Each year in June the school of management at Royal Holloway welcomes a group of dynamic and highly energetic distance learning students to participate in an action packed summer school plenary.
Those just starting the programme are exposed to a range of stimulating seminars, guest speakers, field trips (see photos below of the Windsor and Eton brewery visit) and social networking. Key aims, meet staff and fellow students, understand how the programme operates through taster master classes and have a large dose of fun. You will see from the photos below: Job done for 2016.
Students coming to the end of their programme have a small group based live business consultancy challenge.
Royal Holloway’s second live business consultancy with Ricoh was a very contemporary business challenge that looked to investigate the market opportunity for Ricoh's collaboration tool portfolio in the highly regulated and price conscious Higher Education sector. Harnessing worker and learner collaboration to drive both effectiveness and efficiencies is a hot, current topic that has resonance at universities and also in workplaces across the world. I was delighted at how smoothly this capstone programme learning event was planned and delivered, a big thanks goes out to Royal Holloway MBA alumna Nitasha Chadha and the team of highly professional Ricoh colleagues she assembled to engage with us at our historic campus.
How the students found it
As is often typical, students initially found the consulting problem put before them quite daunting. They wanted more information and hard data to work up their ideas. Of course, perfect data sets and complete knowledge are rarely, if ever, available to business leaders and the work experienced distance learning students were able to use their theoretical MBA knowledge to help unpack the question and investigate it more deeply. They used a variety of research techniques beyond the obvious internet search, some visited the Ricoh showrooms in nearby Staines whilst others tapped into their business networks to glean market insights. Thanks to detailed mid-week briefings provided by the Mike Crawford (Global Higher Education vertical market lead) students made fast progress and appeared to greatly enjoy their hot house consultancy experience.
How they rose to the challenge
The six groups worked hard over the course of the intensive week long challenge, most deciding to toil well into the night and skip out off the diverting social networking activities offered during the evenings. The presentations were excellent, each taking a very different approach to the difficult set question. Particularly insightful were the ingenious research approaches, blending theory and practise, and the way the groups sought to frame the market opportunity with the Ricoh ecosystems distinctive strengths and capabilities. After a long and demanding week students returned to their homes all around the world tired, but very content with their performances. As an experienced MBA Director I was very impressed with the highly polished presentations and the insightful recommendations each of the groups made, it was a great success and we are very grateful for Ricoh's collaboration.