ANN ARBOR, Mich.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business today unveiled details of its annual Multidisciplinary Action Projects (MAP), one of the most intense and immersive action-based learning experiences in graduate business education. The Ross MAP program brings teams of students together to tackle pressing challenges for sponsor organizations across the world. The MAP program pushes students to enhance their leadership skills, master group dynamics and apply concepts from the classroom to real challenges. Kicking off this month, students will participate in 85 projects, many of them international. 65 percent of full-time MBA students are working on projects outside of their home country this year.
Each year, more than 440 students participate in the MAP program where they embark on projects over several weeks or months, spending time in the field and traveling to meet with executives on-site to tackle complex business challenges or uncover new opportunities for a company or nonprofit. Students apply academic concepts, problem-solving skills, and creativity to frame and resolve that challenge. At the conclusion of the project, teams deliver analysis and thorough, data-driven recommendations to the sponsor and Ross faculty in a formal presentation and written report. At the heart of MAP is a mutually beneficial collaboration between students, faculty and sponsor organizations wherein students expand their skills and develop their leadership abilities while sponsors get usable recommendations from strong business minds.
MAP teams tackle a variety of challenges including developing long-term strategic plans, evaluating a company’s branding efforts, determining global market entry opportunities and streamlining manufacturing facility operations. Throughout the MAP experience, students hone crucial abilities to think independently, function without sufficient data, change their minds in midstream, negotiate and continually reflect and inquire. These are all skills that students will need to possess as they enter the business world, and employers are searching for in candidates.
“As an alumnus of Michigan Ross, I know firsthand that the MAP program is unique. I’ve looked at other universities but they don’t take strides to adapt students to the real-world business climate quite like Ross does,” said Scott Nisbet, general manager for Woodward. “Sponsoring a MAP at Michigan Ross is a win-win for all parties involved. Students sharpen their leadership and critical thinking skills, and we get a fresh perspective and usable insights on our business.”
The MAP program is one of the world’s most extensive and intensive programs that embody action-based learning. Since 1991, 9,588 students have worked on 1,845 projects in 93 countries with 1,292 sponsor companies. Sponsor organizations include major corporations, startups and nonprofits across the U.S. and around the world, spanning several sectors including healthcare, banking, real estate and consumer packaged goods. The MAP program is an integral part of Ross’ MBA programs, which include its full-time MBA, Global MBA, Executive MBA, Weekend MBA and Evening MBA offerings.
“Our students see MAP as a true differentiator, both for Michigan Ross and for their competitiveness in the job market,” said Alison Davis-Blake, dean of the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. “We are the only business school to do action-based learning at this kind of scale, which means that the relationships we’ve built with companies who have sponsored MAP teams for more than 20 years are highly beneficial for our students. It is a win-win situation for the companies and our students and is one of the best examples of ‘learning by doing’ in business education today.”
This year’s MAP program includes the following:
- Projects at the world’s largest social media and tech companies including Facebook, Google and Amazon
- Two sports industry related projects – one with the New York Jets and one with the Miami Dolphins
- General Motors, Brazil – The team will assess how GM could expand a successful customer program into other parts of Latin America
- ITC Limited, India – The team will examine strategies around a milk supply chain
- PepsiCo, New York – A project related to the company’s culture
- Tetra Pak, Nicaragua – A project related to food manufacturing
- The William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan, Jordan – The team will develop recommendations around profitable lending in Jordan’s business sector
Student teams will highlight aspects of their MAP experience on Instagram and Twitter. Follow the action and students' progress at @MichiganRoss, using the hashtag #ROSSMAP.
About Michigan Ross
The Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan is a vibrant and distinctive learning community grounded in the principle that business can be an extraordinary vehicle for positive change in today's dynamic global economy. The Ross School of Business mission is to develop leaders who make a positive difference in the world. Through thought and action, members of the Ross community drive change and innovation that improves business and society.
Ross is consistently ranked among the world's leading business schools. Academic degree programs include the BBA, MBA, Part-time MBA (Evening and Weekend formats), Executive MBA, Global MBA, Master of Accounting, Master of Supply Chain Management, Master of Management, and PhD. In addition, the school delivers open-enrollment and custom executive education programs targeting general management, leadership development, and strategic human resource management.