Topic: MBA

Fox School News & Releases

In his career, Fox alum willing to turn over a new leaf

Photo of Rens Buchwald

For Rens Buchwaldt, leading a company through potential financial turmoil is just another day at the office.

The former Chief Financial Officer and interim CEO of FloraHolland, the Netherland’s premier flower auction, has spent more than 30 years navigating the financial pitfalls of the world’s leading companies and yanking them from the brink of economic disaster.

“Staying one step ahead gives me the ability to lead,” Buchwaldt said. “Quite often the conclusion is obvious, but changing circumstances can convolute that. My job is to see through the distractions.”

Buchwaldt received his MBA from the Fox School of Business in 1984. Since attaining his graduate degree, his highly analytical mind has allowed him to navigate changing workplace dynamics—including the merger of two of the Netherland’s largest flower auctions to create FloraHolland.

Tapped to become its interim CEO when the merger yielded insufficient results and failed to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing market, Buchwaldt leveraged the talent of his staff so that FloraHolland’s combined strength was both fiscally responsible and dedicated to a quality product. During his tenure as interim CEO and later as its CFO, the company restructured for the first time in 100 years and eliminated a deficit that plagued its ability produce the flowers that made it famous.

“I’ve never been in a position to do anything by myself, and it’s key to assemble a team that balances out each personality and expertise,” Buchwaldt said. “I try to be more of a coach than a boss.”

Managing expectations and boosting morale was essential in his ability to pull Icon Media Lab — an internet consulting company — out of a sudden nose dive when the dot-com bubble burst. The company, formed during the height of Internet business development, quickly felt the effects of the shaky medium when its services became both defunct and too easily duplicated.

“The company just went under,” Buchwaldt said. “We slimmed down from 2000 to 800 people. That’s a hard situation in which to motivate people.”

For Buchwaldt, the kind of nimble maneuvering required to keep Icon Media Lab afloat was a part of the education he had attained as a graduate student at the Fox School of Business. (Originally from Bussum, a town located just 10 minutes outside of Amsterdam, Buchwaldt attended the Nyenrode Business University to receive his undergraduate business degree.) With a passion for finance, Buchwaldt augmented his skills by throwing himself in to the Fox School curriculum, finding particular success using Michael Porter’s highly lauded book, Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors.

“Temple’s MBA offered me a lot of interesting options,” Buchwaldt said. “The students were very serious and brought real-life experience. From a business perspective, it was an eye-opener.”

Buchwaldt entered the industry eager to gain the same real-life experience, and joined the National Cash Register (NCR) Corporation, a global computer hardware and online technology firm in Dayton, Ohio. Sitting at the table with senior executives, Buchwaldt relied upon Porter’s principles of cost leadership, differentiation and focus to demonstrate his ability to resolve almost any problem. He spent 14 years at the company before moving on and eventually settling in at FloraHolland.

After spending a significant amount of time abroad, working for FloraHolland was Buchwaldt’s homecoming and he credits the company with helping him return to his roots.

“Tulips are about as Dutch as you can get,” Buchwaldt said, laughing. “(FloraHolland) is very technical and fast-paced, but it’s all about the beauty of nature, feelings, and action.”

At 54, Buchwaldt is preparing for his first break since 1984 and looks forward to spending time with his sons, 11-year-old Florian and 8-year-old Marnick, while examining his next steps in industry. As he figures it out for himself, he counsels those just jumping into their professional careers to be fearlessly original.

“Don’t follow in anyone’s footsteps, make your own,” Buchwaldt said. “If you look at my career, I’ve taken risks, but each leap has been a learning experience.”

Fox School News & Releases

Fox School to offer accelerated weekend MBA program for law professionals

For the first time, Temple University’s Fox School of Business will offer a Mini MBA certificate program for law professionals.

The accelerated weekend program, offered in partnership with Temple’s Beasley School of Law, is designed to equip working attorneys and recent law school graduates with the business acumen that’s most relevant and necessary to today’s legal environment, without disrupting their professional careers.

The Mini MBA is a 10-course offering that begins Friday, April 24, and runs through Sunday, April 26, at Temple University’s Shusterman Hall (campus map). The Mini-MBA provides 21 hours of classroom instruction, and 18 credits in Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education (PA CLE).

