In a large presentation room, a Webex conference call is underway. As executives wait at a main table for the meeting to start, participants start joining remotely from all over the globe—Europe, Africa, across the U.S. If it weren’t for the assembled audience of Wisconsin School of Business faculty and students in the back, the Grainger Hall scene could easily be mistaken for a top company boardroom anywhere in the world.
In a sense, it is one. In a unique partnership between WSB and Medtronic, a global leader in medical technology and services, the School’s first-year, full-time MBA students spent the Spring 2018 semester on their Integrated Company Analysis (ICA) course. ICA is a capstone consulting project that addresses a significant business challenge for companies like Medtronic, relies heavily on an integrative approach to the MBA core curriculum, and requires high-functioning, creative teamwork.
“It’s an enormously collaborative effort across departments and centers in the School,” says Steve Boeder, who helped manage the project and also serves as director of the Erdman Center for Operations and Technology Management. “Students gain valuable experience by strategizing in teams, communicating with the client, and experiencing what it’s like to work in a global business environment.”