Job hunting is a challenge for most people—but for ex-convicts transitioning back into everyday life, finding a job can be nearly impossible. Data suggests that over half of the men and women who return home after being released from prison are unemployed for up to a year. Many of the formerly incarcerated see self-employment as one of the only routes to earn a steady income without resorting to low-wage employment.

Dr. Charlotte Ren, a Fox School associate professor in the Strategic Management department, saw the challenges the formerly incarcerated face and created an integrated course that provides entrepreneurial skills to this underserved population. This year, Ren’s course, “The Social Entrepreneurial Approach to Community Reintegration,” was identified by the Academy of Management as one of the finest innovations in the area of entrepreneurship education and received the 2017 Innovation in Entrepreneurship award.

Ren’s course is part of a larger, on-going initiative called the Penn Restorative Entrepreneurship Program (PREP), an initiative she founded in 2014. “At the core of this course [and PREP] is the idea of addressing societal challenges and transforming lives through knowledge creation and sharing by bringing together college students and members of disadvantaged populations,” said Ren.

The ten-week accelerated program brings together students from multiple disciplines and formerly incarcerated individuals for intensive training on the many ways of starting and running small businesses and social enterprises.

After completing the course, students from both the university and the judicial system will be able to understand major theories of entrepreneurship, acquire skills involved in designing and implementing social entrepreneurship programs, and also understand the nature and scope of community reintegration problems

The economic benefits of re-entry programs like Ren’s have been projected to make a significant impact. According to the Center for Economic and Policy Research, the U.S. economy lost between $57 and $65 billion in 2008 alone due to unemployed or underemployed ex-convicts. Through her course, Ren is helping to create opportunities for the formerly incarcerated to contribute to society and our economy in a meaningful way.

“I hope my course will inspire more faculty members,” Ren said, “both at the Fox School and across other schools and universities, to develop courses that apply their research and teaching expertise into addressing some of the pressing social issues in society.”

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Healthcare in this United States is a lightning rod for debate. As Congress grapples with the future of the Affordable Care Act, the American people face uncertainty in medical care and costs.

To improve the efficiency, quality, and cost-effectiveness for patient care, hospitals have increasingly turned digital, using Electronic Medical Record (EMR) systems to store and share patient’s medical history. However, as the use of EMR systems increased, so did reported healthcare costs.

Since the adoption of the physician coding systems used to store and update EMRs in 2009, Medicare has experienced an estimated $380 million increase in reimbursements per year. Medicare accused hospitals of “upcoding,” or illegally overstating patients’ diagnoses and treatment, in an effort to receive a higher reimbursement. A 2012 study showed that hospitals in Utica, NY, and Nashville, TN, increased its patient reimbursement claims by 43% and 82% respectively after adopting EMR systems.

In response to this drastic surge in reimbursements, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services conducted a pilot program, the Recovery Audit Program, from 2004 to 2010. Researchers at the Fox School partnered with researchers at McGill University to study how this audit program has been able to reduce illegal Medicare reimbursement claims, thus lessening the financial burden on American taxpayers.

Hilal Atasoy

The initial goal of implementing EMRs was to lower costs by reducing medical errors, over-testing, and re-admissions. But the findings of Dr. Kartik K. Ganju of McGill and Drs. Hilal Atasoy and Paul Pavlou of Temple University, confirmed that the adoption of the coding system is associated with an increase in Medicare reimbursements, particularly in the case of for-profit hospitals.

The research found an average of $217,745 in inflated reimbursements to Medicare per hospital per year, and even higher costs (nearly $370,000 in overages) at for-profit hospitals. After finding $693 million in overpayments by Medicare in six pilot states, the audit program was adopted nationwide in 2010.

The researchers looked into this “trillion-dollar conundrum” and found that the audit program successfully combated upcoding by using default templates and by identifying and removing cloned records of old patient that were erroneously copied into a new patient’s medical chart. After the audit became nationwide, the study found that it had corrected up to $2 billion in incorrect claims; yet for-profit hospitals were still reporting high reimbursement fees than their nonprofit counterparts.

The bottom line? While EMRs have enhanced coordination and information sharing, they also make it easier to report expensive and potentially inappropriate healthcare expenses.

As the first successful evaluation of the Recovery Audit Program, the researchers praise the work that has been done, but warn that stronger oversight by the government is still needed to combat ever-increasing costs, especially at for-profit hospitals.

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When looking for a restaurant, bakery, plumber, or lawyer, you’re likely to visit sites like Yelp or Angie’s List to help make a choice. In fact, recent research shows that 78 percent of consumers in the United States will read online reviews prior to making a purchase or decision. Meanwhile, businesses can use these review sites to interact more directly with their customers, through tools like new owner response features.

How does this online interaction translate into real-world performance? Dr. Subodha Kumar, professor of Marketing and Supply Chain Management at the Fox School, conducted a study to find out.

Kumar examines the impact of the adoption of the business owner response feature within online review platforms in his paper, “Exit, Voice, and Response in Digital Platforms: An Empirical Investigation of Online Management Response Strategies,” which was accepted for publication in the Information Systems Research, an A-level journal.

