BCG Case Challenge
The BCG Case Challenge is a consulting project designed by BCG to solve a specific NGO's problem, in which Nova SBE students work alongside BCG and the clients' teams to develop concepts, analyses, and recommendations. This challenge allows 3rd year Bachelor’s students to interact directly with BCG consultants while working and supporting a social cause.
In 2019/2020, the chosen non-profit organization was Teach for Portugal, whose mission is to reduce educational inequality and give children from the most disadvantaged backgrounds the opportunity to reach their full potential.
We’ve asked the Teach for Portugal, two participant students, and BCG to reflect on the impact of this experience for each.
"When the private and social sectors and academia join forces, as it happens with the BCG Case Challenge, there’s a phenomenal added value for everyone involved. The private sector contributed with its know-how to professionalize the sector while “training” students. Students learn about the private sector structure and simulate real cases, whereas the social sector acquires the strength of new ideas, creativity, and motivation that helps leverage its work. When synergies are organized this way, the result is extraordinary! Teach For Portugal has already used several of the ideas that have emerged from partnerships with the technological sector to create value for both parties."
Pedro Almeida, CEO at Teach for Portugal
“I participated in the BCG Case Challenge 2020 and it was a very enriching experience: I was able to learn a lot and to develop many of my competences through a real management experience! My team and I had weekly meetings with BCG consultants which was the perfect opportunity to get valuable insights into what the consulting world is, as well as what are the skills and attitudes needed to excel in this industry. We had the opportunity of understanding how BCG consultants solve and approach problems and how they structure their thoughts during a project. Moreover, we participated in three Steering Committees in which we received feedback from BCG partners on how to improve our project. I felt these Steering Committees were a reliable simulation of the presentations consultants need to prepare on a daily basis. Hence, having the opportunity to have such real experience was one of the best points of the BCG Case Challenge. All in all, the possibility of dealing directly with a client and working on a real problem was definitely an effective way of learning and opening my mind to new & innovative problem solving approaches.”
Carolina Lopes Pereira, Student
“My experience at the BCG Case Challenge was an exhilarating insight into the job of a consultant at BCG. The team was faced with a complex problem but managed to break it into multiple but realizable objectives thanks to the continuous classes and support of the BCG team. The multiple stages of the project involved lots of research that then needed to be strategically implemented into the team’s story, just as in any other BCG project. The presentation that was made to the client also taught us how to communicate effectively to a client, ensuring that the message is transmitted in a concise and structured way. But the best part comes with the fact that all these learning opportunities come while you are supporting a Portuguese NGO in its mission. Highly recommend!”
Cristóvão Cunha, Student
"The BCG Case Challenge mirrors BCG's purpose to be a force that drives change by offering solutions to complex problems that allow our clients and partners to reach their full potential. In that sense, the opportunity for BCG Associates and Consultants to support Nova SBE teams in a project with a Portuguese NGO is highly stimulating and an incredible opportunity for three reasons. These are:
- To have a real impact in an organization that faces specific challenges and difficulties;
- To support the development and preparation of Nova SBE students for the job market;
- Have them play a different role with which they will coordinate and guide a project team.
Throughout the various editions of the BCG Case Challenge, we have seen that it is a challenging project for all participants without exception and that the partner organization values the result, and the experience is enriching for both students and BCG consultants".
Luís Figueiredo, BCG Lisbon Team