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Reflecting a sea change in the business world, University of Michigan Business School M.B.A. program starts with two days experiencing the down side of capitalism.

ANN ARBOR, Mich.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 28, 1995--The aspiring captains of industry arriving to start the University of Michigan Business School's M.B.A. program this week will learn how to save society and the environment before they learn about how to make money and run a business -- reflecting a profound change in both how business views its role in society and in the attitudes of M.B.A. students who were once thought to have nothing but the riches of Wall Street on their minds.

Other orientation activities have been truncated, and the bulk of those precious first few days -- a time when students' attention attention is at peak focus -- are given over to something that has little to do with business in the traditional sense.

For two days, all of the more than 400 incoming Michigan M.B.A.s will leave the manicured campus lawns they just arrived on and go into decaying neighborhoods, shelters for the homeless, emergency housing for women, and the like and work alongside staff of social service organizations so these relatively privileged M.B.A.s can see --most for the first time -- the down side of capitalism. And they will hear from corporate executives -- including the presidents of Warner-Lambert, Shell, and Dow -- why what they learn on the inner-city streets and in the shelters is as important as anything they will learn in the elite classrooms of a top-ten business school. More importantly, they will learn how to act on that knowledge.

The program takes place on Aug. 29 and 30, when the incoming class will be broken into teams and head out to project sites in Ann Arbor, Detroit, Benton Harbor, and Midland -- where they will work on projects such as housing renovation, mentoring at-risk students, meeting with staff and clients of homeless shelters and women's shelters. One team will start construction on a house one of last year's M.B.A. teams started raising money for in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity.

Accompanying each group of students will be executives from companies including Ameritech, Detroit Edison, Dow Chemical, NBD, Procter & Gamble and Whirlpool. Discussions with executives on why companies make this kind of work part of doing business -- and what businesses can do -- will take place in Ann Arbor and elsewhere on the afternoon of Aug. 29, and teams will review some of what they learned during sessions on the 30th.

The president and COO of Warner-Lambert will be the keynote at a closing session on Aug. 30, a session in which students also make presentations about their experience -- and which typically has the university auditorium in which it is held buzzing more than it will be again two years later at graduation.

This is all part of a new business school curriculum started at Michigan in 1990, and which updates business school for the changed demands on business worldwide. While much of the curriculum changes are aimed at making M.B.A.s better, more action-oriented managers, the school is unambiguous that the top goal of these two days is to cast a new generation of business leaders who are also leaders for social and environmental change.

CONTACT: Keith Decie, 313/936-2150
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Copyright 1995, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

 
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Aug 28, 1995
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