Gaining hands-on experience through our in-company MBA Consulting Projects

We are fast approaching the end of the Term, and with it the end of the MBA programme for our full time students this year. After 9 intensive months spent acquiring core business knowledge and skills in Term 1, and developing critical employability skills through our practical, in-company assignments in Term 2, our students are now in the process of formalising their consulting projects with our unique network of corporate partners.

Once again this year we sourced in excess of 30 projects from a wide range of organisations, including

  • our corporate partners Coca Cola, Syngenta, Afren, IBM and Lloyds Banking Group
  • small and medium size firms based in London and the South West of England, such as Exeter Football Club, an ambitious marketing and PR company, and Blue Ventures, an award winning social enterprise;
  • a range of for- and not-for-profit organisations
  • international, regional and local public organisations, such as the United Nations, regional development and city development agencies

Christopher and Lalita, two of our current students this year will work on a consulting project for Tropic Journeys aimed at developing eco tourism on the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador, which sounds like a fantastic opportunity to discover the world while acquiring critical knowledge and skills to boost their careers and facilitate the creation of their joint venture after graduation. The financial (and governance-related) difficulties the Cooperative Group, the UK’s largest mutual business owned by 8 million members and established in 1863, ┬árecently experienced were extensively covered by the business and financial press here in the UK, and it was pleasing to see the Cooperative Group turn to our MBA programme to source students to work on a specific project aimed at addressing governance issues at Board level, a key topic covered by my colleague Morgen Witzel in our Governance & Ethics MBA module in Term 2. Finally, some of our students are using opportunities generated by those consulting projects to work on the market research and business plan for their own venture which they intend to create after graduation. This shows how flexible and tailored to the needs of our students the learning experience on the One Planet MBA really is.

In anticipation of those projects we prepared our students to the requirements of consulting through guest sessions by experienced consultants, and trained them to develop a project brief leading to a formal consulting proposal. Through research training our students will be able to select, develop and apply appropriate analytical techniques that will enable them to deliver the output our clients and network of corporate partners expect.

Consulting projects are embedded in our MBA and are a key vehicle to acquire additional skills while facilitating a career move. Some of our students preferred to tap into their own networks to source their own projects to facilitate the development of their career or return to their organisation to work on a valuable project. As a consequence, we once again sourced too many projects, which is inevitable.

Those students wishing to extend their knowledge in a different area can opt for a formal dissertation, and some of our students this year opted in for a dissertation, as opposed to a consulting project and deepen their intellectual engagement with the various subjects that we covered throughout the programme this year.

Projects take place between mind-June and mid-September which will coincide with the end of the programme for our highly successful Class of 2014..!

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