Such a project depends on many components: each partner - students, B lab and companies - must find a benefit. It should not generate too much additional work for the external partners. This requires a lot of upstream preparation on the part of the teacher. The project must be developed very early on, a year in advance, so that the different partners can meet and prepare for the collaboration. It is necessary to gather a lot of information such as how to help them, what their needs are, how to create value for each of the stakeholders. This requires close and regular communication between the partners. It is also important to ensure that companies have the necessary time to devote to the project, regardless of the final outcome. They should not underestimate the time required to manage the teams.
Feedback from B Leaders, B Lab Switzerland and the companies was positive, with some suggestions for how the project could be made even better in the future. The companies in particular were grateful for the project, as it allowed them to get an external assessment of their company, focusing on their social and environmental performance. They mentioned how impressed they were with the students' professionalism, commitment, and the quality of their work and recommendations.
With this project, students acquire interpersonal skills and learn to interact professionally with their colleagues and business contacts. In this project, their contact within the company is often the founder and/or CEO. In some cases, this is the student's 1ère semi-professional interaction with a company. The project allows students to develop and apply interpersonal skills, such as professional communication - via email and in person, meeting planning, agenda setting, conducting a meeting, teamwork, presentation skills, time management and confidentiality.
The teacher points out that the program in which the course is offered is taught in English. It is important to ensure that in each group of students formed, there is at least one member who speaks French, as companies do not always speak English. Students are divided into groups by the teacher to ensure diversity (such as gender and culture) and complementarity of skills (such as language skills and academic background) necessary to complete the project assigned to them.