Field Studies

Looking for a consultant to solve that business or marketing problem that has been bothering you? Consider hiring our MBA, MPA, information systems, and accounting graduate students to do the job for you.

Overview

The Field Studies program is the consulting arm of the Marriott School of Management. Consulting projects are typically completed by a team of three to six graduate students under the direction of a faculty advisor with some expertise in the area to be addressed and, where appropriate, an experienced business executive knowledgeable in the field. Field Study teams can work on projects in almost any business discipline, including marketing research, strategy, finance, supply chain, HR/Organization, and global business.

Clients

Recent clients include Intel, Dow Chemical, Dell Computers, Honeywell, Johnson and Johnson, Orange Soda, Boston Scientific, Red Mango, Eagle Mountain City, Calle, Asphalt Zipper, Portfolio advisers, startup companies, and many others.

Fees

To sustain the program, professional fees of $15,000 plus expenses are charged for each project, but where necessary a negotiated fee less than that is possible. However, the fee is a fraction of the cost of hiring professional consultants.

Whether your project needs consulting resources of MBA (Business), MPA (Public Administration), MAcc (Accounting), MISM (Information Systems) or specialized resources from Engineering to Sociology, Field Study teams can meet your needs. We will design a team especially suited for your consulting project and hire a faculty advisor with expertise in your area of need.

Responsibilities

Role of Company Project Sponsors for Field Studies

The Company Sponsor and Company Key Contacts are critical to the success of the Field Study team and their projects. The Company Sponsor defines the project and clearly articulates what they want the student team to deliver. The Key Company Contact works with the students throughout the semester to ensure that they stay on track with the needs of the company and have the resources necessary to succeed in the project.

Critical Tasks and Responsibilities of the Key Company Contact:

a.   Contact your team before or during the first week of school and set up an initial meeting (and formal kickoff meeting if appropriate).

b.   Schedule regular weekly meeting times throughout the project (15 minutes to one hour is normal, but some weeks the meeting will not need to be held and other weeks may require more time).

c.   Establish a process for how you will communicate between meetings.

d.   Agree on the final deliverables and when they will be due (as part of the engagement letter).

e.   Give regular feedback to the team to let them know how they are doing.

f.     Approve team expenses necessary for the completion of project deliverables (approved expenses will be invoiced at the conclusion of the project).

g.   Complete the company sponsor surveys that are sent to you at mid project and after the final presentation.

Important Factors for success:

1) It is important that the objective/goal of the project be clearly defined in the original application, but it is normally necessary to revisit the objective/goal once the project kicks off at the beginning of the semester. The final project description and deliverables of the project should be clearly articulated and documented for the team in the engagement letter you develop with them.   

2) It is good to maintain regular contact with the students to ensure that they are on the right track, answer questions, and assist with resources.  It is most common that the company will have weekly meetings with the student team (please never go longer than 2 weeks between updates with the team). These meetings may be in person, by Skype, by Webex, by teleconference, etc.

3)  While the student will benefit greatly from the company contact’s experience and expertise, it is important not to try and steer them too much from the perspective of one’s personal experience.  One of the benefits of the student team is that they bring a fresh perspective and have recently been trained in some of the most recent approaches. Share your insight and perspective with them, but encourage them to seek fresh outlooks throughout the project.

4)  It would be beneficial to set up conference calls for the students with subject matter experts within the sponsor company so the students could gain their perspective on the topics being researched. Please make available to the students all of the information sources within your company. If you have promised internal data to the students please provide it promptly so as not to delay the project timeline.

5)  Where possible, it is helpful when you can provide contacts from your industry that are knowledgeable on the project topics. If the students are benchmarking or doing industry analysis, your personal or corporate network could provide valuable contacts that the students could meet with or interview for insight and understanding.

6) We encourage you approve expenses for the team that are relevant to the project. If you ask the team to travel we have BYU rental cars. We also ask you to approve the cost of printing reports and presentation, as well as materials needed to complete the project. We will reimburse the students and invoice you for the costs at the end of the semester.

7) Complete the company surveys (mid-term and final) concerning the students to help BYU in grading the students, giving them feedback and improving the program.