Real Clients. Real Results.
Generating Value, Confidence and Growth
The Signature Series of Six Business Consulting projects are strategically integrated into the core curriculum program. The projects allow candidates to work with real clients from various sectors including not for profits, Silicon Valley-based start-ups, local entrepreneurs working on seed funding as well as Canadian organizations looking to expand their global footprint.
Candidates work as consultants with clients to provide recommendations on challenges and opportunities within their market. This moves the learning well beyond the classroom environment and actively engaging in the outcomes of their work with client organizations in real-time.
Read about our alumni experience in delivering real results to their clients. After reading their stories, register and join us for the April 11th panel session to hear more from Sachelle, Bernard and Kyle as they move deeper into the conversation their accomplishments for their respective clients in addition to the advice they'll provide about make the most of the Telfer Executive MBA experience.
Developing a global network and launching a consulting firm post-graduation.
Bernard Guite, EMBA 2017
Senior Financial Analyst, Canadian Commercial Corporation
Bernard was drawn to the Telfer Executive MBA in 2015 because of the practical application of the academic concepts in the field through the Signature Series of Six Business Consulting Projects.
“We were going to build a usable network of professionals, entrepreneurs and academics through the projects and I recognized that this network was what I needed to elevate my career to the next level.” said, Bernard, “The breadth of experience and vast network that I could access through these six opportunities held tremendous value.”
Looking back just nine months after his graduation, Bernard is realizing the true impact that these client engagements are having on his career.
“During the six consulting projects I completed over the 21 month span of the program, I have had the opportunity to earn the respect of many and can access networks that most people only develop over a lifetime.”
“These experiences also stretched my self-confidence in such a way that I can take, with confidence, any project, in any country and I know from experience that I can identify the support and resources I need to make it a highly valuable engagement.”
Bernard and a few of his peers from the Class of 2017 leveraged the momentum of the consulting engagements after the program and they established their own consulting practice.
“Being exposed to six different business applications and projects has given us the edge on showcasing our adaptability and skill set” noted Bernard, “Working on the projects has given us a methodology and a set of templates and frameworks to go out and engage with clients in very much the same way that we did during the program.
In one year since exiting the program, Bernard and his colleagues have been able to secure engagements with several new clients for a business development trip to Malaysia, Sarawak and Singapore.
“We are also developing investor’s packages and presentations for three projects ranging from $2 to $8 million and engaging with a venture capital fund of 150 Millions.”
The projects confirmed for Bernard that he was suited and well-equipped for international business development.
“The Signature Series of Six Business Consulting Projects gave me the tools and experience to develop a healthy portfolio of clients and develop a strong business vocabulary to convey the value we can add to any international business development project.
Bernard’s initial goal of creating a real and practical network to further his career has now become a reality.
“I was able to develop an international network of professional in industry and government. I can leverage these contacts and I know that I can work with top specialists in any field, receive valuable information and execute fast. This level of relationships would have been inaccessible to me without this program – or it would have taken years to develop on my own.”
Driving positive results not only for her client, but also for herself.
Sachelle Magloire-Prosper, EMBA 2014
Director, Strategic Innovation Fund, Innovation, Science and Economic Development
After hearing from alumni who repeatedly enforced that it was possible and that it all comes together, Sachelle decided to apply to the Telfer Executive MBA program and began her studies in the fall of 2012.
Sachelle’s start to the program was like everyone else. She attended an evening panel event, heard from alumni and wondered how they could accomplish what they had and how she could possibly complete this program and still manage everything else in her life – especially family and work.
Looking back at her 21 month experience and the five projects her team completed together, there is one she tends to focus on most. The International Business Consulting Project to Guangzhou, P.R. China.
This was the last of the six project that Sachelle and her team completed. It was also the most complex as they focused on combining everything they had learned in the program in order to develop a road map and evaluate potential clients, partners and relationships within the Chinese market.
Sachelle was the lead on this project and can only describe the four month project as a whirlwind of an experience.
Their client representative was an alumni of the program and was work as a part of a private equity, real-estate development and property management firm holding more than 700 million in assets. The company was looking to expand their footprint to sell their condo units to combat a decline in the North American market.
“They were prepared to expand into China, but they didn’t know what they were going to face and they needed us to do the research.” said Sachelle.
Among the challenges they faced was scope creep. The client started off with one problem and then it expanded and they had to leverage their skills from the management consulting course to decide what the best way to approach it was. “The research was extensive, we spent countless hour, doing over 30 interviews before going to China and this was just to get a sense of what to expect when entering the Chinses market.
Based on their preliminary findings, they also had to leverage the soft skills they had learned and had some crucial conversations with their client.
“You have to develop a finesse to validate the problem the company thinks they have and whether that is the true problem – part of the learning is providing your client with tough feedback.” Said Sachelle, “They were not always pleasant conversations to have but because of our professionalism and our preparation, we had earned the credibility and had the capacity to influence their executives to best prepare the organization for the opportunity in China.”
The second part of the research focused on researching who the key players were in the market within China, who they should be reaching out to and what was the best method?
