From Healthcare to Solar Energy, Executive MBAs Take On ExecMAP Projects With Diverse Global Companies
Executive MBA students at the Ross School of Business recently finalized their strategic recommendations to sponsoring companies’ leadership teams as part of their Executive Multidisciplinary Action Projects.
The ExecMAP course, a unique component of the Michigan Ross Executive MBA curriculum, offers students an opportunity to explore a parallel industry or functional role while navigating complex business challenges.
Twenty-two ExecMAP projects were conducted by EMBA students this term, with a diverse mix of sponsoring organizations. Students tackled projects for a variety of industries including technology, retail, healthcare, and food and beverage.
The ExecMAP experience
Khalid Ahmed, MBA ’23; Ronald Gaw, MBA ’23; Zachary MacVoy, MBA ’23; Spurthy Narreddy, MBA ’23; and Kyle Whipple, MBA ’23, worked on a project sponsored by Harvest Solar. The Michigan-based company provides full design and installation of solar energy systems, specializing in the agricultural, commercial, and rural residential markets.
The team’s project focused on aiding in the development of a comprehensive growth strategy and strategic marketing plan for the commercial and industrial solar markets.
Early in the project, they learned how expansive the solar installation industry is and about its potential growth opportunities. Open communication and direct access to various sponsor stakeholders provided the EMBA team with the valuable insight they needed to take on this ambitious project.
“We were able to work together with Harvest and our internal core ExecMAP team to focus mountains of information into a concise, three-year strategic business plan tailored to Harvest Solar's needs,” said Gaw.
Collaborating as a team and networking across industries
ExecMAP provides students with the opportunity to work with peers from diverse backgrounds, giving them the ability to expand their knowledge outside of their respective industries and functions. The Harvest Solar team was made up of professionals within automotive, data science, healthcare, and human resources.
“The Michigan Ross Executive MBA Program encompasses a broad range of small, medium, and large industry leaders,” Gaw said. “Our combined experience and interest in the project gave me the confidence that we could make an impact and leave Harvest Solar with an aggressive but realizable company growth plan.”
Gaw recognizes the value of collaboration among his team and those throughout the Michigan Ross network.
“Mentor/mentee relationships and sharing leadership experiences is, in my opinion, the core of both the Michigan Ross Executive MBA Program and the ExecMAP projects,” Gaw said. “This project expands our network to include alumni and the successful businesses they’ve built, and adds the ability to measure the effectiveness and value of these networking opportunities.”
Harvest Solar President Lucas Olinyk, MBA ’20, participated in ExecMAP during his time at Michigan Ross and believes it is one of the highlights of the EMBA program.
“As a student, it was exciting going through the selection process; and being on a team of students with diverse backgrounds was an incredible learning experience,” Olinyk said. “My experience as an EMBA student is exactly why Harvest Solar chose to sponsor a project.”
Lasting benefits of ExecMAP
Though teams focus on an ExecMAP project for four months, Gaw believes the gained benefits will extend far beyond this experience.
Furthermore, when considering the long-term benefits to a sponsor company, Olinyk points to the value of having an experienced team of professionals focused on your project.
“EMBAs have a special drive which has been beneficial to Harvest Solar,” said Olinyk. “Our industry is still in the early adopter phase, which is a great time to explore different paths and opportunities. We like to think outside of the box, and that’s exactly what this project has delivered for us.”
Sampling of 2022 ExecMAP projects:
Deliver a market assessment and market strategy that aids the commercialization and launch of a pipeline of new nanoparticle-based delivery tools for Barcode Nanotech, a medtech startup based in Israel.
Dr. Pepper Keurig
Develop and evaluate strategic and financial scenarios to disrupt Keurig's K-Cup business with a new coffee system for Dr. Pepper Keurig, producer and distributor of hot and cold beverages.
Strategy development for regional growth of breast cancer research funding and signature fundraising event for Dynami Foundation, a nonprofit organization working to further the research, treatment, and prevention of breast cancer.
Rainforest Foundation UK
Create a strategic plan to support organizational growth and impact for a global organization, Rainforest Foundation.
Create a marketing plan for competitive entry into the small office segment within North America for Steelcase, an office furniture, interior architecture, and space solutions retailer.
Recommend a growth strategy that includes a comprehensive technical and business analysis for the tools required to operate autonomy for Torc Robotics, a transportation/logistics company.
Develop a strategic plan for the next generation of high-tech solutions that will better manage the world’s limited strategic resources for Treemetrics, a software-based company focused on developing solutions for the global forest industry.