Michigan Ross Introduces REAL Experiential Learning Platform

Michigan Ross MBAThe University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business has launched a brand-new concept in experiential learning called Ross Experiences in Action-Based Learning — REAL.

According to an announcement accompanying the launch, “REAL is a unifying concept that brings together the curricular and co-curricular opportunities that Michigan Ross students have now, and will have in the future, to start, advise, lead, and invest in real-world businesses.”

The four pillars of this initiative are:

REAL Start: Students develop a new business based on an original idea with the intent of achieving economic viability.

Michigan Ross students have the opportunity to take courses that have them developing real businesses as part of the curriculum, as well as co-curricular opportunities to develop their ideas can also lead to deeper mentoring, stronger business plan development, and large amounts of extra funding — the Michigan Business Challenge had its largest prize pool ever available for student startups this year.

REAL Advise: Student teams consult with a real-world organization on a pressing issue of strategic importance, providing substantive analysis and recommendations.

MAP remains the most immersive action-based program of it’s kind for full-time MBA students, sending the entire class of first-year students to work directly with an organization on solving a real business challenge.

This spring, Full-Time MBA students on MAP are partnering with more than 70 companies including  Facebook, Microsoft, Experian, Kraft, Google, and many more.

REAL Invest: Students manage seven focused investment funds, totaling more than $10 million in assets, in all aspects of their operations.

From early stage funds to funds that invest in more mature companies who are already making a profit, there are a diversity of experiences available to students interested in venture capital and fund management.

REAL Lead: In some of the newest REAL experiences available to Ross students, they assume functional responsibility for leading and operating an ongoing business concern, working with established corporate partners.

The Living Business Leadership Experience class, which kicked off last year, has students join teams working with companies like Shinola and Ford Smart Mobility. Read about how the teams working with Shinola this past semester were responsible for launching the company’s first ever line of headphones, in a recent post from one of the students responsible.

“I’m incredibly excited about the progress we’ve already made and the direction we’re heading,” said Scott DeRue, Edward J Frey Dean of Michigan Ross. “REAL represents the most comprehensive and effective experiential learning platform in business education, and it’s just getting started.”

You can learn more about Ross Experiences in Action-Based Learning courses and co-curricular opportunities here.

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