Employers are being encouraged to harness the ingenuity of the future workforce and bring fresh thinking into their Covid recovery by partnering with University College Birmingham on student consultancy projects.
Traditionally, the University has primarily worked with travel and tourism organisations, but is now keen to hear from employers across the sectors who could benefit from students’ knowledge, research and critical-thinking skills as the business community navigates the new normal.
With the guidance of expert lecturers, the consultancy projects see students on degree and postgraduate courses drawing on their learning to support employers with real-life challenges.
Crucially, many of our students are millennials across a diverse range of backgrounds, giving employers access to untapped and informed consumer insights into new industry practices and opportunities.
Previous students have proposed successful ‘pop-up’ tourism and event concepts, found more diverse and inclusive markets for various heritage attractions and destinations, conducted audits to identify new product and marketing opportunities, and established and enhanced social media activity.
Students have also conducted environmental audits to identify new green initiatives and conducted competitor analyses to create benchmark models.
Within the West Midlands, clients have included Vintage Trains, Land Rover Adventures, Lichfield Cathedral, Premier Hotels, Birmingham Airport, Mondelez International, The Canal and River Trust/British Waterways, English Heritage and the Family Holiday Association and destination management organisations in Stratford-Upon-Avon, Cheltenham and Bath.
Abroad, students have worked with Atlantic Whale and Dolphin Watching in Tenerife to tourist boards in Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, Poros in Greece, Cyprus, Slovenia, Azores, Malaysia and The Gambia.
Rachel Gowers, Executive Dean of University College Birmingham’s School of Business, Tourism and Creative Industries, said: “We have a long history of working on these kinds of projects with organisations both in the UK and overseas; the central tenet being their value to the learning and employability experience of our students, along with offering a valuable output for employers.”
“We have traditionally worked with several travel and tourism organisations, but with talented students now coming through our courses ranging from digital marketing to finance and accounting, we want to expand our project portfolio accordingly.”
“The millennial status of most of our students enables access to one of the most lucrative future consumer markets, and their collective insights on industry practices, challenges and opportunities is of great value to any organisation.
“Ultimately, these projects are a win-win for both industry and students, and our wealth of experience in consultancy ensures excellent output.”
For the consultancy projects, students are required to conduct extensive research on the brief, justify their suggestions and solutions, and communicate their work in a professional and creative manner to the client,” said Rachel.
In addition, University College Birmingham also hosts ‘sprint consultancy events’, where postgraduate students undertake research on a critical trend or development and share their findings with employers within a panel context. This has previously worked effectively with organisations grappling with the gig economy.
Find out more about how your business could benefit from working with University College Birmingham by emailing Rachel Gowers at [email protected]