I. What is the IMP Course?
The Integrated Management Project (IMP) capstone course teams up students to put their collective business skills and knowledge to work on a 10-week consulting team project for partner companies ranging from Fortune 500 firms to ultra-fast-paced Silicon Valley startups. By creatively responding to real-world strategic business issues, you will deepen the analytical, technical and leadership skills you need to succeed.
II. Course Information
Full-Time MBA Students
When registration opens, students should register for any section of 440 that is available. Once teams are cast, students may have to change sections depending on which faculty advisor will be leading their project team. If this is the case, students will be alerted if they need to register for a different section.
Given that 440 is an elective for the 2015-2016 school year, students in their final year of the program or who are accelerating through the program have priority for registration. If you are accelerating through the program, you will be expected to complete your core classes before taking 440.
The IMPACT executive team will solicit resumes from students interested in taking the elective. Based on student interest the respective projects, the needs of each project, and graduation year, the executive team will determine who will have the opportunity to take the course.
Students should register for other electives they may be interested for winter or spring quarters and then register for IMP/440 when they have been accepted on to a project team.
Course Offering by Campus
IMP/440 will be offered at each campus during the following quarters:
- Fall: Davis Campus
- Winter: San Ramon Campus
- Spring: Sacramento Campus
Please note that IMP/440 will no longer be offered summer quarter.
In sourcing potential projects, student preferences help to guide this process. Approximately six months prior to the launch date for the IMP course, students receive a survey that explores their skills and interests. Based on students’ preferred industries and companies, the director of corporate relations and IMPACT projects then works to shape the potential project set to align with both the academic needs and interests of students.
Closer to the course launch date, students receive another survey listing all the potential projects for the course. Students force rank these projects, which aids in the final project set selection. Given that student interest and engagement is critical for this program, these project preferences are very important and are carefully considered.
While students have the opportunity to indicate their top project choices, project casting responsibilities ultimately rest with the IMP executive team. We will take into account your project preference as well as your skill set and match it with the needs of the project to appropriately cast you on a project team.
Meeting Schedule: Client Presentations and Internal Team Sessions
Actions and Key Project Deliverables
While exact dates may change from year to year, students can expect deadlines as follows:
- Student Interest Survey: 6 months prior to project launch
- Team Lead Selection: Quarter before project launch
- Project Interest Survey: 2 months prior to project launch
- Kick-off Meeting with Project Sponsor: Week 1 of the quarter
- Interim Presentation to Project Sponsor: Middle of the quarter
- Final Presentation: Finals week
As a capstone requirement, the Integrated Management Project core course allows students to integrate the knowledge gained from the intellectual and professional pursuits in the program. Preparation for the IMP Project course begins when you start your first core class in the fall of Year 1. All of a student’s experiences in their core classes, the Principled Leadership Program, and in their summer internships and their careers culminates with the Integrated Management Project. You have the opportunity to use the skills acquired in business school on a real-world strategic business question for one of our client sponsors
Students receive their project assignments approximately one month prior to the start of the quarter and the consulting engagement. While there are no deliverables prior to the start of the quarter, students are expected to begin research on both the company and the industry in the month before the quarter starts. Sponsor companies may also provide immersion material for the student teams. This material should be reviewed and digested before the kickoff meeting with the sponsor.
Team leads can expect pre-work including project management training, which includes a HBS project management simulation. Other team lead pre-work can include scheduling project kickoff meetings or interviews prior to the start of the project.
III. Expectations and Logistics
Course Time Commitment
You should expect to spend approximately 10 hours per week on project-related work. While some weeks may require a larger time commitment with project research requirements such as interviews or presentation preparation, 10 hours is the expected time commitment per week across the project.
Team leads should expect to spend approximately 10-15 percent more time per week on project related work.
Project Assignment and Team Casting
While you have the opportunity to indicate their top project choices, project casting responsibilities ultimately rest with the IMP executive team. We will take into account your project preference as well as your skill set and match it with the needs of the project to appropriately cast you on a project team.
Team Lead Selection and Additional Responsibilities
Project team leads are selected in advance of the IMP course. Team lead selection occurs through an interview process, which considers leadership qualities evidenced in both the students’ school and career experience.
Team leads receive project management training to give them the tools needed to drive the overall project effort. Once the teams have been cast, team leads contact the project team, support an internal team kickoff conference call, and prepare the team for the client kickoff meeting at the start of the quarter.
Team leads will serve as the primary point of contact for both the client sponsor and the faculty advisor. They will conduct periodic meetings with the faculty advisor to update them on the team’s project progress. Through the quarter, team leads will drive the overall project effort and be responsible for scheduling, distributing tasks, and tracking progress.
While team leads should expect to spend 10-15 percent more time on project related work than their team members, they also benefit greatly from the experience. Through additional training, access to senior leadership at sponsor companies, and experience managing a project of strategic importance, team leads receive a unique opportunity for personal and professional development.
Faculty Advisor Support
In addition to working with exciting client sponsors, students also have the distinctive experience of working with faculty advisors with extensive experience in management consulting. In weekly advisory sessions, IMP faculty provide support and guidance for students as they grapple with the unique challenges of each consulting engagement.
Learn more about your IMP faculty advisors here.
The IMPACT program provides a unique career development experience. Students are afforded the opportunity to network and gain valuable experience through their client engagement that increases their marketability and can translate into employment post-graduation. Students report using their IMPACT experiences in job interviews and for some students these engagements can result in job offers from the sponsor clients.
Marketing IMP on Your Resume
Find tips on marketing your IMP experience on your resume here.