My name is Hasan Hoque and I’m in my second year of university studying BSc Economics, Finance and Management at Queen Mary. I took part in the autumn round of the QConsult Commercial Programme where I worked as a consultant in a team of five on a live project for a business client. This opportunity is perfect for anyone interested in consultancy or those looking to build upon a variety of transferable professional skills. To apply for the next round of QConsult, click here.
You are initially required to complete an online application form which is a chance for you to showcase your interest in the programme, your skills and past experience. You don’t need to have experience in consulting; as long as you can communicate your passion and skills effectively you’re on track to making a great application!
Next is the assessment centre: the assessors are extremely friendly and want you to perform your best. You’re told how you’ll be assessed and what they’re looking for in successful candidates, so that whether you succeed or not, you’ll have valuable experience which will come in handy when applying to graduate roles. If you aren’t successful you’re encouraged to seek feedback and apply the next round. Once you’ve been accepted onto the programme you’ll be assigned a team and will attend a training session. This is so you are aware what is expected of you as a consultant representing Queen Mary and that you have the knowledge to work effectively to produce the best results for your client. It’s also an opportunity to meet your team members and be introduced to your team’s project.
You then attend your initial client meeting where you have the opportunity to visit the client’s office. You’ll go through the project brief with them and what they expect you to have achieved at the end of the project. My team prepared some ideas and questions beforehand to pose to our client to gain a better understanding of their aims and objectives. I found this extremely helpful as it ensured we were on the right track when we started working. Our client was very specific with their demands so it was essential we cleared any doubts. We then kept constant communication with them, updating them about our progress.
We divided up the tasks amongst our team taking into consideration each member’s skills and interests. We managed our time effectively, working together to complete tasks including qualitative and quantitative research, competitor analysis, and recommendations. We compiled our work into a business report and presented our findings to the Board of Directors of our client company. Our project had an element relating to online marketing which I had some background knowledge on, and the client was extremely pleased with this particular contribution. They were impressed as to what we had achieved in such a short space of time and asked many questions at the end of the presentation which we answered confidently. They were so happy that they wished we could continue working with them to help implement our findings.
Overall this paid work experience will give you an insight into what a career in consultancy holds in store and allows you to build valuable skills such as teamwork, communication, presentation, research and analysis. The staff on the programme work hard to make sure that not only do the clients receive an excellent service, but that you as the consultants enjoy and benefit from this experience. It’s a standout opportunity to show future employers you have the necessary skills and experience to be a contributing member of any professional work place.
Applications are now open for the next round of QConsult – click here for further information and to apply. The deadline is 10am on 13th March.