“The Mini MBA is an exceptional addition to Fox’s executive education programs,” said Dr. Samuel D. Hodge, Professor and Chair of the Fox School’s Legal Studies department. “This program is unique because it is a joint enterprise between the Beasley School and Fox School, with top faculty from both teaching the courses.”

World-class faculty from the Beasley School of Law and Fox School’s Legal Studies, Finance, Marketing and Supply Chain Management, and Risk, Insurance and Healthcare Management departments will lead courses that include:

  • Accounting for Lawyers
  • Legal Issues in the Workplace
  • Drafting of Business Agreements
  • Industrial Organization and Corporate Strategy
  • Managing Risk
  • Corporate Compliance

Each day of the program will begin with a breakfast leadership session. Friday, Temple University men’s basketball coach and Fox School adjunct professor Fran Dunphy will cover effective business leadership. President of Puma Legal Placement Lysa Puma will explore marketing strategies for lawyers during Saturday’s session. And Sunday, Rosemarie Greco, the former president of CoreStates Bank and Chair of VISION 2020, will discuss leadership practices.

“The relationship between law and business is becoming more intertwined every year,” said Duncan B. Hollis, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs of the Beasley School. “We believe in equipping lawyers with the tools necessary for practicing in all contexts, and not just in traditional litigation settings. The Mini MBA offers lawyers the introduction they need to attain basic business skills, which can serve as a scaffolding upon which to build up real expertise in business law.”

The tuition cost of the Mini MBA program is $2,500, which includes materials and meals. Beasley School of Law alumni are eligible for a $500 tuition discount.

To pre-register, visit www.mytlawconnection.com/minimba15. Day-of registrants are welcome, as well, though spots are limited.

Fox School News & Releases

Fox Full-time MBA program among biggest winners in new Economist rankings

The Full-time MBA program at Temple University’s Fox School of Business again ranks in the Top 45 in the nation, according to The Economist’s 2012 “Which MBA?” ranking.

The annual ranking, released Oct. 4, recognizes the top 100 full-time MBA programs worldwide according to three years of data drawn from questionnaires of business schools, students and recent graduates in areas such as career and networking opportunities, salary increases and personal development/educational experience.

At No. 42 in the nation, the Fox School climbed one spot in this year’s rankings. The Fox School of Business and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School are the only MBA programs in Greater Philadelphia to be ranked by the prestigious Economist.

In global rankings, Fox had the third-best improvement – a jump of 12 places, to No. 77. The breadth of Fox’s alumni network, which includes more than 59,000 graduates, was also highly ranked.

“This ranking is further affirmation of our energy and momentum,” Dean M. Moshe Porat said. “We recognize the importance of continually enhancing the MBA experience with real experiential learning opportunities, and a focus on innovation and entrepreneurship, to offer the best return on students’ educational investment. Our flagship MBA program further empowers students to experience the world while advancing their careers.”

Fox’s Full-time MBA – one of four MBA programs the school offers – is being redesigned for Fall 2013 to blend the best elements of the school’s current Full-time and International MBA programs into the two-year Global MBA.

The Fox School’s MBA features five key elements: two international immersion experiences (one each year) with a focus on innovative emerging markets; experiential learning opportunities for real clients through the Enterprise Management Consulting
(EMC) Practice; dual-degree options with the school’s 10 specialized masters programs; a required summer internship; and an emphasis on professional and personal development.

This year, Fox MBAs had a 100 percent internship placement rate and a 97.7 percent job-placement rate within three months of graduation. Fox’s renowned Center for Student Professional Development (CSPD) oversees internship and job placement for both undergraduate and graduate students.

The Fox School was recently recognized as one of eight Business Schools on the Rise by U.S. News & World Report because of its continued ascent in rankings – up 11 spots this year to No. 52 in the nation.

Fox School News & Releases

Prepping for an MBA Career Fair

Career fairs are one of the many ways students and employers get together. I recently attended a diversity career fair with students. Hundreds of companies participated in this particular event. It was an amazing opportunity for the students to meet a broad array of companies from various industries and locations.Roxanne HoriRoxanne Hori

For the second-year students, this was like getting back on a bike. After a break from formal recruiting, second-year students are back in the mix of meeting employers in advance of the fall interviewing season.

