Warwick Business School is looking for exciting project briefs from dynamic and exciting startups for their students to work on as a requirement of their Masters programme.

Is offering a student project like hiring an intern? 

No. A WBS consultancy project is a summer engagement between a student and a corporate client. Students undertaking a project do so as part of their academic programme, with each project requiring clear, specific objectives and a strategy-focused outcome. Students will be conducting targeted research and not undertaking day-to-day tasks. The research conducted forms the basis of a student’s academic dissertation, which is submitted in early September.  By contrast, an internship is usually designed to give a student an insight into a particular organisation or career, rather than focused on an individual project, although a project may subsequently arise through the internship. 

What is the difference between an MBA and a Masters student in regards to consultancy projects? 

The Warwick Business School MBA is a broad-based management qualification, attracting experienced managers with typically seven years’ work experience. Masters students tend to be postgraduates with limited professional work experience, focusing on very specific and detailed areas of academic study. The following Masters courses offer students consultancy projects; 

What are the benefits to my organisation in offering a student project? 

Access to an international talent pool of high quality experience and expertise.  Fulfilment and delivery of business projects for which there may be limited internal resource.  Cutting-edge academically robust management thinking and a fresh perspective.  Project outcomes can result in cost savings, improved systems or processes, suggestions for subsequent revenue generation or new market entry.  Projects can be viewed as a three month interview/trial period for potential new employees.  Increase your organisation’s profile at the University of Warwick. 

Is there much documentation to complete?  No. The process is designed to be as easy as possible, with only three key forms to complete and sign: 

  1. Project Brief 
  2. Project Agreement Form 
  3. Non-Disclosure Agreement (if required) 

What are the costs involved? 

There are no fees payable to WBS, however all clients are expected to fully reimburse student expenses incurred to undertake the project (usually travel and subsistence). 

How much support do I need to provide? 

Clients will need to allocate an employee as a mentor or point of contact for the student. Contact time depends on the nature of the project, but access to data, people and office space (if required) for the student needs to be made a priority and agreed at the outset of the project. 

What is the duration of a student project? 

Projects typically last between 10 to 12 weeks. We do not recommend that projects start earlier than the stated date, as in the interests of fairness, all students should have the same amount of time to complete their projects. 

Where is the student expected to be based? 

Students can be based either at the client’s site, on campus or a combination of both. Location, working hours and expected attendance pattern should be discussed, agreed and documented in the Project Agreement Form to ensure expectations are clear for both the student and the client.  Please note that if you expect a student to relocate, this may incur additional costs/expenses for you as the client. 

Can I specify certain skills or experience? 

Yes. Please provide as much information as possible in the project brief to ensure you receive applications from suitably qualified candidates. As with a job advert, you can request that a student has experience in a certain area, define skills required to successfully complete the project or you could also request that students have covered an academic module directly relevant to your project area. 

What can I expect at the end of a project? 

Depending on the nature of the project, you are welcome to define a deliverable as part of the Project Agreement (e.g. management report, a formal presentation for your staff, a simulation model, or perhaps a marketing strategy). This will need to be scoped out at the very beginning of the project so all parties are aware of the final deliverable. 

How much student interest can I expect? 

In previous years, typical numbers of applicants for a project have ranged between two and ten. This will vary depending on the subject area and level of specialism of the project focus. While our objective is for all clients to successfully recruit students into their projects, this is a competitive process and many students will have multiple project offers, so we cannot guarantee you will have a student allocated to your project. 

How do I select a student? 

Student selection operates in the same way as a recruitment process. WBS will manage the process from beginning to end; advertising the projects, coordinating student applications and scheduling interviews. Most clients hold interviews on campus, while others conduct phone/online interviews. WBS will not pre-screen or recommend candidates for projects. 

How will confidentiality be maintained? 

Dissertations produced as a result of the projects process must be marked internally by two WBS academics, who are both under NDA. A sample of dissertations is also reviewed by an external examiner, who is also under NDA, to ensure consistency of grades and marking. Data you provide can be anonymised, and we can also sign a standard Non-Disclosure Agreement to give you peace of mind regarding the handling of business-critical or sensitive data. 

Is the student adequately insured when on company premises? 

As the student is undertaking a project and not officially employed by you, they should be covered in the same way as any other visitor or consultant on your premises. Please ensure you have adequate Employers’ Liability Insurance

If I am interested how do I proceed? 

If you have a specific project already in mind, or would like to organise an exploratory discussion please contact WBS CareersPlus (02476 574 862 or business@wbs.ac.uk) who will take you through the next steps. 

Thank you for your interest in WBS Student Consultancy Projects. We look forward to working with you! 

Please email martha@capitalenterprise.org if this could be of interest and she will provide you with more details.