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Active Learning Projects

Purdue University campus

The Purdue University Executive MBA Program team seeks to work with companies large and small to solve crucial business problems through our Active Learning Projects, or ALP, course.

What is ALP?

For our Executive MBA students, ALP is a for-credit course, part of the required curriculum. Active learning means learning by doing — an integral component of a top-tier EMBA program. 

Hear from past ALP company partners

Watch our webinar featuring feedback from recent ALP company partners:
Watch our webinar

Cohorts are split into teams of 5-6 students that consult with their assigned company over a 14-week period. The students’ goal is to address a critical business problem as defined by the company and the team.

For our client companies, ALP is an opportunity to have accomplished professionals assist in solving a problem, like entering new markets, launching new services, initiating organizational change, and more. Selected firms will receive assistance from a team of Executive MBA students who come from around the world, work in a variety of industries and job functions, and have an average of 15 years of work experience.

Project Results

Since 2012 Purdue EMBA students have consulted for companies on specific problems including entering new markets, launching new services, initiating organizational change, making important investment decisions, restructuring functions, and more.

Recent Active Learning Projects have been in the areas of finance, operations, strategy, and technology. Specific examples of project results include:

  • Optimizing levels of work in progress and raw inventories to reduce lead time by 13% and stock on hand from 2.35 months to 2 months (a 15% reduction) for two different product lines for a global pump manufacturer based in Scandinavia.
  • Developing a roadmap to inform a German steel conglomerate’s R&D efforts.
  • Providing strategic guidance regarding what role a newly acquired company should take within a firm that manufactures and installs fixed seating projects for the educational, cultural, business, and sports sector.
  • Assisting a Dutch motorcycle and ATV parts distributor in pivoting to a more technologically savvy consumer base by moving to an internet commerce model.

Watch the video below to hear about an Active Learning Project completed by our students, and the client's perspective on the outcome.

Partner With Us

Partner organizations can be of any size, from any industry, and do business in any country, but the firm must be established. Companies should expect to work with the Executive MBA students assigned to their project like consultants, discussing needs, sharing  information, providing feedback, and participating in performance evaluations. Each partner company must identify a project owner and contact person for regular communication with the students. We require a financial commitment of $2,500, payable on an as-needed basis, for direct costs – e.g., student travel expenses for a site visit.

Questions about Purdue's EMBA Program Active Learning Projects? Contact Sarah Ham, Director, at

Ready to engage? We’re soliciting partner organizations for consulting projects with our current EMBA cohort. Companies with opportunities for student consulting projects, to be delivered in the July-November timeframe, are encouraged to contact Dr. Matthew Lynall,, for more information.

A Video Introduction

Purdue EMBA Program Professor Mary Pilotte provides foundational instruction regarding project management and consulting skills as part of the Active Learning Projects course.