The Business Impact Group: Foster Freshman Consulting in 2022

Freshman studying consulting at Foster waste no time in putting to work their newfound insight and expertise.

This year’s freshman class helped foster futures for array of local businesses from a wide range of industries, because they know it’s never too early to make a positive impact. Read on for members of The UW Foster Business Impacts Group’s own thoughts on the experience.

Valeria Hernandez-Miranda 

Diverse Community Connectors LLC

“My second quarter with BIG was even better than the first because I was able to apply what I learned during our first client project.” 

My second quarter with BIG was even better than the first because I was able to apply what I
learned during our first client project.

Diverse Community Connectors LLC  

I enjoyed being a part of the strong commitment our client has to her community in making knowledge accessible to all by wanting to communicate her learning from her advanced degree and work with municipal leaders. She was a great client to work with and gave great feedback throughout the process while being patient as we picked her brain to understand her business model fully.

Most helpful, however, were the discussions with my team and advisors. The advisors were dependable in terms of always being present during the meetings to give us the best feedback possible at the end, and pushed me to consider things I hadn’t before to guide my plan in the right direction. This helped me establish a precedent of go-to questions when approaching a new business, client, and challenge that will be very useful as I continue my consulting endeavors.
 

Kunal Mitra

First Metals Inc  

“Throughout the duration of the project, I was able to acquire hands-on experience in a collaborative environment. Sharing ideas with my teammates and project manager has developed my critical thinking and communication skills. With a phenomenal team and support channels around me, my confidence in exploring new ideas and communicating findings has increased significantly. 

As a first-time consultant, the process of conducting research and crafting recommendations has been both challenging and rewarding.

I have found that working with a group of well-rounded, driven individuals has pushed me to follow suit, and it is truly a fulfilling experience to be a part of a team. I am proud to say that I’ve even been able to draw on experiences from this project during behavioral interviews for summer internships, which is an extremely valuable experience for underclassmen to possess.

First Metals Inc  

As a first-year student exploring new co-curricular interests at the Foster School, I was immediately drawn to the freshman consultant position offered uniquely by the Foster Consulting Program. I immediately began to observe the vast access to professional insights that BIG offered right from the kickoff event, where consultants from West Monroe Partners shared valuable training information with us. Throughout the duration of the project, I was able to acquire hands-on experience in a collaborative environment. Sharing ideas with my teammates and project manager has developed my critical thinking and communication skills. I deeply valued the knowledgeable resources of our professional advisors, who were able to provide important feedback during the research and recommendation process.

As a first-time consultant, the process of conducting research and crafting recommendations has been both challenging and rewarding. With a phenomenal team and support channels around me, my confidence in exploring new ideas and communicating findings has increased significantly. Additionally, this project has helped me utilize analytic skills to better understand a new industry and market, which I would not have learned about otherwise.

My team and I leveraged our findings using problem-solving skills to then formulate findings and refine our recommendations. I have found that working with a group of well-rounded, driven individuals has pushed me to follow suit, and it is truly a fulfilling experience to be a part of a team. I am proud to say that I’ve even been able to draw on experiences from this project during behavioral interviews for summer internships, which is an extremely valuable experience for underclassmen to possess.

Business Impact Group has given me a fantastic insight into the world of consulting projects. Entering this program as a freshman consultant, my main goal was to absorb as much
knowledge from the experienced mentors around me. I am delighted to express that this has absolutely been true, and certainly look forward to contributing to future projects. I’d like to thank my team, my project manager, the BIG executive team, my professional advisors, and our client for making this such an enriching experience.

Joshua Inahara

Fit Trax Meals 

“Being able to work with real people and real businesses created a project that could not be replicated in a classroom setting. I worked on interpersonal skills such as relationship building with the client and my team; I improved my time management skills with deliverables every week; I learned how to delegate and work with others; I gained valuable experiences as to what it means to be an adaptive, creative, and thoughtful.” 

