Our Executive MBA students have just completed their consultancy projects for companies in the Czech Republic as part of the management consultancy module which is at the core of our MBA courses.
We took four teams of students to work with Unilever, Ricardo (world class engineering group), IBM and TN Biofaktory (Eastern Europe’s largest animal feed manufacturer). Students worked with the companies whilst they were in Prague, delivering a presentation at the end of the week to senior management and are finalising their written reports outlining the detail behind their recommendations.
For Unilever, the student team were asked to present a set of practical recommendations on improving gender equality within the organisation – with a focus on the retention of female talent following maternity leave. The students conducted interviews, focus groups and carried out a staff survey to underpin a set of practical recommendations changing their HR practice in this arena.
Ricardo required advice on penetrating new market sectors. Already strong in Automotive, they wanted an analysis of opportunities in Energy, Defence and Rail Engineering. The team identified and presented a range of potential new partnerships/clients and developed an opportunity ranking methodology to help the client prioritise business prospects.
TN Biofaktory were about to undertake a major structural change within the business and wanted practical advice on change management. The team developed an implementation plan and risk register for the company to follow over the next 6 months covering the period of restructure.
IBM are bidding to the Czech Government for contracts to sell their consultancy, software and systems to support the public sector in the delivery of key services. The team were asked to analyse best practise in fraud detection and prevention in social security benefit payment systems and make recommendations to IBM on how to tailor their pitch to win business.
All teams exceeded expectations and the client companies were impressed by the students ability to translate ‘MBA-level thinking’ into practical advice with real commercial value. All of the companies indicated that the recommendations made by the student teams would have a real impact on the way they do business moving forward. The senior partner for IBM in the Czech Republic commented;
“We had a team of consultants working on a similar project for six months, and they weren’t bold enough to make such clear recommendations as you have after only four weeks!”
After 12 years of delivery and now in its second year as a compulsory part of the Exec MBA, the Prague consultancy projects continue to be one of the most important elements of the course – acting as a real showcase for our talented students and a real differentiating feature of the course.