Energy Levels Rising
Each day as I walk around the Business School I am very aware of the energy levels emanating from the MBA class. I don’t need a published list of the assignment deadlines, I can ‘feel’ the tension when an assignment is pending! So walking around the school yesterday was an interesting experience as the class are just back from MBAT and are now mid-way through their UK Consultancy project, the first really tough test of whether they can apply with a major corporate client what they have learnt.
So, MBAT first of all, yesterday was the first day back in school after the annual class outing to HEC, France. I usually attend MBAT just so that I can stand on the touchlines and cheer however sadly this year I was unable to make it. Nevertheless it’s clear that Class 2013 had a great time despite a couple of injuries (one pulled back, one broken finger!). Medals awarded were a gold for Salsa, silver for Chess and Table Tennis and bronze for Cricket and Rowing. A fantastic set of results .. and I’m particularly proud of the fact that the medals show that MBS can play hard and party hard! As for yesterday’s energy levels .. buzzing .. oh, and glowing (a few people seem to have really caught the sun!)
Then onto the UK Consultancy Project. The Manchester MBA is unique because of the number of client facing projects that MBAs are required to engage with during their programme. The first project, the Not for Profit project requires the MBAs to work for, usually, a third sector organisation for c.100 hours in the first term. The second project is the UK Consultancy project where, for the entirety of the third term the MBAs work with, usually, a major corporate client for 2 full days a week. The third project is the IB project where the MBAs work for 3 full months, full time, on a major international project. No other Business School comes even close to offering this level of client facing work. Of course, the MBAs often believe that this means we’re a school that focuses on developing consultants. This is wrong, what we’re doing is giving students the opportunity to work with clients in a consultancy capacity but also providing students with an opportunity to reflect on how to tackle business problems in a domain that they may otherwise never be exposed to. So, one of the groups I am currently supervising is looking into the market for cutting edge facial recognition software. They’re having to consider routes to market, potential business models, processes for the selection of potential partners, the benefits of business to business versus business to consumer selling, licensing arrangements and exit strategies for the inventor. Whilst they are currently providing this advice to the client as consultants they are also learning about these very issues as they explore them, valuable lessons that they can take forward into their future working lives. Note that, as the home of ‘Learning by Doing’, we at MBS have been taking this approach to MBA eduction for the last 40 years and it’s amazing to feel the energy that is now emanating from Class 2013 as they really start to immerse themselves in their UK Consultancy Project.
So, Class 2013 … there’s 3 weeks of UKCP to go, I can feel the energy rising, the clients are already feeding back with positive comments and praise for the work that you’re doing, just keep focused and make sure that what you deliver on time, within budget and with ‘Original Thinking Applied’!
best wishes Elaine