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Within the Oxford Brookes Global MBA there are a variety of ways to bring commercial practice into both the virtual and Oxford based classrooms.
In the final stages of the MBA, you can choose to write a dissertation on a topic of your choice, or undertake a consultancy project or business start-up project, in which you apply your academic knowledge and professional experience to a real life business situation.
You can choose to complete a consultancy project for your own organisation or a client of ours. In each case, your client company provides you with a complex business management problem. In return, they benefit from fresh insights and recommendations on difficult management issues of strategic importance to the business. By working on real business-critical issues you can see and evaluate the impact that you have.
Examples of organisations that have provided opportunities for consultancy projects include:
"In one of my modules I worked closely with my employer on a change project in the organisation. It was very insightful to realise how people feel about change."
Finance Manager, PepsiCo
An individual consultancy project can be taken within your own organisation and can be of real interest to you and your employer.
You can identify a live management problem with your employer, which becomes your individual consultancy project, providing your existing organisation with immediate benefit from the knowledge and skills you have developed on the programme, and enhancing your opportunities for internal recognition and career development.
For some organisations the outcome of the individual consultancy project avoids the need to employ external consultants, which could encourage your employer to help fund your MBA programme.
Group consultancy projects provide a way to implement the skills and knowledge you have developed on the MBA programme in a live commercial setting.
The Business Faculty of Oxford Brookes has a wide network of private, public and third sector organisations with whom our MBA students work on a specific management problem.
These organisations range from large multinational companies such as BMW and Harley-Davidson, national companies such as British Gas, to those with their roots based firmly in Oxford, such as Oxfam, Oxford University Press and Oxford Instruments.
A start-up project is ideal for students who intend to start a new business venture. You pursue your business objectives and draw on many of the concepts studied throughout the MBA.
Your nominated start-up mentor guides you through a series of structured on-to-one interventions. At the end of module you deliver a business pitch presentation and robust business plan containing a portfolio of documents such as a mid-year forecast, cash flow statement and risk assessment for a new venture which is assessed by academic and practitioner start-up experts.
The Oxford Brookes Global MBA uses live in-module projects throughout the core modules delivered online and face-to-face to deepen your understanding and apply the theory to commercial practice, providing you with a more dynamic, real time experience on the online modules. You thereby learn from your own decisions rather than from others' and widen your exposure to a range of live scenarios outside of your own organisation.
For example, the Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development Module involves an Enterprise Intensive Action learning trip which exposes you to entrepreneurship and enterprise development skills.
Taking place in the UK Brecon Beacons, in South Wales, the module has a social enterprise focus. Students respond to a brief and develop strategies for sustainable business diversification for a range of regional enterprises. This is designed to immerse MBA students to real-time, real-business, time-bound, action-learning in a context of uncertainty and ambiguity. It requires creativity, innovation, pragmatism and business knowledge to address issues and solve a diverse range of problems.
Students have developed strategies to grow revenue. Previous clients on this module have included Talgarth Mill in Brecon, Wales, a fully restored mill, powered by the River Ellywe and run as a community social enterprise. Another client has been Twizy Cars run by Eco Travel Network, a fleet of electric vehicles targeting domestic and tourist use.