Xander Smaby.

Getting His Dream Job: Xander Smaby '22

Editor's note: Opus College of Business is highlighting Schulze Innovation Scholars, recipients of a four-year, full-tuition scholarship and participants in a premier academic program. Read the rest of the profiles.

Xander Smaby '22 landed his dream job as a business analyst intern at McKinsey & Company. In a competitive internship sought by Ivy League students, he received firsthand experience at the global management consulting firm.

What are some of your top learning opportunities at St. Thomas?

One of the most impactful projects at St. Thomas was developing the ECON Habitat Project. My partner and I were inspired to solve two issues: the housing shortage and sea-freight waste.

Our idea was to use shipping containers as renewable, eco-friendly, affordable housing. We hope to provide high-quality, low-income housing to as many Minnesotan families as possible.

We placed first in the Stofer-Stensby Real Estate Competition and advanced to the Fowler Business Concept Challenge semifinals. Taking this project from ground zero to a potential workable business was an eye-opening experience.

Tell us more about your internship experience at McKinsey & Company.

St. Thomas has given me access to the best resources and networks to work on my projects and ventures. These projects helped me get my dream job at McKinsey & Company last summer. As a business analyst, I consulted companies on their biggest problems and innovations. I worked with people from across the globe – in fact, I was the only team member from the United States.

I spent my summer traveling, learning about other cultures and working long hours. I wouldn't trade my experience for anything, and I'm happy to be returning to McKinsey & Company after graduation.

Thanks to the Schulze Innovation Scholarship, I've learned so much about being an entrepreneur and innovator. It's allowed me to learn from some of the smartest people around.

This scholarship has given me the means and opportunity to pursue what's important to me.

Xander Smaby '22