Businesses that use the response features saw an increased number of mobile “check-ins” through sites like FourSquare and Facebook. Although the feature has been beneficial for businesses that use it, the key to consistent success resides in the need for companies to stay up-to-date with ways to connect with their consumers, both present and future.

“Overall, the new features supported through digital platforms will help businesses develop the right engagement strategy, improve consumer experience, and generate more reviews and consumer traffic, which will ultimately open more revenue generating opportunities for both the digital platforms and businesses,” said Kumar. This strategy will essentially drive higher website traffic and, if done well, enhance customer relations.

The study also found that use of the online response feature impacted the performance of nearby businesses. For example, in analyzing the performance of nearby restaurants in direct competition, businesses that directly engaged with customers online increased their number of check-ins, while businesses that did not use the features saw a decrease. This spillover effect suggests that businesses must be aware of how their neighbors and competitors are engaging with customers online in order to optimize their own digital strategies.

With the growth of mobile check-ins, social media, and online reviews, the research possibilities are evolving as well. “A future research direction is to examine which types of online management responses are more likely to attract consumers and enhance business performance,” said Kumar.

Dr. Subodha Kumar recently joined the Fox School. He will be a part of the Data Science Institute, an interdisciplinary body that connects multiple disciplinary perspectives to increase collaboration in the fields of computer science, math and statistics, and business knowledge.

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The Executive MBA program at the Fox School continues to climb Financial Times‘ rankings.

The program improved six places to reach No. 12 nationally and jumped 17 spots to reach No. 56 globally according to Financial Times’ 2017 rankings of the world’s top executive MBA programs. This represents the Fox Executive MBA’s highest national ranking from the publication. The program also retained its No. 2 regional ranking. The London-based business news outlet has ranked the program among the top-20 U.S. programs seven times since 2010.

Financial Times also lauded the Fox Executive MBA in other areas: The program’s global immersion experience ranked No. 3 nationally, and three-year career progress among graduates ranked No. 4 globally.

“These latest rankings from Financial Times are indicative of our program’s growing reputation, strength, and return on investment,” said Dr. M. Moshe Porat, Dean of the Fox School. “Further, global immersions and our worldwide partnerships afford students the opportunity to gain global business savvy and study internationally, all through an immersive learning experience. These details continue to set apart our program.”

For its rankings, Financial Times surveyed 2014 Fox Executive MBA graduates on salary growth, career progress, work experience, and goals they achieved since completion of the program. Financial Times also considered school diversity, measured by international and female students, and idea generation, or the percentage of faculty with doctorates and research published within 45 select academic journals.

The Fox Executive MBA can be completed in 16 months. It’s built upon face-to-face classroom time delivered one weekend per month, and supplemented by interaction with faculty and fellow students via web conferencing. Online collaboration reduces travel and minimizes time spent away from home and office by the program’s students, who average 15 years of industry experience.

“We like to say our students apply on Monday what they have learned over the weekend,” said Dr. Michael Rivera, the Fox Executive MBA’s academic director. “These rankings demonstrate that our program continues to meet the professional and personal needs of mid-level professionals looking to become senior- and c-level executives.”

For media requests, contact: Christopher A. Vito, Associate Director of Communications and Media Relations, (215) 204-4115, cvito@temple.edu.

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More isn’t always better—and that theory applies to social media advertising.

Recent research findings suggest that the volume of social media posts will drive consumers to unfollow the accounts of even their favorite companies and brands. This was especially true within cities of greater per-capita population density, and when social posts are sent during traffic peak hours of 5-8 p.m., according to researchers from the Fox School.

Dr. Paul Pavlou

The researchers found both a short-term benefit and a long-term loss with regard to this form of social media marketing: While posts led to 5% sales increases, the posts often “fatigued and frustrated” consumers and increased the likelihood that they would unfollow these accounts by more than 300%.

“Companies may be inclined to intensify their advertising on social media once they see the immediate benefits,” said Dr. Paul A. Pavlou, the Fox School’s Senior Associate Dean of Research, Doctoral Programs, and Strategic Initiatives. “The volume and timing of these posts, however, may drive consumers to unfollow these accounts and be less likely to purchase from these companies in the future.”

Fox School PhD student Shuting Wang led the study, “Tempting Fate: Social Media Posts by Firms, Customer Purchases, and the Loss of Followers,” along with Pavlou and University of Minnesota associate professor Dr. Brad Greenwood.

Shuting Wang

The team worked with data from a Chinese fashion company that conducted its social media marketing through WeChat, China’s Facebook equivalent. The company, which has retail locations in 99 Chinese cities, sent identical messaging to its followers, regardless of their city of origin and their city’s population density. The company would post to WeChat four times per month and only during the 5-7 p.m. timeframe. While this method produced temporary jolts in sales, it ultimately cannibalized the company’s long-term sales, the researchers found.

