A group of University of Wollongong students have launched a new consulting service to help not-for-profits, charities and socially conscious organisations.
The student led 180 Degrees Consulting (180DC) at UOW is one of 172 groups in 36 countries that provide an opportunity for its members to work as volunteers on practical business projects with real world clients.
After raising the idea with fellow students Andrew Mastroianni, a final year law, politics, philosophy and economics student, said 180DC was launched in February.
"180 Degrees Consulting actually started at the University of Sydney in 2007 and then spread like wildlife not just across Australia but across the world," he said.
"I stumbled across it on Linkedin a year ago and thought "what is this". I wanted to join it so I checked if UOW had one and found out it didn't. I then thought about how to go about launching one.
"There was an application process I went through with a bunch of other uni students and we got approved."
Mr Mastroianni said every project is different so 180DC is providing students with a broad range of experience while helping a local charity or community organisation at no cost to them.
He said 180DC has already been involved in three projects and another eight are planned over the next six months.
"We currently have around 200 members of the UOW branch," he said.
"In terms of consultants and executives who actually run the branch we have 30 members. And we are about to expand to another 40 over the next couple of weeks. We have new projects coming up so we will have 60 to 70 people people involved in running the branch."
All the administration and organisation is done virtually.
Mr Mastroianni said 180DC has pretty much run remotely since the start of the year so COVID-19 has not had any significant impact or prevented students from helping charities and social enterprises in a time of greater need.
"Some have clients have reach out to us via Linkedin and others through other contacts. We take students from all different backgrounds to help them. We want that diversity to enrich the recommendations we have for out clients."
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