The single most differentiating feature of the Trinity MBA is the focus on live action learning. Students gain experience in new industries and organisations, solving real-world business problems. Working in groups, you work directly with and deliver solutions to the senior management teams of organisations via three Company Projects.
Full-Time MBA Alumna, Rebecca Kummert, talks about her live company project experience with a major Irish bank and offers some advice to students who are about to start, or are in the middle of their live company projects.
Name: Rebecca Kummert
Programme: Full-Time MBA
Year of Graduation: 2020
Why the Trinity MBA?
"As a qualified physiotherapist, I was eager to change career but knew I needed to build my skillset to be considered a viable candidate for roles outside of healthcare. The MBA at Trinity was particularly attractive as it is project based, facilitating learning in a practical and applied manner. Based in the city centre, the Trinity Campus (and the modern new business school) are conveniently located.
My Consultancy Project
Like all of the teams, ours was made up of a diverse range of backgrounds including finance, hospitality finance, business analytics, entrepreneurship and healthcare. We had a variety of continents represented with team members from Europe (Ireland), America (USA and Costa Rica) and Asia (India).
We were asked to look at how climate change would impact the financial services industry and ways of building climate action into the bank. It was great to be part of a project in an area which is gaining increased attention.
The Skills that I Developed
I have a particular interest in sustainable development and this project has provided me with knowledge of the intersection between sustainability and business.
Working closely with our project sponsors throughout the four stages of the project, we arranged and conducted interviews with employees regarding their experience working in the bank. When, in the latter stages, we presented potential solutions to the bank, we proposed changes based on interviews and discussions, and wove climate change through these. These changes included structural adaptations, employee empowerment and the widespread introduction of a goal setting framework, all with climate action in mind.
The world is becoming increasingly globalised and going forward most of us will be part of an international team. By virtue of working as part of a diverse team, I built cross cultural competencies and with Covid-19 we all adapted to working across time zones.
The projects are central to the MBA as they provide an opportunity to bridge the gap between academic and real-world context. The project allowed us to apply learnings and academic frameworks from various modules to a business, integrated into our analysis and solutions for the bank. The modules I found particularly useful to this end included ‘Strategic Management’, ‘Management and Organisation’ and ‘Leadership and ‘Organisational Behaviour’.
Words of Advice
Although you may feel that you’re under a lot of time pressure, it is important to take the time to establish norms and values, ensuring team alignment. Check in regularly with the team to determine whether your team is living by these values. If there are issues, take constructive steps towards addressing them, making use of the resources available such as the team tutor and the team coach.
Take the time to recognise the team members’ strengths and ascertain what every person wants to work on. Although this is a graded activity and everybody is keen to deliver something of value to the sponsor company, it’s also a unique opportunity to develop skills. Spend time discussing team strengths and personal development priorities as you end one stage and start the next, and see what elements of the project (research, presentation and report) allow you to leverage strengths and create learning opportunities.
Your team will be working together for a prolonged period on the strategic company project and it’s a lot easier if you have social connection. Make time to get to know one another. This will make it easier to raise concerns and makes the experience more enjoyable.
The strategic company project is more than an academic exercise, it is an opportunity for great personal growth, as is my experience. Working together with people from a range of backgrounds to deliver something of value to the sponsors is an incredibly rewarding process.