Sustainability Consulting as an MBA Student

by Aleigh Heckman

During the Fall Semester, my group and I had the pleasure of working with our client, Animal Friends.

During this project we started off by visiting our client on-site to meet who we will be working with, presenting to, and communicating with throughout this process as well as what the physical facility looks like. Once this initial meeting took place, my group and I looked back at our notes from the meeting and decided where the best starting point was for us to fulfill our client’s needs.

As the next few weeks continued on, my group and I had developed a number of long-term goals for Animal Friends to become a more sustainable facility by the use of solar panels, an electric boiler, water harvesting systems, a sustainability report, a new metal roof, and a green roof implementation. Once we had hit our halfway point of the project, we revisited the client on-site to present our ideas and receive feedback on our ideas and learn whether we properly followed what they requested. After this meeting, we were given more short-term recommendations that the client wished to see so we followed through. By the time of the final presentation, my team and I had come up with in-depth research and knowledge for five short-term recommendations as well as nine long-term recommendations.

Even though this project required over 200 hours of research and continuous updates to ensure our client received the best information we could provide, my group and I wouldn’t have wanted our client consulting project to be any different. Not only did we have the joys of helping out a nonprofit who provides numerous animals with love and care, but we were also able to broaden our knowledge with the research we did.

This project helped me personally realize how much I enjoy doing research and the ability to know a vast amount of information from memory. I have never done consulting work prior to this program and it has helped me to broaden my horizon for potential jobs I would be interested in going into. It also helped me to understand more about a job in the real world by having a real client and providing them with information that they will actually use to make a difference for their organization as well as the world. It is always a privilege to be able to participate in these client projects and I’m looking forward to what the spring semester will bring!