These Michigan Ross Students Saw the Ad 'MBAs Wanted For Hazardous Journey' and Signed Up Immediately


For 12 Michigan Ross MBA students, the promise of adventure was too great to ignore.

They saw the ad for Open Road 2018 (which read: “MBAs Wanted for Hazardous Journey”), and wasted no time volunteering themselves as tributes.

This spring, those students are embarking on road trips across America to meet with entrepreneurs and work with them to bring innovative solutions to their various business challenges. It’s experiential learning meets consulting meets The Amazing Race.

To get a firsthand account of what life during Open Road is like for students, listen to the latest episode of the Business Beyond Usual podcast. Jump in the car with a group of Michigan Ross MBAs as they hit the road and talk with entrepreneurs who have participated in the program.

Download or listen now:

The aim of the program, which is now in its fifth year, is to give small business owners extra help solving complex challenges, and to help students gain firsthand experience understanding the various issues small businesses face.

The Open Road adventure is sponsored by the Zell Lurie Institute, the Center for Social Impact, and the Erb Institute at Michigan Ross.

Over the course of the next five weeks, the students will drive from state to state meeting entrepreneurs, spending one week on site in each location working together on a solution to a business problem, and then pack up the car and hit the road again.

From Michigan to Washington and North Dakota to Arkansas, the three teams of students will meet with 12 companies in 9 states, driving more than 5,500 miles in 4 weeks.

Here are the companies and locations student teams will be visiting:

Michigan Good Food Fund - Detroit, MI Lil Brilliant Mindz - Detroit, MI Detroit Peppers - Detroit, MI
Mindshift - Fargo, ND Green Opportunities - Asheville, NC Compost Crusader - Milwaukee, WI
Lake Missoula Tea Company - Missoula, MT JaWanda’s Sweet Potato Pies - Birmingham, AL Learn. Create. Build. - Sioux Falls, SD
Homes First - Lacey, WA ZUNI Learning Tree - Conway, AR Western Sustainability Exchange - Livingston, MT


Students on the road include:

TEAM ACAI - Courtney Poopat, Apoorva Kanneganti, Alexis Morath, Ian Stackhouse-Kaelble

TEAM MACK - Chris Owen, Mark Green, Kashay Sanders, Alli Bernstein

TEAM THIS - Tsering Sherpa, Thai Ha-Ngoc, Jinny Han, Stephanie Dollan

​Learn more about Open Road