Consulting Lab

94-803

Units: 6

Description: ConsultingLab is an interdisciplinary class and research project open to students from across the University. Unlike traditional case-based management consulting classes ConsultingLab does real projects for real clients, and delivers real outcomes that have included a range of work products, from presentations of findings to recommendations to management to application development and installation. A few of our many past projects: · Using census and county-level data to design and produce a web-based application that aligned optimal food distribution sites with the greatest concentration of the at-risk school-age population. This resulted in 16% more kids eating healthy lunches over their summer school break. ConsultingLab teams will soon begin on Phase 2 of this project. · Helping a museum store better understand its customers' purchase patterns to optimize its offerings and increase profit while maintaining alignment with the museum's mission. · A three-year network analysis of an online twitter chat community to maximize the social networks of participants and followers and produce a model to better analyze the relationship between topic, participation, impact and action. · Developing a task tracking system for an overwhelmed NGO to aid in monitoring specific assignments from start to finish, sharable internally and externally. · Determining the barriers to engagement, and their mitigation, to a science museum's STEM outreach to underrepresented students and families. In addition to the projects, research is gathered on what makes for the most -- and least -- successful consulting engagements. This has resulted in a unique knowledgebase of best (and worst) practices, and a unique consulting methodology called The ConsultingLab Way that uses elements of Design Thinking, Agile methodologies, various research methodologies, principles of organizational development, and traditional analytics to design solutions to a wide range of systems-oriented problems.

Learning Outcomes: • Get you comfortable with communicating yourself and your ideas to small & large groups; • Give you immediately-applicable skills to apply; • Expose you to a variety of “consulting situations”, including replying to RFPs, writing good emails, team participation and leadership, presentation skills, “reading” clients, and developing relationships; • Have you come out a more prepared, confident, and comfortable professional, able to present yourself and your ideas more clearly, powerfully, and effectively, and add value to the consultant-client relationship at every stage.