Mujtaba is currently studying for his Master’s in Accounting and Finance.  

His client for this Business Consultancy in Practice (BCiP) project is an international Financial Data Science company, with an office based in Edinburgh. Part of this company focuses on providing Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) consulting to investment institutions in Scotland and abroad.  

Mujtaba worked at the company before starting his Master’s and then took them on as a client for his BCiP project.  

Your BCiP project brief

Tell us a bit more about your brief and the client...

My client has developed a Scottish index of ESG factors in sustainable investing, to promote the Scottish economy. The index was created in partnership with Scottish Enterprise.  

My project is to identify ways for my client to commercialise this product (the index).  

I took on the project in March 2021, with research really beginning in May. I will deliver my strategy report at the end of August. 

Your experience of the project

What were your biggest highlights whilst working on the project? 

I currently work in the investment industry, so working on this project has really helped me develop area specific knowledge. I have been studying a number of different financial indexes in the world and learning how they operate.  

On a personal level, the project has really helped me gain real-world working experience and helped me reflect a lot on myself and my personal development. 

On a day to day, I really enjoyed researching, ticking off different strategy areas and reaching out to people across the company to get their expertise and different approaches. 

What were the main challenges of the project? 

The main challenge when I started working on my consultancy project was to figure out exactly what the client expected me to do and work out the specific goals of my work which wouldn’t involve me having to work on confidential materials. After many discussions we came to a decision together and agreed I could work on an area of the business that did not involve sensitive industry data. 

What have you learned most from doing this project? 

In terms of working with financial indexes, I have discovered there are so many different ways that they can be useful at a commercial level, where initially I thought index uses were very limited. 

Personally, I’ve learned that when I am passionate about the subject or the industry, I enjoy working above and beyond and really find myself focusing better. I am always happy to do additional research and drive my own learning. 

What advice would you share with anyone thinking about applying for this PG course? 

My best advice to anyone considering Accounting and Finance is to go for the BCiP project option to really help you further develop your career. Employers really value practical experience over theoretical, and the project gives you something to demonstrate your industry training to a future employer. 

I like the idea that QMU brought in a practical module option to my Master’s instead of a dissertation, it really helps with your employability.  

What support did you have during the project? 

Marc (Robertson, Lecturer and Programme Leader in the Queen Margaret Business School) has been really helpful; he always replies instantly or suggests a meeting as soon as I reach out to him. I also talked to another person in my cohort doing the same BCiP experience, for support and to bounce ideas off of.  

Next steps...

Has this project helped you decide on a future career path? 

I always wanted to get into the finance investment sector, so this project work is reinforcing my career choice. I also wanted to gain practical experience to take to the workplace which this project has been great for. 

One day, I would love to be director or partner in this, or a similar firm. 

"On a personal level, the project has really helped me gain real-world, working experience and helped me reflect a lot on myself and my personal development."
Mujtaba Mahfooz

Story published in July 2021