The Ross School of Business, part of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, has developed a new internship program for students this summer. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the availability of internships. The school also announced a summer experience requirement to its full-time MBA program.
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, operations, and more. Participants will receive a stipend.
The program will include weekly workshops led by Ross faculty with additional mentoring and professional development support from faculty and alumni. About 120 students are expected to participate this summer, in addition to dozens of sponsor companies that span a range of industries including technology, health care, 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,” says Scott DeRue, the Edward J. Frey Dean of 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.”
Ross tapped its connections to companies in the Multidisciplinary Action Projects and Living Business Leadership Experience to source business proposals. Both organizations helped inform the design of the program.
“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,” says 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 work with students for eight weeks, from 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.
Michigan Ross will now also require students in its full-time MBA program to complete a summer experience, effective with the class of 2023. Most students will meet this requirement through a summer internship, but it can also be fulfilled in other ways, including through the Business Consultant Corps program. The experience must be six-12 weeks long.
“The new requirement formalizes our belief at Michigan Ross that students greatly benefit from practical experience between their first and second year,” says 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 be able to work with companies, nonprofits, and startups.