Student Voices

What a Ross Master of Management Degree Means to Me

– by Jack Zimmerman, MM '21

I wanted to share what I’ve learned about the Master of Management degree now that I’ve started in the Michigan Ross MM Program. 

I was entering my senior year of college, soon to graduate with an engineering degree and take on the world. There was just one problem: I didn’t want to actually be an engineer. 

This journey began after I participated in a study abroad opportunity in India investigating how innovation affects communities, where I spoke with people across the country to hear their stories. I met so many families who were able to rise out of poverty due to technological innovations and  access to a growing economy, and that experience taught me how business can be used to improve lives.

This revelation challenged me to rethink my current path and explore how I can solve business problems that positively impact people and even the world. After that, I tried my hand in engineering and working at start-ups, but I eventually realized I lacked the business skills to create the impact I sought.

I quickly found I did not have the work experience required for most MBA programs, and I felt completely unprepared to apply for a business role. I felt stuck without a way out.

That’s when I found the Master of Management degree. This led me to think, but what even is a MM degree? 

Since I’m surely not alone in wondering this, I wanted to share what I’ve learned about the degree now that I’ve started in the Ross MM Program. 

A program that teaches you core business fundamentals

I first heard of the MM degree by looking at European business schools, where it is one of the most popular and prestigious programs. After piquing my interest, I searched for similar programs in the U.S., where I found Ross sitting atop the U.S. rankings. The degree is designed to teach non-business students the fundamentals of business over the course of a year, so that they can build upon their undergraduate degree.

So far, my Ross cohort and I have found ourselves being challenged with new skillsets in marketing, finance, and accounting, while being given enough time to explore our own interests. Even though I have been learning business for a short amount of time, the program is giving me such a strong grasp of the fundamentals, that I’m already feeling prepared for a career in business.

A community of people from every background

Beyond the classroom, the people are what make this program truly special. Along my journey, I have met people from all walks of life, with perspectives wholly different from my own. One of those people is my classmate, Kat, who went from being a professional actress to learning the ropes of business with me. We could not have more different academic backgrounds, yet we’re going through the same process of learning a totally new skillset together.

Throughout the program, it has become increasingly clear how much more effective a team is when it’s composed of people with different viewpoints. Being immersed with people of completely different strengths has taught me how I can be the best version of myself. I will never forget the incredible people in this program, and I’m truly excited to see how my classmates leverage their unique experiences to try and change the world.

A launching point for your career

Some of my classmates are using this degree to go back to their undergraduate field, while others are taking this opportunity to transition to a corporate role. Regardless, the MM program at Ross has allowed us to fully understand the complexities of business concepts, such as finance, while also being able to step back and see the grander picture of how our work will actually impact the organization we will be working for. The unique educational backgrounds of my classmates will allow us to excel in our respective career paths.

Ultimately, a Master of Management degree is whatever you want it to be

Whether you want to build the business skills to bridge your undergraduate passion, pursue a new passion in business, or even find out what your true passion is, a MM degree will move you towards the right direction. Your unique and personal background can be your biggest strength, and this program will help you power your potential so you can try to make the change you want to see in the world.

Jack Zimmerman, MM '21

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Email: visb@umich.edu