Michigan Ross, U-M students Take Charge in 2018 Leadership Crisis Challenge

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Graduate students are put to the test in 24-hour simulation, set to present strategy to top executive leaders

The Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan announced today its annual Leadership Crisis Challenge, one of the most ambitious and immersive leadership development programs of its kind. This year’s graduate challenge will take place Jan. 11-12 at Michigan Ross and Michigan Stadium.

Sponsored by PNC Bank and organized by the Sanger Leadership Center, the 2018 Leadership Crisis Challenge will task students with role-playing a company’s senior executive team as it navigates the company through a high-stakes, high-pressure simulated crisis scenario over a 24-hour period. The Challenge is an intensive program that tests students’ ability to strategize, think quickly and critically on their feet, and perform well under pressure.

“It has been a thrill to be part of the evolution of the Crisis Challenge,” said Evan Marie Allison, associate director at the Sanger Leadership Center. “Each year we increase the complexity of the program adding more depth, pressure, and curveballs. It's incredible to see how students continue to step up their response to these escalating challenges and courageously juggle the competing demands that come with every crisis.”

The challenge kicks off tonight as 30 teams of 180 graduate students from across the University of Michigan learn the details of their crisis. They will spend the night exploring and evaluating the crisis as it unfolds in real time — via online communications, phone, face-to-face interactions, and social media. The challenge will carry into Friday morning, when student teams present their crisis management plans to a board of directors made up of Michigan Ross faculty and staff and industry executives, including Tom Lewand, CEO of Shinola and Steve Swad, CFO of Vox Media.

Three teams move on to the final round, where they face a panel of journalists during a press conference. The winning student team is selected and will take home a $3,000 scholarship, with two runner-up teams receiving $1,000. The journalists come from various national and international media outlets including the BBC, The New York Times, Politico and CNN.

“Businesses want people who can work and think strategically in high-pressure situations,” said Ric DeVore, PNC regional president for Detroit and Southeast Michigan and a U-M graduate. “The Crisis Challenge is a deep dive into what it’s truly like to collaborate, manage and thrive during a company crisis.”

Since the program’s launch with MBA students more than a decade ago, the Leadership Crisis Challenge has grown considerably. It now occurs twice each year and is accessible to graduate and undergraduate students across the university. This year’s second challenge will be held March 22-23 for all U-M undergraduate students.

Follow all of the Crisis Challenge action on Sanger’s Twitter channel and Instagram using the hashtag #CrisisChallenge2018 or learn more at https://michiganross.umich.edu/sanger/crisis-challenge.

 

About Michigan Ross

The Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan is a vibrant and distinctive learning community grounded in the principle that business can be an extraordinary vehicle for change in today's society. Michigan Ross is a leading business school, dedicated to building a better world through business. The Ross School of Business’ mission is to develop leaders who make a positive difference in the world.

Ross is consistently ranked among the world's leading business schools. Academic degree programs include the BBA, MBA, Part-time MBA (Evening and Weekend formats), Executive MBA, Global MBA, Master of Accounting, Master of Supply Chain Management, Master of Management, and PhD. In addition, the school delivers open-enrollment and custom executive education programs targeting general management, leadership development, and strategic human resource management.

About PNC

PNC Bank, National Association, is a member of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: PNC). PNC is one of the largest diversified financial services institutions in the United States, organized around its customers and communities for strong relationships and local delivery of retail and business banking including a full range of lending products; specialized services for corporations and government entities, including corporate banking, real estate finance and asset-based lending; wealth management and asset management. For information about PNC, visit www.pnc.com.

 
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