By Victoria Stavish
For The Diamondback
When Joseph Houghton, Devin Streight and Natalie Hirsch launched the Snider Consulting Group in the fall, their main goal was to help bring guidance to student groups at the University of Maryland.
The group, which is affiliated with this university’s business school, is a student-run organization that advises clubs at this university on topics such as organization and management.
Now, the consulting group is gaining traction, having taken on six clients and partnering with Ernst & Young, a well-known consulting firm.
Members of Ernst & Young work with the organization, offering their opinions and suggestions to students and functioning as a “sounding board,” said Streight, a junior management and supply chain management major.
“It’s been a great … experience having [Ernst & Young] come in and help us,” Streight said. “It kind of just broadens our scope of knowledge to each of our clients.”
Hirsch, a junior marketing and supply chain management major, said the partnership has further established the group’s credibility.
“In theory, [clubs at this university] also get the brain power and the consulting expertise of EY as well,” Hirsch said.
The three of them had the idea for Snider Consulting Group when they were on the executive board for the Snider Professional Development Society, an organization that functions in accordance with this university and is “centered around the needs of business undecided and undeclared majors,” according to its website.
The co-founders saw clubs at this university failing because of the same reasons — low membership retention, lack of corporate partnerships and little event diversity — and they wanted to help.
“We did this because we felt that the community needed it,” said Houghton, a junior management and supply chain management major. “Every student should have the experience to explore and learn about what they’re passionate about, that’s what college is. That’s why you’re here. That was the basis of our creation.”
The group first found clients by reaching out to their friends who were in charge of clubs, Hirsch said.
After using their connections to find clubs, the group wanted to expand the types of organizations they worked with, Hirsch said, and aimed to become accessible to all students on the campus.
“We want to really be available for students in a variety of majors,” Hirsch said.
This summer, all three co-founders will be interning with consulting firms and hope to pursue consulting after they graduate.
Each co-founder said the Snider Consulting Group played a role in their professional decisions.
“This group has played a huge part in furthering my consulting experience to help me succeed in internships and then also, like bringing to my attention that I actually really enjoyed this,” Hirsch said. “This is a club that I look forward to and isn’t work to me.”
Though the group has only been consulting clients for less than a year, the three said they are proud of the work the group has done so far.
“Our end goal is to keep doing what we’re doing now,” Houghton said. “Our literal mission is to strengthen the UMD community. We felt that this was our way of doing it. We felt that the impact we could make here would ripple through the rest of the university.”