Guest post by Charissa Chin, Vice President of the Leadership Team
Each quarter, the Leadership Team (a student organization that partners with the Consulting & Business Development Center) offers a Flagship Consulting Program, where students provide consulting services to local businesses. During these seven-week projects, students work in teams and receive guidance from professional advisors from Ernst & Young. This spring, our students gathered research and developed recommendations for The Seafair Foundation, Sealaska Corporation, and The Skin Firm.
The Seafair Foundation, which is part of the organization that hosts Seattle’s Seafair Festival, focuses on charitable services through its scholarship programs and community outreach. The student team’s goal was to expand brand recognition for the Foundation and other programs in their portfolio. Besides providing recommendations on how to increase membership for Seafair’s Ambassador Program, the student team also created an event, Inspire Seattle, which projects to attract more than 500 participating high-school students.
Sealaska Corporation, a $275 million dollar Alaska Native Corporation, with subsidiary operations in various industries, tasked their student team with researching potential markets where Sealaska could gain market share and increase profits, while still maintaining their company’s core organizational values. The team identified various industries such as athletic apparel, green retrofitting, deconstruction, and niche recycling as attractive markets where the company could potentially flourish.
The Skin Firm is a Seattle-based company that offers high-quality skin care products and services. The primary objective for their student team was to develop a marketing strategy to grow their customer base by 4% monthly. In order to reach this goal and increase overall revenue, the team recommended strategies to strengthen the firm’s local advertising, social media campaign, and service packaging.
Our consulting students came away feeling extremely accomplished as they learned how to apply their classroom knowledge in real-world business situations and helped small business owners become more successful. Students gained insight into what consulting is and had the opportunity to expand their network with Ernst & Young professionals. Through the Flagship Consulting Program, students improved their analyzing, problem-solving, time-management, and teamwork skills.
Personally, I was most excited to see how this experience has helped our students grow and ultimately advance their professional careers. In fact, this experience has already helped several Flagship members acquire various internships and job offers. As Vice President of the Leadership Team, I’ve had the pleasure of managing these projects for three consecutive quarters. It was not only rewarding, but allowed me to grow personally. Learning how to manage 17 students this quarter has helped me develop my organizational, decision-making, and leadership skills. It’s a wonderful program and I encourage every student at the UW Foster School of Business to join!