Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Client: Guatemala Edition

By A.J. Miller
Second-year MBA Student

If there is one thing the GLOBASE program has always been able to pride itself on (other than selecting amazing, first-class leadership teams), it’s picking the right clients.  I hesitate to rank the importance of each GLOBASE component, but finding the right clients and projects for our students is high on the list.  Going into the process we all had our personal criteria for selecting clients.  I felt that my ideal client needed an open mind and strong interpersonal communication skills; Ed wanted his client to have a big enough business to provide our students with significant, meaningful projects.  However, we all agreed that it would be best to ask our students what they wanted in a client and project.
To do this, we asked each of our potential consultants in their interviews what they hoped to have in a client/project: size, industry and business function.  Luckily, their preferences were easily found in the many projects we had to select from.   The next step was to determine which of our prospective clients would be able to make the proper commitment to GLOBASE and our students.  When we interviewed our clients, we asked multiple questions about their flexibility and dependability as GLOBASE participants.  Only those that assured us they would make the proper commitment (email responsiveness, availability for weekly Skyping, in-country availability, etc.) were considered for final selection.  Lastly, we had to make sure that all of the projects in consideration were: a) challenging, b) able to be completed in 8 weeks, and c) interesting (and possibly fun…hey, we want our students to find some enjoyment in their projects).

To close, I can say with complete confidence that we’ve selected a fine group of projects and clients for our students.  We’ve most certainly continued the proud GLOBASE tradition of finding the best partners for our students.  Have we done better than previous leadership teams?  Only time will tell…and yes, we have done better.


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