With a week left of school, this is what I have on my plate in the upcoming days:
- Monday – Final Mechoptronics “Terror Quiz”; Final thermodynamics problem set
- Tuesday – Medieval History Reading Quiz
- Wednesday – Last Solid Edge homework assignment; LACI Showcase presentation
Wait, hold up what’s LACI??? Oh, well I’m glad you asked. LACI stands for Los Angeles Community Impact and is a pro bono consulting group on campus.
The organization actually developed directly out of the upper division writing requirement, known as Writing 340, as the final project of an alumnus and Rhodes Scholar, Reed Doucette. Each semester, LACI recruits and takes in approximately 15-20 new members out of a pool of 120+ applicants. The new members and veteran members are then combined into teams of 4-5 students that are paired with a client. Each member ranks the clients that they would like to work with the most, which determines the teams. Throughout the semester, the student team works with the client, providing consulting advice specific to the needs of the client. The projects can be anything from investment or growth strategies to developing a marketing or public relations plan.
My past project was working with the non-profit The World is Just a Book Away, run by Professor James Owens in the Marshall School of Business.
The organization builds libraries in impoverished areas of the world, specifically parts of Indonesia and Mexico currently. With LACI, our role was to help WIJABA and Prof. Owens find more sustainable and constant sources of donations. We also helped them partner with the Los Angeles Festival of Books.
This semester, I am working with the United States Green Building Association – Los Angeles chapter. All of the semester’s hard work culminates this Wednesday at the annual LACI Showcase event. The top 3 LACI teams are selected to present at this event, and my team was selected as one of the team’s to present this semester. At the event, in addition to presenting a powerpoint summarizing the work we did this semester, our team will also be presenting our final deliverable to our client, which details our different project specific recommendations.
I’ve really enjoyed being a member of LACI because it has taught me so much outside of the engineering world and allowed me to build connections with some of the best students in the Marshall School of Business.