In the BBA Global Consulting Practicum (GCP), students are tasked with applying the concepts, methodologies and valuable skills learned in the classroom to craft an innovative and operational strategy to help a specific client develop a more robust business plan. Students work in small teams alongside a project coordinator and the client to create a complete proposal that brings fresh perspectives to the business.
In last year’s edition of the GCP, students were assigned to collaborate with leading companies like Pepe Jeans and Hackett, where they conducted a complete analysis of the companies’ current and future strategies, competitors and the industry as a whole. The BBA Global Consulting Practicum removes the limits of theoretical learning, allowing students to gain a unique, real-world experience and receive valuable insights from mentors who already work in the field.
The project structure
The practicum is set up to provide students with an experience that reflects the real world. As such, there are fixed deadlines scheduled throughout the project in order to touch base with the client and the team’s coordinator, ensuring efficiency and clearing up any doubts the students may have. These include seven main checkpoints, after the program launch:
A win-win situation for students and clients
The GCP benefits the student teams and the company alike, with students gaining an unforgettable educational experience and the company receiving a comprehensive strategic consultation.
Laura Rojo, Executive Director of the Bachelor in Business Administration, describes this symbiotic relationship. “We decided to create and develop the BBA Global Consulting Practicum as a real consulting opportunity for students to integrate business strategy concepts, methodologies, frameworks and tools, and to apply them into a comprehensive business and strategic plan that a real client receives.”
Through a penalty-free but realistic learning environment, students develop:
The students who participated in the practicum last year can confirm how beneficial it was. Student Javier Villegas, for example, says of the project,, “I think it was good preparation for an internship or for a potential work experience.”
Another student who participated, Bo Anne-May Boer, said, “What I liked the most is that it really reflects what a real consulting project would look like, working with different people from different places, and also working with real clients.” The real world experience was key for students and students met with the clients often, just as they would in their careers.
While the third and fourth years of the BBA can be challenging, it’s important for students to stay involved in projects and activities outside of their core coursework and gain experiences that set them apart. This real-world project improves students’ CV and prepares them to enter the job market confident, experienced and ready to dive into any company and industry.
The clients, for their part, finish the practicum with fresh new ideas and feedback to incorporate into their future business strategy.
Juan Manuel Elices, a client who participated in the practicum, appreciates the perspectives and hard work students put into the project. “I really didn’t expect that the guys could achieve such a level of precision and depth in terms of the way that they have been handling the project. And actually at Dentsu, we are now very excited to try to connect with the guys, and see if we can expand this collaboration and try to see if we can really implement it within our organization.”
Juan Manuel highlighted the importance of the program and was very interested in expanding and implementing it in his company.
It’s key that these clients leave happy—not only so that the practicum remains beneficial to all parties involved, but also because it could lead to future potential professional opportunities for students. The project is a great chance for them to make a lasting impression on experienced industry professionals that could come in handy some years down the road.