Students in the Master of Science in Finance (MSF) program at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business completed their Global Consulting Projects working with organizations in countries such as Namibia, South Africa, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
The Global Consulting Project is a six-week capstone course for second-year MSF students that provides real-world experience consulting for a firm in another country. Drawing upon the skills learned throughout the program, student teams research the history, business, political, and regulatory environment of the client’s country and consult with them remotely. The project concludes with a final presentation to their clients, which was presented via video conference due to the pandemic but is normally in-person in the client’s home country.
Building a Sustainable Future
A team of MSF student consultants worked alongside Coca-Cola, South Africa and their program World Without Waste to research and suggest strategy improvements. Students proposed a financial model and analysis to identify if there could be a blockchain solution to collect better data on the World Without Waste program in South Africa.
“Working with MSF has been an absolute pleasure. I think the collaboration between the university and Coca-Cola is a true win-win,” said David Drew, sustainability director, Coca-Cola South Africa. “We have benefitted from the skills and new thinking that the Georgetown team brought to this process.”
Investing in the Next Generation
Another team consulted with Hope Worldwide South Africa, a nonprofit organization that invests in early childhood development programs, including partnering with a fortified cereal company to provide a daily breakfast to undernourished children at a cost of $5 a month. Approximately 25% of children in South Africa are stunted and many go to bed and school hungry.
“This project taught us all to think outside of the box, dream big, and utilize the acquired skills learned in the MSF program to start solving real-world problems,” said Brandon Bailey (MSF’21). “This project went above and beyond a simple checkbox on future applications. Ending the program with an actual project helped me realize that changing the world is within everyone’s reach.”
Through hours of interviews, brainstorming, investigating, and analyzing the organization’s needs, the team developed a creative, never-been-considered solution of capitalizing on a burgeoning technology in the crypto-space to mine and generate passive income for the charity.
“By the end of their project, students had clearly become more skilled, developed their character, and mobilized people to raise funds and serve young vulnerable children in need across South Africa,” said Marc Aguirre, country director, HOPE Worldwide. “They came up with some great ideas and added enormous value to our social media campaign, and we are extremely grateful for their commitment.”
LEFA Transportation Services, which is the Namibian equivalent to Uber, was started by Melkies Ausiku, a local Namibian entrepreneur. MSF student consultants worked with LEFA to research best practices for digital rideshare app expansion to new markets, including the development of a financial model to estimate a break-even analysis of expansion into Botswana.
“LEFA received professional support from highly educated individuals with a vast amount of real-world business experience consolidated in one group,” said Melkies Ausiku, founder, LEFA Transportations Services.
Even though the project was virtual, it did not stop students from making personal connections with the companies to understand their business needs and solutions to everyday problems.
“This project helped me prepare for a postgraduate career in strategy consulting. It made me realize that sometimes you have to go beyond the numbers and get unique perspectives from various individuals with knowledge of a specific business situation,” said Sammy Alkhatib (MSF’21)
Banco Santander, S.A., which conducts business globally as Santander Group, is a Spanish multinational commercial bank and financial services company based in Madrid, Spain. Santander has investment and retail operations in all global financial centers and is the 16th-largest banking institution in the world. Students worked with Santander to identify value-based investment opportunities.
“Working with MSF students is always a real pleasure. You can appreciate their passion and thorough financial knowledge. From beginning to end they transmit a strong desire to learn and a genuine sense of professionalism,” Alfonso Guerra.