The qEnterprise team recently held our second East London Social Hack at Stour Space, in Hackney Wick. It was a roaring success, and we’re keen to tell you why and to encourage you to get involved next time. To start with, check out the video below.
What is it!?
The East London Social Hack is an intensive weekend bootcamp that gives 60 Queen Mary students and alumni the chance to create social enterprises – commercial businesses that exist primarily to address social problems, not make profit – in just 48 hours!
Because it shows what a fantastic vehicle (social) entrepreneurship can be for learning a huge array of skills, personal development and positive social change. It also demonstrates the phenomenal amount students can achieve in a short space of time given the right environment.
We’re especially pleased to use the East London Social Hack as a platform to engage with social issues local to East London. The weekend focused particularly on four broad categories: Health, Housing, Community Cohesion and Environment. Stour Space was the ideal space for this: it’s a thriving hub not only for local social enterprises, but also artists, activists and community members fighting for a fairer society. We can’t thank them enough for hosting us.
The dominant image of entrepreneurship today is one of a shiny, Silicon Valley tech man. It is also one of success, because brand and revenue pressures incentivise entrepreneurs to suppress failure and doubt. But this is a narrow view of entrepreneurship. Not only do entrepreneurs come in all shapes and sizes, but failure, as well as success, is of critical and everyday importance to entrepreneurs.
This is why we recently gathered three diverse entrepreneurs to speak specifically about their failures. The aim was to paint a more candid, human and reassuring image of entrepreneurship by acknowledging (without lapsing into humblebrag) that mistakes are inevitable, just fine and often valuable.
Up first was Julio Alejandro, a former political journalist and now serial blockchain entrepreneur who has, by his own admission, failed three blockchain startups to date. Alyssa Chassman then confessed some of her failures in founding The IDHouse, which connects and educates young people around the globe to develop solutions to social problems. Closing the show was Vanessa Faloye, a social entrepreneur, social-enterprise educator, writer and facilitator. She spoke of some of her failings when founding Artikle 24, an organisation designed to provide alternative leisure activities for young people in recession-ravaged Spain.
If you’re applying for a role in management consultancy be prepared to perform well in both fit and case interviews. Start by demonstrating the three Cs:
Capacity to learn, Commitment to clients, and Competencies.
These will be assessed and tested during the interview process and through fit and case questions.
The fit interview
The first and second round of interviews will assess ability, motivation, business focus, personal and educational background and your overall interest in management consultancy.
You will need to convince recruiters about three things:
- You can you do this job – you have the skills, and potential to learn
- You want this job – you’re motivated and driven to excel
- Will you fit in to the company, and more specifically
- you will fit in to the team
- we will enjoy working with you, and
- our clients will see you as one of us
Consultants are people who take on tough challenges that matter to leading organisations, they are the ‘solver of problems’.
The next step in the recruitment process, the case interview, is an opportunity for you to show how you tackle typical business problems, and interviewers love this as they can discuss cases based on their own client work.
Masters student Landysh took part in the ELBA Credit Suisse Mock Interview event last term. More slots are available in early March – don’t miss this opportunity to refine your interview skills and receive valuable feedback on your interview technique with Credit Suisse employees from various fields.
Scroll down for full details, and read on for Landysh’s 5 reasons to get involved:
- Credit Suisse is one of the world’s leading banks – This is a great opportunity to do a real-life interview without a possibility of failing. It is a good chance to practice how to prepare for an interview. And yes! Do your homework and find out more about Credit Suisse, their ongoing projects and most importantly – their corporate culture, values, and people.
- Receive great advice on your CV – I was interviewed by a manager at Credit Suisse (!!!) and received the most valuable feedback and advice on how to improve it.
- Get instant feedback – Though it all felt like a real interview, I received an instant feedback straight after on my performance. Normally you have to wait for the answer from your potential employer, and request for feedback which is not always given.
- Practice how to deal with your nerves – Even though I knew this is just a mock interview, there was no need to be nervous – it’s practice!
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