Chris Palmer, a fifth-year student who is also currently serving as Haskayne's representative to the Students' Union, has recently launched the Strategic Management Association, a club for preparing students for a career in management consulting.
Palmer noticed a lack of programs that equip students with case-solving skills. In addition to the fact that the school currently doesn't offer a management consulting concentration, Palmer felt that a networking medium was missing between U of C students and the management consulting industry.
"One of the goals of this university is to really engage the students and engage the community," said Palmer. "Basically [the goal is] to get employers seeing our students and our students meeting the employers. However, that wasn't happening in this industry."
Even though the club operates primarily in Haskayne, it aims to help students across all departments.
"We really don't want to limit ourselves to only the business students. We want to help the industry find superstars, whether they're in economics, biological science, or engineering," said Palmer. "Our goal is to connect those really high achieving and passionate students with an industry that wants those types of students."
So far the club has already put up three events, all in cooperation with industry-leading firms like McKinsey and Company, Deloitte Touche, and the Boston Consulting Group. The club has been able to reach out in large part to the vast number of U of C alumni who work at those firms.
For the first event, participants went to the McKinsey and Company downtown offices and were shown how the firm was structured and their approach to solving different cases.
"Being a first year, I had never experienced anything like this before. I felt fresh out of water, completely out of my comfort zone, but it was incredible," said Tayler Amatto, a first-year Haskayne student who is also serving as the club's vice-president events. "I learned more in that session than I have my entire semester."
Sma's next event will be an industry night taking place this semester. Club membership costs $15. However, you don't need to be a member in order to attend events.
The sma's goal is to eventually be able to contribute to the greater community through acts such as consulting for small businesses and university entrepreneurs, and holding fundraising events for charitable causes. The club also plans to extend its focus into other areas of consulting, such as information technology.