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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 2018

Applications for Trinity term have now closed. Applications for Michaelmas Term 2018 are due to open in August.

Please apply via CareerConnect: search for “The Student Consultancy Trinity Term” under “Opportunities”.

In order to take part in Trinity 2018, you must be available at the following times:

Assessment centres: 19th OR 20th April. One hour session. There will be eight sessions to choose from (9am, 10am, 11am or 12pm).

Training days: 25th AND 26th April – One 2.5hr session per day. You must attend both days. There will be three sessions per day to choose from (9.30am, 12.30pm, 3.30pm).

We are unable to offer further assessment centres or training days, and you must attend these sessions in order to continue on the programme throughout term.

Keep up to date

If you have any queries regarding the programme, please email tsc@careers.ox.ac.uk, CC’ing programme administrator Lili Pickett-Palmer (lili.pickett-palmer@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 13 April 2018.
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Recent blogs about The Student Consultancy

Civil Service Fast Stream Offer-holders panel: June 2018

Blogged by James Salas on 13/07/2018.

In 6th week Trinity Term, the Careers Service invited five Finalist who all held offers for the UK Civil Service (3x Fast Streamers; +1 Direct entry; +1 HMT Graduate programme) to talk about their experiences in the application and interview process, including their attendance of numerous assessment centres:

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  • Social Researchers FS;
  • FCO Diplomatic FS;
  • HMT graduate programme.

The Careers Service has a comprehensive written account of this presentation that is available to current students through the Careers Service’s Interview Database.

If you are considering an application for the civil service this autumn, expect positions to open from mid-August or early September, and to close in the 3rd week of October. Last year, all Fast Stream programmes, including the early and summer diversity internship programmes had the same early application deadline.

If you are well prepared, you should be able to navigate the early stages before term starts, which will mean you have ample time to prepare for each new phase. You can use the account of our offer-holders panel together with our Government and Public Sector briefing paper to get your bearings and make a start with your preparations. And remember, support from the Careers Service is available throughout the summer, wherever you are.

*Alumni cannot access our interview database. Any recent alumni considering applications to the Civil Service can request their own copy of the panel session by writing to reception@careers.ox.ac.uk with details of their College, Oxford Degree course and their year of completion.

Autocar-Courland Next Generation Award 2018

Posted on behalf of Haymarket Media. Blogged by Elleanor Thornton on 05/07/2018.

Aged between 17 and 25 and want to kick-start your career in the automotive industry?

Come up with a problem-solving idea or innovation that will improve the UK automotive business and you could win £8,000 plus a five-month work experience placement at Horiba Mira, Jaguar Land Rover, McLaren Automotive, Nissan and Toyota.

How to enter

Describe an idea or innovation that would improve the UK automotive business. The idea should fall into one of five categories – Mobility, Connectivity, Sustainability, Customer Experience, or Marketing and Communications – and it could focus on any area of the automotive business, from concept through to the sales showroom, car ownership and the aftermarket.

The deadline for entries is 17:00 on Friday, 31 August 2018.

Visit the website and enter today.

Terms and conditions apply. See website for details.

Interested in Advertising, Marketing and Creative Careers? Apply to the Daniel Marks Planning Academy 2018

Posted on behalf of Daniel Marks. Blogged by Lara Hayward on 04/07/2018.

THE DANIEL MARKS PLANNING ACADEMY 2018

Daniel Marks is a leader in advertising recruitment and we are keen to help our clients develop and nurture the next generation of strategic thinkers. We recognise that it is incredibly hard for young planners to get a start in the industry. The Daniel Marks Planning Academy represents a unique opportunity to get your foot through the door at some of the best creative advertising agencies in the world.

We are looking for people who are not afraid to challenge themselves and lend their unique vision to some of the most exciting agencies in London.

Successful applicants will receive mentoring, support and a potential permanent job opportunity as a Junior Planner at a leading creative agency in London. Applicants may be recent graduates, junior account handlers or simply have an inquisitive and curious mind looking for a career of influence.

KEY DATES:

  • 8 May 2018 – Entry Application Open
  • 8 September 2018 – Application Deadline for Submissions
  • 20 September 2018 – Roundtable Judging Event at the Daniel Marks London offices

HOW TO APPLY:

All the applicant needs to do is to submit their response in answering a strategic brief. We present their work for them to a panel of Judges who are all Chief Strategy Officers at top Creative Agencies in London with a view to offering mentorship, paid internships or even a full-time job up to £25K as a Junior Planner.

Further details on the Planning Academy initiative and how to apply can be found at www.danielmarks.com/planners.

If you have any further questions please contact planningacademy@danielmarks.com or tweet us @teamdanielmarks using #PlanningAcademy.

Calling all Coders: GSA ULTRA 2018 Applications Open

Posted on behalf of GSA Capital. Blogged by Hugh Nicholson-Lailey on 28/06/2018.

Calling all coders

  • Like problem solving?
  • Like programming?
  • Like prizes?

GSA Capital are proud to bring back their summer coding competition, ULTRA 2018. The competition will focus on traditional algorithms and technical problem solving with the opportunity to win cash prizes, the top prize being £10,000!

ULTRA will kick off on 26 July and will last for 6 days. The competition is open to undergraduate and postgraduate students, and you take part on your own PC/laptop from wherever you are.

Cash Prizes:

First prize = £10,000; Second = £5,000; Third =  £3,000; 4th = £1,500 5th = £750.

Registration:

Sign up at GSA Ultra 2018 registration.

Apply for funds for Internships in China! Deadline this Sunday!

Blogged by Rachel Ruscombe-King on 27/06/2018.

The Internship Office is offering current undergraduates the opportunity to apply for a bursary of up to £2000 courtesy of the Victor and William Fung Foundation. The awards are open to students who have been offered an unpaid or low paid internship in China and Hong Kong for summer 2018. The bursaries are also available for internships secured outside of the Summer Internship Programme.

Please note that you can only receive one scholarship from the Victor & William Fung Foundation during your time at Oxford. If, for example, you are studying BA Chinese and have received a scholarship from the foundation previously, you will not be eligible again.

Eligible placements must commence before September 1st 2018.

To apply, please fill in the funding application form, and email it to stacey.phillington@careers.ox.ac.uk

The application deadline is midnight Sunday 1st July 2018. Please note that there is a short processing timeframe for the funds to be dispersed for the summer. Successful candidates will be informed on Monday 2nd July, and we would request that bank details are supplied by midday on Tuesday July 3rd.

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