March 1, 2023, by Leah Sharpe
I Found My True Career Interest Through the Nottingham Consultancy Challenge
By Guanzhong Wang, Finance accounting and management student
I am always actively looking for new opportunities through the Careers and Employability Service website. That’s how I found the Nottingham Consultancy Challenge. After reading what to expect from the challenge, I felt it would be a great opportunity for my career development so I signed up. I not only got a fresh taste of consultancy but also gained useful transferable skills. More importantly, I found myself really interested in the consultancy work!
Our client and project brief
Our client is a social enterprise based in Nottingham, aiming to reduce the job market inequality for people with disability. This enterprise offers training in the catering sector to those people with limited ability to do complex work. We were required to investigate the satisfaction level of their students, collect feedback from students and give suggestions about how to improve their student satisfaction. We conducted several interviews with students, student’s parents and staff to finish this task.
We worked in a group of four people for six weeks. In a typical week, we usually met on Monday via Teams to talk about the plan during this week and allocated work to each team member. On Wednesday or Thursday, we met with our client via Teams to talk about our progress and future work. As for the rest of the time, we worked individually as we planned before. At the end of the challenge, we wrote a report together and presented our work to the client.
Although the challenge was a remote version for 2022, our client still invited us to travel to headquarters to find out more about them, which was also an excellent experience.
You get support along the way!
You will be invited to a Moodle page at the start of the challenge. You will find the timeline of the challenge and many pre-recorded skills development videos, such as group work, presentation, reflection and report writing skills. Staff are very helpful and always reply to emails promptly if you have queries.
Why I fell in love with consultancy?
I didn’t have any particular career plan before this challenge, after this challenge, I realised that in consultancy, you can always work on different projects, which means you can always expect different types of work coming in the future. I like working in a dynamic working environment and exploring new things as well as working in a team. Consultancy can provide all of them to me!
Advice I would have given myself at the start of the Challenge
Our group members are from different courses and they are very friendly and easy going. I realised that everyone has strengths and weaknesses, and we should always think about our strength and contribute it to the team. For example, when we interviewed those students, one of my teammates showed great communication skills and made the interview very smooth. If I could, I would have told myself not to be scared, try to find your strengths and utilise them well!
You should definitely try this challenge
I strongly recommend this challenge to you as it can give you a snapshot of a sector you didn’t know before. It also looks good on your CV to show your interest and experience to employers.
The Nottingham Consultancy Challenge gives you the chance to gain hands-on experience of virtually managing a short-term project for a local business or charity, as part of a team.
The next Consultancy Challenge will run in spring 2024, with applications opening via the Careers website in early December 2023.
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