After long hours spent working virtually, the Haller Global Honors Fellowship has finally concluded! As I reflect back on my time with the program, it is still so hard to believe that it was only two weeks- the amount we learned and accomplished makes me feel like I have been with the Haller Fellows for months, but the time spent in the program just flew by!
When I first began the program, I really had no expectations as to what my days would consist of. While previous years had entailed pre-college students travel abroad to Ireland to work directly as consultants, the current COVID-19 pandemic had unfortunately kept us all in our seats and caused the entirety of the program to be held virtually. However, during the past two weeks, I have been engaged in video calls and presentations that effectively doubled my knowledge of business and business operations.
I, along with the eight other Haller Fellows, served as consultants for the company Kendlebell Kimmage, a call center service based in Dublin, Ireland. We were introduced to the company and learned of the specific concerns its founders, Gerry and Gobnait, wanted to have addressed. We then split into three teams, to work on separate plans addressing each of these concerns.
As Gerry expressed a desire to expand Kendlebell’s services to include consulting for U.S.-based businesses seeking to establish a base in Ireland, my team created a plan to determine the best possible way for Kendlebell to develop its operations to provide high quality of service and attract American customers. I, working alongside Jared and Erick, the other two members of my team, first created a scope of work detailing our goals for the progress of the plan. We conducted two Best Practices Reports, in which we analyzed potential clients and competitors of Kendlebell and determined strategies Kendlebell could use when assisting U.S. companies enter the Irish market. We compiled the strategies from these Best Practices Report into a detailed presentation, where we gave recommendations on the basis of a two-year timeframe, specifically by analyzing the progress of service development and suggesting market expansion opportunities Kendlebell could utilize.
By serving as a consultant for Gerry, and addressing his specific needs, I quickly learned so much in terms of practical skills and academic information in order to provide to him the best possible service. This program introduced me to terms such as “scope of work”, “deliverables”, and “best practices report”. When working with my partners Jared and Erick, I learned how best to collaborate with others online using the tools of Microsoft Office. The many calls and presentations conducted over Zoom also strengthened my interpersonal skills, as I learned the proper etiquette for conducting myself on an online service. Interacting with clients through email correspondence and presentations have given me a new perspective on developing communication channels.
Today was the conclusion of the program, when we presented the strategic plan we had been working on for the past few weeks. At the end of the presentation, Gerry asked us many questions about our process of work, and related many of the information we had given him to experiences in his own life. Listening to Gerry’s interest and excitement concerning the plan we had developed was such a wonderful feeling; I was so honored that something I had worked on had the opportunity to influence the way a business would be run!
This program has given me so much more excitement for my time at Pitt. I am excited to apply the knowledge I have learned to projects I may work on in the future, and to involve myself more with activities both on and off campus! My experience working as a consultant has been extremely meaningful to me, and I would like to continue with it in the future, to be able to help as many people as I can.
Overall, this program has been so fantastic to be a part of, and I am so grateful to have been given this opportunity. Thank you so much to everyone who made this possible- from those at Pitt Business, the International Programs Office, CAPA, and, of course, Gerry and Gobnait at Kendlebell. I would like to especially thank Professor Ray Jones and Tony Gomez, who have been instrumental in helping me learn the skills I need to make my time in this program successful, and my partners Jared and Erick, who have been great to work with.
I am so proud to have been a part of the Haller Global Honors Fellowship, and excited to continue working with the other Haller Fellows going forward into the future!