CREO Solutions Annual Report 2020-2021

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Annual Report 2020-2021


Disclaimer: The information in this document is for education and non-commercial use only and is not intended to constitute specific legal or strategy advisory advice for any individual. In no event will CREO Solutions, its members, or board members be held liable to you or anyone else for any loss or damages whatsoever (including direct, indirect, special, incidental, consequential, exemplary or punitive damages) resulting from the use of this document, or reliance on the information or content found within this document. The information contained within this document is not to be reproduced or republished in any part without the prior written consent of CREO Solutions.

CREO Solutions

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Table of Contents

01

Introduction

02

About Us

03

Client Work

04

Community Initiatives

05

Internal Development

06

Diversity & Inclusion


Introduction Message from the Outgoing Executive

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Message from the Incoming Executive

5


Message from the Outgoing Executive When the novel coronavirus was officially recognized as a pandemic in March of 2020, Shivam, Jen, and I had just completed our final round of hiring for the 2020/2021 academic year. In accordance with public health orders, we quickly journeyed home to ‘plank the curve,’ remaining optimistic that this small, unforeseen obstacle would in no way disrupt our ambitious plans for the coming year. As spring turned into summer, it became abundantly clear that we would not be returning to campus in the fall. At the time, it was difficult to imagine operating CREO virtually for a semester, let alone an entire year. However, when I look back at the 2020/2021 Academic Year, I can’t help but feel an immense amount of pride in what the CREO team has accomplished. Over the past twelve months, our team completed eight challenging projects, hosted a series of well-attended external events, and provided our members with a wide swath of personal and professional development opportunities. We capped off this prodigious year with over 100 applications to join our team, hiring a remarkably talented and diverse group of students who I am confident will ensure CREO’s future success. This annual report will dive into the 2020-21 year in more detail. We hope you enjoy reading it and that you continue to stay engaged with CREO in the future! Sincerely,

Jackson Wright

Jennifer Zhao

Shivam Aggarwal

Jackson Wright, Jennifer Zhao, Shivam Aggarwal 2020-2021

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Message from the Incoming Executive Gianni, Lucas, and I are incredibly honoured to have the opportunity to lead the CREO team for the upcoming year. Previous executive teams have built CREO into a reputable organization that creates considerable impact for its team members, its clients, and the Queen’s community, and we look forward to growing that impact over the coming year. We plan to remain focused on providing unparalleled professional development experiences for our team members through unique trainings and the opportunity to consult for real businesses. Our client relationships have always been core to CREO’s success, and we hope to continue to drive meaningful change for our clients as they deal with an increasingly challenging economic environment. Central to our vision is increasing CREO’s role in its community by furthering our efforts to provide educational opportunities to Queen’s students through speaker events and membership programs. While the upcoming year is filled with uncertainty, the remarkable flexibility shown by our team this past year gives us complete confidence that the CREO team will continue to excel and achieve our goals in spite of any challenges that may come our way. With the dedicated support of all the people that make CREO successful – our alumni, board members, and team members – we are excited to work toward our vision of becoming the world’s most innovative and influential student-run consultancy. Sincerely,

Shivam Aggarwal

Gianni Bennardo

Lucas Gordon

Shivam Aggarwal, Gianni Bennardo, Lucas Gordon 2021-2022

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About Us Overview

7

Organizational Structure

8

Incoming Executive

9

Industry Placements

11

Alumni Relations

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Overview Founded in 2004 as a digital marketing consultancy at Queen’s University, CREO Solutions has since grown to become Canada’s premier student-run consultancy. Our highly skilled team of over 30 consultants advises a broad mix of private and public institutions from a variety of different sectors, providing a noticeably unique perspective and cutting-edge solutions to our clientele. We have worked to create lasting, measurable impact for dozens of clients in industries ranging from real estate to technology, including Barclays Capital, the United Way, and the Toronto Star. CREO now has over 100 alumni working at firms such as Google, McKinsey, Uber Eats, LinkedIn, Boston Consulting Group, and Goldman Sachs. Many alumni remain actively involved in CREO through acting as mentors for our developing consultants, advisors on our client engagements, or serving on our Board of Directors.

