October 9, 2020

Why CSVC Created a Handbook for Impact Consulting

Amidst a pandemic, the Center for Social Value Creation has created an unlikely source of commonality between universities: a guidebook.

In combination with the new Impact Consulting Fellowship, which involves full- and part-time MBA students managing undergraduate and master’s students in providing pro-bono consulting services, the handbook will provide a framework for impact fellowships that can be replicated throughout the country. “We went into this with the mindset of ‘this is an amazing program for our community,’” said Nima Farshchi, director of the Center of Social Value Creation. “We wanted to make this an impact that everyone can have in their communities.”

Believed to be the first of its kind, the handbook and the Impact Consulting Fellowship bring together student groups that wouldn’t normally interact. “There is nothing like this with full-time and part-time undergraduate and master’s students all working together under the same framework,” Farshchi said.

Behind the design and creation of this one-of-a-kind guidebook is Isabella Marie Roccograndi ’21, who is in the Plus 1 marketing analytics track. “The whole process took about four or five weeks to complete,” Roccograndi said. “As the Project Manager for the Impact Consulting Fellowship, Julie Rosenberg wrote down best practices for the role and things to understand. Then, using InDesign and Smith’s brand guidelines, I went through and put everything together in the format you see today.”

Nicole Coomber, assistant dean of the Full-Time MBA program, and 24 Smith alumni, played a pivotal role in coaching students and providing recommendations to guide the program. The final edits to the guidebook were made by Farshchi before its official implementation. “I’m hopeful that other schools would be able to use this as a reference to start similar programs at their school so the students can gain hands-on experience through the fellowship,” Roccograndi said, adding that she’s thankful that they were able to provide this guidebook, even amid COVID-19.

Ultimately, all parties involved hope that UMD’s guidebook creates a buzz among other universities to start similar programs using the framework established by Smith’s Center of Social Value Creation. “We wanted to make it easy to implement anytime, anywhere, any place,” Farshchi added. “The more wide-ranging it is – the better.”

To learn more, read The Impact Consulting Fellowship Handbook.

–By Laura Hayes. Hayes is a 2022 MBA Candidate and a Forté and Smith Fellow. Originally from Gaithersburg, Md., Hayes worked in marketing roles for four years in the financial services industry before coming to Maryland Smith.

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About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and flex MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, business master’s, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.

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