The Program

Story Lab develops executive-level presence and communication skills through storytelling workshops and events. To be an effective leader — at work, in the community, or in your personal life — you must be able to communicate with impact. Often this means telling stories that are meaningful to you and others, and doing so in the rich language and expressive style of a seasoned storyteller. If you can craft and deliver an effective story, you will be better able to convey your value to recruiters, inspire and motivate classmates and colleagues, and influence any audience you find yourself addressing. At Story Lab, you’ll find a fun and immersive experience and an opportunity to hone your skills in a safe and supportive environment.

Story Lab is co-created with the Ross Design + Business Club.

Get Involved

Story Lab runs throughout the academic year, from September through April. The program begins in the Fall with a kickoff event that is open to the entire university. Then, each semester, a competitively selected group of students participates in a half-day skill-building retreat. Six or seven of these students receive additional coaching and become featured storytellers at Ross Diaries, our live “The Moth-style” storytelling event. We conclude the academic year with a final Ross Diaries event, featuring storytellers from throughout the year at a community-wide, year-end celebration.

“I want to share my deep joy and gratitude. Thank you for making it possible for me to tell [my] story, giving me the courage, tools, and platform to do so. I am so grateful for the entire Story Lab team’s support, edits, and inspiration.”

Sarah Wood, BBA ’18
Interest Form

Program Type

Action-Based Learning

Key Dates

Fall 2019
We’ll post the dates here when Story Lab starts next fall.

Time Commitment

Ross Diaries events are 1.5 hours; Story Lab retreats are 4.5 hours

Participant Requirements

  • Deep interest in storytelling, personal growth, and lifelong learning
  • Ross students only for the retreats (by application)
  • Ross Diaries events are open to the public

Skills You’ll Learn

Learn how to communicate with impact, enhance your influence, and inspire dialogue and action. The workshop will help you discover your voice and adopt proven storycraft techniques while developing the verbal communication skills effective leaders use to engage and activate people in today’s complex world.

Developing Executive Presence
You will build your unique communication style, while practicing a proven combination of verbal skills, vocal tones, and body language that enhance executive presence. Your work at Story Lab will not only increase your confidence, charisma, and credibility; it will help you forge an impactful personal brand.

Leading Authentically
Get beneath the surface with your peers and build a more connected Ross community. Through your storytelling, you’ll have the opportunity to go deep, share your authentic self, and connect meaningfully with others. In so doing, you’ll model courageous leadership and learn to foster empathy and trust in others.

Learning from Experience & Feedback
You’ll reflect on your life experiences, recall failures, and celebrate moments of resilience and grit. Along the way, you’ll be encouraged to step outside your comfort zone, receive rich feedback from coaches and peers, and gain fresh insights about yourself and the power of your voice.




April 17, 2019 in Story Lab

Story Lab 2019: The Year in Review

This year's Story Lab program gave Rossers the opportunity to learn how to tell their story, to listen with empathy to others, and to celebrate our unique campus cultureOur Story…
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March 14, 2018 in Business + Impact Challenge, Story Lab

Michigan Ross Has One of the Best MBA Program Cultures

Michigan Ross was recently featured as having one of the best cultures among MBA programs on Poets & Quants! We're incredibly proud of the students, faculty, and staff who make our…
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