We are on a mission to help young people
get a better start in their professional life.
First Step Consulting is a not-for-profit social enterprise that primarily aims to enhance the employability of ambitious university students and recent graduates.
We recruit and train committed volunteers joining our team as pro bono management consultants. Our volunteers work on the challenging consultancy projects we run and help us solve the business problems of our clients. In return, they develop career skills and get hands-on experience alongside gaining a valuable insight into the world of work — vastly improving their employability and future prospects.
Graduates get lost in the transition from school to work.
Many university students fail to make a smooth transition to work in the United Kingdom and across the world. The stark reality is that around half of recent UK graduates are either entirely unemployed or working in low-skilled, non-graduate roles. The competition is getting even more intense with each passing year. An average of 74 graduates are applying for every graduate position in the UK. Young people from less privileged backgrounds fare the worst.
Employers cannot find graduates with the right skills.
At the same time, UK businesses overwhelmingly feel that many recent graduates are not adequately prepared for the workplace. The majority of UK employers believe a lack of work experience and soft skills are the reasons why graduates are unprepared for work. However, only about a third of UK employers offer work experience placements to young people in education. Unsurprisingly over a thousand graduate vacancies are going unfilled every year.
As our volunteers work on the management consulting projects we run, they improve their commercial awareness and business acumen, develop and demonstrate the skills valued by employers, and gain meaningful work experience. Importantly, they can work on our projects even while studying or working full-time and easily break the cycle of ‘no experience, no job – no job, no experience’.
We have already cooperated with hundreds of volunteers and over half of our pro bono consultants are aspiring students and recent graduates from diverse backgrounds. The majority (89%) of our pro bono consultants report that they feel considerably more confident about their career prospects. Tens of our former volunteers are currently working at prestigious organisations and constantly tell us that working on our projects helped them get a decent job. This is what drives us.
We also cooperate with a growing number of experienced professionals supporting our volunteers. They mentor students and recent graduates in our team and help them make more informed career decisions.
We have pioneered a
new model of consulting.
Supported by our dedicated pro bono consultants,
we serve both large and small organisations
with the same level of drive.
Today, it is arguably more important than ever to develop effective business strategies and to make informed decisions. Yet most organisations, especially start-ups, SMEs and nonprofits, have little access to quality business support either due to availability or price. That is why they struggle to achieve their full potential and intended impact in many cases.
Our model enables us to help change this as we are able to work with organisations
of all shapes and sizes. We provide our clients with a wealth of information and immediately actionable recommendations to help them make better strategic decisions. In every engagement, we strive to serve our clients with excellence and build long-term relationships. In fact, over 60% of our business is from repeat clients.
How It Works
Not only do we assign skilful volunteers to the consulting projects for which they are best suited, but we also manage each engagement professionally throughout the whole process. Therefore, we are fully accountable to our clients for the quality of services they receive.
While working directly on the strategic issues of our clients, we also coordinate our volunteers and lead them by example. Our pro bono consultants always work under our close supervision and contribute to each project significantly. This model enables us to maximise the value we add to our clients and serve organisations of all sizes.
Together we offer a wide range of services including industry analysis, customer segmentation, market research, competitive analysis, impact assessment, operating model design, market sizing, and strategic positioning.
Three years ago we embarked on a journey with the support of LSE Generate. We make every effort to create rewarding opportunities for our volunteers and to help our clients achieve lasting success. Work with us to take your organisation to the next level and support a good cause. Join our community and help us achieve our social mission of empowering ambitious young people.