About the Ivey Field Project (IFP)
The HBA/MBA Ivey Field Project (IFP) provides companies with assistance on their strategic issues while giving students a real experience.
As part of Ivey's core curriculum, 6 students per team partner with a company to study an enterprise issue, problem or opportunity. Supervised by a member of the Ivey faculty and mentored by a seasoned executive, IFP allows companies to receive professional consulting services from students with a variety of business skill sets.
Information For Potential Clients
The Ivey Field Project is the largest and longest-running field program of its kind in Canada. Since the early 1950s students from the Ivey Business School have consulted to more than 4,000 companies around the world.
As part of Ivey's core requirements, over 90 teams of 6 students per team work with their client organization to study a cross-enterprise issue, problem or opportunity of operational, organizational or strategic significance to their business. Students apply and integrate the knowledge and skills acquired throughout their Ivey program to further develop their analytical, team and project management skills.
Each team is assigned a faculty supervisor and an Executive-in-Residence (EIR/Mentor) and has access to multidisciplinary faculty members to both guide and evaluate their projects. At the conclusion of the study, students thoroughly understand the company and its industry and provide a final report to the organization's senior management team with their research findings and recommendations for senior management on how to address the challenge involved.
The IFP has two primary goals:
- to assist companies and organizations with issues/opportunities of real significance
- to provide students with an exceptional cross-enterprise learning experience
The IFP helps students develop global business capabilities by allowing them to move beyond the business knowledge they acquire in the classroom and work with real managers/executives facing real problems in real time. It also allows students to grapple with a real problem or opportunity and integrate business disciplines turning their ideas into actionable recommendations.
Through the IFP, companies receive professional consulting services from students with a variety of business skill sets. Ivey is one of the best business schools in the world, and Ivey students learn the latest tools, techniques and theories. The IFP requires them to apply what they have learnt to a real world situation. Student teams receive the support and supervision of top industry experts (Ivey faculty and Executives-in-Residence). This program is a high priority at Ivey. Companies are treated with the utmost professionalism and students receive immediate and constant assistance with their projects.
The IFP includes two streams, the Client-based Project and the New Venture Project made available to Masters (MBA) and Undergraduate (HBA2) business students at Ivey. The client-based project is designed for established organizations with a problem or opportunity they want help addressing. The new venture stream is intended for entrepreneurs with a business start-up.
- Obtain a fresh, unbiased look at a significant business issue, strategic opportunity, operational problem or organizational challenge
- Work with a highly motivated and intelligent team of Ivey business students
- Receive a professional consulting report supervised by world-class faculty and excellent mentors
- Gain exposure to the latest business ideas, tools, techniques and theories applicable to the company’s situation
- Gain access to an experienced Executives-in-Residence
- Evaluate several students' strategic abilities first-hand to determine whether they would eventually add value to your company as future employees
- Partner with Ivey in the hands-on education of future business leaders
Each client application will be assessed on the following criteria:
- The scope of study represents an issue or opportunity with significance for the success of company and organization-wide implications. Examples would include a study of several new markets/products/services for expansion, looking at a potential acquisition and/or post-acquisition integration; need to review and reassess the enterprise’s strategy, etc.
- The client is willing to invest in the project; spend time with students, share sensitive financial information, and reimburse students for direct costs associated with the project: travel, supplies, and other related few expenses. (Students cannot be compensated for their work on this project.)
- The project fits the timeline of the IFP program.
Both students and administration treat all information, research, and analyses completed during the course of the IFP as strictly confidential. No information will be used for any purpose beyond the scope of the specified project without written permission from the client. At the client’s request, each student, faculty member, and executive in residence will provide a non-disclosure agreement (NDA).
The IFP is a professional consulting relationship and requires access to sensitive company information. Of all the factors involved in the IFP, none is more important than the strict observance of the promise to the client that all information be handled on a "100-percent confidential" basis. No member of any group shall reveal to anyone outside their group, except their faculty supervisor and mentor, anything reported to them by the client company. Any deviation from the strict maintenance of the highest possible code of professional behavior in this regard reflects upon the integrity and discretion of the individual, their group, their class and the School. The IFP office and the Ivey Business School consider this matter to be of such importance that any student or group violating this understanding will be failed.
Part of the IFP experience is the availability and use of mentors for each student team. EIRs are experienced volunteers from the business community. They are proven leaders in their professional and personal lives who wish to help the School and Ivey students. The EIRs are screened and selected through a rigorous process and trained on the IFP and their roles in the process.
EIRs operate under the same standards of confidentiality as the School and the students. The IFP office matches EIRs with teams and projects to prevent any conflict of interest situations from arising. Clients can be made aware of the team EIR, if desired to ensure there is no conflict of interest.
The EIR aids the student teams by offering them a resource to guide them through their project. The EIR does not take an active role in determining any policy or recommendations, but questions the students on their assumptions, methodologies, analysis and "plan for action." They help ensure what the IFP teams recommend is practical and can be implemented. They also review deliverables prior to presentation to the clients. The quality of work and final deliverables has proven to be much higher for teams that have effectively used their EIR.
- Meet with client and determine the scope of the project. Establish realistic expectations.
- Prepare scope document and submit it for review by Faculty supervisor and EIR. Review finalized scope document with client.
- Develop a work plan and identify deliverables addressing the Cross-Enterprise Leadership challenge client companies.
- Collect data, prepare and present an industry analysis and company size-up. Frame the Cross- Enterprise Leadership challenge.
- Prepare recommendations addressing issue(s) identified in scope document.
- Submit written report to faculty supervisor and EIR.
- Deliver final oral presentation to faculty supervisor and EIR.
- Submit and present final written report and recommendations to client.
- Obtain client letter from client that final project was received.
- Strengthen critical thinking and analytical skills
- Develop project management skills
- Improve data collection abilities
- Develop outstanding teamwork skills
- Develop consultancy skills
- Strengthen communication skills
- Enhance ability to solve business problems from a multidisciplinary perspective
- Utilize knowledge acquired in first year core courses
Companies or individuals wanting to participate in the HBA/MBA IFP to partner with a student team are invited to complete our online application. Timelines can be found listed on the home page sidebar.
Potential clients are encouraged to apply at least four to eight weeks in advance. Suitable projects will be made available to teams for selection on a first-come, first-served basis. Prospective client companies will be contacted within seven to ten business days after completing the online application (receiving their confirmation message).