Have you heard of ICP yet? No? Surely, ICP is something you should not be missing out on!

Have you heard of ICP yet? No? Surely, ICP is something you should not be missing out on!

The International Consulting Practicum
 is an annual summer semester program developed in cooperation with theVirginia Commonwealth University. In summer 2015, 18 students, 4 teams, 4 faculty members and 4 real companies were a part of ICP on its third anniversary.

Despite the fact that we, as AAU students, are used to work on practical, real-life projects in various subjects, the ICP was the first truly realistic glimpse at how businesses actually work, what they require and how to make them better. The reason is simple – we had that one unique opportunity to work with the client, to ask what is realistic for them, if our proposals meet the corporate culture of the company, if we are on the right track in guessing what they want and if it will work for their market and goals. Our insights mattered.
Laura Brathová, one of our AAU students and an ICP participant, said that: “the program was a fusion of a regular, yet unique, AAU course and a valuable work experience.” Personally, she also valued the networking events, socializing and friendship aspects of the course: “Being myself a student majoring in International Relations, I can tell you that the International Consulting Practicum is not merely about business and business theory. It is very hard to define the learning outcomes of it beforehand, because as I already mentioned, it is a unique, intense, less than two-week long program, during which we were expected to work with unknown people and come up with extensive and innovative ideas for our clients. Therefore, for me personally, the ICP is not merely about business – it is about working as a team, dealing with the difficulties that arise during the intensive work, adapting to work under stress, and discovering how the team spirit can cheer you up and encourage you to keep going. It is a real life experience during which I gained important knowledge about the team and cross-cultural communication, as well as the importance of coming out of my comfort zone (or study area) into something unknown. Plus, I felt like part of one big family with all the nice people participating and gained many new lovely friends!” Laura conveyed.
Another AAU participant, Kateřina Jurečková mentioned that “I personally really appreciated this structured form of internship, as this course counted as the Internship course for me, which was very practical, judging by the limited amount of electives for Marketing and Communications emphasis students, such as myself. The instructors of the course also took our feedback seriously to improve the program even further for those that are up for this challenge next year.” – not only did the student opinion matter to the companies, but to the AAU faculty as well.
They both agreed that “The benefit that we received through the program was not selfish, we could actually help a company with their real life tasks, struggles, plans, marketing and so much more. We became a part of their team for the duration.” Kateřina also shared that “On top of that, I landed a job at the company that I was introduced to through the Consultancy Program. Now, I am one step closer to my dream job, by working for a company with a cause – the betterment of humanity through smart energy.”
Will you take up the ICP challenge?

Authors: Kateřina Jurečková (student at SBA) and Laura Brathová (student at SIRD)
Find more information at http://car.aauni.edu/summer-school/

Publication date: December 07, 2015