Geoffrey Colgan ’93 is the Managing Partner at Attadale Partners, LLC.
Meet Geoffrey on IrishCompass
Can you provide a quick background of your ND experience and how that led you to your current role?
I graduated with an M.B.A. in 1993. At the time, Notre Dame in Australia was being formed. David Link, the dean of the law school at the time, came down to Australia to help. We ended up talking, and he encouraged me to apply to Notre Dame.
I graduated into an economy that was challenging, and I had no intention of staying here. I was planning on moving back to Perth, but I had two job offers here. I did not know much about consulting, so I flew out to the East Coast and took a series of consulting interviews. I picked Gemini Consulting, and it was a fantastic decision.
What drew you to Attadale Partners?
I co-founded Attadale Partners in 2007. I worked for a big global consultancy out of business school and then took a job in Chicago at a local consultancy. I wanted to start our own formula of consulting, leveraging what I liked and wanted to avoid about consulting.
What are the top skills your company looks for in ND applicants?
First, ambition for the team or company as a whole. It is hard to teach ambition and intellectual curiosity; we want people who are driven to be better but want to be this way for the team. We have a model of putting clients first, the company second, and yourself third. The second skill is analytical storytelling. Not just problem solving but communicating complex issues and data sets in an effective way. Third, applicants need a strong foundation for what we are recruiting.
What are some distinguishing factors of ND applicants?
ND alumni are compassionate. They still make great fact-based decisions, but we still want workers who take a broader perspective and analyze if a decision is the right way to do something. ND alumni are also great people to work with on a team. They are motivated to do what is right and, therefore, have the motivation to do what is good for the team as a whole. An egocentric motivation does not survive very long in the firm.
What is the value of hiring Notre Dame talent?
The alumni network is only strong if alumni deliberately strengthen it themselves. We have a positive obligation to recruit not only current students but also other alums.
When you have posted a role on IrishCompass, were any applications received or hires made?
We have recruited and received applications through IrishCompass. Everyone we have hired, full-time or interns, have been outstanding and accretive to the firm. One fellow alum has been with us for 10 years, actually. Being an ND alum, you already have a leg up. Even if I do not think someone will be a good fit for the firm, I will still call them and maybe even give them feedback on how to strengthen their application.
Do you have any advice for ND applicants applying to Attadale Partners?
When you reach out, come prepared. Even if you are not looking for a job but for feedback — and you can be undecided — you need to show that you have done your research. Once you have done that, I will give you all the time in the world. It is also important to show me you are staying current, reading published articles, and staying up to date on the latest techniques. Finally, we have some strong analytical talent, but we also want people with strong communication skills and who can explain their analytical approaches in a way that business leaders can understand. You should be able to explain how and why those analytical techniques worked.