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The Thunderbird Global Consulting Lab is excited to start 2017 with clear objectives and new, exciting things on our plate. For both the MA (Global Consulting Lab) and the MGM (TEM Lab) programs I will focus here on the projects and process for summer of 2017:
For both programs we plan to formally announce those summer projects during the final week of January, and complete the application process within the first few weeks of February. Read your weekly Friday updates—we’ll broadcast the project applications there! We will also plan an informational session, likely on Friday January 27. Remember, the application process is competitive and strong team applications tend to gain preference over individual applications. Team size usually is 4 to 5 people. A range or a specific number will be specified in the application documents. In both the MA (GCL) and the MGM (TEM Lab) program we will be consulting on three separate projects, thus we anticipate three teams in each program (three MA and three MGM).
For MA students who began Thunderbird in Fall of 2016, your Global Consulting Lab (GCL) projects with Professor Hunsaker will take place in Quito, Ecuador, mid-May to the first week of June. I won’t give you the names of the companies just yet, but the three clients represent an ideal range: they include one Fortune 500 consumer goods company, one Ecuadorian-owned industry leader, and one SME which is exporting. Look out for the project synopses and applications in the last week of January!
For MGM students who started in Fall 2016 the TEM Lab will take place during the first half of the summer semester, approximately May 16 to June 26. As is usual for TEM Lab we are working towards challenging work in some pretty exotic locations. For the first time we are planning a project in Madagascar! This will be helping a multinational build business capacity within its own value chain—check out Ft. Dauphin, in Madagascar, if interested.
Related to Madagascar—TEM Lab and Thunderbird will welcome the former US Ambassador to Madagascar and a Thunderbird alumnus, Niels Marquardt, for a speaking engagement, 3-4:15 on Thursday February 9. Ambassador Marquardt has had a long career in the foreign service including Ambassadorships in Cameroon, Comoros and Equatorial Guinea. He is the current CEO of the American Chamber of Commerce in Australia.
For only the third time we are planning a project in Yangon, Myanmar, a country still newly open to the West. This is planned with two mid-sized agricultural processors, so the team that is selected may split into smaller working groups. With one factory, which processes soybeans, think: middle management gap. The CEO needs our help to tighten up management and grow the organization beyond her sole management abilities. The other company processes and exports many different agricultural products and has requested our help in business strategy and export marketing. Both projects will require a rapid assessment of the company at the outset in order to focus the project scope. There is much to be done!
Our third TEM lab project planned for this summer will be in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, working with a large supplier to IKEA. We will be building on the recommendations of the Fall 2016 TEM Lab team who worked with Babes Bolyai University and made recommendations for BBU to get their business students involved with local companies—thus expect to pair with Romanian business students on this project, so that the consulting capacity will carry on after the TEM Lab team has returned to the USA. The company is still negotiating the scope of the project but we anticipate working on one or multiple strategic initiatives.
Again—look out for formal project announcements and informational sessions in the last week of January. For MGM students who started in Spring 2017, as you know your TEM Lab opportunity will be in Fall of 2017. For executive and online students, we are planning the Executive TEM Lab for October of 2017. We look forward to working with all of you in 2017!