The Student Consultancy | The Careers Service The Student Consultancy – Oxford University Careers Service
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Due to the ongoing uncertainty of the Covid-19 situation, we have decided not to run a TSC  programme in Trinity term. We hope to run this programme again in Michaelmas term; dates for which will be announced on CareerConnect and on this page.

In the meantime, we invite you to make the most of this time to boost your career insights and plans, in particular through increased online/live voice support offered by our Careers Advisers.

These include:

  • Booking a 1:1 with the Adviser of your choice
  • Explore our Summer Internship Programme. Remote working opportunities include the chance to work with the UN, legal companies, aerospace organisations, start-ups and museums. You can browse all remote internships available through the programme on CareerConnect. Please note you can now apply to an unlimited number of summer internships with an application deadline of 13 April 2020.
  • Take advantage of the Micro-Internship Programme for Trinity term which will be launching on 22 April 2020 on CareerConnect. This term, all micro-internships will be completed remotely from home during week 9 (22-26 June 2020) and/or week 10 (29 June – 3 July 2020) of Trinity term.

For updates on the full range of our Careers Service resources during this period of constraint related to C-19, and beyond, see the Careers Service Blog.

About the programme
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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?
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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
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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
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Trinity Term 2020

Apply now for The Student Consultancy in Trinity Term 2020

It is our intention to run this programme. However, we are constantly monitoring the current situation and we will notify applicants if anything changes.

Applications for Trinity Term 2020 are now open. In order to take part, you must be available at the following times:

  • Assessment centres: 23 OR 24 April. One hour session. There will be six sessions to choose from, between 10am and 1pm.
  • Training days: 28 AND 30 April – One 2.5hr 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.

Student Guide to The Student Consultancy – FAQs
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What is The Student Consultancy?

A chance for you to gain hands-on project experience. You’ll work in a team on a project that’s important to the client organisation: examples include understanding what their customers value, ideas on increasing sales or how to secure future funding for a charity.

As part of a project team you will define the workload and how it is shared. Typically, the commitment for participants is around 3 hours per week for project work though  can fluctuate as the project progresses.

We do not accept applications from students at the Said Business School. Visiting Students or those who have previously participated will be considered on a case-by-case basis subject to demand and spaces available on the programme.

What will I get out of it?

An opportunity to explore consultancy as well as real world experience of how our client organisations approach challenges and change. You’ll work on an interesting client project and have a chance to contribute to the local community.

You’ll learn valuable skills and gain experience that will help you demonstrate your capability and potential to employers. The experience will help boost your transferable skills such as team working, communication and problem solving as well as business awareness.

Previous participants say they have enjoyed working in their team and meeting others from across the University.

How does it work?

Everything is designed to give you a new experience and an opportunity to learn. We run the programme every term with the project work wrapped up in Week 8.

In Week 0 we select participants for the programme at an Assessment Centre. Successful applicants are then invited to two training sessions in Week 1 when we prepare everyone for the consulting work. Over the two training sessions you will learn invaluable consulting skills such as client interview techniques and report writing.

We will place you in a project team and the work usually starts in Week 2 when you meet your client: you and your team take it from there and we provide support as things progress.

What are you looking for at the Assessment Centre?

At the Assessment Centre there is a group exercise after which you will be asked to make a short presentation on the findings from the group work. Each applicant will present for up to one minute.

We are looking for transferrable skills and positive behaviours: these include working in a team, problem solving and communication as well as drive and interest. We are looking for participants who are likely to make the most of the programme experience.

 Who might I work with?

We attract new clients as the reputation of the programme spreads and 90% of our clients come back for more, often several times.

Previous clients include: Oxwash, IBM, Bongo IT, Modern Art Oxford, Oxfam, Oxford City Council, Oxford University Library Services, Pegasus Theatre and the Playhouse Theatre.

Does it matter what subject I’m studying or what year I am in?

No, all are welcome! Our applicants are usually exploring their careers options or wish to try something different. We deliberately mix up people in our project teams for a wider perspective on the client challenge.

 Do I have to be interested in management consultancy? (Or do I need to know what I want to do yet?)

No, for those interested in consultancy it’s an opportunity to try it out. For others it’s an opportunity to explore their career options.

