Striving for social impact

When he was 19, Matthew Acciarito started his own business supplying fruit and vegetables to the hospitality industry. Taking an interest in legal subjects in order help grow his enterprise, Matthew discovered a passion for commercial law.

Now in his final year of the Melbourne JD, Matthew is putting his legal, business and entrepreneurial skills into practice as a volunteer at pro-bono management consulting service, Global Consulting Group (GCG).

“GCG works with not-for-profit organisations and social enterprises on projects with commercial relevance to help drive social impact,” Matthew says.

“I first heard about GCG from a friend who was working as a management consultant.

“He told me that GCG was involved in a lot of great projects that were having a significant impact on the not-for-profit sector and suggested that I should get involved.”

Founded in 2009, GCG brings together consulting professionals and over 150 active volunteers from the University of Melbourne, Monash University and the University of New South Wales.

“Whether you want to be a consultant or lawyer, GCG provides a great opportunity to improve your commercial awareness and accelerate your professional development,” Matthew says.

Since joining GCG in 2015 Matthew has worked with a range of not-for-profit organisations including Lort Smith Animal Hospital, The Salvation Army and the Royal Flying Doctors Service.

“At GCG I have had the opportunity to work with senior members of large not-for-profit organisations to solve complex commercial problems and implement real strategies where results have made a significant impact,” he says.

Now the President of the University of Melbourne branch, Matthew is keen to encourage other students to get involved.

“It’s a great opportunity to have a real impact and provide support to leading not-for-profits,” Matthew says.

Students volunteer at the GCG for a semester at a time.  Each student is given induction training and are then are assigned a team, an expert industry advisor and a not-for-profit client. Throughout the weeks following, the team will meet regularly with their client and spend time working at the client office analysing the problem and working towards developing recommendations.

“At the semester’s close, members walk away from their client organisations knowing that their recommendations will translate into more efficient and effective business practice, allowing the not-for-profit organisation to have a greater influence on their mission for social impact.”

Matthew says his role at GCG has complemented his studies and provided him with valuable professional skills.

“I have developed a range of skills that I will carry with me long into my career,” he says.

“After graduating from the JD I hope to begin a career in commercial law while also continuing to volunteer for GCG.”

“GCG is growing at a rapid pace and I hope to continue to play a part in the movement.”

By Tess McPhail.

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