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Student Consulting Program

Real consulting services for real issues faced by businesses in the digital economy

The Paul Merage School of Business Student Consulting Program brings immediate impact to your organization through hundreds of hours of top-notch graduate student work. Covering areas such as marketing, operations, data analytics, finance, human capital and more, our student teams bring a unique approach to your most challenging questions and biggest opportunities.

"As a Corporate Partner, [Edwards Lifesciences' Critical Care] felt this was an ideal opportunity to engage the students at the Merage School and also address a business need. The work we received exceeded our expectations."

Ramin Mousavi, FEMBA 2011, Senior Director, Commercial Strategy, Operations & Business Intelligence

Companies We've Worked With

  • Coca-Cola
  • Experian
  • Blizzard Entertainment
  • Deloitte
  • BNY Mellon
  • First American
  • Taco Bell
  • Microvention
  • Volcom
  • Western Digital
  • Mazda
  • Pacific Life
  • Disney
  • Eaton Aerospace
  • Allergan
  • Kia
  • Edwards Lifesciences
  • Northrop Grumman
  • Oakley, Hyundai
  • Irvine Company
  • Cisco
  • Capital Group UPS and many more!

Value Propositions for Companies

Why do a project with us?

  • Receive masters level insight and research turned into actionable analysis and recommendations
  • Work directly with 4-6 students for ten weeks and increase your talent pool for internships and direct hires
  • Teams work off-site with their own equipment and strive for independence
  • Any intellectual property (IP) developed during project is owned by the partner company
  • Work with student teams who can leverage their access to costly yearly licensed databases, journals and publications for use in the project
  • The ability to market your partnership with a top educational institution to your customers and shareholders
  • We are currently waiving fees on all projects (value of $10k-$75k per project)

 What’s required of my company?

  • Help define a real project that is comprehensive in scope
  • Provide company information, data and resources where necessary
  • Name a project liaison to work with the student team- we anticipate the liaison will spend 1-2 hours per week on the project
  • Attend your team’s kickoff meeting, midpoint meeting and final presentation

 Who will be on my team?

  • All project team members are at the graduate level and will vary by project
  • Teams are formed by professors who group students together (often in teams of 5) based on their skills and experiences to match them to projects that suit them and the project best
  • Teams are overseen by faculty or industry advisors

When do these projects take place?

  • Once a project is submitted, you will be contacted by UCI staff to discuss potential opportunities that are a fit for your project(s)
  • Projects start at the beginning of every quarter (except summer) and selection will depend on the topic of your submission and the availability of project openings that quarter. See the academic calendar for more information on the actual start dates

When can I apply?

  • Applications can be submitted at any time
  • It is recommended that you submit project applications as early as possible before the start of the upcoming quarter
  • We typically select projects for the upcoming quarter around 1.5 months before the start of the quarter

Types of projects we accept

Covering marketing, sales, business analytics, finance, HR, organization and management, operations, supply chain, logistics and overall strategy, our student teams take on almost any business challenge you have.  Not sure if your project fits?  Submit it anyway or contact Nick Shaffer at nshaffer@uci.edu

 Example projects include:

  • Develop a social media digital marketing strategy
  • Develop an employee value proposition strategy and action plan
  • Research AI and Machine Learning in Financial Services with competitive analysis
  • Examine consumer behavior in expanding e-commerce purchases
  • Develop strategies on how to move more towards a subscription model
  • Develop a strategy to monetize data from connected cars
  • Develop analytical/evaluation tools and frameworks to evaluate external growth opportunities
  • HR issues such as hiring, training, onboarding, engagement, improving work climate/culture

  Projects we do NOT accept:

  • Writing business plans / proposals
  • Writing marketing plans / proposals
  • Creating pitch decks / other fundraising materials
  • Sales (i.e., “sell my product”)
  • Administrative help or technical support (data filing/management, website/graphics creation, implementation of recommendations etc.). 

Project submission tips

  • Try to focus on one major high level issue/decision that is crucial to your business and the work that is required to provide recommendations on such issues.
  • Good projects often have a strong research and analysis component
  • Projects that include proprietary company information are more attractive as they present an opportunity for our students to work on a “real” project
  • Projects must be of strategic importance to the company and supported by senior leadership
  • The project is in line to be attempted internally or has been discussed internally among management
  • Most projects must be able to be completed in a 10 week period by a team of 5 students.
  • Projects must contain specific goals and deliverables
  • Projects should have strong business implications for the company

NDAs and data

  • All students/faculty will sign NDA’s when requested.
  • UC Irvine waives the ownership position of any intellectual property (models, analysis, findings, reports etc.) developed by the students during the course of the project and defer ownership to the partner company.

About Us

Since 2002, UCI master’s program faculty have been working with companies to provide our students with the ability to work hands on in a professional learning environment applying the skills they learn in class to top level companies willing to work with our students. With hundreds of projects already completed, our students have time and time again exceeded expectations.