This week, the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business kicks off its annual Multidisciplinary Action Projects (MAP) program, which embeds teams of students into a company or nonprofit to enhance their leadership skills and apply concepts from the classroom to real life business challenges.
Now in its 25th year, the entire class of 400 first-year full-time MBA students will embark on a seven-week project, spending time in the field and traveling to meet with executives on-site to tackle complex problems or uncover new opportunities for their sponsor organization. MAP student teams undertake a variety of projects, including evaluating market entry opportunities, developing long-term strategic plans and analyzing branding efforts.
To celebrate this important milestone in hands-on learning, the team at Michigan Ross has come up with a list of 25 things that make the MAP course unique and impactful learning experience.
- MAP is the longest such hands-on learning program, sending our entire class of first-year MBAs out into the field for seven weeks during the winter semester.
- It’s also one of the biggest.
- This year, students will be working on 83 simultaneous projects, while working with 74 different companies and organizations.
- These projects are with some of the biggest, most influential companies on the planet(Amazon, Google, Microsoft);
- with some of the most impactful nonprofits (Make-a-Wish, CARE International, Ocean Conservancy);
- and with some of the most promising startups (Vayu, Jeevtronics, VerseAI).
- Students will work hand-in-hand with the organization’s executives, gaining firsthand insights into business operations and expanding their networks.
- Companies often implement student suggestions, giving our MBAs incredible new resume credentials.
- And setting them up for success on day one of their summer internship.
- MAP is a unique opportunity to explore the global world of business in an entirely immersive way.
- Nearly 70-percent of MAP students will be participating in a project outside of their home country this year.
- Projects are taking place in 115 cities and 25 countries around the globe.
- There will be teams of Michigan Ross MBAs on almost every continent.
- Projects are taking place in six countries in Africa (Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania);
- in seven countries in Asia (Cambodia, China, India, Israel, Japan, Nepal, Vietnam);
- in four countries in Europe (Finland, Germany, Ireland, United Kingdom);
- in four countries in South America (Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Peru);
- and in four countries in North America (Canada, USA, Mexico, Jamaica).
- This is the first time MAP students will be working in Nepal. They will be helping a company there develop financial models that can end the use of slave labor in the brick industry.
- MAP projects give students a chance to choose which industry they want to experience.
- From finance and technology to healthcare and marketing, many students choose to work in an entirely new industry than their previous job in order to build important new skills.
- MAP has already impacted an entire generation of business leaders.
- In 25 years, 10,852 Full-Time MBA Ross students have participated in MAP.
- They’ve worked with 1,391 sponsor companies, helping them solve some of their most pressing challenges.
- And the best part is, MAP is just getting started.
Although initially associated exclusively with the Ross Full-Time MBA Program, in recent years MAP has expanded to include other Ross degree programs. Global, Weekend, Evening, and Executive MBA students participate in projects similar in scope to the Full-Time cohort.
Highlights of this year’s Full-Time MBA Ross MAP projects include:
- A project with Java House, a chain of 44 coffee shops throughout Africa, where students will be working to provide a roadmap to help the company successfully enter the Tanzanian market.
- A project with luxury brand, Shinola, where students will assist the company in developing new product categories.
- A strategy project with GE Power in India, where students will help develop a framework for bringing new products and services to emerging markets.
- Nineteen different technology projects, including one with Hotels.com, in which students will be developing a portal for sharing consumer research, and one with Microsoft, where students will investigate collaborations between universities and tech companies.
- Several healthcare projects, including one with Jeevetronics, a medical device startup in India asking students to help them bring it’s affordable, innovative hand-cranked defibrillator to new markets.
For the next seven weeks, Ross students will be sharing their experiences on Instagram using the tag #RossMAP. The school encourages anyone interested to follow along and see the MAP experience through their eyes by following @MichiganRoss.