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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?

APPLICATIONS FOR TRINITY TERM 2019 HAVE NOW OPENED. Click here to apply.

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 2019

APPLICATIONS FOR TRINITY TERM 2019 HAVE NOW OPENED. Click here to apply.

In order to take part in Trinity 2019, you must be available at the following times:

Assessment centres: 25 OR 26 April. One hour session. There will be eight sessions to choose from (9:00, 10:00, 11:00 or 12:00).

Training days: 1 AND 2 May – One 2.5 hr session per day. You must attend both days. There will be three sessions per day to choose from (9:30, 12:30, 15:30).

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

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 12 February 2019.
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Recent blogs about The Student Consultancy

Careers Conference for Researchers 2019 – final countdown

Blogged by Corina Lacurezeanu on 15/03/2019.

Only a few more days left until the Careers Conference for Researchers 2019

This year’s Careers Conference for Researchers will take place on 20 March 2019 at the Manor Road Building. Targeting those who are curious about career options beyond academia, the conference includes speakers with PhD/postdoc experience now working in a range of roles, a networking lunch with employers who are interested in recruiting people with research training, and skills workshops to help you maximise your profile.

If you have secured your place at this event, you can now download the conference programme and brochure:

  • The full conference programme can be seen here.
  • The conference brochure, with speaker bios and workshop outlines, is here.

Podcasts of the morning panel talks will be available on the Careers Service website after the conference.

Easter Closure and Careers Advice During the Vacation

Blogged by Corina Lacurezeanu on 14/03/2019.

Easter closure

The Careers Service will be closed for Easter from Thursday 18 April until Monday 22 April, reopening on Tuesday 23 April.

Careers advice during the vacation

Apart from on the days listed above, you can come in to have a 1:1 discussion with a Careers Adviser as normal; our advice appointments are available to book on CareerConnect. However, if you are not in Oxford during the vacation, you can still get careers advice.

  • If you would like to have a discussion by telephone or Skype while you are out of Oxford, you can book a Short Discussion appointment and email us to say you would like the appointment to be over the telephone, or via Skype.
  • The Careers Service also offers e-guidance during part of the vacation period. If you have a careers advice question, you can 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 from Monday 18 March until Tuesday 16 April.

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.

The Micro-Internship Programme for Research Staff is now LIVE

Blogged by Polly nuttgens on 13/03/2019.

You can now submit your applications on the Micro-Internship Programme for Research Staff

Micro-internships are 2-5 day voluntary work experience placements facilitated by the University of Oxford. This new pilot programme is designed especially for research staff at grade 6 or above, who are currently on a fixed term contract at Oxford or who finished their fixed term contract in the past 12 months.

We have a wide variety of placements on offer in sectors including health, environment, photography & graphics, ethics, law, technology, computing and financial services. You’ll find attached a list of the opportunities and a full breakdown of the placements is available here.

How to apply

To apply you will need to register with CareerConnect if you have not done so already. Once you have found a micro-internship you wish to apply for, just follow the link alongside the opportunity and you will be directed to the relevant application page. For full details of the scheme visit the
Micro-Internships for Research Staff webpage.

And if you’d like further advice and assistance the Internship Office is providing Support Sessions offering feedback on CVs and personal statements which take place across the applications window on Monday – Friday. Book a 15-minute appointment via CareerConnect.

The deadline for making an application is 12pm midday on 1 April.

Podcast of Careers in Publishing talk available here

Blogged by Julia Sadler on 12/03/2019.

On 1 March, we enjoyed hearing some entertaining, candid views and handy tips on getting into publishing from four publishing professionals:

  • Carrie Plitt, literary agent at Felicity Bryan Associates
  • Naomi Crookston, a publisher at OUP and languages alumna
  • Kate McKellar, senior journals publishing manager at Wiley
  • Laura Murphy, senior marketing manager at Pearson and history alumna

If you missed the event, do catch up by listening to the podcast below and find out how:

  • writing a regular blog can help get you a job in publishing
  • there are all kinds of entry jobs in publishing, not just editorial. Think: sales, marketing, publicity rights
  • how networking can help, AKA ‘constantly showing your enthusiasm’.

Listen to the podcast here:

Careers Conference for Researchers – registration closing soon!

Blogged by Rebecca Ehata on 06/03/2019.

If you haven’t already signed up

Registration for this year’s Careers Conference for Researchers closes 9.00 am on Monday 11 March, so please sign up now.

Although the event is currently full we will reallocate any unconfirmed places, giving priority to research staff and late-stage DPhil students on the understanding that others will be able to come to next year’s conference.

If you have already registered

Please look out for an email on Monday 11 March asking you to confirm your place and reply promptly. Unconfirmed places will be allocated to researchers on the waiting list.

The full conference programme can be seen here. The conference brochure, with speaker bios and workshop outlines, is here. Podcasts of the morning panel talks will be available on the Careers Service website after the conference.

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