Earlier today, April 21, 2021, our student consulting team delivered our final presentation to our client, Caras con Causa. With the final presentation complete, I can reflect on key takeaways from the semester-long engagement.
Important transferrable skills developed during the project include time management, organization, and adaptability. The project required a lot of hours outside of classes to complete the deliverables, so it was important to manage our time, especially during team meetings. Organization was important since there were so many project elements and we had to ensure everything was organized and comprehensible for next year’s group to understand. Adaptability was a very important transferrable skill improved during this project. With COVID, there were limitations, like unresponsiveness of environmental professors when we deployed a survey. Our team had to adapt to new deliverables of developing a speakers series and outlining logistics of a semester-long academic program. These skills are all useful for the future as professionals because we’ll encounter time-sensitive, unorganized challenges where we have to adapt.
Networking was very important for conducting work towards deliverables. Our team was able to meet with Professor Kyle Whittinghill, an environmental sciences professor, who was familiar with Caras and provided a contact for lab pricing standards at Pitt. In addition, our team met with Bryan Schultz, Director of Global and Experiential Programs at PittHonors. He was an important contact because he provided insights of studying abroad at Caras, the Speakers Series idea, and the notion of the semester-long academic program. Hillary Koller was also a vital contact in our network because she presented the idea of the Speakers Series. All of these contacts had exisiting relationships with Caras, and overall, this helped our group work towards our deliverables.
In a professional interview, I would highlight the consulting experience and our deliverables. Although COVID did not allow for travel, our team was able to provide helpful recommendations and reports for an important client. I would also highlight the aforementioned transferrable skills.
The three most important groups need to know: don’t hesitate to use your network (including us!), don’t let the pandemic or other external factors hinder your progress, and make the most out of the opportunity to work with a really great nonprofit! The International Consulting Project is a great global experience, and I hope you can travel to have the full experience.