Student Consulting Opportunities

PA 8991 / MBA 6504: Consulting Project

Course Overview

In partnership with the Carlson Consulting Enterprise, the Center for Integrative Leadership offers PA 8991/MBA 6504 typically each Spring semester (4 credits). This course presents graduate students from diverse professional and graduate schools with the opportunity to participate in the development and launch of a cross-sector collaborative initiative, to work on a complex, important issue in our state, and to make connections with rising leaders from the Minnesota Young American Leaders Program and the senior leader who is mentoring their initiative. We strongly encourage participation from multiple degree programs or disciplines to produce innovative, boundary-spanning analysis and actionable guidance. For some degree programs, this course meets capstone or final professional project degree requirements.

Spring 2024 Project

Making Homeownership More Accessible to People of Color in Duluth


Class Sessions: Tu/Th 8:00-9:40 AM
Team Meetings/Client Meetings: In addition to attending class sessions, students will have various team, client, and advisor meetings throughout the week to move the consulting project forward; estimate of 15 hours total dedicated to this course per week.

Faculty Advisors

Siddharth Chandramouli, Managing Director, Carlson Consulting Enterprise
Samantha Silker, Program Director, Center for Integrative Leadership


Please email Samantha Silker at [email protected] with any questions. 


Past Consultant Projects

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Spring 2022: Leveraging Cross-Sector Engagement to Enhance the Teacher of Color Pathway in Minnesota

Minnesota continues to struggle with generating enough teachers of color and indigenous teachers to effectively serve, inspire, and educate our increasingly diverse student population. This challenge is further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and racial injustice within our community, social issues that have had grave implications for recruiting and retaining talent in the education workforce. While young people, schools, and nonprofit organizations are engaging in this work, these efforts are not currently coordinated or supported by cross-sector efforts. To fill this gap, this project focuses on utilizing intentional and coordinated cross-sector collaboration to enhance the early stages of the teacher of color and indigenous teacher pathway.

Fall 2020: Employment Equity

This project seeks to ensure that Minnesota has the workforce it needs for the future through providing a shared tool or toolbox for employers more effectively to source, hire, retain and advance African American, LatinX and Indigenous talent. The specific, initial focus of the project will be on for-profit employers of management, business, financial and health professionals. The project group seeks in the first instance to complete a landscape overview of initiatives or tools that have been successfully developed and applied for these purposes and that could be generalized to be useful to a number of different employers. The group also seeks specifically to become aware of approaches or tools that have been used to change employers narratives from landing scarce employees to growing the number of such potential employees who consider working and remaining in this area.

Fall 2020: Saint Cloud Talent Connection

The St. Cloud area is the second fastest growing of the thirteen Economic Development Regions in Minnesota and is facing workforce shortages — particularly in the construction and professional/technical services fields. The aim of this project is to provide a bridge to connect emerging leaders in these fields with potential employees who may or may not have the traditional qualifications to fill these jobs possess or may be readily trained to possess the necessary skill sets. The project group has identified awareness, resources, and tools as potential “bridging” mechanisms to make these connections.

Summer 2020: Preventative Youth Mental Health Arts Program

This project starts from the premise that youth health and wellbeing are significant concerns for workforce readiness in Minnesota. In particular, the project group — whose members include a high school principal, healthcare advocate, and future employers — has identified youth suicide, gun violence and the disadvantages of underserved youth as major concerns to Minnesota’s future economic vitality. The project seeks to develop an arts programming tool or toolkit that can provide “upstream” (preventing or mitigating anxiety, anger management or other mental health challenges before they occur) opportunities for high-school aged youth to reflect and express themselves.

Summer 2020: Supporting Artists to Confront False Narratives

This project seeks to develop an “arts and culture” toolkit — potentially including local resources, talking points, instructions for arts and culture projects in various media, positive narratives, and facilitation techniques — to address racism for discussion and use by groups, professions, organizations or communities. The toolkit should be adaptable for a virtual or post-pandemic environment. The MYALP Project Team requests that graduate students assist them in the following ways to shape the project to be ready to deliver and evaluate its first prototype toolkit.

Spring 2023: A More Equitable Greater Mankato

The goal of this project is to tackle the problem of inequitable leadership throughout the Greater Mankato Area. The MYALP team has identified a lack of BIPOC, Women, and Young Adults involved with leadership roles throughout our community. The team believes that increasing such representation in nonprofit boards provides lower barriers to entry and could be a jumping-off point for further advancement.

Spring 2023: Talent Retention in the Greater St. Cloud Area

This project aims to retain talent in the Greater St. Cloud Area and understand why talent chooses to leave or remain in the community. The project will bring together businesses, community leadership groups, and young professionals to create networks and learning opportunities for retention. This project focuses on strategies and actionable recommendations for retaining talent within the region.