In conversation with… Jack Craig: The LondonCAP

by David Simpson, Admissions Director, MBA & MiF

Hello Jack, thanks for taking the time to talk to me. Tell us a bit about yourself. How long have you worked here and what do you do at LBS?

I have worked at London Business School for over six years, originally joining the School as a Programme Manager on the MBA Programme. I then went on to become Senior Programme Manager for the course.

I am now a Senior Manager within the Global Experiences team, with a focus on delivering the London-based experiential programmes.

Why did you take this job? Why do you like working at LBS? What’s your favourite thing?

Having grown up in the city, I am a passionate advocate of the benefits of working, living and studying in London and my passion for the region, and the benefits of experiential learning, mean that I was especially attracted to this role.

I find it both rewarding and inspiring to see how our students engage with or client organisations –the feedback we have received from our clients this year has been really positive, and is testimony the great work our students are capable of.

What is LondonCAP?

LondonCAP forms part of the tailored core and runs in the first year of the programme. It is a project-based course where students are placed into teams of 4-5 students and paired with a company where they will work on a consulting project for just over 10 weeks.

Why did LBS introduce it?

LondonCAP was introduced to give students the chance to work with a real client and apply the learnings from the core courses in a live business setting.

The programme also gives students the opportunity to broaden their London network and explore new sectors. For the MBA 2019s 299 students completed the course and we ran 66 projects with organisations that ranged from multinationals, FinTech start-ups, Private Equity groups, luxury brands, a football club and government departments to name just a few. We feel that when taken as a whole, this portfolio of organisations provides a fantastic demonstration of the quality and diversity of the London business landscape.

What do students get out of LondonCAP?

We feel that students who enrol on LondonCAP have the opportunity to:

  • Make a tangible impact on their client organisation
  • Gain an in-depth understanding of a London-based organisation and the sector in which they operate
  • Develop their problem-solving, communication, teamwork and leadership skills
  • Refine their ability to identify and understand complex business issues, analyse and interpret data and to develop solutions to real business problems

What sectors are covered in the client firms?

Next year we will be focusing broadly on five sector groupings:

  • Financial Services and FinTech
  • Technology, Media and Telecommunications
  • Government, Healthcare and Third Sector
  • Fashion, Luxury and Retail
  • Travel, Leisure, Food & Beverage

Across the 66 projects we ran this year, companies included multinationals with long-established relationships with the School as well as organisations that students would not typically encounter elsewhere on the MBA. This diversity within the portfolio is something we want to further develop next year.

How are they involved and what do they get out of it?

Whilst we source organisations from a variety of areas, we often turn to our extensive alumni network when sourcing client sponsors. Not only are our alumni keen to give back to the School, they also have a great understanding of what our students are capable of and how they can add value to their organisation.

We work with clients to develop projects where the work that students do has a real, tangible impact on the client organisation. One of the key metrics we have when sourcing projects is that the project is based on a real business issue of strategic importance to the client – we feel this is the best way to ensure the programme is sustainable and both students and clients get the most from the experience.

How are faculty involved?

Each project team has a faculty supervisor who they meet with at set points during the project. The purpose of these faculty ‘consultations’ is to help steer the students with their project work and provide a source of support and guidance as they work on their client deliverable.

How does it fit in to the MBA? How does it fit in with other experiential areas, such as GBEs?

LondonCAP takes place towards the end of the first year of the programme, and for many students this will be the first opportunity they have to apply the learnings and frameworks from their core curriculum in a real-life setting, and before they embark on their summer internship.

The Global Business Experiences (GBEs) take place in the second year, and are intensive week-long programmes, where students engage with local companies, practitioners and business issues. The GBEs are rooted in a particular city/region and designed to highlight what makes it unique from a business, cultural and geo-political perspective.

Unlike LondonCAP the GBEs are a core course element, which means all students will undertake a GBE in their second year.

What are your aims for next year and beyond?

Ahead of next year, we are keen to learn from the most successful projects and will work with all of our client sponsors to share best practice from these projects. We will also be looking at how we can enhance the support our students receive when working on these projects. We are adding two new faculty supervisors to the programme and will be working to identify other resources that we can offer to students who enrol on the programme.

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