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After 25 Years, Michigan Ross MAP is the Ultimate Experience in Hands-On Learning


This week, more than 400 Ross Full-Time MBAs are kicking off a series of seven-week projects that will have them tackling real-life business challenges at companies around the world.

It’s all part of the signature Multidisciplinary Action Projects course (MAP).

When MAP was introduced at Michigan Ross 25 years ago, the course pioneered the concept of action-based learning and sparked other universities and business schools to try their hand at it as well. But over the years, MAP has grown into a powerhouse of incredible student experiences, unforgettable learning opportunities, and unmatched outcomes for our business partners.

To celebrate MAP’s 25th year, here are 25 things that make MAP one of the most unique and impactful learning experiences available today:

  1. 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.
  2. It’s also one of the biggest.
  3. This year, students will be working on 83 simultaneous projects, while working with 74 different companies and organizations.
  4. These projects are with some of the biggest, most influential companies on the planet (Amazon, Google, Microsoft);
  5. with some of the most impactful nonprofits (Make-a-Wish, CARE International, Ocean Conservancy);
  6. and with some of the most promising startups (Vayu, Jeevtronics, VerseAI).
  7. Students will work hand-in-hand with the organization’s executives, gaining firsthand insights into business operations and expanding their networks.
  8. Companies often implement student suggestions, giving our MBAs incredible new resume credentials.
  9. And setting them up for success on day one of their summer internship.
  10. MAP is a unique opportunity to explore the global world of business in an entirely immersive way.
  11. Nearly 70-percent of MAP students will be participating in a project outside of their home country this year.
  12. Projects are taking place in 115 cities and 25 countries around the globe.
  13. There will be teams of Michigan Ross MBAs on almost every continent.
  14. Projects are taking place in six countries in Africa (Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania);
  15. in seven countries in Asia (Cambodia, China, India, Israel, Japan, Nepal, Vietnam);
  16. in four countries in Europe (Finland, Germany, Ireland, United Kingdom);
  17. in four countries in South America (Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Peru);
  18. and in four countries in North America (Canada, USA, Mexico, Jamaica).
  19. 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.
  20. MAP projects give students a chance to choose which industry they want to experience.
  21. 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.
  22. MAP has already impacted an entire generation of business leaders.
  23. In 25 years, 10,852 Full-Time MBA Ross students have participated in MAP.
  24. They’ve worked with 1,391 sponsor companies, helping them solve some of their most pressing challenges.
  25. And the best part is, MAP is just getting started.

As Dean Scott DeRue recently shared with Poets & Quants, the goal at Ross is to expand action-based learning opportunities to give every student the chance to “start a business, invest in businesses, advise a business, and manage a business.”

MAP started with the Ross Full-Time MBA Program, but in recent years has expanded to other Ross degree programs. Global, Weekend, Evening, and Executive MBA students participate in projects similar in scope to the Full-Time cohort. And our Ross BBA students participate in Capstone MAP and several other hands-on learning engagements throughout their time at Ross.

What makes Ross stand out will be a focus on real-life scenarios,” Poets & Quants said. “And DeRue doesn’t mean case studies.”

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, 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.

Throughout the next seven weeks, students will be sharing their experiences on Instagram using the tag #RossMAP. You can follow along and see the MAP experience through their eyes by following @MichiganRoss.

Learn more about Ross MAP

Check out #RossMAP pictures