Every year the IBD Faculty Director and staff spend hours looking over student Team Lead resumes and interview notes, as well as client project applications, with the goal of matching 16 student Team Leads to the right IBD projects and clients. It’s a painstaking puzzle that includes many iterations before the final assignments are confirmed.
On January 24th, the Spring 2019 IBD student Team Lead “Big Reveal” event took place, during which the Team Leads learned for the first time the identity of their projects, clients, and country locations. There was excitement and anticipation in the classroom as individual projects were announced. Team Lead Joseph Bird (MBA 2020) felt the energy in the room, and described it this way: “Sitting amongst my fellow IBD Team Leads, the tension as
our first ever IBD session drew closer to the big project reveal was palpable. Pre-reveal nerves quickly subsided as one by one my peers stood up and learned of fascinating projects working in some incredible cultures with such broad range of clients. Whilst every project was unique, a common thread of important, meaningful, challenging work ran through them. I can’t wait to get started!”
The way the IBD program works, carefully selected student Team Leads have no knowledge of their projects before the “Big Reveal” first day of class. The IBD program assigns them to projects that fit with their career and course objectives, while accommodating the nature of the IBD project itself. IBD Faculty Director Frank Schultz put this into perspective for the student Team Leads: “We are asking them to put their trust in us to match them with their dream project. They are leading a team of four other MBAs on this consulting experience, and they want to feel completely engaged in the project, the client, and the solutions they need to come up with. They also want to have unique international experiences. We are balancing that with the needs of our client and the project. We want everyone to be happy, successful, and learn a lot.”
Watching the students’ expressions and reactions as they learned for the first time the names of their project clients and the countries they will be visiting made the first day one of the best of the entire IBD program. Team Lead Adriana Bonifaz (MBA 2020) reacted this way to the event: “For me the reveal was very exciting and emotional. We were all so happy, bonding together, and getting to know all the wonderful places in the world that we are going to. Being able to go to Finland is like a dream come true, and the project is going to be an amazing challenge! I can’t wait to meet the client and my fellow teammates and start working together!”
Team Lead Julian Florez (MBA 2020) had this to say about the experience: “I think for me it was the perfect combination: a country that I dreamed to visit and a well known client. I couldn’t believe I am so lucky to have this amazing opportunity.” Team Lead Perrie Briskin (MBA 2020) contributed this comment as well: “The big reveal was what we had been waiting for. In all honesty, any IBD project is amazing, but I am particularly excited for mine. The client is in an industry that is new and intriguing to me, and they just happen to be in an incredible location. I can’t wait to dive in!”
Now that the first day of class and the “Big Reveal” event have informed Team Leads what they will focus on in our IBD class for the next 17 weeks, they will all most likely “dive in” to their respective projects in a meaningful way. The next steps for the Team Leads include introducing themselves to their project clients on calls, followed by working with their Faculty Mentors to select a group of four Team Members to join their projects. There remains a lot of exciting work ahead for IBD students, faculty, and staff, as our exceptional Team Leads connect with our IBD project clients and embark on the international consulting experience ahead. Stay tuned for more!