Leveraging its vast network of organizational partners, the Ross School of Business has developed a new internship program for students this summer, as the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the availability of internships offered by companies across the world.
Along with launching this new program, the school is announcing the addition of a summer experience requirement to its Full-Time MBA Program, starting with the Class of 2022.
The Michigan Ross Business Consultant Corps program will allow students to work directly with executives from sponsoring organizations on projects related to business strategy, digital transformation, marketing, and operations, among others. Participants will receive valuable, real-world leadership experience plus a stipend.
In addition to the typical summer internship work experience, the new program will also include weekly workshops led by Ross faculty, with additional mentoring and professional development support from faculty and alumni. Around 120 rising MBA2s and BBA seniors at Ross are expected to participate in the Business Consultant Corps this summer, in addition to dozens of sponsor companies that span a wide range of industries, including technology, healthcare, and manufacturing.
“Most Ross students have secured and retained summer internships, but there are a number of students who have had their internship canceled due to the pandemic,” said Scott DeRue, the Edward J. Frey Dean of Michigan Ross. “We saw an opportunity to help our students gain valuable experience, while at the same time helping organizations that need support as they work to address the new and unforeseen challenges brought on by this global health crisis. Our ability to pull this new summer program off in such a short amount of time is a testament to our deep connections to industry through our action-based learning programs, faculty, and alumni.”
The new Business Consultant Corps program draws on the deep expertise and commitment of Michigan Ross to action-based learning, as exemplified by its signature MAP (Multidisciplinary Action Projects) and Living Business Leadership Experience, both of which informed the design of this program. Ross tapped into its strong connections to companies in the MAP and LBLE networks to source business proposals.
“When we heard from our Career Development Office that there was an unmet demand for student internships this summer, we analyzed the situation, what we could offer, and used our decades of expertise to quickly build the Business Consultant Corps,” said Mike Barger, executive director of the Office of Strategy and Academic Innovation at Ross. “Our goal was to create an opportunity for students that would offer them project management experience, personal leadership development, and industry connections. This effort really demonstrates how the Ross community is stepping up to support our students through this crisis.”
The Business Consultant Corps will engage students for eight weeks (June 1 - Aug. 1) and is not credit-bearing. Michigan Ross will provide a stipend to students with philanthropic support from alumni and donors. Throughout the program, students will work virtually in project teams for a business or nonprofit. This experience will come at no cost to the participating organizations.
New Full-Time MBA summer experience requirement
Michigan Ross will now require students in its Full-Time MBA Program to complete a summer experience in which they apply their business knowledge acquired in the first year of studies to advance their skills and capabilities.
Most students will meet this curricular requirement through a summer internship, but it can also be fulfilled in many other ways, including the new Business Consultant Corps program or another compensated or uncompensated practical experience. The experience must be six to 12 weeks in length and can be obtained at a variety of organizations, both within and outside of the U.S., doing a variety of work.
“The new requirement formalizes our belief at Michigan Ross that students greatly benefit from practical experience between their first and second year,” said Brad Killaly, associate dean of Full-Time and Global MBA Programs at Michigan Ross. “By adding the requirement, we are also affirming our commitment to helping our students secure this valuable learning experience.”
Students will have extensive support and opportunities in meeting this new requirement from Michigan Ross. Beyond help in sourcing traditional internships from the Career Development Office, the business school has a growing portfolio of action-based summer experiences that offer students the opportunity to work with companies, nonprofits, and startups on business projects over the course of the summer.
The Business Consultant Corps program is the newest addition to this portfolio. Other programs include entrepreneurial internships through the Desai Accelerator and Zell Lurie Institute, social impact internships through the Ross Business+Impact initiative and William Davidson Institute, and team projects organized by the Tauber Institute for Global Operations.