The Student Consultancy – Information for Recruiters

The Student Consultancy is a programme of learning and development activities that links University of Oxford students to local Oxfordshire businesses and community organisations.

About the Programme

The Student Consultancy is a programme of learning and development activities that links University of Oxford students to local Oxfordshire businesses and community organisations.

An innovative and unique programme, The Student Consultancy provides employability skills training and work-based experiences to students and an opportunity for local SMEs, charities and community organisations to access free consultancy services.

Students from all disciplines and year levels participate in the programme and work in teams to address a strategic issue or business problem affecting the organisation.

As Clients, your business will:

  • gain an innovative, outside perspective to a business challenge
  • benefit from students’ enthusiasm, creativity, fresh ideas and up-to-date knowledge/skills
  • receive insightful recommendations produced by the students, with the guidance and support of project mentors
  • share your expertise and knowledge about your industry with eager students
  • have no obligation to take action on advice and recommendations
  • provide feedback to students and programme management about the project

Ideally, you will be an Oxfordshire based charity, community organisation, social enterprise, small business, City or County council department, arts or cultural institution and have a particular issue or area you would like a team of consultants to work on. It is a chance to explore areas of marketing, revenue generation, branding, customer awareness or strategy that you may not usually have the time or resources to look at.

While teams will have a business mentor to help them shape their work and provide you with useful recommendations, clients do have to consider that The Student Consultancy is primarily a learning experience for students, and their skill levels will vary.

How to Get Involved

After an initial training programme at the Careers Service, teams of four students (including one Team Leader) will work on a project over the course of their eight-week term. We understand that each project, client and team are different and will develop their own way of working together. The following is a guideline of the time and resources you would need to commit to when hosting a team of consultants:

  • An initial discussion with the Careers Service about your business need and the scope of the project
  • Submission of a short project proposal
  • Compilation of a “pack” of useful data and company information for the students to commence their project
  • An initial 1 hour meeting with your student team
  • Ad hoc support to students via email and phone for additional information
  • A mid-point meeting to ensure that the teams are on track and that you are happy with the direction and progress of the work
  • Final report presentation with key representatives from your organisation
  • Drinks Reception – to thank you for your time and allow you to meet with other clients, mentors and student teams

Submissions are now being sought from companies who would like to host a team of student consultants. During the training week students will choose projects, and you will be notified if we would like you to host a team. As this is a termly programme (run 3 times a year), we will offer you the chance to host more than one team, or to have an ongoing project with a number of teams. We understand that you are volunteering your time and energy to The Student Consultancy, and hope that it provides an exciting opportunity for you to share your knowledge and inspire Oxford students, whilst gaining useful insights for the strategic development of your organisation.

The terms and conditions are below. If you would like to discuss becoming a client of The Student Consultancy, please don’t hesitate to contact us by telephone on +44 (0) 18652 74646 or by email at tsc@careers.ox.ac.uk.

Terms and Conditions

The Student Consultancy is a new programme of learning and development activities for University of Oxford students. It provides employability skills training and work-based experiences to students whilst at the same time giving free consultancy to local businesses, charities and community organisations (Clients).

After an initial induction period facilitated by the University of Oxford Careers Service, teams of students undertake short, limited scope projects for Clients. Whilst of course the University will do what it can to structure and operate this programme efficiently, it will be appreciated that neither the University nor the student participants will owe any duty of care to Clients; or accept any responsibility for the work undertaken or the advice given in the course of what is a free and amateur service. All liability is therefore disclaimed, to the maximum extent permitted by law. In particular:

a) The University and the students do not warrant the accuracy of any information, written or spoken, provide by the student teams, and Clients should not rely on its accuracy to make decisions.

b) Project teams do not have, or hold themselves out to have, specialist or expert knowledge.

c) In general, teams should not be expected to spend much time on a client’s site; however, if they do, then the health and safety responsibility rests with the Client.

d) No commitment can be made as to the amount of time students can or will spend on a project as it is understood that this work has to be fitted around their academic obligations that take first priority. Clients and teams will be expected to clarify timing and scope at the start and from time to time during the project.

The students will own the copyright in their reports, but each Client will have a free, irrecoverable, non-exclusive, non-transferable license to use each report which it commissions, for the purpose of the Client’s operations.