Honor Society, the Honors College, he ran for Student Government Association President and was a senator in the College of Business.

“The biggest thing that Auburn gave me was the humility to know what you don’t know and be willing to work hard to learn quickly,” Pooley said.

He sees this clearly in those who are apart of the Harbert Alumni group in New York. The one thing they all have in common is their humility. He said there is a different kind of culture that is ingrained in Auburn students.

“We aren’t the flashy kind of people that went to Harvard or go to the Hampton’s on the weekend because that’s where our parents are — we don’t have any of that,” Pooley said. “We are just known as the hard workers who are willing to stay as long as it takes to get the job done.”