IE Offers Real-World Consulting Opportunity to Students
Business School students create branch of worldwide consulting initiative Junior Enterprise.
A small group IE students explain to their Germany-based client their detailed analysis of his sector competition and his relative strengths. They advise him how he can most effectively launch– and price– his newest product due out this year.
This is not an invented drill or class exercise. The client is one of the growing portfolio of international startups seeking the consulting services of the newly created IE branch of Junior Enterprise, the student-led, worldwide, non-profit movement that enables universities to set up consulting services within their walls.
And its work is getting noticed.
“We really enjoyed working with JIIE, they were profesional, diligent and what is most important to us: on time and reliable,” said Philipp Nette, founder of the world’s first vertical story editor Cutnut, which was recently listed on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 List. “The team was in sync with Cutnut and we wish to stay in touch for other projects.”
Four of the founders had been running their own pro-bono consultancy, Luna Rossa Consulting, when Junior Enterprise asked if they wanted to join the organization, which acts as a gateway from theoretical knowledge to real work.
Co-founder Federico Cerri, a Master in Management alumnus, said the foursome jumped at the chance to join Junior Enterprise– which has been operating for over 53 years under the auspices of the European Union and includes more than 33,000 students.
“This was an opportunity we could not pass up, we decided to launch this innovative reality first in IE and Madrid. We were motivated by the desire to strengthen the IE community and leave a mark of our passage at IE,” said Cerri, who now works as an analyst at Accenture.
The venture– launched in March 2020– was Madrid’s first Junior Enterprise initiative and an answer to local businesses’ need for expertise to pivot in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic. According to the team, JIIE’s mission is to boost IE University students in both their consulting and entrepreneurial careers by working on real consulting projects and supporting clients through high quality services.
Co-founder and MIM graduate Alessandro Casiraghi said the hands-on experience gives students a leg up on rivals in the job hunt.
“Gaining a competitive edge and professional experience while studying is ever so more important in the competitive environment of the consulting sector and has been a deal breaker in numerous interviews for many of our members,” Casiraghi said.
Casiraghi, now working as an investor catalyst at venture platform OneRagtime, believes that JIIE is a transformative experience and that he personally benefited from real-world practice.
“We allow our members to bring onboard their own culture, experiences, and network to shape the future of the enterprise,” Casiraghi said. “This allows each individual to express himself in his passions and to boost his profile in the eyes of future employers, by building up on his existing skills and developing new ones. I have found that the key learnings during these experiences have transferred to my day to day job.”
JIIE expertise ranges from technology, finance, strategy, marketing and supply chain.
The Madrid branch draws on the resources of IE University and is constantly in contact with the IE Startup Lab to provide their services to young entrepreneurs too.
For each consultancy project, teams are created in a way that all bachelors and years work together in the most effective way. In the past year, the group handled 12 projects across the world.
“Everyone needs a little bit of help starting up, we want to encourage you to reach out to JIIE because we are trying to help as many people as we can,” said JIIE consultant, Gonzalo Arias.
As of today, IE’s Junior Enterprise group boasts 32 consultants and spans 19 nationalities and multiple degree programs ranging from different Masters, Bachelor in Business Administration to Bachelor in International Relations and other dual degrees.
Felix Alt, the current JIIE Vice President said IE’s branch is Junior Enterprise’s most international group.
“I can proudly speak for my board that we have led and shaped the most international Junior Enterprise in the world, a diverse community who call themselves the JIIE Family,” Alt said. “The companies and partnerships we established have allowed us to connect with people from three different continents, and work in nine different industries.”