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Michigan Ross REAL Program Turbo-Charges MBA Experiential Education

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In a move that seeks to redefine experiential learning at the MBA level, the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business has unveiled its newest learning program: Ross Experiences in Action-Based Learning (REAL).

REAL is a concept that unites curricular and co-curricular opportunities so students can start, advise, lead, and invest in real-world businesses. The idea is to put students in situations that offer practical experience so they are prepared to face complex and evolving business challenges.

“I’m incredibly excited about the progress we’ve already made and the direction we’re heading,” said Ross Dean Scott DeRue in a press release.REAL represents the most comprehensive and effective experiential learning platform in business education, and it’s just getting started.”

Let’s review the four distinct components of the new Michigan Ross REAL program:


These learning experiences give Michigan Ross students the opportunity to develop business ideas as part of their curriculum. Co-curricular opportunities are also available to help students transform their idea from a concept to a fully-funded operation.


This program helps students directly engage with real-world organizations. MBA Multidisciplinary Action Projects (MAP) are the most well-known example of this experience, where MBA students spend an entire year working directly with an organization to help solve their business challenge.


This experience sees students manage seven investment funds worth more than $10 million in assets. Students will have the chance to work with funds along the spectrum from early-stage to mature companies.


The final piece of the REAL program offers experiences that emphasize leadership. Students are able to “assume functional responsibility for leading and operating an ongoing business concern, working with established corporate partners.”

To explore all of the REAL learning experiences that will be available to Michigan Ross students visit the website.

Kelly Vo
Kelly Vo is a writer who specializes in covering MBA programs, digital marketing, and topics related to personal development. She has been working in the MBA space for the past four years in research, interview, and writing roles.