Consult Your Community helps local businesses

Members of Tech’s Consult Your Community (CYC) chapter pose for a photo. CYC benefits its student members by providing valuable consulting experience, and aids businesses and non-profits. // Photo courtesy of Jacy Watson

Whether you are looking to expand your social network, further develop your industry knowledge or get more involved in the local community, Tech’s Consult Your Community (CYC) chapter has got it all.

Consult Your Community, a national nonprofit organization, provides pro-bono consulting services to small businesses and other nonprofit organizations around the country.

Tech’s CYC chapter — the largest of the 26 national chapters — aims to serve the greater Atlanta area and spread awareness about consulting careers and other skill-building opportunities.

At a national level, CYC is made up of around 600 student volunteers.

These students give up their time and energy to help local clients integrate new technologies, marketing techniques and financial operation strategies into their businesses.

This year, Tech’s CYC chapter has over 80 members and works with 10 clients.

CYC members actively work to help the community, creating valuable experiences and relationships along the way.

“​​I was recently visiting a past client at the local farmer’s market. We grew close over the summer during the engagement I led as a project manager, and she was raving about the work that the team had done. On my first few project teams, I always found myself feeling a bit lost and would have never imagined myself getting to this point. Sure enough, however, I have grown immensely through this organization, and earning my client’s praise felt like the crowning achievement of my early career,” said Jacy Watson, Tech’s CYC chapter president and third-year BA.

CYC’s efforts have made a real impact on the growth of the small businesses that they work with. Evetta Petty, owner of Harlem’s Heaven hat shop in New York City, shares how CYC volunteers helped her business recover during the peak of the ongoing pandemic.

“Because of COVID-19, my business [was] facing some difficult challenges. CYC [has] worked diligently to help me market my business. They have been creative, and they have given me the tools for success,” Petty said.

Since supporting small businesses and nonprofit organizations with monetary donations or funding is not always feasible for everyone, CYC makes it easy to support local entrepreneurs by volunteering time, consulting expertise and hustle.

“By far, the favorite part of this organization has been the relationships

I have built with my peers, clients, sponsors and the national organization. These are truly some of the brightest, kindest and most passionate people you will ever meet, and I am sure I will carry many of these friendships with me for years to come,” Watson said.

Besides the opportunity to support the local community, joining Consult

Your Community has other student perks as well.

Volunteers gain practical consulting experience, marketing knowledge and business relationships through engagements with real clients.

Involvement in CYC can also help students boost their resumes to stand out to future recruiters and enhance their business acumen through technical training and other professional development opportunities.

Tech’s CYC chapter encourages all students — regardless of their major, background or experience — to join their team.

For students interested in getting involved with Consult Your Community at

Tech, visit georgiatechcyc.org to find the spring application and follow @gatechcyc on Instagram. Spring applications close on Nov. 21 at midnight.

“No matter who you are or the career you’re looking to pursue, Consult Your Community is for everybody,” Watson said. “There is value for every big-thinker, problem-solver, community-builder, challenge-seeker and business-savvy person out there.”