The story is very different for first-year students. Career fairs are a great way to meet prospective employers. But most first-years are not yet ready to have those career-fair conversations. Jumping into the excitement of meeting so many different companies requires preparatory work. Think about the following:

Goals: What is your goal in attending a career fair? Is it to gather information or to find a job? The companies are there to identify potential candidates for interviews. They are assessing you on that limited interaction you have at their booth. Are you prepared to answer questions on why you’re interested in their company/industry/job function?

Self-assessment: Knowing yourself and what you want to do is important before attending recruiting events. You want to have your pitch ready when you meet recruiters. To get to that point, I ask students to do the self-reflection that is important for all job seekers before participating in recruiting activities. I know you think you did this as part of your business school application process. But through the years, I have seen students who wrote one thing and—after a few weeks of business school—find they are headed in a different direction. Knowing who you are and what you really want to do will make interactions with recruiters more productive for you and them.

Develop your pitch: You have probably heard this before, but everyone needs an elevator pitch. At the most recent career fair I attended, two young men who had started a company and wanted my school to support them approached me. They had a pitch for me as to who they were, what their company does, and why it would make sense for my program to team with them. Likewise, when you approach a company representative, you want to make sure you have a short, 60-second pitch that sounds natural, not rehearsed, and that you can project in a natural tone, vs. rushing through something.

Your pitch needs to communicate the following:

Who you are: This should include whether you are a first- or second-year student, the name of your MBA program and university, and a little bit about your background so they have something to remember you by. (This gives you some stickiness in their memory.)

What you are seeking: Your pitch should clearly state whether you’re seeking a summer internship or full-time position, what you hope to be doing, and the unique skills or experiences that you will bring to bear on the job. Don’t share too many details or get bogged down in technical terminology, as they will tune out.

Don’t forget to leave the recruiter with a great résumé, one that has been reviewed by someone in your career center and that highlights the same things you’re sharing in your pitch. And don’t forget to follow up. The job seeker who stands out is the one who actually does the appropriate follow-up with the recruiter or company. So if this is a company you’re interested in, ask about the next steps. If they suggest you apply online, do it, but be sure to mention in your cover letter your interaction at the career fair with the name of the person you met at their booth.

Career fairs serve many purposes for the first-year MBA job-seeker. It’s a wonderful way to learn and develop relationships with people in the business community. Think of your first year as building your foundation for the full-time job search.

Fox School News & Releases

Building a Strategic Alliance Down Under

We are at the EMC program privileged to be working with the Business School of the University of Technology, Sydney (“UTS”) in helping develop an experiential learning model similar, but clearly not identical to, that which we have had in place at Temple for more than a decade. We are utilizing as our learning platform for a select group of Australian MBA students three strategic consulting engagements where we are committed to producing “professional grade” results for real enterprises.

We are in this new setting for our model finding again that “live” changes everything about learning business, and for the better. Case studies are an invaluable methodology for learning theory, but that is a process that will always remain incomplete until the consolidation that can only happen with carefully guided application to a real business problem takes place. We are the MBA already “rethought.”

The faculty fortunate enough to be involved in this highly collaborative effort with UTS are themselves learning from the “application” experience as respects the realities of crafting a successful strategic alliance. We know from this experience that the critical elements of actually making a partnership work include:

A shared vision, strongly held.

We both view the development of solid professional skills, in a business setting, as a mission that should be given primacy in MBA programs. Many of these skills develop best through structured interaction with a consulting client, guided by an experienced, “been there, done that” faculty member with significant real world business experience. Would you want a doctor that had never completed a residency?

Our focus is on the mission and operational excellence.

This can only happen because of the alignment of views on what we are seeking to achieve; time and resources do not have to be “spent” on revisiting strategic objectives, as those were set during the comprehensive, mutual – discovery process that led to our partnership agreement. We are thus able to hold the students, project managers and all others involved in the program to a “professional grade” standard as respects program implementation; always the hardest part of any change process.

Neither party believes, “… the way we do things here works, so that is the way it should be done everywhere”; we each have much to learn from the other.

