Since 1997, Tuck’s OnSite Global Consulting (OnSite) program has given students the chance to take what they’ve learned in the classroom and make an impact in the world by helping real companies solve their most pressing business challenges.
So how does an OnSite project operate? Clients come to OnSite looking for fresh insights and actionable results. After spending weeks researching, meeting with clients, and strategizing solutions, a carefully selected team of students from diverse business backgrounds presents the client with specific recommendations to address a timely challenge of their choice.
“We’re successful when our work has a measurable impact on our clients’ businesses,” says Kerry Laufer, director of the OnSite program. “Since we wrapped up projects in January, I’ve already heard from clients about new partnerships established, increased revenues, and other positive outcomes following implementation of our teams’ initial recommendations.”
The OnSite program is mutually beneficial for both clients and students. Since OnSite sends students to far-flung countries around the world, the program tends to attract passionate students looking to engage in a challenge and who want to develop their global leadership capabilities. Students must learn how to deliver on their clients’ expectations, even in ambigious situations. Participating in OnSite teaches students how to stretch outside their comfort zone, hone their communication skills, and put what they’ve learned into action with lessons from courses like Management Communications, Operations Management, and Marketing.
“These are real business challenges with real clients. The learning benefits for students can’t be overstated,” says Laufer.
To date, Tuck students have participated in 237 projects for 168 clients in 60 countries. Here are two recent OnSite projects where students successfully helped a client solve a real-world business challenge.
For a company as innovative and fast-growing as WEnergy Global, blockchain technology seemed like a promising way for the Singapore renewables company to generate more revenue as it carries out its mission to bring electricity to 120 million residents in southeast Asia who lack access.
To help WEnergy determine if the company should implement blockchain, a Tuck team comprised of six T’20s conducted extensive, in-depth interviews with industry experts in blockchain and in the crypto-investment space. They culled through helpful industry reports, examined financial statements and reviewed WEnergy’s existing business operations.
It was a dream team comprised of T’20s Junyang Ke, Cihan Sahin, Josephine Ren, Samyak Jaroli and Todor Parushev, who have backgrounds ranging from law and fintech to finance and consulting.
“Our different perspectives actually ended up generating a lot of synergy,” recalls Ke, who is from Singapore and worked as an oil trader before beginning his studies at Tuck. “When we were working together to solve problems, there was a lot of friendly debate and discussion, and I think our diversity as a team helped us deliver a transformative solution for the client,” says Ke. “This has been one of my best experiences at Tuck.”
The team also tapped into support from their advisors and resources at the Revers Center for Energy and the Center for Digital Strategies. All five students worked from Hanover in the project’s initial stages, then traveled to Singapore for three weeks, where they met with key client stakeholders, senior management and blockchain industry practitioners.
I’m happy because WEnergy is benefitting from the students’ positivity and their high-level intellectual capabilities. They wanted to use their knowledge to better the world. They really had their hearts in the right place.
The founder and CEO of WEnergy Global, Atem Ramsundersingh, had previously interacted with Tuck students on an OnSite project and was so delighted with the results that he signed up for another engagement. This time, the students did not disappoint, either.
WEnergy plans to implement the team’s recommendations to develop blockchain and market it as two products to two investor groups. Ramsundersingh, who hosted the students at his home before they departed back to Hanover, says he was thrilled with the amount of information the Tuck team was able to deliver and the manner in which they made their recommendations.
“I was impressed by the quality of energy the students carried—there was no negativity in them,” Ramsundersingh says. “I’m happy because WEnergy is benefitting from their positivity and their high-level intellectual capabilities. The students wanted to use their knowledge to better the world. They really had their hearts in the right place.”
When the Association of Croatian American Professionals (ACAP) decided it wanted to launch an evidence-based integrated wellness tourism program, it tapped a team of Tuck students to help them map out an appropriate strategy. ACAP—a member-driven nonprofit based in California consisting of 15 chapters across the U.S.—hoped the initiative would help establish Croatia as a go-to destination for health and wellness.
The team—comprised of T’20s Linda Horner, Nirlipta Panda, Tanushree Podder and Zach Castle, as well as Owen Ritz D’21—visited Dubrovnik, Zagreb, Rijeka, Vukovar, and additional cities in Croatia to conduct qualitative interviews with professionals from organizations that included public and private medical clinics, wellness centers, hotels and health tourism startups. They surveyed more than 100 customers, sifted through different data points to identify certain themes and identified important questions for ACAP to answer, such as: Does Croatia have the technology and infrastructure to roll out such a program?
“It was exciting to be creating an entirely new product,” said Horner, who grew up in Uganda and has an interest in global health. “The complexity of the project was very interesting to me. It was an opportunity to build something from nothing.”
The team recommended that ACAP roll out three product offerings—a rejuvenating health retreat, a personalized lifestyle medicine program and a rehabilitation paradise—believing that the programs would help create positive lifestyle interventions while connecting participants to their roots in Croatia.
Tuck demonstrated the value of an objective assessment by professionals with diverse backgrounds and skillsets. The strategic recommendations made by the Tuck team will certainly provide us with a competitive advantage.
Dr. Jeana Havidich, a member of ACAP based at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, said that the students exceeded her expectations—they came prepared to Croatia and were really able to hit the ground running right away. “The first thing that impressed me was their ability to understand our situation,” Havidich says. “The Tuck team delivered an impressive amount of research, including a helpful competitor analysis. In the final report, not only were our questions answered, but they addressed additional points that may contribute to the success of our project.”
ACAP plans to implement the students’ recommendations and establish programs in Croatia within the next two years. Bringing key stakeholders together—from Croatian and US Governments to the private health care sector—enabled the ACAP Medical Tourism Task Force to start meaningful discussions. “Tuck demonstrated the value of an objective assessment by professionals with diverse backgrounds and skillsets,” says Havidich. “The strategic recommendations made by the Tuck team will certainly provide us with a competitive advantage.” In future, ACAP is interested in collaborating with Tuck on other programs, including establishing a much needed cancer center in Eastern Europe.
If your organization has a global strategy challenge that could use MBA insights and actionable recommendations, OnSite is offering consulting opportunities this summer and fall. Please contact Kerry Laufer, director of OnSite, for more information on how to become a client.