STAR USA sends teams of five to seven top MBA and Undergraduate Business students to work on USA–based challenges. Students are guided by a faculty advisor and an executive from the corporate partner over four months during the spring semester. As part of the consulting process, students establish critical success factors for performance, test hypotheses and conduct data-driven analyses. Deliverables include research findings, a narrative to place findings in full context and a final presentation that lays out both achievable recommendations and next steps.
STAR USA offers the consulting experience but requires limited travel for the students and faculty. Corporate partners may be located within the local area, within North Carolina or anywhere within the continental United States. The majority of STAR projects are STAR USA.
While the travel is limited to the USA, STAR USA projects are often multinational corporations but seeking input for USA-based challenges. Other projects are North Carolina-based organizations including large corporations with a strong presence in NC as well as startup companies, non-profits, state government entities or other UNC schools or divisions.
Most of the meetings among the STAR team take place on campus. The Corporate Partner often decides to host meetings onsite and join the STAR Team in Chapel Hill for the Launch Weekend in January.
STAR USA Requirements for Corporate Partners & Students
Qualifying as a Corporate Partner
- Complete an application that includes describing a current situation or challenge that can benefit from a fresh perspective provided by a student consulting team.
- Provide senior executives/representatives to work with the team to ensure success; Representatives should:
- Provide clear, concise and on-going communications with the Faculty Advisor, Project Leader and team;
- Be open to suggestions made by the team;
- Be involved with the team – from start to finish; and,
- Provide relevant financial, market and competitor data.
- Attend the STAR Project Launch on January 26, 2019.
Corporate Partner Financial Obligations
- Contribute USD $25,000 plus any wire fees and/or taxes. This contribution covers administrative support, faculty resources, and a reasonable amount of printed deliverables.
- Cover all travel expenses for STAR team to office location as determined by Corporate Partner in discussion with the faculty advisor and team leader.
- Other non-covered expenses that may be incurred but will require your pre-approval:
- Databases and surveys; and,
- Additional trips by your team that will exceed USD $250.
Qualifying as a Student Participant
- Enrolled at UNC as an undergraduate or MBA student.
- Submits a compelling STAR application.
- Signs the match letter (if selected) with Code of Conduct guidelines.
- Pledges to do top-quality work for credit, putting in time and effort equivalent to the most demanding business school class spanning approximately 15 weeks of the academic year.
- Agrees to engage in all face-to-face and virtual meetings, including the STAR Project Launch in Chapel Hill, NC on January 26, 2019.