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Postgraduate Business Clinic Experience

Digital Team Study

Having worked on the undergraduate consultancy project, I knew that I would enjoy the additional challenges the postgraduate consultancy project provided.

The Business Clinic opened in November 2016 and I was quite excited to work on my project within the new facilities. Filled with large screen computers for group work, separate classrooms and boardrooms, the Business Clinic created the perfect environment for the consultancy project. My course was MSc Business with Financial Management with Advanced Practice and I chose to do the consultancy modules in the second year of my course. Students on a one year Masters programme needed to apply to do this as opposed to the traditional dissertation. Students work with real-life clients and the aim is to solve the problems that the clients have. There is one initial meeting where the students meet the client with the tutors and afterwards, students and clients can decide when to meet if necessary. Students have one timetables session with the tutors where they review the progress of the project and make suggestions for improvements where necessary.

My group for the Postgraduate Consultancy Project included a mix of international students from Nigeria, Indonesia, China and myself from the Maldives. I took the role of the team leader and as my specialist area was finance, I also focused on this area of the project. Our client was Recovery4Life and our project was a feasibility study about a potential business idea. Although team working can cause issues, the consultancy module allows students to choose the people you work with rather than being allocated to a certain group. This would minimise problems that would be caused if you already know that you will work well with them. If you are unable to find a group, the tutors do step in and allocate you to a group.

During the time of the project, I was lucky enough to attend a seminar hosted by the North East Chamber of Commerce. It was a great opportunity to practice my networking skills and to meet people from various different professional backgrounds. In addition, due to the nature of our project, I got to experience some of the struggles businesses face when they are trying to set up a new idea or project. I believe that this aspect would be very beneficial when I enter the working world. Communication skills were also something I improved immensely during the time I spent on this module. As our group consisted of all international students with different specialist areas, we all learnt to listen to each other, negotiate and give advice when necessary. Further to this, time management is crucial when you have a part time job in addition to the group work and this was something I developed whilst studying on this module.

We provided recommendations in terms of development and implementation for this project and answered further questions they had during our final presentation. I believe the project was very successful as the team received Firsts for the group task.

If you would like a more practical experience in university, I would recommend the consultancy project. It allows you to practise your skills and is especially beneficial if you do not have any prior work experience.

By Fauhan Latheef

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