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Welsh charity performance boost

28 June 2019

lots of people with their hands in the air

Cardiff Business School students have put their business knowledge into practice by assisting six Welsh charities as part of the award-winning Management Consultancy elective on the Cardiff MBA programme.

The initiative, which is run in collaboration with innovation and transformation consultancy, PA Consulting, sees students working with a number of local charities to generate and develop new business ideas that can be implemented and executed by the charities’ management teams.

The consultancy and support has taken many forms, from helping develop new business strategies to feeding into a digital inclusion plan.

Real-life exposure

This year, students worked with organisations including Repair Café Wales, The Autism Directory, BulliesOut, Benthyg, Challenge Wales and Community Energy Wales.

Dr Joe O’Mahoney, Professor at Cardiff Business School, said: “This project allowed our students to get some real-life exposure to consultancy work in the third sector, whilst giving something back to the Welsh community. They’ve had the opportunity to combine knowledge of human resources, marketing, strategy and accounting…”

Joe O'Mahoney

“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.”

Professor Joe O'Mahoney, Professor

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

High-quality professional advice

PA Consulting helped to shape the initiative and provided coaching to the students on how to engage with their third sector clients, empowering them to provide high-quality professional advice.

Graeme Pauley, Strategy Analytics expert at PA Consulting, added: “We have encouraged and supported this innovative Public Value initiative from the outset...”

“It is a great opportunity to help the business leaders of tomorrow learn about an increasingly vital sector and work together to support local good causes. We are once again hugely impressed by the ingenuity, diversity, drive and achievement of all those involved.”

Graeme Pauley, Strategy Analytics expert at PA Consulting

Emma Thomas, from BulliesOut, said: “BulliesOut worked with three very enthusiastic groups of students who all produced some excellent work based on the brief provided to them by the Charity...”

“We were thrilled that one of the groups we had worked with was also the recipient of the consulting prize which demonstrates their hard work and professionalism. The support from the University in relation to this project was excellent.”

Emma Thomas, BulliesOut

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.

Cardiff Business School is committed to a bold and progressive public value strategy that promotes economic and social improvement. Public value teaching at the School seeks to impart to students a moral sentiment and sympathetic imagination towards contemporary social and economic challenges.

The MBA Management Consultancy initiative is an excellent example of how students’ business insight, knowledge and skills help improve business and third sector practice, delivering social benefit for communities locally, nationally and internationally.

Find out more about the Management Consultancy elective, and the School’s public value mission.

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