June 11, 2009

MBA Candidates Provide Strategic Consulting and Solutions for Businesses

Nation's oldest field study program celebrates 40 years of helping businesses

By David Chang and Paul Feinberg

LOS ANGELES -- In an atrium packed with students, faculty, alumni, business leaders and representatives dispatched from both city and state government, UCLA Anderson School of Management's Applied Management Research Program (AMR) received recognition earlier this month the State Assembly, State Senate, and City of Los Angeles on the occasion of its 40th anniversary.

The AMR Program - formerly known as and still known euphemistically as "field study" -- is a critical part of the MBA curriculum and experience at UCLA Anderson. Second-year MBA student teams work closely with a faculty advisor to serve as strategic consultants to major companies, and they deal with difficult organizational and competitive problems and provide recommendations for action. The primary goal is to help students develop their ability to solve complex business problems in real-world settings, while delivering value to the client firms and their management. For more than 40 years, Anderson MBA student teams have been strategic business advisors and provided innovative solutions to over 3,000 companies and provided them with innovative solutions to their major issues.

The list of companies who have participated in AMR over the years reads like a "Who's Who" of top domestic and international corporations and includes such companies as Intel, Microsoft, Trader Joes's, Mattel, Starbucks, LA County Museum of Art, Safeway, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Fox Sports International, Princess Cruises, 20th Century Fox, Grameen, and Hyundai.

Studies have spurred significant strategic changes in companies, large and small, creating immediate impact. "As the oldest comprehensive field study program in the nation, UCLA Anderson is in the forefront of experiential education," said George Abe, faculty director of the AMR program. The typical study lasts for six months. "Projects are not only based in California, but around the world."

In addition to the civic recognition, the AMR ceremony included the presentation of the Deloitte Consulting Award, given annually to the AMR team judged (by a panel of Deloitte consultants) to represent "the highest standards of leadership, teamwork, professionalism and strategic creativity in its solution of a complex problem." The 2009 award was jointly presented by Anderson Professor George Abe, faculty director of AMR and Pete Kichula (‘FTMBA ‘05) of Deloitte.

The 2009 Deloitte Consulting Award went to the team of Will Ravi Dixit, Ersne Eromo, Kevin Kitajima, Stephanie Wang and Joshua Zimmerman (all members of Anderson's Class of 2009), who evaluated the general surgery referral processes at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Martin Luther King, Jr. Multi-Service Ambulatory Care Center and Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center. Also on hand to express his gratitude to the team - who earned a $5,000 first prize - was Dr. Miguel Ortiz-Marroquin, CEO of Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. The team was mentored by UCLA Anderson Professor Kumar Rajaram.

Also presented at the gathering was the Edward V. Sedgwick III Memorial Award, which was established in 1985 to recognize MBA students who produced written reports of exceptional quality, clarity and persuasive analysis. The Sedgwick Award was presented to the Special Project on Predicting Quality Ratings and Prices for California Wines by Joan Eckstrom, the sister of Edward V. Sedgwick III (MBA '60, PhD '70) and the daughter of Professor Edward Sedgwick, formerly of the UCLA Anderson faculty.

For more information, please visit the Applied Management Research Program Web site.

Contact Information

Media Relations, (310) 206-7707, media.relations@anderson.ucla.edu

Media Relations