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MSc Consultancy Students Complete Successful Project with Defra UK

Each year, students on the MSc in Management Consultancy and Organisational Change work directly with major clients of PA Consulting on a variety of challenging consultancy projects.

On July 11 2018, students on Birkbeck's MSc in Management Consultancy and Organisational Change visited PA Consulting Group's Cambridge Technology Centre, as part of their Consultancy Challenge project. Each year teams of students work directly with major clients of PA Consulting on a variety of challenging consultancy projects.

This year,  a team of students worked with the UK Government's Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), receiving high praise for their professionalism, creativity, strategic insights and excellent client relationship skills.

The Consultancy Challenge provides an innovative and intense learning experience for the students, as they are encouraged to develop practical problem-solving solutions while navigating the challenges of working in a team with diverse skills and experience. Speaking of the experience, students said: "We were very lucky to have a client that was prepared to learn and share with us. The client was always open to collaboration and we had to balance this learning opportunity with the need to deliver tangible progress on a fortnightly basis."

"It was extremely important for us to harness our talents as a team, and give everyone equal opportunity to shine. We ensured that everyone played to their strengths, with support from other team members; and we developed a fresh understanding of the importance of communication in a client-facing consultancy project. For example, we had to explain complex concepts in simple ways, tailoring the messages to the audience effectively. This has been wonderful for us - we experienced trust, teamwork, risk-taking, and, above all, boundless enthusiasm."

Gerri Clement, Deputy Director of Defra, said: "We have been impressed with the students' skills - particularly how they managed us as clients because we know we were challenging, asking the 'why' question and pushing boundaries. Their ability to understand our approaches - strategy and technology - and check back in with us to challenge our views, has been a real testament to the students' development as consultants. We are all delighted to have been able to work with exceptional Birkbeck students on this project."

Pramal Lad, People and Change Consultant at PA Consulting, said: "The Birkbeck team produced a very valuable framework for the client. The client has shown clear excitement about working with the team, which speaks volumes about the contribution they have made, not only in producing something useful but also in being a trusted advisor and partner in delivering genuine consulting value. Overall, they have done an outstanding job, and we observed the usual harmonising dynamics as people found their feet and became accustomed to different leadership styles. We always enjoy working with Birkbeck students."

Further Information

MSc in Management Consultancy and Organisational Change

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