Published: Aug. 7, 2018 By

Hi, I'm Brandon Schaefer. In previous lives I was a professional poker player and an Army Blackhawk pilot, and now I'm a 2nd year MBA at Leeds. My focus is on Entrepreneurship and Sustainability but I'm really enjoying learning about consulting this summer. I'm a principal consultant for a firm called Entrepreneurial Solutions (ES) that's owned and operated by MBA Candidates. There are three of us who work for ES, fellow Class of 2019ers Shivani Bhatt and Zakhar Kravtsov, and we're loving life so far.

Brandon Schaefer and team at the Entrepreneur Resource Fair in Denver, Colorado

Shivani, Brandon and Zakhar at the Entrepreneur Resource Fair in Denver

In general, the core MBA classes helped provide the foundation of business knowledge that we've needed to succeed, while our electives added to that foundation, filled in gaps, and helped us excel in our work. There's a lot of creativity in consulting when pitching clients and producing deliverables, so the classes that fostered creativity are the ones that really helped a lot. Shoutout to Pete, George, and Jay from Marketing, Entrepreneurship and New Product Development, respectively, for really honing our creativity and showing us how to apply it to business problems.

Brandon Schaefer and team after signing first client

After signing our first client, Boulder Furniture Arts

We spend the majority of our time in Boulder and use the MBA lounge as our office. We've had a great variety of small-to-medium sized clients: Boulder Furniture Arts, Women of Denver, and EverSleep to name a few. We've actually signed an NDA and are prohibited from naming our biggest client. Does that add some sweet intrigue or what?!

Consulting is all about networking and we've been #blessed with some incredible mentors who have given us guidance and referred clients to us. Just about everyone that we've asked for help has been over-the-top generous with their time and knowledge and we've been lucky to learn a ton from them this summer. If we could give one piece of advice for aspiring consultants / entrepreneurs, it would be to reach out to EVERYONE in your network and EVERYONE in their networks and really just EVERYONE that you can think of. You never know who will be of value and who you'll get your referrals from and the more effort you put in, the more referrals you'll get.

Brandon Schaefer on a work trip in San Diego

Work trip to San Diego!

The best part of ES has been the chance to work with fellow MBA friends and be our own bosses. If we want to work from home on a Friday, we do that. If we have something that we disagree on, we battle it out and then go back to being friends afterwards. I feel so lucky to have spent the summer with Shivani and Zakhar, building stronger friendships and getting great experience building a company and selling your abilities. For anyone interested in ES next year, I highly recommend finding people who you like working with and applying as a team.

That's all for now. If you know anyone in the Denver / Boulder area who needs some business help, you know where to find us! #skobuffs