News from Cass Business School

Full Time MBA students showcase their skills in Warsaw

Students partnered with external clients to provide consultancy advice

Friday, 13 August, 2010

A group of 55 full time MBA students from Cass travelled to Warsaw in Poland in July to participate in international consultancy projects supporting international companies or medium-sized Polish enterprises.
The students were also joined by 22 students from the International MBA programme at Warsaw University of Technology Business School (WUTBS).  The students from both schools formed teams of five or six people, with each team paired with one of 13 external clients.  This was the second time that Cass has worked in partnership with WUTBS to offer this consultancy trip.  Originally planned for April, the trip had to be rescheduled due to the flight ban caused by the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud.
Warsaw is one of the fastest growing cities in Europe and offers an attractive business environment with a full range of services. It is the financial centre of Central and Eastern Europe and an important consumer market. In its booming economy, students were able to observe how the city is taking full advantage of the tremendous and unique opportunities arising from the emergence of a free market and the development of democracy.  Warsaw is the third city where Cass students have participated in consultancy projects, with previous groups also having worked in Krakow, Gdansk.
Each team was charged with tackling a focused consultancy assignment within a tight timeframe of only a few days.  The clients typically required solutions to marketing, HR, strategy or operational challenges.  Projects were carried out for ING Bank, Aegon (insurance), FC Travel and Mazurkas Agency (tourism), MCX(informatics), WP (internet portal), Off Set Print (printing house), Vendi (catering), Glass Decorator (manufacturing),Polimex Mostostal (construction and oil industry), Inven (bioenergy) and Cefarm (pharmaceutical distributor).
While other courses may give students a chance to get out into the 'real world' during course assignments projects, during field trips we go further, said Dr Joanna Zaleska, who ran the trip together with Professor Stefan Szymanski.
Our students have real consulting opportunities, with client-based project work so throughout their data collection and analysis stages they can reflect on how their own skills, as a consultant, leader and team player, are being tested and refined in so many different ways. Very often they are adding to their organisational experience as well as gaining insights into previously unfamiliar sectors. This increases their understanding of the lessons they learn during their MBA.
The group working with ING, consisted of Cass students Andrew King, Amber Tunio, Victor Krol, Zach Murray, James Strong and Peter Plutecki from WUTBS.  The were asked to review the cross selling model between relationship managers in ING and the internal providers of short term finance for companies.
Andrew King said: We came out with a variety of recommendations, some short term and some long term. The head of department was delighted with our presentation and as soon we'd finished, she turned to her two directors and said they would start working on implementing our suggestions right away. That was a real boost for us, and a great chance to show what we'd learned over the course of the MBA. What a good note to finish it on!
Consultancy trips are part of the internationalism strategy at Cass and a significant component of the MBA curriculum.  All Cass MBA students are involved in a major consultancy assignment either in Poland, Argentina, Vietnam or Russia.

Find out more about the Cass MBA.

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