ICON (International Consulting Network)

Student-run global consultancy finds a great way to collaborate on client projects, even across continents 

Organization: ICON (International Consulting Network)
International teams can now collaborate online more easily and effectively.
Location: HQ in New York, chapters worldwide
Glip’s intuitive app makes it easy for project managers to get new students comfortable with the platform quickly.
The ICON team appreciates knowing it can keep using Glip free without worrying about service limits or having to upgrade.
Need: A way to help its student consultants in different parts of the world work together more seamlessly on client projects.
ICON uses Glip as an online workspace to collaborate, share files, track tasks, manage team calendars, and more.

The student-run International Consulting Network, or ICON, brings together preeminent students from around the world and places them on real projects serving real clients—from multibillion-dollar corporations to nonprofits. For its clients, ICON offers talented and dedicated student consultants who bring energy and a fresh perspective to an organization’s challenges. For students, the consultancy offers hands-on experience working on a real business project and the chance to introduce themselves to future employers. 

But managing these client projects can be difficult because they require multidisciplinary teams usually comprised of students attending universities around the world, including Sweden, Chicago, New York, South Korea, Shanghai, Brazil, and Mexico.

Because most of these student consultants do not get to work together in the same location (or even on the same continent), ICON needed an online collaboration workspace to help them communicate and collaborate effectively to function as a true team. Fortunately, ICON’s IT Manager (now its Global Manager), Geran Wen, found Glip. 

The challenge

With client projects requiring collaboration from students all over the world, ICON needed a better online workspace. 

“For just about every client assignment we commit to, ICON puts together a team of student consultants who are based in several countries,” explains Geran. “So, we need the simplest and most effective online collaboration workspace we can find.” 

“Think of it this way,” Geran continues. “When we kick off a new project, the students on that team are all going to be working remotely on a complex assignment, they will all have just met—virtually—prior to the kickoff, and they’ll be under time pressure because they have to present the project’s deliverable to the client at the end of the semester. So, we need to equip them with tools to work together as seamlessly as possible and to make them feel like a team as soon as possible.” 

“As a nonprofit, ICON is always looking for ways to do more with less. So, we certainly appreciate the fact that Glip is free.”

Geran Wen, Global Manager (former IT Manager), ICON 

The solution 

ICON finds Glip.

When Geran joined ICON as IT Manager, they were using another online communication platform. “It was okay,” he says, “but I could see problems coming. The version we were using was free, but it had limited file storage and limited search history. We’re a nonprofit, so we have to be careful with our budget. One of the first things I did as IT Manager was to research other tools for our student teams to collaborate.” 

“A few things impressed me about Glip right away. First, it was free and didn’t have any limits on file storage, searchable history, messages, users, teams, or guests. Second, it had so much in one place, like an integrated team calendar and task manager. That was really important. The last thing we wanted for our international teams was a different tool for every part of their collaboration. Glip put it all in one place.”

Glip helps ICON’s student consultants go from strangers to team members in no time.

The third thing that Geran liked about Glip was how simple and intuitive the app was. “These students don’t have a lot of time to familiarize themselves with new applications when they start their client projects,” Geran says.

“With Glip, our project managers are able to get their new students set up and collaborating on Glip very quickly. And for time-sensitive projects like ours, that’s extremely valuable too.” 

Geran Wen, Global Manager

“The last thing we wanted for our international teams was a different tool for every part of their collaboration. Glip put it all in one place.”

Geran Wen, Global Manager (former IT Manager), ICON 

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