24 Apr 2014
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MBAs take their business acumen on the road


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H icham Mhammedi Alaoui (MBA 2014) didn’t want to spend the summer of 2013 working in a corporate office. Instead, he and three HBS classmates cofounded MBAs Across America (MBAxAmerica), a movement to send teams of pioneering MBAs out on the road to learn from and work with visionary entrepreneurs.

“Cases are a great start, but we learned countless lessons by making the leap from paper to practice,” Alaoui says.

What started as an seven-city, eight-week road trip logging 8,000 miles is now a movement taking shape with teams applying from top US business schools to join MBAs Across America and hit the road this summer.

Alaoui recalls the work MBAxAmerica did for Sebastian Jackson, owner of the Detroit barbershop Social Club Grooming Co. Jackson wanted to donate hair shavings to accelerate compost for urban renewal projects. “He is trying to revitalize his city. We helped him by making a few simple-to-implement recommendations,” explains Alaoui. This included creating a customer database to turn paying customers into evangelists for the shop, and working with Jackson to spread the word about what he was doing so that others could support his efforts.

(Published April 2014)

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Class of MBA 2014, Section H
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