The Project, by Dr Tom Vine
2016 saw the creation of our new MBA consultancy service. Earlier in the year, I contacted our existing MBA alumni and asked them to submit proposals for live projects based on current challenges their organisations are experiencing. Our students are now working on these live projects either as part of a relevant taught module, or on an extra-curricular basis. Not only does this give our students excellent consultancy experience (and so helps differentiate our MBA in an increasingly competitive market), but it also helps build and maintain excellent relations with our alumni.
The Student Perspective, by MBA student Sandra Morrison
Part of the feedback given by the MBA students at the end of last year was that the course could be enhanced if there was an opportunity to work on real live projects with local companies. Tom Vine managed to organise just such a project for current MBA students.
We received an email advising us of the project and requesting that everyone interested send in an updated CV for consideration so that the best match to the student’s profile could be ascertained. And so it was that I, along with my fellow student Richard, were the lucky ones to take on a consultancy project for a medium-sized machine-tooling company in the West Midlands.
Tom organised the meeting and drove us over to the client’s warehouse so that we could visit and receive a full brief on what the company wanted to achieve. On return Richard and I agreed the division of tasks and set out deadlines for the project. Tom was a great support for any questions and assisted when liaising with the company.
It was a fantastic experience and was extremely beneficial in that we could put into practice what had been learning on the MBA course.
Although the data we gathered from the company’s clients was qualitative we categorised the replies so that we could make use of IBM-SPSS and produce statistical data. We were then able to present to both the quantitative and the qualitative data to the company. This allowed us to experiment this aspect on a real-life situation and provided extra practice of using the software prior to writing our dissertation for the MBA.
I would recommend to all students to take up this opportunity if you have the chance. This obviously involved extra work for Tom, and we are really grateful for his time and assistance.
To find out more about the University of Suffolk MBA programme, click here.