180 Degrees Consulting Melbourne wins Best Overall Branch

By Laura Fernandez

180 Degrees Consulting (180DC) is the world’s largest social impact consultancy. The University of Melbourne branch represents one of more than 150 branches spread across more than 35 countries, and this year, it was awarded the Best Overall Branch worldwide.

Since we last spoke to the 180DC team earlier this year, they have achieved continued growth and expansion across all of their portfolios, despite COVID-19. 180DC gives students the opportunity to develop consulting skills through projects with social enterprises and not-for-profits. A record number of students applied in 2020, forming multi-disciplinary teams across the University.

Cognisant of the turbulent job market brought about by COVID-19, 180DC introduced ‘Wintensive’ projects this year. These intensive projects gave members the opportunity to gain relevant work experience during the Winter break. At the end of the semester, all project teams presented their work to the branch, as well as partners, clients, and members of the global 180DC community through Impact Night.

Students who join as consultants often choose to continue with 180DC in a leadership capacity. Lucy Johnson, 180DC Team Leader and Melbourne Juris Doctor candidate, noted that her job is two-fold: ‘managing the client’s expectations on one hand, and managing the consultants’ experience on the other.’ Master of International Business student and first-time 180DC Consultant, Rebecca Waldron added, ‘it’s refreshing to be a part of a community where everyone is so interested in the work of the club, and so willing to help out with any consulting questions.’

Student consultants are empowered to complete their projects through training with professional consulting firms such as BCG and Nous. 180DC have also shared their expertise with the Faculty of Business and Economics community, as a Faculty affiliated club, delivering events such as the Crack the Case workshop and assisting with the 2020 Melbourne Business School Case Competition.

But it’s not just the students who benefit from the experience. Clients have expressed their gratitude for 180DC’s work, reflecting that ‘the team were professional, thoughtful and responsive to the needs of the project’ (Hannah Whittle, Reach Foundation) and that they ‘went above and beyond to deliver a quality output for our organisation’ (Zara Lasater, Good Shepherd ANZ).

With 19 consulting projects executed alongside new initiatives in marketing and people and culture, the University of Melbourne 180DC branch shows no signs of slowing down. According to Melbourne Branch President Jeffrey Xia, ‘there is no doubt that our success is thanks to the broader 180 community. To our corporate partners, the Faculty of Business and Economics, the Global Leadership Team, our Board, our fantastic clients, and our consultants and execs: thank you for your unwavering support.’

Looking forward, 180DC has a vision to scale and improve, establishing themselves as a thought leader in the social impact space. Want to find out more about 180 Degrees Consulting or social impact? Read more in the 180DC blog or join the Melbourne Branch.