At IE University, each of our degree programs is meticulously designed to prepare our students for the world of work. With that in mind, we consistently seek out the best collaborations with top companies so that students can get hands-on experience and start making industry connections from day one.
For the Bachelor in Business Administration (BBA) specifically, we’ve launched the BBA Global Consulting Practicum (GCP), which allows students to apply the concepts, methodologies, and analysis frameworks learned in the classroom to a real-world project.
Global Consulting Practicum: What is it?
The GCP challenges students to develop an innovative strategic and operational plan for the launch or development of a business plan for a real client. In order to do this, students work in teams and are guided by a faculty member and a project coordinator.
The first edition of the GCP, which took place last year, featured two very different clients: a large multinational company and a technology-based marketing company. For each, students conducted a complete analysis of their respective company, including its current and future strategy, their competitors, and the industry as a whole in order to craft a strategic plan for the business.
How is it set up?
The practicum is designed to mirror a practical work experience and thus includes fixed deadlines and checkpoints. The program’s overarching workflow follows seven main steps:
- Initial strategic assessment with client.
- Development of the project proposal with faculty.
- Detailed project planning.
- Research and project development.
- Presentation to a panel of experts & faculty members.
- Incorporation of feedback & final touches.
- Project is delivered to the client.
What’s the benefit for students?
Through this realistic learning experience, students develop:
- Their hard skills, applying concepts, methods and paradigms from the curriculum.
- Their strategic planning and implementation abilities.
- Executive/board-level soft skills.
- Advising, decision-making and resource management skills.
- Experience working with diverse teams, both virtually and in person.
- An important professional network for ongoing career enhancement during and after the practicum.
“I would honestly say that this has been the richest learning experience I’ve had throughout my four years at IE University. It was the perfect way to see what our future as consultants would look like, and everyone should take this opportunity to see if that’s what they really like.”María Anabitarte
Another student who participated, Jorge San Roman, explained that “this experience will differentiate me after graduation. We produced very high-quality work, tested our hypothesis, completed analyses, and took a deep dive into the company. That’s a lot of things you don’t typically get to do until you graduate. And even after you graduate, you often don’t meet with the client as often as we did.”
Though your final years in university can be hectic, it’s crucial to stay active in projects and activities outside of the classroom and gain experiences that set you apart. This valuable experience will enhance your CV and prepare you to dive into the job market with confidence.
What about the clients?
The GCP is a win-win situation, with clients leaving with fresh strategies and perspectives to incorporate into their companies. Isabel Flores, a client who participated in last year’s practicum, praises the students’ commitment and unique perspectives on the project.
“The students helped us understand why we have lost clients. We received insights about our competitors, our vision, the market… The students gathered all this information for us, and without their help, we wouldn’t have been able to receive so much feedback from our customers, partners and competitors, so this is really important for us. I couldn’t be more satisfied with the level of commitment and hard work the students put into this project.”
Isabel also highlights that the students involved were inquisitive, agile, and fast learners.
For students, it’s key that the clients leave happy, as it could lead to future potential connections. The practicum is a chance to make a good impression on experienced industry professionals that could come in handy come graduation.