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What It's Like To Be a 180DC Consultant | UNSW Consultant Chronicles

Wondering what it's like to be a 180DC Consultant? Or what types of projects they work on? In our new series, 180DC Consultant Chronicles, we take a look at the journeys of three of our passionate, young Consultants and how their experiences have been throughout their project cycle. Later, we'll revisit them to what they've done and everything they've learnt along the way.

Read on to hear from our Consultants about the 180DC life, the projects they're working on and the objectives they strive to achieve by the end of the Project Cycle!

Our Consultants

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

Zoe Sun is a third year studying a dual Bachelor's degree in Commerce and Economics and is currently involved with the UNSW Tax Clinic project as a first-time Consultant. On the side, she loves to dance - whether it be attending classes, performing at a showcase or making a cheeky TikTok, she loves being involved in Sydney's dance community.

Xavier Crowley is a second year studying a Bachelor's degree in Commerce (Co-Op), majoring in Finance. He's a first-time Consultant and is now working on the UNSW Tax Clinic project. In his spare time, he plays right wing for his local soccer club. Though, as he concedes, it's turned into a 'love-hate relationship at this point' because of the number of times he gets burnt or injured.

Sophie Hui is a a fourth year student studying a dual Bachelor's degree in Commerce (Information Systems) and Arts (International Relations and Politics). This is her second project cycle with 180DC UNSW and is now working with the Community Transport Organisation (CTO). When she's free, she loves coastal walking and hiking, saying that she 'loves the fresh air and being in the outdoors'. Otherwise, you can find her binge-watching her favourite movies and TV shows on Netflix at home.

UNSW Tax Clinic and Community Transport Organisation - Explained

180DC UNSW works with a variety of university, non-profit and charity organisations to assist in achieving their goals and to help drive social impact.

There are two projects that will be the focus of this series - UNSW Tax Clinic and Community Transport Organisation.

Pictured: UNSW Tax Clinic (left), Community Transport Organisation Ltd (right).

UNSW Tax Clinic

The UNSW Tax Clinic runs a practical course as part of the Taxation and Business Law major, where students get the opportunity to assist disadvantaged individuals with their tax returns and finances. In many cases, these individuals are far behind and need a huge amount of help to reconcile their taxes, and so students are paired up with industry representatives to mentor them through the course as well.

The original aim of the UNSW Tax Clinic project was to grow the course through developing a marketing schedule and solving issues that come with eventually upsizing the course. However, the team has recently expanded the project to include a target operating model, which is a process designed to outline the changes needed to holistically transition from the current state of the organisation to an idealised future version.

In the team for Project Cycle 2, 2021 are: Yash Bhatt (Consulting Director), Felix Zhu (Project Leader), Xavier Crowley, Roshini Palani, Richard Wang, Aileen Lin and Michael Jacinto (Project Consultants).

Community Transport Organisation

The Community Transport Organisation (CTO) is the peak body for Community Transport Services in NSW which aims to address transport disadvantages through initiatives such as transport services, information and advocacy. These transport services are conducted through NSW local councils for purposes including essential, medical and social trips for transport disadvantaged persons.

With the recent COVID-19 pandemic, the Community Transport Organisation team aims to holistically understand the impacts of COVID-19 on CTO spanning from community transport services to its clients whilst ensuring that access to these services are sustained in the long term. In order to achieve this, the teams aim to conduct extensive research and surveys to create a whitepaper (an in-depth report) to understand and address these problems.

In the team for Project Cycle 2, 2021 are: Jelinna Wang (Project Leader), Cheng Ma (Project Leader), Sophie Hui, George Castillo, Hannah Ahn, Kenzo Jeanson, Harrison Lee and Emily Law (Project Consultants).

In Conversation With Zoe, Xavier and Sophie

Q1: What's your role in your project?

Zoe (UNSW Tax Clinic)

In my project, we are divided into sub-teams that work on various deliverables of the project. So far, I've been involved conducting market channels from the student's point of view on the Tax Clinic. This means:

  • Looking at the current marketing channels that help promote the clinics;

  • Analysing the value proposition;

  • Interviewing potential students; and

  • Evaluating the overall student experience and course structure.

In this way, my contributions come by providing insights from the angle of a tax student that helps our team collectively make recommendations to support the UNSW Tax Clinic’s plans for expansion.

Xavier (UNSW Tax Clinic)

Due to the broad-reaching objectives that come with a target-operating model, our team shares different parts of the work. This includes:

  • Brainstorming marketing avenues and designs

  • Structuring and completing PowerPoints.

I’ve worked together with my other members of the team brainstorming - such as fleshing out questions to ask for a survey. My value so far has been added through theory insights and presentation design - both of which will continue to be my responsibility to contribute going forward also.

Sophie (Community Transport Organisation)

Given the broad scope of my project, my team has split into two work streams. I’m focusing on the Community Transport Services (CTS) which is a part of the CTO’s peak body. Currently, my team and I are:

  • Conducting primary and secondary research,

  • Structuring surveys, and

  • Creating mock deliverables for the client.

My role in the team specifically has been focusing on the CTS’s current responses to COVID-19 to holistically understand the overarching challenges of COVID-19 and how this impacts the CTS users and the CTO. By understanding this, my team and I can help the client better understand and adapt to the challenges of the pandemic and ensure that these services can be maintained for users who heavily rely on these services for their day-to-day.

Q2: How are you feeling about the project so far?

Zoe (UNSW Tax Clinic)

We’ve recently broadened the scope of the project from one that focuses solely on the marketing of the UNSW Tax Clinic to one that revises the complete operations of the organisation.

This has been a little daunting and the workload has cranked up, but definitely a welcome challenge! All of my team (besides Xavier) has also been a whole lot of fun to work with!

Xavier (UNSW Tax Clinic)

So far, the project has been pretty good! It’s always good seeing work begin to come together and develop into a broader solution, especially as we begin to move to a target operating model framework. Also, apart from Zoe, the team is great fun to work with.

Sophie (Community Transport Organisation)

Besides the initial start of project bumps and challenges of working online, the project is going really great so far! It’s exciting to see the project piece together bit by bit as we have just finalised our issue trees and transitioned into the next stage of our project where we’re structuring surveys and conducting more in-depth research.

Besides the project work, my team has been so supportive and we have great 'bantz' which makes working on the project more exciting and motivating.

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, and for our Director Recruitments later this year.

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