By Daniel Coats ’15,’18
When Karissa Dole ’23 started her college journey, she wasn’t interested in business. Instead, she was focused on a healthcare career. But after taking an economics course as part of her general education requirement, a new passion was born.
“From then on, I realized I wanted to continue exploring business,” recalls Dole of her freshman days. “I grew up in a family that didn’t have any business experience, since we are mostly in health care. So, I was on my own to determine how I could best position myself for success as a business professional.”
One of Dole’s friends, a member of the Business Honors Program, suggested that she apply to the program and to the CSUF College of Business and Economics.
“I was looking for a place where I knew I would find my community and people who would support me in my goals and endeavors,” Dole says. “I discovered that community at CSUF, which is unique because it is such a diverse campus, not just ethnically, but also in backgrounds and the stories people bring. By sharing my story and listening to others’ experiences, I have become an even better business professional and person.”
An Exciting and Eventful College Career – From the Dean’s Advisory Board to Business Honors
Fast forward four years, and as Dole prepares for graduation this May, she can look back on an action-packed college career that has included serving as the student representative on the College of Business and Economics Dean’s Advisory Board, leadership in the Business Honors Program and Beta Alpha Psi, music ministry with Titan Catholic, a mentorship in the Executive in Residence Program, and a student assistant job.
“The most impactful experiences have been the Business Honors Program and the Dean’s Advisory Board,” says Dole. “The Business Honors Program has provided me a community of friends and supporters who continue to push me to become the very best person I can be. And then when I became the first student representative on the Dean’s Advisory Board, all I could think about was how grateful and honored I was for the opportunity. How many students can say they have sat in a room with more than 20 business executives? I am grateful to have had the chance to jump start my network with such accomplished individuals and grow these impactful relationships.”
Aiming for a Consulting Career – at Deloitte and Beyond
As Dole narrowed her focus in business, she discovered that a consulting career was the best fit. In 2022, she completed two consulting internships, one with Moss Adams and the other with EY.
“Consulting gives me the opportunity to share my gifts, knowledge and talents to serve others,” says Dole. “I have always been drawn to mentorship and leadership roles. I love giving advice to others and supporting others in any way I can. Realizing I could do this in a career further ignited my passion for figuring out what area of consulting I wanted to pursue.”
Dole finds that consulting is a journey of learning, with many opportunities to expand her knowledge.
“There is a beauty in humbling yourself to know that you will never know everything, and I think that notion excites me the most. I love listening to stories and growing my own mind and perspectives, so being in consulting allows me to do so in such a rigorous and rewarding environment,” she says.
“Consulting is not for the faint of heart. Still, those open to and interested in growing their mind and knowledge in different areas should consider consulting as a possible path to thrive in. No two days look the same, and the best part is recognizing that you learn something new every day and take that new information to grow as a person and as a business professional.”
Following her graduation, Dole will begin a consulting job in Nashville with the consulting branch of Deloitte, one of the Big Four accounting firms. The journey toward this job offer began in Dole’s first year in college, when she started interacting with Big Four recruiters.
Her consulting internships with professional services firms furthered her knowledge and connected her even deeper into the consulting industry, setting her up to be recruited for this full-time role.
“I hope to grow my knowledge of the business world and my leadership potential in the coming years to become a well-respected manager of a top-performing company,” says Dole. “Every good leader starts somewhere, and that somewhere for me was in Orange County, where I continued growing my potential to be a great leader at the College of Business and Economics.
“I am forever grateful for all of the learning experiences and lessons I have gained from being a Business Titan and am proud to bring those experiences with me as I embark on my journey as a business professional.”