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Frequently Asked Questions

 

1. What qualifications are necessary for becoming a CCT volunteer?

CCT volunteers hold an MBA degree and can commit to CCT’s 16-20 hour monthly time requirement for the duration of the 5-month project cycle.  CCT recruits volunteers through alumni associations of leading business schools including Tuck, Wharton, Sloan, Kellogg, Columbia, Stanford, and Yale, but all MBAs are welcome to apply. 

2. I don’t have an MBA, but I have another graduate degree. Can I volunteer for CCT?

While CCT actively recruits alumni of MBA programs, we have also accepted volunteers with other advanced business degrees (e.g. DBA, PhD, MPA/MPH) that will enable the volunteer to make relevant and meaningful contributions to a project team. Such applicants are considered on a case-by-case basis.

3. What are the next steps to becoming a CCT volunteer?

In order to participate in the annual project cycle that begins in December/January, prospective volunteers must complete a Profile and Application by October 28.

4. How many volunteers does CCT have?

Since its inception in 1992, CCT has had approximately 600 volunteers. Each year there are typically 50-80 people volunteering.

5. In any given year, what percentage of CCT’s volunteers are new versus experienced?

Approximately 60% of volunteers are new (and 40% experienced) in any given year.

6. How many people are on a team?

Project teams typically consist of 6-8 team members, in addition to 2 Co-Project Managers and a Project Sponsor, who serves as a liaison between the project team and the CCT board.

7. How many projects does CCT undertake each year?

The number of projects can vary. We typically do 7 - 11 projects. The number undertaken is a function of how many client applicants meet our acceptance criteria and how many volunteers apply for that particular project cycle.

8. What factors are considered when assigning volunteers to teams/projects?

Once CCT has a list of projects that is under consideration for a given project cycle, it sends out this list to everyone who has expressed interest in volunteering for that year. Volunteers then rank their preferred projects. In forming teams, CCT considers volunteers’ project preferences, the applicability of their skill sets and work experience to the nature of the projects, their expressed areas of interest, whether they are new or experienced volunteers (we look for a mix on each team), and their logistical availability for team meetings (we try to place people on teams with other volunteers who have similar time/location availabilities for team meetings).

9. Do I need to select CCT projects that are close to where I live or work?

We find that client location need not be a critical factor in driving a volunteer’s project preferences. CCT clients are usually willing to meet with teams at a mutually convenient location. In addition, many communications are conducted by phone or email. 

10. CCT’s website indicates that some teams are comprised of a mix of people from different business schools, and other teams consist of people exclusively from a single school. Which schools have their own teams? If I’m a graduate of one of those schools, but prefer to be on a mixed team, am I obliged to be on my school’s team?

The particular schools from which “single-school” teams have been drawn vary from year to year.  These teams are often initiated by a school’s Boston alumni chapter, and are primarily dependent upon how many volunteers from a given school are interested in this option. In the past, we have had Wharton, Tuck, Kellogg, and Yale teams. Just because a team from your MBA program is offered in a given year doesn’t mean you need to be on that team. You always have the option of being on a “mixed school” team, if that is your preference.

11. I noticed that Harvard isn’t listed as one of the MBA programs that CCT draws from. Why is that?

Harvard Business School (HBS) has a pro bono consulting organization of its own called Community Action Partners (CAP), which is comprised solely of HBS alumni. Occasionally, HBS alums who are interested in a more diverse team experience participate in CCT projects. HBS graduates are always welcome to join us.

12. Although I currently have the time to volunteer for CCT, I’m not certain whether I’ll be available for the duration of the project, due to the fact that I’m job hunting; or my workload at my job may intensify; or I may have to begin traveling for work; or I have some other personal issue that may interfere with my availability in the months ahead. Can I withdraw from my project if I’m unable to continue?

CCT strongly encourages volunteers to make their best effort to remain on their team until their project is completed. We have built flexibility into the volunteer role to accommodate typical demands of career and family. There are many ways that a volunteer can fulfill the commitment;  and teams can generally accommodate a volunteer’s occasional (and temporary) inability to participate, when a volunteer is out of town or temporarily weighed down by work obligations. However, if you feel that there is a good chance that a job search, extensive work travel, or other “life circumstances” are likely to affect your ability to complete a project, we would prefer that you not volunteer at this time.

13. Will I be able to select the project that I’m assigned to?

After client applications have been reviewed, clients have been interviewed, projects have been identified, client site visits have been made, and CCT’s Board has approved the clients/projects, project descriptions are provided to volunteers for their review. Volunteers are requested to rank their project choices, which CCT then considers in making project assignments.

14. Where and when do teams meet?

Meeting locations and times vary among project teams. Project Managers work with their team members to identify times and locations that are generally convenient for the group as a whole. Some teams prefer weekdays, others prefer weeknights, and still others prefer to meet on weekends (or any combination of these days/times). Locations vary, from public buildings such as libraries to team members’ places of employment (if they have access to meeting rooms during “off hours”), to team members’ homes.

15. What kinds of “deliverables” do teams provide to clients?

Final deliverables typically consist of  strategic recommendations  presented to board and senior staff members, with supporting slides, documents and exhibits, often in the form of a PowerPoint presentation. They  may also include recommendations for implementation (although actual implementation is the responsibility of the client).

16. Does CCT receive feedback from clients after projects have been completed, letting the team know whether their recommendations have been implemented successfully?

Yes, CCT follows up with clients for feedback immediately following project completion, and again one year after project completion. Clients consistently  express enthusiastic appreciation for CCT’s services, and frequently remark that CCT’s insights have been “game changers” for their organizations. Our follow-up surveys show that, even a year after projects have been completed, plans inspired by CCT’s work continue to guide current decision-making.

17. I have additional questions. How can I learn more about volunteering for CCT?

CCT holds at least two general information sessions each fall to provide prospective volunteers with an overview of CCT, and to answer their questions about the volunteer experience.

If you have miss these sessions and would like more information, please send an email to volunteer@cctboston.org and a member of our Volunteer Development team will get in touch with you.