“When I graduated, many people didn’t have jobs,” said Berman. “I had no idea what I was going to do; I interviewed for a non-profit, looked into history grad school, and then met up with the head of Parthenon Group, and he invited me to go in. At that point, I didn’t know what consulting was.”
After her interview at Parthenon, Berman received an offer on the spot. She accepted, and began working the next week. Consulting proved to be more than a fleeting interest; it became Berman’s passion. “It was challenging, exciting, and interesting. I found out that I was good at it and I stuck with it,” she said.
After two years at Parthenon, Berman decided to return to school. She received her Master’s in business administration from Harvard Business School and returned to Parthenon after graduation. Berman, alongside Rick Crosier were charged with building up IGS as a division of Parthenon.
With Berman and Crosier leading the way, IGS split out from Parthenon in 1998, due to difficulties with reconciling their goals with those of the larger corporation. “We found IGS hard to do within the Parthenon environment,” said Berman. “It required a different staffing model and Parthenon had started Parthenon Capital-there was brand confusion in the marketplace, so we split out. I was really excited to start something new.”
Since late 1998, Berman has been deeply invested in IGS, doing what she loves most. “I’m a researcher at heart, I love digging into new industries, getting smart so quickly. It’s like writing a research paper. It’s always fun and challenging,” she said.
This passion for research is what Berman’s professors most remember about her. “Mindy Berman was a joy to teach,” said Professor of History and Black Studies David Blight. “She was endlessly curious and loved history.”
Berman is currently uncertain of her future. IGS is a new company still establishing its niche. “There’s a lot more to do here at IGS, we have aggressive growth projections, we want to become a bigger sustainable company,” she said. “We’re on the right track- we’re more established and bigger-but we still have a ways to go.”
In the past three years, IGS’ accomplishments have been impressive. In 2000, they completed their 100th project; their work spans many sectors, including information products, health care and technology.
But Berman does know that at some point she would like to return to the world of academia. “I would like to go back to something more academic and maybe teach at a
business school, get a Ph.D. in managerial economics,” she said. “I would like to pursue the mix between the academic and the corporate.”
Berman is nostalgic about her days at Amherst, speaking of the College with an almost wistful fondness. “I adored Amherst; it was a wonderful, wonderful four years. I loved college and was devastated when it ended,” she said. “I remember waking up the year after I had graduated, I had just seen friends who were still at school, and I realized that there was no going back.”
At Amherst, Berman was deeply invested in campus life. She became an RC in James (where she had lived as a freshman) her junior year and an RC in Hamilton her senior year. She played ice hockey all four years, sang in women’s chorus and ran Society Organized Against Racism (SOAR).
Her fondest memories consist of the moments she shared with her close friends. “My best friends now are still my room group from Amherst,” said Berman. The same group were best known at Amherst for the “goofy” costumes they designed for themselves every Halloween.
Blight’s courses were the inspiration behind Berman’s thesis, which focused on the memory and celebration of the Revolutionary War in Concord, Mass. Berman grew up in Carlisle, the town adjacent to Concord; every year, she would go to the ceremony commemorating the Revolutionary War: “I had spent my whole life commemorating the Revolutionary War-waking up early to go to the parade, the walk,” said Berman. “I had never thought critically about it until my thesis.”
Berman has taken her pioneering spirit and passion for research from history to business.