By Jeremy Boles
Our last week was a busy one; we delivered the two client projects, said some sad goodbyes, took an unexpected trip to Dodoma, and flew on six plane journeys.
TSCG Taking the Reigns!
What really marked the end of our trip was the completion of the two projects with our client, RISE. Some of the members of the newly formed TSCG had discussed setting up a consulting group in the past, however realised there is a difficult challenge in attracting new clients without a pre-existing portfolio of projects demonstrating the quality and value of your work. For any consulting organisation, this can make starting out very difficult as they have no experience to use as a track record. Having worked around the same challenge in the past during the formation of ISCG, we identified the value in completing a client project in Tanzania as part of the Project Seed initiative; one which they can use as a kick-start to their client portfolio, and network from thee to deliver further client projects.
We were nervously excited when we walked into the rooftop room which RISE had booked for our final client presentation event, although the view from the balcony was enough to calm anyone. Due to the number of students involved and RISE's eagerness to meet all of them, they booked out the function room in a beach side bar instead of using their office in Masaki. The location was perfect for presenting the findings, and the numerous presenters did a great job of showcasing their viewpoint and presenting research results. Following the team presentations, the Managing Director and an investor of RISE took some time to question each group and further understand their ideas. They also gave a large amount of constructive feedback which, I'm sure, will be remembered and considered for the next presentation. At the end of the session, the clients requested exploring further follow up projects - a sure sign of a project success!
Saying Our Goodbyes
Presentations concluded and so came the moment we had to bid goodbye to everyone, as the friends we'd worked with for almost a month left in dribs and drabs. It was a sad moment for all of us. We are determined to stay in touch, thanks to social media it is a lot easier to do now. I hope I will get to work with our friends again.
With the trip element of Project Seed now complete, we enjoyed a couple of days off after the presentation and explored Zanzibar, until we were asked to do some work in Dodoma, the official capital of Tanzania. Myself and Ronan flew there for a day visit to the University of Dodoma where we met with the University staff on behalf of Microsoft, my employer. That was an experience in itself (we ended up consulting for 65 people working on 15 different start-up ideas), but that's another story in itself except for one conversation with the University's management team. We explained what we had been doing in the University of Dar es Salaam, and their immediate response was to ask for help in setting up a similar group on their campus.
It's exciting to know that people see the benefit of student consulting and that there is already another university keen to work with TSCG. We wish them all the very best of luck!