| 16.12.2019

Practical experience for students through consulting course

En studerande och en lärare för kursen Business Consulting står framför ett fönster i ett mötesrum.
Students become real life CEO’s, project managers and consultants in the Entrepreneurship and Management course Business Consulting.

Every year in October a course in Entrepreneurship and Management starts, where the students run a company that does consulting assignments for real life clients. The course is Business Consulting, where the students learn what working in consulting is all about. The students run the business themselves from start to end, including selling projects to companies, problem solving and reporting to the client, says teacher of the course Tom Lahti.

– It’s a challenging concept, as the students create their own projects. But this is business reality, and we try to give the students a picture of what consulting is all about. The goal is to develop their entrepreneurial skills through this business concept, where they run a company and engage in sales and negotiations with the clients, says Tom Lahti, who is Associate professor in Entrepreneurship and Management.

The company run by the students is SHH Academic Business Consulting (ABC). One of the students is elected as CEO by voting, the others work in different roles in the company, e.g. as project managers or consultants. Right now, they are looking for companies to cooperate with during the course, says Linda Tissen, who is CEO of ABC during 2019–2020.

– We can offer a variety of projects – we can do different market analyses, research projects, projects on digital transformation for example, evaluations, customer surveys etc. What is so great about the course is that we have so many students with different backgrounds, who have working experience from various areas and different majors. These people bring a broad expertise into the group, says Tissen.

Cost efficient alternative for the customers

The students do as many projects as they can sell and have the time and possibility to do during the academic year. Last year the group did 7 projects. This year, 32 students are taking the course, and they are looking for SMEs and bigger companies to cooperate with. The important thing is that the projects need to be feasible in the given time frame, between January and the beginning of June 2020. Linda Tissen mentions that SHH Academic Business Consulting is a cost efficient alternative for the customers.

– The advantage of hiring us as a consulting firm, is that we are cost efficient if the companies have a suitable problem or  need that we can help them with. Our aim is not to generate profit, our aim is to go on a study trip in the end. Previous years, the students of the course have travelled for example to New York, Silicon Valley and Beijing, says Tissen.

Another advantage that Tom Lahti points out, is that ABC has access to all academic recourses and several databases, which otherwise could be quite expensive for a company. The course has a long tradition, and has been arranged at Hanken every year since the 1990s, says Lahti.

– During the many years that we have arranged the course, the students have done hundreds of projects. The customers have been both Hanken’s partner companies and other companies, and many of them have been satisfied with the students’ work. A success case from last year was a project on digital transformation that the students did for the consulting firm Shift Actions, they were very satisfied with the results.

Collaboration with partner companies and real life work for the students

The course cooperates with Hanken’s partner company Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC). During the course, consultants from PWC meet with the students to help them with sales and project management. They also provide some mentoring for the students during the course. For many students the course Business Consulting is a valuable first time experience of the real life work in business, also for Linda Tissen.

– I am really looking forward to the experience I will get from this course. I have a lot of experience in sales, because I’ve worked in that field for many years, but to learn how to work with projects and as a consultant, it will be interesting because this is such a hands on course and we have to be proactive, says Tissen.

 

Call for action:

Does your company need help with a project that can be done between January and June 2020? Read more about the course and the company on SHH Academic Business Consulting’s web page here.

If you are interested, please contact the CEO Linda Tissen or the teacher Tom Lahti for more information.

Linda Tissen, CEO, SHH Academic Business Consulting, e-mail: linda.tissen@academicbusinessconsulting.fi, phone: +49 152 063 71 200

Tom Lahti, teacher, Associate Professor in Entrepreneurship and Management, e-mail: tom.lahti@hanken.fi, phone +358 50 5498786