A Social Enterprise Perspective: Consulting Project I
The Villanova MBA features two embedded consulting projects: one with a nonprofit organization and one with a multinational organization. These projects focus on applying what’s learned in the classroom to a real-world scenario—in essence, a living case study.
Throughout the 14-week Social Enterprise Consulting Practicum, MBA students research and partner with a local nonprofit organization to help detect problem areas, such as branding, funding, logistics, or membership retention, and to identify possible solutions.
Jeremy Plymette, '11 MBA Fast Track
Clear Channel Outdoor, Philadelphia
Digital Media/Bulletin Sales Manager
“The opportunity to work with organizations that care so much about their employees, clients, and volunteers is something I couldn’t pass up. I’m excited to come back to the MBA program after graduation and serve as a mentor for a [Social Enterprise] Consulting Practicum team.”
Jeremy Plymette and his seven-person team selected the Metropolitan Area Neighborhood Nutrition Alliance (MANNA), an organization that prepares and delivers nourishing meals to those with life-threatening illnesses, for their Social Enterprise Consulting Practicum project.
“MANNA was incredibly open during our consultation meetings. We were able to engage in meaningful conversations and bring together important ideas that may have been individually conceptualized, but never verbalized within the organization.” The MBA team identified areas in resource management, production work flow, and ROI analysis that MANNA agreed would be an excellent focus.
One of the biggest challenges for MANNA was to build awareness of its annual fundraiser, “Pie in the Sky.” Plymette understands the value of promotion, and leveraged his role at Clear Channel Outdoor to provide MANNA with free digital billboard ad space.
“Whenever we [Clear Channel Outdoor] have the opportunity and availability to use that platform for nonprofit messaging, it’s always a win–win. Knowing that MANNA was gearing up for its biggest fundraiser of the year, and that Thanksgiving was right around the corner, the timeliness of the messaging fit perfectly.”
Overall, both the MBA students and nonprofits truly benefited from the experience. According to Professor Ronald Hill, who taught the class, the organizations were thankful for the insight the MBA students provided. “On the day of the final presentations, the buzz from the clients who attended was overwhelmingly positive. Most were blown away with what the students prepared–one was already thinking about how they could hire someone to begin putting the plans in place.”