Partnerships in Innovation

MBA Teams Rally for Corporate Clients


The clock starts ticking at the start of the quarter to bring together a diverse team, scale a steep learning curve on a client’s business and deliver actionable recommendations within 10 weeks.

It’s a challenge UC Davis MBA students take on in the Integrated Management Project—the capstone course and anchor of the IMPACT curriculum—that puts their collective business skills and knowledge to work.














Theory into Practice

Our IMPACT MBA curriculum is anchored by an Integrated Management Project and Articulation and Critical Thinking Training (IMPACT) core courses. Students team on 10-week projects for client firms.

Recent Corporate Sponsors Include

From investigating new markets for Fortune 500 companies to exploring financing scenarios for startups, UC Davis MBA student teams have a proven track record generating winning solutions for corporate sponsors: more than 80 percent of the clients adopt or implement the student teams’ recommendations. Students report using their IMPACT experiences in job interviews and for some students these engagements can lead to internship and career offers from the sponsor clients.

Next year, more companies will have the opportunity to partner with student teams as the Integrated Management Project elevates from an elective to a core course for the Sacramento and Bay Area Part-Time MBA programs.

“The beauty—and biggest challenge—of the program is that each engagement is unique, with an unscripted outcome, and offers a distinctive set of opportunities for our students to learn and grow as business leaders,”

Faculty Advisor Joe DiNunzio,

President of Consulting Firm Fido Management who helped develop and implement the IMPACT curriculum.

Fall Sponsoring Corporations

This past fall, teams of six Full-Time MBA students tackled seven projects ranging from big data and productivity to new agricultural and food markets.

Broadcom, the global semiconductor and connectivity leader, asked students to recommend a product strategy based on video entertainment platforms and market assessments for over-the-top and 4K video markets versus its traditional set-top market.
 Alumnus Michael Hurlston MBA 90, senior vice president and general manager of Broadcom’s Wireless Communications and Connectivity Division, served as the project sponsor.

MARS, the global food and confectionery business, asked students to propose a route-to-market for packaged food products (petcare, chocolate, Wrigley, food, drinks) in emerging markets. The students worked with Mars’ corporate innovation team.

Gartner, the world’s leading information technology research and advisory company, asked students to examine its sales channel to recommend ways to increase the productivity of its Managing Partners and Industry Leaders.

Nor-Cal Beverage, Inc., a beverage manufacturing facility that produces about 25 million cases of fruit juices, drinks, energy drinks, and teas annually, asked students for assistance in analyzing options around how it handles the reject water from its reverse osmosis water filtration system, reducing its wastewater stream.

A prominent San Francisco Bay Area technology company’s fiber broadband division asked students to consult on financial modeling.

PG&E, one of the nation’s largest utilities, asked students to develop a structure and business processes to ensure its big data strategy provides a sustainable advantage versus ad-hoc insights. Alumnus David Hatton MBA 06, senior director of business finance at PG&E, served as the project sponsor.

Here’s an inside look into TWO client projects