Masters students rise to consultancy challenge for local firm

Qingqing Chen and Sue Ann Yap

10 August 2015

A Blackburn-based telecommunications company has joined forces with a team of LUMS students to evaluate their e-marketing. 

The E-Business & Innovation MSc students went to work with Abbey Telecom as part of a consultancy project on their website Telephone Systems Direct.

The company used to figure at the top of the Google rankings, but in recent years updates of the search engine's algorithms have meant that staying at the top can be a full-time business.

The project had been on managers' minds for a while, explained Managing Director Tony Raynor.

“We had been looking for a way to re-invigorate our e-marketing when we heard about the possibility to work with students specialising in e-business," he said.

"It seemed like the perfect way to kick-start it again. As soon as we met the two students it was clear that they had a passion for this kind of work and understood exactly what we were hoping to achieve.”

One of the students working on the project was Sue Ann Yap, who said: “This experience of consulting directly with senior management on an issue that’s so important to them is really exciting.”

Her classmate Qingqing Chen added: “We are learning a lot from working with the company in this way. We are certain that it will be beneficial for our future careers.”

The opportunity to work with companies on real-world projects defined by the client is an integral part of the MSc E-Business and Innovation programme (EBIN).

Professor David Brown, one of the founders of the programme, said: “We developed this postgraduate programme through the understanding that technology and management can’t be separated. This is true now more than ever.

"On this programme, students learn how modern technologies can be used by businesses, including small businesses like Abbey Telecom, to open up new markets, enhance relationships with customers and suppliers, and streamline processes and systems.”

Dr. Casey Wilson, the Programme Director, said: “Action-based, reflective practice is a key focus on this degree. It’s why so many students choose Lancaster. Being able to work with senior management to develop innovative solutions develops critical thinking and their skills in consulting, negotiating and project management.”

Since its founding ten years ago, graduates from the EBIN programme have gone on to work for companies such as Oracle, Microsoft ESA, Google and KPMG. 

The course features a unique module on IT architecture, taught by experts from IBM, and the chance to be one of a select group to work with Deloitte on a consultancy projectThe programme offers a combination of entrepreneurship, e-business and ICT and demonstrates how the interplay between these three elements drives innovation in business.

To learn more about student consultancy projects, and how your business can get involved, contact Business Liaison Officer Pete Cornwall.