Entrepreneurial Leadership MBA Project: consult a client alongside your MBA study!
Students of the EMLYON International MBA complete a dynamic consulting MBA project for an organisation related to their personal career objectives and/or interests. The programme pre-selects strategic and international company projects for teams of 3-5 International MBA students. Over the course of 9 months alongside study, students are required to deliver a comprehensive presentation and report of their analysis of the business issue and their strategic recommendations.
Previous Entrepreneurial Leadership Projects have included analysing the feasibility of new product development, assessing opportunities in emerging markets, analysing internal innovation processes, assisting start-up activities, determining solutions for inner-cities and improving the international scope of public services, museums and airports.
Why is the Entrepreneurial Leadership MBA Project so important?
International Master of Business Administration students operate as professional consultants to their client over the course of the 9 month part-time MBA project. This provides MBA students with critical consultancy skills such as developing a project plan for a multi-party, ongoing project and managing a team efficiently; skills that can be applied in any future MBA career. MBA students apply the theories they have learnt during the course of their programme to a real-life business context, giving them the ability to make strategic recommendations and adapt theoretical knowledge to any given situation. The MBA project also develops their presentation skills and gives MBA students the opportunity to grow their professional network.
According to Pascale Berthier, Deputy Director of MBA Programmes at EMLYON Business School, « 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. »
How are the Entrepreneurial Leadership MBA Projects structured?
Once MBA students have selected their Entrepreneurial Leadership Project, they are required to submit an initial proposal. This includes the group’s understanding of the client’s problems and needs, knowledge of the environmental and organisational context, as well as proposed deliverables, methodology and tools. They will also be required to state how individual team members can contribute to the project through their particular skills and competencies.
Halfway through the duration of the Entrepreneurial Leadership Project, groups are required to give an intermediary presentation to the client. This gives the client an understanding of the actions and results by the group so far, allowing them to make modifications or re-orientate the study if necessary.
At the end of the 9 month consulting MBA project, MBA students produce a final report and presentation to the client. This includes key findings, final client recommendations and further areas of study.
International MBA students also submit team assessments and an individual assessment, assessing their own contributions as well as the contributions of their peers to the project success. This gives them the opportunity to identify key learnings throughout the process and reflect on how they will use these learnings throughout their future career.
How does EMLYON provide support during the process?
Programme tutors support MBA students throughout the process by making suggestions and providing feedback about the proposed project scope, methodology and action plans. Programme tutors are also in contact with the clients to ensure that their demands are realistic, understood and properly met. Experts are also available at EMLYON to help students access any expertise and information that they lack.
Further, International MBA participants have presentation skills seminars to provide them with best practice when presenting a formal proposal and recommendations to their client.
Pascale Berthier, Deputy Director of MBA Programmes at EMLYON Business School shares more about how MBA students are supported by the school and how the Entrepreneurial Leadership Projects differentiates the programme from others of its kind – read the interview here.
Entrepreneurial Leadership MBA Projects: what EMLYON students say
Drazen Lucic, graduate of the International MBA in 2013 said of his main takeaways of his Entrepreneurial Leadership Project: “The project is what you make of it. You need to engage with your client and ask the hard questions to understand why the company wants to go down that particular route. Secondly, process is important but more importantly the process is malleable. In this case it’s important to work in shorter steps and keep constant communication with your client to keep synchronised.”
Maryanne Wanjohi, current cohort of the International MBA shares her biggest learning from the MBA project: « Collaboration! This is the biggest lesson in any team project. You have to continuously communicate, compromise and cut losses. I call them the 3Cs. I have truly grown from my team experience in a great way. With lessons for each team member, at the end we exceeded the client’s needs. »
Current International MBA student Elie Hayek on the skills he has gained from his MBA Project: « The Entrepreneurial Leadership Project is a tool for us to deepen our skills when faced with a contemporary business challenge. These are not only hard skills, but also interpersonal skills like team work, leadership, and most importantly people skills. Furthermore, by choosing the right project you will have the opportunity to interact with people from your prospective industries of choice. Moreover it add European experience to your profile as an MBA student in the consulting industry. »