Team-Based, Facutly-Guided Consulting

Team-Based, Faculty-Guided Consulting

As a CEL client partner, you will be engaged with a team of top-tier students on a faculty-guided project designed to bring valuable insights to your organization through two distinctive programs:

For both, our student teams are assembled based on your project needs and the skill sets and experiences each member brings to the group. Project areas are comprehensive, ranging from high-level strategy challenges to in-depth analysis of your specific areas of need.

Your project is designed to:

  • address your business challenges by delivering critical information and/or actionable recommendations
  • provide opportunities for our students to apply and refine their skill sets

Top Talent. Measurable Results.

Engaging innovative young minds with access to leading faculty and cutting-edge research is an effective way to overcome challenges and make a lasting impact on your organization. The CEL Practicum and Small Business Initiative programs at WashU bring you actionable results to move your business forward, whatever the challenge may be.

The CEL Practicum

Our student teams are assembled based on your project needs and the skill sets and experiences each member brings to the group. Project areas are comprehensive and range from high-level strategy to detailed, in-depth analysis in specific areas of need you have identified. Our CEL leadership team works with you to define key issues and set the project direction and timeline.

Your project is designed to:

  • Address your business challenges by delivering critical information and/or actionable recommendations
  • Provide opportunities for our students to apply and refine their skill sets

The CEL Practicum by the Numbers (2015–2017)

263

Students

52

Clients

14-Week

Project Length

4–6

Students per Team

Testimonials for the CEL Practicum


Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC)

video The 15-year-old company transformed Kendall Square into an entrepreneurial hotspot by providing affordable office space and a support system for hundreds of startups with ties to neighboring MIT and Harvard.

The CEL Practicum team developed a market entry strategy for CIC and a plan for its role in building the entrepreneurial community in St. Louis. By 2014, CIC took occupancy of 32,000 square feet in Cortex innovation district.

Read more about the project (pdf)


Delcampe

Delcampe, a Belgian online auction house, found it challenging to gain traction in the US market. To help students understand the company culture, Delcampe flew the Olin team to their headquarters in Belgium. At the conclusion of the 14-week project, executives flew to St. Louis for the final recommendations.

"I really expect some great things to come as a result of this partnership. With the students’ help, we’re building a strategy for the future that I think is going to be very effective." — Sebastien Delcampe, founder and CEO of Delcampe.

Read more about the project (pdf)


Take the first step to moving your business forward.

Follow the steps below. See also our programs for nonprofits and startups.

How It Works

Step 1

Getting Started

  • To kick things off, contact the CEL at CEL@olin.wustl.edu or +1-314-935-4512. Ask for Amy VanEssendelft.
  • You’ll work closely with the CEL to define a direction, identify key issues, and outline your project scope and desired outcomes.
  • A key point to keep in mind: The final project deliverables are defined a minimum of four to six weeks before the start of the project.
Define Project Deliverables»Early AugustSeptemberMid October
Team Starts Project»SeptemberOctoberJanuary
Final Recommendations Presented»DecemberMarchMay
Step 2

Your Customized Team Gets to Work

  • The CEL considers experience and skill sets when assembling your customized team of four to six students.
  • Your team will include a student lead who is tasked with managing the team under the CEL’s oversight, and who will provide weekly progress reports and communication to your organization’s point person.
  • Throughout the process, you will have direct access to the CEL leadership team and faculty advisor as needed.
Step 3

Final Presentations

  • Your CEL team outlines its conclusions and specific recommendations for your business challenge.
  • You choose key stakeholders from your organization to join the CEL team members, faculty advisor, and CEL leadership team for this final presentation.

Past Practicum clients include:

Direct Supply
US Bank
Thompson Street Capital Partners

Small Business Initiative

Delivering impact for the St. Louis economy is the idea behind the Small Business Initiative (SBI). This unique program connects passionate WashU students to small business owners in the St. Louis community.

Through a 12-week, team-based management consulting project, our students provide actionable recommendations that aim to directly impact the success of your business. Past SBI projects have tackled market research, brand audit, financial assessment, and operations assessment.

Designed for undergraduate students, primarily majoring in business, these projects help students build their consulting competencies and apply classroom learning to real-world issues facing small businesses. The ultimate success of your project will require your active and direct engagement.

Small Business Initiative by the Numbers (2015–2017)

43

Students

10

Clients

14-Week

Project Length

4–6

Students per Team

Does Your Small Business Qualify?

You may be eligible for the Small Business Initiative if:

  • Your business and customer base are in St. Louis.
  • You employ fewer than 30 people.
  • You've been in business for more than two years.

Past Small Business Initiative clients include:

Hollow Woodworks
London's Wing House
Ferguson Farmers Market

Take the first step to moving your business forward.

Follow the steps below. See also our programs for nonprofits and startups.

How It Works

Step 1

Begin the Conversation

  • Connect with Cordaryl "Pat" Patrick, Economic Recovery Coordinator at the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, cpatrick@stlpartnership.com.
  • The CEL leadership team will assign a group of four to six undergraduate students to the project, taking into consideration experience and skill sets.
Step 2

Your Customized Team Gets to Work

  • Your team will include a student lead who is tasked with managing the team under the CEL’s oversight, and who will provide weekly progress reports and communication to your organization’s point person.
  • Throughout the process, you will have direct access to the CEL leadership team and a St. Louis Economic Development representative.
Define Project»Early SeptemberEarly February
Team Starts»Late SeptemberLate February
Final Recommendationss»Early DecemberEarly May
Step 3

Final Presentations

  • You choose key stakeholders from your organization to join the CEL team members, faculty advisor, and CEL leadership team for this final presentation.
  • Your CEL consulting team outlines its conclusions and specific recommendations for your business challenge.
Get Started

Let's Start a Conversation

We're here to answer any questions you may have about the CEL and our programs.

Fill out our online form
or call +1-314-935-4512