International Growth Lab


International Growth Lab ("Growth Lab") offers students from Kellogg and its overseas business school partners an opportunity to work together on growth strategy projects for international organizations. This four-month experiential learning course blends traditional classroom learning with real-world problem solving, client service and cross-border teamwork. Under the supervision of a Kellogg faculty member, teams of 4-6 students from Kellogg, ESADE Business & Law School in Barcelona, and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology work directly with senior management teams to devise market-based growth strategies for their companies.

The course has three primary educational objectives:
  • First, it allows students to apply their management skills and experience to a practical, real-world growth challenge facing an international business. 
  • Second, the course is intended to deepen students' understanding and appreciation of international markets, business practices and cultural norms. 
  • Finally, Growth Lab offers students the chance to continue developing their teamwork and analytic problem-solving skills in a cross-cultural context.


To be eligible for enrollment in the class, students must have fulfilled (or currently be fulfilling during spring quarter) all core MBA course requirements and be in good academic standing with their respective schools. Course enrollment will take place through a student application process administered at the student's respective home school. Kellogg will select 3 - 4 of its own students for each project on the basis of their qualifications and stated project preferences.

Step 1: Essay Questions
Answer the following question, totaling no more than two typed pages (double-spaced, Times New Roman, 12-point font). Send your answers via email as an attached Word file to Global Programs by the deadline below. The more specifics you can offer in your response, the more informed decisions we can make in terms of student placement.

  • How does having the opportunity to participate in Growth Lab fit in with your goals for Kellogg or your post-MBA career?

Step 2: Click on the link below and complete the form

Applications due: Thursday, January 28th at noon
Student team decisions announced: Thursday, February 4th by 3:00 PM


When the application decisions are announced, students from all campuses will be notified and required to schedule a team videoconference to introduce themselves and discuss their client's business and scope of the project. A mandatory first class will be held digitally during the first week of March to get everyone aligned and prepared. Later that month, Kellogg students will travel overseas to meet with their project teammates and company sponsors. This initial project "kick-off" session is designed to give students the opportunity to interview management, scope the project, agree on deliverables and develop their team work plan.

Starting in March, teams will begin their primary and secondary market research and meet virtually with the Kellogg faculty member weekly to review progress, share new analyses and insights, and discuss emerging hypotheses. After 4-5 weeks, partner school students will travel to Kellogg for an extended weekend of class sessions, team building, and preparations for the midterm progress review to be delivered to the client after the partner school students return home.

During the final four weeks of class, students will continue to meet weekly with their faculty advisor, pushing towards finalizing their research and recommendations. In early June, Kellogg students will travel again to the meet with their teammates and clients to deliver their final strategy recommendations and work with management on implementation plans.


Harold Sirkin is a Senior Partner and Managing director at the Boston Consulting group in Chicago, IL. He received his Masters of Business Education from the University of Chicago, as well as his Bachelors of Science in Economics from the Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania. He has authored two books and numerous articles and columns in such publications as the Harvard Business Review, Business Week and Time.


Kellogg's 2015 Growth Lab partners will be ESADE Business School in Spain and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST).

ESADE is an international academic institution with over fifty years of history. The main asset of this business school are people: faculty members and professionals who nurture reflection, dialogue, projects and initiatives to ensure excellent education, pioneering research and a valuable contribution to social debate and transformation. ESADE's key mission is to train individuals to become highly-competent professionals fully aware of their social responsibility. We promote education and research through our Law School and Business School with a firm commitment to intellectual rigor, critical analysis and academic excellence.

Founded in 1991, HKUST is an international research university with strong ties to global thought leaders, whilst having wide-ranging connections with Mainland China. It promotes interdisciplinary studies, dedicated to educating well-rounded students to acquire a strong entrepreneurial spirit and innovative thinking – the necessary foundation and skills for the changing world. The University is housed in a hillside and waterfront complex overlooking the Clear Water Bay peninsula, less than 30 minutes' driving time from Central Hong Kong. For more information, please visit our website at


Please email Debbie Kraus at