“Our recommendations included a complete change of strategy, with a reduction in arbitrary posts that could create annoyance or interruption, and a plan to send messages only during non-peak traffic density hours,” Pavlou said.

For more on the study, or to schedule an interview with the researchers, contact: Christopher A. Vito, Associate Director of Communications and Media Relations, (215) 204-4115, cvito@temple.edu.

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The Superior Court of Pennsylvania and the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania will visit Temple University to hold oral argument sessions in Alter Hall, home of the Fox School of Business, on Tuesday, Oct. 10, and Tuesday, Oct. 17, respectively.

While the Superior and Commonwealth Courts normally hear arguments on appeals in Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia, the two courts are holding special sessions at Temple within one week of each other in honor of the Fox School’s upcoming 100th anniversary in 2018. The sessions, rarely ever afforded to a school, are two unique events in an ongoing series of celebrations commemorating the centennial anniversary.

Co-hosted by the Fox School’s Legal Studies in Business department and Temple’s Beasley School of Law, the oral argument sessions offer an opportunity for students, faculty, and staff to learn about the service of the judiciary to all Pennsylvanians and better acquaint themselves with how matters before state courts are considered and resolved. During the sessions, lawyers will present to the judges the legal reasons why their cases should prevail based on the arguments made in the written briefs. Oral arguments give lawyers the chance to clarify their points and answer questions for a decision from the court.

Both sessions will take place on the seventh floor of Alter Hall in the MBA Commons, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The session on Oct. 10 with the Superior Court will be preceded by remarks in honor of the late James E. Beasley, Esq., for whom the Beasley School of Law is named. The session on Oct. 17 with the Commonwealth Court will include a lunchtime Q&A with judges and students, moderated by Dean Gregory N. Mandel of the Beasley School of Law.

Created in 1895, the Superior Court is one of the busiest appellate courts in the United States, docketing hundreds of thousands of filings per year and deciding more than 8,000 civil, criminal, domestic relations, and orphans’ court cases. Established in 1968, the Commonwealth Court is responsible for matters involving state and local governments and regulatory agencies and also acts as a trial court when lawsuits are filed by or against the Commonwealth.

About the Fox School of Business Established in 1918, the Fox School of Business at Temple University is the largest and most comprehensive business school in the Philadelphia region, with more than 9,000 students, 210 faculty, and 65,000 alumni, and one of the largest in the world. It offers 15 undergraduate majors, including the Online BBA, which is ranked No. 2 nationally by U.S. News & World Report. The school also provides access to more than 20 student professional organizations; the Fox Honors program; and cutting-edge technology and stellar student services, including the Business Communications Center and the Center for Student Professional Development (CSPD), which for the last five years has had a 95- to 97-percent job-placement rate among undergraduates who use its services. Since 1934, the Fox School has been continuously accredited by AACSB International, a distinction held by less than 5 percent of the world’s business schools, and offers nationally and internationally ranked programs on campuses in the U.S. and throughout the world.

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The Global MBA program at Temple University’s Fox School of Business ranks among the national leaders in job placement rate and return on investment, according to Forbes‘ 2017 Best Business Schools ranking.

Forbes lauded the 100-percent job placement rate for Fox MBA graduates in 2016 as among the best in the country. The Fox School’s renowned Center for Student Professional Development (CSPD) oversees internship and job placement for graduate students.

“We have remained true to our university’s mission of providing accessibility to top-level services, strong industry connections, and an affordable, highly ranked education—a value proposition that offers a strong return on investment for our students,” said Dr. M. Moshe Porat, Dean of the Fox School. “A recent national trend among business schools dictates that as a program’s rankings soar, so too will its tuition. We want Fox to be the outlier to this trend.”

This marked the Fox School’s fifth consecutive appearance in Forbes‘ biennial survey, which was announced Sept. 25. The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School is the only business schools in the Philadelphia region to have been ranked.

The Forbes ranking is based on the return on investment achieved by graduates from the class of 2012. Forbes compared their total earnings in the graduates’ first five years out of business school, including salary, bonuses, and exercised stock options, to their opportunity cost (two years of foregone compensation, tuition, and required fees) to arrive at a five-year MBA gain. The five-year MBA gain represents the net cumulative amount typical alumni would have earned five years after getting their MBAs versus staying in their pre-MBA careers.

The Global MBA is the Fox School’s flagship, full-time MBA program. The 54-credit program, which can be completed in two years, has achieved a national reputation for its stellar job placement rates. The program combines experiential learning, paid internships, and international immersions into the global business environment. Students travel to and engage in emerging hotspots of social, economic, technological, and organizational innovation. The Fox Global MBA requires two international experiences.

Interest in the program is at an all-time high, with a 32 percent increase in overall applications and a 47 percent increase among international applications. The quality of admitted students has improved simultaneously. Fox Global MBA students average a 3.62 undergraduate GPA and a 640 GMAT score.

