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Student FAQ

What is consulting?

Consulting is a very broad term for a general field of work; companies hire consultants to solve and fix problems that they themselves either aren’t equipped to do, don’t have the bandwidth for, or simply can’t find a solution to. Consultants are responsible for researching and doing due diligence on how to solve these issues and present their findings to whoever their client is. Don’t confuse this with actual implementation of initiatives - consultants are the solution givers; actual implementation is left up to the client and may sometimes be left up to the consulting team.

What is tech consulting?

Generally, consultants are specialized in a specific field. Companies will normally have specific issues in whichever division of their organization and will contract consultants accordingly; for example, a company that aims to upstart their marketing initiatives will hire marketing consultants - people who’ve worked in the field, knows the ins and outs, and can offer not only solutions backed up by data and research, but tried and true methods that are intuitive and have worked for other marketing efforts. Tech consulting is simply that; consulting that’s aimed in the technology sector - software, data analysis, business intelligence, SEO, etc.

Why are there so many consulting organizations on campus? 

This is probably the number one question most people have when they come to Berkeley. A lot of it can be tied into culture; we have one of the best undergraduate business programs in the world, and a lot of our student body is interested in getting into consulting as a career field. The nature of consulting work also lends itself nicely to smaller projects over the course of a semester that students can partake in. Moreover, consulting work as a student gives you a very unique opportunity to contribute meaningful work to companies and to learn on the job. Students offer a unique perspective to the many challenges that companies face; we have a stronger grasp on pop culture, social media, and are the next generation of people heading into the workforce and the real world - which is a very valuable outlook to have! 

What differentiates UpSync?

This is an important question to ask when choosing a consulting organization to join. Primarily, we aim to blend technology and traditional business into our work; evident from our portfolio, we’ve had projects that are strictly software engineering to hackathon hosting to marketing to product launch. 

Here at UpSync, we also very much value the unique perspectives that any student can bring to the table - and as such, we have a very diverse blend of majors that are not stereotypically seen in most other consulting organizations, ranging from computer science & data science, to economics, business and psychology. 

We also value our community; our philosophy is that most students who’ve come to Cal are capable for any work that the world can throw at them - we think that being able to have fun doing the work that you’re doing, as well as a passion for it, is just as important as the work itself. Moreover, we pride ourselves in fostering a very warm and tight-knit community that you can go to for anything; whether that be debating on what classes you should take, finding a group to get lunch with on Friday, or having a fun time doing whatever else it may be! 

What’s UpSync’s time commitment? 

Generally, your first semester will consist of: one hour of professional development per week for 7 weeks, where we show you the ropes of networking, resume building, casing, finance, etc.; one hour of general meetings, where we give updates to projects and announce club-wide news; and one hour of project meetings, where you work with your project leader to get your deliverables done. Depending on your project, the amount of work you need to do may vary, but we aim to stick to this schedule as much as possible.

What does UpSync look for in an applicant?

You’ll probably be able to get a general idea by looking through this FAQ. Concisely, we look for: a strong intuition for problem solving, dedication and passion for the work that we do, and a commitment towards the UpSync community. 
It’s important to remember that there is no checklist to our application process; we look at everyone holistically and very much value how they’ll fit into our club as a whole - not solely through qualifications. 

How do I prepare for UpSync's interview process?

Like with anything else, practice! We recommend that you practice your casing, as that’s our group stage interview, and we also recommend that you practice your general problem solving. We’ll be throwing questions at you that aim to see how you deal with problems, if you can think on your feet, how you work with others, and how you communicate. We want to genuinely see how you work and act in a professional and social environment. 

I’m a junior/senior, does this put me at a disadvantage? 

No - we’ve historically taken many juniors and seniors! Again, our interviewing process is very holistic; there is no check list of things that we look for and there is no check list of things that we immediately disqualify with. We think that everyone can bring something to the table and we really want to just see if you can work effectively with our teams on the projects we have. 

I’m not a business major, does this put me at a disadvantage?

No - our consulting organization is comprised of a very wide range of majors. At the time of writing this, we actually have roughly around 50-60% non-business majors. See the other questions on our FAQ for insight on our recruitment philosophy. 

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