Consultancy and group projects test your ability to apply your learning to real management issues; they can help you to address business challenges, uncover new opportunities, and refine innovation and growth strategies. Careers expert Monica Garcia-Romero discusses how real life business projects could open the door to your next career move.
During their MBA, our students have at least two opportunities to work on real life client projects. As part of Leadership Plus they work on a consultancy project as a group for 10 weeks and present their findings to the clients and academic and careers staff at the end of their assignment. In recent years, students have worked with large corporates such as GE to small companies and non-for profit organisations such as Warwick Sea Scouts.
In the last two months of their MBA, students embark on an individual consultancy project which also serves to inform the course capstone, a 15,000 word academic dissertation. This year, students will be conducting projects with organisations such as SAP, EY, Unilever, Barclays, Ford, GE, Microsoft, National Grid, among others.
Here are three ways in which real-world client projects can benefit your career.
Hands-on experience of consulting
Individual and group consultancy projects provide students with practical, real experience of consulting on a specific business challenge, enabling them to put everything they have learned into practice. They work on a real business issue that is current to their clients and will impact their business from a strategic and operational perspective. Students demonstrate their problem solving as well as their stakeholder management skills which are key to being a good consultant.
Projects give students fantastic opportunities to network with stakeholders within the company and to showcase the strong academic and leadership abilities garnered during their MBA. Although most projects do not convert into full-time positions, there are cases every year where clients have been so impressed with the student that they are offered a role in the organisation.
Experience a different sector
For those students wishing to do a double jump – change sector and/or function, the consultancy project is critical to their success. Undertaking a consultancy project with a company in a different sector or function from the student’s prior experience, gives them the exposure they need to not only decide whether that is the career path they really want but also to talk about their experience in interviews or when applying to roles in those sectors or functions.