Albers School of Business and Economics

Graduate Programs Blog Post

  • Wet Your Feet and Feel the Water

    The title says it all in a nutshell about the multiple consulting courses offered by the school - New Venture Consulting, International Business Consulting,  Business Sustainability Consulting and Community Development & Entrepreneurship Clinic I & II. These courses are fantastic opportunities that allow students to apply their academic knowledge in solving a real world business issue/issues and to come up with the best strategic, practical and implementable solution.

    I took International Business Consulting course in Fall 09 with professor Tom Kelley. The consulting firm for my project was a local biotech company that wanted to increase their marketshare by gaining an indepth understanding of their customers. We reached out to 8000+ worldwide potential and current customers representing 15+ countries. Feedback response rate was ~ 2.5%, higher than the industry average of ~1%. We ended up giving four strategic recommendations to the company, all of them being considered towards their business development planning. While working on such projects there is no limitation on the amount of effort; You can expand as much as you want and in any direction. The goal is to crack client's business problem.

    So how does consulting help ?

    It is a great way for anyone wanting to learn more about a new industry or a different business domain. If you are thinking of a career change this course can help you give a feel about your target career (given the project is related to your target industry). Or you can just take this course to sharpen your business skills.

    This course covers full nine yards of consulting engagement process. You will learn to probe business problem, identify top/relevant pain points that the company is facing, think about possible and sometimes innovative solutions, perform research, learn about formal presentation techniques, write a structured project report and conclude all efforts by giving a 45 minute presentation to the executive team. Additionally, you will be working in a small team of 2~3 people. It is a great way to put your MBA 510 skills at play (and get the job done despite personality issues).

    Every quarter, the projects are as diverse as one can think of - from using speed boat racing opportunity to further business opportunties in Abu Dhabhi to helping Costco demystify their warehouse floor space and link it with sales. Albers offers different kinds of consulting courses that focus on different kinds of businesses, so there is quite a variety of consulting engagements to choose from.

    I highly recommend this course in enhancing your graduate program experience at Albers. Like professor Kelley says 'It's a hard grind going through the consulting engagement, but at the end you feel immensely satisfied'. 

    Written by Mehul Mediwala. Mehul can be reached at



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