MISSION CREO strives to facilitate unparalleled opportunities to consult for real businesses and to expand the professional development opportunities in the consulting industry for Queen’s University students.​

VISION To be the world’s most innovative and influential student-run consultancy.​

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Organizational Structure CREO’s leadership team is responsible for setting the strategic direction for the organization. The Managing Partner oversees alumni relations, people development, and the team’s hiring processes. The two Managing Directors provide guidance on projects and work alongside the Marketing Team to lead the client acquisition process and build CREO’s brand. Every semester, CREO engages in two to five consulting projects, each of which is staffed with at least one Senior Project Manager, two Project Managers, and two Consultants. In addition to project-specific training, teams receive ongoing mentorship from our alumni advisors, many of which have had industry or functional expertise related to the project. CREO thrives on a culture of collaboration and exploration. To supplement project meetings, the entire CREO team meets on a bi-weekly basis to present project updates, exchange ideas, and brainstorm new initiatives to create greater value for our clients, organization, and the community. Board of Directors

Provides project advisory, input on strategic direction and formal mentorship

Managing Partner

Manage Board of Directors/alumni relations, oversee people development and hiring processes, set strategic direction for CREO

Managing Director

Oversee project work, lead client acquisition processes, set strategic direction for CREO Alumni provide 1-on-1 mentorship Consulting

Operations

Senior Project Manager

Marketing Director

Project Manager

Marketing Coordinator

Sales Director

Consultant Analyst CREO Solutions

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Incoming Executive LEADERSHIP

Shivam Aggarwal

Gianni Bennardo

Lucas Gordon

Managing Partner

Managing Director

Managing Director

CLASS OF 2022

Allen Chen

Sheel Dalal

Maxym Dubczak

Noah Faulkner

Sabrina Jiang

Andrew Kates

Tim Lampen

Carolyn Mahr

Harrison Solish

Mona Soni

Anchal Thind

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CLASS OF 2023

David Choo

Ruchira Gupta

Nicolas Wills

Richard Li

Elissa Wong

Sahil Tyagi

Jasmine Zhou

CLASS OF 2024

Rohan Atal

Sanuree Pathiranawasam

Josh Borrell

Jake Ebbs

Cassie Greidanus

Yashriya Lohchav

Corsen Parker

Neel Sharma

Jessica Sok

Adam Trotman

OPERATIONS

Angie Tang

Subhadra Menon

Sola Ebina

Naomi Junatas

Marketing Director

IT Director

Marketing Coordinator

IT Coordinator CREO Solutions

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Industry Placements CLASS OF 2021: SAMPLING OF FULL-TIME PLACEMENTS

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR CLASS OF 2021

Lucy Chen

Brian Colbert

Rachel Gonsalves

Amanda Greidanus

Adam Pukier

Jackson Leeming

Shani Mithani

Jackson Wright

Langni Zeng

Jennifer Zhao

Claire Zhou CREO Solutions

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Alumni Relations CREO’s alumni network has grown to over 125 alumni spanning several industries, including consulting, technology, private equity, strategy, entrepreneurship, sales, venture capital, and marketing. Many of our alumni remain actively involved with CREO through advising individual project teams, providing one-on-one mentorship to our current members, attending alumni socials, and leading community events, such as consulting-related recruiting sessions. Our Board of Directors is comprised of nine alumni who advise CREO’s leadership team on organizational initiatives, ensuring the organization pursues a sustainable yet impactful long-term strategy.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Aayush Goel (COMM’17) - Self-Employed Katie Kirkconnell (COMM’19) - Boston Consulting Group - Associate John Marshall (COMM’18) - BMO Financial Group - Manager, Strategy & Transformation Dustin Zhang (COMM’18) - Bain & Company - Senior Associate Consultant Vasanth Ranganathan (COMM’15) - Square - Product Marketing Manager Mike Vanderlinden (COMM’18) - Imperial Capital – Associate Michael Pearce (ENG’20) Boston Consulting Group – Associate Ted Bursey (ENG’19) Boston Consulting Group - Associate

