For the fourth consecutive year University of Birmingham Undergraduates students have taken part in a unique consultancy training programme created in partnership by Birmingham Business School and Capgemini, a multinational management consulting corporation. 

As part of the challenge students spend a week based at Capgemini’s offices where they work in consultancy teams to provide tangible and potentially game-changing solutions for a third sector client. The students conduct site-visits to their clients, and present back from the renowned Capgemini Accelerated Solutions Environment (ASE), a state-of-the-art facility which enables the students to interact with their clients in a highly innovative and results-orientated fashion.

Workshop at the Capgemini Community Challenge event

Capgemini actively works with the University to keep in touch with all the students who come through on the challenge, and many from previous years have gone on to undertake internships and gain permanent positions with Capgemini. There will be a social later this year as well as further mentoring support, skills sessions, and internship opportunities for all those who would like them.

Capgemini Challenge event

We just love working with the University of Birmingham – there’s a special energy about its students. And there’s always plenty on the Challenge from the Business School we want to recruit! Billie Major, Corporate VP at Capgemini

This year’s charity projects and highlights of the outcomes were as follows:

Team Apex, working for Edwards Trust:

Brief – Create, retain and maintain a self-driven community of fundraising volunteers.
Achievement – Team Apex created a strong market research document looking at Marie Curie, who had experienced similar problems. They made contact with 30 local schools to discuss creating charity links, and have begun a partnership with Sutton Coldfield Girls School, who are keen to be involved with the Trust. They also developed a sustainable community engagement model for the charity.

Team Aqualibra, working for Telford & Wrekin Homestart:

Brief – To identify ways of promoting Homestart locally, raising awareness and funds.
Achievement – Team Aqualibra carried out detailed organisational and competitor analysis for the charity to review. During the week the team carried out various activity including: arranging for Capgemini staff to assist with a website redesign, developing a relationship with Wickes to redecorate the central offices for free and developed a partnership with a Nottingham High School.

Team Crane, working for the Telford District Rotary Clubs on their Telford Tree of Light campaign:

Brief – To identify new/improved ways of marketing the Tree of Light, so that donations this year would reach £42,000, making a total of £500,000 in 20 years.
Achievement – Team Crane not only redesigned the marketing of the tree, but also worked to raise awareness in the local area to increase donations. They developed a relationship with Telford Reprographics who have provided, free of charge, a redesigned banner and sign-up form with a more consistent theme.

Team Dynamic, working for Small Woods:

Brief – To increase funding and awareness of the local SmallWood in Coalbrookdale through the selling of products (charcoal) made from the coppiced wood.
Achievement – Team Dynamic undertook market research into the area of locally produced sustainable products, and found a market gap with regards to charcoal, which is the main product of Small Woods Coalbrookdale. To begin the process of increasing income and awareness, the team made bookings for SmallWoods to attend two local farmers markets and produced sample fliers and website pages to increase interest in SmallWoods.

Team Storyline, working for Telford and Wrekin Council for Voluntary Services (CVS):

Brief – To deliver a report summarising research carried out into the volunteering habits of 16 – 25 year olds, and how CVS can increase their engagement.
Achievement – The students sent out a survey via social media and over the week they received more than 100 replies, which enabled them to create a strong market research report for CVS. They released an article to the Shropshire Star, which was printed on Friday, and recorded a 27 second promo clip about CVS which will play on Signal 107 for the next 8 days. In considering longer term solutions, they have arranged for a local college, together with Capgemini, to develop a CVS app.