The Senior Consulting Project course in the Foster College of Business is a 16-week project completed by a team of four to six students. Depending on the size of the class, anywhere from 12 to 25 projects might be completed during each semester. There are two semesters each year. Project applications are submitted throughout the year and are reviewed on a rolling basis. Project selection is a two-stage process: The Consulting Project Committee provides an initial assessment of the projects to the business faculty; the approved applications are then presented to the business students, who make the final selection. Successfully chosen projects are a true collaboration between the student team and the client. In this regard, the committee gives greater consideration to projects that challenge the student teams to apply a range of program concepts and analytical frameworks. More meaningful projects also tend to include a primary data component in the form of a survey or series of interviews or focus groups.
Typically, the students choose their client during the second week of class. The client will be contacted by an Illinois SBDC staff member. The client is required to attend a brief virtual “SCP Program Overview” prior to the students contacting and meeting their client. When the student team meets with their client they develop the project scope. This process familiarizes the student team with the industry and current trends and practices occurring within it. Following the definition of the project scope, the students perform the industry or market assessment.
Please be advised that the number of applications received, generally exceeds the number of projects needed in a semester. Consequently, even strong applications may not initially be selected. In those instances, the application will remain “active” and be presented to student teams the following semester.
Some company projects are deemed less suitable as a Senior Consulting Project but may still be a good fit for one or more classes or programs within the Foster College of Business. Those applicants will be contacted with further details.
The consulting projects are provided at no cost to the companies that meet the SBA definition of a small business (generally 500 employees or less).
Purpose of a Senior Consulting Project
Following are the Senior Consulting Project deliverables to the client:
All Senior Consulting Projects should be completed in a framework that considers the impact on a company’s position and competitive strength in the marketplace.
Below are examples of past projects:
The Senior Consulting Project is the capstone class 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. Bradley's senior consulting program has been in existence since 1972.
Small teams of four to six students from a mixture of disciplines (Accounting, Economics, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Management and Leadership, Management Information Systems, and Marketing) are brought together to serve as consultants for a local firm. The student team works directly with a point of contact, from the company, and is advised by one of the University’s business professors. The project lasts a full semester (16 weeks) and culminates in an oral and written presentation of recommendations from the students to the client.
Applicants may propose any type of business-related project, as long as it contains specific deliverables. Some common projects include developing marketing plans, feasibility studies, and conducting customer surveys.
I was very pleased with the high quality of the business students, their knowledge, professionalism, and willingness to help our small business! Students had diverse expertise in accounting, marketing, social media, surveys, etc. The students provided valuable insight into our business processes, and gave us a lot to think about by providing an "outside" point-of-view. The students were cream-of-the-crop!
Firehouse Pizza & Pub, East Peoria IL
The Bradley Team provided a set of comprehensive and well thought out ideas all aimed at growing our business. Their polling of customers was eye-opening and their financial analysis was impressive. In a very short amount of time, these students gained a full understanding of our business and the markets we serve.”
Dan LaTurno, President/CEO
Peoria Production Solutions
Working with the Bradley students offered a great outside perspective to our new business. They were very professional and great at replying to us in a timely manner. They were able to make some great recommendations to help us with marketing, financial organization, and future planning. We would strongly recommend using this program to other businesses.”
Prairie Moon Farms, Knoxville IL
Outstanding group of students. Team did an excellent job, and they all demonstrated respect. There is some rigidity in the process, but the students were quite flexible and responsive when we pushed them in a direction they weren't certain about. Consummately professional, well-educated, and well-spoken. We enjoyed them, the experience, and the results very much.”
Farnsworth Group, Peoria IL
Bradley students are awesome at taking a project within your business that you may not be the best to handle and running with it and giving you a unique set of solutions. I love the process and truly appreciate working with students from outside and inside of Peoria.”
Jones Bros Jewelers, Peoria IL
The Bradley team was professional and demonstrated a wide range of knowledge in discussing advancement of my business. I’m excited to implement the recommendations they gave me.”
Craig Spine & Sport, Morton IL
This is a great program. Our team took our situation and provided an exceptional report that exceeded our expectations.”
The Book Nook, Peoria IL
Rewarding to have a team from many different areas of study help me plant a strong foundation for my business."
Rootlebox LLC, Peoria IL
We so enjoyed working with our Bradley team! As a small local business that is three years old, the timing was right to work with our Bradley group on growth strategies. We appreciated their creative ideas regarding marketing, and found them to be extremely thorough and professional."
Interim HealthCare of Downstate Illinois, Peoria IL