What Makes Anderson EMBAs Succeed: Strategic Management Research

Posted By SWatts on Jan 8, 2015 |

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What Makes Anderson EMBAs Succeed: Strategic Management Research

How many times have you been able to go into a top company – Microsoft, Kaiser Permanente or maybe St. Jude’s Medical Center – and look at their business plans and growth strategies and then create a management framework to accelerate the company’s growth, leaving your footprint on that company through your ideas and recommendations? As part of the Executive MBA program (EMBA) at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management, that is just what you will do through Strategic Management Research (SMR).

Anderson EMBA students, who are already working professionals with an average of 14 years of work experience, and Anderson MBA students are matched into teams of 6 and required to complete the SMR capstone to obtain their MBA degree. At the end of the capstone, findings are presented to the company and Anderson faculty through a strategic presentation and written report.

SMR bridges students’ worlds of finance, marketing, technology, operations and more to collaborate and ultimately conduct an equivalent of 2,000 hours of research over the course of a year. All aspects of finance, marketing, strategy and operations are put into use throughout the approximately six to seven month term of the project. Strategic plans might include launching a new product into the market, creating a new product for a particular market, or launching an old product into a new geographical area or segment of the market. Companies that have joined as partner companies in SMR include Fiji Water, Kaiser Permanente, Microsoft, St. Jude’s Medical, Guitar Center, and Countrywide Financial, among many other well-known companies.

Leaders of SMR are truly at the top of their field. Professor George Abe, Faculty Director of SMR, for instance, is a venture capitalist and partner of the Santa Monica firm Palomar Ventures. Professor Abe is one of many great minds who helped establish the successful and popular Anderson Fully Employed MBA Global Access Program (GAP). In both SMR and GAP, the faculty takes care of the participants, ensuring that experiences are meaningful and led by partner companies through impactful projects.