Local businesses mentor students through real-world problems

The Exeter Applied Consultancy Project boosted employment prospects by bringing students and businesses together to solve real-world problems, all with the help of the Alumni Annual Fund. Local marketing firm Good Growth provided ten teams with a pressing business issue. With the expert advice of mentors from IBM and Accenture, the students then worked together to research and present a resolution to Good Growth – all topped off with a networking event! 

Students Kyle Mapley and Simeon Rumyannikov from the University’s Finance and Technology Society headed up the Exeter Applied Consultancy Project this year to give their fellow students valuable business experience and contacts. Over fifty students were split into ten teams and given a real-life problem by local marketing company Good Growth: how to launch their new podcasting series. Aided by mentors from well-known firms such as IBM and Accenture, and workshops from external speakers, the teams worked together to devise a solution and presented it back to Good Growth’s chairman.

Not only did this improve student employability by giving them demonstrable skills for their CVs such as problem solving, team working and experience in consultancy and marketing, the addition of a networking event meant that students could make valuable sector contacts with professionals from the world of business. This student-led project also strengthened ties between the University and local business.

The event was a great success, with participants rating their overall experience with an average of 84% utility and satisfaction. The chairman of Good Growth also gave positive feedback, and is keen to work with Exeter students again next year.