Learn more about the Global MBA program.
For media inquiries, contact Christopher A. Vito at cvito@temple.edu
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Figuring out how to engage young professionals is a popular topic for employers today. Last month, the Fox School’s Fox Management Consulting (Fox MC) spoke with Eugenie George, an expert on the issue who offered tips for companies seeking to reduce turnover of their young professional workforce. This week, George zooms in on the role managers can play. Here are a few ways to improve loyalty and growth in younger employees.

1) To Help Others, First Help Yourself

While young professionals are often famously profiled as needing a lot of feedback, sometimes the managers who oversee them aren’t soliciting quite enough. “If you are a manager, get a coach,” says George. “If you are over other people, get someone to actually help you become a better leader. That is essential.” George points out that this is just airplane safety 101: Put on your own oxygen mask before helping others.

Many companies are taking the hint and hiring in-house coaches to help develop their supervisors, but even in companies that haven’t taken this step, managers can seek out mentors. “Find someone in your company that is not in your field to give you feedback,” advises George, “and do your own reflections. Ask yourself: How am I? What personality type am I? What do I need to be an effective leader?” Even a virtual coach, in the form of a leadership book or management blog can be a significant first step in becoming a more effective leader.

Many celebrities and leaders like Oprah and Bill Clinton talk openly about the importance of their life coach. Executive Chairman of Google Eric Schmidt says being told to get a life coach was “the best advice I ever got.” No matter their career stage, getting outside input can help managers become better leaders of their young professional workforce.

2) Make Training Interactive

Last spring, George engaged a Fox MC student consulting team to support her consulting business, The Quarter Design. Among other research insights, the team learned that virtual trainings have become a non-starter for employee development. “Everywhere you go, people are offering webinars and modules,” says George. “HR managers said they don’t want anything that has to do with online.”

While it can be tempting for busy managers to send a link to a struggling employee, or request they sign up for a webinar, these courses overlook a central component of the development many employees need. “A big part of my job as a consultant is teaching soft skills,” says George. Managers working with young professionals should plan interactive training and encourage employees to seek learning opportunities that engage interpersonal skills.

3) Leave Time for Personal Development

The cornerstone of how most companies measure work is hours on the clock. While that metric has its place, many companies now recognize that maximizing employee performance sometimes means allowing them to work less.

George says a good friend who worked at Google benefited from their famous practice of giving employees time during the workweek to pursue their personal interests. “She went on yoga retreats with that time,” George says. “She now leads meditation retreats with people at Google, and it’s very gratifying.”

While not every company can afford to sponsor yoga retreats, managers play an important role in creating space for personal time. Managing workflows, offering flexibility in work hours, and prioritizing employee requests for time off communicates that personal development is a priority. This allows employees time to do the personal work necessary to produce high-quality outputs. While not every company can be Google, managers can benefit from borrowing a page from their book.

Every year, Fox MC completes multiple high-value strategy consulting projects with clients like Eugenie George. To access in-depth research, multi-disciplinary teams, and actionable solutions for your business or non-profit, connect with us today.
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Dr. Kevin Fandl, of Temple University’s Fox School of Business, is available to discuss the fragile landscape of immigration in the United States, and the ever-evolving public policy related to it.

Fandl is an assistant professor of Legal Studies in Business and the academic director of the Fox School’s Global Immersion Programs. In the latter role, Fandl organizes global experiential learning opportunities for all graduate and undergraduate students, exposing them to global business practices and distinct legal and regulatory environments around the world, helping them to become versatile and globally focused participants in the marketplace.

In recent semesters, immigration has become a topic of significant import—and interest—within the business school as the economics of immigration play a more prominent role in more sectors of the economy, from immigrant investors to entrepreneurs and agricultural laborers.

“No matter the subject of the class, from constitutional law to public policy to international business, questions arise about immigration law and policy. It’s a hot issue, obviously,” said Fandl, “and our students truly enjoy hearing about the latest news and issues, immigration history in our country, and the economic impact of immigration.”

Fandl will dedicate two class periods in his Law & Public Policy class to the history and economics of immigration law and policy in October. His course will meet Tuesday, Oct. 16 and Thursday, Oct. 18, from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

Prior to his career in academia, Fandl ran a boutique immigration law firm working on high-skilled immigrant workers. He then joined the Department of Homeland Security, where he completed nearly a decade of public service, serving as counsel to the assistant secretary for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, among other senior roles.

INTERVIEW REQUESTS: Email Christopher A. Vito at cvito@temple.edu

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Alter Hall Exterior PhotoThree of Fox’s undergrad specialty programs also ranked among top-15 nationally

Temple University’s Fox School of Business is once again ranked among the top-50 business schools in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report.

The Fox School improved three places to earn a No. 45 ranking in U.S. News’ 2018 edition of “Best Colleges,” placing it among the top-10 percent of all undergraduate business programs in the United States. The ranking is the highest in the Fox School’s history, following last year’s No. 48 ranking by U.S. News.

“It’s a great achievement for our school to be ranked among the nation’s top-50 providers of undergraduate business education,” said Dean M. Moshe Porat. “We have improved in the U.S. News rankings each of the last three years, which is a true testament to the quality, affordability, and breadth of our academic programs.”

