Through these activities, I gained experience in analyzing a company as well as larger market trends. I also learned to translate my findings into clear, compact reports and presentations for both the client and my team.”
The BIG Consulting program was my first hands-on experience with the management consulting field. I joined with excitement and a desire to learn all that I could, and BIG helped to fill in everything else. Over seven weeks, my team worked with our client to pinpoint their needs and deliver comprehensive solutions based on these needs. From these interactions, I learned to ask clear, direct questions about the client’s business, and sustain a close and cooperative relationship with them.
My team and I found that our client prioritized a marketing strategy for their business, so we conducted hours of research into both digital and traditional forms of marketing for them to integrate. Initially, I felt lost when I was instructed to create competitor SWOT charts and analyze the data analytics industry in the Porter’s Five Forces model. I had never heard of many of these models before. My program managers and teammates readily offered to help answer any questions I had. Through the supportive learning environment that they fostered, I developed the technical skills to approach our client’s needs and gained experience in analyzing a company as well as larger market trends. After every deliverable, I received specific feedback for improvements, which helped me to understand what a real-world consulting firm would expect from consultants.
Throughout these activities, I learned to translate my findings into compact reports and presentations for both the client and my team. I had been taking a business communications course outside of the program, so I was excited to be able to apply my education from the classroom to my work in the project. I also grasped the importance of communication across the tech divide. One of our client’s greatest pain points was expressing their tech-heavy work for their target customers outside of the tech industry. My team provided a third-party perspective to this problem by providing specific examples of how the client could change or remove jargon for a more customer-friendly approach.
Beyond these vital skills, the most impactful lesson I learned was how much trust our client put in us to help their business succeed. This faith motivated me even further to help our client reach their goals and added emotional value into the work I was doing. My program managers constantly reminded my team and me to think from the client’s perspective and connect our work to our client’s needs. This encouraged me to pause often and anticipate what types of questions our client might ask from my research and suggestions.
I am so grateful to BIG for the opportunity to have met and helped these small business owners, and for my wonderful team. I admired my teammates for their reliability and their commitment to this project. I also appreciated how my program managers guided me through my first steps into management consulting, but also provided the space for me to learn independently. I will certainly take both practical skills and empathy with me to the next step in my consulting journey.