What better way to cap off the MBA experience than by taking everything you’ve learned in the program and applying it to an in-depth consulting project for a real-world client? Making the project even more meaningful is the fact that the client’s business aligns with the concentration you’ve pursued during your time as an MBA. This is exactly how the majority of Oregon MBA students finish up their time on campus. Known around the Lillis Business Complex as SPP—that’s short for Strategic Planning Project—this multipronged endeavor is regarded as the capstone of students’ time here.
Read on for an overview of the consulting projects that graduating MBAs tackled this year.
Green Sports for Brown Delivery Trucks
UPS asked MBA students from the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center to create a plan that would allow the company to showcase its commitment to sustainability via college athletics sponsorship marketing. The students studied the overall landscape of sustainability activation in sports sponsorship and then surveyed key UPS stakeholders about what is important to them. Using these insights, the MBA students created an action plan for using UPS customers’ college sports fandom to kindle an awareness of the company’s sustainability efforts.
Other Warsaw SPPs included exploring digital media and mobile opportunities for the Seattle Seahawks, developing a digital marketing strategy for mobile accessories company Hoot Case, and evaluating business models for the Council for Responsible Sport.
Mapping Sustainability for a Natural Foods Icon
Students from the Center for Sustainable Business Practices took on a project for a company with deep local roots and a widening international reach. Springfield Creamery—maker of Nancy’s Yogurt among other cultured products—was looking to grow its green efforts. Four MBA students—including Blake Thompson, MBA ’15, the grandson of creamery founder Chuck Kesey—documented the company’s current practices and developed a step-by-step plan for making these even greener.
Forecasting Sustainable Timber Company’s Growth
Sustainable Northwest Wood tasked MBA students associated with the Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship to create a financial forecasting model. The wholesale distributor of Forestry Stewardship Council-certified lumber and its parent organization—the nonprofit Sustainable Northwest—were looking for the hard numbers that would enable them to estimate what it would take to maintain Sustainable Northwest Wood’s growth.
“They know they’re growing, they’ve got some resources, and they want to know how they are going to finance their growth,” said team member Erik Ford, MBA ’15.
The SPP Road Not Taken
Though all MBA students leave the program with solid real-world experience in hand, not everyone participates in SPPs. Finance and securities analysis track students hone their chops with four terms of managing approximately $250,000 in real money in the Lundquist College’s Emerging Markets Fund portfolio. Some students in the innovation and entrepreneurship track also choose to swap the college’s Venture Launch Pathway experience for SPP.
Learn More about SPP and Past Project Partners