NU Goes to Prague
One of the staples of Northwest University’s curriculum is international learning experiences. Seventy percent of our undergraduate programs have a study abroad component built in, and our graduate programs are also adding more international opportunities.
Our MBA program has already integrated a cross-cultural experience through its Management Consulting course. On May 20, 11 students will fly to Prague, the capital city of the Czech Republic, to do real consulting work for International Study Programs (ISP), an organization that provides premium, customized educational trips for business students. Grouped in two teams, these 11 students have been working with ISP since January to identify areas of improvement for the organization. Now, at the culmination of their project, the teams will go head-to-head in a competition to deliver the best solution.
The students and their professor, Dr. Rowlanda Cawthon, will be joined by consulting professional Dr. Janice Doucet Thompson, who has volunteered as a coach during the entire course and will continue to do so in Prague. Dr. Thompson is the founder and managing principal of JD Thompson & Associates, a Sacramento, California–based leadership and management consulting firm. With more than 30 years of experience, Dr. Thompson understands what it takes to deliver results in challenging and complex environments. Her areas of expertise include leadership development, succession planning and talent management, strategic visioning and facilitation, change management, and leadership coaching.
During their stay in Prague from May 20 through May 28, the MBA students will analyze ISP’s needs in a number of different ways, including:
Conducting interviews and focus groups with ISP to find underlying issues
Meeting with ISP employees to understand the mission and vision of the company
Facilitating a SPOT (strengths, problems, opportunities, threats) Analysis with ISP leadership
Facilitating a “strategic visioning” session with ISP employees to begin developing a solution
Creating a project report for ISP that includes an analysis of the identified problems, consulting recommendations, and an implementation plan
Presenting the final project and findings to the rest of the group
Though it is a competition, the students are making sure they have their priorities straight. Catherine Jensen, one of the students in the program, said, “It is not about winning the game—if we do our best for the customer, they win. And when they win, we can walk away feeling accomplished.”
This is just one example of how NU provides hands-on, real-world experience for its students. Instead of theorizing about consulting concepts, students in NU’s MBA program will already have real-world experience when they graduate.
“This course is beginning to open doors for us,” said Inna Rasor, another MBA student. “It is so refreshing to see something amazing come out of what we’re doing.”
If you’d like to follow the adventures of our NU students in Prague, search #NUGoesToPrague and #NorthwestUMBA on Instagram and Twitter.