What better a way to commence AMI’s first blog post than with a thought experiment.
Let me posit the following question to you: how do pro-bono consulting initiatives like AMI create tangible value? After joining as a student consultant in 2015, I attempted to answer this very question.
Three years later, having served as the Director of Projects in 2016 and Co-President in 2017, it is a question that I have come far closer to answering.
In Review: 2016 & 2017
AMI has come incredibly far in the last two years, owing much of its success to an incredibly dedicated Board, Executive and Consulting Committee.
We have expanded our portfolio throughout New Zealand and of course, sought out new partners in Kenya, India and the Pacific Islands. With a new professional development programme in place; we have also increased the value for our students by emphasising the real world applications of technical skills gained throughout university. Finally, AMI has invested significant resources into its quality review process to ensure that any work produced meets specifications.
Our relationship with South Pacific Business Development throughout 2016 and 2017 has been particularly rewarding. Not only did our student consultants develop a marketing plan, roll-out strategy and feasibility analysis for SPBD’s new remittance product, but this led to further work; preparing an AML/CFT compliance plan for submission to the Reserve Bank of Tonga. It is our understanding that this product has since been launched and is now operational.
We conducted similar legal due diligence projects for Progressive Cooperative, our partner in India who wished to expand into New Zealand and Australia, and impactful growth planning strategies for Transfedha, one of our newer partners in Kenya.
The 20,000-Foot View
AMI clearly has a demonstrable impact on its partners, but a fact that is easily lost on most people is this: Pro-Bono consulting services are rarely ‘free’.
Partners invest significant resources into the services that we provide. It takes time to meet with us, plan deliverables and set deadlines. It takes time to implement strategies, and due to the nature of our work we can’t always be there to see them through to the end. So again, how does AMI create value?
AMI creates value through purpose.
As a student, you have many options to choose from for extracurricular activities. You could join the Management Consulting Club or the UoA Investment Club – but would you be creating any value? For yourself, perhaps.
For AMI, the tangible value that we provide for our student community and partners is our network; a network full of like-minded, impact-focussed individuals that is slowly growing with each year.
AMI is an organisation of many moving parts. Our consultants are the workhorses, our executives are the CEOs and our Board are our connection with the real world. Our alumni are scattered across the world, working in everything from management consulting, investment banking and academia to start-ups and NGOs.
However, these groups all remain involved with AMI and the expertise that we gain from them is what makes us uniquely valuable to our partners.
Andrew Hallot is on AMI’s Board of Directors. He is currently completing his Masters in Finance at the University of Auckland.