A key feature of the teaming
experience in this course is the use of volunteer industry advisors. These
individuals are matched to businesses based on specific industry expertise.
They provide a high level of technical expertise. Often they can provide
linkages to larger enterprises in the area.
Many of our advisors volunteer
because they care deeply about educating our students. They generously make
their time available to attends meetings, consult by email, and review
writing. They know that they can have a deep and lasting influence on
Our advisors also care deeply about
economic development in our state. They understand that their enterprises
benefit from the rising tide of emerging business success.
Advisors commit to working with a
student team for a 12-week period and sign the
along with other members of the team. This includes a kick-off meeting,
weekly meetings with the students and business owner(s) for the first month
or longer as warranted, and the final presentation. Because students are new
to project management, more involvement is needed when the project plan is
put together. Advisors will review key pieces of writing including the
business case statement and the draft final report. There is tremendous
value-added from advisors reviewing student writing using industry
standards. The quality of student writing rises exponentially.
The goal of the class
is to have students work in diverse teams preferably with a business that is
not of their culture. Along with their ability to produce a consulting
project of value to the business, students will also have to demonstrate
their ability to work and communicate in a diverse environment. These
skills are crucial in our global economy.
Mentors are not the
“responsible party” for the deliverables in the student projects. The
primary work will be done by the student consultants. Often, especially in
challenging times, students will look to mentors to lead the effort. The key
is to provide guidance without taking leadership.
Mentors will be asked
to log the hours they provide to the project as these are part of the
accounting for the value-added to the business. Student consultants will
also ask mentors to give feedback on the selected writing assignments and
the draft final presentation. Mentor input on these assignments raised the
To avoid any perception
of conflict of interest, we ask that mentors refrain from providing paid
consulting services to the business during the student consulting project
and for a period of six months after the project has finished and only at
the request of the business owner. Mentors
should notify the instructor if they feel that they are in any way being
placed in an awkward position during the project.
Mentors are an
important and vital component to the success of these student consulting
projects and this Multicultural Consulting Class at Bellevue Community
College. Their service and contributions are greatly appreciated.
Thanks to the
Bellevue Rotary Club for providing mentors over the
past four years and Jim Hogue (right) who coordinated in our last set of
consulting assignment. We appreciate your support of our student's learning. 2009
marked the first year that we did the consulting projects under the auspices
of the University of Washington Bothell
Business Economic Center and Executive Director, Brooks
The Boeing Company which has
been a strong supporter of this program through our Deputy Executive
Liaison, Dave Halverson (right) pictured here with Professor Tam Limpaphayom
of Eastern Washington University,
another strong mentor of our student teams.