Students’ Splash Project: one of most transformative endeavours so far 

5 Jul 2023


In May 2023 we delivered an ‘Immersion Experience Splash Project’ with 66 Imperial College Master’s in Management students.

In one day the students built a football pitch, an outdoor stage and a sheltered seating area for the Vitor Reis Morais Foundation which supports vulnerable families at the site of its Horta da Areia Community Center on the outskirts of Faro, Portugal. 

The objective was the delivery of much-needed infrastructure to promote social cohesion among this marginalised community while honing effective collaborative working skills.  

The students received a motivational talk from Splash Project Manager Lloyd Comer, a former Royal Engineer who was one of the last British citizens to be evacuated from Kabul, where he was working as a project manager, when the Taliban took over in August 2021.  

The future business leaders also took on a Strategic Challenge whereby the students used their business knowledge and skills to support three charities and three businesses to overcome specific logistical, administrative or operational challenges.  

Reflecting on the experience, Sarah Wilsey, Assistant Director at Imperial College, explains the impact of a Splash Project on her students… 

Transformative experience 

“This was an extraordinary learning experience for our students.  

“The community build project in Faro has undoubtedly been one of the most transformative endeavours our students have encountered during their MSc International Management programme this year.


“Throughout the duration of the programme, students have engaged in various academic projects, but this initiative provided them with a unique opportunity to apply and enhance their teamwork skills in an entirely different setting.

“Witnessing the remarkable accomplishments our students were able to achieve within a limited timeframe, through their collective efforts in a positive and collaborative environment, was truly inspiring. 

“The sense of pride they derived from making a lasting contribution to the community, an accomplishment that will be valued for years to come, was immeasurable.

“This experience not only fostered their personal and professional growth but also exemplified the immense value of collaborative work in achieving impactful outcomes.

Strategic management

“The strategic challenges during the project prompted our students to reflect upon the realities of conducting business in an unfamiliar environment, where they encountered resource constraints that may not have previously been within their purview. 

“In the short term, this immersive experience fostered a sense of cohesion among the entire student cohort.

Experiential social impact 

“We made a deliberate choice to integrate a Splash Project into our programme as we recognised the pivotal role it plays in instilling a profound understanding of social impact among our students, ensuring they carry a sense of responsibility into their future careers within the corporate realm. 

“Furthermore, this experience provides an ideal platform for students to apply their teamworking abilities within an entirely distinct context, thereby emphasising the significance of collaboration, time management, adaptability, and resilience.

“The guest speaker’s delivery of an exceptionally impactful and personal narrative demonstrated how a cohesive and united team can triumph over adversity, even in the most extreme circumstances.  

 Lasting legacy

“Throughout the day, everyone worked incredibly hard, culminating in the creation of something visually striking that was genuinely appreciated by the local community.  

“Looking ahead, we hope that these memories will remain cherished by our students throughout their careers and serve as a reminder of the imperative to consider other members of society who lack similar opportunities to those they have been afforded.” 


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