Sunday, March 7, 2010

Academy Intensive Week 2: Consulting Academy

In my final MBA Program Blog post for this quarter of the spring semester, I will describe my really hectic "Academy Intensive Week 2" experience. It promised to provide us with an opportunity to work on a real problem facing a consulting firm. My team's task involved researching a new field in Business Intelligence and figuring out the market entry strategy - a challenging task for students from one of the top MBA Management Programs.
We had our first call last Friday, setting the ground rules for the engagement. I created a logo for our team. We went with the name "Quantastic Consulting Services" – where “Quantastic” signified "fantastic with numbers". Especially since the assignment was about a domain that is considered as heavily quantitative.
Even before the academy week officially began, we drafted the engagement letter and started working on the issue tree. Following the scientific method exemplified in the book "The McKinsey Mind", we got a great head start in solving the problem facing our client. We created a timeline with deadlines for various internal deliverables that would be necessary to stay on track.
We got a lot of good experience interviewing others. Conversations with our academy directors Tony Gerth and John Wisneski gave us great insights that allowed us to move a step closer to the final recommendations. Along with Shubhang, I interviewed Prof. Albright, who taught us Quantitative methods in the Core. He was also happy to lend us a book on the topic for a week. JP, Aayush, Shubhang and I worked very well as a team. It was often during a team dinner that we would hit upon a good idea and then incorporate it into our slides when we returned to school.
The final presentation went as planned. Based on the feedback we received, we know that the quality of the slides were definitely on par with the quality expected from students from the top Masters of Business Administration programs in the US. But the most interesting part of the week - apart from the engaging discussion on ethics and the “communication game” where I played the role of Picasso - was the “movie trivia” organized by John! The number of movies I successfully guessed pleasantly surprised me. And since the spring break is finally here, I should definitely treat myself to the latest box office hits and some quality time with my family in Boston!

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