Fit Trax Meals

I thought that because I was a freshman, there wasn’t much I could do to  contribute to the team, and I would be the odd one out—having others pick up the slack for me. However, after my first couple of meetings, I knew that this was not the case. I was welcomed with open arms by my team, the advisors, and the project manager, creating an environment that allowed me to maximize my learning experience.

BIG consulting has been a rewarding experience, giving me insight as to what consulting means and providing me with the necessary tools to be successful in the future.

When I found out I was going to be in BIG for the winter quarter, I was excited and worried about the challenge ahead of me. I thought that because I was a freshman, there wasn’t much I could do to  contribute to the team, and I would be the odd one out—having others pick up the slack for me. However,  after my first couple of meetings, I knew that this was not the case. I was welcomed with open arms by my team, the advisors, and the project manager, creating an environment that allowed me to maximize my learning experience.

 

Iyanuoluwa Sofowora

Kawabe Memorial House 

“Being able to talk with real business owners and analyze their problems and help them find solutions was very fun for me to do, I really enjoyed the process and made me slow down and think more critically on the external and internal factors that make this business the way they are, and how they got to where they are.” 

Kawabe Memorial House 

I first joined BIG to understand more about consulting, and how the aspects of it relate to other business topics. 

Being able to talk with real business owners and analyze their problems and help them find solutions was very fun for me to do, I really enjoyed the process and made me slow down and think more critically on the external and internal factors that make this business the way they are, and how they got to where they are. 

Overall Being in BIG this quarter was a very nice experience for me, and I learned so much with my team!

 

Hanson Dai

Leading Retirement Solutions 

“Overall, after participating in the Business Impact Group this quarter, not only have I identified a fitting career path and gained practical experience, but I have also improved as a person. I look forward to continuing my involvement in this organization throughout my time in college.” 

My participation in the Business Impact Group this past quarter has been a highly rewarding experience.

Leading Retirement Solutions 

Throughout my project, I realized the value of effective communication. By working with others, I appreciated all of the experience, knowledge, and strengths brought to the table and was constantly pushed to improve.

Overall, after participating in the Business Impact Group this quarter, not only have I identified a fitting career path and gained practical experience, but I have also improved as a person. I look forward to continuing my involvement in this organization throughout my time in college.

 

Justin Kim

OM Michael Quality Painting 

“Overall, my quarter with the Foster Consulting Program provided me with valuable insight into consulting. I learned a lot from the student consultants and the advisors on the team, and I hope our work makes a meaningful impact.” 

OM Michael Quality Painting 

The Business Impact Group, or the Foster Consulting Program, provided me with my first venture into the world of consulting. I had heard about the program through upperclassmen, and heard it was a great way to gain real-life experience. I was excited to see what the consulting process was like – working with other student consultants, a project manager, and professional advisors.

Although the team had prior experience using Zoom, the project did require a pivot in terms of communication with the client. Communicating virtually led to unexpected challenges with client communication. However, with the help of the advisors, we were able to develop ways to communicate in an effective manner. I was very impressed with the clarity and conciseness of the advice given by our two incredible advisors. Their expertise and life-experience shined through and guided us to develop a more successful project. I am grateful for their willingness to help students out through the Foster Consulting Program – it shows the type of character these advisors have.

Additionally, it was great to work on a team project and see how the consultants on the team stepped up and took initiative at certain times. Regardless of the situation at hand, their ability to continue forward and adapt to challenges inspired me. It was a pleasure to work with a great team, and I hope to cross paths with them in the future.

Overall, my quarter with the Foster Consulting Program provided me with valuable insight into consulting. I learned a lot from the student consultants and the advisors on the team,
and I hope our work makes a meaningful impact.

 

Henry Robison

The SweetSide 

“With my first real-life consulting experience under my belt, I have grown a newfound passion and respect for the field of consulting and confidence in my own ability to contribute towards a client project.” 

The SweetSide 

Initially, I joined the program to gain project experience within the consulting industry, and to gauge if consulting was a career path I wanted to venture into. There was certainly a little pressure towards the beginning but as I gained familiarity with the project scope and my fellow consultants, the project seemed less daunting to me.

