MBA students called on for fresh new ideas as The Source Academy celebrates 20 years

Find out how five students from the triple accredited Sheffield Management School addressed a challenge from a leading Sheffield training academy.

Sheffield MBA students are stood with the CEO of The Source
imran Malik, Alankrith Shankar, Felix Timoty, Shivani Mudey, Natalie Doherty The Source Deputy Chief Exec, The Source CEO Tricia Smith, Nilanjan B

As it celebrates 20 years of getting young people into work, leading Sheffield training academy The Source has challenged five international students at the elite Sheffield University Management School to reshape its marketing strategy and strengthen the brand of the charity.

Shivani Mudey, Simran Malik, Nilanjan B and Alankrith Shankar, who all hail from India, and Felix Timoty from Indonesia, have spent three months working on the marketing appraisal as part of their year-long Master of Business Administration (MBA) course.

The MBA  programme, which has been running since 1995 and attracts talented students from all over the world, places experiential learning at its core.  

Over 100 live challenges set by local companies are worked on each year by MBA and other Masters students at the university. They enable students to test their skills and learning in the corporate world, while giving South Yorkshire businesses the opportunity to benefit from young minds being taught the latest business thinking.

Postgraduates Shivani, Simran, Nilanjan, Alankrith and Felix analysed all aspects of The Source’s marketing activities. Their evaluations and recommendations have now been presented to the management team at The Source.

Said CEO Tricia Smith: “Our organisation has transformed the lives of over 10,000 people since launching in 2003, but keeping abreast of new ways of reaching more learners and businesses is paramount to our future success.

“Our academy is all about harnessing and developing the skills of young people and we know first-hand what huge benefits businesses gain when they welcome in keen young minds and embrace their ideas.

“The employers we work with constantly tell us about the fresh ideas and new ways of working the apprentices and trainees we tutor come up with.

“The Sheffield MBA’s Marketing Challenge was an unmissable opportunity for us to benefit in the same way, while also helping its students put what they have learned into practice. We are now looking closely at the new ideas and directions the students proposed.”

Project team leader Alankrith Shankar, an educational games designer from Mumbai, hopes an MBA qualification will boost his managerial prospects in the e-learning and game-based learning industry. 

He commented: “The Source’s marketing strategy has to engage with two customer groups - learners and local businesses. We identified the challenges in engaging and attracting young audiences and hope our proposals help communicate the fantastic platform an apprenticeship programme via The Source offers to young people in South Yorkshire.”

Dr Sabrina Thornton, MBA Programme Director, leading on the Marketing Consultancy Challenge, said: “The Sheffield MBA, as well as Sheffield University Management School, is in the global elite, thanks to our Triple Crown accreditation from AACSB, AMBA and EQUIS.

“Our MBA programme is designed to meet each individual’s development needs and career aspirations, as well as to empower students to apply their learning to live organisational challenges. Through our ‘Challenge’ modules, such as the Marketing Consultancy Challenge and the Internationalisation Challenge, students work with local and international companies in and around Sheffield on a particular issue and find possible solutions. Our MBA students have produced excellent work that helps organisations in their problem solving and decision-making.

“Our business community and beyond benefits from our MBA students' fresh ideas and enthusiasm as well as the latest management thinking and practice, which they have learnt on their MBA journey.”

Companies interested in working with Management School students should contact Rhoda Watson, Business Partnerships Manager, at