What was your Cambridge MBA Global Consulting Project experience like overall?
The Global Consulting Project (GCP) was an opportunity for our team to bring together our past experiences, our current learnings, and our future goals. We were looking for an opportunity to make a practical difference for a cause we really believed in. While the pandemic caused our project to be completed remotely, it also meant that we were able to engage with the WWF Nature Pays team worldwide and participate in their training programme with learners across the globe. Throughout the project, our client, university mentor, and team members were all so supportive and responsive. We were able to innovatively develop our recommendations because of this collaborative approach.
What MBA learnings did you apply during the project period?
In the course of our GCP we developed a complete go-to-market plan for our client which included MBA learnings from almost every course we have taken. For instance, we had to apply what we’d learned from marketing as we segmented our customers and identified their motivations; we applied what we learned from digital business as we considered how customers could be value creators within the learning eco-system; and we also applied our learnings on non-profit management as we developed a sustainable financial model for the platform. This was truly an opportunity to bring strategy, finance, marketing, technology, and social innovation together in a meaningful way in just one project.
What were your takeaways and MBA learnings after the project?
Our key takeaway is that together we walked away with a tangible application of how we can create shared value innovation by bringing together for-profit corporations and non-profit organisations. Individually, we were able to teach each other in our own areas of expertise so that the tech expert now understands better the challenges and goals of the non-profit, but the non-profit expert now understands the motivations of corporations for partnering in social impact projects. We continue to share ideas of how we could bring business and society together in other meaningful ways.
What was the dynamic like across the team on this project?
We had a diverse group of team members hailing from three different continents with backgrounds in technology, finance, consulting, and non-profit management. Through this diversity we were able to balance each other and create a well-rounded result for our client. Our shared passion for the potential impact of the project, as well as the client’s overall mission, allowed was pivotal for allowing our team to perform so well together. During our first meeting as a team, we realised that for each of us this was not just a school project, but was an opportunity for us to make a difference in the environmental sustainability of our planet and our future.
What was the highlight of the Cambridge MBA GCP for you?
The GCP’s climax was actually a few days after the final presentation. This was when we got an email from WWF asking us for more granular advice and expense estimates for rolling out the plan we worked on. This confirmed that our work and recommendations were helpful and were being used immediately. Watching our work being implemented is definitely the highlight of the Global Consulting Project.
What client outcomes do you think were delivered successfully?
The work was split into the following workstreams:
- Industry trends & competition
- Marketing & targeting
- Commercialisation & funding
- Customer experience
- Impact measurement
- Platforms & applications
- Risks & mitigations
All of the work was delivered professionally, but the most successful part was the roll out plan. We provided a Gantt chart that encompassed all recommendations into a project timeline. This holistic approach provided WWF with practical steps and we regard it as our most successful outcome.
How do you think you will take this MBA practical project experience into your future career?
We each found the GCP very useful for our careers in many aspects. Some of us learned about the conservation ecosystem and working for a leading non-profit. Others got experience in combining strategy and digital consulting through an agile way of working. We see this project as a major milestone in our Cambridge MBA learning experience and hope to cross paths with the WWF organisation in the future.
This year’s Cambridge MBA Class of 2020/21 team working with WWF Nature Pays were – Gilad Weil, Min Zheng, Rachel Baxter and Nan (Michelle) Ding.