The Student Consultancy

The Student Consultancy (TSC) is only open to participants who have completed The Oxford Strategy Challenge (TOSCA). It is an experiential learning programme providing hands-on consultancy and strategy experience with client organisations. TSC will offer you progression from your The Oxford Strategy Challenge experience. Over a period of 4-8 weeks you'll work in a team on a project that's important to the client - it might be understanding what customers value, a fundraising strategy for a charity, or ideas on how to promote their products and services to more people.

TSC will run termly, three times in the academic year.

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    Students work in teams over 4 - 6 weeks to address a strategic issue or business challenge for a client organisation.

    Whatever your career plans, you can benefit from the programme. TSC will provide you with an opportunity to:

    • Contribute to the community and gain solid work experience
    • Tackle strategic business issues and opportunities
    • Develop key employability skills such as self-management, leadership, team working, business and customer awareness, problem solving and communication
    • Provide demonstrable examples of key skills and experience for your CV and job interviews
    • Gain an awareness of the commercial, social and behavioural contexts in professional life.

    Previously as a participant on the TOSCA programme, you had an opportunity to learn consulting skills and work directly with a client in a small team. The TSC programme will give you a deeper experience: you will work in a larger team of 5-6 over a longer period of time with the client. Your team will use online meetings and the programme format will help with employability skills like communication, leadership, team working and business awareness.

    You should put aside around 2-4 hours per week for the project work. However, this will depend on nature of the work and how you decide to distribute the workload in your team.

    There will be a preparation session at the start of the programme to refresh on consulting techniques, meet your team and introduce the client challenge. You will work directly with the client and there will be mentoring support available through the project. In addition, we will check in with teams formally at a mid-term review session. At the end of the programme there will be a graduation event to celebrate your achievement and reflect on the experience.

    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 / teamwork! 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 teamwork 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, teamwork, 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.’ 

    Applications will be open through CareerConnect.

    Once you have completed the Oxford Strategy Challenge you will be added to the TSC mailing list and you will be invited to apply to an upcoming TSC programme.

    • 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

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