MCFE: Make Consulting Fun and Enlightening
This post was written by Elena Ruan ’14, CCD Peer Career Ambassador.
“What do you think of MCFE? Is it easy? Should I take it if I want a chill semester?” These are the kinds of questions that I get about MCFE informally. Many people think of MCFE as another class to check off the academic checklist, but like so many experiential learning courses at Babson like Ghana and Argentina offshore courses, MCFE is more of an experience than a class. When you apply for a position at a company, you would not ask whether or not the job will be a breeze, you would ask about the kind of work you would be doing and what kind of environment is cultivated there. These are the same questions you should ask about MCFE.
During my experience as a member of MCFE, I had discovered that this course was a series of relationships. My first relationship was with my project manager, the graduate student leading our team. He had been quiet yet assertive, someone who could command the room without having to shout. He would always start each meeting with an explanation, telling us the why before the what. As your captain who steers the ship, your project manager sets the tone for your work environment, much like your manager at work would do. Then I met my team, two groups of friends who had mixed together to create one team. If you were to dissect our group, we looked like a random selection of high school stereotypes. We had the type A student who wanted to make sure every inch of every page was perfect, the laidback tech student who knew all the latest news about gadgets and gizmos, and the entrepreneurial student who saw life as endless opportunities. But after working with all these people, it could be seen that it was not our individual inclinations that created our team dynamic, but the ability to mesh our individual talents together became our competitive advantage. We were able to synchronize to the point that we would know who to look to for what task without even speaking – being able to create that kind of teamwork was an accomplishment in itself. And then finally, there was our relationship with our client. Our contact person was a patient woman who was flexible on all accounts. She was willing to answer any questions and provide feedback on a weekly basis. Though her open communication helped us achieve our goal, it was her free rein that made the project our own.
When I think back on our project and explain to people that we successfully created a social media medium for worldwide entrepreneurs to communicate and share stories and won the Davis Prize for nonprofit MCFE projects. But the real takeaway is that I know what an effective team looks like, and it is always a continuous process to create one.
To apply, students should log into Career Connections and search for “MCFE.” The deadline to apply for the Fall semester is March 28,2014 at 11:59 p.m.