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CEMS Business Project of the Year

By Francesca Barberio

Dear CEMSies,

As you may have heard, among all Business Projects carried out by CEMSies during the past Spring term, the “CEMS Business Project of the Year” was awarded to a team from RSM!

The winning team, left to right: Jonathan Han, Miro Banović, Francesca Barberio, Dion Hagenaar and Xiao-Min Tung

Their project focused on UberEats, a rapidly growing food delivery service, with a goal to reduce costs at their call center. We had a chat with one of the winning team members, Francesca Barberio, and asked her a couple of questions about her experience. You can also read more about it on the CEMS blog! (Link: CEMS Business Project of the Year)

The team at Uber’s offices

How did this project help you translate what you were learning in the classroom to the real world?

The value of diversity and the business competencies learnt during our CEMS adventure were the two components that helped us perform at our best. During the Global Management Practice course, professor Meir Shemla focused particularly on the potential power embedded in diversity.

If well managed, diversity can significantly enhance the performance of a team. Our team, composed of Dion, Jonathan, Miro, Xiao and me, was diverse in terms of demographics (e.g. age profile, nationality, religion) and, especially, in terms of personality. Some of us are introverts, while others are more extroverted. Some of us like presenting, while others prefer analysing data. Some of us are better at implementing solutions, while other are better at thinking strategically. I believe that we were able to successfully balance our mix of personalities and therefore diversity became our strength.

The second aspect that helped us through the project were the business competencies that we gained during our academic career. The unique combination of teaching theoretical foundations whilst providing a hands-on approach of the CEMS master gave us the confidence needed when dealing with both academic and corporate staff. The guidance of both our academic coach, Nicolas Costantinesco, and our corporate coaches, Eva Odenthal and Ginko de Franzoni, also played a fundamental role in this. Their knowledge and experience helped us in delivering our project efficiently and effectively.

Francesca and René Olie (RSM CEMS Academic Director) receiving the prize for the team during the graduation ceremony in Malta

How will this help you in your future career?

I started my career in consulting and, personally, the consultancy project with Uber was an extremely precious experience as it gave me more confidence in starting my professional career. I gained more solid knowledge on how to manage the various phases of a consulting project, the importance of engaging many stakeholders and how to manage them. I have learnt the value of working in a diverse group and the huge benefits it can generate if well managed.

Overall, this project and especially the team with which I worked are valuable experiences that I tend to look back at and to take as a point of comparison in my professional career.

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