My name is Landysh Yanborisova, and I’m a Postgraduate student studying Marketing at Queen Mary. The reason why I decided to apply for QConsult is that I believe it will be a brilliant opportunity to gain valuable Project Management and Consulting experience working on a real-life project with a real client.
One of the best parts of working for Queen Mary is the valuable training we always receive which helps us not just with this particular project but my personal development as well. The training was about the role of consultants, the skills necessary to develop, and professional conduct with tips on working with your clients. We also had great mentors working in consulting in various fields share their experience with us.
This project is a great chance for many of us to meet like-minded people with different knowledge and expertise, and then brainstorm and work on strategies that will improve and grow the business. Our team consists of five students from China, UK and Russia, studying business management, finance and marketing.
I am Lin from MSc Business Analytics and this is my first year studying at QMUL. I applied for SBM Qconsult as I would like to gain experience in teamwork, project management and most importantly, consultancy. Being interested in consulting since my undergraduate degree, this is the perfect opportunity for me to be involved in a real case and make practical contributions to solve client’s problem. Absorbing creative ideas from team-mates and constructive suggestions from the consultant could be a brilliant opportunity for self-improvement.
Before the training session, I was sent our project brief and as a member of team 5, I would work together with 4 other teammates from different programmes and levels during the next 10 weeks and propose strategies in terms of introducing and promoting business competitions for SBM. It feels exciting to try to figure out an existing problem together with my team-mates from our school’s perspective and give suggestions that could be applied in the real world. However, it is also challenging to get the work done and gain valuable insights through our research, since not much data has been published in this field and we need to collect extra information ourselves.
A training session was given at the start of project, in which 3 field experts were invited to give a talk and share their experiences/suggestions on project work. We, as a team, were inspired to brainstorm questions like ‘why companies hire a consultant?’ and ‘what behaviours, expertise and outcomes we should possess when delivering ideas to client’, both of which make it clearer for me to understand my role as a QConsultant. Later on a briefing meeting gave us a further chance to exchange ideas with our client and realise their expectations for the project. As for now, we are preparing for a survey and face-to-face interview with students as was suggested by our coach and I am ready to face these upcoming challenges! 😀
Finding work as a student can be a struggle. Finding valuable/meaningful work, with feasible hours that adjust around your class schedule and scope to learn new skills can be tough. But when Helen came to our Consumer Psychology lecture, and I discovered QConsult, I knew right away that it checked all the boxes. I had to apply. As the news filtered through that I had been accepted, I was filled with excitement; the 10th January could not come soon enough.
Despite having been giving our project briefing and team lists beforehand, I had not been acquainted with the team, so understandably I was nervous going into our training session. I was pleased to find my team to be a competent and enthusiastic group of people with varied experiences, which could only help us learn off each other. The training session also presented the opportunity to develop connections with a highly accomplished group of external speakers. After receiving guidance on time management, etiquette and how to tackle the project, our group was all set.
We met up the following week to prepare for a client meeting, that was scheduled later on the same day. We had all carried out research independently on the project and prepared questions for the meeting. Discussing our ideas on the project was an insightful experience as we all had different perceptions on how to tackle the problem at hand. We discussed the structure of the meeting and decided on how we should conduct it, and when prepared we were good to go.
Getting into the flow of things with our first client meeting
Apart from starting a few minutes late, our client meeting went as well as expected. Our client, Dr. Fadi Safieddine, was looking to boost QMUL’s accreditation rating by increasing participation and performance of students in competitions. Much to our surprise, we found out that there were currently no students taking part in such competitions, giving us a clean slate to work with. This promises to be an exciting project and I’m thrilled to be able to make an impact through QConsult!
Hamzah, 3rd year Business Management
Applications are now open for QConsult Spring 2018 – click here for further information and the application form. The deadline to apply is 10am on 27th November. Please see below to read about Eve’s experience on the programme earlier this year.