“Imagine the research it would take to expand your footprint within the Ottawa market that you are already familiar with. Now imagine reaching out to the Chinese market when you’re in Ottawa and you don’t have a network or a brand name to leverage.” Explained Sachelle, “Add to that the time difference and the language and there was no shortness of challenges for us. But the thing is that you become resilient. You know what it takes, you’re hungry for it because you want to deliver to your client and our team rose to the occasion.”
In the month leading up to their departure the team had set up meetings with real-estate developers and representatives of private equity firms in the Guangzhou area as a part of their preparation. The calibre of meetings and the value of the research caught the eye of the client and he and his business partner arranged to join the team in Guangzhou.
With the client in tow, the team had expected to be secondary in the meetings, but the clients asked them to participate fully.
“They would turn to us to answer questions based on our research; we were crunching numbers and preparing presentations. The involvement went beyond what we expected but it wasn’t shocking based on how much we had prepared.” Said Sachelle. “When we were in China, we were not there as candidates, we were there as a part of the client organization. The clients treated our team like advisors.”
“This is one thing that always surprised me,” Said Sachelle. “When you first are presented with the next task, you can’t understand how the client would provide you with that level of responsibility. But, for each challenge we not only met their expectations, we exceeded them”
The surprises didn’t stop there for the team. Part of what Sachelle’s team brought to the table was so compelling that the client invested their own money into sending the them to Shanghai and Beijing for meetings in addition to Guangzhou during the one-week business trip.
“We met his needs in Guangzhou, Shanghai and Beijing. It involved multiple flights and long days on top of the jet-lag we were already experiencing, but it paid off” recalled Sachelle. “It was a big investment on the side of the client to send two senior representatives and invest in additional travel for us, but there were big rewards to be had by them too. The client ended up signing a $400 million USD deal while on the ground in China, and we can own in the accomplishment as well because we were very much a part of that effort.”
Sachelle and her team returned home from China at the end of April 2014 and were awarded their degrees less than two months later, but the experiences, confidence and friendships she gained through the program are something she will remember for a life time.
“You don’t even know how far you will go and how much you will grow from this experience. I am pleased with the person I am today because I didn’t know ‘she could be’. I thinks that’s the beauty of it, that you gain so much in 21 months; you’re going to get all the learning you are so strong and capable, you are grounded, you know what you know and can research what you don’t, you have your toolkit, your prepared, you’ve made relationships, you’ve expanded your boundaries of what you though you could do and you’ve had fun doing all of this. You don’t come out of this program as the same person- but a better one.”
Finding personal and professional growth
within real-world projects.
Kyle Taplay, EMBA 2017
IT- Business Development Manager, Canadian Blood Services
Kyle was at a crossroads in his career in 2015 and looking for an opportunity to develop personally and professionally. He was attracted to the format and the tone of the Telfer Executive MBA program. Through the information session and panel events he met with many graduates, faculty and staff and was drawn to the calibre of the people he was meeting and the outcomes of their 21 month experience.
The particular aspect that rounded off his decision to choose to apply to the Telfer Executive MBA was the Signatures Series of Six Business Consulting Projects. The practical and relevant platform would provide for his growth by integrating the application of his skills through these projects with real clients.
The projects did not disappoint as Kyle experienced growth through many avenues.
“Each business consulting project is different and has its own challenges and opportunities’ explained Kyle, “Having six projects building on each other in complexity helped me to develop new muscles and strengthen others by continually pushing my perceived limits.”
Through the Strategic Marketing Business Consulting Project his team worked with Canadian Paralympic Committee focusing on linking the committee’s marketing strategy with a larger awareness campaign. They saw the client leverage their recommendations in the messaging leading up to and during the Paralympic Games.
Kyle delivered a high-level, multi-year IM/IT strategy to a federal government department as a part of his individual Summer Business Consulting Project. The project included more than 30 stakeholder consultations, environmental scan and emerging technologies analysis. His recommendations informed the department on next steps for strategic planning and further alignment between the business and Information Technology.
The biggest opportunity came with the final project, the International Business Consulting Project where he and his team were looking at on accessing the ASEAN market for their client, particularly focusg at Malaysia as an entry point.
“The global reach, relevance and versatility of the skills that I had honed during the program enabled me to navigate the cultural and business dynamics on the ground in Kuala Lumpur. “
Kyle’s team identified growth and sales channels in the Malaysian Market for their client, FileFacets, during the period of January and April 2017. The team travelled with the CEO to Kuala Lumpur at the end of April and met with four prospective clients and partners that they had developed a relationship with through their secondary research back in Canada.
“In fact, a state CIO and his team flew to Kuala Lumpur to meet with us for a lunch meeting and demo – this relationship continues to evolve for our client even to present day” said Kyle.
“These projects are unique, unscripted and unpredictable. Having the freedom to explore multiple avenues and experience working with different types of clients provided a tremendous learning opportunity. It wasn’t easy and sometimes we would make mistakes but it was in those experiences which we gained the best learning opportunities” explained Kyle.
With each project Kyle became more comfortable with being uncomfortable with the unknown.
“As a leader, these experiences helped me to become a better follower, learn to trust in my team and that it is ok to ask for help. I now realize that these things had been barriers to my growth.”