In short order, Hunt­ington Man­age­ment Con­sulting can ana­lyze a company’s cor­po­rate struc­ture and busi­ness plan, iden­ti­fying prob­lems and crafting strate­gies to help busi­nesses and non­profit orga­ni­za­tions achieve suc­cess. It’s the kind of work for which a com­pany might pay thou­sands upon thou­sands of dollars.

But HMC doesn’t charge a fee; in fact, it’s not even a busi­ness. Rather, it’s an under­grad­uate club com­prising some of Northeastern’s top busi­ness stu­dents who gain real-​​world experience through intercollegiate case competitions. To prac­tice for the competitions—in which they rou­tinely place among the top busi­ness schools in the country—students work with alumni ven­tures, pro­viding free analysis and con­sul­ta­tion in exchange for the oppor­tu­nity to hone their skills.

Bob San­sone, an alumnus in the insur­ance industry, has asked for feed­back on his forth­coming non­profit orga­ni­za­tion, Sneakers to Beakers, a Boston-​​based after-​​school pro­gram com­bining sports and STEM edu­ca­tion. “As a North­eastern grad­uate, I was blown away,” he said. “I think it’s impor­tant to sur­round your­self with people who are smarter than you, and that’s def­i­nitely what I was able to do here. This world is still new to me, so I was glad to get this pro­fes­sional feedback.”

The con­sulting team prac­tices under the same con­di­tions of a formal com­pe­ti­tion. For example, Stack­driver, a cloud com­puting com­pany cofounded by alumnus Dan Belcher, would present its case on Thursday evening. The team then works on the case until Sunday, when it reports its findings.

The cases we work on are real,” said club adviser Ray­mond Kin­nunen, an asso­ciate pro­fessor of inter­na­tional busi­ness and strategy in the D’Amore-McKim School of Busi­ness whom stu­dents call “Coach K.” “We dig deep into these com­pa­nies, looking at what they seek to accom­plish and how they operate, which is per­haps the best way to learn about business.”

Each club member has received a per­sonal invi­ta­tion to try out for the team, according to Kin­nunen, and many go on to work for some of the world’s largest com­pa­nies in busi­ness or finance.

Elliott Poppel, a senior busi­ness major, has been part of the con­sulting club for two years and has already accepted a posi­tion with a ven­ture cap­ital firm in Palo Alto, Calif.

This has been huge for me,” said Poppel, who credits his expe­ri­ence in the club with pro­viding him with the analysis tools to land his first pro­fes­sional job. “I’ve def­i­nitely learned a lot at North­eastern and in my other classes, but I don’t think I’ve learned nearly as much in every­thing else com­bined as I did here. It’s like being on co-​​op, but you have to do a dif­ferent job every week.”