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Online MBA Students Are Partnering With Deloitte For Real-Life Consulting Experience

Online MBA students at Birmingham Business School get a taste of the boardroom by working with Deloitte on consultancy projects


By  Abigail Lister

Mon Dec 2 2019

Online MBA programs are all about virtual learning, never meeting your peers face-to-face, and missing out on the network, right? Not at Birmingham Business School, where students of the distance-learning MBA are partnering with Deloitte on real-life consulting projects.

According to recent data from the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), 39% of full-time MBA candidates plan to participate in case competitions while enrolled on their MBA degrees. A useful way to gain crucial real-world skills in communication, problem-solving, and team management.

In the past, this level of hands-on practice that students crave could only be achieved through the traditional full-time MBA. As programs have become more flexible, however, it’s now possible for students on programs like Birmingham’s Online MBA to get this same face-to-face business experience.

The Deloitte Consultancy Challenge is just one of the things you can expect from the Online MBA—an ‘intensive learning experience’ complete with role-play board sessions, briefings, and presentations.

“It’s very active and demanding on the students,” reports Paul Sanders, director of Deloitte LLP, “and also on us at Deloitte, as we sit across the other side.”

A taste of the boardroom

Birmingham Business School launched their online MBA in 2015 and have since developed a reputation for utilizing the latest technology to teach their program, as well as offering students high-quality in-person teaching. In fact, to gain accreditation by AMBA, an MBA program requires at least 120 contact hours.

“There is a very close relationship and interaction with module leaders and module tutors [on the program],” says student Dr. Omasanjuwa Edun. This is no different on the Deloitte Consultancy Challenge.

“One of the pivotal aspects of the challenge is when the MBA teams actually meet the board of their client, the members of which are played by Deloitte directors and partners,” explains Andrew Miles, corporate relations manager at Birmingham Business School. 

“We also film the sessions, which allows the MBA students to deconstruct their performance immediately afterwards, with the help of the Deloitte facilitators.”

All this makes for a unique learning experience—and one that can provide great deal of value for students on the Online MBA. 

In the first session, current student and aeronautical engineer, Onur Kiyici, says that they were asked what they wanted to learn about consulting. By the end of the project week, all their questions had been answered.

Exposure to the latest business trends

Birmingham believe wholeheartedly in the idea of the ‘One MBA’—meaning students on their full-time and online MBA programs cover the same material.

The Deloitte Consultancy challenge is just one way that students on the distance-learning program can take the curriculum and their learning on-campus one step further.

“As an engineer, it’s really important for me to learn about today’s business environment,” adds Onur. “I had a real sense of consultancy at the end of the week and I found it really interesting to see how the consultants work.”

As students of the University of Birmingham, Online MBAs can also tap into resources such as the Careers in Business team to help them towards the end of their MBA journey. 

In fact, the University of Birmingham currently ranks 5th in the UK for Graduate Prospects by The Complete University Guide.

Not only does the Deloitte Consultancy Challenge offer students the chance to put their own knowledge to the test, but also network with one of the world’s leading consultancy groups. 

“It’s a great opportunity for students and Deloitte executives to build relationships and relate to each other,” explains Paul at Deloitte.

“Deloitte has chosen to work with Birmingham Business School primarily because of its reputation, and the quality of student it provides to industry and commerce as a whole.”

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