Student Spotlight: Cassandra Livingston
In my third semester at Long Island University, I enrolled in a class called Entrepreneurship in Management.
I was excited to discover that six of my classmates would join me on a consulting project for The KiT Undergarments. The challenge to develop a go-to-market strategy for KiT would be my first consulting experience!
During this project, I had the opportunity to work directly with mentors. I learned valuable skills, from effectively communicating with clients to creating a neat and organized presentation. As I collaborated with my team members, I evolved into a leader within the team. With time and experience, I became comfortable with implementing tasks and learned how to identify my strengths and weaknesses within each assignment.
By the end of the class, I went from having zero consulting experience to considering it as a career path!
After the completion of my entrepreneurship class, a CapSource team member, who facilitated the KiT project, recommended that I apply for one of C Evans Consulting’s internship openings.
Initially, I only applied to one internship and was not chosen for the position. But I decided to give it another shot and applied for the Sales and Pricing Strategy internship for C Evans’ new product launch. Since it was targeting graduate-level MBA students, I was concerned I wouldn’t be accepted as an undergrad.
To my surprise, I landed the job and soon met with my amazing virtual team. As I became oriented with the role, my nerves about the position quickly transformed into excitement. The team immediately synced perfectly as we worked together to integrate our various strengths into a strong, collaborative effort.
My collective experiences working at KiT Undergarments and C Evans Consulting can be broken down into four components: 1) Real Companies, 2) Relevant Topics, 3) Real Challenges, and 4) Real Stakes.
When I first met with Cecealia Evans, the president of C Evans Consulting, I quickly realized my work with them wouldn’t be like my assignments in school. My contributions would directly impact a real company, which was looking for tangible, positive outcomes from my contribution. Therefore, I understood hard work, critical thinking, and commitment would be required to truly help this company grow and succeed.
Working with C Evans Consulting was a one-of-a-kind learning experience. I was exposed to a whole realm of consulting, one that required collaborating with team members located across the country. Although I never met these colleagues in person, working with them was so seamless that I feel like I’ve known them for years. Khal, Andrew, and I worked 100% virtually, tackling various topics including sales and business development, financial planning, research and market analysis, and growth strategy. As we got to know each other better, we determined how to optimize our individual skills and work as a fluid unit. I learned a great amount from each of my teammates and hope to someday work with them on future projects.
I knew the C Evans project would require me to apply my previous knowledge and work experiences to a new set of challenges, especially since the project would be entirely virtual. I would have to work with people from all over the country with different time zones and schedules.
Thankfully, my time consulting for KiT Undergarments prepared me well. Developing a viable solution for a company of any kind can be a challenge within itself. During the KiT consulted project, I experienced this firsthand while overcoming several unexpected, and often complex obstacles. First, my team and I were faced with navigating the Coronavirus pandemic. While we were able to begin this project in person, everything was converted to a virtual setting, including team meetings. This complicated the process of sharing ideas and solving problems. Nonetheless, we were able to work around this with the use of shared documents and frequent virtual meetings, with the help of Google Slides and Zoom.
Another key challenge was navigating through the adjustments to the original project scope, due to changing client demands, which often happens in the consulting world. Our team strived to communicate and address these shifts as they arose in order to delay project progress.
Facing these challenges in my first project was not what I expected, but I am thankful for them, as they honed various skills which were put to use in my next project for C Evans Consulting.
During my time working on the C Evans project, I was able to interact with various company executives who made this project a top priority. I was honored to help the company’s ideas come to life. I realized the significance of this internship while presenting our finished project and hearing how our work greatly helped the company grow. Seeing the project come to fruition after so much hard work was a defining moment in my academic career and the perfect starting point for my professional journey. I was proud to add this experience to my resume and Linkedin profile.
As I continue on at Long Island University, I look forward to the future opportunities that come my way. Thanks to CapSource, my experience in consulting allowed me to expand my knowledge and skills.
Educators, if you are interested in bringing engaging professional learning opportunities to your students, schedule time with a member of our team to get started!