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MSc Students Successfully Complete Corporate Projects

COVID-19 has completely changed the normal study format for our MSc programs this year. During the spring term, all of our MSc courses had to be conducted virtually, including corporate projects.

MSc students from three programs, including MSc in Global Operations (MSGO), MSc in Information Systems Management (MScISM), and MSc in International Management (MIMT), gained practical consultancy experience in solving real-life business issues by working on corporate projects. Despite COVID-19, the corporate project sponsors were impressed by our students’ project management, agility and adaptability skills.

Corporate Projects on Real Business Issues from Various Industries
Two teams of MSGO students worked on compliance and operations projects. The first team worked with DBS Bank to improve their personal investment compliance, and the second team with Flexport Asia Limited on the optimization and modeling of their sea freight transportation.

A group of MScISM students also worked on an open-source Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) project with Ping An OneConnect Bank (PAOB), one of the eight virtual banks in Hong Kong. The students delivered a prototype digital invoice management system that used VBA programming. The system aimed to help professional services firms in auditing, accounting, financial services, and more to improve their digitalization framework and provide smarter and effective services.

The CEMS Business Projects offered by the MIMT program was conducted in collaboration with CEMS, the global alliance in Management Education. Six supportive corporate partners offered corporate projects to the MIMT students this year, including China CITIC Bank International (CNCBI), HiltiFung AcademyMcKinsey & CompanySAP, and United Overseas Bank. Six teams of MIMT students worked on these projects and a wide range of business challenges. These include go-to-market strategy, cross-border investment opportunities, customer acquisition and engagement, digital healthcare solutions, and climate-related risks and opportunities in a variety of industries such as finance, consulting, construction, and technology. What’s more, the project offered by McKinsey & Company was affiliated to a global project that worked with multiple CEMS partner schools and global offices from McKinsey.

Tackling Virtual Challenges and Client Communications
As international and regional travels had been suspended for the past few months, many students involved in the corporate projects had to work remotely. In particular, with a decrease of incoming exchange students from CEMS partner schools, MIMT students teamed up with students from the BBA in Global Business Program (GBUS) and formed diversified teams to work on the CEMS Business Projects.

Furthermore, all face-to-face meetings with corporate sponsors had to be done virtually due to the social distancing requirements. Similar to many business professionals around the globe, our students adapted to remote working quickly and efficiently. At the same time, they also gained practical experience in cultivating a strong teamwork spirit virtually. All of the projects were completed online successfully albeit the time difference as some of our students were living in Europe and Mainland China at the time. By the end of May, a number of project teams were able to gather their teammates and meet with their corporate sponsors in person during the final project presentation conducted at the end of May as the virus situation stabilized in Hong Kong.

The pandemic had provided our students with extraordinary circumstances to demonstrate their commitments and dedications to integrate current trends into their project recommendations. Read along to find out what our project sponsors said about our students.

“The team was able to adjust to a virtual work environment and maintain a professional consultant image by delivering comprehensive and high-quality work within the time constraints. Students were able to overcome the constraints of a virtual work environment by designing an efficient and effective communication program with the business teams for timely escalations.” — China CITIC Bank International (CNCBI)

“Students were flexible in adopting current trends into the overall project, e.g. [the] impact of COVID-19 and the recently returned demonstrations. They were able to derive the impact for SAP and include the changing situation into their overall recommendation.” — SAP

The spring term was truly a valuable experience for our students to manage a consultancy project during a pandemic where almost every step had to be done virtually. Special thanks go to all supportive corporate partners for enlightening our students on industry knowledge with their resources and industry intelligence. We look forward to strengthening the relationships with our corporate partners to offer more impactful and valuable corporate projects for our students in the future.