Student-led organization helps foster entrepreneurship

By Aishwarya Raj

(No media attachment yet)A nonprofit organization aims to connect classroom learning with real-world consulting to make a positive impact on local businesses. This entirely student-run organization, Champaign-Urbana Business & Engineering Consulting, helps to build and promote businesses in the area. 

Shravan Gupta, senior in Engineering, co-founded the organization in 2012. SOAs director of CUBE Consulting, Gupta’s primary duties are to set the vision for the organization, to prepare students professionally for their consulting projects and to oversee the quality of the projects.

The diversity of the majors within this organization brings forth many unique skill sets as well as transferable skills that are useful for developing a variety of projects.

“We’re a fresh pair of eyes looking into any business,” Gupta said.

He said even though they may not be experts in the client’s industry, their diverse skill sets help to provide different perspectives on a project.

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    CUBE Consulting’s business model works by testing out new ventures and ideas another organization may be interested in developing to ensure that those ideas are profitable. SO

    Since CUBE Consulting is a nonprofit organization, it is able to probe the market as well as gauge consumer interest free of cost to the clientSO. The organization’s projects are compensated on a voluntary donation basis, and as such, local businesses have been able to test out CUBE’s services risk-free and without any obligation.SO

    Gupta said that this is mainly because CUBE Consulting intends to develop leadership interactions between the students that run the organization. He said they aim to provide students with this opportunity in order to help them better integrate themselves into the business world. 

    Currently, CUBE Consulting is working with an organization called WaitStaffNow, which is headed by co-founding member and University alumnus David Mizer.(No info is on the website about current projects) SO

    The organization works by allowing hiring restaurant managers to immediately fill vacant job positions by viewing applicant profiles. WaitStaffNow aims to bring managing editors and applicants closer together and to help the hiring process run more efficiently. SO

    “A program like this is especially useful in a community like Champaign-Urbana, because not only do we have a large number of restaurants, but their employee base is constantly in flux due to a large student population,” Mizer wrote via email. 

    The applications are generated when a potential employee creates an interactive profile, including up to a 30-second video introduction. 

    “Our goal is to establish a critical mass of both restaurants and applicants in this market then grow outward to neighboring Central Illinois communities and beyond,” Mizer wrote. 

    Katherine Kiang, sophomore in Engineering and human resources manager for CUBE Consulting, manages both the applications and the interviews. She also promotes the positions available.SO

    “From a human resources perspective, my direction for CUBE is looking for longevity in the applicants while sustaining the unique principles the company has,” Kiang said. 

    Kiang is currently working with Mizer to develop an app for WaitStaffNow. 

    “Through this application, it takes minutes to upload your basic information, skills and experience, times you’re free and what type of job you prefer,” Kiang said. 

    WaitStaffNow is just another example of CUBE Consulting’s overarching aims in the University community. The organization provides risk-free services and experiences to both the clients they serve and the students’ leadership skills they strive to develop. 

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    Editors Note: The article originally stated that Shravan Gupta founded the organization in 2015. He co-founded the organization in 2012. The Daily Illini regrets this error.