The UTS program in Australia will benefit from our learning curve on developing and running experiential learning models of this sort, and we have already benefited from the fresh insights and meaningful improvements that can only happen when bright, engaged people doing something new work hard to help make it better. Our program in Philadelphia is stronger because of what we are doing in Australia.

 

We both have “flesh in the game”, and interests align.

This is a major undertaking for both schools, it has garnered significant attention both internally and externally, there would be a “cost” in not succeeding that has little to do with money, and is all about assets that are far more important to us both, reputation and brand.

We like each other.

At its roots, a strategic alliance is first and foremost a social network. We work well together because we enjoy doing so; there is a striking and palpable similarity of cultures between UTS and Temple. In our market entry analysis we explored the possibility of working with any number of universities in Australia. That the “fit” with UTS was particularly good could not have been any more obvious. These “soft”, often ill-defined assets are usually at the very heart of differentiating the partnerships in business that work and those that do not.

 

Our goal is to build a global consortium of MBA programs around the world incorporating an experiential learning experience as their capstone program. We could not be any prouder and happier than to have started that larger undertaking in partnership with UTS.

Fox School News & Releases

A Day In The Life: Assistant Brand Manager

“A Day In The Life” is an ongoing series that highlights popular post-MBA job functions, as seen through the eyes of the recent grads in the positions.

P&G's Isaac SantosP&G’s Isaac Santos

What does an assistant brand manager do with his time, especially when the brands of his company service more than 4 billion people? To find out,Bloomberg Businessweek‘s Victoria Black spoke to Isaac Santos, a 2011 MBA graduate from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, who holds that position at Procter & Gamble’s (PG)headquarters in Cincinnati, focused specifically on the company’s Old Spice brand.

Before enrolling at Goizueta, Santos, 40, worked as a project manager at the Department of Environmental Protection in Florida, testing the sanitation of drinking water. He grew up in Guayaquil, Ecuador, and studied environmental engineering at the University of Florida.

Here’s a peek into Santos’s daily routine (some responses have been edited for space and clarity):

7 a.m. I wake up and start reading e-mails. I spend 20 minutes responding to the urgent ones while watching the news. Since I’m in a global role, e-mails come in from my regional counterparts throughout the night.

8:30 a.m. I get to the office and check my calendar. I get more than 70 e-mails each day, so I pace myself in answering them. I answer the first batch at this point.

9:00 a.m. The brand marketing group meets to discuss relevant topics and share news about the business, competition, or trends.

9:30 a.m. I meet with my manager to set objectives for the week. I also use part of this time to get some coaching from him. Coaching is a key behavior at P&G and happens between all levels—upwards and downwards.

10:00 a.m. I work on a recommendation for a project I want to bring forward to our leadership team today. This includes mining quantitative data in P&G’s databases and documents, as well as analyzing qualitative data from external sources like Google (GOOG). I start putting together what I’ve found in a PowerPoint slide deck. This takes me back to my management practice class at Goizueta, where I learned to add structure around ambiguous business problems.

11:30 a.m. I meet with our summer intern. We discuss the status of his projects, as well as any obstacles that he’s facing. As his coach, I act as a barrier-breaker to help him be successful.

12:00 p.m. Round two of checking and answering e-mails and voice mails and then it’s time for lunch. Some days I go outside for lunch with co-workers, others I just go to the office cafeteria. Today, I went to the cafeteria and brought lunch back to my desk so that I could finish the presentation for our lead team this afternoon.

1:00 p.m. Time to manage day-to-day business. In my global role, I oversee the business strategies of three regions: North America, CEEMEA (Eastern Europe, Middle East, and Africa), and Latin America. Today’s discussion is about claims, trademarks, and packaging design.

2:00 p.m. I present to the multifunctional brand lead team to discuss my recommendation.

2:30 p.m. Recommendation approved by the lead team. Now it’s time to work on a PowerPoint deck that communicates all commercial elements of a global project I’m about to share with the various regions. They will use this to deploy and execute the idea.

3:00 p.m. I meet with the ‘Be a Mentor for a Day’ team, a cross-brand/cross-functional team that mentors at-risk junior high students. I will be leading the next event and today we are meeting to discuss ideas to improve the program.

