Do you need help in advancing your organization’s sustainability strategies? Get the latest thinking and application in Sustainable Business & Policy with Presidio Graduate School Experiential Learning.
Presidio Graduate School’s Experiential Learning (EL) program deploys teams of 3-5 highly-trained sustainability MBA or MPA students to organizations for semester-long projects.
As an EL partner, you’ll get access to the latest thinking about sustainability and the commitment of a talented and passionate group of MBA/MPA students. The team will integrate traditional management concepts and metrics – such as financial ROI calculation and strategic analysis – with sustainability metrics that take into account social and natural capital. Our projects help position your company or organization to be successful while accounting for People, Planet & Profit.
During the 12-week program, the teams incorporate in-depth research and analysis to deliver specialized strategy and business plans focused on one of the following areas:
Student teams in the Operations and Production class partner with organizations to create an operations plan that establishes a set of major steps or tasks necessary to meet an existing, new or proposed operations process.
Once the team has determined the optimal approach, they create a high-level implementation plan that lays out a set of major steps or tasks necessary to meet the new requirement. Aspects of the report will include:
The team will deliver their quantitative analyses and implementation plan recommendations to their partner through both a verbal presentation and a written report.
In order to participate in the Operations EL Project the company or organization must have access to at least three years of data. Data needed are, of course, unique to the project but can include metrics like cost per product/service, cost per employee, miles traveled, etc. If your company or organization does not have access to data, the student teams will not be able to provide optimized recommendations.
The Faculty for the Strategy and Finance courses have integrated their curricula and EL project objectives such that student teams work on one combined project to develop strategic recommendations that are supported by financial analysis and business rationale. Partner organizations who participate in these projects will work with one team for two blended projects.
Student teams in the Strategy class will apply strategic thinking and tools to existing organizations to formulate and develop a comprehensive strategy to bring a line of business or initiative in a new direction. The team will define their partner’s focal issue and performs comprehensive research and analysis of market trends, which they use to create an in-depth SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats). They will generate a set of future scenarios that are customized to the strategic environment of the partner organization, and design and facilitate a participatory session of strategic design with stakeholders of the organization.
Meanwhile, for their Managerial Finance, student teams will assess the economic viability of the proposed strategy plan above. They will identify the economic investment and the cost of capital that will be required of the organization to pursue this strategy. They will then subject this investment to a valuation analysis by applying the most appropriate of the financial analysis and capital budgeting tools taught in the course, including Net Present Value (NPV), Internal Rate of Return (IRR), Terminal Value, Payback Period, Discounted Profitability, and other return measures like Social Return on Investment (SROI).
As a result of their research and analysis, the team will be able to identify a highly differentiated competitive position within the framework of a new or emerging market. They then craft a set of strategic recommendations to help their clients think creatively and systemically about the purpose and direction of their organizations.These strategic recommendations are validated by the business rationale provided by the financial analysis, and the team will answer the questions, “What is the value of the project? Is this a sound investment?”
The team will present their findings to their partner in a verbal presentation, along with an executive report and various spreadsheets that can be updated as the values for certain variables change. Worksheets generally include Cash Flow Projections, Profit and Loss Statements, and Balance Sheet Projections.
In order to participate in the Finance/Strategy EL Project the company or organization must be considering the business and financial viability of a strategic initiative. Strategic questions include, for example: “Should my organization launch in a new market/demographic?”, “Should our organization offer this new product/service? Will the market receive it? Will it make sense financially?”
Student teams in the Managerial Marketing class work with organizations to develop strategic marketing plans, which may be at the enterprise, business unit, or product level. Teams work with their partners to define and tailor the scope and objectives of the marketing project.
Each team conducts consumer, market, and organizational research to understand the marketing situation faced by their partner. The team analyzes customer and market insights to understand what products and services are most desired by the target market. This is used as a basis for the team to apply a holistic approach to marketing that will create mutual value for both the customer and the organization.
Based on their market research and the needs of the partner organization, each team creates a unique, strategic marketing plan to allow the partner organization to build a connection with the customer and communicate their mutual value. Additionally, the team makes recommendations so that their tactical marketing action plans can be managed in a way that will achieve business results. The team will give a verbal presentation to their partner as well as a written, strategic marketing plan sharing the findings and recommendations of the project.
In order to participate in the Marketing EL the organization must be in business already. Start-up ideas that are not implemented yet do not work well with this type of Marketing Plan. The organization should also have some idea of what product/service/general demographic they are targeting. (If your organization is not sure of this, a Strategy/Finance project may be a better fit initially.)
Teams of one to three students in the Public Sector Finance class partner with private or public organizations to analyze the operating and/or capital budget of a public sector/non-profit agency. They will use analytical frameworks for presenting policy/administrative options and recommendations.
The team will write a publication-ready white paper outlining recommendations and produce an informational video. The team will provide data and analysis to help your organization validate and/or refine financial and policy strategies.
Teams of one to three students in the Information Management, Technology & Policy class work with organizations to help them better leverage technology systems in order to help drive social, economic, and environmental change.
The team will write a publication-ready research paper outlining recommendations and produce an informational video. The team will provide data and analysis to help your organization validate and/or refine its technology roadmap.
Teams of one to three students in the Research Methods class leverage service focused evaluation projects, students use tools of program evaluation as well as quantitative and qualitative research methods to answer important organizational questions related to process, outputs, outcomes, and resources.
The team defines their partner’s focal issue and performs comprehensive research and analysis of market and policy trends, which they use to create an in-depth SWOT and PEST analysis. They generate a set of future scenarios that are customized to the strategic environment of the partner organization, and design and facilitate a participatory session of strategic design with stakeholders of the organization.The team will write a publication-ready white paper outlining recommendations and produce an informational video.
There is no cost for EL consulting services, however, we do charge a $150 Administration Fee to assist with program setup cost. We also require a dedicated staff member to devote an average of One (1) hour per week with the team and access to relevant company data – under a non-disclosure agreement.
If you have questions about the application process or PGS’s Experiential Learning Program, please contact Eric Cetnarski, Experiential Learning Program Director (firstname.lastname@example.org). You may also schedule an introductory phone call here.