The University of Illinois at Chicago Liautaud Graduate School of Business student-led non-profit consulting program, InKIND, which is being sponsored by the MBA Association, kicked off its 3rd year this semester. Select groups of students will work in teams with a non-profit on a given issue to better understand and help solve a strategic issue or growth opportunity at the non-profit.
On the last Saturday of September, 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 training day consisted of sessions led by previous InKIND participants that provided teams with a common language, understanding and jumping-off point for their work solving a local problem.
A presentation of non-profits in the U.S. kicked off the training. Students learned the role that non-profits play in the US economy, the depth and breadth of the non-profit sector, and what different actors are involved in the sector. Additionally, students received an overview in consulting that outlined the consulting industry, engagement and the critical role that data gathering plays in consulting. Students were introduced to the ideas of asking questions that get to the root issues of a problem and sinking deeper into the data of a problem to determine an adequate starting place.
Finally, the groups received Project Management training. Groups learned about the importance of dividing up roles and responsibilities, laying out the scope of a project and the soft skills of client management.
The training 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.
This year there will be three InKIND Projects:
Illinois Manufacturing Foundation
Team Members: Andrew Barnette, Steve Collins, Matthew Lewellen, Joyce Omoigu, Shrenik Sheth
Project Overview: Development of a marketing strategy that incorporates social media and addresses at least two of IMF’s market segments.
Care for Real
Team Members: Nisanth Ayyagari, Kevin Bainbridge, Jordan Corp, Christopher Micks
Project Overview: To expand Care for Real's service boundaries to
meet a need in the community for their programs, with consideration for the impact an expansion will have on their operations.
UIC College of Dentistry
Team Members: Calvin Castelino, Ben Hoffman, Ashwin Iyer, Subramani Ramkumar
Project Overview: Identify ways to effectively communicate with its alumni network, and to establish a social media presence.