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  • Writer's pictureSepehr Tahmasebi

BusinessOne in 2021 —A year in review

Special thanks to Kenneth Guevarra (incoming VP of Operations), Ivan Barouline (incoming President) and Rachel Wang (outgoing VP of Consulting) for their contributions to this piece.

Our Semester 1 committee

2021 has been BusinessOne Melbourne’s most bustling year yet. From hosting events with Uber, Canva and BCG, to completing 11 new projects and running our largest recruitment cycles yet, this year has had no shortage of milestones for our club. Some significant milestones for our club this year include:

  • UMSU affiliation (finally!)

  • 4 new national sponsors

  • 11 new client projects, including 3 tech projects

  • Stellar events with BCG, Uber, Canva and Airwallex, and case competition with DoorDash

  • Our largest recruitment cycle yet, with a current committee of 59

We’d love to share our journey with you — so here’s our year in review!


Projects As an introduction to the BusinessOne Consulting Program, a team of typically one project leader and four project consultants work together with a start-up client over ten weeks to solve some of their underlying business problems with bespoke solutions, ultimately culminating in the form of a slide-deck or report final deliverable. Project leaders and consultants undergo training throughout the semester to develop their skills as well as receive mentorship from professionals catered to their specific project scope.

This year’s vision for projects was to expand our clientele to bigger names as well as provide a variety of industries and project scopes for our consultants to select preferences for. This involved an incredible outreach effort and an amazing lineup of projects for Semester 1.

Our BajaBoard project team from Semester 1

Our projects for Semester 1 were:

  • Developing a tangible customer engagement strategy for Airwallex, a unicorn fintech facilitating cross border financial transactions

  • Expanding global operations by improving supply chain for BajaBoard, an off-road electric skateboard manufacturer and retailer

  • Building a newly acquired sport science education and training platform for Catapult Sports, a publicly listed sports performance and analytics company

  • Developing a guest experience index based on sentiment analysis for ROLLER, an all-in-one software suite for attractions, entertainment and leisure venues

  • Growing the customer base through unconventional marketing strategies for Superhero, a share trading broker catering to newer investors with lower trading costs.

BusinessOne Melbourne's clients in Semester 1 of 2021

Semester 2 started off with a bang, by reimagining the way projects operate with a new leadership structure with two co-VPCs as well as the introduction of an additional consulting project (making a total of six projects). The projects this semester worked with a selection of Victorian startups from a range of industries, providing a range of business problems to solve.


  • Formulated an international market expansion plan as well as product development for the recently founded at-home bubble tea kit provider, Bubble Tea Club

  • Conducted a product development and use-case (UX/UI) project with Pory, a no-code platform

  • Formulated a white paper for the Government grants necessary to expand into more educational institutions with Vivi, an educational wireless screen mirroring software

  • Researched the workflows and product-fit for the freelancing platform, Speedlancer

  • Conducted two tech projects, expanded on below.

BusinessOne Melbourne's clients in Semester 2 of 2021

Tech consulting projects

Riding off the success of last semester’s tech-consulting project with ROLLER, B1 took on two tech-consulting projects this semester to pioneer this new initiative. The two tech projects were a data analytics and visualisation project with Littlepay, a contactless payment infrastructure for public transport, and research into annotation and ML Ops tools to support the computer vision models for Macuject, an AI-powered decision support software platform that addresses the treatment gap in blinding retinal disease.

New initiatives in projects

Our project leaders led the charge with a new initiative for Semester 1 that carried on into Semester 2, the Project Showcase. The Project Showcase involves our project teams presenting their findings for 10 minutes with 5 minutes Q&A time to the wider BusinessOne committee and our project mentors who have guided our teams for the length of the semester. This gave our project teams the opportunity to develop their presentation skills, practice before the final client presentation and also receive feedback from mentors as well as other committee members. Also importantly, this Project Showcase also formed part of the criteria in selecting two of our project teams to present in the bi-annual Intervarsity Showcase.

The Semester 1 Project Showcase - with project teams and mentors pictured

The Intervarsity Showcase is an opportunity for the three BusinessOne university branches (UNSW, USyd & UniMelb) to demonstrate the impact they have created for clients also in a 10 minute presentation and 5 minute Q&A format. The most innovative strategy of the six teams participating will be awarded with the Innovation Award, judged by professionals with experience in consulting or start-ups. In Semester 1, we had our Airwallex and BajaBoard teams represent the University of Melbourne branch. Both of our teams prepared zealously and presented eloquently during the showcase. Ultimately, our own BajaBoard team took out the win, with special mention to Justin Dinh who was awarded best speaker of the night. We wish the best of luck to our teams preparing to participate in the Semester 2 Intervarsity Showcase following our exam period.

The judges for our S1 Intervarsity Showcase provided diverse insights into our teams' presentations.

BusinessOne took a huge leap forward in organising professional training for its consultants and officers for the first time. The first training which revolved around Strategy and Consulting Frameworks, was led by one of our principal sponsors, Partners in Performance. PiP provided many interactive activities to provide a structured approach to many of the problems a consultant may face — even applying consulting frameworks to writing a cold email to ask for an internship! Our second training was hosted by EY and looked into the crux of financial modelling, covering everything from useful Excel formulas, to data visualisation tools, to the best approaches for analytics — giving everyone a headstart for any modelling in their projects. Our final training began with our very own VPO, Sepehr, discussing macros, short-cuts and design tools for PowerPoint as well as the design frameworks needed to make a compelling slide-deck, and finished with B1’s President, Brielle, covering everything stakeholder engagement related.

