"I contacted many Ph.D. students from the engineering side. One team was looking for a project manager for their business idea…."
Enterprise Management Lab
Applying integrated management perspectives
The Enterprise Management Lab (EM-Lab), entitled “Introduction to Enterprise Management,” is available to students studying in the Enterprise Management Track of the MIT Sloan MBA program. The EM-Lab is designed to develop students’ ability to apply integrated management perspectives and practices in their roles within large organizations. The goal of every EM-Lab project is to promote an integrated mindset through which students will view and address business issues.
How EM-Lab Works
EM-Lab students work in small teams on tightly scoped projects focused on marketing, operations, and/or strategy for host companies. Though projects may be housed in one of these functional areas, students are encouraged to stretch their thinking beyond their projects’ primary functional domain to develop holistic solutions. EM-Lab combines classroom lectures and faculty mentorship with challenging project work for real companies. The companies represent leaders and innovators in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors. Sample past and current host companies include:
- The Boston Red Sox
- Biogen Idec
- GE Healthcare
- Mercedes Benz
- Proctor & Gamble
The EM-Lab Process
EM-Lab project work typically takes place over an eight-week period starting in October. Students receive project descriptions from participating companies and work with their respective clients for several hours per week. The projects culminate with the student teams creating formal presentations for their client companies that feature the teams’ findings and recommendations.
“One of the reasons I came to Sloan was because I wanted to be at a top MBA institution worldwide. But I also wanted access to working with the latest innovations and the highest technology that was coming out of the MIT labs.”
“[The India Lab] program is one of the reasons I came to Sloan. ... The hands-on learning that MIT offers was a huge differentiator.”
“We’re very interdisciplinary. Among the faculty in the group are an economist, a political scientist, a sociologist, and an industrial relations specialist. We’ve always made a big effort to be open to a variety of perspectives, but also to go beyond being open to them, to want to bring them in, because it makes for a richer environment.”
“I love being in a place that is such a nexus of people and ideas — people coming to learn something new and to define themselves. Being a part of that process is a real honor and a real gift.”
“We are very much an action-learning environment. The way to learn leadership is not only through reading cases, not only through learning theory — in fact we don’t want people to regurgitate the theory. We want people to take theory and to live it, use it.”
“The conditions in the neighborhoods we were visiting were different than what we realized before getting there. Beyond that, what was surprising was that there weren’t surprises!”
“It was really rewarding that they wanted to know what we thought. We left there being fairly certain that they will do some of the things that we suggested.”
“I came to Sloan because of its high rankings within the sustainability community, specifically the professors. The S-Lab class itself is part of what drew me to Sloan. And the reason I came to business school was to learn the business speak that really is what connects with people."
“I knew about American business, but not enough about what’s really become a global economy. … You can read about it all you want, but there’s no substitute for being there and seeing the context and seeing how completely different these [other countries] are.”
“Because of the diversity of our backgrounds, when we hit the ground in Tanzania it almost was a natural play where different people assume different roles.”
“At MIT Sloan you have a lot of opportunities to explore entrepreneurship. Especially in a place like Kampala where you have a lot of development, entrepreneurship can be very exciting.”
"The relationships that we forged helped us to turn out a better project. We were able to test our hypotheses with the people that we spoke with every single day. And really, I think the friendships that you develop really propel the work that you’re doing."
“The assistant to the CEO was like our host mom while we were there. She arranged our housing for us, she took us out to her friend’s game farm, and we got driven around in 4x4s. She was just wonderful to meet, and we developed a personal as well as professional relationship with her.”
“For 35 years, we’ve been studying how companies get value from information. … We try to help organizations take a more holistic view of what they are trying to do.”
“I think MIT Sloan does a great job of breaking monolithic disciplinary approaches to issues and throws together a group of scholars who are really learning from each other to have multiple approaches to similar problems.”