Budding Consultant Manages His Course to Graduation
Zach Parker knows that interpersonal relationships add value to life. At home, at church, and at school, his peers and mentors motivate him. And he is working toward a career in management consulting, which is a perfect fit for someone who enjoys connecting with people.
Parker will graduate from the BYU Marriott School of Business’s business strategy program in December. He and his wife, Shanna, are currently considering employment opportunities. But things haven’t always been so clear for Parker. In high school, he had a variety of career interests but wasn’t sure which direction to take.
Go for It
After returning from his mission to Hawaii, freshly armed with a sense of his strengths and potential, Zach enrolled at Snow College and got involved with student government. “I told myself that I was going to go for it! So I went for it and I got elected,” he says.
As student body president, Parker influenced the lives of thousands of students at Snow and countless other prospective students around the state.
“We ended up restructuring the entire student governance to better fit the opportunities that were available,” he says. “It was during that process that I had the novel idea, or so I thought, to start a business to help other businesses solve their problems. It turns out that that’s the exact description of management consulting.”
After graduating from Snow, Parker was accepted at several four-year universities. But it was the business strategy program at BYU that seemed to fit. Despite his uncertainty of applying to such a prestigious program, he chose BYU.
He started classes at BYU in 2014, but his path was about to take a turn. His parents owned a small business and were working hard to keep the doors open. “Being at home, I could see how hard it was, and I thought I could help,” he says.
Parker stepped away from school to help his family, but he continued to learn. “I realized how much work it is to solve problems in a business,” he says. “It’s not just telling people what to do and pointing out solutions to problems. You need to get things done at every layer. Most of the time I was out driving the delivery truck because we needed to close sales.”
Parker’s real-world experience was valuable when he returned to school. He excelled in his classes and made major contributions to the BYU Student Leadership organization as a student employee.
“His skill, professionalism, courtesy, and diligence are akin to having a part-time seasoned administrator in the Student Leadership office,” says Anthony Bates, director of Student Leadership. “He has been an invaluable influence on student employees and volunteers in the office, embodying the mission of the department by facilitating Christ-centered leadership opportunities and student-focused experiences.”
It was after returning that Parker was accepted to the business strategy program. This summer he accepted an internship position at Vivint’s corporate headquarters. His experience culminated with an assignment to create a proposal for the company-wide 2020 field operations goals. “At first, I was nervous, but everyone was willing to help,” he says. “And now I get to see executives using my work in their presentations. It is so fulfilling.”
Parker is grateful for the people who have helped him get where he is now.
“My life is a culmination of the actions of people who have been willing to invest their time and resources in me. My wife, parents, friends, instructors, administrators—without them I wouldn’t be who I am today.”
At BYU, professors, administrators, advisors, and volunteers share the best of themselves with students. Inspiring learning helps students navigate life’s paths, and generous donors make inspiring learning opportunities a reality.
“I’m amazed at how affordable BYU is,” Parker says. “Socioeconomics absolutely impedes people’s ability to rise up, even when they have the skills to do so. I’m so grateful for the people who make education affordable for those who wouldn’t be able to cover the costs on their own.”
Parker is an example of the BYU entrance sign’s invitation, “Enter to Learn; Go Forth to Serve.” He says, “BYU is all about people, about doing good and being good.” He says it’s easy to lose touch with this view in a society that puts so much importance on grades, rankings, and financial success. “Ultimately,” Parker says, “it is the people in our lives and our relationships with them that bring the most happiness.”