For the last three months, the Integrated Company Analysis (ICA) project seemed elusive. It was something that our second-year peers talked about, warned us about, and provided advice about, but we had yet to grasp what it all meant...until now. With a few weeks remaining in the fall semester, the MBA wing is busier and more charged than usual!
The ICA project is the apex of the first semester in the full-time MBA program. Early in the year, first-year students were placed in cross-functional groups and each group selected a publicly traded company to perform a financial analysis and identify ways to better that business. Using accounting, marketing, finance, and data principles, we were tasked with analyzing the business opportunity and putting together a presentation for our core MBA faculty members. The project introduces another level of relevance to our classes by charging us to put our newfound knowledge into practice, accomplished best through teamwork.
Teamwork is ever present in business school and the Wisconsin MBA is diligent in assembling the teams, striving to create cohesion between students from different specializations and with different professional and educational backgrounds, past experiences, from different countries and cultures, and with different future career goals. I met my team members early in the semester and have worked diligently with them for the past three months. Through my team, TEALOLOGY, (Ted, Ed, Adam, Lindsay), I have learned to appreciate the power of diversity in thinking and collaboration. My involvement in the Arts Administration specialization helps me to bring the “out-of-the-box” thinking to our group, just as my teammates have contributed their own expertise from their experiences in finance and marketing research.
With only a few weeks left in the semester and winter break right around the corner, it could be easy to get distracted...but not now. It’s ICA time and my group needs me….