3:45 p.m. Mental break. The day can be busy, so I try to take 15 minutes to surf the internet and socialize. I have good friendships with my co-workers and we don’t take ourselves too seriously. We share a lot of laughs throughout the day.

4:00 p.m. Conference call with the brand’s advertising agencies to discuss ongoing and upcoming creative work, such as TV ads, digital, and overall communication priorities. Today we discussed casting for our new commercial, talent, and music rights for some of our previous advertising, as well as a new digital idea that will be coming out this fall.

5:00 p.m. This is time I have set aside on my calendar to learn more about the business. Today, I’m reviewing a deck about concept writing.

6:00 p.m. Round three of reviewing e-mails before calling it a day.

6:45 p.m. Dinner time. I like to go to dinner with co-workers or grab a quick bite to eat before heading out to meet up with friends. Today we went to a new restaurant downtown on the river. It’s a nice way to unwind after a busy day.

8:00p.m. Salsa on the Square. This is a weekly summer event in downtown Cincinnati. In addition to hanging out with friends and meeting new people, it allows me to have fun via a now 10-year-old passion of mine, salsa dancing.

10:00 p.m. Work out on the treadmill, followed by a few weight reps. Time is my most valuable asset and it’s often difficult to find time for the activities I enjoy, but I try to stay fit because my health is important.

Fox School News & Releases

Fox EMC Students Fashion Strategies and Business Plan for Shopping App Pickn’Tell

The fashion industry may be at the dawn of a new era with the help of Enterprise Management Consulting.

On July 16, Pickn’Tell launched its free mobile app through the Google Play Store and iPhone App Store. Intended for women ages 18 to 45, the Pickn’Tell app allows consumers to connect with friends and fashion experts, try out apparel and receive timely feedback, earn gift cards and coupons, and receive notification of sales.

While Pickn’Tell’s offering is exciting for aspiring fashionistas, it’s more so for retailers. The Pickn’Tell app is a consumer portal for a multi-facet analytics platform that allows brick-and-mortar apparel outlets to collect data on pre-sales actions and decisions. Until very recently, these outlets could only gather data after the point-of-sale. Important questions such as how long a customer took to make a decision and what garments a customer tried on prior to making a purchase could not be addressed. Now, Pickn’Tell can provide answers.

Dalit Braun, CEO, demonstrates the Pickn'Tell app to customers.

“For the retailer, [Pickn’Tell] provides the ability to bridge between the physical presence of the store and the virtual one,” said Pickn’Tell CEO Dalit Braun. “The shopping is prolonged out of the store, integrated into an m-commerce platform. It also provides the retailer the ability to build brand awareness in the social networks and collects useful aggregated information on consumers: what they tried on, what they liked, what they didn’t, etc.”

To encourage consumers to engage the platform, the company offers retailers the option to install the Pickn’Tell Interactive Mirror or Tablet. Positioned like a dressing mirror, this device interfaces with mobile devices and enables a consumer to take quality pictures of themselves, share them online, and hear what their friends have to say. However, the Interactive Mirror or Tablet is not required for the Pickn’Tell platform to function.

“Research shows the shoppers crave feedback,” said Braun. “Pickn’Tell eliminates the pain-points of shopping alone and makes any shopping excursion social.”

Mark Frieser, Director of Business Development, demonstrates the Pickn'Tell app to new users.

Based in Israel, Pickn’Tell was established last year by Braun and Asaf Lewin, both veteran technology executives. Understanding the vital need for physical, real-world boutiques to integrate the experiences of mobile social networking, Braun and Lewin sought to provide a solution. In August 2011, Pickn’Tell approached EMC to develop a strategy and business plan for entering social media and fashion markets, attracting consumer-users, acquiring retail apparel clients, and pricing.

By conducting primary research with retail apparel outlets, mining analytical data, and studying recent trends with both mobile applications and the retail apparel industry, the EMC team assigned to Pickn’Tell made several recommendations for long-term growth strategy, marketing and information management. Some recommendations—loyalty rewards and barcode scanning—are featured in Pickn’Tell’s second-generation app.

“We took the base of the recommendations and worked from them, adapting them to our understanding of the market,” said Braun. “The work done provided us with a good foresight to the value proposition and future strategy we have with our technology and that in the end our main focus will be in providing data.”

