Senior Consulting Projects

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Benefits to the Client:

Following are the Senior Consulting Project deliverables to the client:

  • A thorough, professionally written report with detailed analyses and specific recommendations.  The document will include problem definition, substantial fact-based analysis, recommendations, and implementation suggestions.
  • A team presentation to the client of the team's project findings, including thorough discussion and any needed follow-up. 
  • A Client Satisfaction Survey will be requested from the client, at the end of the semester, as an assessment of the teamwork and input to the team’s grade for their consulting project.

Client Selection Criteria:

  • The business problem or development opportunity described in the project application must be challenging to an experienced manager and must also draw on the skills and knowledge acquired by students.
  • The scope of the project must allow it to be realistically completed within the senior project's sixteen-week time-frame and must match the skills and capabilities of the consulting team.
  • The company/organization must designate (a) an executive-level project champion who can manage the capstone client’s internal resources required to complete the project; and (b) a key contact person who will serve as the primary day-to-day interface with the student consulting team.
  • The organization is required to share their internal financial, product, and market data required for project completion.  Each student signs a confidentiality agreement.

Types of Projects:

All Senior Consulting Projects should be completed in a framework that considers the impact on a company’s position and competitive strength in the marketplace.

Below are examples of past projects:

  • Business plan for a new start-up venture or product
  • Marketing plan and associated financials for a new product or service
  • Study evaluating the feasibility of establishing a business or new location
  • Strategic analysis of how to combat reduced market share from competitive entry
  • Reorganization plan following massive corporate downsizing
  • Short and long term business plan
  • Analysis of emerging technology
  • Business plan to guide the development & implementation of a new strategic business unit
  • A plan for the development & implementation of a direct marketing customer database
  • Development of a strategic, financial, and information system for an existing small business
  • A plan analyzing the feasibility and implementation issues of an advanced engineering training program
  • Analysis of major financial decision on whether to go public
  • A plan for analyzing outsourcing decisions
  • Feasibility and market analysis
  • Environmental Industry Analysis
  • Strategic growth plan

“ The program was wonderful!  The students were great!“    Crittenton Centers, Peoria IL

About the Process:

The Senior Consulting Project course in the Foster College of Business is a 16-week project completed by a team of four to six students. Depending on the size of the class, anywhere from 12 to 25 projects might be completed during each semester. There are two semesters each year.  Project applications are submitted throughout the year and are reviewed on a rolling basis. Project selection is a two-stage process: The Consulting Project Committee provides an initial assessment of the projects to the business faculty; the approved applications are then presented to the business students, who make the final selection. Successfully chosen projects tend to be a function of project scope. In this regard, the committee gives greater consideration to projects that challenge teams to apply a range of program concepts and analytical frameworks. More meaningful projects also tend to include a primary data component in the form of a survey or series of interviews or focus groups.

Please be advised that the number of applications generally exceeds the number of teams. Consequently, even strong applications may not initially be selected. In those instances, your project will remain “active” and be presented to teams in the next semester.

Some company projects are deemed less suitable as a Senior Consulting Project but may still be a good fit for one or more classes or programs within the Foster College of  Business at Bradley University.  We will contact you with these additional opportunities.

Finally, the most successful projects are a true collaboration between the team and the client. A committed and active client liaison assures a positive outcome.

Purpose of a Senior Consulting Project:

  • To provide students with an authentic business problem or opportunity for analysis and recommendations.  This business consulting experience allows students to apply their skills and experience by identifying relevant issues, analyzing alternatives, and making recommendations.
  • To support local businesses by offering the consulting services of a team of four to six talented managers who combine their business experience with the lessons learned during their Bradley education.  This assistance benefits client organizations by contributing to improved strategies and enhanced operational effectiveness.

“ I think this program is EXCELLENT ! “   A+ Children’s Academy, Peoria IL

Background:

The Senior Consulting Project is the capstone project for all Bradley University business majors. The program is designed to provide business students with an opportunity to apply all of the skills they have developed during their time at Bradley to a real world business situation. Bradley's senior consulting program has been in existence since 1972.

Small teams of four to six students from a mixture of disciplines (Accounting, Economics, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Management and Leadership, Management Information Systems, and Marketing) are brought together to serve as consultants for a local firm. The group works directly with a contact from the firm and is advised by one of the University’s business professors. The project lasts the full semester and culminates in a presentation of recommendations from the students to the client and professor.

The semester begins with the student team meeting the client.  The students then develop the project scope. This process familiarizes the student team with the industry and current trends and practices occurring within it. Following the definition of the project scope, the students perform the industry or market assessment.

Applicants may propose any type of business related project, as long as it contains specific deliverables from the team, some common projects include developing marketing plans, feasibility studies, and conducting customer surveys.

 

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Contact Information

Bradley University

Foster College of Business

Turner Center for Entrepreneurship

Illinois Small Business Development Center

1501 W Bradley University

Peoria IL  61625

(309) 677-2992 office

(309) 677-3386 fax

tce@bradley.edu