My name is Adrian; I entered this semester as a jaded and frustrated senior who was afraid that I hadn’t gained enough from my four years to justify my full-time offer. Like many of my peers, my academics was significantly affected by COVID. However, I had a unique experience of losing an entire semester due to a cancelled study abroad program. As a result, I became unsure of my teamwork abilities, my existing skill sets, and my ability to grow. However, I reasoned that what I needed was a challenging atmosphere to galvanize my spirit and abilities; I am happy and grateful to say that this was the right choice.
Why then, was BADM 395 IOP the difference maker? I’ve had my fair share of consulting and project experience: from prior internships to other courses to Illinois Business Consulting. All of these were influential and important to me. But what makes BADM 395 IOP so impactful, and what future students and clients can gain, is its vision. This course is dedicated to furthering learning. For example, if asked to characterize Professor Vishal Sachdev, I would say that he promotes growth and learning at every opportunity. For example, when I confided in him my frustration at my own progress at picking up the required technical skills, he not only encouraged me but also put together a learning package covering the fundamentals I needed. This vision for the course runs rampant and trickles into all affected individuals. I am grateful for the first round of scathing criticism levied by our Senior Manager Nicholas Wright. I am thankful for Aalap Kanabar’s patience guiding me through the software and data during the project. If you are looking for a group of people dedicated to learning and applying said lessons, look no further than BADM 395 IOP.
Of course, vision alone is not enough to create impactful change. That’s where the second strength of this course comes in: it’s structure. I was fortunate enough that I came in with an ample amount of consulting experience. But even I admit that there were some fundamental concepts that I forgot about. I was reminded of items such as the Team Charter, scoping document, and slide deck draft. I polished my communication, note taking, and subjecting data collection skills. For students interested in consulting, I can assure you that the challenges you face in this course are as intensive and impactful as those encountered at a consulting internship. Those who are skeptical, I understand where your apprehension might arise from. One might assume that presentation and email skills can be gained from any course in equal capacity. But in BADM 395 IOP you learn how to balance the information projected on the screen alongside the information projected from you.
“Can you be conscious of your verbal delivery? Will you be purposeful in your body language? Are you bouncing off your teammates well? etc.”
BADM 395 IOP allows you to answer these questions with ease. For me, after my semester in the course, I can confidently say ‘YES’ to all three.
Last, for those who want to know what concrete lessons can be gained I will list what I personally experienced. Throughout this course I learned: to communicate with clients efficiently, plan a project using a project management dashboard, create and improve a slide deck, manage conflict with team members, provide thoughtful feedback to teammates, and create effective surveys and interviews for data.
Starting in January 2021, I will enter the final stages of my undergraduate career. While I certainly hold some regrets, BADM 395 IOP will not be one of those. In 16 weeks, I have become more confident in my abilities, but more importantly, in my ability to learn. For those who are at the crossroads, those who burn for challenge, or those who are simply interested in consulting, I implore you to push your understanding of what consulting and team work is by taking this course.