"I was under the impression that business schools were like an island, where people only interacted with other MBAs. Not here!"
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.
“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.”
“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.”
“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 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.”
“I can honestly say that when I was planning on coming to business school I never thought that witnessing the birth of a child would be included in the education. It was definitely an experience.”
“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.”
“You could talk about watershed management and conservation of energy all you want. But until you put numbers to it and financial analysis to it, you’re not going to get much done. I came to business school to speak that language, speak with people in terms of numbers, financial numbers so that I can get projects done.”
“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.”
“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!”
“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.”
“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.”
“These companies are really excited to work with MIT students.They reach out to the community to set up these projects and are great to work with. They give us access to all their resources and are very open to us.”
“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.”
"After we gave our recommendations, the great part was that the very next day the CEO was in the boardroom implementing them with his top vice presidents."
“By training tomorrow’s leaders to manage the risks of the financial system effectively and ethically, we’ll have a fighting chance of surviving even the largest crises.”