I believe engaging in a consulting project offers enormous practical experience and exposure which is at least comparable to having an internship.
Working in groups of four to six people, the 2012 ESMT MBA class are working on real-time issues with corporates who need innovative solutions. Some of the projects include assessing an international joint venture programme in order to provide recommendations for prospective joint ventures, developing ways of utilising big data to enhance management decisions and to boost performance, developing entry and marketing strategies, etc.
I have the privilege to consult for a global company with operations across the world. My team, which is composed of six colleagues from Armenia, Belgium, Germany, Ghana, Russia and India, kicked off our project even before we travelled on our international field seminar. We held a couple of meetings to develop a common understanding of the project, its scope and to discuss how we want to organise ourselves as a team. We also determined roles and deadlines for our work. This was just before our first meeting with the client.
Our consulting project is about providing the management of the company with key lessons from their joint venture in China. We have the challenge and opportunity to analyse a joint venture between two companies of different cultures, governance structures, leadership styles and with different approaches to operations, financing and marketing. With the six of us having solid professional and academic backgrounds in multicultural teams, finance and accounting and strategy implementation, coupled with very high performances in the MBA so far, we are confident of delivering a top quality consultancy to the client and completing our MBAs on a high note.
While doing the consulting project, we are working on our individual theses, which enable us to take an aspect of the project and delve deeper to come out with an academic research paper. My research is to exploit the correlation between good corporate governance and the success or otherwise of an international joint venture. Using my project as a case study particularly excites me because it allows me to research about how good corporate governance is established between a big company in the developed world and a smaller one in an emerging economy.
The first 10 months of our programme so far have strengthened our team work skills and we are having fun working as a team with our supervisor who has chalked up numerous years of professional and academic successes.