Dillon Hourican’s introduction to the world of business came long before he stepped foot in a Rouss & Robertson Halls classroom.
He says that he’s always been interested in learning more about the subject—and with good reason: He was introduced to it a young age.
“Growing up, my father worked for Macy’s, and my family and I spent nearly every weekend traveling to malls to visit Macy’s stores,” says the Accounting and Finance concentrator from Houston, TX. “While my father likes to say that his career grew up in retail, I’d like to think that because of this experience, I literally grew up in retail. During the car rides between malls, everyone in my family would critique the store we had just left and offer up suggestions for how to improve it. These discussions sparked my early interest in business, and I have enjoyed learning about it ever since.”
Once enrolled in the University, he was won over by the McIntire prerequisite classes he took, finding that they gave him a hands-on, practical approach to topics he expected to find valuable in his career.
“My experience taking classes in a variety of subjects during my first two years at UVA solidified my decision to apply to McIntire. I knew McIntire would be the right fit for me after I took COMM 1800 [Foundations of Commerce] my first year. I enjoyed how interactive the discussion section of the course was,” he says, explaining that the course pushed him from his comfort zone by helping him to improve upon fluency using essential software and honing his networking skills. “Funnily enough, for the networking assignment I completed for COMM 1800, I connected with a UVA alum who works for Boston Consulting Group (BCG). Nearly three years later, I was able to reference this connection and information I learned when I interviewed for my full-time position.”
Hourican, who tackled a track in Real Estate and was also part of the student-driven Virginia Consulting Group, found the most appealing part of earning his B.S. in Commerce was the School’s hallmark Integrated Core program. “It lived up to my expectations, and I learned a tremendous amount during my third-year ICE project, when I had the opportunity to work with AB InBev during their initial launch of a new subsidiary. This project was a rewarding experience, and it helped me realize that I wanted to pursue consulting instead of investment banking full time,” he says.
Despite interning for two summers with the Healthcare Investment Banking team at Bank of America, Hourican will be headed to BCG’s Washington, D.C., office as a Consultant. He was driven to switch gears and pursue a different path because of “the learning opportunities that working in consulting creates. I am looking forward to getting experience with a wide array of project types and industries,” he says.
As someone who insists that his McIntire years taught him the importance of engaging in discussions and asking questions, “since discussions and participation are such a large part of the ICE and broader McIntire experience,” he says that he’s seen the advantage of proactive, effective communication pay off—both as a contributor in meetings at his internships at Bank of America, as well as by connecting with alumni, as made evident by his upcoming position at BCG.
We asked Hourican about other specific courses at McIntire that have been important to him as he prepares to begin his professional life.
What McIntire course do you consider to be an influential part of your education?
I really enjoyed Professor Felicia Marston’s Private Equity class. Over the course of the semester, the class was fortunate to hear from several guest speakers with diverse backgrounds across the private equity industry. These guest speakers deepened my understanding of private equity and the various career paths available in the industry. Professor Marston also did a great job of leading class sessions, and my LBO modeling and quantitative analysis skills definitely improved during the course. I would definitely recommend this class to any student interested in private equity or finance.
What Comm School memory stands out?
My best memory from McIntire was a Digital Marketing Global Commerce Immersion class that I took with Professor Nicole Montgomery during my first year. As a part of this course, I traveled to London and Dublin over the week of spring break to meet with digital marketing professionals at companies like Twitter, Accenture, and Virgin Media. These company visits were an excellent way to learn about both digital marketing strategy and the nuances of international business. During this trip, my classmates and I also had the opportunity to do some amazing sight-seeing while we were abroad. In London, we got to take a tour of the Tower of London, and we also went on a boat tour along the Thames River. In Dublin, we visited the Guinness factory and did a cliff walk along the coast, with unforgettable views. This class and trip were definitely my best memories from McIntire, because I was able to combine a unique learning experience with an amazing travel opportunity.