What are the key lessons that you learned throughout the experience?
Working with new people will always bring new experiences. As did this international consulting project. One thing I love about working in groups is getting to know the members of the team and your clients and their way of working. I have met so many new people from Pitt business, Amizade, and Trinidad through this project. With that I also learned how to work well with all of these new and different personalities.
Provide an example of a transferrable skills developed during this course despite not being able to travel to meet your client. How is that skill important in your future professional life?
Additionally, I learned how to create and maintain an international business relationship even though the entire experience was completely virtual. This skill is something that I will carry with me through the rest of my business career. Even out of the pandemic, I believe business will keep much of their day-to-day operations on the virtual format in order to cut costs and increase productivity. With that being said, the international consulting project has allowed me to build my relationship growing skills to the virtual horizon.
Reflect on the importance of relationships on conducting work towards deliverables. How were the strengths and/or vulnerabilities of Pitt’s existing relationship with the in-country client help or hurt your group’s deliverables? How did continuing with the project help the relationship?
From the beginning of the project my team could clearly tell Pitt’s existing relationship with Nature Seekers was a strong relationship. We had set up client meetings, knew a lot about the organization, had an open line of communication with the client, and we were able to build an all-around strong relationship of our own with them. However, the same cannot be said about our second client, DORCAS. We could tell almost instantly that there was some type of fractured relationship between Pitt and DORCAS. This lack of relationship then affected my team’s ability to get any information from this client. A large part of our original project was supposed to be working with DORCAS however that was not achievable for us due to a lack of relationship. Even though we were not able to meet with or get any information from DORCAS directly, we still included this client in our project in a way. One deliverable of our final project was to propose relationships and we proposed working on the partnership with DORCAS before including them in anymore projects.
How would you explain this project in a professional interview? How are you going to pitch this experience?
One reason I signed up to do this project was so I could add it to my professional portfolio and talk about it in interviews. In an interview I will pitch this experience as a way to display everything I have learned in Pitt business so far and apply it to a real-life consulting with an actual client. Being able to “perform valuable and significant work, which has real consequence to an organization” is an experience that is so unique to this ICP. As much knowledge that I brought into this project, I believe I learned just as much along the way. This international consulting project has been my first international business experience. I have definitely developed global competency and cross-cultural communication skills by participating.
Please discuss the three most important things that future groups need to know, advice for them, etc.
I wish the next group nothing but the best and I hope they can build off of my teams recommendations. I am more than happy to provide three pieces of advice to the next team working on this project. The first piece of advice is generic, yet important and it is to develop a strong bond with your team and really get to know them. Finding out your team’s strengths/ weaknesses early on will help you delegate tasks, thus making the project run much smoother. My second piece of advice is to not be afraid to pivot from the original plan provided. My group got caught up on a lot of the orignal parts of our project that we could not figure out. After talking to faculty, we were able to figure out a better plan. Which leads me to my third piece of advice. ASK QUESTIONS. In the initial client meetings, when talking to faculty, or even if you are just working with your team do not be afraid to ask questions. Asking questions to your client will give you a great idea of what they are looking for and what they are expecting to get out of this. Asking questions to faculty when you are stuck or need clarification can propel your groups process!