Gaining knowledge, experience, and confidence in consulting

Alan Kuo, Foster Undergraduate, a senior majoring in Business with a concentration in Finance and Information Systems. He was one of the three summer interns at the Consulting and Business Development Center at UW Foster School of Business. He encourages other students to take part in all the programs offered at UW.

My internship with the Consulting & Business Development center had components of things I expected and things I did not.

Alan Kuo, Foster Undergraduate

What I expected:

I knew I would be working with three different businesses with conducting primary and secondary research, using my resources and analytical skills to transform the information that I found into tangible recommendations that would positively impact their businesses.

I knew that this was going to be a different experience than my involvement with the Business Impact Group (BIG) and the Consulting Challenge hosted by the center.  

I knew that this was an internship experience that came with lots of responsibility; I was working by myself to advice three clients simultaneously. I knew that developing and maintaining client relationships was also part of my responsibility and important to the project’s success.

What I did not expect:

I didn’t expect myself to be ready. Coming into this internship, I knew about the challenges at hand, so I didn’t believe I had the experience and ability to take on three clients. However, the Consulting & Business Development Center’s staff, professional advisors, UW staff and other peers provided an enormous amount of assistance that made the challenges seem easier.

I didn’t expect the overwhelming amount of help I would receive. Besides the center’s staff, other interns, advisors and UW staff, I reached out to numerous different experts and companies in hopes of collecting information. Most of them were extremely interested in helping me understand their expertise and assist me with my project. Through this, I gained a new network of professionals and learned so much about those industries.

I didn’t expect it to be so rewarding. I had already worked with two clients in the past with the BIG consulting program. However, putting countless hours into all three projects and watching the clients appreciate your hard work was a feeling that was second to none. It was a bittersweet moment when I sent in my final reports, as it was a challenging internship experience but yet so rewarding at the same time.

Ultimately, this was an amazing internship experience. I gained knowledge, confidence, professionalism, experience but most importantly, a large network of individuals who I can call my friends and mentors. The other interns were extremely influential and motivating to work alongside and the center’s staff always seemed to have an answer for my endless amount of questions.