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HBA · Anna Yu

Turning 180 Degrees Into Success

Mar 28, 2024

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As someone who had only become familiar with Ivey in my formative high school years, you can bet that I have heard an amalgamation of rumours. Amongst these rumours, many always asked me “oh, so you’re planning to go into consulting?” I usually replied with some variation of “I am still thinking about it…” fully knowing that I had no idea what a consultant even was at the time. According to the 2022 Ivey HBA employment report, thirteen percent of graduates go on to work in the consulting industry which could imply that many prospective students come to Ivey in hopes of working in a consulting firm in their futures. It would only make sense that Western has a lot to offer in nurturing this interest. To investigate this further, I was able to gain the insight of Daniel Wang, a current HBA2 student and the co-president of the Ivey branch of 180 Degrees Consulting.

180 Degrees Consulting (180DC) is one of the world’s largest university-based consultancy organizations with branches in institutions globally. At Ivey, Daniel as well as the rest of his team assist local non-governmental organizations and charities in a variety of business operations from simple marketing campaigns to organization-wide restructuring. As a pro-bono social impact consulting club, many of 180DC’s clients are non-profits, scattered across various causes such as parenthood support, homelessness, and sustainability amongst many others. 180DC act as the behind-the-scenes support, providing them with organizational support similar to what big consulting firms do for their major conglomerate clients, minus the shiny price tag. With these unique qualities, 180DC can promote social initiative whilst providing valuable work experience to students interested in the field.

However, as someone who has probably changed their career path over ten times in their life, I understand how it feels to be lost in the middle of the Mustang Lounge, overwhelmed by the cheerful and extroverted club executives promoting their organizations. With only so much time to devote to extra-curricular activities, how can you be sure you are making the correct step for the future? One of the reasons 180DC might be a fantastic choice is because of its dynamic nature. Consulting more than any other business field has the ability to cultivate various skills that can be applicable in virtually any industry. For Daniel, though he is choosing to pursue a law degree after Ivey, his experience in 180DC has accumulated a transferrable and highly pertinent skillset. He believes that consulting is a great way to prepare you for virtually any career in the future. When asked about what kind of students 180DC looks for, he mentions that they are never looking for super-humans with superior abilities. Instead, they seek out students with a desire to learn and the ability to adapt, with a passion for helping the community. Moreover, 180DC is more inclined to build a superhuman team made up of strong foundational characteristics to conquer the challenges through projects that 180DC works on.

Now, not only do I now know what a consultant is, but I understand why students come from all around the world to Ivey to establish a career in it. Daniel refers to consulting as an “ideal career springboard” due all the skills it cultivates that can facilitate smooth transitions to other business-related roles such as finance and banking, or managerial roles in big organizations. Within a consulting position, the new projects, different tasks, and ability to witness tangible results are what makes this field so acclaimed – but I can only tell you so much. The only way to build valuable workplace skills is to go and discover the opportunities yourself. You may uncover a true passion that you’ll seek to continue in the future as a career!