16 August 2016: Yale-NUS Consulting Group harnesses student talent to provide strategies and solutions to SMEs and NGOs

By Daryl Yang | Image provided by Yale-NUS Consulting Group

Yale-NUS Consulting Group - Aug 2016 - Featured img
The Yale-NUS Consulting Group

While her classmates were preparing for their final examinations and papers, Pareen Chaudhari (Class of 2018) was also learning about the fruit juice industry instead.

She was working on the first client project undertaken by Yale-NUS Consulting Group for SoulGreen, a small-medium enterprise (SME) in the fruit juice market, to improve their social media advertising and to propose strategies to boost sales and market penetration. As Club Director, Pareen worked with her teammates to offer the company a new online strategy and assisted in a conceptual overhaul of its website.

The project was so successful that SoulGreen is looking to work with them on another project in consumer electronics for F&B vendors.

“We were very pleased with their commitment to our business and their smart solutions,” remarked SoulGreen’s Director, Steven Ong in a testimonial published on the group’s website.

First started by Aaron Kurzak and Rakesh Prabhakaran (Class of 2017), the group aims to harnesses the talent of the Yale-NUS College student body to provide valuable strategies and solutions to SMEs, social enterprises, and non-profits in Singapore.

“Rakesh first asked me whether I would like to help establish a branch of 180 Degrees Consulting,” shared Aaron, who holds the position of Business Director, referring to an international organisation that sponsors university students to set up consultancies at their schools which help the non-profit sectors.

“I was on board immediately, but questioned whether we really needed this umbrella organisation; why not start something from the ground-up, which would be harder, but give us 100% freedom of movement and 100% ownership, in addition to being truly Yale-NUS?”

After receiving encouragement from a leading professional on their idea during a networking event organised by the Centre for International & Professional Experience (CIPE), Rakesh and Aaron decided to go forward with their own venture and established Yale-NUS Consulting Group.

The group aims to offer a unique approach based on the interdisciplinary and multicultural principles that define the Yale-NUS experience. The team’s grasp of different disciplines, from the arts to the sciences, fuels critical, creative and cooperative thinking to serve the different dimensions of its clients’ organisations.

“Yale-NUS Consulting Group is as much a result of the team’s collective efforts and brainwork as it is an outcome of the liberties and support we receive now and have received since the start of our studies from Yale-NUS,” explained Aaron. “The themes that constantly recur in our classes –interdependencies, behavioural pressures and incentives – heavily inform and permeate the design of our consulting process.”

For Pareen, who had previously attended a semester-long associate consultant programme in NUS, successfully completing their first client project in the midst of finals week was especially memorable.

“Right from the initial project scoping meeting with our client, till our final proposal presentation, we have had a very exciting and enriching journey. Not only have we established a very good relationship with our client, the whole project has also been a two-way learning process,” she said.

Working in Yale-NUS Consulting Group has also shown Aaron how to build an organisation and unite intelligent people behind a common vision without any kind of monetary incentive.

“As I’ve been in charge of acquiring our first clients and sponsors, I had to learn how to sell what seems on first sight to be a poor product: young students offering consulting advice,” he said. “So it was my task to think hard about our ‘talents’ and really zero in on our strengths – what we can really do better than any career consultant.”

Beyond working on client projects in the coming year, the group also aims to organise networking events with industry professionals as well as conduct case competitions and workshops for students to hone their consulting skills.

Visit www.yalenusconsulting.com to find out more!