In the last three years highly-motivated and talented students shaped a rapidly-growing student business consultancy at Frankfurt School. Leon Sander, Head of Marketing & Networks, gave us some interesting insights about the recent development and explained the complexity of running a young student business consultancy. In 2017, FS-SC managed to grow enormously measured by revenue, doubled the number of applicants and gained new multinational consultancies as partners.
FS-SC is a student business consultancy, which is solely run by Frankfurt School students and advises global corporations, medium-sized businesses and start-ups from different backgrounds. Frankfurt School Student Consulting was founded in May 2014 as a student initiative and incorporated in April 2015 as Frankfurt School Student Consulting UG (haftungsbeschränkt), as a 100%-subsidiary of Frankfurt School of Finance & Management gGmbH.
Managing Frankfurt School Student Consulting is similar to managing a start-up
We have a simple structure: Two managing directors, six departments and our pool of approximately 30-40 talented student consultants. Our core team consists of the managing directors and the department heads that lead the company’s strategy and manage its operations. While students from the consultant pool mostly work on projects, everybody can participate in internal and external events with our partners. Our six departments are Finance & Legal, Quality Assurance, Project Office, Marketing & Networks, Information Technology and Human Resources.
We conduct a diverse range of external projects that are represented by our service portfolio in six categories: Marketing & Sales, Analyses & Research, Finance & Controlling, Strategy & Organization, Human Resources, and Digital Innovation. Generally, we work on tasks that can easily be encapsulated, that have relatively low outcome risks and where our comparably low consulting fees are an attractive advantage.
To provide two examples: (1) we analysed the market entry attractiveness of Germany for a French manufacturing company and (2) we advised one of the largest European IT consultancies regarding their competitive pricing strategy. To further illustrate our impact in the second example: we identified that the company’s daily rates for junior consultants were 10-20% below its peers and advised to increase these fees by 20%. Later, we learned that the adoption of our recommendation led to a 7-digit extra profit, yearly.
During my first year at FS-SC, I was able to experience all three fields of activity:
First, I worked on a project. We assisted a medium-sized financial services company with their strategy finding and definition process. Herein, we carried out a market analysis, helped to craft the vision and mission through a series of workshops and recommended strategic actions to expand their position in the market by reacting to macro trends. The project, which lasted three months, was an excellent opportunity to challenge myself, strengthen my personality and gain further knowledge.
Second, I could enjoy several events with our cooperation partners. Frankfurt School Student Consulting fosters a dense network with established consultancies, professors and alumni. We value our partnerships and co-operations with global strategy and management consultancies, such as Deloitte, zeb or Roland Berger through fixed internships, various workshops and collaborative projects. Especially the workshops boosted my personal development, skills and knowledge. Additionally, these insightful get-togethers constitute a perfect opportunity to talk with professionals in a pleasant environment.
Third, I joined the extended management board, in which I am responsible for the Marketing & Networks department. To be honest, no internship to date could provide me with this much responsibility – being in charge of managing “our own start-up” with eight other highly-engaged students. Particularly as the youngest member, I was able to learn a lot from older and more experienced students.
All in all, we have one thing in common: we want to grow our fast-moving student consultancy and accelerate the development with our fresh, performance-oriented and innovative attitude. While we always keep this goal in mind we also grew to a group of friends who share one or two beers after the work is done. Altogether I invested a lot of hours into Frankfurt School Student Consulting and I feel that every hour was worth it. It is a great opportunity to acquire further skills and prepare yourself for your career. I am thankful to be part of our success and the future that is yet to come.