The End-of-Year Celebration for the Consulting & Business Development Center’s Business Management Consulting Program was a blast! This event commemorates the accomplishments made by students and their professional advisors as they helped grow companies in under-served communities. Through this program, students engaged in consulting projects provided by the Center’s MKTG/MGMT 445 course. They are guided by professional advisors who also help their business clients implement their students’ recommendations several months afterwards. At the celebration, students were able to reconnect with their classmates, professional advisors, clients, and Liz Tinkham, professor of the course. The MKTG/MGMT 445 course, also known as the Strategic Consulting and Multicultural Marketing course, is offered every Winter quarter. What makes this course different than other business courses is it gives students the opportunity to gain real-life business experience in the consulting field. Students work in consulting teams that include 5-6 student peers and 3-4 professional advisors. Advisors are pulled from consulting firms (i.e. Accenture, Deloitte, EY, BCG, etc.), industry leaders (i.e. Microsoft, Boeing, Amazon, Nordstrom, etc.) and service organizations (i.e. Rotary Club of Seattle). These consulting teams then work with a local small-business to create long-term growth strategies designed to improve the firm’s competitiveness. These firms typically represent Seattle’s under-served communities– companies that are either women-owned, minority-owned, and/or a firm located within an economically distressed community. Whether it be creating a HR manual or improving operational efficiencies to increase profits, students who take this class get to take on real-world business challenges that lead to job growth and help strengthen the regional economy.
Now that you know a little about the class, let’s dive into how this End-of-Year Celebration went. The event was full of great people, great food, and great weather. Catering was provided by DayoSense, a client of the Consulting & Business Development Center. This was the first time that many of the students had tried soul food. Soul food is a variety of cuisine originating from the Southeast with memorable dishes like collard greens, corn bread, macaroni and cheese, and more – it was delicious and tasteful!
What makes this event so special? It is held during spring quarter after clients have some time to implement their students’ recommendations, with the help of their professional advisors. So, everyone is thrilled to hear the progress that the firms have made and the impacts that this work has had on their companies! The Center will continue to follow up with each client throughout the year to monitor their progress and support them when needed.
Melanie Marshall, a student in the Foster School of Business, had an outstanding time in the MKTG/MGMT 445 class. Melanie had known about the class for a few years and said it was the class that made her originally want to come to the University of Washington. Some of Melanie’s favorite parts about the class were that she was able to get real hands on experience in the work world, something that no other class had ever allowed her to do before. Melanie said that she got to work with her team and her client directly and that she was amazed at how the class allowed one to work so professionally with clients and really challenge one’s diversity of thought. Throughout the course Melanie said she was able to form a strong bond with her team and client that she believes will last forever. Melanie also wanted to give a shout out to her professor, Professor Tinkham, for giving the class constant support and guidance.
Later in the celebration we got to hear from Adjunct Professor, Elizabeth Tinkham. Professor Tinkham is a recently retired Accenture Senior Managing Director with over 20 years’ experience in the consulting and business field. This was her third year teaching the MKTG/MGMT 445 course and she believes this class to be beneficial because students are given a team to work on for the whole quarter. It gives students a chance to really get close and learn each other’s strengths and weaknesses. This environment is very similar to how teams would work in the consulting world. It has been great for her to see what students are able to do in such a short period of time to help businesses grow!
One of the MKTG/MGMT 445 clients, UW alumni Lois Ko, is the owner of Sweet Alchemy Ice Creamery on The Ave (4301 University Way NE). She expressed how she truly saw the value of this program and the students she worked with. “Throughout the quarter I not only was able to find a way to grow my business with my team, but that the team allowed me to grow as a person,” Lois shared.
Overall, as someone who was able to cover this event, the course and celebration was a huge success and I was so glad to go and hear about how beneficial everyone found the program. If you are someone’s who is looking for a class that allows you to gain real world experience, then this is the class for you. Offered Winter 2019! A huge thanks to the Seattle Rotary mentors, advisors, and Professor Tinkham for such an amazing class! I know all the students and clients are saying the same thing!
About the author:
Taylor Demetriou is a current UW Freshmen and Consulting & Business Development Social Media Intern. Taylor wants to major in Business Administration and enjoys blog writing and yoga.