International Consultancy Project

International Consultancy Project

The International Consultancy Project is the cornerstone of the Master Exchange Programme at RSM. Over a period of approximately 4 months, a team of international students works intensively on a consultancy project, for a company or institution. The project is supervised by both a university and a company coach. The general aim of the project is to respond professionally to a real-world management problem and to learn from working together in multidisciplinary and culturally heterogeneous groups.

Most students are already familiar with various business disciplines through course work; however the interdisciplinary use of this knowledge and the capacity to translate it into practical solutions is very often a new challenge. The project permits students to combine theory and practice – they learn how to formulate a project proposal and relevant research questions, analyze factors, develop recommendations and ultimately find solutions to the problem. In addition to providing hands-on experience of how to deal with a business problem, the course also offers a unique experience of working in a multicultural team.
For the companies involved in this course, it provides a unique opportunity to gain access to valuable knowledge, recommendations or solutions for a business problem within a relatively short period of time. Typically, the student teams introduce a refreshing outside perspective to the business issues they are addressing.

The Projects

There is no such thing as a typical client or project. Client organizations can be large, prestigious multinational companies, medium-sized or entrepreneurial firms; the projects can have a HR, marketing, strategy, or logistic focus. However, in all cases the projects require a multidisciplinary, international team effort.
Some of the companies that recently participated in the IBP are: Aon, APL Logistics Nederland, Berenschot, CYTEC Industries B.V., Dialogues Incubator, DSM,  Eastman Chemical, IBM, Johnson@ Johnson Medical, KONE, Royal Dutch Shell. 

RSM’s Career Services is responsible for contacting companies, resulting in a description of the business problem. The student team must turn this brief into a feasible and realistic project proposal.

The Teams

In general, teams consist of five students: preferably one native English speaker, one Dutch student and three students of other nationalities or backgrounds. Teams are composed on the basis of specific skills and competences required by the companies (such as expertise and language skills) and student’s preferences which they have communicated through the ‘Profile Sheet’. Furthermore, international diversity is taken into account in order to assure that the projects provide first-hand experience of working in a multicultural team.


The Coaches

An academic coach from RSM and an in-company coach from the client organisation are assigned to the project. In addition to providing useful suggestions on how to address research issues, the university coach has the role of promoting the team process.
Naturally, it is imperative for the success of the project that the student team develops a co-operative relationship with both coaches and manages to meet their academic and practical wishes.