U.S. News’ business school rankings, released online Sept. 12, are based upon peer assessment of deans and senior faculty at AACSB-accredited undergraduate business programs in the United States over a two-year period, including a Spring 2017 survey.

Debbie Campbell, Fox School’s Senior Vice Dean, has led Fox’s undergraduate programs for 23 years. She credited quality and work ethic of the school’s student body for its role in this latest U.S. News ranking.

“The students who enroll at the Fox School are driven to succeed, in and out of the classroom,” Campbell said, “and we provide them with the career and professional development tools, access to the best employers, and countless opportunities for extracurricular activities to foster that success.”

In the same rankings, U.S. News ranked three of the Fox School’s undergrad programs among the top 15 in the nation — Risk Management and Insurance (No. 8), International Business Administration (No. 14), and Management Information Systems (No. 14). This marks a fifth consecutive year for this recognition from U.S. News:

Risk Management and Insurance: Fox’s Risk Management and Insurance program is the nation’s oldest, continuously running program of its kind. Among the largest programs in the country, too, Fox RMI is home to the Sigma Chapter of Gamma Iota Sigma. The chapter, the international professional fraternity’s largest, has earned the Edison L. Bowers award as best overall chapter in 18 of the last 23 years. (Related: View a video feature about the program, produced by A.M. Best.)

International Business Administration: Fox’s IBA program is supported by a robust study-abroad program, through Fox and Temple University, as well as from the Institute of Global Management Studies and the Temple Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER), which are based at Fox. Temple CIBER is one of only 17 such elite centers in the nation to have had its grant-renewal proposal approved for federal funding from the United States Department of Education. Temple is the only university in Pennsylvania to have received federal funding for CIBER. Additionally, IB faculty at Fox ranked No. 1 in the nation in 2014-16 research output, according to the University of Texas at Dallas’ Top 100 Business School Research ranking. Fox is home to three Academy of International Business (AIB) Fellows, a distinction held by the world’s elite researchers in scholarly development in international business.

Management Information Systems: Fox’s MIS program is a global leader in transformative research on the design, use, and effects of information technology. MIS faculty ranked No. 1 in the world in research output, according to the University of Texas at Dallas’ Top 100 Business School Research ranking. Members of Fox’s Association for Information Systems (AIS) student chapter, the first of its kind, have earned first place in four consecutive years at the AIS Student Leadership Conference.

About the Fox School of Business

Established in 1918, the Fox School of Business at Temple University is the largest and most-comprehensive business school in the Philadelphia region, with more than 8,500 students, 210 faculty, and 65,000 alumni, and one of the largest in the world. The Fox School offers 15 undergraduate majors, including the Online BBA, which is ranked No. 2 nationally by U.S. News & World Report. The school also provides access to more than 20 student professional organizations; the Fox Honors program; and cutting-edge technology and stellar student services, including the Business Communications Center and the Center for Student Professional Development (CSPD), which for the last five years has had a 95- to 97-percent job-placement rate among undergraduates who use its services. Since 1934, the Fox School has been continuously accredited by AACSB International, a distinction held by less than 5 percent of the world’s business schools, and offers nationally and internationally ranked programs on campuses in the U.S. and throughout the world.

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Let’s be honest: There are many excruciatingly dull business podcasts. We won’t name names, but if you’ve spent time exploring the Podcasts app, you know what we mean. Don’t be discouraged, because there are also several awesome business podcasts worth listening to if you’re seeking inspiring and informative discussions with some of the leading business minds of today. Check out the five below and get ready to learn something new and have fun doing it.

5. Planet Money

With nearly 800 episodes since its debut in 2008, Planet Money’s a fantastic resource if you want to take a deep dive into significant historical and current economic issues and the world of international business. Recent episodes focused on robot phone scams and the inner financial workings of Google and state fairs.

Recommended episode:When Subaru Came Out

4. StartUp

Ever wonder what it’d be like to start a startup? This podcast’s for you. The first season documented the launch of the digital media company that founded the podcast itself, (the now very successful) Gimlet Media, and recent seasons had episodes focusing on specific entrepreneurs and startups. This podcast is now so popular ABC is creating a sitcom based on it, titled Alex, Inc., starring Zach Braff.

Recommended episode:Dear Music Fans

3. 30 for 30

ESPN recently launched the 30 for 30 podcast based on the award-winning documentary series with the same name. It’s not necessarily about business, but there are infinitely many lessons future business leaders can learn from the struggles, the glories, and the unstoppable fighting spirits of professional athletes.

Recommended episode:The Fighter Inside

2. Masters of Scale

Reid Hoffman, the cofounder and executive chairman of LinkedIn, hosts this podcast where he interviews some of the most interesting entrepreneurs of our time about the secrets of their success and the evolution of their careers. Former guests include Airbnb’s Brian Chesky, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, and Netflix’s Reed Hastings.

