By Claudia Wong, March 21 2017 —
Getting degree-relevant experience while in university can be difficult, especially during an economic downturn. The Haskayne Consulting Group hopes to give University of Calgary students relevant experience before starting their careers.
“We give students the opportunity to consult on various projects and possibly get full-time offers or internships,” co-founder Daniel Pham said.
The group has had an impressive first year of operations, with four consulting projects and five companies participating in their internship program. The group connected 30 students with consulting projects and 10 with internships this year.
“We do work close to Haskayne’s [Masters of Business Administration] school and executive MBA school,” Pham said. “They have companies looking for interns, so we bring these opportunities to members.”
However, the club’s name is a bit of a misnomer. While most members are from the Haskayne School of Business, some are also from the engineering and science faculties.
“We want to appeal to other students apart from Haskayne. We have been doing lots of work to get engineering students to come on by word of mouth [as] we could really use technical expertise,” Pham said.
Although there are existing consulting and business clubs at the U of C, Pham says the group is unique because it offers real-life work experience.
“[Other clubs] put up lots of events that prepare for a consulting career, but the big differentiator is we have actual projects with consultants, project managers and real advisors,” Pham said.
Pham says no prior consulting experience or education is needed to join the club.
“The whole idea behind the club is we’re mixing a group of hard-working individuals and helping take their careers to the next step,” he said. “It’s more of, ‘are you willing to learn and be committed,’ rather than ‘do you have the knowledge?’”
The group hopes to draw more students from even more faculties next year.
“[The greatest reward] is putting students on projects and getting feedback on how much they enjoyed their experience, how it will further their career and enrich their university experience,” Pham said.