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Student skills boost charity success

29 July 2011

Cardiff University students have put their business knowledge into practice, helping four Welsh charities develop their business strategies to survive in the challenging economic climate.

In collaboration with PA Consulting, the Cardiff Business School students have worked with ContinYou Cymru, Opportunity Housing Trust, TREAT Trust Wales and the Workers Educational Association, delivering new business ideas for use by the charities.

The students are currently studying Management Consultancy as part of their MBA programme.

Dr Joe O’Mahoney said: "This project allowed our students to get some real life exposure to consultancy work, whilst giving something back to the Welsh community. They’ve had the opportunity to combine knowledge of human resources, marketing, strategy and accounting.

"Many of our students have significant previous work experience and they all have a thorough knowledge of business and management theory: this has allowed them to bring some fresh ideas to the charities involved."

Over the course of 4 weeks, the charities worked with the students to overcome some of the strategic and management challenges they face in the current economic climate.

PA Consulting helped shape the projects and provided practical training to the students as part of the programme, giving coaching to the students on how to engage with their clients and provide high quality professional advice.

Graeme Pauley from PA Consulting explains, "We have had a long-standing relationship with Cardiff Business School and once we heard about the scheme, we suggested that the School look to give practical advice to the charity sector. By helping the students to help the charities we’ve been able to greatly increase the beneficial effect for the community from our in-house Giving Back and Volunteering programme.

"We have been hugely impressed with the students’ energy, enthusiasm and their professional attitude. The project has exceeded my expectations."

Melanie Davies from TREAT Trust Wales, said: "The students have brought fresh eyes to our project. They’ve advised us on how best to get our messages across. Often they recommended us doing things that we’d thought about doing but hadn’t implemented or hadn’t implemented properly. They grasped our operating environment very quickly and understood the unique challenges faced by the third sector. I would recommend the project to any charity looking for fresh ideas."

The students now enter their final dissertation, working individually with companies across South Wales on a practical business project which improves the host company’s operational effectiveness.


For further information contact:

Laura Davies
External Relations Manager
Tel: +44 (0) 29 2087 5132

Notes to editors

1. Cardiff Business School is widely recognised as one of the leading business and management schools in the UK, currently ranked 4th in the Research Assessment Exercise. Its faculty consists of 260 members with expertise in accounting, finance, economics, marketing, strategy, human resource management, and logistics and operations. For more information visit:

2. Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities and is a member of the Russell Group of the UK’s most research intensive universities. Among its academic staff are two Nobel Laureates, including the winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize for Medicine, University President Professor Sir Martin Evans.

Founded by Royal Charter in 1883, today the University combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise in research and research-led teaching encompasses: the humanities; the natural, physical, health, life and social sciences; engineering and technology; preparation for a wide range of professions; and a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning. Three major new Research Institutes, offering radical new approaches to neurosciences and mental health, cancer stem cells and sustainable places were announced by the University in 2010.