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09 Apr

The SPPG Consulting Student Initiative

April 9, 2018

This new initiative connects students with the world of private sector consulting.

Speed networking event

The SPPG Consulting Student Initiative is a new student initiative at the school established with the purpose of connecting interested MPP students with networking opportunities and relevant skill development workshops to succeed in the world of private sector consulting. Formed under the leadership of MPP students Ryan MacDonald, Megan Skinner, Adrianna Eby and Majenta Braumberger, the hope is to develop a comprehensive series of events including workshops, networking events and case competitions for MPP students at the University of Toronto School of Public Policy and Governance.

The initiative is already well under way having hosted two events in the 2017-2018 school year on March 21st and March 23rd and a third planned for the fall.

On March 21st, KPMG partner and public sector lead Josh Hjartarson delivered a special workshop on “achieving policy change from outside government” to a room full of interested students. Dr. Hjartarson, a seasoned public policy professional has had a vast career including roles as Policy Director at the Mowat Centre, Vice-President at the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, founder of the Commissioning Academy, an executive education program for public sector executives and previously as an adjunct Professor at the University of Toronto School of Public Policy & Governance. Students had the opportunity to both engage with reflective activities and ask questions about working outside government and about working in consulting.

On March 23rd, the SPPG Consulting Student Initiative hosted a speed networking session which saw 29 consultants from 13 firms attend an event where students were able to rotate meeting with representatives from firms in public affairs, public relations, government relations and management consulting. Each student was able to meet with 8 different representatives one-on-one over the lunch-time event to develop connections, learn about the work different firms do and identify entry points into the industry. 30 students were able to participate in the event with many on the waiting list, demonstrating considerable interest from MPP students and firms alike.

Firms in attendance included: Capital Hill Group, Counsel Public Affairs, Crestview Strategy Deloitte, Edelman, EY, FleishmanHillard Highroad, Hill + Knowlton Strategies, KPMG, MacPhie, McKinsey & Company, Navigator Ltd., NATIONAL Public Relations, and StrategyCorp.

Coming up in the fall, the student initiative has developed a partnership with the KPMG Public Sector team to host a case competition alongside the Master of Global Affairs and Master of Business Administration programs. The competition will aim to give the multidisciplinary teams of students a case that simulates solving real problems that governments face. Members of the KPMG public sector advisory services team will be available as coaches to all teams, providing a compelling mentorship opportunity. The School of Public Policy and Governance, The Munk School of Global Affairs and the Rotman School of Management look forward to this partnership and competition in September 2018.

In the future, the initiative will look to pursue further partnership opportunities with firms for case competitions, networking events as well as consulting workshop and special lectures. In the long-term, the hope is that the initiative will showcase consulting as a field that MPP students should consider for their career and highlight the quality of education the program provides for firms. The initiative aims to continue a long tradition at SPPG of student led co-curricular activities providing critically important programming at the school.

If you are interested in the work that the SPPG Consulting Student Initiative does or want to get involved as a partner firm or student volunteer, please email ryane.macdonald@mail.utoronto.ca.