Recent Business Practicums

Business Practicums are action learning projects designed to provide students with an opportunity to manage a project for a real client during their stay in London. They are team based and can be between four and twelve weeks duration, depending on the nature of the project and the number of hours per week devoted to it. On short, summer programs students would be expected to devote 12 – 15 hours per week to the project. Semester students might undertake this as one of four course options, giving 5 hours per week to the project. Recent Projects: Harrods Media, Just Falafel, The Wellesley Hotel, 3Chats and Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Harrods Media
Harrods is London and the U.K.’s leading department store. Located on a 5 acre site in Knightsbridge, an upmarket area in west London, it is both the largest single store and the most prestigious retailer in the U.K. The store has a fascinating history. It was owned for many years by Egyptian born Mohamed Al-Fayed and this is still reflected in much of the décor, but in 2010 ownership passed to the Qatari Investment Authority (effectively the Qatari royal family). Harrods is a destination in its own right. It is visited by tourists, who marvel at the food halls and the window displays, but it also attracts the rich and famous, who spend lavishly in its 330 departments and make use of the myriad of in-store services, including 32 restaurants, its own bank, a real estate agent etc.


Project Description and Objectives:
Pradasphere
Pradasphere – celebrating the universe of Prada

The Italian brand Prada have created a storewide campaign in Harrods, a large media promotion including brand activity in all store windows, a showcase of digital content across the stores main digital screen networks in- store. The brand has also created an extensive exhibition celebrating the heritage of their brand across the fourth floor plus a large-scale pop-up area near door 9. The brand also features within the Harrods Magazine and Digital Harrods App and various print sites throughout the store at key entrance points.


Project Objectives

  • Background on awareness of the Prada brand – e.g. are they aware it is an Italian brand
  • To explore the impact of the promotion
  • Generate a clear view of how many people have seen the campaign (inc. Nationality)
  • Primary objective of visiting Harrods was to visit Pradasphere (inc. Nationality)
  • The impressions that have been generated
  • How effective external awareness of the campaign has been at driving interest
  • How the campaign has affected peoples view of the brand Prada

 

Just Falafel
The name says it all! With over 60 outlets worldwide, based in Dubai, they now have 5 outlets in London. And they are opening in San Francisco next month. Fast food or quick service restaurant? Appeals to vegetarians only or benefits from a healthy food image? These are just some of the questions we need answers to.

Practicum Description and Objectives:
The London management team would like you to provide some answers to key strategic questions which will shape the company’s future direction in the UK and beyond.

  • Who are their competitors here in London?
  • How do customers rate the dining experience – price, quality, service, product choice.
  • How can they reach out to people who don’t know about them (or don’t even know what falafel is!)?
  • Where are the best locations for the next five stores?

 

The Wellesley Hotel
The Wellesley is an upmarket, boutique hotel in fashionable Knightsbridge in west London. It has been open only since December 2012. Standard rooms are £500 a night. The hotel has an art deco image. Its special feature is a cigar bar and an enormous walk-in humidor.

Practicum Description and Objectives:
Occupancy rates are still not as high as the hotel would like and much of the work will centre on brand awareness and helping to create a luxury brand image in keeping with, but distinctive from other 5 star London hotels. The use of social media will play a large part in this process. A team of 5 people will be invited to meet with the Marketing and Communications manager in the first week to scope out the project in more detail. Students with a knowledge of social media are particularly welcome.


 

Great Ormond Street Hospital
GOSH is one of the world’s leading children’s hospitals. It is located on our doorstep in Bloomsbury. Established in 1852, over 200,000 patients visit the hospital every year. It provides world-class clinical care, training and new research and treatment for all kinds of paediatric problems, including heart problems, brain surgery and gene therapy. The hospital is funded by the U.K. National Health Service but they also have a target of raising £50 million every year through their registered charity. Visit the charity section of the website for more information.

Practicum Description and Objectives:
LEB will give your team of 4 people £500 and ask you to double it in 4 weeks. Whatever the total amount stands at in the end will be donated to the charity. Early in week one you will have a meeting with one of the permanent staff of the charity, who will show you round the hospital and identify priorities and ideas. But it’s really up to you as a team to decide what kind of activities you want to engage in to raise money – and how you want to use the initial capital to meet the target of £1,000 at the end. We need people with entrepreneurial flair and imagination! As well as reporting back on what you have done to achieve your goal, there will also be a cheque presentation ceremony.


 

3chats.com
Ronen Givon is an entrepreneur and founder of Hummus Bros, a middle eastern chain of hummus and falafel bars in London which was set up in 2005 and still operating today. He holds an M.A. in Computer science and Economics from the University of Cambridge. 3Chats is an online startup founded by Ronen and is currently in private alpha.

Practicum Description and Objectives:
3Chats is an online service that connects people looking to buy expensive products and services to small business owners. Buyers simply submit their request (e.g. furniture, catering services, wedding venue hire), and are connected directly to 3 small business owners through online chat. The buyer gets to chat to 3 knowledgeable vendors at the same time, live and on the same screen. The seller pays 3Chats a fee based on the lead that was generated.

3Chats is an innovative service that aims to bypass the traditional channel of going to google, then company websites separately and requesting quotes through live/offline messages. What is still not clear is what type of selling businesses would benefit from this type of service. The questions that need to be answered are:

  • What is a typical business that could use 3Chats? What are the attributes (high volume? high purchase size? dependent on local customers? physical products or services?).
  • What are vendors willing to pay per lead on this system? What does this depend on?

Working in small groups of two – You will be asked to get out on the high street, or more industrial areas such as Shoreditch and Hackney and find Vendors and business owners that will be interested in participating in a trial and actually run the trial with them, gauging response and recording any feedback.