Undercover Ross: An Ann Arbor Love Story

few blocks west of campus is Ann Arbor’s downtown, which features a variety of restaurants and shops.

I love Ann Arbor.

Maybe I’m biased. I spent four years in Ann Arbor as an undergrad and decided to spend two more years here in Tree Town earning my MBA.

Now that I’ve laid my cards on the table, consider yourself an informed reader as I proclaim my love for America’s best college town.

The Davidson Winter Garden is the heartbeat of Michigan Ross. It’s used by all students as a place to study, hold group meetings, or visit with friends.

Maybe it’s the buzz in the Ross Wintergarden – a giant atrium lined with windows that allow the sun to illuminate the space –  on one of the first days of class as students jam as many people as possible around a small table to catch up with friends old and new.

Maybe it’s the way the trees paint the town beautiful hues of red, yellow and orange when the leaves start to change on crisp October days.

Maybe it’s the smile you get on a Friday afternoon hearing the marching band practice ‘The Victors’ ahead of a big game on Saturday.

Maybe it’s the laughs you have over a meal with friends at Benny’s Diner, Mani, Isalita, Jolly Pumpkin, Slurping Turtle, Spencer, Rich JC, Zingerman’s, Maize and Blue Deli, or any of Ann Arbor’s great restaurants (please take no offense, those that aren’t mentioned!).

Maybe it’s the joy you feel basking in the sun on that one randomly nice day in mid-March at Dominick’s or Bill’s Beer Garden.

Across the street from the Michigan Ross campus is the 90-year-old Law Quad, renowned for its Collegiate Gothic architectural style

Maybe it’s the camaraderie generated by standing shoulder-to-shoulder with 110,000 of your closest friends in 40-degree weather belting out “The Victors” and “Mr. Brightside” as Michigan defeats Ohio State for the third straight year.

Maybe it’s always being struck by the beautiful limestone and gothic architecture of the Law Quad, with the lawns filled with squirrels munching on whatever they can find. 

Or maybe, just maybe, it’s all of that and more.

There’s something special about getting your MBA in a college town. You move to a city with hundreds of classmates, and most of you don’t know anyone in that town.

Adam (Left) and friends celebrate Michigan football’s third consecutive win over Ohio State.

That creates a strong sense of community right off the bat. For two years, you have a small world to explore and a group of people who are eager to explore it with you.

For my money, there’s no better place to do that than in Ann Arbor.

The campus is gorgeous and lively. The town is filled with terrific bars and restaurants to explore. There are great concerts and cultural events to attend. And fall Saturdays at the Big House create a sense of belonging that few other places on Earth can replicate.

As I get ready to graduate in the spring, I know how deeply I will miss this town and, more importantly, the people who I spent the past two years with. And I will be eager to see them, and my beloved Ann Arbor, in the very, very near future.

About Adam: I was born and raised just outside of Detroit and I’m thrilled to be back in Michigan. Prior to Ross, I was working as a political reporter at CBS News. I wanted to take my passion for understanding consumer behavior and apply it to a future career in marketing. I chose to come to Ross because it offers so many hands-on experiences and I’m surrounded by genuine, caring and intellectually curious classmates.

You can connect with Adam on LinkedIn and learn more about him in Poets & Quants’ Meet The Class 2024.

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