Learning by Doing
for Clients

Learning by doing is a win-win for
students, employers, and businesses


Tap into a team of highly talented, highly motivated students who bring fresh thinking and an outside perspective to your specific challenges. Student projects also create a try-before-you-hire approach to recruiting and give students an inside look at your company. That's a win-win for everyone.

Gies students put their skills to work for your business

When you sponsor a project, you’ll have some of the brightest business students in the country working for you. Engage with undergraduates through the Business 301 course or with graduate students through courses like the MBA Consulting Labs or the finance and technology practicum. Or work with a mix of students through Gies-sponsored organizations like Illinois Business Consulting, iVenture, or EntreCORPS, or through student-run organizations like Enactus, Students Consulting for Non-Profit Organizations, or Global Business Brigades. Our students have worked on projects such as: 

 




Students with IBC Bottles

Market
Analysis

Identify customers most likely to buy your product.

Improve your positioning against competitors.

Identify new business opportunities based on trends.

Students presenting

Financial Modeling

Conduct scenario and sensitivity analysis for go/no-go business questions.

Forecast cash flow, spending, and budgets.

Determine the value of a company in a merger/acquisition scenario.

Student studying

Strategy & Growth

Identify and evaluate organic growth opportunities.

Evaluate growth opportunities through acquisitions and mergers.

Evaluate current and potential business models for your company.

Data Technology Highlight

Data & Technology

Analyze impact and opportunities from loT and new technology.

Evaluate and identify tools to increase productivity.

Conduct data analysis & visualization to identify trends & opportunities.

Sponsor a Project

Sponsor a Project

Engage with students through learning by doing. We’ll connect you to the right course, program, and students.

SUBMIT A PROJECT

Naomi Liu

"I had a very positive experience working with my student team! They were energetic, positive, and engaged throughout, and I was impressed with the quality of the final deliverable and the thoroughness of their analysis.”

Naomi Liu, Finance & Supply Chain Management ‘15
Starbucks

Chris Muhl

"I believe the students over-delivered vs. expectation.  They really put many options out there for us and did a nice job in the final weeks of adding numbers where they could find them.”

Chris Mulh, MBA ‘07
AlixPartners

Previous Clients

  • ADM
  • AT&T
  • BMO Harris Bank
  • Edward Jones
  • GE
  • Google
  • KPMG
  • McDonalds
  • Proctor & Gamble
  • State Farm
  • Target
  • Uber
  • Yahoo!
  • Libman Company
  • Monical’s Pizza
  • Human Kinetics
  • Klein Tools
  • Game Plan Creative
  • Lockton Companies
  • Mahomet Area Youth Club
  • Easter Seals
  • Big Dreams for Little Hearts
  • Lechler
  • Cozad Asset Management
  • VPC Innovations
  • CPO Commerce

Sample Projects

Company A: wanted to reduce lead time and inventory costs and increase cash flow for its supply chain and warehousing by manufacturing and sourcing its products from a new location. The Illinois team analyzed nine countries, looking at factors such as cost of labor, regulations, quality of work, expertise, political risk, shipping time, and costs. The team created a model to compare each country along these factors and estimated potential cost savings for the most likely countries. The Illinois team identified significant potential savings.

Company B: wanted to identify market potential and an entry strategy for its wood business. The company also wanted to determine the optimal business model between sourcing pre-finished materials or vertically integrating the value chain internally. The Illinois team analyzed market trends around the world for the various wood products in question. They looked at market demand, interviewed several people within the value chain to understand the obstacles and opportunities and provided strategic and financial recommendations to the company.

How it works

Projects are conducted in the Fall (September–December) and Spring (January–May) semesters. A typical project lasts 16 weeks.



Learn by Doing Client Timeline

Client Expectations

Learning by doing projects are part of the students’ education. We work with clients who invest in the development of our students. When a client is engaged and committed, students reciprocate with enthusiasm and dedication to the project.

Specifically, clients are expected to:

  • Hold a weekly call with the student team
  • Provide the team with a company point of contact at all times
  • Stay within the project scope
  • Respond in a timely manner and provide access to necessary data
  • Provide clear feedback and direction without micromanaging
  • Students are not interns or employees for your organization. Allow them to follow the process and timeline prescribed in their course and by their faculty advisor
  • Show genuine interest in the students