Business Consulting for Clients
Why did we choose Eller Business Consulting? Intel has recruited from the Eller College for many years, and we thought to further engage MBA students as a means to both gain insight and support a high-quality academic program. We were pleased with the results from our first engagement, and are now in the midst of our second project with students.
John Miranda, Market Insights Manager, Intel
Ready to partner on an Eller Business Consulting project?
Client Consulting Process
The client consulting process involves several steps and deliverables:
- Initial discussion: We will work with you to come up with project ideas and to determine how well the proposed project fits with Eller College objectives and student interest.
- Letter of intent: This secures your project. Projects for the spring consulting course are booked in the spring and summer of the prior year. Projects for the fall advanced consulting projects course are booked in the winter and spring.
- Scope of work development document: An initial scoping of the project is completed prior to the beginning of the semester with the client, the Eller Business Consulting team and the Eller faculty advisor selected for the project. Final scoping will be completed with the student team at the beginning of the semester.
- Non-disclosure agreement and purchase order: We will work through this process with you to ensure a seamless project kickoff.
- Kickoff meeting: This is a mandatory meeting held at the Eller College of Management between the student team and the client at the beginning of the semester. The students lead the working breakout sessions for this meeting in order to finalize the scope of the project.
- Project charter: The project charter is a student-created scoping document incorporating project milestones and deliverable due dates. Once clients, students and Eller faculty sign off on the document, the real work on the project begins.
- Weekly client status meetings: The client and student team will meet weekly via conference call to ensure effective communication of project status.
- Mid-term progress presentation: This presentation is given by the student team to the client to confirm the project is on track for completion.
- Final presentation: The final presentation given by the students communicates their results to a wider audience in the client organization.
- Other deliverables: All other final deliverables negotiated in the scope are due to the client at the end of the semester. Other final deliverables can include but are not limited to an executive summary, marketing plan, sales forecasting model, etc.
- Determine a problem that you need solved.
- Fill out our one-page scope development form (download form).
- We will identify a subject matter expert from Eller and work with you to develop the scope further. Key considerations for the project problem include: Is it a graduate-level project that can be completed within one 16-week semester? Is it a project that will provide value to your organization? The most successful projects strike a balance between the goals and objectives of the client with those of the students.
- Connect with your student team at the kickoff meeting held at the beginning of the semester. Your presence is required at this student-led event, in order to meet your team and give them the opportunity to ask questions about the project.
- Based on the information obtained at the kickoff meeting, the students will complete the scoping process by creating a project charter. The project charter will clearly lay out the milestones, processes and deliverables. Once you have reviewed and agreed to the project charter, the students will begin their work.
Ownership of Deliverables and Intellectual Property
Ownership of deliverables is maintained by the sponsoring companies.
One of the most frequently asked questions asked by prospective sponsors is related to intellectual property. The University of Arizona respects the intellectual property ownership rights of its sponsors and will not seek to own the sponsor’s IP provided to the students or IP that the students may conceive or create during the course of the project. However, if the sponsor is a University of Arizona employee(s) then the IP will be owned by the University of Arizona or student per the UA IP Policy.
Background IP provided by any sponsor, including University of Arizona employee/employee-group sponsors, such as IP surrounding the sponsor’s ideas, written words/code, products or processes that existed before the submission will remain the property of the sponsor or UA, as the case may be. All patentable and copyrightable IP conceived or created during the execution of projects will also be the property of the sponsor, unless it is expressly donated to the public or the students.
Prior to engaging in a project, students will be informed of their obligation to assign project IP to the sponsor. Students who do not wish to assign IP to the sponsor will be asked to work on projects that do not require IP assignment. Sponsors outside the UA should supply an intellectual property form approved by their company to students for signatures if it is necessary. University of Arizona sponsors will be provided a University of Arizona assignment form that students will be asked to sign.
ITAR and Other Restrictions
Our student body is made up of a diverse set of international and domestic students. Due to this we can only accept a limited number of ITAR-restricted projects in any given year. We will work with clients to determine if a project can be staffed appropriately based on any staffing restrictions under which the client operates. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your project further.
The KickOff Meeting is held at the beginning of the semester. It is the first opportunity for clients and student teams to meet face to face. At this mainly student-led meeting, the students work with the clients to narrow down the scope of work into actionable milestones.