PTCMW Annual Graduate Student Consulting Challenge Competition

Welcome to the PTCMW Annual Graduate Student Consulting Challenge Competition webpage! Started in 2014, the Consulting Challenge is a graduate student competition developed by PTCMW to allow students to develop key professional skills, while expanding their professional networks and winning great prizes! Specific information for the annual competition is listed below. Thank you for visiting!

For specific questions not covered on this page, email Jenna Eagleson.

Event Information

2020 Consulting Challenge Date:

Thursday, October 22nd to
Monday, October 26th

Typical Event Schedule: 

Day 1: 

  • Teams virtually meet PTCMW members and event sponsor representatives to get the challenge topic.
  • Teams meet virtually and begin planning.
  • Network with PTC members, sponsors, and your peers.

Days 2-4: 

  • Teams work through their response to the challenge.
  • Teams draft a two-page executive summary and a 30-minute PowerPoint presentations.

Day 5: 

  • Teams deliver final presentations and submit executive summaries.
  • Judges evaluate executive summaries and presentations.

Consulting Challenge Sponsor

How Does the Challenge Work?

1. 30 registered students are selected to participate (PTCMW membership not required).

2. Students are then placed on a team of 3-6 people with students from other universities.

3. The sponsor organization then presents teams with a Request for Proposal (RFP) that outlines a real organizational challenge.

4. Teams work together to develop a two-page executive summary and presentation.

5. Sponsor organization representatives and expert I-Os will judge presentations and rate executive summaries.

6. One team will win the challenge and be awarded with $1,350. The runner up team will be awarded with $750. 

TEAM COMPOSITION: PTCMW leadership reviews applications in regards to previous work or research experience, university affiliation, and year in school in order to develop diverse and fair teams.

Why Should You Participate?

EXPERIENCE A REALISTIC JOB PREVIEW: PTCMW and the sponsor organization present a real challenge local 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.

EXPAND PROFESSIONAL NETWORK: Students currently enrolled in local 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's organization.

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

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

WIN PRIZESThe winning team will win $1,350, and the runner‐up team will win $750. In addition, every participating team will receive a free year of PTCMW student membership. The top three teams will be recognized to the PTCMW community. 

How To Register

ELIGIBILITY: Students must be in a Master’s or Doctoral program in Industrial-Organizational Psychology, Organizational Behavior, Management or related program. Students must commit to contribute equally and fairly to their team for the entire duration of the challenge.. We encourage students from outside of the greater Washington, DC Metro to participate also. PTCMW membership is not required to participate.


FOR QUESTIONS: Contact Jenna Eagleson.

Past Consulting Challenge Sponsors

2018-2019: AON

2014-2017:  PDRI, an SHL Company

Congratulations to the Previous Consulting Challenge Winners!


First place team:

From left to right: Lorin Mueller (PTCMW President), Crystal Drayton (University of Hartford), Alexis Roman (GMU), Steven Zhou (GMU), and Leah Ellison (Aon, Event Sponsor)

Second place team:

From left to right: Leah Ellison (Aon, Event Sponsor), Soudeepya Chinni (University of Maryland), Jessaline Tuason (University of Maryland, College Park), and Richard Hayes (Old Dominion University; not pictured)


First Place Team:

From left to right: Alex Fernandes (GMU), Cierra Everette (GWU), Sabina Diyarova, and Jerod White (Capella)

Second Place Team:

You Zhou (No affiliation listed) and Not pictured: Lindsey Stuck (Capella), Oscar Andrade (UB), and Sarah Melick (BGSU).


First Place Team:
From left to right: Tim Burgoyne (GMU), Katie Guarino (GMU), Jay Souder (UB), and Marjani Edwards (GMU)

Second Place Team:
From left to right: Kira Foley (GWU; 3rd place team), Corey Moore (GMU; 3rd place team), Jenna Eagleson (GMU), Wenmo Kong (GMU), Whitney Tyler (ODU), Dan Ravid (GWU)


First Place Team:
From left to right: Tim Burgoyne (GMU), Elena Auer (ODU), Veronica Passarelli (GMU), Alyssa Gradus (UB), Katelyn Reynolds (ODU)

Second Place Team:
From left to right: Christian Dobbins (GMU), Stephen Tyler (GMU), Lauren Lanzo (GWU), Settera Burleson (ODU; not pictured)

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