#GOINGTOIEU

11/06/2024

IE University provides various opportunities for hands-on learning and real-life experience, including the Global Consulting Practicum. Tailored for students of the Bachelor in Business Administration, this project invites them to take what they've learned in the classroom and apply it directly to real-world business challenges with well-known companies.  

Solving real challenges for real companies

The Global Consulting Practicum is carefully structured to reflect the realities of the business world. The task involves developing a detailed business strategy that not only reviews the client’s current operations but also anticipates future needs and opportunities, ensuring success in a competitive market. 

This year, participating companies included PwC, Dentsu and Zeotap, among others. Bachelor in Business Administration students Casandra Timofte, Mateo Vega Noriega and Abdel Rahman Albess, joined us to share their experiences during the practicum.

What inspired you to join the Global Consulting Practicum program at IE University?

Casandra: What really drew me was the practical experience it offers. The professor who told me about it also mentioned that one of the clients would be PwC Germany, which has offices in Frankfurt—where I grew up and where I hope to start my career. This opportunity to work on a meaningful project with a company I admire was too good to pass up.

Give us a brief overview of the project you worked on.

Abdel: We worked closely with SGS on a macroanalysis and a go-to-market strategy for the Spanish economy, focusing on sustainability solutions that boost profitability. We created a full methodology using KPIs to identify high-potential sectors and specific businesses in these sectors that SGS could target. 

What has been the most challenging aspect of working on a real-life project for a major company?

Mateo: The most challenging aspect was learning to blend all of my knowledge and experience to complete every task. It was a comprehensive project, where we needed full focus and motivation to fulfill each deliverable. The need to respond quickly to evolving project requirements—and unexpected challenges such as limited client availability—put our capacity to remain flexible and proactive to the test. Managing these relationships while maintaining a high level of professionalism was both tough and gratifying.

Can you share any memorable moments or highlights from the project?

Casandra: One memorable moment was the weekend before our presentation when our team met to finalize the slides and practice our delivery. We worked intensely, but we also spent quality time together and got to know each other better. We bonded so much during that time that I’m confident we all came away with lasting friendships.

How has the Global Consulting Practicum experience helped you develop your professional skills?

Mateo: After the final presentation, I know that I’m capable of conducting a real project with a real firm, no matter how big it is. I also learned how a team should present such a project to a client and how to engage with different stakeholders throughout the process. 

This experience has helped me strengthen my analytical and problem-solving skills through real-world applications. Further, it enhanced my communication skills, not just in presenting, but also in successfully explaining complicated ideas and solutions while maintaining clarity and engagement.

How will this experience benefit your future career goals?

Mateo: This practicum was a significant accomplishment in my career. It gave me a clear understanding of the complexities of advising inside a huge corporate organization. What’s more, it showed me the value of adaptability and persistence in professional contexts. 

The skills and experiences I’ve acquired are immediately applicable to my future consulting aspirations, which involve managing projects combining technological solutions with strategic business demands. Furthermore, the successful completion of such a high-stakes project has increased my confidence in my abilities tremendously and improved my professional network within the business world.

What advice would you give students considering participating in similar experiential learning programs?

Abdel: I would recommend taking full advantage of opportunities like this, as these practical learning programs are what give you a career advantage. IE University has provided an amazing chance to apply our learning to real-world situations by trying to help a client mitigate an issue they are facing. Thanks to all this practice, I feel that even though I have another year to go on my degree, I could join a consulting team today and still add value. 

These experiences have also helped me discover my passion for consulting, so I want to develop more in this area and try to find similar professional opportunities.

A platform for career success

The Global Consulting Practicum enhances students’ technical and strategic skills while building invaluable qualities such as leadership, teamwork and decision-making. Participants don’t just deliver a comprehensive strategic plan to their clients, they also walk away with significant insights and a stronger professional network to support their future careers. We encourage all aspiring business professionals to embrace this opportunity to challenge themselves and make a real impact in the business community.