You will boost your transferable skills such as team working, communication and problem solving as well as business awareness. This will be helpful across a range of future careers.

What will it cost me?

There is no cost to you for taking part. We will reimburse reasonable expenses.

Further questions

If you have any queries regarding the programme, please email tsc@careers.ox.ac.uk.

Mentions around the web
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  • 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 01 April 2020.
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Recent blogs about The Student Consultancy

Remote work opportunities through the Summer Internship Programme

Blogged by Corina Lacurezeanu on 01/04/2020.

The Summer Internship Programme continues to advertise exclusive internships to Oxford students at all levels of study!

The fantastic range of remote working opportunities includes the chance to work with the UN, legal companies, aerospace organisations, start-ups and museums.

You can browse all remote internships available through the programme on CareerConnect. Please note you can now apply to an unlimited number of summer internships with an application deadline of 13 April 2020.

To find help with your applications, have a look on our website for advice on writing your CV and personal statement. Useful information is also available in the Essential Internship Guidance page and in our comprehensive Application Support Guide (pdf).

If you would like to have a discussion by telephone, you can also book a Short Discussion appointment with one of our Careers Advisers.

We are really impressed with the flexibility of many internship hosts who are now adjusting to the restrictions posed by the coronavirus pandemic. Many international and UK hosts who previously advertised internships through the programme have adapted or converted their internships to remote working. However, it is unavoidable that some internships are no longer taking place as they cannot be moved or held remotely.

If this is case the for you, please explore other ways to spend your summer, with volunteering and employment opportunities.

The Micro-Internship Programme: Trinity term 2020

Blogged by Corina Lacurezeanu on 01/04/2020.

We are delighted to announce that the Micro-Internship Programme will be launching on 22 April for Trinity term 2020.

This term, all micro-internships will be completed remotely from home during week 9 (22-26 June 2020) and/or week 10 (29 June – 3 July 2020) of Trinity term.

Keep an eye on our newsletters and social media channels for more information.

Exploring volunteering and employment opportunities

Blogged by Corina Lacurezeanu on 01/04/2020.

Despite the setbacks caused by the outbreak of coronavirus, the Careers Service and Internship Office continue to support Oxford students in their career and personal development. We realise this is especially needed for those who are unable to apply for internships, or have had an internship cancelled.

Our Careers Advisers have put together a list of opportunities that can make a difference to your CV during the coronavirus pandemic.

See below a list of volunteering and employment opportunities

Teach First Training Programme Update

Posted on behalf of Teach First. Blogged by Corina Lacurezeanu on 01/04/2020.

More than ever, great teachers are going to be needed in September and Teach First is committed to making sure this happens. Whilst the Covid-19 measures have impacted how we do things, they have not impacted what we do. Teach First is still open for applications and our deadline is approaching. We have adapted our assessment process, so that our applicants can secure their place through an online selection day.

Become a future leader and make a difference every day on the largest teacher training and leadership programme in the UK.

Duration Two years (Optional third year to complete Master’s). June 2020 – five-week introductory training; September 2020 – start in the classroom

You can find out more on how to apply on the Teach First website to secure your offer.

Data Science Bootcamp: Applications close 5 April

Posted on behalf of Pivigo. Blogged by Hugh Nicholson-Lailey on 01/04/2020.

Pivigo, providers of the London-based Science to Data Science (S2DS) programme have moved their August programme to their remote learning model – it will be the 12th time they have delivered the S2DS bootcamp via distance learning, so a tried and tested teaching model.

Applications close this Sunday, so move quickly if you are an analytical DPhil or MSc student or recent graduate interested in making the transition to a data science career. For details, visit the Science to Data Science website: www.s2ds.org 

The bootcamp will provide both training and support whilst you work in a virtual team on a commercial data science problem for a commercial organisation. Over the 5 weeks of the programme, you should develop increased confidence and expertise, real-life experience and a new network within the learning cohort and S2DS alumni group.

Applications are invited from people who:

  • DPhil/PhD or MSc in an analytical science
  • Intermediate programming skills in Python, R, Java or similar
  • Documented experience in use of mathematical and statistical methods
  • Excellent communication skills in writing and speaking
  • Strong desire to transition into a data science career

Successful applicants are required to pay a £800 registration fee, but there are no additional costs beyond that.

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