Ideas with Impact
UNB Faculty of Management

Real-World Project with Non-Profit Ignites a Passion for Strategic Planning

Author: Jane Landry

Posted on Feb 4, 2020

Category: Students , Programs

Last term, students in the fourth-year BBA Strategic Management course in UNB’s Faculty of Management put on their consulting hats to offer strategy recommendations to a local non-profit organization. After completing an in-depth SWOT analysis for the New Brunswick Association for Community Living (NBACL), they provided insights and strategic actions to strengthen a crucial revenue generating program.

NBACL works on behalf of children and adults with an intellectual disability and their families. They were introduced to the Faculty by UNB’s Experiential Learning Office and FutureReadyNB. Students were tasked to review the operations of NBACL’s community collections program and then make recommendations on how to improve the operation.

Strategic Management is the capstone course of the BBA program. Applying knowledge learned in the classroom and throughout their entire business degree, students worked together to brainstorm ways to overcome a problem NBACL was facing.

Mike Mazerolle, NBACL’s Operations and Business Development Manager, presented the challenge to students at the beginning of term and visited again half-way through to provide feedback on their ideas.

Students frequently apply their learning to analyze business cases, but with this project, noted fourth-year student Alexis Grant, “working directly with an organization meant we were able to receive valuable feedback, understand some of the constraints NBACL works with, and then refine our strategy from an initial pitch to a final report.”.

All the teams presented their recommendations to Mazerolle in December and the winning team in each of the two classes presented him with a $250 cheque from the Faculty of Management (a total of $500) to take back to NBACL.

“The information and the time saved using the students to assist NBACL has been extremely beneficial to our association,” said Mazerolle.  “It has been refreshing to hear the new ideas, approaches and feedback from the students, which in turn were used to help NBACL grow.  It’s impressive to see the students use what they are taught in a hands-on environment with real-life impact.”

Students said this experiential learning component was meaningful and enhanced their understanding of business concepts and applications. “This project allowed us to test our problem-solving skills’” said Grant. “Getting a taste of how things work in real life allowed me to discover a passion for business strategy I wouldn’t have otherwise.” 

The faculty is in the process of unfolding its Vision 2025 which incorporates experiential learning into all four years of the BBA program. All students will finish their program by applying their business knowledge and skills to help an organization with a challenge.

If your organization is interested in working on a project with students in our strategic management course, contact our Experiential Learning Coordinator, Darcy Crowe, at