Starting off as a Project Consultant and now, the President of the Global Consulting Group (GCG), a pro-bono student consulting group at the University of Melbourne, Alicia Huang, a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) student, reflects on her 2017 consulting project with One Girl, a Melbourne-based charity, that seeks to provide life changing opportunities for females in Sierra Leone and Uganda.
If you’ve seen the amazing ‘Do It In A Dress’ campaign which transforms the simple school dress into a symbol of female empowerment and education, you’ll know who One Girl is.
For those who haven’t, One Girl is a not-for-profit dedicated to female empowerment through the education of young women, which helps break the cycle of poverty and gender imbalance in Uganda and Sierra Leone. In Sierra Leone, for example, almost half of 15-24 year old females are illiterate. Through education, these women can begin to overcome barriers such as being sold into marriage, forced pregnancy, and poverty.
So how did I get involved with One Girl? Last semester One Girl engaged Global Consulting Group (GCG), a student-volunteer organisation that I have been involved in since 2016, to help them with a project to improve their understanding of regular donations and peer-to-peer (P2P) campaigns. I worked with a team of GCG student volunteer consultants and a professional advisor over eight weeks to conduct an analysis of One Girl’s competitors both at an organisational and P2P level so we could identify their strengths and weaknesses.
What I enjoyed the most about this particular project was how collaboratively my team and I worked. This was my first project as a Project Manager, which meant that I was tasked with leading and coordinating four other student consultants over the project’s life span - with the assistance of our advisor from A.T. Kearney. My team consisted of fellow BCom students Cheryline Toh, Bill Gao, and Kourosh Keshavarz, as well as Bachelor of Biomedicine student, Denzil Furtado.
Through our work we were able to not only identify and provide clarity over One Girl's position within the not-for-profit market, but also devise strategies for both revenue growth and diversification that will assist in their organisational growth, and has led to them engaging with another GCG consulting team for Semester 2 to continue this project.
Most rewarding was the feedback we received from One Girl CEO, Morgan Koegel,
The GCG Team helped us do research and analysis that my team has been wanting to do for years, but unable to find the time. They were immensely helpful in allowing us to take a step back from the nitty gritty of our day-to-day jobs and think about the big strategic planning for years to come. Morgan Koegel
For me, Morgan’s words reveal the power of the work we do here at GCG, and why, even in my third semester with GCG, I’m still just as passionate and excited by what we do. There is something truly special about joining forces with a group of passionate students to create a real impact on women living over 11 thousand kilometres away.
As Margaret Mead said - and something we at GCG adopt as an unofficial motto -
‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.’
The Global Consulting Group (GCG) is a not-for-profit consultancy which provides pro-bono consulting services to other charities and not-for profits. GCG also offers its members a large range of professional development opportunities to hone their consulting skills. GCG is sponsored by consulting firms such as Bain & Company, and L.E.K.Consulting.