Congratulations to Erica, Grace, John and Jayati from VITA Consulting Group! These Bachelor of Commerce students completed a consulting project for their host company TAL, and won the team prize for Semester 1, 2018. The Faculty of Business and Economics awards a prize to the highest achieving team in Management Consulting at the end of each semester.
Two common motivations drew us to the Management Consulting subject:
- the desire to find out more about the work undertaken by consultants, and
- to learn from a subject that taught practicle skills applicable to out careers post-university.
Our team of four were allocated to our client from whom we would recieve a project brief and submit a proposal.
Our company and project
We were assigned to TAL, one of Australia’s leading Life Insurance companies. Through research we found out that one marketing challenge of this industry was in consumer perceptions and interest; Australian consumers have low engagement rates in life insurance in general, which has resulted in an under-insurance gap in Australia.
TAL had recently refocused their marketing efforts towards strengthening their brand awareness and recognition within Australia. Our project required market research into ways other insurance companies were connecting with their customers. Our goal was to gather and analyse information on the innovative marketing campaigns and the marked differences between competitor products, and ultimately produce a set of high level recommendations for TAL.
After receiving the project brief, we initially weren’t sure where to start since none of us had much knowledge of the insurance industry. However, having to work in-company was a unique opportunity. Not only did we get to regularly communicate with our client representative Michelle Callanan, we also got the chance to speak with various employees from different teams within the company and gain strong insights through their experience.
Our brief initially focused on conducting research for TAL and to understand the current state of the insurance market and its competing industries. As the project progressed, we realised that we were hitting a few obstacles and required a different approach to the project. We liaised with our project coach Emily Russo, who provided us with guidance. We managed to shift our approach to better suit the project. The project was certainly challenging and sat outside of our comfort zones. The subject was also intense, but our ownership of the project made it a rewarding experience.
Towards the end of the semester, our project methodology had become clear. After four months of cohesive teamwork, we had found our pace and rhythm. We had been working both individually and collectively to collect research and identify potential market opportunities. It was time for a different challenge as we had to present to the company stakeholders. Our weekly team meetings focused on fine tuning and rehearsing our presentation to company stakeholders. Regular group meetings helped ensure that we presented as a well-oiled machine. The main challenges were being concise and efficiently conveying our research and insights.
What we learnt and thanks
Overall, Management Consulting was a wonderful experience and it put to the test all our university skills. We learned that there is always room for improvement and that persistence and hard work are keys to achieving this. These skills will be of immense value as we embark on our individual careers in the future. A big thank you to Michelle and Emily for their involvement in the subject; their advice and guidance was a huge help throughout the semester.
How would you describe Management Consulting?
“This subject was like no other that I have taken in university. This was a great student experience where we got a chance to apply the theoretical knowledge learnt in class to real world problems. It was also one of the most rewarding. Unlike many classes with set assignments and questions, my team not only learnt how to structure solutions but also identify the main issues independently.”’ – Grace
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