My name is Lukas Bielmeier and I am the current Vice President of 180 Degrees Consulting Lund. Together with some of my study colleagues, I was part of the initial founding team of 180DC Lund. In addition to that, I also worked as a Consulting Director for 180DC Lund during the past semester. Besides my work for 180DC, I currently study for a double master’s degree at Lund University and Aalborg University, where I study Innovation & Global Sustainable Development as well as Social Data Science.
Why get involved?
As a student, you will always have to find a balance between doing work that is related to your studies and things you want to do next to studying. While some people choose to spend their non-study time learning new languages or discovering the Swedish culture, others want to engage in organizations or companies to complement their theoretical knowledge with practical, hands-on experience. However, with only a limited amount of time available, why should you engage in a non-profit organization without earning any money from it?
Let me tell you why I chose to be a founding member and consulting director of 180DC Lund and how it has helped me advance both personally and professionally. As someone studying my master’s in Innovation & Global Sustainable Development, I am naturally drawn to work that has an impact – either socially or ecologically. As for many newly arrived students in Lund, it was my first time living in a foreign country for a longer period of time. Not only was I uncertain about what my studies will bring and how much time I’d have to invest in learning, but I was also unsure about whether or not I wanted to work along with my university studies.
Personally, it was always important for me to add a bit of practical experience to my studies, as I wanted to apply my knowledge in a real work environment. At the same time, I wanted to engage in something that I really care about. As most students, I was (and still am) tight on money and my first thought was to find something where I can earn a bit of extra money. Unfortunately, finding a student job is not always easy, especially in a city like Lund that is not exactly known for abundant part time opportunities for non-Swedish speaking people.
Although there are plenty of other possibilities for students to engage in organizations such as the student nations or certain university faculties, most of those do not focus on creating social impact or providing students with relevant work experience. So, what do you do as an impact-driven student who wants to brush up their CV while also having a tangible impact with your part-time engagement?
My experience with 180DC Lund
180DC Lund was the perfect opportunity for me to create social impact while also gaining relevant work experience. As a consulting director, I was responsible for the supervision and administration of one of the projects we were conducting the previous semester. Together with a team of four consultants and one project leader, we supported a Swedish non-profit organization in their planned expansion to Southern Sweden and its overall digital marketing strategy.
The overall scope of the project required us to first conduct a thorough market analysis to see what areas of Sweden might be of interest for the organization to expand their operation. Based on this analysis, the project team then created an expansion tool that enables the non-profit organization to derive the most attractive regions of Sweden to expand to based on selected parameters that are of relevance for them – for example, the amount of kids whose parents are from non-EU countries or the average income in a certain region. In addition, the project team also conducted further research on different social media strategies and supported our client in finding the most effective digital marketing strategy to increase conversion rates and online awareness of the client.
By working closely together with the project team and taking care of client communication, I was strongly involved in shaping the project frame. It was great to see how much we as students can impact the growth of established organizations and support them in their future development. Being a consulting director really helped me improve my leadership and communication skills and I learned how to bridge the gap between our ambitions as an organization and the needs of the client.
I was also able to gain insights on how consultant work is done efficiently and what it takes to fulfil consultancy projects successfully. Supervising the whole project was a great addition to my skill set and the experiences I made are surely something I will draw from for any future positions that I work in, whether those will be in the consultancy field or not. After all, my experience with 180DC Lund was so positive that I decided to stay with them for another semester and take on the responsibility to become the Vice President of our branch.
How can you create social impact by joining us as a consultant or project leader?
Being a consultant or project leader means that you will be one of the persons to carry out the actual project work. As part of the project team for 180DC Lund, you will work closely together with socially conscious organizations and enterprises to help them achieve societal goals beyond profit maximization. Since our clients consist mostly of non-profit organizations or pursue social-oriented business models, they typically do not have the resources to acquire professional consultancy, although they are the ones who potentially benefit most from these services.
This is where you as a student come into play. With only around 5-10 hours of work per week, you as part of a project team have the power to enable those organizations to scale their business more efficiently. Not only will you help those enterprises to do better for the people and the planet, you will also learn more about consultant work and real business insights than you would at most other part-time jobs in Lund. As either a consultant or project leader, you will be given real responsibility for the development of tasks that are crucial for the business of our clients. 180DC Lund provides you with all the necessary tools and workshops from established and well-known partner consultancies to do so. Most importantly, you can be sure that the work you do means something and really helps a socially conscious enterprise to do better.
From a professional perspective, I can strongly recommend working for 180DC as either a consultant or project leader. I am sure you will make memories and experiences that will accompany you for all the future positions you wish to apply to. Personally, I hope to see many new students apply for a position within 180 Degrees Consulting Lund and I am looking forward to getting to know all the new and motivated students who are internally driven to create social impact.
A master student in Innovation and Global Sustainable Development at Lund University and Social Data Science at Aalborg University. Lukas is the current Vice President and a former Consulting Director of 180DC Lund. Lukas was also one of the initial founding members of the Lund branch.