My name is Eve Frayling and I have just completed the penultimate year of my English undergraduate degree at QMUL. I have recently participated in the summer round of QConsult, and decided to do so in order to hone my teamwork skills in a corporate environment.
The QConsult programme entails a week’s worth of work for a business or charity based in East London, usually in a team of 5, although my team had 4 members. Your team is given a project to complete within this week, after which you are responsible for presenting your findings and recommendations to your client. The skill set you will gain is invaluable, and the pay is an added bonus!
My assigned project centred on marketing and communications work; a field which I am keen to pursue after graduation. Our task was to propose an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) or, in simpler terms, a website landing page to boost interest for our client’s prospective event. My team and I were responsible for tasks such as competitor analysis, as well as creating engaging website content and surveys for our client’s target audience. This differed slightly from the other teams also participating in the programme; another team’s work which we became familiar with dealt mainly with data analysis and customer satisfaction.
Applications are now open for QConsult Spring 2018 – click here for further information and to apply. The deadline for applications is 10am on 27th November. Please see below to read about Mats’ experience on the programme this time last year…
My name is Mats Syversen, and this summer I graduated with a BEng degree in Materials Science and Engineering at Queen Mary. Last autumn, I applied to take part in a programme called QConsult run by Careers & Enterprise at QMUL. This is a paid scheme where you, as a student, get an opportunity to work closely with working professionals, as a consultant, to solve realistic business challenges as a part of a team.
If you are successful, you will be split into project teams consisting of 5 people, with whom you will be solving the project brief together with. In my group I was assigned the role of Project Coordinator, which meant I would be working closely with the client, making sure the deadlines were met, and, most importantly, making sure all the team members were being included and heard.
No prior experience of consultancy is needed, as training will be given before the start of the project, which is why this project is suitable for anyone who’s interested in gaining relevant work experience as well as networking with professionals and other students. During the project, you will receive frequent feedback, advice and support from the Careers & Enterprise team, to make sure you are always on the right track.
Thinking about autumn term already? Don’t forget that QConsult starts again in September and applications are open NOW.
Carola (2nd from left) & her QConsult team
Carola Bigogno (2nd Year Biomedical Sciences student) took part in the spring round of QConsult, working on a project for a local housing charity. Here’s what she had to say about her experience on the programme:
Why did you get involved with QConsult?
When I found out about QConsult I was thrilled. I thought it would be a great chance to improve my skills and gain new transferable ones, to learn more about a particular job profile – consultant, which I found extremely interesting, and also give back to the community in a different, but still valuable way. And I was definitely not wrong, the overall experience was incredible!
Did you enjoy the programme?
The best part, for me, was working together in a team: putting together ideas and opinions and using our skills to present to our client and write up the best report possible. I think that I’ve always worked pretty well in a team, however, working with other people can be extremely challenging. Luckily enough, everyone in my group was very professional. We also became friends, sharing not only the experiences of the programme but socialising together too.
Looking to get some work experience on your CV?
Want to do more than photocopy and make the tea?
Why not apply to the autumn round of QConsult?
The QConsult programme involves students working in a team of 5 to conduct a research/consultancy project on behalf of a business or charity, helping to solve a real problem and working as a team to conduct research and analysis before presenting their recommendations to the client. Past projects have involved research, marketing, product development and evaluation.
To hear more about what it’s like to be on the programme, see previous QConsultant Isabel’s video below, where she tells us about her experience and gives her top tips for those thinking of applying. Read on for more details about the programme …
The programme will take place over 9 weeks in the autumn term, from 18 Sep – 17 Nov. Students work part-time and are paid London Living Wage (£9.75/hr) for 20 hours of project work, with additional training sessions on top. All undergraduate students are eligible to apply for the programme and we welcome applications from all schools.
We will also be releasing two video diaries from students who just finished the summer QConsult programme. Follow us on Twitter (@qmcareers) to catch diary updates throughout August.
To find out more about the programme and apply visit careers.qmul.ac.uk/qconsult.
Applications close at 9am on Tuesday 29th August.