I write this blog with 2/3’s of the MBA program behind me and the academic portion effectively complete. The first 2 semesters have been a flood of information and knowledge that has been enriching and stimulating, albeit saturating at times. In this 8-9 month period we have completed 16 separate academic modules, written countless assignments, given innumerable presentations and generally been immersed in the spectrum of business related subjects, day and night.
For the final 2-3 months of the program, this outline changes tack completely. The academic learning is done and we are now expected to put it all into practise. The program’s vehicle for this exercise is the market place. As MBA participants we now move from being students, to in essence cheap labour, as we are offered out to companies to perform consulting projects. The value gained from businesses in the past means that the program is oversubscribed from companies looking to make use of this opportunity, which provides us with a broad choice of projects to work on.
I have made the selection to work on a project for a multinational looking for a feasibility analysis of a new line of business and a related roll out plan. This project struck a cord with me as it aligned my entrepreneurial tendencies with an opportunity to implement much of my learning’s from the program. Specifically, I look forward to implementing the theoretical strategy elements of analyzing the opportunity and industry attractiveness, the firm’s value chain and relative competitive advantage, and the best avenues for entry.
The project also facilitates implementation of our marketing theory in performing a market segmentation and analysis, identifying the target market, and determining the product positioning and best marketing mix. Our financial learnings should also add value in the financial modelling and analysis that will be required. I am thus looking forward to the challenge of performing a value adding assignment in tight timelines and hopefully gaining much practical learnings in feasibility analysis and the roll out of a new business venture.
All in all, this practical element of the program has come at the right time as most program participants are itching to put all our learnings into practice and get out of the class room and back into the real world of business.
– Neil Krige, FT MBA 2012/13