Our project manager did a great job of holding us accountable and was always willing to stay flexible and adapt to unexpected circumstances. My teammates were always communicative and willing to put in the extra work to ensure a seamless experience for our client. Our advisors really blew me away with their industry experience and the value that they provided us in such a short amount of time, and I am grateful for their contributions to the project.

With my first real-life consulting experience under my belt, I have grown a newfound passion and respect for the field of consulting and confidence in my own ability to contribute towards a client project. Engaging with a real client taught me a lot about proper business etiquette and crucial time management skills to keep up with the project timeline. Engaging with an entirely unfamiliar industry broadened my overall business perspective and gave me insight into how a business actually runs. Although all of our meetings were held through Zoom, I thoroughly enjoyed connecting with the team and learning more about them outside of consulting. It’s been a wild ride and I would highly recommend the Foster Consulting Program to anyone who is looking to sharpen their skills and work within an encouraging team environment.
 

Aaron Mackey

Wong Fleming Law Firm 

“It’s hard to put into words how valuable the real-world experience BIG provides truly is, as BIG teaches aspiring consultants a plethora of important information like how to properly communicate ideas and present recommendations in a corporate setting. A major element of BIG I enjoyed was getting to meet likeminded students and professionals.” 

Wong Fleming Law Firm 

Joining BIG, I hoped to gain a better understanding of the consulting industry, and if consulting was something I was truly passionate about. My desires for this program were pleasantly met and I am now seriously considering consulting as a possible career.

BIG was an amazing experience where I was not only able to connect with consulting experts, but I was also able to gain real world experience with clientele who take your recommendations seriously. It’s hard to put into words how valuable the real-world experience BIG provides truly is, as BIG teaches aspiring consultants a plethora of important information like how to properly communicate ideas and present recommendations in a corporate setting. A major element of BIG I enjoyed was getting to meet like minded students and professionals. These professionals were kind enough to help navigate me through the consulting world, and the students discussed other opportunities at UW
I can participate in to further my consulting career. Overall, I am extremely happy with my experience as a consultant in BIG and I hope to continue with BIG in the coming quarters

 

Nick Anderson

Work and Play Lounge 

“Regardless of where you think you are at in your ability to be a consultant, the Foster Consulting Program is a great opportunity. It offers a great chance to experience something extraordinary and learn tremendous skills while doing so. If you are even considering joining the Foster Consulting Program a little, I’d highly recommend joining.” 

When I first joined, I had no idea what it would be like; I was intimidated and nervous. However, as each week went by, I learned a lot and realized how special this project was.

Work and Play Lounge 

The Foster Consulting Program has been a great experience to be a part of this quarter. When I first joined, I had no idea what it would be like; I was intimidated and nervous. However, as each week went by, I learned a lot and realized how special this project was. I learned how to be an innovative thinker and improve my problem-solving skills while managing my time and working with a client. My project manager, teammates and professional advisors were extremely helpful in guiding me throughout the project. I couldn’t have succeeded without them. Additionally, I learned how to work in a team and develop my soft skills.

One of my favorite qualities of the Foster Consulting Program is working with local businesses. My team’s client, Work and Play Lounge, was instrumental in making this experience so great. Having such a personal and authentic client made the project much more enjoyable. It was great to have our client incorporate some of the core values of their business into our meetings. By the end of the project, our meetings were a safe, inclusive, and diverse space to bring your thoughts to. Having our client in tune with our project made the work much more motivating and inspired us to be impactful.

Not only did I learn consulting skills from the project but also life skills that my client emphasized throughout the project. Working with Work and Play Lounge in this project was highly impactful and fulfilling. I am very grateful to have gotten the chance to work with our client, Margie. Regardless of where you think you are at in your ability to be a consultant, the Foster Consulting Program is a great opportunity. It offers a great chance to experience something extraordinary and learn tremendous skills while doing so.

If you are even considering joining the Foster Consulting Program a little, I’d highly recommend joining.

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