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Projects & Electives

Active Learning Projects

Purdue University's Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. School of Business partners with companies large and small to provide Active Learning Projects (ALPs) to provide extraordinary learning experiences for Executive MBA students. An integral part of top-tier EMBA programs, ALPs give our students new insights and deeper experiences through solving crucial business problems.


How Applied Learning Projects Work

EMBA staff and recent ALP company partners discuss the details.
Watch the webinar

Cohorts are split into teams of 5-6 students that consult with their assigned company over a 14-week period. Their goal is to consult with organizational partners to address a critical business problem such as entering new markets, launching new services, initiating organizational change, making important investment decisions, restructuring functions and more. Selected firms will benefit from the expertise of highly experienced Executive MBA students from diverse industries, countries and job functions.

Proven Results

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.


This ALP project had everything, and then some. I learned that not all people are as visual as I am. So it gives me a perspective into another person's mind, showing that even if you can visualize things, it doesn't naturally mean that somebody else can. You can bring people onto the same page by just showing them what it is, and that is what I did with this team. We had success with that, and I'll continue to use it.

Vikash Pandey, EMBA Class of 2021

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.


I hope that students will take this experience as one that really highlights and builds confidence for them in what they've learned and allows them to move into their career in a way that they feel confident about what they can do. Because they've really experienced success on a small scale, they can take on a global scale not only for their firms and institutions organizations and teams.

Professor Mary Pilotte

Functional Electives

Functional electives in the Purdue EMBA Program are courses that vary depending on the interests and needs of the cohort.

They are two-credit courses taken by the entire cohort. The cohort votes on a set of options and the top three choices are selected.

Our functional elective offerings include:

This course provides a comprehensive introduction to mergers and acquisitions (M&A) from the perspective of the corporate executive. It is designed for all EMBA students regardless of background. Its goal is to cover key aspects of the M&A business process including corporate strategy, target selection and screening, valuation, deal negotiation and integration. We will focus on current M&A best practices including the key tools, techniques and trends embraced by modern deal makers. This knowledge will help students look behind the headlines of M&A transactions in the press and understand what is going on.

This course is designed to give you a practical introduction to negotiation concepts and tactics. It is a skills class intended to inform your day-to-day work. Through a combination of methods including cases, experiential projects, discussions and lectures, this course will help you improve your ability to negotiate deals and manage employment relationships. The objectives of the course are to provide you with:

  • an ability to identify the practical issues involved in any negotiation situation;
  • an insight into your own strengths and weaknesses in these areas;
  • an opportunity to develop skills in negotiations;
  • an increased awareness and sensitivity to the challenges of managing relationships.

These courses are called "functional" electives because they address a crucial function of an organization.

Having a voting system for our functional electives speaks to our unique approach to choosing and designing electives. Because we consider our students our partners in their education, we never simply provide a predetermined list of electives from which they must choose. We instead make our students co-designers of their curriculum.

Immersion Electives

Immersion electives are one-credit courses in which the cohort is divided into smaller workshop-style groups. Students are assigned to groups of 10 to 15.

The students meet with the faculty member prior to the start of the course to provide input regarding the goals for the topic.

Our immersion elective offering:

A key challenge for managers is dealing with risk, which means the probabilities related to success of different options. The two types of risk most commonly faced by managers are operational and financial risk. The course considers the different types of risk, ways to assess risk and develop options to mitigate the impact of risk on the company.

Our range of EMBA-specific elective options sets the Purdue EMBA program apart from the competition, and the level of student involvement in choosing and designing electives is unparalleled.