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Experiential learning: Cambridge MBA Global Consulting Project 2019

Why global organisations find value in Cambridge MBAs.

GCP team at Citi Group/Ventures Dublin, Ireland
GCP team at Citi Group/Ventures Dublin, Ireland

The Global Consulting Project (GCP) is considered by students to be one of the highlights of the Cambridge MBA. Currently MBAs, in teams of four or five, are around the world in countries such as Australia, America, Cyprus, China, Switzerland, Costa Rica and Ireland. Travel to client locations follows the completion of detailed project briefs by the teams, establishing the set objectives for each strategic project. This is not simulation – clients expect professional contributions with real recommendations and impact.

The GCP marks the end of the Management Praxis II core course, a sequel to the Management Praxis I course delivered in Michaelmas Term. This course, a cornerstone of the MBA curriculum at Cambridge, focuses on enhancing negotiation skills as well as the study of leading high-performance teams.

Teams practice what they are learning in the Management Praxis I class on a real life project; working in their study groups on a project that has been allocated to them. This is known as the Cambridge Venture Project CVP – the main purpose of which is to teach team work and collaboration, as well as client and team management.  You also get to learn about a range of interesting topics, meet some fascinating clients and work on their bright ideas.

Later with the GCP, students get another opportunity to work with a client but this time the focus is more strategic and consultative  – enabling students to reflect on the integration of skills and practice, and to use the new skills they have learnt in class to build stronger, more cohesive teams for their GCP.

GCP team at the London Google Office, UK.

This year, the GCP has once again allowed current students to gain a rich experience within a variety of industry sectors ranging from the arts, healthcare, finance, energy and environment, and NGOs; with companies such as Bloomberg, Uber, Barclays, the World Health Organization, Carnegie Hall and Emirates Airlines.

Whilst the MBA Business Development team at CJBS typically sources the majority of the GCPs, a number of projects this year were sourced by MBA students themselves. Student-sourced GCPs this year include Bridges Fund Management in the UK, as well as the global travel brand – Beautiful Destinations in New York and Sydney Opera House, Australia.

Natalia Khetagurova – was revisiting Bloomberg NEF and said it was “still mesmerising”. This MBA team are sited within the New Energy Finance section at Bloomberg LP. Based in London the Bloomberg LP HQ welcomed our Cambridge MBA team; the European headquarters for Bloomberg is designed to foster innovation and encourage collaboration. Values that the Cambridge MBA develops and enhances across the programme.

‘Team Circus’ were based in Cyprus for a circular economy project with Cablenet run in conjunction with the CJBS Circular Economy Centre. Cablenet was founded in 2003 and offers telecommunication and entertainment services to the corporate and retail market, it comprises 230 employees across three cities. Our Forté Foundation scholar Natalia Dziergwa said; “Safe to say the Global Consulting Project was one of the most wonderful MBA experiences this year! I couldn’t be more grateful to Cambridge MBA and our fantastic client, and most importantly my wonderful team for the amazing time and the memories that will last forever!”

Working again with the CJBS Circular Economy Centre but this time based in Warsaw, Martin Siagian said: “We have been working with Poland’s largest IT solutions company to come up with a circular economy model where we leverage Internet of Things (IoT) to balance electricity supply and demand in Poland. Through smart grid and smart home, this will hopefully enable a better electricity usage in Poland in the future”.

Julia Polnareva said – “From the UK to the far reaches of Ecuador, ‘Team Chilli’ were in Santo Domingo Ecuador with client Dev Equity, working with a company that enables smallholder farmers to have dignified incomes, our team visited a chilli pepper farm along with the R&D facility on the consulting project.”

Sadia Cuthbert, Head of MBA Business Development and Projects
Sadia Cuthbert, Head of MBA Business Development and Projects

Sadia Cuthbert, Head of MBA Business Development and Projects says:

“We have offered fantastic project opportunities to our students again this year. The GCP is such an important leaning milestone for students, allowing them to apply their knowledge, their ‘softer skills’ and to gain experience in new sectors. Teams are always tested in these high-time pressured situations of real consulting work. We look forward to great results again and a fantastic range of experiences”.

Detailed case studies of several projects will be available on our website from May 2019.