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Consulting Programs for Businesses

We offer business consulting programs ranging from 1-week to 7-months. During these programs, students and professional mentors work side-by-side with business owners on projects that improve the bottom line and stimulate new growth.

Our target: businesses owned by people of color, women, LGBTQ, veterans, and those located in under-served communities.

Teams of 4-5 undergraduates, assisted by professional consultants from the nation’s leading consulting firms, major regional corporations, and the Seattle Rotary Club, work over 7 months.
Through more than 500 hours of assistance businesses receive accounting and financial management assistance, mentoring from business executives, and access to cutting-edge business management techniques that solve challenges and capture growth opportunities. This program begins each Fall and runs through May.

Gabriela Michan, [email protected], (206) 543-9545

Program Overview

The Board Fellows Program places MBA an MPA students as non-voting board members of local nonprofit organizations. Nonprofits receive short and long-term benefits; gain new perspectives and ideas on key organizational issues, receive access to resources at the University of Washington, and build the next generation business and civic leaders.

Student fellows attend monthly board meetings, join a board committee, complete a board-level project, and participate in seminars taught by UW Foster School of Business faculty.


  • Nonprofit must have an established board of directors
  • Nonprofit must have at least one full-time paid staff member
  • Board must hold monthly or bimonthly meetings*
  • Board should have at least one standing committee
  • Organizational stability – nonprofits who have not been in operation for at least a year will not be considered
  • Capacity to support the Board Fellows project
  • Nonprofits agree to host two selected student Board Fellows
  • Nonprofits must appoint a board mentor to guide and coach Board Fellows

*Boards who meet bimonthly (every other month) will be considered if they have active committees. Because students receive credit for this program, they are required to spend a minimum of 6 hours per quarter attending board or committee meetings.

Application Timeline and Notification Dates

Start Date End Date
Nonprofit Application Opens December 16, 2019 February 14, 2020 (11:59 pm PST)
Nonprofit Application Review* December 16, 2019 February 28, 2020
Board Fellows Application Opens March 2, 2020 April 3, 2020 (11:59 pm PST)
Board Fellows’ Applications Reviewed by Nonprofits April 6, 2020 April 20, 2020 (11:59 pm PST)
Interview Schedule Available April 27, 2020
Interview/Matching Day May 8, 2020 @ 1:00 pm

Note: A Board member, the executive director or a designated staff member should complete the application.

*Nonprofits’ applications will be reviewed simultaneously between December 16, 2019 and February 28, 2020.

Matching Process
Matching Process


The program provides nonprofit boards:

  • Gain new skills and a fresh perspective from MBA and MPA students
  • Experience recruiting and working with young leaders
  • Leverage student expertise to advance a special board project
  • A foundation for the next generation of board leadership

Nonprofit organizations host two student Board Fellows who will serve as non-voting members of the board from September through May. The nonprofit board appoints a board mentor who should anticipate spending about one hour per month to guide and coach the Board Fellow. Often the board mentor is a committee chair or other committee member that is working with the Fellow on their board project.

We appreciate the support of Wells Fargo Bank, UPS and the Neil and Nancy McReynolds Endowment for support of the Board Fellows Program.

Vy Nguyen, [email protected], (206) 543-3681

Businesses are matched with one undergraduate student and a professional mentor for this 10-week project that typically focuses on business plan development, financial analysis, or plans for expansion to a new market.

Wil Tutol, [email protected], (206) 616-1216

Over 10-week period businesses are matched with students who assist in completing loan applications to present to nonprofit lenders including Harborstone Credit Union, Craft3 and Business Impact Northwest.

Khatsini Simani, [email protected], (206) 543-3681

Through the Consulting & Business Development Center’s Foster Consulting Program, students are matched with business owners for six-week consulting projects to help with a specific business need. Past projects include: launching a new product line, developing a marketing plan, market research, pricing strategy, and improving operating efficiencies.

The project is launched with a client kick-off meeting during which business owners meet with their student consulting team and advisors to discuss the scope of the project.

Over the next six weeks, student teams collect data, conduct research, and develop solutions and recommendations. During the final week of the consulting project, the students make a presentation to their client that includes their findings and recommendations for the firm. Team members also will create a final paper that summarizes the work completed during the quarter.


Fall Quarter
October 21, 2020 6:30 pm Kick-off Event
December 2, 2020 5:30 pm Final Presentation
Winter Quarter
January 25, 2021 6:30 pm Kick-off Event
March 3, 2021 5:30 pm Final Presentation
Spring Quarter
April 19, 2021 6:30 pm Kick-off Event
May 26, 2021 5:30 pm Final Presentation

Vy Nguyen, [email protected], (206) 543-3681