Manchester Business School

Manchester Business School students plan a route through COVID for The National Museum of Computing in its annual not-for-profit consultancy project

  • MBA Students at Manchester Business School were challenged to create a strategy for helping The National Museum of Computing survive and adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • The project brings students from all over the world to create innovative business strategies for the museum
  • This is the third year the museum has been involved in the consultancy project aimed to give students their first taste of a real-life consultancy project Each year, students are given a different brief by the museum, reflective of their objectives and goals at that time. This year, the brief focused on how to adapt and survive in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Recently, a survey from The Art Newspaper revealed that visitor numbers had dropped by a dramatic 77% across the world’s most famous museums. It is little surprise the museum chose this as the brief for this year’s project as TNMOC’s own visitor numbers took a significant hit.

The National Museum of Computing, Bletchley Park, Thursday 13th May – The National Museum of Computing (TNMOC) has announced its partnership with the Alliance Manchester Business School’s MBA Programme as one of its not-for-profit consultancy project partners. This is the third year of TNMOC’s involvement in the not-for-profit consultancy project, which has been running for over 10 years. It gives business students their first taste of a real-life consultancy project – all for a charitable cause, at no cost to the museum or project partners.

The group of five students spent six months to help the museum find efficient ways to combat the loss of engagement and income as a result of the pandemic. Their ideas included:

  • Improving the museum’s website infrastructure, tackling TNMOC’s online shop and customer experience
  • Increasing engagement with overseas audiences, including schools, museums and expanding deliveries of the online shop to abroad
  • Piloting a new social media engagement strategy
  • Streamlining general operations across the museum Jacqui Garrad, Museum Director at The National Museum of Computing, commented: “ Education is at the heart of all that the museum does – our goal has always been to inspire, educate and engage the next generation. It is partnerships like the one we have with Manchester Business School that help us fulfil this goal, alongside our education programmes and other STEM initiatives. The pandemic meant the team working on TNMOC from the MBA programme have never met in person. This meant the whole project was organised via video conferencing and online collaboration tools with the students facing many of the same challenges of their professional counterparts. “Jacqui and the team at The National Museum of Computing have always been fantastic to work with, giving our students free rein to test out ideas and explore their vision. There’s a real bond between the team and the museum, which is amazing to witness, and they’ve accomplished some incredible things. We can’t wait to see what the students and the museum go on to achieve in the future.”
  • Dawn Holmes, lecturer in Marketing and the academic supervisor of the project at Alliance Manchester Business School, commented: “The not-for-profit consultancy project has always been a very rewarding part of the MBA programme here at Alliance Manchester Business School. Working with charities to help them with marketing operations, create campaigns and innovate – all the while giving our students their first taste of a consultancy project.
  • “The group of students came from all over the world to dedicate their time and ideas to helping the museum succeed, creating real strategies that will help us streamline our operations and stay ahead of the game. We truly value these partnerships. We have always advocated the importance of diverse collaboration, and this project is testament to that. The students came up with ideas beyond their years, bringing tangible benefit to the museum. We can’t wait to see what the students accomplish next.”
  • The team from Alliance Manchester Business School presented ideas that had the potential to generate new revenue ideas, while bringing in fresh and innovative ideas. The museum is hoping to implement worldwide shipping soon to support its fans abroad, as well as continuing the social media strategy which the students piloted.

Please see below for some testimonials from the students partaking in the project, detailing the rewarding experience and how they found working with the museum.

Student Testimonials

Ketan Kulkarni
“I’m Ketan Kulkarni from India, currently an MBA student at Alliance Manchester Business School. I have been working with The National Museum of Computing (TNMOC) as my consultancy project since December 2020. Today, I say proudly and humbly, that this has been way more than an academic project - I learnt about the Museum’s heritage, the rich artefacts, and their significance in the evolution of computing. As I interacted with the Museum’s trustees, employees, guides, and supporters their tremendous passion towards the Museum was quite evident. I learnt something new about codebreaking, technology, virtual talks and events such as guided tours, quizzes every time I went on the Museum’s website for research work. I strongly encourage everyone to take a look at their fantastic offerings - both physical (when the Museum reopens) and virtual! The overall project experience taught me about evidence-based and data-driven consultancy skills and made me more sensitive towards the not-for-profit sector. I now appreciate their contribution to society a lot more than earlier.”

Juni Siregar
"This was our first group project, right at the start of our MBA journey. It's been very challenging especially because we could not visit the museum or meet the staff in person - in fact, we haven't even met in person as a team! Jacqui and James at TNMOC were so generous with their time and knowledge, it's really helped me develop. I already feel more confident about working on live client projects - which is just as well since we're already onto the next one!"

Kavya Singh
"Coming from India I'd never heard of the museum before, and didn't really know what to expect. But the passion and knowledge of everyone we encountered spoke volumes about the culture and heritage. I think the work they do is remarkable and I'm really pleased to have played a role in their continuing success."

About The National Museum of Computing

The National Museum of Computing brings to life the history and ongoing development of computing for the enjoyment and benefit of the general public and specialists. The Museum combines a distinctive approach to engagement with an emphasis on British computing heritage and on-going innovation. TNMOC acquires, conserves, restores and rebuilds historic computing machinery. Our approach is furthered through a process of engagement, with the display and demonstration of historical systems. The Museum runs a highly successful learning programme for schools and colleges and introduces computer coding to young people to help inspire the next generation of computer scientists and engineers. The Museum also runs a popular, on-going program of festivals, lectures and interpreted displays and interactive events.

About Alliance Manchester Business School

Alliance Manchester Business School was established in Manchester in 1965 as one of the UK's first two business schools. Now the UK's largest campus-based business and management school. AMBS is a research-led school, and deliver industry-focused business and management education at all levels.

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