This course is designed to introduce students to some of the broad concepts in consulting as well as to personally introduce them to several of Calgary’s premier consulting firms. This course will serve as a show-case for students seeking internships with local consulting firms, giving both students and employers better knowledge about the other party. Teams will be individually mentored by professional consultants from Calgary on a weekly basis and will go through the practical exercise of a live client engagement. Our clients will be not-for-profits or mid-stage entrepreneurial ventures.
Instructor(s): Philip Davidson
Phil graduated from the University of Calgary with a finance degree in 1990. In 2002, Phil moved to Central America to work on development projects and returned to Canada in 2010. Currently, Phil coaches business consulting competition teams as well as teaches business strategy and entrepreneurial thinking courses at Haskayne and limited executive education courses for particular firms in the energy sector. At the start of 2019 Phil joined the first cohort of students in Haskayne’s new DBA program to strengthen the research aspect of his work at Haskayne. Phil holds an MBA from the University of Calgary.
Undergraduate: Admission to the Haskayne School of Business and 60 units. Consent of the Haskayne School of Business.
MBA: Admission to the Master of Business Administration program and 30 units. Consent of the Haskayne School of Business.
*** This course may be used as a Senior Commerce option for Undergraduate and MBA students.
Hear what students have had to say about their experience!
Applications for the Fall 2024 course offering are now open and close on February 22nd 2024!
We appreciate all applications from committed students looking to learn more about consulting. The course will be offered every Fall semester and applications open before course registration for the subsequent academic year. Should your background and experience align with the course requirements, you will be contacted by UCCA for an interview.
An application will not guarantee admission into the course as there is an interview process that follows. The reason is that this course is very group-involved and we need dedicated students who will put in the work to be a good team member and represent Haskayne well to external clients. Consulting is not a 9-5 career and this course replicates the demanding schedule that consultants live daily.
Since 2020, the University of Calgary Consulting Association has worked with top global consulting firms and the Haskayne School of Business to develop a course to support students in getting a foot in the door in a career in consulting. Fall 2022 was the inaugural launch of the course and received tremendous support from Calgary’s strategy consulting industry.
Each student team was mentored by a different pair of professional consultants from either McKinsey and Company, Boston Consulting Group, or Monitor-Deloitte. Each week, one consulting firm presents to the class. In addition to the three firms mentioned before, KMPG, E&Y, Stack’D, and Criterium participated by sharing their firm’s unique strengths, styles, and cultures when their turn came to lead the second half of our class. Other firms have reached out to participate, so we expect to continue a full slate of Calgary’s top consulting firms going forward.
Each week, students should count on at least three meetings outside of class: one with just your group, one group mtg with your mentor, and one group mtg with your client. Some of these may be quick, while others will not be so quick. When promoting the inaugural class, we informed students that they needed to allocate approximately 9 hours outside of class time per week for this course. Many students commented that they felt it was closer to 10 to 15 hrs per week. It is important to avoid underestimating the commitment you need to make to succeed in this course.
These hours outside of class are not just for meetings (please!!). There are various deliverables that teams generate for both the instructor and/or the client as consultants-in-practice. In addition, this is still an academic course, so we have a take-home case midterm, and some personal reflection commitments to produce.
Undergraduate and graduate students will be able to receive credit for 3 units for the following courses:
Prior to interviews, we expect to host an interview prep workshop once again for those who are applying to the course. In the event that you miss this workshop or are looking for more information about the course, check out the video below for a recording of our 2022 session. Please note that there are slight course adjustments for 2023, so not all of the discussion in this video will be value for the new 2023 course.
“Consulting for Impact was unlike any other course that I have taken in my university career, and it was an absolute pleasure. It was an unparalleled opportunity to work alongside and learn from industry professionals while gaining practical experience outside of the classroom. Working with a local not-for-profit not only benefited the local community, but it allowed me to develop essential consulting skills that I would not have been able to learn from a case study. If you are interested in a future career in consulting there is no better way to learn about the industry, develop key skills, or connect with working professionals. I do caution even the most diligent and hardworking of students that the workload and time commitment of this course are not to be taken lightly. However, the talent, drive, and ambition of the students you will find in this course will push you to reach your full potential as a student and as a professional.”
“SGMA 559: Consulting for Impact was the highlight of my semester and possibly my entire undergraduate degree. The course offers students an opportunity for real-world experience and direct access to mentorship from talented industry professionals. Generating impact for a local not-for-profit as a client, creates great opportunity to cultivate skills while making a visible difference in the Calgary community. If you are interested in pursuing a career in consulting and have capacity for the time commitment, the personal and professional development resources offered through this class are unparalleled and in-valuable”.
“The NFP Project was truly the best learning experience of my undergraduate journey. I was always interested in consulting and this opportunity allowed me to gain direct practical experience in the industry. Working with a team of smart and motivated students, alongside experienced consultants; I acquired relevant skills that propelled my career and assisted me in obtaining a full-time offer upon graduation. I got a taste of what consulting is like through client meetings, problem solving sessions, and steering committee presentations. Ultimately, no other class will give you such an enriching and rewarding hands-on experience as this one. I highly encourage every student to take advantage of this course as it will most definitely benefit your career and personal development.”
Each student team is composed of a mix of MBA and undergraduate students. Leaders will not be predetermined and teams are encouraged to develop a schedule to rotate particular leadership roles within the team.
Yes, each student will be assigned to only one team and one client, which will be a not-for-profit or mid-stage startup. Team assignments will be decided by the course instructor based on students’ backgrounds and experience to create balanced teams.
Clients and Project Advisors will be assigned to teams by the course instructor. Project Advisors will be firm representatives from various consulting firms in Calgary. Partner firms and Project Advisors are subject to change each year.