Information Systems Education Journal


V18 N5 Pages 65-74

Oct 2020

Lessons Learned from Launching and Advising a Student-run Technology Consulting Venture

RJ Podeschi
Millikin University
Decatur, IL USA

Abstract: Information Systems (IS) instructors are continually searching for new and innovative ways to engage students in authentic experiences that mimic the real-world. Previous research asserts that graduates are more prepared when they have hands-on learning opportunities that are linked to real external clients. Unfortunately, real-world projects can either be too small for a particular course, or more often extend beyond the academic calendar limitations set on courses. While many institutions offer internship opportunities or student organizations for students to practice their skills, no curricular opportunities exist for students to run their own Information Technology (IT) consulting business. A private liberal arts institution piloted a course, through the generosity of the Coleman Foundation, to infuse entrepreneurship into the IS discipline; a subject lacking in many IS curricula. The course evolved into one of 14 student-run ventures on campus and is a going concern with over $15,000 in revenue to-date. Students are coached by a faculty advisor, manage the financial statements, run marketing campaigns, and engage in technical projects. Student consultants work on a variety of projects including, but not limited to web design, system analysis and implementation, and database management. The following paper represents the journey over the last four years to build a student-run, entrepreneurship-infused, technology consulting business model and venture, whereby students work on the business and in the business, concurrently, to support previous real-world projects from the classroom and seek additional client work.

Download this article: ISEDJ - V18 N5 Page 65.pdf

Recommended Citation: Podeschi, R., (2020). Lessons Learned from Launching and Advising a Student-run Technology Consulting Venture. Information Systems Education Journal18(5) pp 65-74. ISSN : ISSN: 1545-679X. A preliminary version appears in The Proceedings of EDSIGCON 2019