LeBow students across MBA and MS programs convened for an interdisciplinary four-day residency focused on business consulting – and artisanal treats.
The course, Leading for Innovation, provides students with the opportunity to understand business problem solving through project-based coursework. Students work in teams to tackle challenges and new initiatives for an organization, exploring research, analysis and innovative concepts to support organizational goals.
With appropriate timing for the summer quarter, students worked in collaboration with Weckerly’s: makers of small-batch, French-style ice cream and ice cream sandwiches. The micro-creamery offers farm-to-scoop products in Philadelphia’s Fishtown neighborhood and catering for corporations and events.
Students met with co-founder Andy Satinsky to learn about the organization’s honest production process and were energized by its commitment to sustainability and quality, exemplified by the use of eco-friendly materials and locally-sourced ingredients from nearby farms. Research wouldn’t have been complete without the sampling of Weckerly’s handmade products, including chamomile mulberry ice cream, along with roasted strawberry shortcake and meadow mint chocolate ice cream sandwiches.
The class assembled into five teams with faculty oversight from Murugan Anandarajan, professor of decision sciences and MIS. Students followed a research methodology, exploring how to frame a problem, collect and analyze data and communicate insights. Within the course’s four-day time frame, teams examined consulting strategies and became enthusiasts of the Weckerly’s brand. To conclude the residency, students presented research-driven recommendations for advancing progress toward Weckerly’s business goals.
“The residency fostered a collaborative environment conducive to problem solving,” said Tracey Larrow, ‘21 MBA. “The inspiring story of Weckerly’s led to creative thinking and a truly unique learning experience. I will be hard-pressed to replicate such an extraordinary opportunity with so many intelligent people.”
“Working with Weckerly’s provided me an unprecedented experience leading a student consulting team,” said Matthew Moore, ’19 MBA. “I applied the tools and knowledge developed through my MBA program to solve real-world challenges.”