A year at TIAS: putting knowledge into practice

October 4, 2018 | 2 min read

When I was considering which master program to choose, one of the criteria that I evaluated was the possibility of extra-curricular activities within the university. TIAS offers 4 students associations. TBT (TIAS Business Tour) where students can visit companies and solve cases with them, TSA (TIAS Student Association) where students organize events to stimulate integration, for example a Halloween party and Gala Dinner, TSD (TIAS for Society Development) focused in develop projects for NGO’s and TSC (TIAS Student Consultancy) where students can work on a real project of a company.

As I want to work as a consultant, I thought being on the board of TSC would help me by providing me with valuable experience on how to be a consultant for the future, but also to engage with my team to improve the association and organize good projects for the students and to put into practice what we have learned during the masters.

I have learned a lot from this experience so far. In the beginning, the other board members (Laura, Nick, David, Linh and Tim) and I, were responsible for finding clients through our, or other students and professors’ networks. Once we had selected some potential clients, we had to meet them and pitch our service to them in order for us to be able to guarantee new projects for the students at TIAS. This meant we had to use and improve our networking, communications and negotiation skills.

After that, we would choose which specialization tracks (finance, investment, marketing, change and management, business analytics) would be interesting to include in the project according to the projects’ objective. Furthermore, we had to present the case to engage the students. Through application forms we chose students who would best fit the company. Afterwards, hands on the project!

Currently, I’m a management consultant in the Newstyle project together with my team, Tim, Yi Chia, Ali and Vydia from the Business Analytics and Change Management tracks. We are all from different nationalities (Brazilian, Dutch, Taiwanese, Iranian and Indian) and backgrounds. We all are motivated by one common objective and are learning together how to deal with a real client and project. Teamwork, management skills and task prioritization are all skills which are also being developed in this project.

The company is a gym chain with more than 10 units throughout Utrecht and Leiden. The objective of our project is to define the best number of categories of membership considering the customers, market etc. Also, we will analyze the software used and suggest improvements or changes. During our Business Analytics track, we could practice in the project while we learned. We used tools that we were taught about, such as Tableau and Rapid Miner, to develop the case. But in addition, we are learning about change management as well and Tim is learning more about Business Analytics. The main challenge is to balance the project with our other activities and the study for our master. But again, another skill that we can develop before starting a job after graduation.

I’m looking forward to the end of the projects from TSC. I can’t wait to see the results of all teams and learn more about the cases they solved. I’m certainly enjoying my time with TSC and recommend participating to every student wanting to experience what it’s like to be a consultant before graduating,  TSC is a huge learning experience!

This blog was written by Full-time MScBA student Paula Carvalho (26) from Brazil.


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