The MBA program offers students opportunities to learn by doing through a field study requirement. Most students complete the Management Consulting Project, and others are selected to participate in the Mayo Innovation Scholars Program.
The Management Consulting Project
The Management Consulting Project (MCP) is the summative project for Augsburg MBA students. Students who participate in MCP grapple with the real-world challenges faced by local businesses–something that can’t be replicated in a classroom or through case studies. Students gain insight into:
- Organizational goal and vision setting
- Business planning: strategic development
- Business planning: tactical development
- Management decision-making
- Multifunctional team leadership
- Financial planning
- Oral and written management presentations
Management Consulting Project Overview
The MPC faculty member identifies local business candidates for a project. The clients range from small community organizations to Fortune 500 companies. The client companies generate a brief summary of the project before teams of 4-5 students are paired with client projects. The teams prepare a list of questions and discussion topics related to the project prior to an introductory meeting with the client. At the introductory meeting, the client provides background related to the company and the project. Finally, the project team and client define the scope and intent of the study and agree on expectations and deliverables.
After the scope of the project is defined, the project team collects and analyzes both primary and secondary data in consultation with the MCP faculty. At the conclusion of the project, the team makes a formal presentation to the client and delivers a 20-40 page written project description that includes research findings, analysis, and recommendations.
Mayo Innovation Scholars Program
MBA students have the opportunity to apply for the Mayo Innovation Scholars Program (MISP). The selected students complete the program in place of their Management Consulting Project.
In the process of conducting research, Mayo Clinic scientists have developed new products and innovations that may be marketable. These products are submitted to the Mayo Clinic Office of Intellectual Property (OIP), which maintains a significant backlog of products. MISP provides MBA students with the opportunity to lead a team of undergraduate science and business students, as they conduct a thorough investigation of the marketability of a backlogged product or innovation.The team works together to understand the science and applications of the innovation and analyze the market potential before giving a formal presentation on their findings at Mayo Clinic. Through the project, the team gains valuable insights and experience in assessing and evaluating new medical technologies, devices, and ideas.
Management Consulting Project
“Participating in the Management Consulting Project gave me an opportunity to demonstrate the new skills that I had learned in a setting that provided benefit to an organization. For me, the experience offered valuable insight into an industry that I previously did not have experience in, and gave my team the opportunity to provide meaningful recommendations.”
Mayo Innovation Scholars Program
“The Mayo Innovation Scholars Program challenged me to ask better questions and to be more resourceful. I was presented with very broad information about a particular topic, and I had to determine how much of that information to use to give direction to the project. What ensued was the team doing much research, analysis, and synthesis to make well-informed financial projections to support our recommendations. As a result, I’ve definitely become better at formulating questions to narrow the scope and identifying measurable and realistic goals. The overall experience was also very reflective of the workplace in that you’re never going to have perfect information — you get partial information and have to make sense of it.”
–Nalee Thao, ’16
“What really sets Augsburg apart is the connections that they have cultivated over the years. In particular, their relationship with Mayo Clinic and the Mayo Innovation Scholar Program, which prides itself on the importance of education and collaboration. The program is designed to have a graduate level student lead a team of undergraduates through an ambiguous project, provided by Mayo. Graduate students get to experience and partake in project management, leadership, research, and development to understand the steps necessary to bring a vetted product or idea to fruition. Together, we found ways to communicate our proposals, how to negotiate and be key influencers, implement and manage change, as well as valuable business acumen necessary to be successful. Although the project only lasted six weeks, the skills and competencies that I took away from this experience have continued to be a catalyst in my career progression.”
–Laurie Barger ’16