This post was contributed by Catherine Jefcoat, MBA/MPH 2014 Candidate.
UIC's Liautaud Graduate School of Business is piloting a student-led non-profit consulting program, called InKIND, which is being sponsored by the MBA Association and UIC Net Impact student organizations. A select group of students will work in teams with the non-profit on a given issue to better understand and help solve a strategic issue or growth opportunity at the nonprofit.
On the first Saturday of October, MBA, MSA, and MIS students participating in the InKIND non-profit consulting program gathered to hone their skills before jumping into a semester-long project with a Chicago nonprofit. The five-hour training day consisted of four sessions led by outside trainers designed to provide both teams with a common language, understanding, and jumping off point for their work solving a local problem.
Night Ministry ’s Consulting Team
Community Media Workshop ’s Consulting Team
A presentation of Non-Profits in the US, led by Childcare Network of Evanston’s Andrea Densham, kicked off the morning. She discussed the role that nonprofits play in the US economy, the depth and breadth of the nonprofit sector, and what different actors are involved in the sector. She was followed by a Consulting: An Overview training led by former management consultant LaTonya Wilkins, that outlined the consulting industry, an engagement, and the critical role that data gathering plays in consulting. The ideas of asking questions that get to the root issues of a problem and sinking deep into the data of a problem led groups into brainstorming sessions during lunch.
DonorFuse ’s Margaux Pagan began the afternoon session with a Project Management training. She talked about the importance of dividing up roles and responsibilities, timelining out a project, and the soft skills of client management.
The afternoon ended with a Presentation/Proposal training by UIC Liautaud alumnus Dominick Blank (MBA ’13) that focused on the impact that dynamic presentations can have in increasing the impact of a thorough and researched proposal.
The day ended with the students outlining plans for the rest of the semester, establishing structure for their groups, and leaving with a new tool kit to bring to the nonprofits they are working with.