Propel + J-Term & Spring 2022 Management Consulting & Strategic Decision-making Course

Propel + J-Term & Spring 2022 Management Consulting & Strategic Decision-making Course

LPPS 3440 – Introduction to Management Consulting & Strategic Decision Making

This interactive project-based learning course is designed to help students navigate complex and ambiguous problems. Complex problems range from choosing a major or career path to solving world poverty and climate change.  Students will learn strategic complex problem-solving methods commonly used in management consulting and grounded in research from behavioral science including social and cognitive psychology, behavioral economics, and sociology. Students will then apply these methods to case studies as well as real-world client challenges that range across multiple disciplines including business, technology, public service, healthcare, and more. Partnering with the UVA Career Center’s Propel Project-based learning program, students will work in teams with guidance from alumni project coaches to hone their skills and enhance their growth. The capstone event of the course is a final case competition where teams of students present their strategic analysis and recommendations to a group of alumni leaders. Overall, students will build problem-solving skills, teamwork skills, presentation skills, self-awareness, alumni mentoring relationships, and gain new insights about career interests and workstyle preferences that will set them up for success in their next steps beyond UVA.  

J-term info for LPPS 3440: Introduction to Management Consulting and Strategic Decision Making

Spring Term info for LPPS 3440: Introduction to Management Consulting and Strategic Decision Making

Meet the LPPS 3440 Teaching Team

Brendan BolerDirector of Career Services (Teaching) at the UVA Career Center and Assistant Professor of Public Policy at the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy

PhD, University of Virginia Darden School of Business

MBA, Marketing Management and Finance, The University of Chicago Booth School of Business

BA, Government-International Relations, Georgetown University

Laura DelPratoAssistant Director of Life Transforming Programs, UVA Career Center

MA, Applied Positive Psychology, University of Pennsylvania

BA, Leadership Studies and French, University of Richmond

David LapinskiDirector of Employer Relations and Experiential Education, UVA Career Center

M.Ed., College of William & Mary

BA, Finance, University of Florida

Reflections from Former LPPS3440 Students

I am so glad I took LPPS 3440 during the spring of my second year. I went into the class thinking I might want to do consulting but wasn't exactly sure. Throughout my time in the course, I learned many helpful concepts regarding case interviews, consulting work, and more generally, problem solving and working with a team. The course even convinced me to enter in a Case Competition, an experience I never would have otherwise had. Being in the course not only gave me a wide breadth of experience and knowledge, but it also gave me a baseline understanding of recruiting that I was able to use as a jumping off point that summer. Having learned how to craft informational interview emails to clients, engage in professional phone calls, and how to structure a case analysis, the recruiting process felt much less daunting. Furthermore, Professor Boler and the teaching team remained a helpful resource well after my time in the course; he helped me significantly with interview preparation and made himself available to past and present students whenever they needed. Now that I am done with recruiting, I am so grateful for my time in LPPS 3440 and how helpful it was in preparing me both for recruiting and the world of consulting well beyond graduation. -Caroline Clark, UVA ’23 (Interning at Bain & Co this upcoming summer)

I would recommend LPPS 3440 to anyone looking to learn more about and get a jumpstart on management consulting recruiting, but also to those generally interested in learning a new and challenging way of problem-solving. Before taking Introduction to Management Consulting and Strategic Decision Making, I was unsure of what management consultants actually do, let alone if it was a career path for me. Professor Boler and the entire teaching team not only gave me the core practical and people skills to succeed in this field, but also helped me set goals and envision my niche in the consulting world. One of the best aspects of LPPS 3440 is that it offers career development, combined with academic credit. In particular, the instructional opportunities on how to succeed in behavioral and case interviews were key to recruitment for me. The coaching, mentoring, and networking opportunities are unparalleled. Professor Boler continues to offer case interview preparation long after the course, and is really available as a mentor and career coach for the class. This format of extended support keeps your problem-solving toolkit learned in-class honed and ready for interviews and internships. Furthermore, LPPS 3440 is a brilliant resume builder because it gives you an early, real-life consulting experience, but with the support of an academic background. It also provides an easy and exciting talking point for interviews, that shows employers you are ready for the challenges of an internship. Students interested in any field would benefit from. -Anna Thompson, UVA 23 (Interning at McKinsey & Co this upcoming summer)  

