This past winter quarter, I had the opportunity to join Business Impact Group (BIG) at the University of Washington, a consulting group where students like me can engage and interact with local businesses to develop tangible solutions. Overall, this was an amazing experience I got to take part in as a first-year student as I had been able to use many of the business-related skills I have attained and apply them to a real-world scenario. The business we were working with throughout the quarter was Troy Consulting, a boutique management consulting firm looking to strengthen its marketing and growth strategy. While the irony in consulting a consulting, firm was a bit daunting, this opportunity did require me to problem solve in numerous ways. From weekly meetings and weekly deliverables, this experience taught me how vital it is to manage a wide variety of responsibilities and tasks in a short amount of time.
One of my favorite aspects of this experience was our team. Our team was a group of 6 students comprised of 5 consultants and — a project manager. Coming into this project, it was a bit intimidating having been the only freshman in my group — but throughout this project, I was able to grow out of my comfort zone, interact with others in a professional setting, while also creating friendships that I would otherwise not have made. From Boba to Thai-food, I do not doubt that our time together outside of this project had contributed to our success on the project itself. We valued each other’s contributions and worked together to refine all of our ideas into comprehensive recommendations.
While the project has ended, I am certain the skills and values I have fine-tuned and developed from this experience will remain with me as I enter a professional field looking on-ward. Perhaps the most valuable aspect of this program is its ability to put students in a position of solving real conflicts businesses face. In our courses, we are often exposed to the conceptual understanding of different fields and rarely get an opportunity to see these concepts applied in a real-world setting. The fact that this program can give students a platform to apply skills we have learned truly makes this an unforgettable experience.
Guest post by UW Foster Consulting Program Participant, Omar Fageeri (Freshman 2023)