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Project Work Services

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Client Work

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Client Testimonials

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Services Through our 15+ years of advising corporations of all sizes, we have developed extensive expertise in a variety of functional areas. With guidance from industry experts, our team of talented, business-savvy consultants works closely with clients to solve their most pressing problems. We use academic research and a deep knowledge network to identify actionable insights, then develop custom-built solutions that create tangible impact for our clients. Armed with cutting-edge insights from Canada’s leading business school, CREO consultants are well-equipped to collaborate with

STRATEGY

clients

in

realizing

their

vision

and

providing

actionable

recommendations to drive sustainable growth. Our strategy services include business plans, corporate development, and new market entry plans. Through conducting extensive diagnostic analysis and working closely with management teams, CREO identifies areas for

OPERATIONS

improvements and provides actionable recommendations, allowing business leaders to optimize their company’s business processes. Our operations services include diagnostic assessments and business process improvements. With unparalleled knowledge of the student market, CREO uses a

MARKETING

variety of proprietary resources to identify key marketing insights, leveraging extensive experience to create a marketing mix that ensures organic growth for the future. Our marketing services include market research, marketing plans, and branding initiatives. Possessing high technical competencies and led by advisors with

FINANCE

deep industry experience, CREO can provide a comprehensive suite of financial advisory services. Among other services, we offer capital planning, valuations, and compensation plan restructuring.

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Client Work Project #1

CREATION OF LOYALTY PROGRAM FOR A SPECIALTY TOY RETAILER Adam Pukier, Amanda Greidanus, Allen Chen, Ruchira Gupta, Noah Faulkner, Sheel Dalal WHO CREO SERVED The client was a specialty toy realtor looking to reimagine their loyalty program. The client wanted to evaluate industry-leading loyalty programs to better understand program-best practices and trends. CREO worked with a VP from the company on a weekly basis to help inform the strategic direction of the company. WHAT CREO DID The CREO team kicked off the project with a deep dive into the loyalty space; conducting research on loyalty programs offered by direct competitors and incumbents in other relevant industries. The team also analyzed current trends in the loyalty space and defined the key themes the client should remain cognizant of moving forward, such as hyper personalization and loyalty ecosystems. The CREO team then redesigned the client’s loyalty program from the ground up, backed by extensive secondhand research and a survey to validate program features from existing loyalty customers. THE RESULT CREO presented two deliverables to the client, both achieving high levels of buy-in.. 1.

Loyalty in 2020 and Beyond: CREO presented a deep dive on the different kinds of loyalty programs using relevant case studies. A primer on key themes in the loyalty space was also provided.

2.

New Loyalty Program 2.0 Design: CREO developed and recommended a two-tiered loyalty program with specifications and features for each. The team also advised on potential partnerships to develop a stronger loyalty ecosystem for the client.

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Project #2

CONTENT MARKETING STRATEGY FOR D&I STARTUP Rachel Gonsalves, Anchal Thind, Lucas Gordon, Sabrina Jiang, Sahil Tyagi, Elissa Wong, Jasmine Zhou WHO CREO SERVED The client was a Toronto-based people intelligence platform that measures, tracks, and improves diversity and inclusion across organizations. The firm was a full-year pro-bono client with the first semester spent building out their recommendation database and the second semester split up into two work streams - carrying out a marketing strategy focused on lead generation and developing a training platform. CREO worked directly with the co-founders, who are currently the CEO and COO, across the two semesters. WHAT CREO DID The CREO team spent the first semester building out the client’s recommendation database, conducting extensive research to come up with innovative approached to solving D&I related issues. Transitioning into the second semester, CREO first devised a thorough marketing strategy centered around the following pillars: creating quality thought leadership, amplifying the client’s partnerships and successful case studies, and hosting events to create buzz around diversity and inclusion. CREO then researched and identified training and accessibility best practices, incorporating those learnings into the subsequent trainings. CREO developed two trainings: (1) Inclusive Recruiting and Hiring and (2) Inclusive Leadership. The team was responsible for conducting research, writing content plans and a script, and developing an accompanying presentation deck. THE RESULT CREO delivered numerous recommendations for the client’s database, accompanied by comprehensive implementation plans to guide companies in achieving their diversity and inclusion goals. Additionally, CREO executed a marketing strategy in real-time over the second semester. Finally, CREO presented training and accessibility best practices for the client to use in subsequent training developments and two complete trainings with a slide deck, script, and interactive activities.

