Published: 07 December 2015

Surrey MBA students take on the ‘Barclays Challenge’

As part of the Innovation Management and Design Thinking module, full-time Surrey MBA students completed an intensive consultancy project for Barclays UK, spending time at their HQ in Canary Wharf, London and presenting “some great new insights” and creative solutions to the challenges of Global Structural Reform.

With new reforms and regulations, growing customer expectations and the constantly evolving technological landscape, financial institutions such as Barclays are under increasing pressure to remain competitive and adapt to the agile environment in which they work. To help bring a fresh perspective and new ideas to their structural reform programme Barclays UK enlisted our full-time Surrey MBA cohort for help.

Spending day 1 of the week-long challenge at Canary Wharf, our students received a unique insight from the Barclays team on the organisation’s strategic priorities, market pressures and the agile practices and innovation management approaches  implemented as a result.

Day 2 saw our MBA team return to Surrey Business School, working in groups of eight to engage in creative problem-solving and develop the recommendations for Barclays. Following an intensive week of research and group collaboration, supported by module leader Professor Alan Brown, Associate Dean of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, the students returned to Canary Wharf at the end of the week to deliver their 15-minute presentations.

Representatives from Barclays Structural Reform Programme said the Surrey teams effectively managed to “bring together several ideas to offer different perspectives” and “made us rethink some of our approaches”.

Could your business or company benefit from becoming part of our programme? It’s an invaluable opportunity to pose a business problem and get fresh thinking from our MBA candidates, most of whom have at least five years’ management experience already under their belts. Christine Rivers at


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