When approached by a company looking to partner with business students for a consulting project, Professor Hun Lee jumped at the chance to give his competitive strategy students a “real live consulting project” as opposed to standard case studies.
This was the first time Lee, associate professor of management, had entrusted undergraduate students with a consulting partnership. He couldn’t pass up the opportunity to offer his students experiential learning and a chance to develop their critical thinking and communication skills.
“I think experiential learning, where you’re actually engaging with a real company or client, and getting some of that experience is very enriching and valuable for the students,” he said.
Lee was approached by n~ask, incorporated, a software and analytics company that works with intelligence and defense communities. The company was looking for help on how to introduce their product brew, a self-service data analytics platform that allows users to streamline and analyze data using repeatable models, to the commercial space.
He tasked his students with three questions to answer and present to n~ask at the end of the semester, including identifying the major competitors of the product, a pricing strategy, and target markets.
Brian Malone, n~ask vice president, said the company executives found the presentations very helpful and would work with the students again because of their professionalism. He praised the target market group in particular, which “really went above and beyond.”
Ray Creamer, a management senior on the target market team, said he was “extremely enthusiastic” about the project because he wants to enter the strategic consulting field.
“It got me ready for the workforce. Presenting to the four executives gave me more confidence and made me realize I shouldn’t be nervous when interviewing,” Creamer said.
Michael Morris, a management senior, also worked on the group tasked with identifying target markets.
“We searched for a market by using the research techniques we learned to choose the most attractive industry/market. We found that the healthcare industry and banking industry would be best for the technology the firm offered,” Morris said.
Morris, who was hired by Software AG, said the project helped with his interview process. “It gave me the opportunity to showcase what I learned in a real world situation. It also gave me the confidence to use what I learned in the School of Business.”