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Written by Luiz Scheidt, Graduate Assistant, Aztec Consulting, Spring 2017.

The Aztec Consulting program is an unique and challenging experience for business students. The hands-on approach goes beyond typical cases analysis, putting students face-to-face with real entrepreneurs to work on actual projects. Every semester new companies from different segments participate in the program. This time, a name instantly caught the team’s attention: Azteca Beverages. What a pleasant surprise to have a client whose name reminds us of our program and our academic community. Azteca Beverages, represented by its president and owner, Mr.Nadeem Zaman, has been in the business for a few years and joined the program to help increase the awareness of its brand. The project consists of an exciting marketing study, representing a great learning experience and demanding of lot of work from our skilled team.

It’s been a rewarding journey so far, as teammates comment below:

Travis Allen

“San Diego State’s Small Business Consulting program is a great way for anyone within the College of Business to test their knowledge against real world problems. We are able to effectively navigate our team through the many challenges presented with a true consulting project. Overall the Small Business Consulting program has been a very welcome challenge to the completion of my degree at SDSU.”

Blake Chesley

“Working with Aztec Consulting has been a great experience. With the instruction, experience, and guidance of Dr. Francis, this class offers a unique opportunity to get hands-on experience and chances to tackle unique challenges.”

Andrew Alvarado

“I have enjoyed my experience in with Aztec Consulting program this semester. Being in the program has taught me many things such as the importance of scheduling and how to conduct business in a more professional manner. With the Aztec Consulting program, you learn the importance of teamwork and how to do research for a company in a real-life situation.”

Vannes Tang

“I really appreciate the fact that Aztec Consulting allows students to work side-by-side with real small business clients that need help in determining strategies to improve current processes. Overall, Aztec Consulting has been an amazing learning experience that allowed me to gain skills I can use when working in a company.”  I have learned how to analyze primary and secondary data to create accurate recommendations like a professional consultant. I would definitely recommend all students at San Diego State University to apply for the Aztec Consulting program.”

Jesus Calderon

“My experience so far has been rewarding, I got to work in a project with students who are pursuing different emphasis in business. In addition, I got to apply different concepts I learn in various classes in the project we are working on. Working for Azteca Beverages in a marketing project allowed me to think outside the box regarding to what the customer was asking for. Aztec consulting has been a great experience and I am sure I will be able to talk about it during a job interview”.

Written by Parth Kotnis, Graduate Assistant, Aztec Consulting, Spring 2017.

As an information system professional and a consultant with the Aztec Consulting program, I have had the distinct pleasure of working with many businesses across San Diego county. One such business is Vanguard Global Solutions. Vanguard Global Solutions is a leading distributor of emergency management, homeland security, laboratory, electrical, medical, and packaging products and supplies. Vanguard Global Solutions is a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) with headquarters in Encinitas California. The company had a specific goal in mind when it contacted Aztec Consulting. The goal was growing attendance at their annual Department of the Navy Gold Coast Small Business Procurement Event. This event is organized by the NDIA and officially sponsored by the Department of the Navy’s (DoN) Office of Small Business Programs (OSBP). Moreover, the NDIA identified three industries whose attendance at the conference was underrepresented (Maintenance and Repair, Supply, and Civil Engineering and Construction). To handle such a niche market, Aztec Consulting selected a team of consultants that have the perfect blend of skill-sets requisite for a complex project such as Vanguard Global solution. The consultants working on this project are Alfonso Barajas who serves as a Project Manager, Randon Fong, Kevin Leiu and Austin Kane. The academic majors for these consultants are Accounting and Finance

The La Jolla Village Merchants Association (LJVMA) board was briefed on a free consulting program for small businesses during its April 12 meeting at La Jolla Library. Known as Aztec Consulting, the program pairs San Diego State University (SDSU) undergraduate students with small businesses in need of advice.

“We provide around 100 hours of undergraduate and graduate-assisted team time,” said student Talena Handley (Class of 2018). “In that time, we create market research, strategies and recommendations, along with an action plan. The student gets educational experience and the business gets a fresh look and consulting advice for free.”

She reported that San Diego has 97,000 small businesses, yet only 50 percent make it past their fifth year. “The No. 1 area in which small businesses report needing help, is expansion and revenue,” Handley said.

To qualify, business owners fill out an application that includes type of business, number of employees, number of years in business, revenue from the last year and a few more facts.