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Takeaways From Being a 180DC Consultant | 180DC Consultant Chronicles

As Project Cycle 2 comes to a close, our Consultants have been presented with an opportunity for reflection on their experiences with 180DC UNSW. As we introduced in our previous blog post, Zoe, Xavier and Sophie have been working tirelessly on their projects - UNSW Tax Clinic and Community Transport Organisation.

Read on to learn about Zoe, Xavier and Sophie's concluding thoughts on the project and what you might be able to gain as a Project Consultant with 180DC UNSW.

Pictured: Zoe Sun (left), Xavier Crowley (centre), Sophie Hui (right)

  1. How would you describe your experience with 180DC?

Zoe (UNSW Tax Clinic)

My experience at 180DC has been an enjoyable one where I’ve been given the chance to help out a client in need and create an impact. It was especially cool to see that the ideas that I came up directly fed into an outcome for the client. For example, changes that I suggested to the current marketing platforms were taken onboard by the client.

Xavier (UNSW Tax Clinic)

180DC this term proved to be a holistically enjoyable experience. Developing some slick marketing skills whilst getting the chance to meet a new set of people at university and spend time getting to know and working with them were huge highlights for me. Being able to turn these relationships into a deliverable for our client was so good to see, and hopefully made a real impact when it comes to their enrolment to assist disadvantaged individuals with their tax.

Sophie (Community Transport Organisation)

This project cycle has been a wonderful experience where I’ve developed more consulting skills but most importantly, the team created tangible social impact with our work for the client. My team had a bit of a mammoth task to develop both white paper and slide-deck deliverables for a government peak body but seeing the client really thrilled with our work and taking our work to showcase to vital decision-making stakeholders was the most satisfying part.

2. What do you believe you’ve gained from being a part of this project cycle?

Zoe (UNSW Tax Clinic)

I’ve gained two key things from being a part of this project.

  1. An insight into the world of not-for-profit organisations, the kinds of constraints they are faced with and the extraordinary impact they have on the lives of those who are disadvantaged in some way.

  2. The friends I have made and the people that I have met at 180DC! It’s really cool to be surrounded by like-minded individuals with the heart and drive for social change.

Xavier (UNSW Tax Clinic)

Echoing back my first response - friends! The most important part of working within a team is to be able to get along with each other, and I truly felt that 180DC facilitated that and has enriched my term. Also, I believe that I’ve developed a greater understanding of key skills as a consultant. Namely, the ability to break and dissect a problem down before brainstorming to formulate a solution.

Sophie (Community Transport Organisation)

From this project cycle, I think I’ve gained a new perspective on not-for-profit organisations and the multifaceted range of challenges they face which have been aggravated with the recent pandemic. I’ve also developed better approaches when creating surveys, drawing data insights and constructing white papers.

Another important part of this project cycle was my CTO project team! We faced some bumps along the way with the project but I think it was the struggle that brought us together and our late night Discord chats and team dinner that made the project cycle very special and memorable for me.

3. What has been your favourite moment as a Project Consultant?

Zoe (UNSW Tax Clinic)

My favourite moment as a Project Consultant was seeing how grateful our client was for the work that we have done. It was clear to see that our contributions alleviated a pain point for them and that our perspectives as students were valued!

Xavier (UNSW Tax Clinic)

My favourite moment in my project was grinding some slides out last minute. Not because of the work itself, but more so because of the 'bants' that came with gathering around a common goal - and deadline!

Sophie (Community Transport Organisation)

Echoing on what Zoe and Xavier said, I think my favourite moment was the final grind with my team to put together the client deliverables and seeing our client being blown away at the team’s hard work and commitment during our final client meeting.

4. Any words of wisdom for future Consultants looking to get involved with 180DC?

Zoe (UNSW Tax Clinic)

Be active

It goes without saying, what you put into the project is what you get out of it! Make the most of this experience by always putting up your hand for tasks and making contributions.

Don’t be afraid to contribute

Even if you feel like you have a silly idea, you will only learn by being an active contributor! Make sure that you back yourself and contribute whatever comes to mind - it could actually be a brilliant idea.

Participate in the social activities

One of the best aspects of 180DC is the people! 180DC has a diverse range of people from all types of backgrounds and with different experiences to share. The best way to get to know people outside of your team is to be involved with the Buddy program or join their society-wide social events!

Xavier (UNSW Tax Clinic)

Get involved

Getting involved early in the project, adding value, and helping steer the project can be a great way to have a measurable impact for the client.

Get social

Try and make it to all team and 180Dc social events! Making some new friends is 50% of the reason we’re here.

Be confident

Speak up when you have an idea or are critical of something, literally nothing bad can come of it, and you’ll end up making a bigger impact.

Allocate Your Time Wisely

Making sure you have the time to get the deliverables done before the meeting is crucial - so make the time.

Put your hand up

Taking some initiative with the strategy, team planning, social planning, or elsewhere in the society is a great way to fast track your enjoyment and development.

Other than all this, really it’s important to keep in mind why we’re in 180DC: to develop some consulting skills and make some friends whilst doing our best to make an impact in the world. Well, local not for profit and charity’s world. Remembering this will help with decision making all throughout your 180DC tenure!

Sophie (Community Transport Organisation)

Always push yourself to get involved

I think we’ve all heard the saying “you only get out what you put in” and by putting my hand up for tasks I wasn’t too keen on or not sure how to do, I got outside my comfort zone and learnt new skills which made my 180DC experience more valuable. Also, beyond your project team you should get involved with 180DC socials and events or even the 180DC operations team to make new friends and get the most out of your 180DC experience.

No idea is a silly idea

An important part of 180DC is that everyone is supportive of each other and always there to help you out. At times, I would struggle with imposter syndrome or doubt myself but I think by putting your hand up and contributing ideas (even if you don’t think it’s good) usually make some of the best ideas! Also, it’s important to remember at the end of the day we’re all students who have a passion in creating social impact and we are all here to learn more about social impact and consulting.

Good Time Management And Commitment

With 180DC projects, there are always crucial deadlines to meet for the clients and it is vital that you are genuinely passionate and committed to your project, especially when your team members also rely on you. It can be stressful at times when juggling between project work and other commitments so you need to ensure that you are organised and have good time management to complete your allocated tasks before the deadline. Again, you only get out what you put in so make sure you’re always putting your absolute most into what you’re doing and you’ll definitely have an amazing and valuable experience.


Thank you

We take this opportunity to thank all the Project Consultants who have engaged in this year's Project Cycles! 180DC UNSW is nothing without its dedicated consultants, who pour their all into achieving the best results for the client while upholding their personal mission to create social impact.

Join 180DC UNSW in 2021

With various opportunities for self-development in the sphere of social impact consulting, there's no better organisation than 180DC UNSW. With an experienced team of student consultants, we'll provide you with the resources to help you improve your skills and help drive social impact for the UNSW community and beyond.

Keep your eyes peeled on our Facebook and LinkedIn pages for Applications for PC1 2021.

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