Recommended episode:Grit Happens

1. How I Built This

Hosted by Guy Raz, the editorial director of TED Radio Hour, How I Built This has spotlighted the innovators and entrepreneurs responsible for founding brands like VICE Media, Rolling Stone, Whole Foods, Kickstarter, Kendra Scott, and TOMS. Prepare to be inspired.

Recommended episode:Warby Parker

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The media’s buzzing this year about the coming artificial intelligence revolution and how it will impact U.S. jobs. Robots of varying shapes and sizes have graced the covers of nearly every business and technology publication, and experts are weighing in on the threats and opportunities.

But there has been little discussion in popular media about how AI and automation will impact emerging markets. To learn more about the issue, we spoke with Bertrand Guillotin, the Fox School’s International Business program’s academic director and an assistant professor of instruction.

Fox’s International Business program was recently ranked No. 1 in North America and No. 2 in the world for research by the University of Texas, Dallas Business School Research Rankings, and it is one of the Top 15 International Business programs according to U.S. News & World Report. The program’s research is published in the Journal of International Business Studies, and it includes three Academy of International Business (AIB) fellows (Charles Dhanaraj, Masaaki Kotabe, and Ram Mudambi).

Since one of the hot research topics in international business today is the rise of automation and how emerging markets are positioning themselves for it, we asked Guillotin to share some insight.

Is there a particular emerging market you find especially interesting, in that it exemplifies some of the big changes happening with the global economy?

Take China, for example, because there are widespread changes happening there. The economy is trying to get away from an export based model; they are trying to change to a consumption based, more robust national economy. They have to be leaders in all kinds of industries to do that, including green technologies—though they are the number one global polluter—and they have to be strong in all the value-added industries. If you look at Dalian Wanda, which purchased AMC Theaters a few years ago, they are strong in entertainment and real estate; they understand the importance of diversification in our global economy.

There has been a lot of recent talk about how AI and automation will impact the U.S. workforce, but we don’t hear much about how other countries, like China, are responding to this possibility.

China could lose 50% of their manufacturing jobs in the foreseeable future, maybe the next 10 years, due to automation and AI. If you talk to partners at KPMG, who are responsible for forecasting what trends are going to catch traction beyond the hype, they’ll tell you it’s still too expensive to put AI and automation in place on a large scale. It’s happening, yes, but it’s not impacting all the jobs the same way. Low-skill jobs will be automated, and we’ve been doing that for centuries already. We do things on a daily basis that are not value-added, but if those things are automated, we benefit because we can focus our brain power on something else. It is a huge question for China, because if they automate too many jobs, they may destroy their national economy. But I don’t think they’ll do that. The cost-benefit analysis has to be made and they will make it.

Is AI and automation a popular topic for international business students?

Yes, issues like this are what make our International Business program very attractive. We have these discussions and we reconcile the different positions. We explain what they need to know to be successful in a world that’s always changing very quickly. We launched the International Business minor last year and we’re now attracting students from six different colleges at Temple, including liberal arts, science and technology, media and communication, and so on. We’re expecting more than 100 students in the minor this year. It’s an exciting time to study international business and our increased enrollment and rankings show that.

For our students, we need to be very clear that they need to keep working hard to stay on top of the game. Beyond their degrees, and beyond graduation, they need to keep educating themselves and keep acquiring skills that cannot be automated. If you stay on top of your skill requirements and continue to train and grow and learn, even if you are in manufacturing, you can survive. But if you just look at the status quo and think the U.S. has been on top of the global economy for decades and that will never change, that’s not going to work. The U.S. has a good chance to stay competitive, but we have to be serious and work together.

Learn more about the Fox School’s International Business program.
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Two weeks ago, Fox Management Consulting highlighted the trend of top MBA programs incorporating experiential learning into their curriculum. By integrating coursework with live client consulting engagements, universities train their students to take on business challenges. Students learn to navigate ambiguity and hone their skills in collaboration.

As this trend continues to grow, more and more universities look for ways to give their students experiential learning opportunities. With more than 18 years of experience leading MBA students through high-value consulting engagements, here are some things Fox MC has learned about creating successful experiential education programs.

1) Get the Scope Right

Client consulting engagements are a strange balancing act. Clients need to know that listening to and meeting their needs is a top priority. Students need to feel that both the curriculum and the consulting engagement are delivering a rich learning experience that contributes to their education. The best project outcomes are achieved when both sets of needs are balanced, and clients and students are committed to creating value for each other.

Offering value to both parties begins by getting the project scope right. “Our projects should contain a good amount of research and surround a decision of strategic importance for the company,” explains Dr. TL Hill, Fox MC’s managing director. “There’s a mutual sorting process that happens between Fox MC and the client to make sure we have a project that is a good fit for us.”

Getting the scope right ensures that students are engaged in a rich learning experience, and clients are getting a high-value return on their investment.

2) Monetize Engagements

Early in Fox MC’s history, Hill considered offering student consulting services for free. “We’re fairly rare in charging money for this,” he says. A supervisor was able to recognize the need for payment, and Hill is very glad they chose to go in that direction.

