As it was one of my most recent activities at Ross, I want to talk about the Ross MAP. At Ross, an entire quarter is dedicated to the MAP (Multidisciplinary Action Project), where students work on real-world projects with real-word companies/organizations. MAP is one of the school's signature programs which represent the concept of Action-Based Learning, because students can actually apply what they learned in classroom to solve real-world business problems.
My project was with Abt Associates, a for-profit consulting firm whose clients are mainly U.S. government bodies and non-profit organizations. A team of four business students, including me, was brought in to assist Tebita Ambulance, the first private Ethiopian ambulance company, in developing a financial model through customer segmentation and cost analysis. We worked on-site at Tebita, which is based out of and serves only Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, for a full month during the course of the seven week project, which ran from March 10 through April 30, 2014.
It was an amazing opportunity for me, as I achieved a number of things as a team and personally. First, I was able to learn a lot about the business model of social enterprise and how for-profit organizations can make a strong social impact and remain profitable at the same time. Since I've never done any kind of social impact work before, meeting many people working on the development side was new and interesting for me. I also learned a lot about Ethiopia's social structure, economics and culture. The hierarchy based on age and feeding people "too much" as an expression of hospitability were a lot like my own Korean culture. Also, I adjusted my working and communication styles to work with different people. It was not always easy, but I am really glad that I had this experience. I learned a lot, and from now on, I feel that I can work with ANYBODY!
Lastly, I was glad that I was able to reflect on my experience at business school so far and plan for better success in my upcoming summer internship and the second school year. If I could go back to the MAP selection period, this project would be still my top choice. I feel confident about what I can do during my summer internship and second year.
Enjoy some pictures from my MAP experience below and a short photo slideshow! Go Blue! :)
(My awesome team with our faculty advisor, Professor Ted London)
(Group photo with Tebita Ambulance)