The capstone of the Oregon MBA, the Strategic Planning Project (SPP) provides the opportunity to take on real issues at a real-life business or organization.
Matched with one of our industry partners, MBA students work as a team, tackling matters of strategic importance. They make site visits and attend meetings. A nondisclosure agreement gives them access to proprietary information.
Wherever the company sees an opportunity for growth or has a problem with an existing product line or service, the MBA student team will analyze the case and present its conclusions to senior management.
Depending on the track, SPP commences in the winter term of students' second year and concludes at the end of spring term. From industry and competitor analysis to project definition, market research, and data analysis, students move at business speed. They have less than five months before they have to spell out their conclusions. After rehearsing in front of communications coaches and faculty experts, MBA student teams sell their recommendations—and themselves!—to key executives at their client.
Our MBA students have worked with every kind of business: multinational giants, national brands, and many of the regional companies that play a key role in the Pacific Northwest economy.
Note: finance and securities analysis track students do not participate in SPP, but instead manage the Emerging Markets Fund porfolio. Innovation and entrepreneurship track MBAs who qualify for business plan competitions may also elect the Venture Launch Pathway in lieu of the Strategic Planning Project.
Some of the projects addressed:
- Optimal expansion markets for energy distributor
- Integration of newly acquired product lines
- River-based alternative to waste hauling
- New seat-licensing system for sports franchise
- Brand promotion through sale of licensed products
- Cash flow accounting for retailer
- Marketing plan for educational services NFP
- Web-based catalog for medical supplier
- Supply chain management for manufacturer
- Channel marketing for wholesaler
- A sustainability baseline and action plan for an organization
In addition to Strategic Planning Projects, Oregon MBA students across all tracks complete consulting projects during their regular coursework. Many of our faculty use the ten-week length of courses to support sharply focused projects. There are literally dozens of in-class consulting projects completed each each year across all Oregon MBA tracks.
Independent Consulting Projects
Our students are always eager to tackle new challenges and interesting projects. Each year we have a number of students who take on projects as an independent consulting effort or as an independent study for class credit. Not only are such projects supported, they are actively encouraged.