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Project #3

OPERATIONAL EFFICIENCY PLAN FOR A TECH-ENABLED LOGISTICS BRAND Jackson Leeming, Maxym Dubczak, Harrison Solish, Tim Lampen, Andrew Kates, Richard Li, David Choo WHO CREO SERVED The client was a valet storage company, whose focus is on B2B storage and logistics. The company also has a B2C arm where it picks up items from users, stores them, and drops them off at their convenience. CREO worked directly with an operations analyst and the COO to generate process improvements and optimization. WHAT CREO DID The first half of the project took the shape of a company analysis, where CREO created a detailed business process map of the client’s operations and suggested various points of optimization. The second half of the project involved a competitor analysis where CREO analyzed the current competitive landscape and risks for the client, highlighting points of recommendation and differentiation. THE RESULT The client was given two comprehensive reports, one for each deliverable (company analysis and competitor analysis). The client was expressed interest in implementing various parts of CREO’s recommendations, such as route optimization software and re-vamped training, to which CREO conducted further research on.

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Project #4

DEMAND FORECASTING TOOL FOR AN ONLINE LUXURY RETAILER Brian Colbert, Lucy Chen, Gianni Bennardo, Mona Soni, Sabrina Jiang, Jasmine Zhou WHO CREO SERVED The client was an online luxury retailer with a mission of making women feel empowered in their own skin. Since the client started business in 2017, it experienced YoY sales growth of well over 500%. With individual product sales being highly susceptible to marketing, and industry trends, the client was looking for a tool that could integrate data and analytics into their demand forecasting processes. CREO worked directly with the Director of Operations of the firm on a tri-weekly basis to discuss the operational strategy of the company. WHAT CREO DID The CREO team approached the project in three distinct phases: (1) identifying variables that had the greatest impact on product demand, (2) compiling demand variables into an easy-to-use excel model, and (3) conducting rigorous testing of the model to ensure its accuracy. CREO analyzed three years of data for over 100 products to classify products that had the highest demand success. The quantitative analysis was aided by several interviews with the client’s marketing team to understand how fashion trends and social media influencers played a role in product demand. THE RESULT CREO developed two demand forecasting models: one for continuous staple products and another for new product launches. The “staple model” predicted future demand based on historical success adjusted for seasonality, firm growth, and fashion trends for the next six months. This model was aided by a growth tracker to help management identify a product’s changing popularity. The “new product” model allowed management to assign a “popularity ranking” to products and predict its first year of sales. This model was aided by a robust report identifying the product features that lead to various degrees of success for individual products. Ultimately, CREO achieved the client’s goal of forecasting demand within a 15% variance of recorded sales.

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Project #5

REVENUE GROWTH STRATEGY FOR A HEALTHCARE MARKETPLACE Brian Colbert, Noah Faulkner, Harrison Solish, David Choo, Sahil Tyagi WHO CREO SERVED The client was a Toronto-based startup that offered an online platform matching families with Ontario’s best independent care providers. The client provided its customers with stress-free care management and the convenience of having the perfect caregiver come to their desired location. The client offered numerous at-home care services including personal care, companionship, snow removal, and more. As the client continued to expand across Ontario, they were focused on looking for specific strategies to help capture additional market share and increase brand awareness. WHAT CREO DID The CREO team worked with one of the Co-Founders to develop a comprehensive revenue growth strategy. The CREO team began the project by researching and comparing potential customer segments to further pursue. After thorough analysis, a target segment was chosen based on consumer needs, income levels, and geographic location. CREO then proceeded to determine the four marketing channels that would ensure the greatest target segment reach and new customer acquisition. THE RESULT The CREO team built a comprehensive slide deck that outlined a variety of short-term and long-term recommendations for the client. The recommendations were chosen based on the likelihood of success to help the client increase top line revenue growth. The client was also provided with case examples and mock designs to be used for the proposed marketing channels.

