By Barbara Oberc, StudentEvents.com Campus Ambassador at Newcastle University in the UK.
Locating the clients’ headquarters in the nearby, yet unfamiliar town was a little bit of a challenge this dark and windy late Monday afternoon. As luck would have it, we stumbled upon the elusive offices just in time for our meeting, but that feeling of reassurance grew increasingly irrelevant within the twenty minutes or so we were made to wait for the clients to show up.
I guess I’m still trying to ‘just accept’ the fact that clients cannot be relied upon to respond to e-mails or phonecalls, to be reliable, accommodating or helpful, to keep all appointments, and most definitely (and quite obviously) to be wary of our deadlines and be accordingly cooperative.
And while I understand all this, appreciate they are extremely busy, and admire the work this nonprofit organisation is doing, and that this work is their priority….
Just knowing that this project is worth a quarter of my entire degree makes the situation a bit frustrating.
However, the ladies we were meeting seemed very enthusiastic and passionate about the project we will be working on.
While I (for reasons such as the confidentiality agreement we all had to sign) cannot disclose any specifics about the organisation itself, I can tell you that the main issue we will be dealing with is the fact that this nonprofit organisation does not attract many men, and that includes both service users and volunteers.
Our job will be to first find out why this is (using the likes of focus groups, interviews, surveys and shadowing activities for the primary research), and then come up with feasible, practical and ethical solutions to overcome the problem.
Our first deadline, on the other hand, is next Monday’s client proposal presentation, and for that we will simply present a plan for our work. This will have to be approved by both our module leader and our client, who will let us know whether we’re on the same page, and whether we get the go-ahead.
Stay tuned for the latest update of Barbara’s senior year project – to be a management consultant for a real-life client. Each week she tells us more about the ups and downs she’s experiencing. What will she get up to next?