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For Students


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For Students


Join LACI

If you are an undergraduate student at USC, no matter your major, we encourage you to learn more about LACI and consider applying to be a LACI consultant. 

Applications are now closed for the Spring. You may sign up for updates in the Fall here.

If you have any questions, feel free to email us at laci.personnel@gmail.com.


Note to freshmen and non-business majors: No consulting experience or extensive business knowledge is required to join LACI. First and foremost, LACI is meant to give students a way to help the LA community while developing the skills to become a successful consultant. Our application process is designed to help us to determine if you are a good fit for LACI, as well as to determine if LACI is a good fit for you.


Application Process


What We Offer

A chance to better the LA community

LACI consultants apply their knowledge and skills to help nonprofits and small businesses in the LA area by solving real business problems.

A dynamic team-based work environment

Every semester, you'll work with a team of 3-4 other LACI members from diverse majors and various experience levels and backgrounds. You'll learn from them through experience and, in time, become a leader and contributor.

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Leadership opportunities

After working on a few projects, you'll lead your own team, setting the direction and scope of a project and managing client relations. Ultimately, you'll take ownership of a client's project and determine the extent of its success.

Professional development

By joining LACI, you'll have the opportunity to improve your analytical, interpersonal, and leadership skills. Additionally, you'll have the opportunity to interact with our professor mentors, alumni, and professional network, with whom we host events throughout the semester.

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Personal growth

As a member of our fellowship, you'll tackle relevant social issues and form meaningful relationships with peers who share your interest in social impact and consulting. Your fellow consultants will push you to think in new ways about important personal and social issues, driving personal growth.


What We Expect

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LACI consultants should have a genuine desire to help and improve the Los Angeles community.

Commitment

LACI members dedicate, on average, 3-8 hrs/week to project-related research and analysis, team and client meetings, events, organization-wide meetings, and workshops (for new members).

Problem-solving ability

While there is no formal training or expertise required, you should take a structured approach to problem-solving, have an aptitude for finding and improving weaknesses in a system, and demonstrate both creativity and practicality.

LACI Fit

LACI is a team-oriented organization. As such, we look for applicants who will thrive in dynamic settings. We want members who take initiative and contribute original insights to their projects. But more importantly, we look for people with whom we can both work and hang out.


Semester Outlook

A typical semester in LACI consists of:

  • A ten-week education workshop series for new members
  • Weekly team meetings and regular client meetings
  • Scoping the client's issues, conducting primary and secondary research, developing recommendations as a team, and creating a final deliverable
  • Three project progress presentations to LACI Board
  • A Semester Showcase with LACI members, clients, and community members
  • Professional development events and networking opportunities
  • Formal and informal fellowship events with new and returning LACI members

If you any questions, feel free to email us at laci.personnel@gmail.com.

 
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Frequently Asked Questions


Frequently Asked Questions


What are you looking for in an applicant? Do you consider freshmen and non-Marshall students?

LACI looks for students who have a genuine desire to serve and improve the Los Angeles community. Our projects are team-based, so we look for applicants who will be valuable and effective team players. Commitment, problem-solving ability, and overall fit are key qualities that we emphasize. We highly encourage freshmen and non-Marshall students to apply. You do not need any prior consulting or business experience to join; LACI educates all new members on the consulting process through new members workshops.

 

As a non-Marshall student, what will I get out of LACI?

During the course of a semester, you will have the opportunity to work on a consulting project which will teach you skills that are widely applicable. At the core, consultants are problem-solvers: they break down and analyze the problems that clients face, think critically and develop solutions, and propose strategic recommendations to address these challenges. In addition, LACI works with nonprofits and small businesses from a variety of sectors and industries, giving you the opportunity for broad exposure. Moreover, LACI provides a hands-on experience in which you can apply your specialized classroom knowledge to real-world business problems.

 

Can you describe each part of the application process?

Written Application: The written application is centered around three background questions and four involvement questions that give us a glimpse into who you are and why you want to join LACI. Two LACI members grade each application. Invitation to the 1st round interview is contingent on merit of the written application.

1st Round Interview: The 1st round interview is a 15-20 minute interview about your previous experiences and motives for joining LACI. Applicants are interviewed by two LACI members. Invitation to the 2nd round interview is contingent on merit of both the written application and 1st round interview.

