Design Thinking Goes To School

Over coffee, Sara Moret, the President of the Carlson Consulting Club, and Kristin Pardue, Rêve’s CEO, identified the opportunity to share Rêve’s human-centered approach to consulting with Carlson School of Management’s MBA Students.

The Opportunity:

The Carlson Consulting Club was interested in a first-hand understanding of how design thinking can be applied to the consulting industry. As Carlson School Alumni, our Co-Founders had a passion to support this learning opportunity. Delivered as a pro-bono lab, Rêve Consulting designed a 5-hour hands-on workshop specifically for the Carlson MBA students. The Club’s leadership developed three design challenges that addressed strategic opportunities for potential and current MBA students, and alumni and validated them with the CSOM’s key leadership.

Key Activities

Research & Ideation

  • Context setting with administrative staff
  • In-person student and alumni interviews
  • Journey-mapping and rapid ideation

Prototyping & Feedback

  • Development of dozens of concepts briefs
  • Feedback and voting of best ideas through Nominal Group Technique (NGT)
  • Creation of 9 low-fidelity prototypes and socialization between students


  • Report out to administration to incorporate into planning processes

Approach and Results

After a brief training session, Rêve randomly assigned students into three design teams. Each student was equipped with a series of tools that helped him or her move from insight gathering through prototyping. Rêve team members facilitated the three teams and supported student learning and interactions.

Each design team fielded insights through real-time interviews with students and alumni. Students quickly organized insights into themes, which allowed them to develop sets of opportunities that could meet student and alumni needs. Students brainstormed concepts and voted top concepts through to physical prototype development. In the last hour of the session, the student team presented nine concepts to each other and administration. The session ended with a lively discussion and engaging applause.


  • More than 100 initial solutions
  • 20+  interviews with prospective, current and previous students
  • 9 prototypes