Skip to Main Content
Go to Why Work Here page
EY-Parthenon Americas logo

EY-Parthenon Americas
Find a Mentor: 
EY-Parthenon Americas Mentors
Related Internships: 
EY-Parthenon Internship Program


Madeleine Duboc is a consultant at EY-Parthenon.

M&A deals hit a record high in 2021, and companies are likely to continue to consider acquisitions as a way to diversify, stimulate growth, gain new technologies, improve supply chain and increase market share.

Stakes are higher than ever for M&A due diligence, and this is where consultants like Madeleine Duboc come in.

Madeleine is a consultant at EY-Parthenon, Ernst&Young LLP where she works on corporate and growth strategy. She works with businesses, private equity firms, foundations, institutions and government entities to help them develop strategic opportunities by providing market, competitor and customer analysis, among other things. She mainly works within the private equity practice, on commercial diligence (buy and sell-side) and market research reports.

Professionals at the EY-Parthenon practice join as generalists, and then begin to align with industries. Madeleine has begun to focus on the education and consumer verticals. We recently spoke with her about her daily responsibilities and what it’s like to work for one of the largest global strategy consulting organizations.

Firsthand: Describe what your practice area entails.

Madeleine Duboc: I work in the private equity practice, which is divided into industry-aligned verticals. My work with private equity investors has included more than 35 commercial due diligence engagements across the education; consumer; and technology, media and entertainment, and telecommunications practices. I’m focused primarily on education, mainly in the K-12 and higher education software markets.

FH: What types of clients do you work with?

MD: I typically work with mid- to mega-cap private equity firms based in the US, UK and Asia. Less commonly, I have also worked with corporations interested in acquiring US-based assets. When conducting growth strategy/market research, I have done work for public and private corporations, higher education institutions and state government agencies.

FH: What types of projects do you work on?

MD: Most often I am engaged on buy- and sell-side commercial diligence projects. These are commonly done when a private equity firm is interested in either acquiring or selling an asset. While the topics and key questions differ, tactically the research is similar. When I am not helping with a commercial due diligence, I am working on a strategy project. The scopes of these projects are generally less defined, so it is more of a creative effort to help the client develop a set of solutions that solves the problem they have presented us with.

FH: How involved are you in the actual implementation or execution of your recommendations?

MD: The EY-Parthenon practice, as a strategy arm, typically performs the primary and secondary research that informs the strategic options available to our clients. Once we conclude our work, our clients make the decision on what path to pursue.

FH: What is a typical day like for you?

MD: A typical day starts at 8:30 a.m. after a bike ride. After ensuring I am fully caffeinated, I will start responding to any emails. I am typically leading surveys and total-addressable-market research, so I will connect briefly with our survey panels. Then, I will connect with the associate I am working with and ensure we have a plan for the day, with end-of-day goals. Our team meets around 9:30 a.m. for about half an hour to discuss any emerging insights, output or new analysis. Then I spend the bulk of my day either building market models, listening to expert interviews or creating output slides from our survey—with meetings sprinkled in throughout the day. Depending on the day, we may meet with partners to share output and gather feedback for revisions. Generally, I try to pause for dinner and get outside before addressing some last tasks in the evening.

FH: What training, classes, experience or skills development would you recommend to someone who wishes to enter your practice area?

MD: Prior to joining the EY-Parthenon practice, I had experience teaching in Lebanon and working at an education technology business in an operations role.

If someone is wanting to join consulting out of undergrad, the biggest recommendation I have is to come hungry to learn. In my experience, so many skills are learned on the job. Prior internships in consulting, investing or finance are also beneficial but not necessary. If interested in private equity work, a basic understanding of different types of firms and investment structures is useful and can be accomplished with some quick online searches. As I work with PE firms, I also find it helpful to follow their official LinkedIn pages and keep up to date on what they are investing in. Generally, if you are interested in a certain industry, I would recommend reading pertinent publications, reports and news media coverage.

FH: How did you end up in your practice area? Did you actively pursue it, or were you assigned to a client in this practice area?

MD: After joining the EY-Parthenon practice, I expressed an immediate interest in working in private equity, as I hope to move into investing in the future. However, while I did have prior experience working in education, I began working in it by coincidence.

When I first joined the EY-Parthenon practice, I worked in the technology, media and telecommunications private equity area. This was in part because those were the projects available in San Francisco, but also because I knew I had an interest in technology investing. By happenstance, I was staffed on a project looking at FinTech in an educational setting and realized the opportunity in EdTech. It has been really exciting to look at assets in early childhood education through K-12 and higher education and all the way up to corporate and lifelong learning segments.

FH: Do you feel that your firm provides you enough flexibility or opportunities to explore other practice areas?

MD: Yes! I recently expressed an interest in exploring the consumer vertical this past summer. Within the month I was staffed on a consumer commercial due diligence team that allowed me to fully explore those types of projects. When I expressed an interest in resuming my focus in education, I was welcomed back with open arms.

FH: What do you like best about your practice area?

MD: As someone who started in consulting right out of university, I appreciate the level of responsibility that associates and pre-MBAs are given on projects. Associates are viewed as integral team members, as they are driving the majority of the research instruments. This is especially true in the private equity practice, as these engagements are often shorter in duration, so associates are encouraged to regularly surface any insights they are developing from their research to senior members on the team. Also, as I am now a few years into my position, I am regularly managing multiple workstreams and beginning to shape the narrative of cases.

FH: How is your firm innovating in your practice area? What are the biggest opportunities for innovation? How have your firm’s capabilities evolved since you joined the firm? 

MD: Our firm is innovating by investing in both internal and external knowledge sharing practices. Internally, our leaders have recently implemented processes to continually share emerging market trends and insights from their research with the practice at large. Externally, the firm has invested in writing articles to address key trends and market disruptions and how clients can navigate those. The ability to have robust and diverse capabilities housed under one organization is a key differentiator for the EY brand.

The views expressed by the author are their own and not necessarily those of Ernst & Young LLP or other members of the global EY organization.