Ross’ signature MAP program challenges MBA students to solve a real-world business issue in an intensive, hands-on project.
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Stephen M. Ross School of Business
University of Michigan
701 Tappan Street, R5342
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1234
If you are interested in sponsoring a project, the first thing to do is develop a project proposal.
What Makes a Good MAP Proposal?
MAP delivers the most value when you have pressing issues with no simple solution. The best projects:
- Require a multidisciplinary approach.
- Have no existing or obvious solution.
- Can be successfully completed in seven weeks.
- Have strong support from senior-level management.
- Demand a set of actionable recommendations.
RESPONSIBILITIES & COSTS
- Provide two dedicated and engaged project liaisons.
- Provide relevant data, which may be proprietary, to the MAP team.
- Arrange for the MAP team to interview key personnel appropriate to the project.
- Provide workspace and appropriate business and communications equipment.
- Pay for all project-related student expenses including travel, airfare, lodging, meals, ground transportation, visa, immunization charges, travel health insurance, and any other expenses pre-approved by you.
Getting Started with MAP
1. Developing a Project Proposal With Us
We’ll work with you to ensure that the proposal meets the objectives of the school as well as your organization.
2. Review and Approval
Ross faculty review all proposals. We’ll get back in touch to provide an update on the status of your project within a month of the proposal deadline.
3. Bidding and Team Formation
MBA students bid to work on approved projects and are assigned, along with faculty mentors, according to their preferences and your stated needs.
Students immerse themselves in your project, traveling and working on site as required.
Making MAP Succeed
Project Planning How to plan a successful project
- Begin early - we’re happy to help.
- Educate management about MAP.
- Get senior management buy-in.
- Appoint a company liaison and alternate liaison.
- Communicate project goals early.
- Identify information sources (internal and external).
- Budget for project costs.
Before Students Arrive What to do before Ross MBAs visit your site
- Hold conference calls; discuss topic, answer questions.
- Provide pre-reading.
- Set up meetings for the team to meet many people early in the process (including HR, decision makers, and senior management).
Orientation How to start a project team in the right direction
- Provide the team with an understanding of your organization: culture, goals, and vision.
- Facilitate meetings with senior management and key contacts.
- Work with the team to organize and schedule internal presentations.
- Discuss the team’s statement of work with them.
- Treat the MAP team as partners/colleagues, not students.
- Let the team be creative – allow them to use their external perspective to your benefit.
- Get to know the team: Have fun; maybe arrange a team dinner.
Logistics & Housekeeping Things to remember
- Prepare written travel policy.
- Clearly explain spending/reimbursement policy.
- Be aware that students are on limited incomes.
- Arrange access to corporate resources.
- Provide conference call numbers.
- Provide office space/access.
- Treat them like new hires.
Ongoing Project Management Tips to keep the project on track
- Provide weekly contact or meeting (plan on five-10 hours per week).
- Schedule mid-term project review.
- Be available and be responsive.
- Manage responsiveness within your corporation.
- Contact faculty advisor if issues arise.
- Keep team focused. Expect some modifications to the Statement of Work.
Project Final Presentation Consider who to invite
- On-site presentation allows more participation by management.
- Attendees provide valuable feedback on next steps.
During and After MAP Get the most out of the engagement
- Put students in touch with recruiting personnel for full-time opportunities; a positive experience will be shared among peers.
- Consider hiring one or more team members as a summer intern.
- Continue to provide feedback after project is completed.