By: Erin Fargo and Maureen Coyle
Completing Our First Client Engagement
Last week, the Duquesne MBA- Sustainability class of 2012 delivered another milestone. We completed the 51st consulting project since the program was launched in 2007. In early October, The Heinz Company presented the sMBA cohort with the challenge of measuring and developing Scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions specific to one of its well known brands. Scope 3 emissions can represent up to 70% of a product’s carbon footprint and present a huge opportunity for reducing environmental impact. With the guidance of Dr. Robert Sroufe and Diane Ramos (course faculty), students were asked to analyze inbound and outbound transportation data and develop team-specific bounds, goals, recommendations, and alternatives. The cohort was divided into six teams, each focusing on a raw material for production and a different competitor of Heinz.
The intense eight weeks of research and analysis led up to final presentations at the Heinz Global Headquarters, located in PPG Place, where teams delivered their research, findings, and recommendations to a panel of seven Heinz executives.
Calming the Nerves
Much like the Heinz presentation, a huge part of our MBA experience involves group work and presentations. Initially, those comfortable with public speaking really stand out, while others struggle to tame the nerves associated with presenting. However, as cliché as it sounds, practice makes perfect. It has been amazing to watch classmates transform into confident and well-informed presenters in just three months.
In preparation for this, many of the groups worked on presentation skills. Groups worked with our director, asked classmates to count “ums” during rehearsals, and prepared individually by practicing in front of the mirror and even recording themselves speaking.
The results were incredible. It was such a rewarding and great team feeling to watch our classmates executing the delivery of a project that required so much effort. We were really able to take a step back and realize the professional development that has already occurred during just one semester of the program.