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Why Babson’s MCFE Program? Master of Science in Finance Students Answer

The Management Consulting Field Experience (MCFE) elective course is designed to link the business and investment community with Babson College students through a consulting team project. Graduate Students work in teams of three to five people, supported by a faculty advisor with the objective of examining an actual business or investment situation. The team projects cover 14 weeks during the fall semester and 7 weeks during the spring semester. At the conclusion of the project, the MCFE team’s findings and recommendations are presented to the sponsoring company in a detailed, written report and oral presentation.

Below are some insights from Dana Rakhimzhanova, Domonik Witkowski, and Kretika Gupta, a MCFE group of Master of Science in Finance (MSF) students consulting for a life science and healthcare company on a strategy/ business planning and forecasting project in their Fall semester:

MCFE Team of MSF students (L to R: Cody Chan, Domonik Witkowski, Aishwarya Chaturvedi, Dana Rakhimzhanova, Sarah Nakangu)

What made you choose to pursue the MCFE elective course?

To begin with a MCFE course is the perfect solution for someone who wishes to enter the consulting field and has not had previous experience with consulting work. It allows us, a group of graduate students, to act as consultants solving real problems for a selected client. This has numerous advantages, starting with learning how to interact professionally with clients, working with little oversight thus granting us a large dose of independence in how we want to proceed with the project, and providing a completely different experience than a traditional class. Every person taking a MCFE must understand that it is significantly different than a regular class, as there are no set dates for classes, we meet as a group to work on a project and meet with our faculty advisor to discuss concerns and relate our progress. Thus a MCFE grants far more freedom than a regular class would in terms of flexibility, but it does not mean that there is less work.

What’s a typical day like in the MCFE elective?

MCFE work days vary on our client’s needs. We generally schedule large time blocks to work on the project. Some days we work up to 6 hours on the project, others we work 2-3 hours when we have to polish up the presentation or finish up little details. We often start our meetings by doing a quick recap of what we have done last week, and what everyone’s individual research has been based since our last meeting. We update each other on important findings and on any communications we have received either from the client or our advising professor. We have a timeline that we created in the beginning of the semester that helps us stay on track and know what deliverables we have to submit and at what pace we should progress. Every meeting we try to establish goals and what we want to achieve by the end of it. Once goals have been established, we dive into our individual research and try to help each other out along the way by asking questions and guiding each other in the right direction. When it comes to more complicated tasks, such as building financial models, we try to work on it altogether, as it is important to have everyone’s input. We usually finish our meetings by sending a wrap up email to our advising professor, updating him on our progress. We set up objectives for our next meeting and also create a guideline for what needs to be accomplished until then.

MSF Students presenting their solutions to their MCFE partner organization

What has been the highlight of your MCFE experience so far?

The highlight of our experience so far has been the visit to company we are consulting for. We were advised by our professor to reach out to our client and see their actual manufacturing facility rather than just visiting their financial office in Boston. Our experience travelling to this site in the Berkshires was not only very enlightening, but also very fun. Seeing medical manufacturing process in action was a wonderful experience, as we got to learn so much. For example, we had no idea how important some plastic pieces and components could be for a surgical procedure. Seeing the Clean Rooms operations we got to learn about the actual process of how these components are being created. Overall, it was a regarding experience that helped us not only to understand the project better, but also broadened our personal understanding of medical manufacturing process.

Moreover, it was an amazing bonding experience for our team as we got to embark on a 2 hour road trip filled with fun stories in good company.