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Uncategorized /

Weekly Case Practices

In order to best prepare our members for handling case interviews, we conduct weekly case practice sessions where members can work on cases with each other. Weekly case practice officially starts this Thursday, 5/18/2017. Weekly practice sessions are held every Monday, 5:30 - 8:00 pm at South Campus Research Building 4 (1st floor cubicles) and Thursday, 5:30 - 8:00 PM, at BioScience Research Collaborative(BRC) (6500 Main St, Houston, TX 77030; 2nd floor cafeteria; parking instruction is presented below).  There is free-access to BRC before 6 pm, but after that, you may have to go through a security checkpoint. Alternatively, you can enter through the stairs outside leading directly to the 2nd floor cafeteria where the practices are. Practicing live cases with partners is invaluable in improving and refining your performance on each component of the case interview. These sessions provide an opportunity for getting a feel of solving cases in a real-life setting, offering elements of the case interview that cannot be fully recapitulated by solitary practice alone. For each session that you plan to attend, we ask that you review and prepare 1-2 cases to administer to another club member. Cases can be found online in the business school casebooks on our website, case interview prep books, and in other public online resources. These practice sessions are free for both Training Members and Basic Members. However, if you are a Basic Member and are seriously considering the management consulting career track, now is the time to upgrade to a Training Membership. Most importantly in this context, a Training Membership will grant access to business school casebooks hosted on our website, as well as free case interview prep book rentals. If you have any further questions about these events, please contact us at admin@medcenterconsulting.com. Parking Instructions for Thursday Practices: Street parking (free after 6:00PM) as shown in the map. Alternatively, paid garage parking is also available.
Uncategorized /

2017 Greater Houston Case Competition Recap

April 22nd, 2017

 

The 2nd Annual Greater Houston Consulting Case Competition took place on the campus of the University of Houston in the Classroom and Business Building at the C. T. Bauer College of Business.

The participating institutions were the Consulting Club at the Texas Medical Center (CC@TMC), the Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University, and the C.T. Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston. The CC@TMC the participants came from a number of the member institutions, including UT Health, Baylor College of Medicine, MD Anderson, and Rice University. 

The case centered around Amazon’s diverse portfolio of services and products including book, smart devices, online content, online retailing and advertising, and Amazon Web Services (AWS). The competitors were asked to devise a strategy that would allow Amazon to improve its near-term profitability while continuing its long-term disruption of its fellow tech giants.

 The case was designed to help students devise strategy in a highly successful and diversified business whose profits do not yet scale with its revenues. The case also allowed for a discussion of how to build a long-term vision for a company, and how to choose the best portfolio of businesses. It also tested the students' breadth of creativity in a situation that contained numerous possible directions.

The winning team was composed of Wendy Hu (Rice post-doctoral fellow), Jonathan Gallion (Baylor College of Medicine pre-doctoral candidate), Sunil Acharya (MD Anderson GSBS pre-doctoral candidate), and Ronnie Mathew (Jones College of Business at Rice). They were awarded a combined total of $500, and added a valuable component to their consulting resumé.

  • Goods, loans, and services are increasingly being exchanged via delocalized peer-to-peer sales via specialized apps and websites; this sales mode is predicted to represent 50% of the market by 2025. The fractured state of the peer-to-peer market in the United States offers a significant opportunity for Amazon to offer users a centralized, reliable, and trustworthy marketplace for all peer-to-peer exchanges. We propose a two tier implementation to 1) Amazon Prime Business: innovate and restructure the current services offered by Amazon to attract, grow, and support small and individual run businesses, and 2) Amazon Peer: launch a subdomain of Amazon Marketplace as a hub of peer-to-peer sales. 
  • 1) Amazon Prime Business will cultivate individual-run business from startup to distribution using an all-inclusive Amazon pipeline including: Amazon crowd-sourced start-up funding, Amazon Business for supplies, Amazon Web Services for cloud based financials and web domain hosting, and finally utilizing the Amazon Handmade marketplace for sales and distribution. This pipeline will build an Amazon-branded ecosystem for small businesses while enabling Amazon to capitalize on synergies between its existing business divisions.
  • 2) Amazon Peer will capitalize on the fragmented and outdated peer-to-peer websites currently offered in the United States and offer a centralized location for users to exchange goods and services. A separate sub-domain website will ensure brand protection for the Amazon Marketplace while offering users a reliable and convenient platform to conduct their sales. 
  • Implementing this two tier approach would position Amazon as the leader of P2P sales within the US and enable a continued focus "to be Earth's most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online." The changing face of online commerce to a centralized P2P marketplace requires Amazon to adapt and capitalize early in order to remain a market leader.