2nd Round Interview: The 2nd round interview is a team-based case interview that lasts up to two hours. The case will involve an organization similar to a real LACI client. This interview helps us understand how you work on a team and in a consulting environment. You will have one hour to read and analyze your case with a team and prepare a presentation. A panel of LACI members will watch your team’s presentation and follow with a short Q&A period.

Note on the 2nd Round Interview: You are not competing directly with those on your team. There is no limit to how many members we will select from each team, so we encourage you to collaborate as closely as possible. In past semesters, there have been teams from which no one was selected and teams from which everyone was selected.

 

How many new members do you take each semester?

There is no quota on the number of members we select, so each semester is different. However, we invite between 10 and 15 applicants on average to join LACI. We look for strong applicants who fit well with LACI, so we encourage you to focus simply on demonstrating your strengths.

 

I can’t make it to one of the info sessions/events; will that hurt my chances?

Our info sessions and events are completely optional and designed for your benefit. Our aim is to give you multiple opportunities to learn about LACI, ask questions, and meet our members. Your attendance at these events is not required, and nonattendance will never count against you in the application process.

At information sessions, we give a 20-minute presentation that introduces you to our organization, what we do, what our consulting projects look like, and how the application and membership processes work. Our mixers and service events give students another chance to get to know our members personally and experience LACI’s fellowship. Don’t worry if you can’t make it to any of the events; all the essential information is listed on our website, and if you have additional questions, feel free to reach out by email.

 

What is the time commitment for LACI membership?

New members can expect to commit 3-8 hours a week to LACI, which consists of weekly team meetings and periodic client meetings, research work, new member workshops, and board presentations. The time commitment tends to be lighter at the beginning of the semester and increase in later weeks. The time commitment also varies depending on the type of problem your client has and how, as a team, you decide to space out work over the semester.

 

What does a typical project look like?

No two projects are the same. There is no “typical” project because every client brings unique problems for us to solve. Much of the fun of being on a LACI project is identifying the highest priority challenges facing your client and finding a way to address those challenges within a ten-week window.

 

How are members assigned to projects?

All LACI members are sent a list of the current semester’s clients, which includes detailed descriptions of the proposed project. Members complete a survey listing their top five project choices, and a board committee assigns teams based on a number of considerations, including project preference, member experience, and skillset. Each project team consists of 4-5 LACI members (with one experienced team leader) and is assigned to one client for the entire semester.

 

How many projects does LACI work on each semester?

The number varies from semester to semester depending on how many people we can staff, but we usually work with 10-12 clients each semester. Each client translates to one ten-week project.

 
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Member Spotlight


Member Spotlight


Meet LACI

Members of our fellowship share what LACI means to them.

Anna Silk

Year: Senior
Major: Public Policy, Planning, and Development
Minors: Economics, Management Consulting

I joined LACI in the second semester of my freshman year, excited that the organization presented an opportunity to combine the quantitative assessment core to the study of economics with creative problem solving skills taught in public policy to help effectively serve the community. LACI’s commitment to uncovering solutions to multifaceted problems has altered the way I view my college experience, academic study, and self.

 

Nicholas Mockabee

Year: Junior
Major: Economics
Minor: Statistics, Business Finance

LACI has given me significant advantages since joining in January 2015. My business acumen, PowerPoint skills, and financial vocabulary have all increased exponentially through working on semester projects, meeting with clients, and our new member workshops. The real-world difficulties that our clients face allow me to transcend my knowledge of consumer behavior and marketing tactics from the classroom to the business enterprise. I’ve become an excellent public speaker, and LACI has given me the confidence to tackle any project or case I come across.


 

Marianna Shakhnazaryan

Year: Freshman
Major: International Relations (Global Business)
Minor: Social Entrepreneurship

The most influential experience at USC for me has been my involvement in Los Angeles Community Impact. Not only have I had the opportunity to meet incredible, motivated students, but I have also had the chance to do meaningful work for the community of LA. It’s incredible to find this type of club, run solely by students, that’s providing valuable work for the community while teaching professional skills.

After seeing the impact of our work on the community and its members, I know with certainty that I aspire to work in the social enterprise sector in my post-graduate career. This opportunity, to be part of such an incredible organization as LACI, has fulfilled all my hopes and expectations of USC.