Innovative Curriculum: Enhancing Effectiveness of Aspiring Consultants

Raghavendran R., Shweta Mehani, Mihir Nadkarni, Bala Krishnamoorthy

Abstract


Consulting takes multiple forms, either as a professional service or as an advisory service to help clients to improve organizational performance. The consultants provide these services on an entire gamut of areas ranging from operations,

financial services, IT to marketing. The scope of the objectives includes guiding companies to achieve specific targets in terms of improving revenue, improving productivity or providing a strategy for the future. The consulting industry can be traced to the big four accounting firms and is now worth $300 billion with boutique firms also making their space felt among the big ones.

Business Schools have an opportunity to build a critical mass of students with expertise to take a holistic approach

to solve organizational issues. The curriculum content of business schools is to groom a consultant’s focus, primarily on techniques engaging the client in identifying the needs and in building relationships. The students are also trained on consensus building, the analytical approach and the techniques to pitch solutions to the client. The objective of the curriculum is to build soft skill competency to complement their domain skill sets and to make them job-ready. The major source of talent pool for consulting firms is the top business schools.  

 

A number of institutions have made some breakthroughs in the curriculum, thus serving the need of the industry

better, in particular the Harvard Business School with its case based study methodology. In this paper, we would be looking at some of the latest initiatives that have been adopted to bridge the gap between what is the need of the industry and what is available. A lot of these initiatives involve a joint collaboration between the industry and the schools to better prepare the students for a career in consulting which we predict will be the way forward.

 

Keywords: 

Innovative Curriculum, Management Education, Consulting
These initiatives will also make the business school students proponents of new ideas which can be used to bridge the need-gap issue. The main differentiator of this methodology will be the fact that students will get a peek into how businesses work at the grass-roots level and also gain insights into the nuances of where businesses can be advised. This would, in turn, pave the way to engage other stakeholders as well. Thus a virtuous circle would be set up wherein businesses tap business school students to find innovative solutions to their problems, who in turn tap into their knowledge shared across geographies, propose solutions and benefit every stakeholder involved in the business, thus making the model self-sustainable in the long run. Moreover, the students get introduced to various sectors and their business models, widening their knowledge base which can be used by those wishing to set up their own entrepreneurial ventures.

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