U-M, Michigan Ross Students Practice the Art of Crisis Communication and Strategy in 24-Hour Challenge

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In the second and final installment of the 2018 Leadership Crisis Challenge, U-M undergrads and Ross students will face panels of executives, journalists
 

The Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan announced today the second and final installment of the 2018 Leadership Crisis Challenge series, one of the most ambitious and immersive leadership development programs of its kind for business school students. This challenge, which takes place March 22-23, is open to all undergraduate U-M students.

Hosted by the Sanger Leadership Center and sponsored by PNC Bank, the 2018 Leadership Crisis Challenge involves business school students role-playing a company’s senior executive team, leading their organization through a high-stakes, high-pressure crisis, which is simulated 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. The program was held in January for U-M graduate students. At that event, 180 students had 24 hours to develop and present a response plan after their autonomous vehicle company, Dryyver, became the center of controversy — one of their driverless taxis was involved in a major accident involving a cyclist.  

“At Michigan Ross, we believe in learning by doing,” said Evan Marie Allison, associate director at the Sanger Leadership Center. “Ultimately, our aim is to close the gap between learning and what students will face in the workplace. This program does just that. Prospective students have shared that they are excited to participate even before they have applied to Ross. Students know that challenging themselves through action-based programming pays off.”

On Thursday, approximately 150 students will be divided into 30 teams and will learn the first details of the crisis they’re facing. Throughout the night, the crisis will unfold in real time via email, phone calls, social media, and face-to-face communications. Teams will then present their crisis management strategies the following morning to a Board of Directors made up of industry executives and University of Michigan faculty and staff. Board of Directors participants include Xavier Fuller, Principal of Nuveen; Brian Finerty, Chief Investment Officer of Equity International; Cynthia Gardner, Senior Vice President and Business Banking Market Manager at PNC Bank; Ian Hogan, Executive Vice President, Treasury and Capital Markets at Comerica Bank; Michigan Ross faculty member Anuradha Nagarajan; and Sarika Gupta, Managing Director of the U-M Zell Lurie Institute.  

Three teams will move on to the final round of competition, where they will face a panel of PR experts and journalists in a press conference. Panelists include Alberto Arce of The New York Times, Jennifer Guerra of Michigan Radio, Azi Paybarah of Politico, Mark Magnier of The Washington Post, and Robert Yoon of CNN. The winning team will take home a $3,000 scholarship.

“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. “Crisis Challenge is a deep dive into what it’s truly like to collaborate, manage, and thrive during a company crisis.”

Follow all of the Crisis Challenge action on Michigan Ross’ live blog 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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