Navigating Virtual Consulting

Hey there, my name is Dylan, and I am a third year Economics student currently studying at the University of Edinburgh. This is my first semester working as a consultant with FreshSight and Alexandra and I am going to talk about our experiences with FreshSight so far.

Taking part in this program was always going to be unique during a pandemic and it certainly is sad that I have not been able to meet my teammates in person. But I have been surprised by how helpful it is for my mental health and wellbeing to have a dedicated group of people to meet with every week. I believe other consultants feel this way as well because the pandemic has led to a drastic decrease in the amount of time we can spend socialising. On top of this I was really looking forward to meeting new people and making new connections during third year and FreshSight has provided me with an opportunity to do this. It helps that my teammates are lovely people who all genuinely care about our project, in fact the only real problem with my team is that we haven’t had an opportunity to schedule a social yet.

I have also picked up all kinds of skills from working with FreshSight as it is a rare opportunity to gain experience working with a real-world company, where the work you do has a direct real world impact. I already feel a big improvement in my confidence and my ability to approach problems companies face. Most of all I have improved my ability to work online and collaborate with others across Zoom and Google Drive. I am no longer the tech boomer I was before I started.

Hi, I’m Alexandra and I’m a second year History and Politics student. Working online has been a unique experience for all of us. I think the hardest part has been hearing about the social element that comes with being a FreshSight consultant. Not being able to have all those experiences has been extremely unfortunate. Another hard part is to stay focused during team meetings and Tuesday sessions. With all the distractions at home, it feels like there isn’t really any difference in working and resting as all is done in the same room! However, I think FreshSight has done a really good job of allowing us to make the most of this experience. Think Tank was particularly well coordinated. Presenting all of our work to industry experts at Think Tank was a rather nerve racking experience. I think the pressure was slightly taken off getting to present on Zoom, but equally, we still wanted to impress the external guests and do our team justice for all the hard work we had put in so far. Being put on the spot and answering questions we hadn’t thought of before was really invaluable to our team. We certainly discussed a lot of points we could bring up with The Melting Pot, and also reflected on how we could more critically analyse our research and our ideas. It was really interesting to be challenged by people who are in industry, and have seen the suggestions we presented to them play out in a real-life scenario.


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