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Graduate Student Consulting Challenge 2023

  • 10/19/2023
  • 10/23/2023
  • Virtual
  • 7


How Does the Consulting Challenge Work?


WHEN: Thursday, October 19th – Monday, October 23rd 

WHO: All graduate students studying I-O or a related field in the DC Metro area and beyond are welcome to apply. We will select 30 students to participate. Students are considered in the order that they register. Selected students are then placed on a team of 3-6 people with students from other universities.

  • PTCMW membership is required
  • COVID-19 Precautions: This event will be completely virtual just as last year. This also allows a broader reach to students in farther geographic locations.
  • Note on team composition: PTCMW leadership reviews applications in regard to previous work or research experience, university affiliation, and year in school in order to develop diverse and fair teams.


WHAT: During the kickoff meeting, PTCMW presents teams with a Request for Proposal (RFP) that outlines a real organizational challenge. Over the following three days, teams work together to develop a proposal to be presented both orally (in a 30-minute presentation) and in written form (via a 2-page executive summary). Representatives from PTCMW and expert I-Os will judge presentations and rate executive summaries.

Why Should You Participate?


EXPERIENCE A REALISTIC JOB PREVIEW: PTCMW presents a real challenge that organizations are currently facing in a realistic RFP format. Students present as if they were external consultants bidding on a consulting project. Solutions are judged by expert practitioners based on theory, technical merit, and innovation. This offers participating students an opportunity to experience a realistic a work sample, expand their professional networks, develop consulting skills, build communication skills, and win prizes.


EXPAND PROFESSIONAL NETWORK: Students currently enrolled in I-O and related programs are assigned to a group made up of students with differing expertise, knowledge, and program affiliations. Students will be assigned to teams and given the opportunity to network with other students, PTCMW members, and representatives from the sponsor organization. It also provides the sponsoring organization with an opportunity to identify high potential I-Os that may be a good fit for their organization. In fact, students have received job offers on the spot.


DEVELOP CONSULTING SKILLS: Teams are responsible for building an effective team, developing products, and presenting results.


BUILD COMMUNICATION SKILLS: Each team presents to a panel of expert I-O judges and receive invaluable feedback.


WIN PRIZES: The first-place team will be awarded with $1,350 and the runner up team will receive $750. All participants receive free PTCMW 2023 Student Memberships and the first, second, and third place teams will receive free admission to the Fall Event.


Student Testimonials


"The consulting challenge was an amazing experience. It was such a great opportunity to network with the other graduate students, work on a real-word RFP, and to get great feedback from experts in the field.  I will definitely be signing up for the next one."


“I gained invaluable practical experience that will undoubtedly enhance my career prospects. In addition to working on a diverse project team comprised of I-O graduate students from prestigious universities across the east coast, we were provided developmental feedback from esteemed I-O psychologists from the most renowned consulting companies.  This experience generated a level of self-confidence in my professional skills and ability to become an elite researcher and practitioner. Perhaps most importantly, the Graduate Student Consulting Competition allowed me to become visible to the large network of respected I-O psychologists in and around Washington, D.C.  I am very much looking forward to participating in PTCMW’s 2015 Graduate Student Consulting Competition and further developing my professional skillset.”

"The PTCMW Consulting Challenge was my first taste of applied I-O practice. I learned valuable lessons about the industry that will prove vital in future organizational consulting. Through the Challenge, I established professional connections with both graduate students and I/O professionals that I still maintain today. It really was a cool experience. It’s a great entry-level opportunity for I-Os to get some early experience under their belt.”

Event Details


Day 1: Thursday, October 19th (evening)

  • Teams virtually meet PTCMW representatives to learn the challenge topic and be assigned to teams.  
  • Teams meet virtually and begin planning.
  • Network with PTC representatives, board members, and your peers.


Days 2-4: Friday, October 20th – Sunday, October 22th

  • Teams work independently on their response to the challenge.
  • Draft a 2-page executive summary.
  • Create a 30-minute PowerPoint presentation.


Day 5: Monday, October 23rd 

  • Teams deliver oral presentations and submit executive summaries.
  • Judges evaluate presentations and executive summaries are sent to evaluators for review.



·  Winners Announced: Mid November

How to Register


REGISTRATION DEADLINE: Apply by Sunday, October 15th.



  • Must be a PTCMW member (join here).
  • Students must be in a Master’s or Doctoral program in Industrial-Organizational Psychology, Organizational Behavior, Management or related field.
  • Students must commit to collaborating virtually throughout the event and to contribute equally and fairly to their team for the entire duration of the challenge. Attendance is required for both the Thursday kickoff event and Monday presentation.
  • Note: We encourage students from outside of the greater Washington, DC Metro to participate also. 


  • Complete online event registration
  • Upload your Resume (submit during event registration)
  •  $15 application fee

FOR QUESTIONS: Contact us at gscc@ptcmw.org

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