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October 28, 2008

IDC Consulting Group Needs a Name

Melissa Floca ’09
Co-Vice President of Projects, International Development Club
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This is the second in a series of posts from the International Development Club.

Each semester, the International Development Club (IDC) matches student teams with organizations around the world to work on over a dozen consulting projects. The aim is to put together teams that can apply the business thinking that we study at CBS to help organizations that work to improve lives across the developing world. At the same time we want to provide students with the opportunity to gain exposure to working in the field of international development. We have served a wide range of clients (PDF) that includes foundations, non-profit organizations, multilaterals, non-profit consulting firms, social entrepreneurs and for-profit businesses that have a positive social or environmental impact.

Teams work from New York with their clients throughout the semester and travel to visit them during breaks with support from the International Development Consulting Project Travel Fund from the Social Enterprise Program. Donors include the program’s advisory board members and Deutsche Bank. Each team is matched with a project advisor that provides mentorship throughout the project. Project advisors are typically international development practitioners, consultants at firms here in New York, or CBS faculty members.

But where do IDC projects come from? In the past, the IDC has sourced projects from organizations that have experience working with students or from organizations that we have partnered with in the past. A number of projects each semester also come together as organizations are networked with the IDC.

This semester the IDC is working to restructure its projects program to relaunch as a branded pro bono consulting group in the spring semester. The new structure will raise the profile of the important work that our members are doing and help us to source more and higher quality international development projects each semester. Additionally, the relaunch aims to:

  1. Source a balanced portfolio of projects each semester that matches student interest in geographies, industries and organizations
  2. Increase impact for client organizations by consistently providing high quality deliverables
  3. Identify an advisory board to advise and oversee the student-run group
  4. Create ongoing relationships with the most exciting clients in order to have a pipeline of high-quality projects
  5. Create ongoing relationships with project advisors who can provide appropriate mentorship to teams semester after semester

The IDC Projects team is hard at work preparing to relaunch for the spring semester. However, we urgently need a name for this exciting new IDC initiative. The name should capture the uniqueness of the IDC brand and be fitting of an MBA student-run pro bono consulting group that works with some of the most innovative organizations in the field of international development. With a community full of consultants — not to mention aspiring marketing gurus and budding entrepreneurs — there must be one of you out there who can come up with the perfect name for the new group! Submit your ideas online here by Friday, November 7th. If you have more than one, please feel free to share them all.

The International Development Club aims to cultivate passionate leaders who aspire to make a global impact by applying cutting-edge business thinking to development issues. The IDC offers consulting opportunities with enterprises throughout the developing world, a speaker series and an annual Washington DC careers trip. Last year, the IDC spun off Microlumbia, the first student-run microfinance fund of its type.


by Gerald Lam | October 28, 2008 at 2:19 PM

Exciting stuff! Thanks for sharing Melissa!

by Dan Aharon | October 28, 2008 at 8:02 PM

Great entrepreneurial spirit is shown here that I'm sure will leave it's mark for the next generations of Columbia students. Thanks for all of the hard work, Melissa!

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