By Kelsey Brush — During the 2011 spring semester top Jewell business students in the Advanced Consulting Engagement course have been engaged by The Mutual Fund Store (TMFS) of Oklahoma to conduct a research and strategy development assignment. The Mutual Fund Store (TMFS) is an independent, fee-based investment advisory firm serving over 45,000 clients in 77 locations across the country.
Advanced Consulting Engagement is a senior level course in which students function as a professional consulting team on one or more live projects in the business world. The group engages a client early in the semester, determines the scope of the project, and works together to deliver a findings report and recommendations by semester’s end. Led by Executive In Residence Donald Huntington, this is an extremely invigorating course for students who want a hands-on challenge in a real business environment.
The consulting team held its initial client briefing with TMFS co-owner and managing partner Gary Bussing on the Jewell campus in February. Several more meetings with the client are scheduled between now and late April when the final recommendations document and presentation will be delivered to TMFS executives and owners.
During the semester, the consulting team meets twice a week and reports on its progress regularly to keep the client informed and the project on time and on budget. Students learn and execute many professional consulting procedures and practices designed to enhance efficient and effective team problem solving. The deliverable for the client is an informed and valuable third party view of their business problem or opportunity and strategic solutions developed by high-achieving Jewell business students.
According to senior business administration and entrepreneurial leadership major Mitch Hedrick, “Professor Huntington is helping us learn the consulting process from research to strategic thinking and effective communication, but ultimately the students are responsible for developing a plan and presenting it to the client.”
The Advanced Consulting Engagement course was initiated in spring of 2010 as a new component of the Jewell Business experiential learning offerings. Previous Jewell consulting clients include: worldwide marketing agency VML, Inc., Western Union and Sam’s Club.