From classroom to consulting: Simon's approach to success

September 12, 2023 | By Wayne France


As the business landscape constantly changes, it’s unrealistic to believe one single staff can address every problem that arises. Guidance and advice are necessary to adapt, adjust, and solve new problems. For these reasons and many more, the specialized knowledge, skills, and expertise of a consultant will always be in high demand.

Simon is one of the top MBAs in the country for consulting. The STEM-designated MBA gives graduates the tools to become a valuable and sought-after adviser. Our approach includes combination of curriculum, experiential learning, and real-world problem-solving—which sets the stage for Simon students to excel in their consultancy careers.

Case Competitions: Sharpening Analytical Minds

A cornerstone of our consultancy preparation is participation in case competitions. These challenges are more than just contests; they are intensive training grounds where students develop essential skills.

  • Problem Solving: Students learn to dissect complex problems, unraveling them to their core components.
  • Team Formation and Building: Collaboration is key in consultancy. Case competitions teach students to form effective teams and nurture their collaborative spirit.
  • Situation Analysis: Participants become adept at analyzing company situations, identifying key drivers of results and evaluating where the client is in their market.  
  • Addressing Complications: Real-world situations come with complications. Our students are trained to be agile in the face of uncertainty and to address client challenges.
  • Critical Questioning: The ability to ask the right questions is crucial. Case competitions teach students to pinpoint the questions quickly that need answers, and to answer them.

One unique aspect of Simon Business School is the dedicated and personalized coaching provided to each case competition team. Our MBA-trained, former industry professionals are dedicated to guiding and mentoring students, ensuring they are well-prepared to face the rigors of the competition.

A Variety of Opportunities: Internal and External Case Competitions

Simon offers students the opportunity to compete in internal and external case competition experiences; both are supported by our commitment to experiential learning.

These competitions are open to all club members, providing invaluable real-world experience. Students work on solving actual problems faced by real organizations and detail the implementation of their ideas, making meaningful contributions. Past case competition impacts include assisting non-profits in developing strategic plans for sustainability; advising established organizations on countering market share loss; and crafting expansion strategies, including site location, cost-benefit analysis, and market sizing.

Simon Vision Consulting and Consulting Projects Course

In addition to case competitions, Simon Business School nurtures future consultants through initiatives like Simon Vision Consulting (SVC) and the Consulting Projects Course. These programs allow students to explore their passions while addressing real challenges presented by companies, and to provide true impact to a company that needs their ideas.

Students are empowered to choose projects aligned with their interests. Real companies present their problems, and students provide analysis, research, and actionable solutions. Here are some examples of past projects in which student groups have participated:

  • One year, students were challenged with analyzing processes within a corporation. The team then developed a strategic plan for grouping and efficiency which eliminated over $1 million from their expense budget in two years.
  • In another scenario, Simon students created an expansion plan for a company in Colombia to grow in other markets. Students evaluated the financial aspects of the company and used this learned information to create a plan for net profitable expansion into recommended select countries.
  • Recently, the SVC evaluated the expansion opportunities for a food manufacturer and evaluated a decision to create their own manufacturing unit for a new product or to outsource the production. The winning team’s analysis was the foundation for the CEO’s decision to self-manufacture.

At Simon Business School, we are dedicated to fostering a new generation of consultants who are not only well-versed in theory but also equipped with practical, hands-on experience where they can demonstrate their analytical, implementation and presentation abilities. With our commitment to experiential learning and mentorship, we are confident that our graduates are well-prepared to navigate the complexities of the consulting world and make a lasting impact.

At Simon, we don't just prepare students for the future; we empower them to shape it.

To connect with graduates from Simon consulting track, contact Wayne France at or call (585) 746-1179.

Wayne France

Wayne France is Executive Director of Experiential Learning at Simon Business School.

To view other blogs in this series visit the Talent Connect Main Page

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