Student skills boost charity success
21 June 2017
Cardiff Business School’s MBA students demonstrate public value principles while boosting the third sector in Wales.
As part of the Management Consultancy elective of the Cardiff MBA programme, students have had the opportunity to put their business knowledge into practice and assist eight Welsh charities. This consultancy and support has taken many forms, from helping develop new business strategies to feeding into a digital inclusion plan.
This initiative, which is run in collaboration with PA Consulting Group, 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. This year, students worked with organisations including: Tenovus Cancer Care; Cardiff City Foundation; Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA); Groundwork; Challenge Wales | Wales' Tall Ship; GameOn Wales; New Link Wales; and The Autism Directory.
Cardiff Business School's Professor Joe O’Mahoney 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.
“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 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.
PA Consulting Group helped 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 Group, explains: “We have a long-standing relationship with Cardiff Business School and have encouraged and supported this innovative initiative from the outset. It is a brilliant opportunity to help the business leaders of tomorrow learn about the third sector and also how they can work in a spirit of collaboration for the benefit of the community. Once again we are hugely impressed by the drive and achievement of all those involved.”
Katie Taylor, from Tenovus Cancer Care, said: “Having input from students with this level of knowledge and expertise has really helped us as they’ve brought fresh enthusiasm and new ideas and without them the project may not have been started for some time. They’ve volunteered their time and skills to propose plans for a digital people attraction strategy which we are hoping to take forward.”
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.