I cannot recommend LPPS 3440 enough if you are thinking of recruiting for consulting, business, technology, or any similar roles! More and more employers are requiring cases in their interview process (not just consulting firms) and this class will give you a head start in the case preparation process. Professor Boler will run through the basics of casing in class sessions and even after the course ends, he will continue to reach out for 1-on-1 mock case/behavioral interviews. In addition to case practice, this class will provide you with invaluable teamwork experiences and the opportunity to work on a consulting project for a real client. You will also have the chance to improve your Excel and PowerPoint skills, as well as network with alumni who will mentor you on your project. This class will provide you with a comprehensive introduction into the business world and I highly recommend it for anyone looking to develop their career skills! -Osama Elsayed-Ali, UVA ’23 (Interning at Capital One this upcoming summer)

As a Public Policy and Economics major, this course was my first exposure to the management consulting industry. It helped me cultivate my Excel, PowerPoint, and case interviewing skills. I learned how to curate a succinct presentation with data-driven recommendations, while collaborating with a team to solve a real-world client problem. With such an early recruitment process, this course equipped me with the tools necessary to tackle both behavioral and technical consulting interviews. My experiences in this class became an instrumental talking point while networking and during interviews. I learned how to tell a story with my two-minute pitch and frame my resume to highlight meaningful experiences relevant to the position I was applying for. Beyond management consulting, I employ the frameworks I learned daily, whether solving challenging problems in other classes or evaluating best practices for my internship in local government. I highly recommend this class to anyone interested in hands-on experience and furthering their career skills. -Sydney Landes, UVA ’22 (Starting full-time at Accenture this upcoming summer/fall)

I decided to take Professor Boler’s class as an elective since I was undecided in my career path and wanted to take a class that sounded interesting and engaging. Despite the class being online, I learned so much from making a strategic recommendation, to creating an effective slide deck, to building models in excel, and most importantly, working on real world problems with actual clients which helped me excel during the recruiting process this fall. Because of Professor Boler’s class I felt completely prepared for recruitment this fall and I was able to land a Sales & Trading internship for next summer in New York City within 2 months of starting my third year at UVA. Even if you do not want to go into consulting as a career, I strongly recommend this class since you will gain valuable networking and communication skills that are applicable in any field. -Kion Murphy (UVA 23, Interning at Citibank this upcoming summer)

From a career perspective, taking the spring LPPS 3440 Consulting class was one of the best decisions I've made at UVA. This class gave me key insights into how to succeed in the consulting industry, and the case interview practice was invaluable to my recruiting preparation. The tips and insights I learned from Professor Boler really improved my casing skills, which gave me the confidence to go through an accelerated recruiting process in May of my second year as opposed to the fall of my third year. The two client deliverables also gave me tangible experience that I could leverage in interviews. We had the opportunity to work side-by-side with clients to produce useful recommendations for real-world problems, which really took experiential learning to the next level. Next summer I will be a Consulting Intern for Oliver Wyman, and I know my experience in this class has truly given me the tools and support that I need to thrive! -Lauren Coppins, UVA ’23 (Interning at Oliver Wyman this upcoming summer)

LPPS 3440: Introduction to Management Consulting and Strategic Decision Making with Professor Boler was integral to my success with the recruitment process for consulting. I took it during J-Term of my second year which allowed me to develop valuable technical skills, get a leg up with networking, and gain real-world experience ahead of the early internship recruitment cycle. Professor Boler is very engaging and truly dedicated to helping his students succeed throughout this course and beyond. From introducing me to alumni in firms such as Bain and Accenture, to running through mock case interviews, to learning how to effectively talk about my resume, Boler’s course allowed me to familiarize myself with the world of consulting. It was unlike any other course I have taken at UVA and I thoroughly enjoyed it. -Andrea Madrigal, UVA ‘23 (Interning at McKinsey & Co. this upcoming summer)

I had the privilege of taking Professor Boler's Introduction to Management Consulting course in Spring of 2021 during the spring of my second year. My original motivation for taking the course was that I hoped it would help me decide if consulting was right for me. I can say without a doubt that it did. We were given two real case projects working directly with the owners of two small businesses. These projects were incredibly engaging, and for each one, we were given alumni currently working in consulting as mentors. However, I would argue the best part about taking this course came after the class was over. Professor Boler was an invaluable resource to me and the rest of our class during recruiting. He regularly checked in, offered to run practice case interviews, and provided valuable feedback and advice. I firmly believe that taking this class not only helped me get my internship for this summer but will also help me in my career down the line. -Marc-Anthony Larco, UVA ’23 (Interning at PWC this upcoming summer)

Please note UVA students who have already taken LPPS 3559 (Intro to Management Consulting and Complex Decision-Making) may not enroll in this course, which is required for Launchpad.

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