“When we make these paid consulting engagements, everyone takes it more seriously,” says Hill. He acknowledges that students and companies both have a lot of competing priorities. The initial investment in the project helps both sides to sustain the commitment needed to make these projects successful.

3) Provide Oversight

If there is a secret to the incredible success of Fox MC, both in the consistently high quality of their work and in creating significant value for their clients, it is the involvement of project executives in every project. Project executives, fondly referred to as “PEs” by their MBA charges, are industry experts who guarantee that students perform at the highest level.

PEs are “mostly semi-retired, very smart, with long careers,” says Hill. PEs commit to meet together before each class to discuss problem areas in their team, attend each class with their students, and offer industry experience and connections to help move the student projects forward. “We don’t take on a project,” says Hill, “If we can’t find the right project executive with the right expertise.”

To recruit and retain high quality PEs, Fox MC fosters an ongoing community of former and current project executives. “There aren’t that many opportunities to give back that are this intellectually engaging and concretely effective,” says Hill. Fox MC now completes more than 40 projects a year, so there is usually adequate variety to match everyone’s skills and expertise.

4) Believe Adults Learn by Doing

Creating course curriculum for Fox MC capstone projects is a challenge. Every project is unique, the obstacles faced by each client are different, and new obstacles emerge at every stage of the project. This makes teaching the courses that accompany Fox MC consulting engagements fairly complex.

One thing that grounds the curriculum is a firm belief in the philosophy of experiential learning. “We’ve known for years that adults learn better by doing,” says Hill. “In some ways, MBA curriculum is finally beginning to catch up.” Because faculty and PEs understand that the challenges are an inherent and important part of the student learning experience, they’re able to walk students through the process without getting tripped up by the inherent ambiguity of live projects.

Any MBA program hoping to integrate live consulting engagements into their curriculum should be firmly rooted in the belief that these experiences offer a uniquely valuable learning opportunity for students.

5) Pick Client Partners With Care

Client partners are an important part of making Fox MC projects successful. Fox MC has completed multiple high-value projects over their five year relationship with Aquiline Capital Partners, a New York-based private equity firm. We will examine that relationship as a case study for creating successful partnerships in experiential education in our next installment of this article series.

Since 1999, Fox MC student teams have invested, raised, or realized over $420 million in value for non-profits, SMEs, and large corporations. Reach out now to uncover incredible value with Fox MC.
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“How do I make the most of my college experience?” is a question every new college student ponders. Mary Tang, a senior majoring in accounting at the Fox School of Business, has answers.

Tang formerly served as the president of the Temple University chapter of Ascend, a Student Professional Organization (SPO) that fosters Pan-Asian leadership across industries, and she is currently the president of Beta Alpha Psi, the international honor society for accounting, finance, and information systems students.

Tang’s involvement in SPOs had a significant impact on her. After graduation next May, she’ll intern with KPMG, and then she plans to earn an MS in accountancy from Fox and become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). But her longterm goal is to stay involved with SPOs.

“For a while,” Tang says, “I thought I wanted to be a partner at a public accounting firm, and I could end up doing that. But since I’ve been so involved with SPOs on campus, I’ve worked with a lot of recruiters, so I know the recruiting process for public accounting firms, which are very specific processes, and I’ve really enjoyed it. I’d love to work as a campus recruiter, for a campus organization, and help students in SPOs get internships and jobs. That would be really, really cool.”

From learning how to network with recruiters to becoming an SPO leader, Tang’s learned a ton about optimizing her college experience during her time at Fox and Temple. She shares this wisdom below.

5. Explore Philadelphia

“One thing students forget to do is explore the city,” says Lang. “Philadelphia is one of the best cities in the country and in the world, so it’s important to learn all the history behind it. There’s so much to do, not just in Center City, but many other parts of the city, too. I’m a lot busier now in my senior year, but freshman year is when you have the most time, so new students should take advantage and get to know Philly. I love South Philly. And I’m always in Chinatown; I recommend people go out and have some bubble tea.”

4. Use SEPTA

“Not many students have a car on campus, so SEPTA is the best way to explore Philadelphia. You could Uber and Lyft everywhere, sure, but if you’re going to college in a city, you need to learn how to use that city’s public transportation. Learning how to navigate the subway, trolley, bus, and trains will prepare you for getting to interviews, go out to dinner with friends, or whatever you need to do.”

3. Network/Ask People to Grab Lunch or Coffee

“Friends, classmates, anybody. If you’re at a networking event and you meet someone who’s interesting, definitely grab their business card, but also ask if you can shoot them an email, and ask if they’d like to get together for lunch or coffee. Every time I’ve asked a professional this, they’ve said, ‘Yes.’ I’ve gone on about 15 lunch dates with different professionals. It pays off in the long run.”

2. Talk to the People You See Every Day

“If you walk by someone in the dorm, or the hallway, or you see them in class every day, become friends with them. For business students, learning how to talk to everyone is important. And maybe one day you’ll need their help, or they’ll need your help, so it’s good to become friends with as many people as possible. Start learning how to network by talking to the person next to you in class. Maybe they’ll help you get a job one day, but it’s more important to talk to them like a human and get to know them first.”

