Romana Černá is currently completing a Business Consultancy in Practice (BCiP) project as part of her MSc in International Management and Leadership. The BCiP allows students to take on a real consultancy project and develop workplace skills and practical experience which helps their employability after graduation.
Your Business Consultancy in Practice (BCiP) project
Tell us a bit about your BCiP Project brief...
My project is quite complex, so I am working on it a team with other two students. The project
is about how to revive the hospitality industry after the Covid-19 pandemic and consists of three major parts, which are:
- Setting up a hospitality innovations and crisis management center in Edinburgh
- Introducing a general manager degree at QMU (hotel-specific)
- Setting up a global annual hospitality conference in Edinburgh.
I am responsible for the last section of the project, which is designing the global conference. Some of my responsibilities include: securing the location for the conference, designing the conference programme, identifying and recruiting speakers, researching current topics which need to be discussed, researching accommodation for the delegates and pricing the event up.
What is your timeframe for delivering the project?
Our first meeting with the client was in October 2020 and I started researching the topic immediately after. All three students in my team will have finished their research by the end of July 2021 and we will present it to the client then.
Your experience of the project
What were your biggest highlights whilst working on the BCiP project?
It was my first time working for an actual client so seeing that I was able to do it, and to do it well, was really motivating for me. Also, being a team leader was a great learning experience. I’ve enjoyed the added responsibility of organising meetings and setting up deadlines and making sure everybody follows.
What challenges did you encounter?
What I found most challenging was working on such a big and important project with no previous experience. I was very unsure about whether I could pull it off or not which made me worried pretty much all throughout the project while at the same time I had to look confident in front of the client and make it seem like I knew what I was doing. Unlike with any University assignment, I had no guidelines to follow and had to rely on my own understanding of the task and decide myself what to research which is something I wasn’t used to.
What do you feel you learned most from this project personally and professionally?
One of the biggest things I got from this project was confidence in my own skills. In September I wouldn’t have believed I’d be able to pull off a project like this but I did and I’m really proud of what I’ve achieved. Also dealing with the client was a great preparation for my future career because I improved a lot in pitching ideas, communication, time management and setting and adhering to deadlines.
What support did you have on the project?
An advantage of working in a team was that we could always go to each other for help and discuss whatever was on our mind – even if it meant just panicking together most of the time. But it’s true that running ideas by another student rather than going straight to the client or the supervisor was very helpful and a bit less scary too. Other than that, my supervisor was extremely helpful and the client was happy to meet up too, even though the five hour time difference between them and us made it a bit challenging at first.
Your next steps...
Has this project helped you decide on a future career choice?
Not necessarily, but I'm really glad I did it. I have years of experience of working in hospitality and it is something I enjoy but this was my first time working ‘behind the scenes’ on organising an event rather than working at it which was really interesting. It probably isn’t the area I want to work in in the future but I am glad I explored this area of the industry and that I gained experience in it and it will no doubt come in handy at some point in the future.
What advice would you share with anyone thinking about applying for this PG course?
I’d say just do it. I found all our classes very interesting even though most of them were unfortunately done remotely due to the pandemic. When I applied for this course I wasn’t even considering doing BCiP and wanted to do a dissertation because I knew it would be a lot easier for me and I already knew how to do it thanks to my undergrad. However, I’m now really grateful I decided to challenge myself and take on the project because I learnt a lot from it.
So my advice would be: don’t be scared to do the project, it will give you so much more than a dissertation and it will look a hundred times better on your CV.
"One of the biggest things I got from this project was confidence in my own skills. In September I wouldn’t have believed I’d be able to pull off a project like this but I did and I’m really proud of what I’ve achieved."
Story published in July 2021