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Project #6

FRANCHISING GROWTH STRATEGY FOR A QUICK SERVICE RESTAURANT CHAIN Allen Chen, Amanda Greidanus, Lucas Gordon, Gianni Bernardo, Sheel Dalal, Subhadra Menon, Mona Soni WHO CREO SERVED The client was a fast-casual restaurant chain based in Boston, MA. The company serves a simple menu that changes day-to-day and with the seasons based on what is available from local farmers and includes a large mix of organic ingredients. The company currently has 12 locations across the Harvard University and MIT campuses. The client was interested in exploring the idea of franchising the model to expand location count. WHAT CREO DID CREO researched the world of restaurant franchising through interviewing various industry experts, including QSR executives, franchising consultants, and professional franchisors. Additionally, the CREO team analyzed existing contractual agreements from leading QSR restaurant chains. Using these resources, CREO sought to find the optimal franchising strategy and franchisee terms to recommend to the client. THE RESULT CREO identified several optimal franchising contractual terms, such as royalty fees, financing requirements, advertising requirements, and operator consistency, for the client’s unique restaurant model. CREO further provided the client with an in-depth financial scenario to illustrate an operator’s profitability under the optimal terms, in addition to the profitability for the franchisor.

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Project #7

SALES AND MARKETING STRATEGY FOR AIRCRAFT PART SUPPLIER Ruchira Gupta, Andrew Kates, Richard Li, Elissa Wong, Nicolas Wills WHO CREO SERVED The client was a Toronto-based company specialized in supplying aircraft parts to major airlines. The company’s services include short-term component leases, part sales, and technical consulting. The client wanted to develop a sales and marketing plan that would allow the company to target defined customers, improve customer acquisition rates, and increase sales and profitability. WHAT CREO DID CREO performed extensive analysis on the client’s inventory data and market demand before developing a demand model that identifies top customer accounts for different types of aircraft parts. The CREO team also researched unique marketing and pricing strategies for acquiring new customers. CREO then evaluated numerous Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software solutions in order to recommend the best fit for the client’s needs. Finally, CREO conducted many internal and external expert calls to recommend tactical and long-term strategies for improving the client’s data infrastructure and analytical capabilities. THE RESULT A demand model and pricing strategy was developed for the client, and the CRM and data infrastructure recommendations were provided. CREO presented its findings via a comprehensive slide deck and presentation to the client. The client was also given a walk-through on how to use the demand model for future use.

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Project #8

LISTENERSHIP SURVEY AND ENGAGEMENT STRATEGY FOR A RADIO STATION Jennifer Zhao, Jackson Wright, Corsen Parker, Jessica Sok, Adam Trotman WHO CREO SERVED The client was an on-campus radio station based in Kingston and one of the oldest campus radio stations in the world. The CREO team worked closely with the station manager on a bi-weekly basis. Having worked with CREO in 2015, the station once again brought on the help of CREO consultants to conduct a follow-on listenership survey and analyze new listening trends in the wake of the global pandemic. WHAT CREO DID The team built a comprehensive listenership survey that collected responses from both station listeners and non-listeners. For listeners, the survey asked questions about their listening habits, satisfaction and engagement with the station, as well as suggestions on areas of improvement. More generally, the survey collected responses about broader listening preferences and demographic and geographic information. In addition to developing and administering the survey, CREO used Kingston census data to provide an estimate for the total number of weekly listeners that will help the client with future advertising needs. THE RESULT Over the course of four weeks, a total of 239 responses were collected from a diverse respondent pool, including listeners, non-listeners, students, and non-students. The team summarized key survey findings in a report and delivered a presentation to the client. CREO offered several tactical recommendations on how the station can improve its current radio offerings and expand its listener base to students.

