go back

BBA Global Consulting Practicum (GCP)

In the BBA Global Consulting Practicum (GCP), students are tasked with crafting an innovative, strategic and operational plan 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 either assigned to collaborate with the multinational company SGS or the tech marketing company Adgravity, resulting in a diverse experience for each team. Regardless of the business at hand, the teams conducted a complete analysis of the company’s current and future strategy, competitors, and the industry as a whole.

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:

  1. Initial strategic assessment with client.
  2. Development of the project proposal with faculty.
  3. Detailed project planning.
  4. Research and project development.
  5. Presentation to a panel of experts & faculty members.
  6. Incorporation of feedback & final touches.
  7. Project is delivered to the client.

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:

  • Their hard skills, by applying concepts, methods and paradigms from the program curriculum.
  • Their strategic planning and implementation abilities.
  • Executive leadership skills.
  • Consulting, decision-making and resource-management skills.
  • Experience working in diverse teams, both virtually and in person.
  • An important professional network for ongoing career progress, both during and after the practicum.

The students who participated in the practicum last year can confirm how beneficial it was. Student Maria Anabitarte, for example, says of the project, “I would honestly say that this has been the richest learning experience I’ve had throughout my four years at IE University. It was the perfect way to see what our future as consultants would look like, and everyone should take this opportunity to see if that’s what they really like.”

 

Another student who participated, Jorge San Roman, explained that “this experience will differentiate me after graduation. We produced very high-quality work, tested our hypothesis, completed analyses, and took a deep dive into the company. That’s a lot of things you don’t typically get to do until you graduate. And even after you graduate, you often don’t meet with the client as often as we did.”

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.

Isabel Flores, a client who participated in the practicum, appreciates the students’ hard work and unique perspectives in the project. “The students helped us understand why we have lost clients. We received insights about our competitors, our vision, the market… The students gathered all this information for us, and without their help, we wouldn’t have been able to receive so much feedback from our customers, partners and competitors, so this is really important for us. I couldn’t be more satisfied with the level of commitment and hard work the students put into this project.”

Isabel also highlights that the students involved were inquisitive, agile and fast learners, providing enriching feedback. She recommends the practicum to any company looking for fresh perspectives.

Another client, Strategy and Business Development Manager Sofía López, said, “At first, we thought, ‘they’re only students,’ but by the end, we were saying, ‘they are professional consultants’.

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.