Coyote Business Consulting Group was launched in 2020 during the initial outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative was designed to help businesses that were often struggling to stay afloat as well as college students who were missing out on crucial opportunities to gain real-world experiences as their internships and summer jobs are getting delayed and cancelled. The initial program paired 52 students with 13 faculty advisors to work on 26 business projects over a two month engagement. The initial program was incredibly successful and drove the decision to make Coyote Business Consulting Group an ongoing program.
Coyote Business Consulting Group is intended to be mutually beneficial for both the students and the businesses. The consulting service will be offered at no charge to businesses and students will have the opportunity to receive academic credits, financial support, and real-world experience. This program is available to all businesses, but a special emphasis will be placed on small businesses, as they are the backbone of the economy.
- Businesses will need to complete a project proposal form outlining the scope of their project by Friday, August 12, 2022. Proposals may focus on any business need (Examples - not a complete list: Marketing plans, e-commerce recommendations/solutions, product development cost life cycle analysis, target market analysis, human resource management plans, job descriptions, emergency preparedness plans, supply chain management strategies, financial strategies, survey development).
- A select number of projects will be chosen, and businesses will be notified of their acceptance into the program before Friday, September 1, 2022.
- Businesses will be paired with student consulting teams and faculty advisors.
Coyote Business Consulting Group is designed to be beneficial to for profit-businesses non-profit businesses and the students involved in the project. If your business's project get selected, here is what you can expect from the consulting group, as well as expectations for your business:
- If your project is selected, you'll first be contacted by the faculty advisor or a member of the advisory council to ensure your project is appropriately scoped in a way that our students can fulfill the scope of work in the allotted time and with the appropriate skills.
- A project kick-off meeting will then be scheduled with you by the student consulting team, where they will walk through a number of questions to help them complete the project.
- The student-team will provide a list of requested materials or information that they need from you to begin working on the project as well as an anticipated timeline with milestones identified.
- Throughout the process you can expect regular check-ins from the student-team and occasional requests for additional information. In the event that expectations are not being met by the student-team or the business, the faculty advisor will get involved to ensure the project can stay on track.
- Final presentations will be scheduled as part of the overall project timeline and upon completion of the final presentation, the team will work to transition all materials back to the business.
What will the student’s availability be to my business?The students are committed to 10 hours per week for the projects, but the specific hours and schedules will vary by student. The students assigned to your team will notify you of their regular availability during your kick-off call so you can plan meetings and discussions accordingly. Please be mindful that the student consultants are full time students who are dedicating time each week for a rewarding and educational practical experience. Our students are also taking summer classes and/or working part time jobs, so we appreciate you being mindful of their schedules and availability. If there are any challenges or issues that should arise regarding the student availability, please consult with your faculty advisor.
Can I give the students additional work that might come up over the course of the semester?To ensure the success of the program and the students, it will be very important that projects stay on scope. This scope will be defined with the faculty advisor on the initial call and the details of the scope will be clarified with your kick-off call with the students. While adjustments to scope may happen over the course of the project, the students are not available for miscellaneous administrative work unrelated to the project during this assignment.
What is the difference between a student consultant and a student intern?A student consultant is tasked with developing a recommendation and or solution to a specific problem or business need. Their work is specific to that particular problem or scope of work. A student intern is tasked with working for an organization for a specific period of time and may work on a range of projects within a specific discipline or area of focus. Their time and specific tasks may be more fluid and assigned on an as needed bases during their internship hours.
How much time will I need to allocate to working with the Coyote Business Consulting Group team?The amount of time you spend with the team will depend on the scope of your project. You will likely have weekly meetings with your student consulting team to stay updated on the status of your project, to allow for additional questions to be answered and to give input on the project as it is in progress. There may be slightly more time required in the first two weeks as the project gets kicked off and then you can plan for 1-3 hours per week throughout the duration of the project.
Will the students be onsite at my business?Due to the COVID-19 outbreak and the geographical diversity of this program, it is up to the business' discretion on how they plan on meeting - in-person, virtually via video conference, phone or email. There may be an opportunity for the student teams to visit your business with current CDC guidelines being adhered to, however students are not intended to be scheduled for regular hours to report to your place of business. Any questions or concerns regarding this can be addressed with the faculty advisor.
What legal guarantees do these projects have for my business?
The project results represent the work of students. Project results are provided as is. The University of South Dakota, Beacom School of Business, their agents, faculty, staff, and students jointly and severally disclaim any and all representations or warranties, express or implied, written or oral, in fact or arising by operation of law, regarding project results that may be contemplated, anticipated, or developed; the merchantability, fitness for particular purpose, commercial value, and/or freedom of research project results from infringement of any patent, copyright, other intellectual property or proprietary rights of any third party.
In no event will the University of South Dakota, Beacom School of Business, their agents, faculty, staff or students be liable for any incidental, special, indirect, exemplary or consequential damages of any kind, including business expenses, machine down time, loss of profits, damage or injury to property for any claims, demands or damages arising out of the consulting project, its results, or use of projects’ results by anyone.