Service Leadership: The Consulting Relationship | Pepperdine University | Seaver College

Service Leadership: The Consulting Relationship

The class is designed for the students to serve in a consulting role, not as interns or volunteers. The reason for this is because an intern often works at the organization and may have many roles from answering phones to working on projects. On the other hand, the students are also not volunteers. They are not taking this course voluntarily and the work that they will be doing with your organization should not be seen as "volunteer work." Instead, they are consultants, who will be evaluated and earn a grade based upon their performance throughout the semester. If they perform poorly, their grade will reflect this. You will have several opportunities throughout the semester to evaluate the team and give them feedback on their performance.

For the purpose of this course, the role of the consultant is to analyze a business problem and offer useful solutions based upon research, problem solving, creativity, and knowledge. To facilitate the relationship between the team and your organization, the faculty asks that both the team and the client organization have a "contact person." This person will be the key contact for both parties and for the faculty member.

  • Determine who within your organization should serve as the "Contact Person" for the team.

  • This person should be accessible on a weekly basis either be phone, email, or fax.

  • This person should be knowledgeable about the business problem/project.

  • This person should have access to any information the team may need to complete the project.

  • This person should attend all official meetings with the consulting team: orientation, interim report, and final presentation.

  • This person should be a strong communicator: He/she will need to take initiative in communicating clear expectations to the team and giving constructive feedback when appropriate. This person should also communicate with the faculty member on a regular basis.

  • This person should see themselves as more than a contact, but also a role model!

Just as this packet outlines all of the expectations for this course, your organization should determine your expectations for the team. Past experience has proven that clear communication of expectations between the team and the client is essential for a successful project. Your expectations should be communicated to the team orally and in writing at the orientation meeting and in the consulting contract.

A few expectations that have been successful in the past include:

  • Weekly communication via email or phone.

  • 48-hour return on all phone messages or requests.

  • Face-to-face meeting to go over Interim Report.

  • Accountability in terms of all deadlines articulated in the signed consulting contract.

  • If contact is not available, an alternate person should be contacted.

  • Client organization must approve (survey, letter, etc.) before being disseminated.