Korea Undergraduate Management Society (KUMS) is a participant in the management consulting program. KUMS was founded in 2006 and is composed of four business management clubs from Seoul National University, Yonsei University, Korea University, and Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). The member clubs meet once every semester to discuss issues on business management and this semester’s topic is “Creative Social Movement: Improving Management of Self-Employed Businesses.”
To apply their knowledge in the real business world, KAIST student members started a project to improve profitability of a book café near Seoul National University. The café had difficulties because of its location and that it targeted consumers who could not visit the café during the day.
“The most difficult part was balancing out the requirements of the café manager and the effectiveness of the solution. The requirement was to keep the quiet atmosphere of the book café, but at the same time increase customers during the day,” Go Eun-yeong (KAIST, 3) said. “We finally came to the conclusion in which the café continues on with its calm atmosphere, but also present more value to consumers.”
Students got an idea from the name of the café - Mama’s Coffee. In order to differentiate Mama’s Coffee from other nearby shops, the team came up with the idea “Being healthy is made by mom.”
“The idea itself was very convincing. The café manager was actually a mother of a child, and was planning to bake desserts to go with the coffee being ordered,” Go said.
Some members of KUMS also helped a BBQ restaurant near Nakseongdae. The restaurant had similar hardships – a poor location and numerous competing restaurants close by.
“We agreed on an idea to include on the menu an item that the nearby restaurants did not sell,” Shin Jung-woo (Yonsei University, 4) said.
“I had continuously wondered what caused me to have such low profitability. The students made me look at the bigger picture. I am currently implementing the idea that the students came up with,” said Moon Hyeon-mi, the owner of the BBQ restaurant.
The student-proprietor program is so well received that it’s spreading to more universities.
Ewha recently began its E-CON activities, a management consulting club associated in Ewha Womans University Career Development Center, and is planning to team up with other universities’ business management.
E-CON participated in a project with SK Telecom, where the members developed new ideas that to help the company boost its sales.
“E-CON is planning to connect with management study group in Kaist, MSK, to continue our activities as consultants to come up with better ideas in solving difficulties that numerous businesses face today,” said Jeon Han-eul (Business, 4), the president of E-CON.
“I believe business consulting activities positively affect the students when searching for their future careers,” professor Yang Hee-dong (Business) said. “Through the experience, they can find what they are really interested in. Although the expertise of the consulting may somewhat fall behind, I believe what the students experience in these activities is more valuable.”
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