Innovation Spotlight: St. John’s Consulting Club

Students preparing for a career in small business cosulting at St. John's University

At St. John’s University, students interested in entrepreneurship can take advantage of the Venture & Innovation Center (VIC) to prepare for their future careers. The VIC has recently added the first-ever Consulting Club and chapter of Consult Your Community (CYC), providing an excellent platform for students to pursue small business consulting.

In this video interview, the student founders of the Consulting Club, Cecilia Bottino and Jeondo Lee, provide insights into the club’s offerings and services. They discuss  

  • What the CYC is  
  • What motivated them to bring CYC to the University 
  • What students can expect from the chapter 
  • How they envision CYC collaborating with the VIC 
  • Their end vision of CYC 
  • The steps students who want to join and support CYC can take

About St. John’s University Consulting Club and the CYC Chapter

The St. John’s University Consulting Club is dedicated to assisting college students pursuing a career in the consulting industry after graduation. The club aims to help students navigate through the often-complicated recruitment process associated with consulting and to remove any obstacles that may hinder them from entering the world of consulting opportunities.

Consult Your Community (CYC) is a nationwide organization that “mobilizes college students to leverage their education, digital fluency, mentorship networks, and knowledge as customers to empower small business owners and drive change in their communities.” Through the CYC chapter at St. John’s University, students experience small business consulting firsthand and find solutions to problems faced by local businesses. This exposure to the industry will help students understand if consulting is something they wish to pursue. 


Read the written version of the video Q&A below. 

What led you to start the Consulting Club? 

Jeondo: Last year, I had the privilege to participate in a management pitch competition for my management course. The class introduced me to the consulting field; through this experience, I really wanted to dive deeper into the management consulting field. The professor advertised it, and I began to be more passionate about how individual businesses operate and how we can utilize strategy to enhance business practices.

I knew there were consulting opportunities for upperclass students at St. John’s. Still, I realized more opportunities were needed for first-year students or students in different majors. So, it would be cool to have students from all grade levels and majors come together to work on a consulting project, gaining real-life experience and insight into the entire field.

Cecilia: As a first-year student, I met some upperclass students who introduced me to consulting. With their experience, I got an internship with global business consulting firm Protiviti Inc. this upcoming summer, with help from St. John’s faculty and alumni. Learning more about consulting, I saw that St. John’s was missing something like CYC, where students could explore consulting before making career decisions. Jeondo was the catalyst for everything with CYC. I didn’t reach out; she did. Once it was brought to my attention, I saw the need for CYC on campus and am excited to provide that for our peers.

Why did you specifically choose Consult Your Community (CYC)?

Jeondo: CYC, or Consult Your Community, is a consulting service providing pro bono services led by students for different local businesses. We have chapters nationwide going on projects and providing recommendations to enhance business operations. It’s a rewarding experience, giving students firsthand experience and businesses a different perspective. I chose CYC because it aligns with St. John’s core value of service and giving back to the community. I like the aspect of students gaining firsthand experience, not just learning theoretical ideas.

Do you see an overlap between Consult Your Community’s goal and VIC’s mission?

Jeondo: Yes, we see an overlap between CYC’s goal of supporting local businesses and VIC’s mission. Supporting businesses while representing St. John’s aligns with our values. We’re excited to collaborate and use your resources to showcase and leave a legacy at St. John’s and the community.

Cecilia: I see an overlap, especially in covering different disciplines. CYC is open to anyone of any discipline, major, or academic experience at St. John’s. This aligns with VIC’s mission of fostering collaboration across different disciplines. We’re grateful to work with VIC and want a mutually beneficial relationship. 

What is your end vision for the St. John’s chapter of CYC?

Cecilia: Our vision is to foster a club with students exploring different opportunities for years. We want it to be something people want to join; we see it expanding and involving students passionate about giving back to the local community. We want CYC built up as a club, benefiting St. John’s students and the broader Queens, NY, community.

Jeondo: We want this to be our community, with friendships beyond college. It’s not just about projects; we want a cultural community and a fun environment where we can learn, develop relationships, and enjoy each other while engaging in consulting projects and giving back to the local community.

For students interested in joining or supporting CYC, what steps should they take?

Jeondo: For students interested in joining CYC, we suggest applying to become business analysts. Business analysts can participate actively in consulting projects. There’s an application process because we engage in an actual client relationship. We want committed and passionate students who are willing to give back to the community. More information will be provided in the upcoming days.

Cecilia: Even if you’re not interested in becoming a business analyst, attend our events and join speaker events and social events to get a feel for the community. Business analysts have a strong time commitment, but attending events may spark interest. 

Elevate Your Entrepreneurial Journey at the Venture & Innovation Center.

Are you looking to take your entrepreneurial skills to the next level? The VIC at St. John’s University offers many resources to help you succeed. The VIC provides everything you need to develop your foundational business skills, from advisory support and mentoring to informational speaker events and hands-on workshops. 

Explore the Venture & Innovation Center!