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Sponsor Projects: How it Works

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The GSM Director of Corporate Relations will work closely with sponsor companies to identify specific project opportunities based on the sponsor’s needs and requirements. 

Our approach is to encourage constructive collaboration between the sponsor and the GSM teams to address a clear and specific challenge or explore a distinct business opportunity.

A Hand-Picked Team is Assembled

Once approved by the executive engagement team, the project is assigned to a team of MBA students whose strengths and interests match the scope and need of the effort.  Projects typically involve areas such strategic planning, operational analysis, market opportunity assessment, and organizational effectiveness, but vary based on the specific sponsor situation.

Discovery, Analysis & Conclusions

A typical project lasts 10 weeks, and is split in two phases, the first focused on research and discovery, and the second on analysis, conclusions, and the results presentation.  The student team meets regularly with the corporate sponsor and works under the guidance of a faculty advisor, meeting at least once a week to track progress. The advisor plays a critical role as a sounding board for the students’ ideas and conclusions.

Comprehensive Final Report

A written interim report is provided to the sponsor at the mid-way point; a final report and oral presentation of the team’s findings are presented at the project’s conclusion.

Critical to the success of any engagement is a commitment by the sponsor to devote the necessary time and resources to the project, and to provide the internal information necessary for the teams to understand and address the opportunity.  All confidential information is protected by a nondisclosure agreement.  Participation in the program is contingent upon a qualifying donation, which allows sponsor companies membership into the GSM’s Business Partnership Program.



Interested in Working with Us?
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Thank you for your interest in the MBA Consulting Center.  We’re excited to work with you and learn more about your project. Please use the form below to contact the Director with questions or details regarding what you’re looking for. We look forward to hearing from you.


“The Experience and Knowledge that we Gained was Immensely Valuable.”
Team UCSF Talks About Launching a Health Program for UCSF

First off, what an amazing project!  This was a real world problem beyond that of costs and revenue.  We used our MBA expertise to assist in launching a health program at UCSF, a world-renowned prestigious health institution. It was rewarding to know that our efforts would ultimately impact the lives of patients that suffer traumatic brain injuries and concussions in the greater SF Bay Area and beyond.

Looking back at the project and the road we had come from the last 10 weeks, it’s easy to see why the GSM implemented the IMPACT curriculum.  The experience and knowledge that we gained was immensely valuable. The nature of the client company and its industry presented a unique and complex set of challenges for the team.  It took a great deal of communications and coordination between the team, Marc, physicians, trainers, and directors.  It was a privilege of ours to work with professionals who are amongst leaders of their fields.  We believe that what really made this project successful was the great relationship we had with each stakeholder and their willingness to collaborate with us.

Naturally, there were ups and downs in the project; in the beginning it seemed like a daunting project with nothing more than the end goal and loose pieces.  Our team of six started out as strangers with different backgrounds, and ended up as one voice speaking the language of healthcare consultants in front of medical professionals.  Together, we figured out the pieces.  Together, we solved the puzzle. 

Once again, thanks to everybody for the opportunity to be a part of this and to represent what it means to be a UC Davis GSM student!

- Team UCSF – Quentin, Manny, Ernie, Sibi, Joanie, and Lily – Summer 2012


“It is not a stretch to say it galvanized all of the working knowledge we have gained from the MBA program so far.”
The SIMS student team speaks about their experience working on this Integrated Management Project for SIMS Recycling Solutions

The experience of working with a team on a UC Davis GSM Integrated Management Project was invaluable.  It is not a stretch to say it galvanized all of the working knowledge we have gained from the MBA program so far. The initial scope of the project started as one thing, but it did evolve.  Our client’s original starting point depended on the integration of a newly acquired division.  That alone demonstrates how “real-world” the experience truly was.  A client’s own internal priorities can change depending on many factors.

While ours was a very research-laden and data-driven assignment, our GSM faculty leadership helped us to rise above the fray.  We translated our new-found expertise into valuable insights.  Though we had not worked together before, our team found a rhythm that empowered each member to contribute according to his or her individual strengths.  In the end, the caliber of our final product was easily as high if not higher than one would expect from an industry-specific consultant. It was a rigorous exercise, but a fantastic experience with many lessons that will help as we navigate our own careers after graduation.

- Sims Recycling Team – Sukhanya Rajan, Vickie Sherman, Sandeep Deshpande, Pria Kamal, Nathan Lubetkin


“Valuable Lessons not only from a Business Perspective, but also from a Teamwork and Leadership Perspective”
The IMPACT student team speaks about their time working with Nephosity

Working in the consulting project for startup Nephosity left us with very valuable lessons not only from a business perspective, but also from a teamwork and leadership perspective.

Learning about an industry new to most of us was like drinking from the fire hose. We knew there was no way we were going to become experts in the medical imaging industry in such a short period of time, but with the power of our “collective brain” we certainly learnt enough to be “dangerous”. As a result, we were able to provide Nephosity with a business model recommendation and a 5 year growth plan for the startup.

Professor Lowe’s high standards of excellence set a high bar for our team to meet. It was clear that priority one was to meet our client’s business needs and expectations.

Figuring out the market size, how the startup could generate revenue and go to market, estimating costs and determining the investment needed to grow the company into a profitable business, plus keeping our client informed on project status and incorporating his feedback as more information became available was not an easy job.

Some of the things we learnt from the experience were the importance of having clear goals and expectations, open communication and overcoming the challenges of forming a geographically disperse team. Willingness to change directions based on feedback, dedication and collaboration from every team member, and determination to succeed motivated us to pass through the raging waves and to generate the final deliverables.

- Team Nephosity – Chinmay Sheth, Tim Murray, Graciela Casebeer, Erich Olson, Cliff McEnery, Marc Lowe, Shamson Wong


Joe DiNunzio
Lecturer, Winter 2015

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Teaching Field: New Product Development, Corporate Social Responsibility, Consulting

Joe DiNunzio is a faculty advisor for the MBA Consulting Center, helping to cast and guide the student teams working with sponsor clients. He has twenty-five years of creative, technical and business leadership experience, both as a management consultant and as a hands-on operating executive.

Gallagher Hall
Room 3415
(530) 752-2924 Fax