Students at Aalto University-Mikkeli campus, Finland. (Photo supplied)

Associate Professor Naomi Birdthistle recently delivered a course on Business Consulting in the Global Economy to students at Aalto University-Mikkeli campus. The focus of the course was on the nature and role of business consulting, along with specific issues common to business consulting. It is an applied course in which students act as ​consultants for businesses that may have an international focus and have identified a ​problem or opportunity that needs solving. Specific attention is given to understanding and ​developing the unique skills required for entering the consulting profession. The course ​develops competencies and skills in problem diagnosis, solution development, solution communication and solution implementation.

With a mixture of guest speakers, having to consult a real client and a tight deadline, students immerse themselves into this role from day one. Students come from all over the world, Canada, America, Europe, Australia, China, Taiwan to learn about being a consultant. What emerges is a student who understands the consulting process, team work and working to tight deadlines.

Following are some quotes from previous clients who participated in the course:

An amazing outcome. We got an outstanding communications plan along with potential prospects, which was not even part of the brief – thanks! “

The students conducted an analysis of the rubbish policies of four European Countries and what private/public firms are doing to deliver such a service within these countries. The report we received at the end was an incredibly thorough evaluation. It allowed us the opportunity to gauge the viability of the concept within these European countries. It will be a useful tool in shaping our plan for growth within Europe.” 

The research was of great benefit. We have used it for insight into our market and understanding the market. The international aspect was of great benefit which I think is a differentiator to business to be able to get this data. We felt that it assisted greatly in giving us the encouragement to move forward, we used the research with Enterprise Ireland and the County Enterprise Board, also in Leader in our Feasibility and Business Plan outline. We will be using it to assist in applying for grants.” 

Naomi is also exploring an opportunity with the International Office of Aalto University-Mikkeli to establish an exchange relationship between Griffith University and Aalto University-Mikkeli.