1. Become an SPO Leader

“I was perfectly content with being a member of SPOs, but when I learned about the success stories of leaders, I knew I had to join the leadership. The former president of Ascend really challenged me to do and try new things and this helped me learn new skills. That’s when I learned being a leader is a great way to influence people and make a big impact. I knew I wanted to become one, and I did.”

Learn more about the Fox School’s Undergraduate Programs and the Department of Accounting.
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Have you recently bought a greeting card at a store and noticed someone looking over your shoulder, observing your behaviors, and jotting down notes? If so, that someone might have been Fox School alum Ali Moore.

Moore, MBA ’16, is the founder of Groundswell Greetings, an online greeting card company that makes artistic, hip, forward-thinking cards with millennial consumers in mind. One of the ways Moore conducted research before launching her company was by lurking around card aisles to see what people were buying.

“I stood in the card aisle at drug and grocery stores a few times every week and watched people. It was creepy, but very anthropologic,” recalls Moore, who studied anthropology as an undergraduate. “I tried to figure out what cards people were attracted to, how they responded to different types of card, whether they flipped them over to look at the back, what price points they were attracted to, and on and on. I did a lot of research in the wild.”

If you’re looking for a birthday card with Beyoncé or Frida Kahlo on it, or a wedding card for a same-sex couple, Groundswell has what you’re looking for. Plus, they’re all designed by Philadelphia-based artists: One of Moore’s goals is to harness the creative economy and energy in Philly, and she plans to slowly increase the brand’s radius by launching in other cities.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BSBz_Gohcww

5. You’ve Done Your Research

“I tried to learn as much as possible about the industry and my competitors. There are a lot of designers that create gorgeous cards, but I wasn’t seeing people capitalize on that by pairing it with a super-modern, user-friendly e-commerce experience. I did a lot of research on other direct-to-consumer brands and what those experiences are like. For instance, Dollar Shave Club is one that everyone knows about. Millennials love door-to-door brands that disrupt traditional industries, and I wanted to harness that. I had read a case study in business school about American Greetings—which, along with Hallmark, is the other big card company—and it was about transitioning the industry to the digital era and how it would survive. I thought it was fascinating because I love cards, and most people I know love cards, yet there was this consumer niche that hadn’t been capitalized.”

4. You’ve Found Your Consumer

“The way we still buy greeting cards at physical stores and that they take up floor space at CVS is astonishing to me. I wanted to come up with an idea that connected fresh content that spoke more to millennials—let’s get rid of the sparkly butterflies and the cheesy poems—and make things that are more relevant to how people communicate in 2017. Everything from the look and words in the cards, to also considering, for example, how there aren’t many gay wedding cards or Ramadan cards. I wanted to attract a more diverse audience, and create a place where you could get a greeting card no matter who you are. And to this day, it blows my mind in greeting card aisles the amount of sophomoric, fart joke cards that make so much money. Who wants that? Who loves these cards? No one I know wants that card on their birthday. I’m honing in on a specific niche: people who care about recycled paper and care about a locally made product that’s really artful and playful.”

3. You’re Willing to Fail

“I was nervous about failure. I had a lot of support from friends and family, but I was nervous about risking my professional reputation. I had a great thing going with Comcast and I walked away from it, so I was worried about how this would look on a resume if I failed. I know many small businesses don’t work out, so I’m aware of all the obstacles I’m facing. I tried to weigh general advice, like that you should stay in a job for at least a few years, with the impulse of wanting to do my own thing. I was insecure about falling into these millennial stereotypes about how the grass is always greener, and that we can’t sit still, and that we’re always looking for something more exciting. Right now, I don’t have any regrets. But it’s good to talk to a lot of people and get a lot of opinions before you do it. Definitely calculate your risks. Even if I fail, I won’t regret it. Even if I go back to working for someone else, I’ve gained some really valuable knowledge.”

2. You’re Prepared to Break Rules

“In business school, everyone told us not to try to change people’s behavior, but here I am trying to do exactly that. I’m trying to get people to stop going to CVS and Walgreens to buy cards they’re disappointed in. Instead I am moving that purchase process online. I need to get people used to ordering their cards online, and that’s a big challenge. There are so many great competitors out there, so I have to constantly be thinking about how I can get people’s attention and get people excited about the brand in a new way.”

1. You’re Ready to Be Your Own Boss

“One thing that’s been really hard for me is knowing what to do every day. All of a sudden, you’re the master of your domain and you don’t have someone telling you what to do. It’s a bit paralyzing. Now that the company is operational and legally sound and I have a product and all the supply chains are in place, I wake up every day and think about how I can get a new customer. I think about how I can raise brand awareness and how I can sell a card, and there are millions of ways to answer those questions. I created a massive list of things to do—like have coffee with a new collaborator, learn more about digital advertising, talk to local press, attend an industry event—and there are literally a billion things. I try to knock five to 10 of them out every single day.”

Learn more about the Fox School’s Global MBA program.
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