A few weeks ago I wrote a post called “Consulting Projects Rock,” where I reported on the initial conversation I’d had with a group of MBA club leaders in the hope of starting two MBA consulting projects.
Today I held the kick-off meeting with the two teams that ultimately came to fruition (15 resumes later, these guys rose to the top!). As I wrote then, we’ve created two projects this year to cover two very important areas of our business – marketing and operations. We have already done a ton of work in both of those areas, of course, and these MBA teams will fill in all the blanks.
While I’m SUPER excited to be launching these projects, and get back the results, I’m mostly just excited to be working with these students. We met in a bar near campus (yes, I paid) where, after they all signed NDAs, I introduced them to the company and our plan. I showed them our prototype, walked them through our charities and how we’re going to engage in cause marketing. They asked great questions, dug deeper, and we examined all facets of the business.
And as they got excited, I got excited. And as they got more excited, I got more excited. These guys didn’t know us at all, but they already love what we’re going to do. Not clear yet why I’m so excited? THEY’RE OUR TARGET DEMOGRAPHIC! And they LOVED it. What does that mean about other students around the country? Hopefully, a lot!
But as I said, I love working with students. After I went through all the ins and outs, the successes and failures, the pros and cons, we went around the table and each one told me more about their background, what their career aspirations were, and what they wanted to get personally out of this project. Each had a different answer – one wanted marketing experience, one wanted CPG experience, one wanted operations experience, one wanted nonprofit experience and one wanted entrepreneurial experience. We fit all those in one company! One person told me she’d been shut out of a job offer because, in spite of being incredible, she lacked a specific thing that this project will give her.
As a startup, we haven’t yet hired anyone, haven’t provided any jobs, haven’t stimulated the economy. We’ve paid some vendors good money to do amazing things, but the real oomph of employing people for their benefit hasn’t happened (yet). But already, our ideas are benefiting people in amazing ways, and each of these students, if they do well, will be better positioned to launch their careers when this project is over. And for that, I’m super proud.
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