Inspiring Futures Consultancy

Who’s it for?

Any organisation across the public, private and third sector, past clients have included Plymouth City Council, Clever Student Lets, and St Luke's. Businesses, social enterprises, organisations and charities are currently being sought who would like student consultants to investigate a business issue for them. Since its pilot project the scheme has grown to include nearly 2000 Plymouth Business School students, undertaking in excess of 350 consultancy projects for over 200 organisations, with an estimated value to the local economy of over £400,000.

What does it offer to businesses?

  • Bring the skills and knowledge of Plymouth Business School students into the work place to deliver tailored consultancy projects, these aim to help a business with a specific problem they are facing.

  • Businesses gain financially from the research and advice given by the students. Clients frequently say how beneficial it is to work with the students as they bring fresh eyes and thinking to their organisation.

  • Businesses help build the employability skills of students from the start of their university careers whilst they add value to the organisations they work with.

  • Businesses can recruit students if they wish after the consultancy project has ended. The University can assist with advertising part-time, summer internship, placement and graduate roles to students.

How does it work?

Inspiring Futures Student Consultancy is now in its fourth year.

  • Organisations with a project idea are invited to express an interest now (Nov-Dec 2017), with projects starting and running through February 2018.

  • Working in teams of around five, students act as consultants fulfilling a brief which the organisation has set. In previous years, students have addressed all of the following projects:
    • Undertaking competitor analysis;
    • Creating a social media strategy;
    • Evaluating potential markets for existing or new products;
    • Producing elements of a business case (e.g. SWOT and PESTLE);
    • Researching funding options;
    • Undertaking supplier analysis.
  • The projects are supervised by Plymouth University throughout the partnership

  • Students are not paid for the work that they undertake as it forms part of their assessment. During the project, the students work remotely, structuring any visits and contact to suit the client.

  • All students and organisations taking part in Inspiring Futures sign a formal work-based learning agreement which covers confidentiality, intellectual property rights and expectations. As part of the students' learning experience, they will present the results of their findings to the organisation via a presentation with a supporting document.

How do businesses take part?

For more information about Inspiring Futures and details about how to make an application, email inspiringfutures@plymouth.ac.uk