Bel Guo is a second year Medicine student who has been a part of 180DC UNSW since her first year. As a project leader in Project Cycle 1 of 2021, Bel shares with us her experiences of how she found her time in the role and the project her team has been working on.
1. What have been your roles and responsibilities as a project leader?
The role of a project leader involves a whole range of different responsibilities, including managing the project and key stakeholders. This includes the client, industry mentor and consultants on the team. The project leader creates the workstreams for the project to ensure that the deliverables are punctual and of a high quality.
Additionally, the project leader is responsible for developing the team and ensuring that the consultants are learning from and getting the most out of 180DC and the consulting experience.
2. Why did you choose to become a project leader at 180DC?
Ever since I started at 180DC, I have loved being part of this community and the social impact that we are able to create through our clients. As project leader, I wanted to challenge myself and continue to develop skills including leadership, problem solving and time management.
3. Could you tell us briefly about the project you and your team worked on?
This past project cycle, my team and I consulted for Missing Persons Advocacy Network (MPAN). This is a non-profit organisation that aims to raise awareness about the niche topic of missingness and support the families and loved ones of missing persons. In this project, we created a Social Return on Investment (SROI) model for the client, which quantified the social impact created by the organisation and their initiatives. This model aims to help MPAN attract greater funding in the future so they can continue to run and expand their initiatives.
4. What has been the most rewarding aspect of being a project leader? How about the most challenging?
The most rewarding part about being a project leader is definitely working and bonding with the consultants on the team. I have loved seeing them develop their skills throughout the project cycle (shout out Archie, Marcus, Nathan and Sukhman <3).
The most challenging part would be ensuring that the project is sticking to the initial timeline. As there may be various external factors such as uni exam periods, time required for data collection and scheduling difficulties, often the project does not remain on track as per the initial schedule, so it is important to be adaptable!
5. What advice would you give to those who are interested in becoming a project leader?
My advice for those interested in becoming project leaders is to be open-minded and engage with a range of projects. Although you may not have had experience with a particular type of project before, this can challenge you and help you develop new skills! For instance, although I had worked on qualitative projects in the past, this cycle helped me to learn and develop my Excel skills in a quantitative project. Projects such as this have been some of my favourites to work on and lead. :)