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School offers MBA boost to business performance

(20 February 2006)

Durham Business School is urging regional businesses to come forward and take advantage of its MBA talent.

Local companies stand to benefit by taking part in the School’s Business Project initiative.

Part of the School’s MBA programme, the Business Project initiative puts companies in touch with students from the School’s world-class MBA programme.

The students work with the company to investigate and assist in identifying and tackling real business issues for very little or no extra cost.

The initiative operates as a partnership between the Business School and the host company and offers benefits to both.

Once the project is agreed, the students utilise their MBA programme knowledge by applying key skills including problem solving, judgement and leadership capabilities to real-life business scenarios.

In return, the host company receives a business project report to take forward, which includes ideas for building competitive advantage and improving performance.

UK Haptics Limited, a young SME based in rural Northumberland, is one company already involved in the Business Project Initiative.

The company used it to confirm some research they had completed a couple of years previously, which enabled them to validate its business plan.

“Since we took part in the Business Research Project, we have entered into negotiations with an investor, which are at an advanced stage and we believe this has been aided by our Durham Business School intern,” said Gary Todd, managing director, UK Haptics Limited.
Some companies choose to take on more that one MBA Business Project student.

Newcastle International Airport took advantage of the initiative to complete two data/research projects, which focused on key parts of the organisation requiring development.

Nicola Boulter, head of commercial at Newcastle International Airport, said: “The students worked extremely hard and definitely made a positive and measurable contribution to our organisation.

“We have already made some changes as a result of the findings and are looking forward to repeating the experience this year.”

David Copus, business liaison manager at the Business School, said: “The Project can provide invaluable support for businesses of all sizes.

He added, “Choosing to host a Durham MBA Business Project provides companies with access to an International cohort of experienced MBA students from a leading business school.

“This is an excellent opportunity for companies to gain fresh insight, solutions and recommendations on current business issues.

“In addition, they are contributing to the development of some very enthusiastic and intelligent individuals from a leading international business School.”

Companies that are interested should contact David Copus, business liaison manager, Durham Business School on 0191 334 5404 by the end of March 2006 with a brief proposal on the intended project. The selection process takes place in April to begin in June.

To find out more about Durham Business School visit www.dur.ac.uk/dbs

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