Foster College of Business Senior Consulting Project
The Senior Consulting Project (SCP) is the capstone project for all Bradley University business majors. The program is designed to provide business students with an opportunity to apply all of the skills they have developed during their time at Bradley to a real world business situation. The SCP program at Bradley has successfully done this for more than 20 years.
Small teams of four to five students from a mixture of departments (Management, Accounting, Business Computer Systems, Marketing, and/or Finance) are brought together to consult for a local firm. The group works directly with a contact from the firm, and is advised by one of the University's business professors. The project lasts the full semester, and culminates in a presentation of recommendations from the students to the client and professor.
The semester begins with the students compiling an environmental analysis of the industry relevant to their client company. This process familiarizes the student team with the industry, and current trends and practices occurring within it. After the environmental analysis is completed the students meet with their client to decide on the scope of the project. Applicants may propose any type of business related project as long as it contains specific deliverables from the team, some common projects include developing marketing plans, feasibility studies, and conducting customer surveys.
Once the scope of the project has been defined, the students embark on the bulk of the project. Students work mostly from campus, but keep in regular contact with the company. Usually about once a week, the students update and ask questions of their contact person by phone or email. Except for the initial meeting and final presentation (described below in the list of client responsibilities) students are usually able to travel to the client for any necessary meetings and to view the facility (if applicable). Towards the end of the semester, the students will schedule a time for the final presentation of their recommendations to the client and advising professor.
SCP Client Responsibilities
- Complete the SCP Application and Client Profile Form (if not previously completed) and return it to the SBDC in the envelope provided.
- Attend the informational meeting at the beginning of the semester. (Date, time and location will be provided upon acceptance of SCP Application.) At this meeting the advising professors will go over the project in greater detail and discuss the confidentiality statement signed by all of the participating students.
- Be available to the students to answer questions throughout the semester and provide the team with additional information relevant to the project as necessary. (This usually amounts to less than one hour of work per week for the client.)
- If applicable, cover the costs of telephone or postage fees associated with conducting surveys.
- Attend the final presentation of recommendations at the end of the semester.
SCP Selection Process
Senior Consulting Projects are selected by the advising professors from the applications received before the beginning of the semester. Professors select projects that best suit the current group of students enrolled in the program. Unfortunately, each year some good applications cannot be selected because the proposed project does not fit with the current group of students, or because there are more good projects than student groups. If an applicant requests, the Small Business Development Center will hold an application until the next semester to be entered into that semester's candidate pool.