Consult for America: Clubs Connecting Passions with Service

The first club that I joined at the University of Pennsylvania was Consult for America. The name was as enticing as its mission, which was to help provide the resources of the University of Pennsylvania to small business within the West Philadelphia area. In order to do so, members of the team form client groups and work to provide free small business consulting to local businesses.

Throughout my time in this club, I have the chance to work on 4 entrepreneurial ventures, while also gaining leadership experience through my time on the executive board. I have explored patent law and the patent application process, while working with an entrepreneur who was at the beginning phases of a product to revolutionize showers for people with disabilities. I developed marketing strategies for men’s boxer products, and local restaurants. I even got to generate a social media strategy and evergreen social media content for an author looking to raise money for her most recent self-help book.

Beyond the friendships, business acumen, and leadership experience that this club has provided me, I am most proud of the opportunities it has given me to interact with the West Philadelphia community. All new Consult for America members take a walk through the communities surrounding Penn, to gain a deeper understanding of our larger community. As students, we come to this area, live here for four years, and then many of us leave for other cities and opportunities. Through Consult for America, I found my way of saying thank you to West Philadelphia. 

One thing that is really special about Penn, is that many students find ways to use their passions and interests to connect with the surrounding Philadelphia area. Consult for America is not unique in that regard. There are clubs that teach dance classes in local public schools, some clubs paint nails in local elderly homes, and some clubs work with women in the prison system. There are thousands of ways to turn fun activities into meaningful work here at Penn. I have always found that the hardest part is just choosing which one to join.

Jaslyn M, C'17