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MBA Business in Action: putting theory into practice with national businesses

Newcastle University Business School’s MBA students recently took part in a two-week learning experience. Business in Action saw them meet and support various regional and national businesses.

12 April 2023

Newcastle University Business School’s MBA students recently took part in a two-week learning experience. Business in Action saw them meet and support various regional and national businesses.

The MBA programme

The Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) at Newcastle University Business School (NUBS) is a rigorous full-time programme. It’s designed for professionals seeking to further develop their business acumen.

Our current MBA cohort comprises 40 students from 10 different countries. On average, each student has seven years of managerial experience in their toolkit.

The NUBS MBA cohort for 2022-23 stood on the stairs in the Business School foyer.

About Business in Action

Business in Action is a two-week experiential learning module on the MBA. It encourages students to put theory into action. They get the opportunity to learn about life as a business consultant across several sectors.

The overarching themes of Business in Action are sustainability and digital transformation.

Under this umbrella, the MBA cohort met various local, national and international businesses. The businesses came from a range of sectors, including:

  • financial institutions
  • management consultancy firms
  • media
  • architecture
  • natural resource management

Finding solutions for business challenges

As part of the experience, the students took part in a case competition hosted by Northumbrian Water Limited (NWL). The task was to help non-household customers reduce their water consumption. Students had to research and recommend innovative solutions to help achieve this.

To inform their research, the students toured the NWL Broken Scar treatment plant in Darlington. They learned about innovation within the retail water industry and how climate change is impacting water efficiency. The students benefited greatly from the plant visit. They gained valuable insights from water industry advisers at Waterwise, Market Operator Services Limited (MOSL) and Wave Utilities.

Businesses giving back

In addition to NWL, our MBA students had the opportunity to work with an additional 10 organisations. Each firm offered unique insights into their sector of consulting. They also provided a short challenge for the students:

  • NetKno challenged our students to develop their networking skills.
  • Aqua Consultants, Jacobs and PwC co-hosted a session. They discussed consultancy in practice and how to pitch for bids.
  • Credera offered a data challenge around the theme of human resources.
  • Skelly & Couch highlighted the importance of sustainability in the built environment. They outlined how consultants can affect change.
  • BlackRock provided an ESG stock pick challenge.
  • EssenceMediacom shined a light on the hidden industry of data analysis in media.
  • Lloyds Banking Group challenged the MBAs to think critically about global payments and developing digital currency.
  • HSBC presented interactive case studies. They helped the MBAs understand financial risk and stakeholder management.

 NetKno founder Jeni Smith explained why she continues to participate:

“I always love meeting the MBA students. Each year they are always super engaged, enthusiastic, and excited to get involved and learn. I always learn from them too: finding out about their previous experiences, both personally and professionally, as well as their future plans.”


Developing the next generation of leaders

The immersive MBA at Newcastle University gives learners the opportunity to:

  • engage with businesses
  • develop their consulting skills
  • gain industry insights from a range of sectors

It was an amazing two weeks of intense immersive experiences. All the sessions and the participating mentors were very knowledgeable - I learned so much about the businesses in the UK.

Dolly Lee, MBA student at NUBS