Projects is looking forward to having trainings in person again next year!



The beginning of 2021 saw BusinessOne’s largest sponsorship cycle yet, with sponsorships from the Boston Consulting Group, Quantium, Partners in Performance and Simon-Kutcher and Partners. Throughout the year, we furthered our industry presence by partnering with EY for our mentorship and professional training programs, and pitchblak (now Pitch VC) for project mentorship. This bolstered the quality of a total of 7 events for BusinessOne Melbourne this year.

Semester 1 events

We started the year off strong with our case workshop with Partners in Performance, progressing through the semester with another workshop with SKP. In addition to this, our semester’s event schedule was accentuated by our two part Quest for Startups series, featuring startups from unicorns such as Airwallex, to smaller, rapidly growing ed-tech, MathGaps (now Tutero). Students heard from a colourful range of startup founders and speakers about their journeys founding startups, and how students can best prepare themselves for a career of entrepreneurship as a student and as graduates.

Semester 2 events

Semester 2 marked the achievement of a radical set of milestones. Thanks to our sponsorship and operations teams, we are now UMSU affiliated, allowing us to access and engage the broader student community much more strongly. The semester also featured three incredibly popular events — the first being our From Corporate to Startups event, where over 90 students heard from ex-corporate (top-tier consulting, big law) speakers who had since entered Uber, Canva and DoorDash — a topic which seemed to strike a chord with many students planning to move into corporate after graduating.

Our From Coorporate to Startups event received passionate audience engagement.

The second event was our DoorDash national case competition, where over 200 students attended our case launch and heard about the food delivery which recently went public, and their prompt for students to look into new ways for them to expand into Australian verticals. The competition attracted 75 detailed and varied presentations, making it difficult for judges to decide who would take the $1000 cash prize. In the end, it was University of Melbourne team ‘Spice Market Consulting’, that took the reigns.

4 teams were judged by senior DoorDash representatives in the finals.

Our final event for the year was our BCG Case Workshop, where almost 100 students heard from a current BCG Associate on her experiences in one of the largest and most highly regarded international consulting firms. She also walked through their recruitment process, demonstrating how best to approach a case interview, including a live walkthrough of a case, where students interactively provided recommendations for a case quite similar to one that would be asked in a BCG interview. To finish off the event, the BCG speaker fielded a few interesting questions from the audience, who were keen to hear about the diversity the consulting firm had to offer with respect to degrees and backgrounds.

BCG's case workshop involved two difficult case studies to prompt the audience's thinking.


People and culture


BusinessOne Melbourne received in excess of 450 applications across both its 2021 recruiting cycles from some of the university’s most stellar students in Commerce, STEM and Arts faculties — certainly reflecting the overall growth the Melbourne chapter has experienced from its humble origins in 2018. Not only was this are largest year for recruitment, but also the busiest yet — with a new stage system being implemented which led to over 94 people in our group interviews and more than 65 individual interviews over our most recent recruiting cycle.

This resulted in a whopping 126 hours of interviews for our recruitment team who achieved this over four days. We also held our first editions of information night this year which showcased the club to the wider student community and achieved a combined attendance of over 160.

Growing together

2021 was also the year that B1 socials were revamped with initiatives such as buddy groups, inter-team bonding, and lunch bunch. Buddy groups were organised according to location this year to promote interaction with members to save members going into the city every time to catch up with B1 members. Buddy group activities included brunch, dinners, and movies while in lockdown this transitioned to games and Uber roulette nights. Inter-team bonding was pushed by our leadership team this year for each team to spend fun nights with each other round robin style across the year.

Finally, during semester one we restarted our lunch bunch initiative where every week B1 would come together to have lunch and study together. All of this was translated online through our committee discord server and meetings that really helped the club grow together during lockdown 6.0.

One of our buddy groups catching up for dinner!

Melbourne’s first consulting club olympics

With Tokyo 2021 and Melbourne lockdown 6.0 happening, B1 expanded our initial B1 Olympics event, an online team game competition, to consulting clubs within Melbourne! The clubs involved were 180 Degrees Consulting, Global Consulting Group, Impetus Consulting Group, and Melbourne Microfinance Initiative.

Participating clubs included Melbourne's most prominent consulting clubs.

Over 125 people attended the event which consisted of 12 games such as online Pictionary and Valorant to decide which club was the champion. The final event of the day was a case competition where each club had to pitch the next social movement where teams were judged on their creativity, wittiness, and most importantly — humour.

Without a doubt, the consulting olympics will be something to look forward to for future committees — hopefully including some in-person sports and activities as well!


And… that’s a wrap!

Thanks for following us on our journey in 2021 — we hope you’ve enjoyed watching our club grow as much as we have. Whether you’re graduating or are on your way there, we hope our club has provided you some value along the way, and hopes to continue doing so well into the future.

To stay in touch with us, please follow our socials. BusinessOne (across all its branches) will be hiring early next year, so keep your eyes peeled on our socials on more information about our recruitment information nights and how you can get involved with our club next year. If you have any feedback or questions about our event, please feel free to get in touch with any of the authors of this piece.

All the best to you all in the meantime — wishing you a very jolly and eventful break over the summer!

Best regards — BusinessOne Melbourne team

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