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The Student Consultancy | The Careers Service The Student Consultancy – Oxford University Careers Service
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What is The Student Consultancy?

An innovative and unique programme, The Student Consultancy equips students with key and demonstrable consulting and teamwork skills to help local businesses, charities and community organisations. Since its launch, nearly 2,000 students have taken part in the programme, helping over 250 clients.

Students work in small teams over a term to address a strategic issue or business problem for a client organisation in Oxfordshire. Whatever your career plans you can benefit from the programme.

The Student Consultancy will provide you with an opportunity to:

  • Learn assessment centre skills, regardless of the sector you wish to work
  • Contribute to the local community and gain solid work experience
  • Tackle strategic business issues and concerns
  • Develop key employability skills such as self-management, team working, business and customer awareness, problem solving and communication
  • Provide demonstrable examples of keys skills for your CV or for use in job interviews
  • Gain an awareness of the commercial, social and behavioural contexts of professional environments
How does it work?

After you have been selected to take part after the assessment centre, you will receive intense training sessions during 1st Week to prepare you for your projects. These will cover an introduction to consulting, key business issues, and how to go about solving them, market research, interviewing techniques, making recommendations and reports.

We will divide students into teams who will each be assigned a client organisation, based on your project preferences where possible, and you’ll then arrange meetings with the client to discuss their project. After this you will spend seven to eight weeks working with your clients, producing a report for the client about your findings. Although you will be liaising direct with your client, the Careers Service will be there to support you with any questions that you may have.

The programme is open to students from any discipline, and selection is based on:

  • creativity in finding solutions
  • approach to business situations and commercial awareness
  • motivation to support the local community
  • community or volunteer experience
  • teamwork and communication skills

Past projects

Past projects involved marketing and promotion ideas, website design, audience analysis and evaluating fundraising initiatives. Clients have come from all areas, including museums and heritage, community projects, retail, IT, start-ups, local theatre, local government, local and international charities, art galleries and many more.

What past students have said

Using TSC in job applications

‘I interviewed for BCG, McKinsey, Bain and Oliver Wyman, and used examples from The Student Consultancy at all of them. (I received offers from all four)’

‘I often write about it in job applications, using the programme to highlight examples of working in a mixed discipline team, consultancy, management, knowledge of business, entrepreneurial spirit and so on.’

‘Valuable CV and application material – it’s a really worthwhile project and is a commendable achievement. It really taught me how to think in a different way and communicate effectively with all sorts of people.’

 ‘The Student Consultancy was an excellent example/experience to cite when describing community involvement and group work experience.’

‘Valuable experience in communication management (effective communication) and team organisation / team work! Very helpful experience to talk about in consecutive job interviews!’

‘It’s a very good example to talk about in relation to taking ownership of a project that provides real added value to a business. I brought it up when asked about team work and problem solving.’

Gaining skills and experience

‘The Student Consultancy programme gave me not only an interesting insight into the consultancy sector, but also a comprehensive idea of the intricacies and difficulties of the working world more generally.’

‘I learnt key skills on how to lead meetings, and also ways in which to work as a group.’

‘The Student Consultancy helped me realise how much I did not know about consulting, team work, and project management, particularly about the challenges and difficulties involved. This is valuable insight that will help me in other projects’

‘An appreciation for how a bright spark by a few students can be amplified and transformed to create significant social change in the community.’

‘It was very interesting to work on a project that was not related to my degree subject (thinking outside the box) and I learned a lot from the organisation we worked with.’

‘The programme gave me insight into previously unknown skills: including managing the balance of a diverse group of characters, and that good communication, clear goals and deadlines are key. It also taught me some valuable business vocabulary, and how to present myself in a way that is  more understandable within the industry.’

‘The Student Consultancy gave me an idea of what it would be like to work in strategic consulting, and I came to the conclusion that it would be interesting, dynamic and more satisfying than I ever expected.’

‘Real business experience which was completely unique. A chance to step out of the academic world.’

‘Commercial awareness, and an experience of the kind of job I could be doing in the future.’ 

How to apply

Trinity Term 2017

Applications for the Trinity term programme are now open. We expect applications to be full by mid-March so we recommend early application.

Please apply via CareerConnect.

Keep up to date

A great way of keeping up-to-date with the latest Student Consultancy news is by viewing and joining our social media channels. The Student Consultancy is now active on Facebook and LinkedIn.

If you have any queries regarding the programme, please email tsc@careers.ox.ac.uk, CC’ing programme administrator Andrew Smith (andrew.smith@careers.ox.ac.uk).

Mentions around the web
  • Cherwell – an article on TSC’s work with Community Action Groups
  • Oxford Mail – Careers Service director Jonathan Black provides an insight into the programme
  • OU Management Society – a first hand perspective from a student
  • NCUB – a report on The Student Consultancy’s collaboration with Centrica
  • Healthwatch Oxfordshire – an article on a student team’s final report for TSC
  • Live Music Exchange – students’ final report on another project
This information was last updated on 17 February 2017.
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Recent blogs about The Student Consultancy

Get guidance during the vacation!

Blogged by Karan Karasinska on June 20, 2017.

The Careers Service offers e-guidance during vacation periods, so that you can still get careers advice if you’re not in Oxford. If you have a careers advice question, mail it to guidance@careers.ox.ac.uk.

A Careers Adviser will normally reply to your email within two working days. We will run this service throughout the summer, from Monday 26th June until Wednesday 27th September 2017.

If you are still in Oxford you can also come in to have a discussion with a Careers Adviser – our normal advice appointments are available to book on CareerConnect.

If you require any further clarification of our services, or have a specific enquiry, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us: reception@careers.ox.ac.uk or telephone 01865 274646.

Singapore careers networking event this August!

Blogged by Julia Hilton on June 16, 2017.

Singaporean students and recent alumni from Oxford are invited to attend a careers networking event in Singapore this summer on Thursday 24 August from 19.30 until late. The venue is the NUSS Suntec City Guild House. Both Oxford and Cambridge alumni working in a variety of sectors – from finance and consulting to data science – will be present for you to learn more about entry routes into professions, opportunities and what the job actually involves. A similar event was hosted last summer in Singapore with the Cambridge Careers Service and it proved very successful.

How to attend

As long as you have permission to work in Singapore please register to attend online.

Please note that we are asking everyone to include a link to their LinkedIn profile so that alumni can have an idea of who is attending. If you have any questions or concerns about putting together a LinkedIn profile please first read the advice on LinkedIn. If you haven’t already signed up to LinkedIn but have created a CV based around work experience and involvement in student groups, then it’s straightforward to transfer that content into a LinkedIn profile, so we recommend starting with our advice on writing CVs.

If you need further advice about creating a LinkedIn profile, please make an appointment with a Careers Adviser. You can book a short discussion with a Careers Adviser through CareerConnect: our webpage on Advice Appointments shows you how to do this. Appointments are available face to face, over the phone and via Skype.

Further details will be sent to all those registered in due course.

This page displays current related blog posts. If none display, you can still stay up-to-date with our newsletter sent regularly to all Oxford students.

Older posts can be found in our archive of past blogs.