The networking mixer was held down the street from Bauer College of Business, at Calhoun’s rooftop bar. Food and drink were served to our competitors, judges, and spectators. All those that attended the competition were able to mingle with judges while enjoying the beautiful weather. A few high energy attendees stuck around until past 8PM to glean some wisdom and insight from our judges.

Thank you so much to our sponsors! This event would not have been possible without your help and support!

Uncategorized /

Introducing the Consulting Agency

We are excited to announce the Consulting Agency, a brand new agency that allows members of the Consulting Club at the Texas Medical Center to provide consulting services. Who are we? Consulting Agency is a part of the Consulting Club at the Texas Medical Center (CC@TMC) that offers consulting projects to its clients. CC@TMC is an independent Houston-based nonprofit organization with 400+ active members comprising of PhD students, medical students, postdocs and residents from nearly every institution at the Texas Medical Center. The Consulting Agency was established to provide students with the opportunity to apply their business skills and gain real-world experience in consulting. Members of CC@TMC were recently interviewed by Nature about the agency. If you are interested in reading this article, you can find it here. What services do we provide? Consulting Agency assists local businesses, non-profits and entrepreneurs with their most challenging business issues. Our goal is to deliver high-quality insights and analytical services to fit our clients’ needs. We realize that each client is unique and therefore we do not use a cookie cutter approach to solving problems but rather design customized, tailored solutions that are in line with our client’s vision and mission. Some of the services we provide include (but not limited to):
  • Market analysis and sizing for new technologies/inventions
  • Competitive landscape analysis
  • Marketing strategy analysis and design
  • Customer analysis and retention
  • Pricing analysis
  • Business plan design
  • Creating a slide deck for an investor pitch
  • Analyzing potential investment opportunities
  • Profitability issues
Projects are intended to last approximately 8-10 weeks depending on the scope of the project. A team of 5-6 consultants will work on the projects, with each student on the team contributing about 5-10 hours per week. Consultants will be staffed on projects based on 3 key criteria: availability, expertise and interest. Contact information: Please reach out to us with any questions or to find out how we can help you. Maitri Shah (maitri19@gmail.com) - Vice President, Consulting Agency Simran Madan (simranmadan88@gmail.com) - President, Consulting Club at the Texas Medical Center
Uncategorized /

Executive Team Applications Due November 22nd!

We are now accepting applications to be a part of the 2017 TMC Consulting Club Executive Team! Applications are due next Tuesday, November 22nd. We are looking for highly-motivated individuals with big ideas to help execute new and exciting events, and who are willing to dedicate the time to help grow the club to achieve even greater success in the future! As you know, a prominent leadership experience and demonstration of interest in consulting is vital for securing invitations to interview at any consulting firm and ultimately landing a job offer. And if you are re-applying in 2017, serving as an officer is a great way to demonstrate the professional growth that firms look for in a 2nd application. The first link below has information about the function of each component of the executive team, and the second link has the application. officer recruitment for 2017  Application for Officer Positions 2017 Please follow these instructions to submit your application:
  1. Completed the attached application form. Ensure the file name uses this format: Firstname_Lastname_Application
  2. Prepare a 1 page business-style resume (PDF format). Ensure the file name uses this format: Firstname_Lastname_Resume
  3. Email both documents to admin@medcenterconsulting.com by November 22nd.
We are excited to receive your applications and look forward to the future of the Consulting Club at the Texas Medical Center! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at admin@medcenterconsulting.com.
Uncategorized /

