Innovation Solutions to Challenging Business Issues
Tufts Gordon Institute brings together sponsor companies and MSEM students, who work with faculty advisors to address business challenges for large corporations, start-up ventures, non-profits and government agencies.
The consulting project – known as Team Practicum, is a core piece of the MSEM curriculum. The sponsoring company gains insights and recommendations from a team of experienced, highly motivated students, while our students work as a team to address a business challenge in a new work environment. The projects span a wide-range of topics and have included marketing studies, strategic planning, competitive analysis, and operations evaluation. Corporations such as E Ink, EMC, iRobot, Pfizer and Shire and WGBH have all participated in past projects.
How does it work?
Faculty liaisons work closely with the sponsor companies to identify the specific project opportunity based on the sponsors’ needs. Our sponsors receive high quality, free analysis for their particular business or organizational challenge.
Once a sponsor company project is defined and approved by faculty, students have the opportunity to choose their top five project choices. Student teams are assembled based on student interests and strengths – typically 4-5 students make up a team. In addition, faculty advisors are assigned to provide mentorship and guidance throughout the project.
Discovery & Analysis
A typical project lasts 12 weeks during the summer between students’ first and second year of the MSEM program. Since most of our students are working full-time, travel to the sponsors’ site is limited. Teams schedule their own in-person or virtual meetings as needed. Bi-monthly status reports with details on the project schedule, accomplishments and issues/challenges are provided to the faculty advisor and the project sponsor for the duration of the project.
Detailed Final Report
The project includes three major deliverables: a statement of work following a kick-off meeting with the sponsor; a mid-term presentation to the faculty advisor; and a final oral presentation and written report detailing the research, project methodology and recommendations.