By Namita Nabar
Students on campus are gearing up to participate in Edubase, a student-driven consulting agency that provides pro bono marketing consulting to non-profits.
Edubase connects undergraduate students interested in marketing analysis with local non-profit agencies in need of marketing consulting. Students participate in extensive training programs to gain the skills needed to provide effective consulting. After training, students participate in Edubase’s “experiential learning” process. Each member joins a project team, working closely with a particular non-profit to provide services in brand positioning, graphic design, effective emailing and social media marketing.
Edubase was founded in 2012 by Nick Nieto, who graduated from UCLA in 2015. According to Nieto, his mission was to provide free, student-led strategy and marketing consulting to non-profit agencies. Nieto saw a direct need where too often, non-profits lacked the financial backing to prioritize marketing research as highly as they should to be successful.
“Instead of running big campaigns, our goal is to provide non-profits with the basic skills to be successful,” Nieto said.
Today, Edubase’s UCLA chapter is comprised of 33 active members who work closely in teams on consulting projects with local non-profits like Toyworks, IHeartOC, Dreams for Schools, Beat Diabetes and Substantial.
After three productive years in Los Angeles, Edubase has plans for expansion, and its first stop is at Stanford.
Edubase at Stanford hopes to replicate much of the existing company infrastructure at UCLA while simultaneously providing an experience characterized by proximity to the Silicon Valley. Though Edubase plans to expand to every major metropolitan region in the United States, their choice of Stanford for early expansion was influenced by the absence of an undergraduate program for marketing on campus.
“Stanford attracts top students with myriad experiences and interests,” Nieto said. “There’s a lot of unmet demand for a program like ours that gives students experience in marketing.”
The application to apply to Edubase’s Stanford chapter closes on Nov. 20.
For Edubase branch president Angelina Nguyen, UCLA ’16, Edubase has been the defining experience of her time in college since her sophomore year. Interested in volunteering for non-profits, Nguyen joined Edubase’s efforts with the non-profit Toyworks. During the campaign, she developed strategies to market the company’s children’s books, interacting regularly with the CEO and other high-level executives.
“Edubase has been extremely influential in my professional development,” Nguyen said, citing her increasing comfort with public speaking, project management and interaction with executives. Nguyen plans to pursue a career in consulting after graduation.
Edubase aims to be flexible with commitment level for its members, who also juggle large academic course loads and other extracurriculars. Consultants at the UCLA division commit roughly five to six hours a week to their marketing projects.
“We respect the fact that our clients are full-time, but our team members are not,” Nieto said.
New members are brought on as specialized consultants in branch strategy, marketing communications or creative marketing. They receive training in general marketing and non-profits, and within a few weeks they can expect to directly interface with professional clients.
Nguyen highlighted that the Edubase prioritizes passion for service and understanding of the company’s mission in applicants.
“I’ve gotten to meet dozens of really smart, passionate people who have so many experiences that they’re bringing to the table,” Nguyen said. “Working with Edubase is so rewarding. You’re not just serving — you’re developing yourself and your peers personally.”
Contact Namita Nabar at nnabar ‘at’ stanford.edu.