Letter from the founding President

To our members and the Houston community, I am writing to notify you that I have completed my tenure as the first President of the Consulting Club at the Texas Medical Center. Simran Madan, our Senior Vice President, will be leading the organization going forward as the new President. Completing her tenure along with me is Adrianne Stone, our Assistant Vice President of Finance & Operations. Adrianne has played an unequivocally important role in our Executive Team. She spearheaded the development of our gorgeous website, diligently responded to concerns from our members, helped us incorporate as a nonprofit organization, planned our budget, and served as the face behind the emails. Thank you Adrianne for your tremendous contributions and service! As you may know, this year was teeming with accomplishments for our Executive Team as we transitioned the organization from being a student interest group to a business. Some of these include:
  • Assembling a structured leadership team and a defined succession plan
  • Incorporating as an independent nonprofit organization
  • Attaining 400+ active members across Houston (25% are paid members)
  • Executing the first Greater Houston Consulting Case Competition
  • Generating revenue through donations and membership dues (we are on track to generate a surplus this year!)
  • Assembling an ardent and experienced Board of Directors
  • Providing 6 workshops for our paid members, all developed in-house
  • Connecting our members to the top firms such as McKinsey, Bain, ClearView and BCG through onsite and virtual informational sessions
In the coming months, we have some exciting upcoming goals such as filing for federal 501(c)(3) tax-exemption, launching our own volunteer consulting firm, and even expanding out of Houston. I believe that we are well-equipped with a leadership team that can execute and ensure that our members are a part of the absolute best organization for learning about and preparing for the consulting career track. I believe that this organization's brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. In fact, I am truly thankful for having such an experienced and passionate Executive Team. We select our officers via a rigorous and highly competitive recruitment process and I was fortunate to work with a team that is not only exceptionally talented but diverse across gender and race. I have no doubt that this team will ensure that the organization not only sustains, but flourishes. In particular, I strongly believe that Simran has the charisma, intellect, vision, network and experience necessary to fulfill the role of the President and usher in many more successes in the future and reach new heights. It has been an honor and pleasure to serve this wonderful organization and community. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time serving on the Executive Team and am grateful for the experience. Thank you. - Redwan
As Seen In /

Did you see us in Nature?

In case you missed it, we were recently featured in a Nature article about non-profit consulting clubs and organizations run by trainees. We are currently working to finalize the details about our volunteer consulting group, including the process for bringing volunteer consultants on board and how client assignments will be structured. Please keep an eye out from emails on these exciting developments in the next few months! Nature Vol 532 Issue 7600

Read the Article

Case Competition /

The Greater Houston Consulting Case Competition – a resounding success!

The first ever Greater Houston Consulting Case Competition has come and gone with enthusiastic turnout from participants, spectators, and judges. We want to thank all of you for setting the bar very high for all future years! event_logo This year, the competition took place on March 26 and was held at Rice University, home to the Jones Graduate School of Business. Thirty participants (10 each from the Consulting Club at the Texas Medical Center, Consulting Club at the McCombs School of Business at Houston, and the Consulting Club at the Jones Graduate School of Business) came together to form 6 mixed teams. The 10 participants from our organization were selected via a highly competitive application process open only to our Training Members. On the night before, all the participants attended a casual meet-and-greet at The Gorgeous Gael in Rice Village to get to know their potential team members. After teams were assigned in the morning, participants had 5 hours to get acquainted, analyze the case, create a slide deck, and practice their presentation. All of this preparation was then expended in a 10 minute presentation to spectators and to current consultants from McKinsey, BCG and Ernst & Young, who volunteered as judges. After careful deliberation, the judges announced the top-performing team, who won the $500 prize! The event was immediately followed by a networking mixer, in which the judges graciously attended, allowing the teams to mingle and relax.

(Click photos for more information and full-size images)

[gallery columns="5" link="none" ids="998,999,1000,1001,1002"] Our intentions behind holding the case competition were to:
  • Boost awareness and interest in the consulting career track
  • Provide participants with the ability to showcase the key skills that consulting firms are looking for such as teamwork, analytical ability, communication, problem-solving, and business acumen
  • Provide a venue where individuals pursuing a career in consulting can network, both across the various consulting clubs in Houston and also with current consultants
  • Unite the local candidate pools and open the door for holding more joint events between the MBAs, PhDs, and MDs within consulting clubs
  • Demonstrate to consulting firms that Houston has an extremely attractive recruiting pool
We wanted to mimic a typical consulting engagement for the day, putting the participants directly into the shoes of a consultant. This started with preparing mixed teams to encourage interaction between the various training backgrounds: PhD, postdoc, MD, full-time MBA or working MBA. Consulting firms utilize this diversity to create highly capable teams that can solve the myriad problems facing today's businesses. The participants, just as with working consultants, were required to meet and interact with new people to not only overcome, but utilize their differences and create a highly effective analysis team.

