Forty-seven years ago, UCLA Anderson launched the nation's first field-study program- Applied Management Research (AMR). Its 3,000+ clients have included Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits, microfinance institutions and startups. As a capstone experience of each and every Anderson MBA's journey, students choose teams of peers to embark on a 20-week project in one of three directions. In the Management Field Study (traditional AMR), students can partner with a top organization to solve a key strategic issue. The Business Creation Option gives entrepreneurs the chance to launch their companies while still in school. The Special Project Option allows teams to analyze a strategic issue facing an entire industry.
Each year a number of AMR teams focus their efforts of advancing pro-social causes outside of the United States. Whether evaluating new models for micro finance, improving foreign supply chain efficiency, or evaluating growth and expansion strategies, our global pro-social projects make a real, immediate and often profound impact. We encourage you to learn more about these unique projects and their outcomes here.
From YouTube to Uganda // AMR doesn't just help companies solve their problems, it helps nonprofits of the world, too. So while UCLA Anderson was able to help Google's YouTube create a paradigm for companies to use when posting their video content, AMR teams in the opposite hemisphere worked for a nonprofit microfinance organization (FINCA) to offer sustainable healthcare options for the poorest of the poor. The team's on-the-ground research in Uganda revealed successful organizations that FINCA could partner with to achieve a cost-effective means to reaching its goal of improving health outcomes for East Africa's poorest populations. Below, our students share some of their most memorable experiences from their AMR and BCO projects, which gave teams the opportunity to launch a business or travel around the world to bring business expertise to humanitarian efforts.
"The AMR program is truly an incredible learning opportunity at Anderson. As part of our project, we helped our client think through an international market entry strategy in China. Not only did I gain strong business analytical and client management skills but I was also pleasantly surprised by how often it came up in my interviews. Companies are increasingly looking to expand into China, and I was able to comfortably talk to several issues that my interviewers were grappling with. These included segmenting the Chinese market, debating operational issues due to the recent increases in wages, concerns with IP protection, and the importance of forging ties with the government for long-term success. I have no doubt that my AMR project played an important role in displaying my business acumen, knowledge of global macroeconomic issues, and the passion with which I approach my projects. It is clear to me that my successful and satisfying AMR project also contributed to success in the recruiting process.
HINT: Make sure to include AMR on your resume, and talk about it during your interviews!"
-Aspan Dahmubed ('13)
"One of my goals in attending business school was to have a chance to learn about and become more involved with international development. I can't think of a better way to have done this than through our AMR project. Our trip to Uganda was one of the most important and meaningful experiences in business school, and I certainly learned more from these experiences than from the classroom. I hope to have future opportunities in international development at some point in my career as a result of my experiences."
-Robbie Schaefer ('13)
"The collaborative environment amongst peers is different in AMR, and requires an approach that is more inclusive than much of my work prior to Anderson. Indirect management of peers is imperative to business results, and AMR provided a safe situation for my own development."
-Ken Janssen ('13)
"I had never started a company. As a Business Creation Option (BCO) team member, I had the unique opportunity to see an idea from conception to execution with the support of classmates and the UCLA Anderson faculty and school. I was able to participate in so many areas, from finance to marketing and business development. It challenged me in new ways as a professional. When we finally saw our product in consumers' hands, it felt amazing!"
-Satiya Witzer ('13)