This consulting class has been one of the most unique courses I’ve taken during my time at UIUC. The focus on data and real world problems that each group was provided with was completely unrivaled in comparison to any other course.
Last semester, I chose to apply to BADM 395 because I was considering a career in the consulting field and wanted to experience as much of consulting as possible before making a decision. I will be interning at a consulting firm next summer and I feel significantly more prepared to take on a project, interact with business professionals, and contribute to a company’s needs as a result of this class.
The largest contributing factor to the semester’s success was my team. Without them, I would have been stuck in so many different ways and the experience would have been nothing more than a frustrating solo project. And, while the project taught me a lot about functional, “hard” skills like data analyzation, modeling, implementation, and presentation design, I learned the most about “soft” skills from my team.
The question of Leader or Follower comes up a lot in business courses and in life. We all need to take on those roles at different points in our lives and each have their own struggles, and I can admittedly say I frequently take on the role of follower. While this was also the case this semester, it provided me with a lot of insight on how to manage a team, communicate with a client, and both give and receive feedback constructively.
Our project involved a concept we had only briefly touched upon in a general business class. Receiving our scope at the beginning of the semester, everyone was a little uncertain on how we’d go about calculating the values our client needed, and how to provide value outside of that one task. As we began researching the industry, the different components of what makes up the calculation began to fit together. Out of one simple problem statement, our end semester result included data visualizations, research on industry and trends, and Excel work. Looking back on the development throughout the semester is very satisfying and contributes to the feeling of wonder at what we accomplished.
As a result of BADM 395, I have a newfound appreciation for group work and consulting. The people are what make the experience worth it — a great group means a great project, which is why consulting can be a rewarding field of work. I also learned a lot about myself and how I work best, and while there are qualities I’m proud of, I’ve also been able to identify what I need to work on to be a better team member.
I’m excited to see what consulting experiences this summer will bring and if they can top my BADM 395 team and project! Thank you to Professor Vishal, Amogh, Joe, Helen, Ethan, and Raina for a wonderful semester!