29 Jul 2013

Students consult charities for real experience

7:14 am on 29 July 2013

A group of enterprising students at Otago University has created a way of getting real-world business experience for their CVs.

Three years ago they started Ignite Consultants as a volunteer service for the not-for-profit sector in Dunedin and business is booming.

Ignite Consultants started in 2010 with one project, and has grown to six projects per year involving 30 students.

Many are in business studies, but also the arts, sciences and medicine. Everyone involved is a volunteer.

The board running the scheme is aware that sending untested students out as consultants is a risk, so it uses past consultants, the university's business school staff and experienced mentors from the wider business community to keep the teams on track.

Executive director Victoria Watt said the consultancy is taking off because it is a win-win for all involved.

Ignite is starting to expand into new activities, and thinking about how it might spread from Otago to other universities.