When Komatsu was looking to expand their product suite in Australia, it knew it needed a deep understanding of the market, the customers, and the opportunity.
As one of the world’s largest manufacturers and distributors of mining and earthmoving equipment, Komatsu understood the value of market knowledge and needed a team that could get the insights they needed.
That was when they turned to Ducere Global Business School and a team of gun MBA students.
Through a partnership with Ducere Global Business School, Komatsu Product Manager Mining Joshua Foale was able to get access to the team of experienced and motivated MBA students as part of an Industry Project.
Joshua was originally introduced to Ducere through one of his lecturers when he was studying for his degree in mining engineering. The lecturer at the time was studying for their Ducere MBA and spoke highly of the project-based learning model utilised by Ducere.
“We knew we had this opportunity to introduce a new product line to Australia, but it was a large investment, and we needed to get a really in-depth understanding of what was required, particularly around customers’ purchasing decisions,” he said.
“I knew Ducere was looking for companies to partner with, so we started a conversation and eventually secured a team of six students for about 18 weeks.
“None of them had mining experience but all were well advanced in their careers and able to bring a unique perspective to the project.”
The Ducere Online MBA (Innovation and Leadership), which is offered in Australia in partnership with Torrens University, includes 12 subjects, of which three involve a real-world industry project. Each industry project – Learner, Manager and Leader – builds on the previous projects and coursework of the other nine subjects.
Ducere Global Business School founder Mat Jacobsen said the industry projects were designed to bridge the gap between education and industry by delivering an MBA with real career impact.
“Ducere’s mission is to connect students with real-world learning to excel their future as a global citizens, and we think taking a deep dive into a project with real-world application is far more valuable than exams,” he said.
“The projects are a great way for students to apply everything they have learned to real-world situations and solve legitimate business challenges.”
Ducere has built relationships with some of the biggest and most successful companies in the world to ensure students work on projects of real significance. Industry partners include Qantas, Disney, LinkedIn, The Salvation Army and Save the Children.
Each project typically lasts for four months and involves the industry partner treating MBA students like practising business consultants who have been called in to help address a challenge the company may be facing.
After a request for service and a project brief is made, the students and supervising academic sit down to meet with partner to discuss goals, outcomes and communication, before getting to work.
Joshua said the Komatsu project team exceeded all his expectations and the report produced was a critical component of the market entry strategy.
“They massively overdelivered, and I hope their experience was just as valuable for them as it was for us,” he said.