Founded in May of 2020, The Sapere Aude Consortium was created to give students an opportunity to learn about the Finance Industry and insightful viewpoint document to use when talking to potential employers. The purpose of the program was to benefit students affected by changes resulting from COVID-19. Its structure allowed undergraduate students to learn from our mentors about how to write an opinion piece and how to utilize the document to showcase our analytical skills that could be applied to a future career. The program was well outlined as it gave us specific deadlines for drafts of our paper and included schedules zoom sessions to talk to industry experts. I appreciated this setup as it gave me a sense of purpose amidst the pandemic. While our topic of the Financial Security for All was predetermined, we had a lot of flexibility with our main direction of the paper. In choosing to focus on the wealth gap and student loan debt we were able to narrow our focus and conduct research accordingly. As not all organizations allow group members to decide their own path based on interests, this structure was ideal.
Decisions for the group as a whole were planned by the program’s founders. Program meetings and educational sessions had close to 100% participation. However, smaller internal group meetings were more difficult to plan given our busy schedules. I would imagine this operation to be similar to that of a formal company as group members often have their own responsibilities and time conflicts. Given that it was our job to complete our sections for the paper, group members had to rely on each other to get work done aside from reminders from our mentor Joe. I had to trust each student to finish tasks prior to group meetings to ensure we had made progress since the prior meeting. Well aware of my commitment to complete tasks on time, I had to make sure others did their part. If I ever had concerns, I met with our mentor to redefine goals. This proved to be very helpful as he was not involved with our personal contribution but rather the project as a whole. I often met with Joe to report what each student has contributed. This constant and fluid communication assisted our group in completing our project. I hope that any future organization I become a part of also values effective communication between peers and their supervisors.