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“I learned about the structure of consulting for a large company—and about myself and my working style.”
Evaluating route-to-market strategies for Mars, Incorporated

Mars’ Corporate Innovation group looked to the UC Davis MBA team to research existing route-to-market strategies that have been developed by multinationals and regional companies in emerging markets. Specifically, the students evaluated the resources, capabilities and activities required by companies to build successful route-to-market approaches—and made recommendations for Mars. MBA student Charles Temple shares his experience.

The most challenging part of collaborating on the solution for Mars was the coordination of work and people. I’m used to having teams of two to three people with an easy path to the goal. Coordinating a team twice as large—and with an unfamiliar subject—was a feat. I learned a lot from my team about how to break a large project into manageable chunks.

I learned about the structure of consulting for a large company. The deliverables, timeline, getting up to speed, even the verbiage used, were new to me. I learned that I abhor structure and prefer to dive into whatever portion I am the most excited about. In a large team you have a greater chance of getting away with that because others can fill in the gaps. I suppose a little more structure wouldn’t hurt me… much.

I learned a lot about myself and my working style. For large, complex projects, I prefer to focus on one area, immerse myself and become an expert. I also learned that at the beginning of a project, if I can’t instantly think of how to get to the end goal, I get a bit overwhelmed. Finding those that can handle large, complex problems and then define the structure in which to solve them becomes critical to my success in future projects,

Everyone at the School has a gift—I like to call it, their “X-Men Ability.” One of my favorite parts of the Integrated Management Project, and business school in general, has been recognizing that gift in others. It puts a smile on my face every day.