As I reflect on my experience in the Social Enterprise Consulting program, I realize how much I learned. This experience allowed me to apply what I already knew and revealed the places where I need to grow the most. As an undergraduate student I discovered that I am an experiential learner, so I planned to seek out experiential learning experiences during my time at Vanderbilt. The Social Enterprise Consulting program was a great fit for me! Not only was I able to learn fundamental aspects of how to approach a consulting project but I also deepened my knowledge of social enterprises and socially responsible businesses. I have a new understanding of the challenges that these businesses face but also the good that is possible when the focus is not simply on the bottom line.
I worked with Harvest Hands, the organization behind Humphrey Street Coffee. As someone with a background in the Nashville hospitality industry I found it incredibly interesting to approach this project from a consulting perspective. I was able to take my knowledge of the Nashville food and coffee scene and what I had learned from my course work and combine it into a real-world experience. I also feel lucky that I was able to learn from my teammates as well. As a Peabody student I approach projects from a different lens than an MBA student or a GPED student. The opportunity to work with students from these other programs made SEC valuable in a way that is very different from the classroom experiences I have at Peabody.
As I write this, I am working out the details around my summer internship with a large non-profit where I will be working on an internal consulting project. I am looking forward to building on my SEC experience with a new project where I can apply so much of what I learned.