Trivia Tuesday: Applied Management Research at UCLA Anderson
It’s time again for another edition of Trivia Tuesday, our weekly examination of the programs and opportunities that differentiate the leading MBA programs. This week we turn our attention to UCLA Anderson and an unusual feature of their second-year academic program: the Applied Management Research Project.
As second-years, Anderson students test their business skills in a practical setting by partnering with organizations to address complex internal business problems or evaluate strategic opportunities. Some students opt to put their entrepreneurial abilities to the test, fulfilling the two-quarter Applied Management Research Project (AMR) requirement by establishing their own ventures. Many students cite the AMR as one of their most rewarding and confidence-building experiences at Anderson.
Students choose their own AMR teams, which are comprised of three to five people guided by a faculty advisor. Teams have significant latitude in defining their projects, beginning with a choice between completing a Management Field Study, creating a business or pursuing a special project. In choosing a Management Field Study, as the vast majority of students do, a team either completes a strategic project for a company as arranged by Anderson, or independently secures a partner company, which is subject to program approval. Approaching the partnership like a consulting engagement, Management Field Study teams collaborate with company executives to identify and offer solutions to organizational and competition-based problems. Recent student teams have worked for such companies as Yahoo, Trader Joe’s, Bank of America, Fox Sports International and the L.A. Times. Teams seeking experience in smaller businesses have joined with the online start-up Savings.com, and worked with a local cooking show host to help her launch her own line of cooking products.
In addition to freedom in choosing the industry and function of their partner companies, Management Field Study teams also select partner companies based on location. Those desiring international business exposure are matched with international partners, communicating with these firms via teleconferencing, and occasionally through an on-site visit. Teams who prefer consistent face-to-face meetings select business partners nearby, or opt for regional partners and split the travel obligations amongst team members.
Those students who choose to pursue the AMR over the Fall and Winter quarter may use their on-site experience to make contacts in their company or gain a foothold in the industry that will help them secure a full-time job following graduation. Those who undertake the project during the Winter and Spring quarters instead may already have accepted job offers, thus they select projects that will further prepare them for their future positions.
To learn more about UCLA Anderson’s AMR Projects or other curricular features, check out the Academics section of the Clear Admit School Guide to Anderson!