Leeds-based social enterprise, Shine Workspace, benefitted from the fresh approach and strategic ideas of third-year students to help them navigate their co-working and office meeting space in a covid world.
I’d definitely recommend the Enterprise Consultancy module to other organisations looking for a fresh, intelligent perspective on how they work
Bringing a different perspective to business
Todd Hannula, Co-Founder and Creative Director of Shine Workspace, was contacted by Dr Richard Tunstall and asked if he’d like to be involved in the Enterprise Consultancy module. ‘I was immediately attracted to getting bright sparks engaged in Shine Workspace, who’d look at the organisation through fresh eyes,’ says Todd. ‘I’ve worked with students in the past, and I like how they approach business ideas with no baggage and a different outlook.’
It’s given me enhanced presentation skills, and a different perspective on business that’s been invaluable to discuss in job interviews. I can evidence my skills based on demonstrable experience of leadership and teamwork, learned in a realistic time frame on a real-life project.
Ritvik Mewari, a BSc Accounting and Finance undergraduate, was one of the students taking part in the Enterprise Consultancy module. ‘It was a discovery module elective that I chose as I felt it tied into my long-term career plans,’ explains Ritvik. ‘I’d decided I wanted to work in private equity, and knew the module could give me management consultancy experience and enhance my strategic skills.’
Student enthusiasm and a strategic business plan
Todd explains how he had to pitch to the students to encourage them to choose his project. ‘I thought this was a really cool way to flip the process on its head,’ he says. ‘I had to get the students excited about Shine Workspace, so they had to want to be involved rather than be assigned a placement. It really attracted the right kind of students.’
A group of six students, each from different faculties, including Music, Bio Science, Philosophy and Economics, worked with Todd and his team to create a strategic roadmap about the future of the events industry. ‘I wanted the students to take a look at how we ran the business, what we’d done, and then suggest what direction we should go in next by putting a strategic plan in place,’ explains Todd.
‘Our varied student backgrounds and degree subjects meant we could offer a range of perspectives and experiences to make recommendations,’ adds Ritvik. ‘We looked at available resources, carried out interviews and surveys, and estimated timescales for proposed changes in the mid to long-term. Then, we shared how our findings could maximise business recovery.’
The value of the module on business and career plans
The module has led to positive futures for both Shine Workspace and the students involved. ‘The students made some really useful suggestions, some of which I’ll implement,’ says Todd. ‘One or two were particularly insightful, and got me thinking about the business in a different way. Their ideas were all based on the data they’d collected, which gives me confidence in their proposals to support my own strategic ideas for the future.’
Ritvik also stresses the value of the Enterprise Consultancy module on future plans. ‘The module helped me to translate learning into real-world experiences, and gave me the chance to see how the recommendations we make evolve and explore any challenges to them,’ he says. ‘It’s given me enhanced presentation skills, and a different perspective on business that’s been invaluable to discuss in job interviews. I can evidence my skills based on demonstrable experience of leadership and teamwork, learned in a realistic time frame on a real-life project.’
Recommending the module for businesses and students alike
Both Todd and Ritvik would encourage other organisations and students to take part in the Enterprise Consultancy module. ‘I’d recommend the module to everyone thanks to the experiences it’s offered from start to finish,’ says Ritvik.
It’s a feeling Todd shares ‘I was pleasantly surprised by how good the students were. They were motivated, and the time I spent talking to them has really expanded my thinking. They also did a fantastic job delivering the end-of-project presentation, which was a useful critical review not simply a basic findings report.’
‘The experience ran exactly as advertised, with the process short enough to be suitable and long enough to be useful,’ concludes Todd. ’I’d definitely recommend the Enterprise Consultancy module to other organisations looking for a fresh, intelligent perspective on how they work.’