Are you interested in learning more about BALSA or volunteering as a consultant? Read below for more information about our organization, our projects, and our members.
Who Can Join BALSA?
We welcome participation by all postdoctoral fellows, PhD students, law students, MBA students, and MD students in the St. Louis region. We also work with members of the community who would like to apply their biomedical, business, and law training in new ways. No prior consulting experience is required.
What Should I Expect From BALSA?
The BALSA Group aims to provide its members with real-world opportunities to experience the business of science. Projects are intended to help members develop transferable skills applicable to academic and non-academic career trajectory, including but not limited to, management and technology consulting, intellectual property, sales and marketing, research and development, and technology transfer. Through BALSA, members will have the chance to meet, work with, and learn from other BALSA consultants and leaders of the St Louis business community.
What is a BALSA Project?
BALSA projects typically last 6-7 weeks and are focused on answering questions and solving problems for our clients. A top priority in The BALSA Group is to train, educate, and expose members to a wide array of opportunities in which they can apply their knowledge and skills beyond academia. To do this, we rely on an experiential learning approach based around teams containing members of varying levels of training. Each project contains a project advisor, a project manager, and 2-4 consultants.
Advisors are the most experienced BALSA leaders. They ensure the success of the project by providing big-picture support and fostering a creative and collaborative environment among the entire team.
Project managers (PMs) are seasoned BALSA veterans who are responsible for making sure that projects are completed on time and in a professional manner. The PM handles team logistics, planning, and execution by setting clear expectations for each team member throughout the project.
Consultants are the most important assets of The BALSA Group. They contribute the majority of the research-intensive work needed to complete the project, including the generation of reports and slides.
Projects with the Office of Technology Management (OTM) are unique BALSA projects that are great training opportunities for our consultants. The primary objective of the Tech Transfer Training Program is to expose participants to the earliest stages of technology transfer. The program is designed to train participants in reviewing and analyzing emerging academic technologies through a collaborative environment that also provides an understanding of commercialization principles and challenges associated with academic discoveries.
How Do I Join a BALSA Project?
Every 2 months, the Director of Human Resources sends out an email that contains brief project descriptions. Consultants respond to the emails to indicate their interest and availability and are placed on projects based on clients’ needs and consultants’ goals. There is no minimum number of projects that a BALSA consultant must complete to maintain status as an active member.
What If I Have More Questions?
We are happy to answer any questions that you might have about BALSA. Please contact the Director of Human Resources at firstname.lastname@example.org — we will be in touch as soon as possible.
The first step is to fill out our online application and to send your resume/CV to BALSA as directed by the form. There is an application deadline every 2 months. The next deadline is October 15, 2017 at 5:00pm. If you submit your application on time, expect an email from the Director of Human Resources within one week of the application deadline with instructions for moving through the application process.