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Client Testimonials The CREO team has exceeded all my expectations. They were an incredibly sharp, dedicated and innovative group of individuals. They tackled every challenge with the professionalism and know-how you would expect from a professional consultant with years of experience. An absolute pleasure to work with!” - Diversity and Inclusion SaaS Startup

The CREO team is a passionate, creative, dedicated group of consultants that strive to understand your business and aim to make it stronger. Their efforts and insights exceeded our expectations. We appreciate their commitment to our project!” - Specialty Toy Retailer

We've had the best experience working with CREO. The team was incredibly professional, insightful and provided such amazing support throughout the process. Would highly recommend working with CREO and having their team consult on some of the challenges you may be facing, you won’t be disappointed!” - Luxury Retailer

We engaged CREO to a Sales and Marketing Project and were impressed at the speed at which the CREO team learned this industry, and then turned around their learning into concrete and concise deliverables – From Data Analytic Recommendations, to New Market Penetration – to adoption of new CRM products – all will have high impact and significant leverage to meeting our strategic plan for FY2021/2022.” - Aircraft Part Supplier

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Community Initiatives CREO x Prepp’d x Ivey Consulting Club: Consulting Recruiting 101

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Ground Up Speaker Series

25

QCA x CREO Consulting 101 Speaker Panel

26

QCA x CREO First Year Membership Program

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Community Initiatives CREO X PREPP’D X IVEY CONSULTING CLUB: CONSULTING RECRUITING 101 In early May 2020, CREO partnered with the Ivey Consulting Club and Prepp’d to host a Consulting Recruiting 101 webinar. CREO was excited to welcome back fellow CREO alum and former Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Company, Darren Cole, to lead the session. In the span of three-hours, Darren presented a comprehensive overview of the consulting recruiting process and provided attendees with concrete preparation tips to set themselves up for success in the process. The webinar drew in over 100 attendees and officially kicked off CREO’s year of online events.

GROUND UP SPEAKER SERIES In the second year of CREO’s Ground Up Speaker Series, CREO welcomed four entrepreneurs to speak virtually about their road to founding their impactful companies. In October, CREO hosted Brian Scudamore, Founder and CEO of 1800-GOT-JUNK?, the world’s largest junk removal service with over US$250 million in annual revenue. A podcast version of Brian’s inspirational journey is available on Spotify under CREO Solutions. The following month, CREO spoke with two notable Smith School of Business alumni, Eva Wong and Chris Bryson. Eva shared her journey transitioning from a career in management consulting to co-founding Borrowell, a financial technology company that helps people make informed decisions about credit. Chris spoke about his experience founding Unata, a digital solutions provider for grocery retailers, that was later acquired by Instacart. Finally, this past March, CREO partnered with the Queen’s University Investment Counsel and Queen’s Finance Association to host Stephen J R Smith, the Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, and Co-Founder of First National Financial Corporation. In the riveting one-hour session, he discussed the various successes and hardships throughout his career in finance and the reason behind his historic $50 million donation to the business school at Queen’s University.

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QCA X CREO CONSULTING 101 SPEAKER PANEL In mid-September, CREO and the Queen’s Consulting Association organized an online speaker panel targeted at first and second year students looking to learn more about the consulting industry. The panel featured fourth year students who had finished their summer internships at leading management consulting firms, such as Bain & Company, Kearney, Accenture and Monitor Deloitte. Nearly 50 people attended the event and asked the panelists diverse questions about case work, company culture, and how best to succeed in landing a job in consulting.

QCA X CREO FIRST YEAR MEMBERSHIP PROGRAM As part of CREO’s continuous EDII commitments, CREO partnered with the Queen’s Consulting Association to organize an 8-week membership program in place of first year analyst hiring. The program provided all first year students at Queen’s University the opportunity to develop industry knowledge and tactical consulting skills necessary to excel in the consulting profession. Members were also given the option to work on a real-world consulting engagement with a Canadian luxury outerwear retailer, Wuxly Movement. A total of 75 students across various faculties participated in the program and CREO looks forward to continuing the program in the next school year.

