Today we woke up early, hopped on a train to Zurich, and delivered our final presentation to our ICP client. Despite having only one week to prepare (due to scheduling constraints), the presentation went well and the client seemed exceedingly pleased. They took us out for a nice, long lunch on a hilltop overlooking Zurich and the atmosphere was very pleasant. One of our client stakeholders is a member of their Board of Directors and may invite us to make the presentation to their entire Board in December.
This project was, for lack of an eloquent descriptor, awesome. Four students from four different continents helped a global chemical manufacturer optimize its supply chain. Despite none of us having chemical industry experience or supply chain experience, we were able to identify and help realize over CHF 200m of value.
The best part of the project was that it soon became evident that the client’s challenges weren’t specific to supply chain; their real problem was change management. Our “solutions,” helping them implement corporate initiatives in a globally decentralized organization with greater success, aren’t particular to supply chain or the chemical manufacturing industry. The learning we took from this project can be applied across industries and functions and I’m sure it will be very valuable throughout each of our careers. Real world, real learning.
Similarly, I appreciated the opportunity to work with a small, very diverse group for an extended, multi-phase project with several deliverables. It was critically important to use each person’s skillset in the most appropriate way, manage different individual priorities, and address both intra- and inter-group dynamics. I won’t claim that we did everything perfectly but I do believe that we learned a great deal and improved a lot throughout the project. Again: real world, real learning.
Now, with the ICP behind me (sort of–there are still several wrap-up to-do items), I’m flying to Washington DC tomorrow for a final interview with Positive Energy. I’m excited to arrive just about the time that presidential election returns start rolling in. Go Obama, go Skelly, and no on Prop 8!