15 Very Earnest Minutes with the Crimson Consulting Club

"It’s students like you who have changed my entire perspective on the world, but aside from that, motivated me on a daily basis, making me reflect on my entire life."

Fifteen Minutes sat down with Michael C. Reid ’18 on a Friday afternoon to discuss his new student organization, the Crimson Consulting Club, a club created to consult other student organizations on campus. Following graduation, Reid will be taking his consulting skills to Bain, but he hopes this club will be his way of giving back to the undergraduate community. Reid is earnest and business-minded—and, unexpectedly inspirational. FM entered this interview ready to be amused and curious about the intricacies of meta-consulting. Reid, though, is more focused on the positive impact of strategy than he is on consulting other well-known student consulting groups.

Editor’s Note: This interview has been lightly edited for clarity and concision.

FM: First off, can you tell me what the Crimson Consulting Club is?

MR: Simply put, CCC is a student-run organization meant to provide strategy consulting for other student organizations and student businesses. It’s such an easy thing to expose [what consulting is] to students on campus, but at the same time help out a lot of other organizations.

FM: Are you aware that you have, essentially, formed a meta consulting club?

MR: What do you mean?

FM: Consulting within consulting—a club that consults other clubs and potentially other consulting clubs.

MR: I mean, honestly we could—yeah, it’s beautiful, right?

FM: What’s the next level in meta-consulting?

MR: What do you mean?

FM: Could you see yourself consulting Harvard College Consulting Group?

MR: I mean, yeah we could, if they need consulting.

FM: If you were to consult HCCG, what would you say to them?

MR: I’m not very familiar with them. I would never give recommendations to an organization that I just don’t know much about. Like, honest to god, I don’t know much about them. I’m not involved with them at all.

FM: Consultants are always talking about “deliverables.” Does CCC deliver? Could you deliver to my dorm? Even if I live in the Quad?

(Editor’s note: “deliverables” refers to the final product of a consulting project, typically a PowerPoint presentation.)

MR: Yeah, we could! I appreciate the joke, it’s very hilarious. If you’re a leader of a student organization I could deliver to your dorm. It’s standard—it’s providing presentations on what they can do and how they can apply that.

FM: How many pennies exist in the city of Seattle? I’ve been told this is important information that consultants need to know.

MR: Couldn’t tell you.

FM: Could you quantify your level of PowerPoint expertise?

MR: Um, on a scale of what?

FM: On a scale of 1 to the most beautiful powerpoint you’ve ever seen.

MR: I’ve seen some really beautiful powerpoints; I’ve worked with some pretty amazing consultants. I mean in the context of me being in college, I thought I would tell you a 9 but then when I got to work and I saw [my powerpoints] in the context of a real company having real deliverable powerpoints—totally different. You can definitely get way better at it.

FM: What’s your strategy?

MR: I think my entire idea with CCC is that we don’t want other groups to be dependent upon us. My ideal situation is that we have no business because the entirety of Harvard’s campus is running efficiently enough, right? But the reality is that’s not the case. Maybe I have this too-grandiose of an idea and I think I’m too much of an idealist, but I really honest to God think that this could make Harvard’s campus better.

FM: Final question. Is there anything else you’d like to add?

MR: Honestly, I’d like to thank you. It’s students like you who have changed my entire perspective on the world, but aside from that, motivated me on a daily basis, making me reflect on my entire life. I think that at Harvard we are making society a better place, we are supposedly the future leaders of tomorrow. To have people like you who are so engaged with an organization that you reach out to me, is the kind of thing that drives the campus forward.