Consulting project: an effective way of learning by doing
When I started this project I meant it as a long-term group work, nothing different from the others I had done in different courses. I couldn’t have been more wrong. First of all, this is not about writing a paper, knowing which questions must be answered and the amount of space you can use to do it.
In this project, everything is up to you: starting from the guidelines, it is group’s duty to create the questions as long as identifying the amount of slides (not pages, don’t undervalue this difference!) to prepare.
Furthermore, in the project my teammates and I had to carry on, there was no correct answer: it all depends on the students’ capability to address properly the issues that the client is facing, sometimes also figuring out a way to report a bad news without offending, or finding an effective way to communicate a suggestion.
If I had to mention what is necessary to manage this challenging work, I would say time management and capability to react to changes.
The former is necessary to develop a project plan that really fits the project’s goals and have it executed properly, while saving some time to receive feedbacks and incorporate the necessary changes. The latter is the distinctive characteristic that makes this part of the course unique. I found out that the real world of business is much more dynamic, complex and challenging that I expected. To survive in this world it is necessary to accept negative feedbacks more joyfully than positive ones, because they helped you avoiding a mistake that could cost you time and efforts and that for the client might mean an unrecoverable loss of reputation and money. I believe that CSR is a proper door from which one can enter the consulting world, because the nature of this field does not only requires business and economics skills, but also a developed sense of ethics and a creative mindset that a student might possess, while not already knowing where to apply them in the business arena.