Davis Nguyen is a first-generation college graduate and the founder of My Consulting Offer, a company that helps people land their dream jobs in management consulting. Davis was raised by a single mother who didn’t finish elementary school and grew up in one of the most impoverished communities in the U.S. He started his career at Bain & Company before leaving to join an education company, while starting My Consulting Offer as a weekend side business in 2017. In 2018, Davis became a full-time entrepreneur. Since that time, he has helped more than 500 people launch careers in consulting, grown his business to a team of more than 50 people, and was featured at TEDx.

Here, he talks about the seminal moment that drew him to Yale, reflects on what it meant to be the first in his family to graduate college, and how his time at Yale laid the groundwork for his current success.

Davis Nguyen ’15
Davis Nguyen ’15

Why Yale?
I come from a family of immigrants who didn’t attend college (or most of them even high school), so when the opportunity came to attend Yale, my family asked, “What is Yale? Is that a good college?” So it was a decision that was driven by me to attend. What convinced me was the feeling I had when I visited Bulldog Days. I left the week thinking, “Wow, if I could have that feeling for four years, I can’t imagine a better place I want to be.” At the time I was deciding between a few schools, including Harvard and Brown, as top choices, but Yale and what I felt during Bulldog Days convinced me that there was no other choice.

What is the most enduring memory of your time at Yale?
Class Day was my most enduring memory because I got to reflect back on how much I’d changed since first coming to campus with my oversized suitcase to L-Dub and now being able to be with my friends and family as I ended my college days at Yale. I remember how happy it made me to know my family’s sacrifices to move to America allowed me to be the first in our family to attend and graduate college and to share hugs with the friends and professors I made, who four years earlier were just strangers to me, but now were people who forever changed my life.

If you could relive your time at Yale, what would you do differently?
I wouldn’t change anything because everything that happened at Yale made me who I am today. As embarrassing as serenading a crush who turned me down or as sad as it was to find out my aunt passed away in the middle of section, each memory made me who I am today and made me appreciate my time at Yale. So unless I didn’t like who I am today, I wouldn’t change anything.

What would you do exactly the same?
I would still take classes I enjoyed, including as a freshman bothering the professors of senior seminars to get me in. Saying “yes” to opportunities I never thought about, such as coordinating a benefit concert when I had no experience. And taking every opportunity to meet and get to know the people around me so we could both learn and grow. For me, Yale felt like a four-year summer camp, and I would make sure it felt the same way if I could do it all again.

Favorite spot on campus, past or present?
My favorite spot on campus was Payne Whitney Gym because it was where I learned to love my body, something I didn’t before Yale. It was where I had a morning routine to work out, afternoon routine to learn to swim, and evening dance sessions in the dance studios. PWG was on campus but felt like its own world where I could go whenever I needed. I even used PWG’s rooms for study groups.

Favorite spot in New Haven, past or present?
My favorite spot in New Haven is East Rock for the many purposes it served during my time at Yale. I will always remember the fall Sunday morning runs with my roommate, as we both set a goal to run to and from East Rock to lose weight, the spring picnics with friends, classmates, and organizations, and the summers eating ice cream atop East Rock.

New Haven pizza preference?
Modern Apizza was the first pizza I had in New Haven and it’s still my favorite whenever I return.

What have you gained from your alumni engagement with Yale?
I really enjoy being an alumnus, from chairing the Bay Area's Yale Day of Service to speaking with potential Yalies and meeting with current students. Every interaction I have had reminds me of that feeling I had at Yale, where there is still so much to learn and so many people to help.

What Yale alum most inspires you? And why?
When I met Keith Ferrazzi at a TD Master’s Tea, I knew Keith was the alumnus I wanted to be like when I graduated. Despite his career successes, he always made time to give back to Yale and to the world. I remember how he would come back to Yale to give Master’s Teas, take the students out for dinner after to give advice, and even hosted students he had never met in his home whenever we were in Los Angeles. Keith served on the Board of Governors, donated back to Yale, and mentors the students at Yale. He gave and continues to give selflessly.

What do you miss most about Yale?
I miss the feeling that for four years, you had the space and time to explore your interests and learn from so many people from so many different backgrounds in an environment that didn’t judge you but encouraged you to seek out different truths. Yale lived up to its motto of “Lux et Veritas.”

How did your time at Yale shape the person you are today?
Yale has shaped me in more ways than I can count, from my love of learning from my professors to the friends I have from the various activities I participated in and the mindset to always challenge my beliefs from my interactions with others. My time at Yale even shaped my physical health by enabling me to live a healthier life by giving me access to healthy food and a gym for the first time in my life.

What advice would you give to current students?
While there is no “best way” to spend your time at Yale, I believe there is one “wrong way,” which is to come in with expectations of what you will do, have, and be by the time you graduate. I remember coming into Yale with a spreadsheet of the classes I would take, the extracurriculars I would join, and the events I would attend. Had I stuck to that pre-frosh list, I would have had a miserable time at Yale.

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And be sure to check out all the Q&As in the series by visiting our Getting to Know You page.

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