1. Communicate your progress regularly. This may seem like an obvious point, but make sure to reach out to your client company as early in the process as possible to introduce yourself, share timelines, and arrange your first meeting or phone call. This also allows you to get on the same page as your client company and flag any possible issues for your instructor early enough to make sure your project is a success. Important questions and factors to consider while connecting with employers are:
- What are their preferred channels of communication?
- Will they be unreachable during any point of the project (eg. scheduled vacation)?
- How regularly would like they to hear from you?
- Do you need access to any additional information to complete the project?
2. Communicate expectations. Think of the industry partner as your client on a consulting engagement. In your first meeting with them, clarify roles and expectations so everyone knows what to expect and there are no surprises along the way. Check in with the partner at pre-determined milestones to confirm everyone is happy with progress to date and aware of the work going on.
3. Need information? Ask for it early! If you need something to complete the project, allow the company sufficient lead time to put together the needed data or resources for you.
4. Be professional in all communication with the client company. Write your contact as you would in a professional role, and designate a team lead to handle email communication so that the company is not inundated with too many requests. Do your best to respond to the client's emails within 24 working hours.
5. Finished your project? Send it to the client! They want to see your insights, and can provide valuable feedback that can guide your professional development. Submit your final deliverable through your team page on Riipen so companies can give you a rating and recommendation that you can share.