Business Studies students from the University of Northampton have been able to put their skills into practice by getting involved in a real life consultancy project, which has given them an invaluable insight into the business world.
The four students, Alex Fuentes, Meghna Sapat, Thu Nguyen and Vy Huyn, are part of the student-led Raptor Consultancy, which provides professional services to the business community, as well as allowing the students to tackle real projects in their chosen field providing them with the relevant experience to complement what they learn in the classroom.
Working closely with Martin Strube, a partner at Co-operative Solutions in Northampton, the students undertook a two-month workplace democracy audit, which looked at the way the organisation was managed and its business processes. This was completed by observing internal meetings, looking through archives, interviewing members of staff and generating reports.
As a result of the audit, Co-operative Solutions is now in the process of reviewing certain aspects of HR practices and the management of the workplace. The information will provide a basis to enhance levels of innovation, engagement and efficiency across the organisation.
Talking about why Co-operative Solutions decided to carry out a democracy audit, Martin said: “Co-operators, community groups, voluntary organisations, trade unions, working men’s clubs and charitable trusts all should have an interest in the quality of the democracy they are experiencing and how that quality might compare to similar groups and organisations.
“The team from the University of Northampton was amazing and we have truly benefited from the whole experience. The results of the audit provided us with some insightful recommendations and we feel like we’re in a much more informed position moving forward so we thank them for all the hard work.”
Alex Fuentes commented: “Thinking deeper about business processes and speaking with people at all levels are key aspects that I will look to apply during my career.”
Thu Nguyen said: “Being part of Raptor Consultancy has been great for teamwork and working with an organisation we have been able to learn more professional skills and put them into practice.”
A regional co-operative conference and seminar is being hosted by the University of Northampton on Wednesday 9 November where delegates can hear more about the democracy audit. To find out more, call 01604 893570.