Michigan Ross Students Are Climbing Mt Kilimanjaro With Dean DeRue In Intense Leadership Development Course


This month, more than 30 University of Michigan students will climb up Mount Kilimanjaro, the tallest mountain on the African continent, while being led by Scott DeRue, the Edward J. Frey Dean of Business at Michigan Ross.

Along the way, students will participate in one of the most action-packed leadership courses of their lives with the trek up the mountain taking seven days and involving several specifically designed challenges.

During the ascent, Dean DeRue will guide the participants to embrace their inner leaders, to learn methods of motivating and aligning people to a shared objective, and to organize teams of people for effective performance. Students will learn how to make decisions in the face of uncertainty, how to motivate individuals to work as a team, and how to manage and negotiate conflict.

It’s a lesson uniquely suited to learn while mountaineering, where the harsh conditions and altitudes demand cooperation and teamwork.

“When businesses look to hire or promote you to higher levels of management, your ability to lead people and teams is one of the most important criteria,” DeRue said. “Kilimanjaro will help these students understand the essence of what makes great leadership and effective teamwork.”

Students will be joined on the trek by Michigan Ross alums and prominent business executives Cathy Bessant, BBA '82, Chief Operations & Technology Officer at Bank of America; Ed Hightower, MBA '95, Managing Director of Motoring Ventures and author of a book looking at Africa and the auto industry; and David Heller, BBA '87, co-founder and CEO of the NRP Group.

For their part, the students have been training for months, hiking strenuous trails across the U.S. and South America. Once they return, they’ll complete an on-campus course that will thoroughly explore the $44 billion tourism industry in Africa.

Learn more about Ross Global Experiences