(Click photos for more information and full-size images)

[gallery columns="5" link="none" size="full" ids="1003,1004,1005,1006,1007"] This year, the case centered on the future of Apple Inc., exploring three new (actual or potential) product offerings: the watch, the television, and the car. Given the current market trends and Apple’s previous successes, the teams prepared a recommendation outlining the optimal product portfolio for Apple to focus on in the near future. We selected this case because a) practically everyone is familiar with Apple and its products, b) it would foster creativity among participants as Apple has minimal financial constraints, and c) due to the general public’s rapidly growing interest in consumer electronics and the resulting unparalleled innovation cycle. The teams were assessed on their ability to create, assemble, and present their recommendations to judges, founded thorough data-backed analysis and representing a practical and economically feasible business strategy for Apple to potentially implement. Judges additionally considered the team's poise while answering questions, the creativity behind their analysis, and the level of professionalism demonstrated by the team members. The winner of the 1st Annual Greater Houston Consulting Case Competition was Team 3: Ashutosh Shinde (McCombs), Felipe Armaza (Jones), Paul Surpenant (Jones), and Alessandro Alabastri (CCTMC, Rice). We are now looking forward to next year’s competition and incorporating this year's feedback and experiences to make future events both bigger and better! Thank you Houston, and we will see you next year.

(Click photos for more information and full-size images)

[gallery columns="4" link="none" size="full" ids="1008,1009,1010,1011,1012,1013,1014,1015,1016,1017,1018,1019"] We would like to thank our sponsors and donors for helping make this event a possibility:
BSchool Casebook /

UPenn Wharton School of Business Casebook 2010

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BSchool Casebook /

UPenn Wharton School of Business Casebook 2009

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BSchool Casebook /

UPenn Wharton School of Business Casebook 2008

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BSchool Casebook /

UPenn Wharton School of Business Casebook 2007

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BSchool Casebook /

UPenn Wharton School of Business Casebook 2006

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BSchool Casebook /

UPenn Wharton School of Business Casebook 2005

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BSchool Casebook /

UPenn Wharton School of Business Casebook 2003

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BSchool Casebook /

NYU Stern School of Business Casebook 2007

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BSchool Casebook /

MIT Sloan School of Management Casebook 2001

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BSchool Casebook /

Michigan Ross School of Business Casebook 2010

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BSchool Casebook /

Michigan Ross School of Business Casebook 2009

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BSchool Casebook /

Michigan Ross School of Business Casebook 2008

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BSchool Casebook /

Michigan Ross School of Business Casebook 2007

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BSchool Casebook /

Michigan Ross School of Business Casebook 2006

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BSchool Casebook /

Michigan Ross School of Business Casebook 2005

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BSchool Casebook /

UT Austin McCombs School of Business Casebook 2008

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BSchool Casebook /

UT Austin McCombs School of Business Casebook 2007

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BSchool Casebook /

London Business School Casebook 2013

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BSchool Casebook /

London Business School Casebook 2011

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BSchool Casebook /

London Business School Casebook 2009

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BSchool Casebook /

London Business School Casebook 2008

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BSchool Casebook /

London Business School Casebook 2006

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BSchool Casebook /

Northwestern Kellogg School of Management Casebook 2004

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BSchool Casebook /

Northwestern Kellogg School of Management Casebook 2001

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BSchool Casebook /

Harvard Business School Casebook 2011

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BSchool Casebook /

Harvard Business School Casebook 2004

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BSchool Casebook /

UC Berkeley Haas School of Business Casebook 2006

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BSchool Casebook /

Duke Fuqua School of Business Casebook 2014

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BSchool Casebook /

Duke Fuqua School of Business Casebook 2011

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BSchool Casebook /

Duke Fuqua School of Business Casebook 2010

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BSchool Casebook /

UVA Darden School of Business Casebook 2002

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BSchool Casebook /

Cornell Johnson School of Management Casebook 2003

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BSchool Casebook /

University of Chicago School of Business Casebook 2001

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BSchool Casebook /

Columbia Business School Case Book 2007

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BSchool Casebook /

Columbia Business School Case Book 2006

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BSchool Casebook /

Columbia Business School Case Book 2002

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Case Competition /

Announcing the 1st Annual Greater Houston Consulting Case Competition

We are excited to announce that this year our Consulting Club will be hosting the 1st Annual Greater Houston Consulting Case Competition in collaboration with the MBA consulting clubs at the McCombs School of Business at UT Austin and Jones School of Business at Rice University!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a case competition?

