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William Davidson Institute

In-Company Learning in Emerging Markets

Founded at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan in 1992, the William Davidson Institute (WDI) is a non-profit, independent, research and educational institute dedicated to developing and disseminating expertise on issues affecting firms in transition economies. WDI programs include the training of business leaders, entrepreneurs, and government officials who operate in these countries, research on business and economic issues, and project-based assistance. These programs are geared to increase effectiveness of firms and improve social welfare in these economies.

WDI offers several unique, action-learning opportunities – Global Projects Courses (GPC) – for MBA students at Michigan's Ross School of Business. GPC assignments have much more in common with a high-level consulting project than with lectures and case studies: Teams of MBA students tackle issues of major strategic importance to companies or business-related organizations around the world. Those teams apply the latest tools and knowledge. They dig into challenging issues. They produce cutting-edge results. And they get valuable professional development in the process.

GPC assignments have spanned Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe. Student teams have helped bring products to market for business incubators in Israel. Others have developed market-entry strategies for major multinationals in Africa, Asia, and Europe. Each student engagement includes work from both their Ann Arbor home base and on-site in the country or countries covered by the scope of their project.

The following options are available to MBAs at the Business School:

Global Projects I (International MAP)

Also known as International MAP (Multi-disciplinary Action Project), Global Projects I is a seven week international course offered to first-year MBA students. The students enroll in this program after completing their first year core classes. Each team consists of three to six MBA students. Teams spend the full seven weeks exclusively dedicated to the engagement, including up to five weeks of international research.

Global Projects II

Global Projects II is a fourteen week elective course offered to second-year MBA students. Each team consists of four to eight MBA students. Students engage in six weeks of pre-trip research and analysis, gather data at the international location(s) for up to one week at the end of February, and follow up with seven weeks of further data gathering and analysis.

While a few student internships or global projects may be available in the future through the William Davidson Institute to further its applied research, the vast majority of student and global projects are now handled by the Ross Business School’s MAP (effective September 2004). For more information, please visit Thank You.


“My International MAP experience was invaluable in terms of acquiring international experience, developing entrepreneurial management skills, and working with a dynamic team of students, managers and professionals. It was definitely the most rewarding aspect of my first year at Michigan.”

– Todd Osborne, MBA 2002