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Internal Development CREO Training Day

28

Alumni Mentorship Program

28

Consulting Recruiting Support

28

CREO Training Day

29

Project Team Social Activities

29

Mental Health Awareness Seminar

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Internal Development CREO TRAINING DAY In August of 2020, CREO hosted its inaugural Training Day, a day of alumni-hosted sessions and workshops that provided consultants and project managers with the skills and tools required to successfully complete their project work in September. Over the course of eight hours, the team met virtually with a number of CREO alumni working in industry to learn about various aspects of the consulting process, including slide-building, complex analysis, modelling, and client management.

ALUMNI MENTORSHIP PROGRAM In May, CREO kicked off its annual alumni mentorship program, pairing members of the team with various alumni across industries and geographies. Students were able to connect with a mentor working in an industry of their choice and were encouraged to set up bi-weekly or monthly chats with their alumni mentors. Many students received career guidance and personal coaching from their mentors and are looking forward to connecting in person once they are able to do so.

CONSULTING RECRUITING SUPPORT Last summer, CREO provided incoming third-year students with a number of formal and informal supports as they went through the consulting recruiting process. In addition to formal coaching events that included Casing 101 and An Introduction to Consulting Recruiting, CREO introduced the CREO Consulting Recruiting Guide to provide students with a more in-depth understanding of the firms involved in the process and the best-practices required to succeed in recruiting. Informally, incoming fourth-year students ran over 50 mock cases with incoming third-year students, providing meaningful coaching and mentorship over the course of the summer.

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CREO TRAINING DAY In August of 2020, CREO hosted its inaugural Training Day, a day of alumni-hosted sessions and workshops that provided consultants and project managers with the skills and tools required to successfully complete their project work in September. Over the course of eight hours, the team met virtually with a number of CREO alumni working in industry to learn about various aspects of the consulting process, including slide-building, complex analysis, modelling, and client management.

PROJECT TEAM SOCIAL ACTIVITIES Despite their geographic dispersion, CREO project teams found new and innovative ways to connect with one another throughout the year. Armed with a small fun budget, teams engaged in socially-distanced activities that included paintball, Zoom dinners, wine tastings, and more.

MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS SEMINAR In recognition of Bell Let’s Talk Day, CREO welcomed Karen Gallagher-Burt from the Canadian Mental Health Association to lead a presentation on mental health awareness. Karen shared thoughtful and meaningful information on identifying mental health concerns in a Covid-19 virtual environment and provided dialogue on team perseverance and internal support.

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Diversity & Inclusion


Diversity & Inclusion Following the events of last summer, CREO made a commitment to further its efforts to promote diversity and inclusion, both internally and within the broader Queen’s community. Internally, CREO committed to working with an organization focused on advancing EDII in the workplace, and was fortunate to partner with Diversio, a people intelligence platform that measures, tracks, and improves diversity and inclusion across organizations, on two pro-bono projects. CREO also took a number of steps to drive a more equitable hiring process. This included leveraging a GPA-blind process to account for the economic and social disadvantages faced by some students entering Queen’s. Furthermore, a CREO networking sign-up form was developed which gave all interested applicants the opportunity to learn more about the club from a current team member, alleviating pressures associated with requesting coffee chats. Any potential informational advantages were further addressed by the provision of a hiring guide to all students which covered hiring criteria, example questions, and recommendations for success. Hiring processes both this year and in the past have resulted in an extremely diverse CREO team, something that has been instrumental in our success as an organization. Externally, CREO launched a first-year consulting membership program in partnership with the Queen’s Consulting Association (QCA). This 8-week program was designed to ensure that all students entering Queen’s University had equitable access to consulting-related resources, but also to learn basic consulting skills and have the opportunity to work on a project for a real-life client. With all that said, we know CREO can continue to do more to use its platform to become a part of the solution, and we are looking forward to working towards that goal in the coming years.

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www.creosolutions.ca creosolutions.smith@gmail.com linkedin.com/company/creo-solutions


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