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Bentley Magazine

Not-So-Basic Training

Not-So-Basic Training

Boot camp builds skills in business consulting

Kristen Walsh

The term “boot camp” conjures up visions of rigorous training with a big payoff. Michael Watkins ’22 had a similar thing in mind (minus the pushups and rope climb) when he created the Bentley Consulting Group Boot Camp.

Michael Watkins ’22
Michael Watkins ’22

Launched in January 2021, the camp places students in consulting roles for businesses and nonprofits. The payoff is twofold: Students train with mentors and put their skills to work, and companies gain free consulting and valuable perspectives.

“I wanted to give Bentley students the ability to get hands-on consulting experience working with small businesses and startups to help them see the impact of their work,” says Watkins, an Economics-Finance major and president of the Bentley Consulting Group.

The student-run organization has more than 200 members, who work on projects with companies such as RSM audit, tax and consulting services. The boot camp, which will be offered each semester, includes several weeks of trainings to help students understand the consulting field before completing a capstone consulting project for a company.

Boot camp participant Matthew Spiegel ’23 consulted to RemNote, an MIT-based technology startup. His team analyzed user demographics and target market data to create advertisements across four social media platforms; the goal was to increase brand awareness, user conversions and website traffic.

“We produced a comprehensive PowerPoint to share findings and recommendations to improve long-term growth and revenue, based on ad analytics, user testing and extensive outside research,” says Spiegel, a Computer Information Systems major. “My favorite part was designing the slide deck and using graphics to make the presentation come alive.”

After the boot camp, Spiegel put his new skills to immediate use in a data analytics internship at Sweep, a car-buying-and-selling app based in Dublin.

Andrew Murphy ’19 of RSM
Having the opportunity to get a taste of consulting work with real businesses is so important to help students apply what they’re learning in the classroom to real-life situations.
Andrew Murphy ’19 of RSM
Boot Camp Mentor

Lecturer in Management Susan Vroman advised the Bentley Consulting Group as it designed the boot camp.

“At any reputable consulting firm, they do their own version of this very thing,” Vroman says. “When I started at Accenture, we spent six weeks training both in hard skills like coding and writing memos and soft skills like business etiquette and adhering to the client’s value proposition.”

Boot camp mentors include professionals such as Andrew Murphy ’19, who shared insights with students based on his management consulting work at RSM audit, tax and consulting services.

“Having the opportunity to get a taste of consulting work with real businesses is so important to help students apply what they’re learning in the classroom to real-life situations,” says Murphy, who was a member of the Bentley Consulting Group as a student and started his career with RSM as a management consulting intern during his junior year. “I gave students tips for putting together client deliverables as well as common ways of solving problems and developing solutions.”

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