We seek students who are passionate about
using business to help change the world.
A Diverse Group of Leaders
There is no specific background, major, or personality profile that predicts success in consulting. Some of our members have consulting experience prior to joining, while many have no formal experience in the business world. You don’t need to be a business major to apply, our member’s study subjects ranging from Spanish Literature and Molecular & Cell Biology to Applied Mathematics and Environmental Economics & Policy. Your potential as a consultant can shine through whether you’ve been a part of student government, achieved academic honors, managed a complex project at work, rallied support for a cause that’s important to you, led a fraternity, or captained a sports team. These are just a few of the countless experiences your unique background could bring to the table.
Our approach to selecting new members is based on our commitment to providing the highest-quality consulting services to our clients. Every member is involved in high-stakes work: we help low-income and minority small business owners achieve sustainable financial success so they can expand their life opportunities. We look to invite only the most exceptional individuals who are passionate about using business to help others. We’ve found that our best consultants frequently excel in the following:
The ability to lead others and foster productive teamwork is critical to success in any organization. We seek people with demonstrated leadership abilities and superior interpersonal skills that allow them to bring others together and drive positive change in our client’s businesses, and lives.
Achievement & Initiative
It requires tremendous energy and determination to deliver consistent & lasting impact when working with multiple stakeholders under tight deadlines. Our members must persevere in the face of all challenges, adapt to changing environments, and do whatever it takes to help our clients succeed.
Working for Impact
We are looking for people who want to change the world. Our members have a deep belief in the potential of our clients. We respect all individuals’ diverse experiences and backgrounds, which allows us to effectively build trusting relationships and enlist our client’s participation and support.
Our members must have excellent critical thinking skills and a practical sense of what works in complex organizations. The ability to accurately link cause and effect and to generate relevant solutions to unique problems is necessary to help our client’s solve their toughest and most urgent challenges.
During my engagement, I worked hand in hand with a small business owner and got to really understand the challenges his business faced. It was incredible to help someone else in such a meaningful way, while also learning about what it takes to be an entrepreneur and start your own venture.”
– Jason Y. | University of California, Berkeley ’13
What You’ll Do
After being accepted to our program, every new member goes through a rigorous 10-12 week training program which is co-taught by more experienced student-consultants, faculty advisors, graduate student mentors, and professional consultants from our partner organizations. Our curriculum covers every step of the consulting process from how to identify the client’s fundamental challenge to implementing our solutions, in addition to specialized subjects like advanced modeling, how to communicate with resistant employees, industry analysis, and case interview preparation and networking tips.
After initial training, new members are split up into teams of 3-4 (led by a more experienced undergraduate, the Engagement Manager) and are given specialized projects which they “own” for the semester. Typical activities may include:
– Interview clients, their customers, or their suppliers
– Talk with experts for specialized knowledge and experience
– Conduct primary and secondary research
– Collect and analyze relevant data
– Brainstorm fresh ideas and insights
– Discuss the implications for the overall problem at hand
– Synthesize conclusions and develop recommendations
– Present conclusions to client
– Work intensely with our clients to implement recommendations
– Build client capabilities to sustain results in the long-term
To provide the greatest possible value to our clients, we focus not just on crafting recommendations, but on implementing the solutions we devise. For example, teams may work to: finance store-front facade improvements by lobbying the local city for grants or creating a crowdfunding or microfinance campaign on behalf of the business; cut costs by installing information technology systems and hosting interactive training sessions for the business’s employees; or improve employee retention and nurture a positive workplace culture by coaching the business owner in leadership methodologies and best practices.
Towards the end of every engagement each team provides their client with comprehensive, personalized information about other resources in the local area that the owner can utilize to continue to improve their business successful. We work with SBDCs (Small Business Development Centers), SCORE Centers, and other mission-aligned nonprofits to ensure that our clients have the tools to realize their own financial success and ensure their own long-term economic prosperity.