Alumni give consulting hand to current students
Published 5 July 2012
A number of Lancaster alumni have been contributing to the undergraduate Management and Consulting module this year, making podcasts on consulting topics, and providing exciting opportunities for real consulting projects.
“As a Lancaster University Management School graduate myself, I was delighted to be able to give something back by helping current students through the podcast.”
Justin Ablett, IBM
The podcasts proved especially popular with students, who often cited the alumni podcasts in essays.
James Krantz of Worklab (a New York consultancy) who is formerly of Wharton and Yale Universities, also provided a podcast on psychodynamics in consulting interventions, while Robin Tait (MAMLL 2010), Principal Consultant at the Taylor Clarke Partnership Ltd, provided a live input with a talk and discussion of the ups and downs of a consulting intervention.
A key feature of the Management and Consulting module, says course convenor Dr Dermot O’Reilly, is the live consulting project, which takes place in the Spring term.
‘Students work in groups on real issues for client companies,’ says O'Reilly, ‘One of the really exciting features is that alumni from Lancaster’s flagship LEAD business support programme contributed to the module by providing around half of the live projects this year.’
Case study: Pendle Doors
A Darwen-based manufacturer of bespoke timber doors and windows.
Brief: a rigorous analysis of the company’s current marketing strategy. The students were briefed to look in depth at industry trends and to advise where the company should focus its future efforts.
‘We had a fantastic bunch of students,’ says Sue Anderson of Pendle Doors in Darwen, Lancashire, ‘And we couldn’t have asked for better. They were friendly, helpful and responsive and kept us informed at all times. I’d do it again without hesitation.’ A number of clients have also described how working with the LUMS students has had a positive influence on their own management style.
The student projects are one example of the many ways in which Lancaster University Management School engages in knowledge transfer to support the regional economy. Two of this year’s projects involved advice on foreign export, and UK Trade and Investment North West advisors helped the student groups to plan and present their research.
The Management and Consulting module has now been running since 1990, delivering benefits to both clients and students. The projects have assisted 88 clients in the last five years, while students have been given the opportunity to learn from real consulting experiences – an invaluable asset for their future careers. The course continues to evolve, and the use of an extended virtual learning environment, combined with the assistance of Lancaster's alumni, networks and contacts, has broadened and deepened the learning opportunities available to students.
If you have material you could share with students, please contact the course convenor, Dermot O’Reilly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, if you are interested in hosting and benefitting from a student project, please contact Tom Hurst, Business Liaison Officer at email@example.com or 01524 510718.