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Trench Networks Limited: A successful partnership with Newcastle University Business School

21 March 2023

Specialist internet service provider Trench Networks Limited collaborated with several NUBS MBA students on a Corporate Consultancy Project. Their work on a live business challenge yielded positive outcomes for all involved.

About Corporate Consultancy Projects

As part of the Master of Business Administration (MBA) programme at Newcastle University Business School (NUBS), students get the opportunity to participate in a Corporate Consultancy Project. An organisation can work with an MBA student to explore a ‘live’ business problem or opportunity. 

One student carries out the project in July and August. The student formulates proposals and recommendations for management action. They base these on research they have conducted. 

The MBA Corporate Consultancy Project aims to develop partnerships between the University and industry. It enhances the employability of our students while addressing a real need within the collaborating organisation.

A group of MBA students sit and work together on laptops

 Trench Networks and its relationship with the Newcastle MBA 

North East-based Trench Networks Limited is a multi-award-winning specialist internet service provider. They are experts in delivering robust and reliable internet connections in traditionally hard-to-reach environments, such as building sites and manufacturing facilities. 

Damien Murphy is Chief Operations Officer at Trench Networks Limited. He wanted to work with the MBA programme at Newcastle University for several reasons: 

  • Strong industry engagement 
  • Clear and concise process 
  • High-calibre students 
  • To support education in the region 

Damien has hosted three MBA projects since first engaging with NUBS and plans to host more. He described his experience as “very easy and enjoyable. [The MBA students] provided interesting and fresh viewpoints on new markets with the back up from significant data sources and academic oversight.” 

Providing fresh insight for business challenges

Several MBA students worked with Damien and Trench Networks Limited. Their main focus was on market research and strategic recommendations for entry into new or adjacent markets with existing or modified technology. Damien said, “From a company’s point of view, it’s always worthwhile getting new and fresh viewpoints.” 

Ifeanyi Anthony “Tony” Okonkwo was one of the MBA students that worked with Trench Networks. He explained why he wanted to work with a live client:

After the rigorous learnings on the MBA, I was eager to get into the field to test my learnings and experience. Trench Networks provided me with the proper opportunity to do so.

Ifeanyi Anthony “Tony” Okonkwo

Successful outcomes

The collaborative project involved two months of full-time research. It yielded positive outcomes for both Tony and the Trench Networks Limited. 

“The team within the company were receptive to disruptive ideas,” Tony reflected. “They allowed me the bandwidth to think out of the box and provided the enabling environment throughout the project.” 

Having worked with three NUBS MBA students, Damien said, “Some of the reports we’ve received have actively changed our strategy for the better, sometimes by delaying market entry and in other cases modifying the approach.” 

Why should businesses work with the MBA programme? 

The MBA at Newcastle University gives learners the opportunity to gain real business experience. They can then take this into their future careers. Tony reflected, “The impact of this experience was that I became bolder to try out new ideas which led me to get a role in a UK Bank and currently building a disruptive product for the market.” 

If you have a business challenge or opportunity that could benefit from an MBA’s insight, Damien advises collaborating with the programme at Newcastle University. 

"I would strongly recommend it.” says Damien. It’s always worthwhile getting new and fresh viewpoints. The effort from a company point of view is relatively low and is not at all a time-consuming process, but the end results are often better than what you may have paid for in the past.” 

To learn more about how to engage with NUBS, please email

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