WDI Summer Interns, MAP Teams To Discuss Projects At Expo

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Dozens of University of Michigan graduate students – former summer interns and members of WDI-sponsored MAP teams – will gather Oct. 5 for the WDI Global Impact Expo to share what they did on their projects and answer questions from their peers who are interested in learning more about international experiences offered by the Institute.

The expo is from 5-6:30 p.m. in the O’Day Lounge on the lower level of the Ross School of Business.

The 13 WDI summer interns and the nine WDI-sponsored MAP teams will each have a poster board detailing their project. This is the first time the MAP teams from Ross are part of the WDI Expo.

MAP, or Multidisciplinary Action Project, is an action-based learning course offered at Ross in which four to six MBA students receive guidance from faculty advisors on a project that requires analytical rigor, critical thinking, and genuine teamwork. The WDI-sponsored MAP projects were:

Abt Associates – Abt Associates is a mission-driven, global leader in research and program implementation in the fields of health, social and economic policy, and international development. The Ross student team assessed how Abt’s HANSHEP Health Enterprise Fund has supported enterprises in creating a foundation of partnerships that will help them transition to scale and identify opportunities for enhancement.

ITC Limited, Agri-Business Division – ITC has a multi-business portfolio focusing on fast-moving consumer goods, which encompasses food, personal care, and paper products – among other businesses. The student team was tasked with evolving strategies and a business model for creating a differentiated and efficient milk supply chain for a pre-determined cluster benefitting all stakeholders.

Tetra Pak – Tetra Pak creates smart food processing and carton packaging solutions that help make the world better, meeting the needs of hundreds of millions of people in more than 170 countries around the world. With more than 23,000 employees based in over 80​ countries, Tetra Pak is committed to sustainable business practices and innovations that make food safe and available, everywhere. The Ross students created a business model between private sector food manufacturers, traditional trade shopkeepers and base of the pyramid (BoP) consumers that can enhance economic stability and scalability of products.

Imperial Health Sciences – Imperial Health Sciences (IHS) is a leading force in African Healthcare supply chain management. Its mission is to ensure the secure and sustainable supply of quality medicines to the people of Africa. IHS has operations in South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria and Malawi with downstream distribution partners providing reach into 26 countries. The MAP team conducted an impact study and developed a scalable methodology for deploying a direct deliver strategy across South Africa.

Aravind Eye Care SystemAravind is the largest, most productive eye care facility in the world, encompassing several hospitals, a center for ophthalmic products, and an international research foundation. The student team developed a communications strategy and marketing collateral that showcases Aravind’s opportunities for continued learning and professional development.

VeAhavta/Grace Care Center – For more than a decade, VeAhavta has sponsored the Grace Care Center (GCC) in Trincomalee, Sri Lanka. Grace is a home for about seventy needy children and destitute seniors, and offers day care services and vocational training. Grace aims to help overcome poverty one child at a time by providing the sense of home and family that had been lost to war and disaster. The student MAP team developed a business plan for an eatery and guest rooms at the Grace Care Center which is situated on seven acres of beach front property. The new facilities will provide employment opportunities for the young women of the orphanage.

WDI – For the Institute, the MAP team was tasked to determine whether it is possible to profitably increase lending to the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) sector in Jordan, and if so, to develop recommendations on how to do that. The team did this by assessing the situation in as many banks as practicable concerning their policies, strategies and activities towards development of MSME portfolios.

Lecture Tools and the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga – For this project, the student team created a market entry strategy and development plan for Lecture Tools’ growth into the Latvian market and other emerging markets.

Human Trafficking Clinic (HTC), University of Michigan and Addis Ababa University – For this project, the MAP team had three objectives. Those were: recommend a business model serving human trafficking victims with legal and healthcare services and economic independence; recommend a governance/organizational structure, potential revenue sources and prospective partnerships; and, recommend specific models for the economic reintegration of human trafficking victims in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The WDI summer interns came from six University of Michigan schools and colleges and traveled to 12 countries. The summer interns worked with private sector companies, global NGOs, social enterprises, and start-ups on a number of different tasks, including developing business and marketing strategies, implementing impact assessments, and improving medical care supply-chain challenges in emerging market countries.

Those countries were India, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Brazil, Zambia, Bangladesh, Mexico and China. Interns came from the Ross School of Business, the Ford School of Public Policy, the School of Public Health, the School of Natural Resources and Environment, the Department of Economics, and the School of Nursing.

Read more about the internships here.

Feedback from some of the organizations the interns worked for has been full of praise for the work the students did.

“In our experience, WDI interns consistently outperform interns from other institutions,” said Sameer Hajee, co-founder and CEO of Nuru Energy. “We have had two successful internship experiences in a row. We hope to work with another WDI intern next year.”

Dorothy Taft, executive director of The Market Project, said her organization was “well served” by the extraordinary work and professional diligence of WDI intern Hester Bentil.

“We were pleased to welcome her as a colleague on the team and particularly appreciated her integrity, intellectual curiosity, and flexibility in a tough work environment,” Taft said. “We consider it a privilege to partner with the William Davidson Institute.”

And Megan Stalheim, operations specialist at Land O’ Lakes International Development, said the WDI internship program was a “fantastic opportunity to get an injection of the latest business concepts from a top tier MBA program directly into our program that works with budding women entrepreneurs in Tanzania. “Thanks to the contributions of 2 WDI Fellows, our IGE program has a world-class business incubation training curriculum, which directly benefits the innovators we work with,” Stalheim said.

Likewise, WDI interns had good things to say about their work and travel this past summer.

“My experience with CARE Bangladesh provided me with invaluable experience in sustainable social enterprise development for health care delivery,” said Surabhi Rajaram, a master’s of public health candidate at the U-M School of Public Health. “This exposure has broadened the scope on public health interventions, which is a perspective I will be taking back to my classes this year.  Furthermore, my work has been reaffirming that I am pursuing the right career for my passions.”

Samantha Madden, a master’s student at the U-M School of Nursing, said her internship “gave students like myself, who normally wouldn’t have access to such an incredible opportunity, the experience of a lifetime.  Madden said she was grateful for “allowing me to see what my future career path could look like.”

Julio Villasenor, an MBA candidate at Ross, spent the summer in Rwanda. He called it “one of the most challenging and rewarding things I have ever done.” “I had the opportunity to apply a lot of the knowledge I learned from my first year at Ross and challenge myself to do so in an unfamiliar environment where everything from the language and the technology to the social interactions and the way things are done is different,” he said. “I could not have asked for a better summer.”

Carlos Robles-Martinez, a graduate student at the Ford School of Public Policy, said his internship was a fantastic experience. “The project I worked on gave me a lot of independence that allowed me to solidify my future career goals as well as become a better rounded professional,” he said.

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