A unique platform to showcase the skills that consulting firms are looking for in a competitive applicant: critical-thinking, teamwork, communication and problem-solving. Participants will be placed in mixed teams, consisting of PhDs, MDs and MBAs, to mimic an actual consulting case team. Teams will be given a real-world business case study to analyze, tasked to research the client and industry, and present a solution to judges in the form of a short presentation. Current consultants from the top firms, such as McKinsey, BCG and Strategy&, will serve as judges and award prizes to the top 2 teams. The event will be followed immediately by a networking mixer. Breakfast and lunch will be provided to competing participants.

When and where is the competition?

The event will be held at the Jones School of Business at Rice University on Saturday, March 26, 2016. The tentative timeframe is 8am-5pm followed by a networking mixer. A detailed schedule and location information will be provided in the coming weeks.

Who is designing the business case study?

The case study is being prepared collaboratively by the leadership of the 3 organizing consulting clubs. The case study, the client and its industry will be revealed on the morning of the event.

Do I need any business or case interview experience? What about prior knowledge of the client or industry?

No prior business or case interview experience is required, nor is any prior knowledge of the client or industry. This event is designed to be a fun learning experience and to help introduce our members to a real-life consulting engagement.

What do I, as a participant, get out of this?

  • An opportunity to demonstrate to current consultants, who are directly involved in the recruitment process, that you have the skills consulting firms are specifically looking for
  • An opportunity to tackle a real-world consulting case and gain business experience
  • An opportunity to work in a diverse team setting that mimics a real consulting case team
  • An opportunity to network with consultants and to learn more about the firms and job opportunities
  • Cash prizes are awarded to the top teams

Who can participate in the competition?

The competition will have 30 participants in total (six teams of 5). Ten of the 30 participants will be represented by the Consulting Club at the Texas Medical Center. Only Training Members are eligible to participate in the competition. Basic Members and Training Members are also welcome to spectate and attend the networking mixer at no cost.

How do I register for the competition?

Due to the large number of Training Members eligible for the competition and since there are only 10 spots available for participants from our organization, participants will be selected via an application process.

The Application Deadline to compete has passed. Applicants will be alerted via email of their status.

If you are not competing please stay tuned for information on how to attend as a spectator.

 

Can I watch the competition if I'm not interested in competing this year?

Due to limited space, spectators can register on a first-come first-serve basis. We will open an RSVP system in the next few weeks.
Thank you to everyone for their interest in the Greater Houston Consulting Case Competition and we look forward to making this event an exciting addition to the year in the Houston area! Keep an eye out for upcoming announcements with more details as we get closer to the competition date.
Editorials News /

Choosing the right business cards

Business cards are cards bearing business information about a company or individual. They are shared during formal introductions as a convenience and a memory aid. A business card typically includes the giver’s name, company or business affiliation and contact information such as street addresses, telephone number, fax number, e-mail addresses and website.
News Tutorials /

The right typeface can make all the difference

In traditional typography, a font is a particular size, weight and style of a typeface. Each font was a matched set of metal type, one piece (called a “sort”) for each glyph, and a typeface comprised a range of fonts that shared an overall design.
Editorials News /

Dieter rams 10 principles of design

Rams began studies in architecture and interior decoration at Wiesbaden School of Art in 1947. Soon after in 1948, he took a break from studying to gain practical experience and conclude his carpentry apprenticeship.
Editorials /

A design philosophy

Philosophy of design is the study of assumptions, foundations, and implications of design. The field is defined by an interest in a set of problems, or an interest in central or foundational concerns in design. In addition to these central problems for design as a whole, many philosophers of design consider these problems as they apply to particular disciplines (e.g. philosophy of art).
Tutorials /

Visual weight & direction

Every element on a web page exerts a visual force that attracts the eye of the viewer. The greater the force, the more the eye is attracted. These forces also appear to act on other elements, imparting a visual direction to their potential movement and suggesting where you should look next.