Lancaster Management students help fintech company’s UK move


Lancaster University Management School Lecturer Dr Ruilin Zhu (left) and Strive UK Chief Strategy Officer and co-founder Ivan Muck (right)
Lancaster University Management School Lecturer Dr Ruilin Zhu (left) and Strive UK Chief Strategy Officer and co-founder Ivan Muck (right)

Postgraduate students in Lancaster University Management School helped a leading fintech company make their entry into the UK market. 

Students on the MSc Management degree’s Digital Transformation of Business module spent two weeks developing plans with fintech company Strive ahead of their UK focusing on youth and family banking and teaching the next generation about the future of money. 

Working with Strive UK Chief Strategy Officer and co-founder Ivan Muck – who also delivered two lectures to the students as part of the collaboration – the students provided potential answers and solutions on two areas of practical concern for the company: customer acquisition in the UK market, and achieving its social objective of improving financial literacy among children and parents in the UK, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The business challenge project was carried out entirely online by the 81 students involved, with module tutor Dr Ruilin Zhu looking to give students practical experience of working with a real-world company on issues of digital innovation and transformation. 

“Before the pandemic, we would invite companies to come to Lancaster to speak with our students, but with Covid making that impossible, we were able to work with Strive online instead,” said Dr Zhu. “Strive were willing to support us, and we had students all around the world working with them to provide answers to their problems. 

“The challenge provided the students with the chance to interact with a leading fintech company by solving real problems they are facing. The company benefited through insights from our very talented students, and our students had the chance to apply what they have learned in the module to a practical project. 

“Strive were very pleased that the student teams came up with some very practical solutions that can be easily applied.” 

Mr Muck, who enjoyed regular interaction with the students through the module, added: “The student presentations included really well thought-out ideas and suggestions regarding Strive's customer acquisition strategy and social impact. Most importantly, some of the ideas definitely contributed to our value proposition and youth banking ecosystem.” 

MSc Management student Harry Andrews enjoyed the experience on the project, and said: “Taking part in the Business Challenge was academically stimulating, entertaining and thoroughly enjoyable, and we were delighted to learn that Ivan is planning to implement several of the ideas put forward to try and attract users to the Strive app and accomplish the company’s goals for social change.”

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