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MBA Projects: « MBA students get to see the company live – it’s about as real-life as it gets! »

MBA Projects: « MBA students get to see the company live – it’s about as real-life as it gets! »

EMLYON’s International MBA students have the unique opportunity to complete MBA projects consulting an organisation of their choice based on their individual career objectives and interests. The ‘Entrepreneurial Leadership Project’ is a part-time 9 month project completed alongside study.

Pascale Berthier, Deputy Director of MBA Programmes at EMLYON Business School tells us how the Entrepreneurial Leadership Projects at EMLYON differentiate the programme from other MBA programs, how previous MBA graduates have been able to secure a full-time position following their Entrepreneurial Leadership Project, and what participants take from the experience.

MBA Projects: EMLYON’s MBA Deputy Director Pascale Berthier tells more…

MBA projectsPascale, what do you consider is the biggest benefit of the MBA project for International MBA students?

The Entrepreneurial Leadership Project is a great way for participants of the International MBA to apply the knowledge they have learnt throughout the programme to create new competencies.  Many participants come into the process from very technical roles such as engineers and marketers, so the Entrepreneurial Leadership MBA Projects help them to step back, put themselves into the company’s shoes and see the bigger picture in a more generalist capacity.

All MBA projects are tutored by EMLYON professors who help them make this transition by supporting them throughout the process and helping them to put the tools they have learnt into practice.

Do students have a choice of ELP’s depending on their own interests and career goals?

Yes, absolutely. We work closely with the EMLYON Careers Services to select the right companies and the right MBA projects, which are both international and strategic in scope. The companies then come onto campus to present and the programme participants select the MBA projects they want to work on. Out of 17 MBA projects this year, 9 of them were selected by International MBA participants. This is much more relevant because participants can find real value in this exercise rather than being assigned a project.

MBA projects are carried out in groups of 3-5 MBA participants and we encourage a diversity of profiles to ensure a rich learning environment.

How does the Entrepreneurial Leadership Project differentiate this MBA from other programmes?

Firstly, the MBA projects are 9 months long, compared to those in many other MBA programmes which last around 2-3 months. Participants invest around 350 hours over the course of the programme so that means they can put this on their CV as a long-term project and work within a company in a consultancy role. Over the course of the 9 months, the scope of the projects may change and participants then have to re-frame their approach and discuss it to come up with new solutions. It’s about as real-life as it gets! MBA students get to see the company ‘live’, which has real added value for their career.

Secondly, the projects are highly entrepreneurial in their approach. This year we have two projects focused on entrepreneurship; one is a brand new venture and one is a new venture within an existing large industrial group.

MBA projects

Thirdly, the Entrepreneurial Leadership Projects really reflect new opportunities and trends worldwide. For example, this year we have projects in smart buildings, e-reputation, internet of things, renewable energy and communication & media.

Do the Entrepreneurial Leadership Projects usually get implemented within the company?

I can think of many examples where participant recommendations have been put in place within the organisation. For example, one group worked on the online sales strategy within a cosmetics company. The participant’s presentation to the Marketing Director and General Management led the organisation to completely review their existing online sales strategy.

Another example that comes to mind was the CRM project for a luxury organisation. The group made recommendations that encompassed far more than a CRM (customer relationship management) strategy, but also recommended a CEM (customer experience management) strategy as a result of their study of luxury consumer behaviour. Their concrete recommendations were taken on-board by the organisation.

Have any students been offered a job as a result of the ELP?

In the cohorts of both 2011 and 2012, I know of graduates that were offered a job by the company that they completed their Entrepreneurial Leadership Project with. Also we have had at least three projects that have been put forward by the companies of International MBA graduates, because they see the benefit of working with these participants, particularly as a result of the diversity of the students. So even for those who are not directly offered a job, all participants have a real opportunity to expand their professional network.

Discover how Entrepreneurial Leadership MBA Projects are structured

EMLYON MBA students share their MBA projects!

MBA studentWorking on a commercial strategy for a Canadian compan, current MBA student Miguel Ramirez Romero said of his MBA project: « the company gave us so much support and trust to develop their commercial strategy for the next five years. It wasn’t just another academic project! »

MBA studentCurrent MBA cohort Elie Hayek is working on an exciting MBA project in the emerging market of connected objects, also known as internet of things (IoT), saying: « how to interact with clients and project yourself professionally as a consultant is the biggest learning of the project so far. I have also gained deeper knowledge of the market of connected objects that will be of great value to my personal expertise for my future job search.« 

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