It’s a PR Nightmare: Michigan Ross Students Are Experiencing the Worst Day of their Careers

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For the more than 200 graduate students from the Ross School of Business and across the University of Michigan participating in the Leadership Crisis Challenge, it’s going to be a long night.

As part of the challenge, students are given just 24 hours to navigate a company crisis that is quickly spiraling out of control. The program, developed by the Sanger Leadership Center, asks students to assume executive leadership roles at fictitious companies.

The program, which is sponsored this year by PNC Bank, kicks off in the Tauber Colloquium at 5 p.m., when the students learn exactly what issues have befallen their company. Students will have all night to develop a response plan before presenting to the company’s board of directors (role-played by distinguished Michigan alumni and friends) on Friday morning. Then, the pressure only intensifies as they go on to face real journalists during a heated press conference that afternoon, whereafter the winning team will be chosen.

The winning team will receive a scholarship for $3,000 and two runner-up teams will win $1,000. The Crisis Challenge is also held in March for undergraduate students across the university.