Consulting Project

Work with a client to identify issues or opportunities and develop and/or implement solutions and/or strategies.

Consulting Projects at Brock

Consider these examples of consulting projects designed by faculty and instructors at Brock.

Course: MKTG 4P93 – Internet and Social Media Marketing

Instructor: Dr. Kai-Yu Wang, Professor

Program: Business Administration


According to Dr. Wang “a key challenge in teaching digital marketing is determining how to help students learn digital marketing strategies with actionable tactics that they can directly apply to the real digital business world”. To address this challenge, Dr. Wang has been using a combination of simulations and consulting projects for the last three years in his fourth year Internet and Social Media Marketing course. To apply the theories and practices they have learned in the course, Dr. Wang has students participate in a digital marketing simulation project. This project acts as the building ground upon which the students test and develop the skills they will need to complete their consulting project with a local small business or not-for-profit organization later in the course. Dr. Wang also offers his students workshops on how to get certified by Google Ads. Exposing students to these experiences first is important to not only support them in developing the skills they will need to work effectively with their business and community partners, but also to build trust and skills working as teams.

In the latter half of the course, students put their knowledge and skills to the test by consulting on a digital marketing campaign project with a business/community partner organization. Each partner is expected to contribute at least $100 to the project which students draw from to manage the organization’s Google Ad account over a two-week period. Managing a real budget is a valuable skill that many students have not yet experienced. Each team is responsible for reporting the search engine marketing strategy they have developed to their business/community partner, including setting the daily budget for the Google Ad account. Additionally, students consult with their partner organization early in the term to identify one additional internet or social media marketing project that would benefit the partner above and beyond the Google Ad campaign; projects might include search engine optimization, website design, or an email or social media campaign. This assessment is also a key learning outcome of the course and an essential skill that can be applied in professional roles during co-op work terms or after graduation.

According to former student Anthony Foster, who took the course in Winter 2018, the opportunity to “monitor and analyze the results of our strategies from start to finish, [and] the opportunity to work in a live business setting to execute our strategies provided immeasurable value as a student.” He, like many other students who have taken the course with Dr. Wang speak of the impact that is has had on their careers and professional lives after graduation. “This course and its unique approach have taught me how to overcome challenges through trial and error, along with setting me in the direction of the limitless opportunities that can be stemmed from the dynamism of digital marketing.”

Pen CentreCommunity Living Grimsby & LincolnIntuitive Shipping
Small Biz AssistCommunity Care West NiagaraECCDC
Project SharePalantine Fruit & RosesMentholatum Canada
Fleeky Inc.Advanced MonumentsGBF Community Services

Course: HLSC 4P80 – Physical Activity in Child Health and Disease

Instructor: Dr. Karen Patte, Assistant Professor

Program: Health Science

Active school travel project & research knowledge translation

Health Science students in Dr. Patte’s fourth year Physical Activity in Child Health and Disease course have the opportunity to learn through multiple consulting projects. The first has students working in groups to develop strategies to engage elementary students and their parents/guardians in active school travel. The Active School Travel project support the mission of the Niagara Region Public Health (NRPH) unit to increase active school travel across the region. Each group is assigned an elementary school within the region and using maps, demographic information, and their own on-site analysis develops an evidence-based action plan and audience-specific messaging campaign to improve participation in walking, biking, and other forms of active school travel. The plans and messaging strategies are shared with the NRPH Health Promoter to ensure that the students’ work influences this community health initiative.

The second consulting project has students working with the COMPASS study – a longitudinal study on youth health behaviours being conducted by researchers across Canada. Knowledge translation and exchange (KTE) is central to the study to ensure evidence is effectively communicated to target audiences and used to inform practice for the improvement of youth health. To this end, Dr. Patte’s students use aggregate data from the study to create a COMPASS knowledge translation and exchange ‘product’ in the form of a video, infographic, or zine to quickly and effectively translate the evidence to a chosen target audience including high school students, partners, educators/school administrators, or government policy makers. According to HLSC 4P80 student Josayln DeVlugt the Compass KT project ” was completely different from anything I have done before. It was a great experience that allowed us to see the practical aspects of work like this and how it could be applied to future jobs.” The students’ KTE products are shared back with the COMPASS study partners and have been featured on the Compass Twitter feed – @COMPASS_UW.

Examples of HLSC 4P80 students’ COMPASS KT products:

Karli Hunter

Kate Mamo & Angely Suthaharan

Samantha Thompson

Course: EDUC 5P51 – Teaching & Learning in Higher Education

Instructor: Dr. Nicola Simmons, Assistant Professor

Program: Master of Education

Teaching & Learning in Higher Education Consulting Project

While graduate students often encounter literature reviews assignments in the course of their studies, completing a review and consulting on recommendations for an external client adds a unique and enriching dimension to this type of learning experience. According to a student in Dr. Simmon’s course, “there’s something about the external audience that changes the experience of literature review/ writing.”

As part of their studies in EDUC 5P51, each student was paired with an client in the field of higher education and academe.  Over the course of the term, students consulted with the client to understand their needs related to a particular issue related to teaching and learning. The culmination of the project required students to produce a summary report of literature-based recommendations on the teaching and learning in higher education topic for their academic client.  Students synthesized and critiqued the perspectives, outlining strengths and limitations in the literature, and included their own recommendations for practice, for theory, and for further research based on the context of their client.

In addition to enriching the learning experience for Masters of Education students, the external academic clients also benefited from the experience. According to one client, the most value part of the consulting project “has been that I was offered a perspective that I would have been quite challenged to obtain on my own.” In some instances the consult projects have led to academic publications for Dr. Simmons students as well as opportunities to explore new potential career and research interests.