Nigerian-Canadian MBA alumna, Daisy Igbokwe, chose to do her Strategic Business Project with Sage, market leaders in cloud accounting and business management software. Before studying her MBA at the Business School, Daisy worked at an accounting software company, Intuit, in Toronto, across a variety of roles in marketing. Since graduating, Daisy has been appointed to a role at Sage in London, as a Product Marketing Manager, and is looking forward to growing her career at Sage. Read on to hear more about Daisy’s experience working on her project.
I chose to work with Sage for my project exploring the topic of customer awareness and software adoption intentions. I partnered with the Sage Qualifications Programme team to examine and understand students’ awareness and perception of Sage Accounting software, and the motivating factors that influence their decision to adopt or continue using Sage after graduating. The objective was to identify opportunities for Sage to engage with students and propose creative solutions, which will help Sage to improve its awareness and facilitate students’ adoption and continued use of Sage software.
Strategic Business Projects are either self-sourced, where students find a company to host their prospective project, or School-sourced, where the Business School sources several projects from external organisations, and these are usually competitive and aligned to your chosen pathway. My project was School-sourced. All the School-sourced projects were shared with students for us to access and do some background research on the different companies that we were interested in working with. We then indicated the projects we were interested in. The companies also conducted a similar selection exercise, as they were provided with our MBA Talent Book to choose the students they felt were the best fit. Once both parties had made their choices, a panel was convened to allocate projects based on the interests of the companies and the students.
I shortlisted and selected Sage as my top choice as I was familiar with the company and industry, having previously worked for an accounting software company, a competitor of Sage. I was also really interested in the business issue they were looking to investigate. Once I was matched with Sage and assigned a supervisor, I was introduced to my main point of contact at the company, who I worked closely with. We immediately met to discuss the project in more detail and clarified the topic and focus. We outlined a timetable which had key dates and the milestones I was working towards, which helped me to stay on track. My experience of working with the company was great, we communicated frequently via email and videoconferencing and I found them to be incredibly supportive and collaborative. My main point of contact at Sage, Tim O’Reilly, was an amazing partner and connector and he provided me with the resources I needed to effectively conduct my research and analysis, including relevant company information, and having his support set me up for success.
The outcomes of the project were to provide an independent, well-researched and analysed written piece of work on the business issue being investigated. By applying relevant research techniques, I critically analysed students’ awareness and perceptions of Sage accounting software and presented recommendations for facilitating its continued use to the business.
I definitely found the project beneficial, as it allowed me to apply the learnings from the MBA in practice, from in-depth research and analysis to developing a critical understanding of business practices, as well as developing and implementing strategy at an organisational level. This project also allowed me to hone and enhance my planning, organisation and time management skills. I also really benefited from the relationships I built with the organisation and the Business School throughout the project.