Alumni Spotlight: Mel Wolfgang '93

By Meldon “Mel” Wolfgang ’93

It seems a long time ago that I spent my senior year at Webb, writing my thesis and sailing on our boat, Three Sheets to the Wind.  Where did 18 years go?  

Well, I gave six to MIT, where I studied the hydrodynamics of fish swimming, and I earned a doctoral degree from the former Department of Ocean Engineering.  At MIT in the late 1990s, most of my contemporaries were graduating, starting internet companies and making millions in months.  It was easy to get excited by that — to be awakened by that level of energy around creating a business.  

Before I leapt, though, I felt I really needed to learn business.  So, I joined The Boston Consulting Group in 1999, and I have spent the last 12 years learning.   I started out as a generalist consultant based in Boston, and within four years, I had worked on five continents in six different industries. 

I am now based in Boston again, and I focus on serving manufacturing and logistics companies, and on issues of corporate strategy, commercial effectiveness, and organization design.  It’s a long way from boat design — I haven’t had the opportunity to break out my engineering training lately, or to throw the word “athwartships” into any conversations with a CEO.  But quantitative rigor, a strong work ethic, the need to sweat details, and the ability to see the bigger picture and understand systems are all skills I developed at Webb that are required in my work every day.