Breaking the Mold

PROVO, Utah – Mar 19, 2020 – Ben Katzenbach, a senior in the BYU Marriott strategy program, is carving his own path to find a job that will allow him to contribute to people’s lives.

From the beginning, Katzenbach, a native of Sandy, Utah, has looked for a career that helped others. He also wanted a career that he could be passionate about. “I know that passion is kind of a cliché word,” says Katzenbach. “To define that idea, I want to be excited to go to work.” He explored fields as diverse as medicine and law before deciding that business best fit his talents and interests. “I’m good with people and presenting. I like explaining ideas in digestible coherent ways and helping to portray information in a way that is entertaining and informative,” he says.

Once Katzenbach had determined that strategy matched his skills in public speaking and presenting, he began seeking opportunities to help him progress in his career and learn more about what he wanted to do. HR consulting interested him, so he looked for opportunities at Franklin Covey, a company focused on leadership and performance behavior. “I found my internship through pinging their website and asking everybody I knew if they knew somebody at Franklin Covey,” says Katzenbach. His persistence paid off with an internship in 2018. He has also worked in consulting at Strategy&, and he completed a capstone project for the National Football League in 2019.

Even though Katzenbach completed prestigious internships, he struggled to fit into the traditional mold that many strategy graduates fill. “Most strategy students want to get a job at one of the big three consulting firms, but in reality, less than one percent of us will actually get one of those jobs” says Katzenbach.  For a while, he felt that he would only be successful if he worked at one of these consulting firms. However, he had already completed a consulting internship, and he wasn’t interested in that as a career.

Instead of feeling like he needs to find a job in consulting, Katzenbach has searched for a career path that better fits his interests. "I'm proud of getting over that thought process,” says Katzenbach. “I was stuck in a cookie cutter mentality, and I thought ‘I have to be the best at what everybody else is doing.’ I finally realized that I can be the best and excellent at what I want to do, and I can be original and unique.”

After reflecting on his strengths and interests, Katzenbach has decided to become a professor. He is already involved with research at BYU Marriott, and he sees that research has power to impact humankind. “I've learned that research is a gateway to help humanity become better in whatever sphere they are in, and I love that idea” says Katzenbach. “If I could find a new idea that influenced people and helped them live better lives, I would feel so satisfied.”

Beyond research, Katzenbach looks forward to building connections with students that are similar to the ones that he has made with BYU Marriott professors. “I'm so grateful for those professors because they're so accomplished and willing to help,” says Katzenbach. “People here at BYU Marriott have gone to Harvard or Cornell, or they have been consultants to huge companies, and they'll sit down with me and talk about what I want through the lens of spirituality.” As a professor, Katzenbach hopes to carry on their legacy.

Katzenbach is excited to continue his education after he graduates from BYU Marriott in April 2020. He looks forward to starting a career that he’s passionate about, and he looks forward to being able to help people. “If I was banging my head against the wall all day but coming home feeling good because I worked at a certain company, that doesn't seem effective to me.” says Katzenbach. “If I love what I do, then I'm so much better set up to help people, because my passion will bleed into what I do. I'll naturally be more effective.”


BYU Marriott strategy student Ben Katzenbach
BYU Marriott strategy student Ben Katzenbach. Photo courtesy of Ben Katzenbach

Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Kenna Pierce