Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Service in Strategy

Fourth in a continuing series on community service at Georgetown.

Chris Satti (MSB ’06) rarely gets to indulge two of the things he cares most about – business and community service.

But Hilltop Consultants, a student-run business consulting service, allows him to do just that.

Providing pro-bono consulting services to two local non-profit agencies per semester, the group lets students help others while improving their business skills. The organization, which sponsored a business skills case competition over the weekend, also aims to introduce its members to prominent leaders in the business community.

Satti is the project manager of a Hilltop Consultants partnership with the Solar Electric Light Fund, which provides electrical services to rural communities. He said that his team members are working to develop a plan to secure more unrestricted monetary donations for SELF.

“We’re giving them advice on some campaigns they’re looking into starting and helping them see how they can partner with student groups on college campuses,” he said.

It was 2004 when the idea of a student-run consulting organization first entered Mitch Fox’s (MSB ’05) mind. He said he was frustrated that the career center offered numerous career options for students interested in financial services but not as many for aspiring consultants.

“In something like this I saw an overlap of needs,” Fox, who is a contributing editor at THE HOYA, said. “People wanted to have a substantial impact in the community and they needed to improve their business skills.”

Fox’s idea progressed from initial meetings with interested students into the formation of a full-fledged student organization.

Hilltop Consultants receives some university funding and also boasts numerous corporate sponsorships. But it stays true to its roots – helping needy organizations that can’t afford to hire professional consultants.

Brian Soloway (MSB ’05) is the manager of a partnership with D.C. Scores, an organization which mixes soccer with literacy education.

Soloway said that his group is now working with D.C. Scores to help the organization expand into health-care related fields.

“I love sports and this was an organization that is really doing good things so this was a good mix for me,” he said.

Last semester Hilltop Consultants served two other local organizations, the YMCA National Capital’s D.C. Youth and Government Program and the Community Consortium on Assisted Living.

Kat Palmieri (COL ’06), the organization’s current consulting director who served as project manager for the YMCA project, said Hilltop Consultants can help revamp the image of worthwhile non-profits.

“[YMCA is] a worthwhile program,” Palmieri said, “but they were so involved with helping the students, they couldn’t step back and get statistics.”

Hilltop Consultants created a new logo for the organization, changing it from the Capitol building to a cherry blossom to represent aspects of Washington outside of the political realm.

“They needed a professional, streamlined appearance,” she said. “We helped them do that.”

To help improve the marketing strategy of the Community Consortium on Assisted Living, the Consultants conducted a study to find the best ways to let more people know about assisted living options.

Under the leadership of Samir Bhatiani (MSB ’06), they decided to create additions to the organization’s Web site to reach out to a larger demographic.

Bhatiani said that the experience was not only beneficial for CCAL, but was eye-opening for him as well.

“It broadened my point of view of retirement life,” he said. “I know professors that have parents in the same situation. It taught me more about it.”

Ultimately, many of the students involved in Hilltop Consultants see it as an opportunity to give back to the community in an extraordinary and unique way.

“It’s a student consulting organization that deals with D.C.-area non-profits as an alternative to the everyday community service projects,” Bhatiani said.

More to Discover