We Are Making an Impact on the World

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At Michigan Ross, business is about more than just generating profits.

Our mission is to create a better world through business, and our unwavering commitment to impact influences everything we do as a school. Through the ideas we generate and the people we develop, we improve the ability of business to create economic prosperity, enable social change, and foster sustainable development across the globe.

Here is a quick glance at how Michigan Ross is combining innovation, impact, and business for the greater good in our communities and around the world.

Business+Impact

Business can help solve the economic and social challenges of our generation. That’s why this year we launched the Business+Impact initiative.

The Business+Impact initiative organizes and supports research, education, and events in efforts to improve society. We partner with faculty, students, alumni, companies, and others throughout U-M and around the world.

Through this initiative and others at Michigan Ross, our faculty and students have already embarked on projects that have an impact in the state, our nation, and around the world.

Our Impact In Michigan

Ross Professor Eric Schwartz and his team used an extensive database to build statistical models and estimate risk levels during the Flint water crisis. From this information, Schwartz and his team predicted that 29,000 homes had lead or unsafe pipes.  The risk assessments were then incorporated into a Google-funded, student-built mobile app that allows Flint residents to determine their homes’ risk level.

Through the Business+Impact, students are also making a difference in the state of Michigan.

Graduate students serve as board fellows for 18 organizations throughout Southeast Michigan. Board fellows gain firsthand insight into the world of nonprofit boards for organizations including Big Brothers Big Sisters, Habitat for Humanity, The National Network of Depression Centers, the United Way, and more.

Our work in Michigan certainly doesn’t end there. Members of several of our degree programs were involved in projects throughout the region that continue to strengthen our ties in Detroit and leverage Michigan Ross resources to make a positive difference in the city.

In partnership with Cornerstone Schools, our Master of Accounting (MAcc) students taught 60 high schoolers the fundamentals of leadership and business. The class, “Profiles in Leadership,” used the Michigan Model of Leadership to teach 10th and 12th graders about their own personal leadership styles.

MAcc students have also spent hours working with the city of Detroit as tax advisors and helping develop business solutions that address tax issues in the city.

Our Impact Across The U.S.

This summer, Michigan Ross led the way in a new partnership between top business schools and executives at some of the largest financial institutions in the world to reinforce a commitment to ethics in the financial services industry. In June, Dean Scott DeRue was among business school deans, finance executives, and leaders of the New York Federal Reserve who came together to build consensus around the issue.

“Stories of unethical corporate actions and behavior have affected public trust,” DeRue said at the time. “In financial services specifically, we believe addressing the issue of ethics starts with us — the business schools who educate the next generation of corporate leaders, and the firms who hire and employ them.”

From finance to operations, the reach of Michigan Ross people and ideas stretches far.

Each year our students in the Tauber Institute for Global Operations spend their summers working directly with companies on some of their most challenging logistics and operations opportunities.

This year students worked with 30 companies from PepsiCo to Whirlpool, helping them develop innovative ways to reduce waste, lessen carbon emissions, make production more efficient, and more.

There are many other ways the impact of Michigan Ross can be felt across the U.S. For instance, Professor Tom Buchmueller’s research into a decade’s worth of Medicare data discovered a potential solution to decrease the amount of opioid overdoses in the United States.

Ann Arbor-based startup Aquaro Histology recently landed $9.8 million in seed funding, thanks in part to a collaboration with a Michigan Ross class of BBAs and MBAs.

Our Impact Around the World

Michigan Ross students are making a social impact on a global scale — both inside and outside of the classroom.

To kick off their time at Ross, 440 of our newest Full-Time MBA students spent two days helping Amazon innovate their disaster relief and resilience efforts around the globe during the Business+Impact Challenge.

615 BBAs spent four days competing in ZLI’s Entrepreneurship Challenge, developing business solutions for 17 of the world’s most pressing issues.

Identified by the United Nations as Global Goals, these issues included decent work and economic growth, sustainable cities, responsible consumption, and health and well-being.

Beyond our local region and outside of the walls of Ross, students are traveling across the world putting their business acumen to the test.

This summer, four Michigan Ross Full-Time MBA students participated in summer internships in emerging markets working with businesses and organizations on issues ranging from improving the availability of solar power in areas where electricity resources are scarce to fighting for stronger gender equality in Brazil. Read their stories.

BBA Student Meagan Malm recently received the prestigious Wallenberg Fellowship. She used the $25,000 award to fund an independent learning project that took her to the Tanzanian cities of Dar-es Salaam and Mtwara to study the role mobile phones play in reducing poverty.

These examples are just snippets of a much larger picture of the work that we do at Michigan Ross. Our community aspires to transform the social, economic, and cultural landscape through business and education. Whether it’s a faculty member, student, or alumni, our commitment to economic and social impact is unwavering and widespread. We are making a positive difference in the world in real, tangible ways. We are Michigan Ross!


WE ARE MICHIGAN ROSS is a series of stories that brings together the facts, figures, people and ideas that make the Michigan Ross community unlike any other.

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