For the immediate future, Pickn’Tell will continue to promote its consumer app on its website and among fashion and mobile bloggers. In addition, the company will continue expanding its retail client base by targeting small independent boutiques in New York, Los Angeles, and the Old City District in Philadelphia. The company is currently negotiating several contracts for placement of its Interactive Mirror or Tablet.

Enterprise Management Consulting (EMC) at Temple University’s Fox School of Business provides strategy consulting to clients in the private, public and social sectors. To find out more about EMC’s services, contact Becca Zinn at rzinn@temple.edu.

– Tyler Sagardoy, MBA ’13

Fox School News & Releases

EMC Students Advise Oxfam America and World Food Programme on R4 Initiative

This spring, students in the Fox School’s Enterprise Management Consulting (EMC) Practice traveled to Rome to observe and participate in the planned expansion of an Oxfam America and United Nations World Food Programme initiative that seeks to relieve poverty and enhance food security through risk reduction.

The Fox School’s EMC program provides MBA students with a professional consulting project for a paying client under the guidance of academic instruction and an executive mentor. This year, five EMC students advised Oxfam America (OA) and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) on the expansion of their R4 Rural Resilience Initiative, which aims to address rural resilience against climate-related risks. The R4 Initiative seeks to provide risk-reduction tools to the world’s most vulnerable populations – those who depend on agriculture and live on less than $1 per day.

The EMC students studied OA’s pilot program, launched in Ethiopia, and the R4 Initiative’s expansion into Senegal and two additional developing countries. The team developed a five-year strategic business plan for the partners, OA and WFP, to implement and share with potential funders, as well as several other deliverables, including a research presentation, research report and R4 budget workbook.

“A large part of this was research, getting to understand micro insurance, Senegal, Africa and poverty,” said Natalie Barndt, the independent consultant who served as the EMC project manager. “There was a huge learning curve because this is not a traditional business case.”

The students presented key research findings on Senegal and the vulnerability of the country’s rural poor, and they proposed solutions and preliminary implementation considerations. Their research delved into issues including environmental factors on levels of food insecurity, poverty reduction efforts in place and current approaches for micro risk management.

After the research phases, the team put together a compelling, 388-page R4 Initiative strategic and operation plan, which provides a technical and strategic foundation for the R4 five-year plan and which will aid in the funding of the R4 Initiative. In addition, the EMC team developed a comprehensive R4 Budget Workbook.

After the team produced this extensive research and strategic plan, the partners invited Barndt and two EMC students to Rome to participate in a gathering of world leaders working to develop a detailed R4 Initiative business plan.

For the students, Barndt said, the consulting engagement, R4 strategic plan development and international exposure is invaluable.

“They get real-life experience at a very complex project with a very, very sophisticated client,” she said. “They really learn to develop the consulting story. They learn about the program, and they learn to format it in a way that tells a story that is compelling and has data and facts to back it up.”

Fox School News & Releases

Social Impact & The Problem of Measurement

One of the more intriguing developments in the social venture world is the social impact bond – a financial device in which investors put up cash to support a social innovation in return for future repayments, pegged in part to the success of the innovation.  The first example is in Peterborough, England, in which investors have pledged $7.8M for a variety of programs to reduce recidivism – a sum the government will repay, presumably out of savings, if and as the programs meet certain targets.  (Playing with Fire, The Economist Special Report on Financial Innovation, February 25th, 2012, p. 3).

The promise is that social innovation bonds will leverage the power of finance to attract new capital and increase the accountability with which that capital is applied.  The perils include whether the incentives line up and whether the required measurement is in place.

Take the issues of incentives first.  To the extent that the implementers are not the investors, what will induce the implementers to invest wisely?  On one level, poor investment or execution will reduce the likelihood of future investment – thus aligning incentives over time.  But day-to-day, more intensive governance might make sense.  How might social investment bond holders be involved in governance, in the way that shareholders have a say (however nominal) on the composition of the board of directors?

Critical to both short-term and long-term governance is a clear flow of information, and especially clear measures of success.  Here the challenge is linking do-able, cost-effective measures to social impacts.  Social impacts are the result of complex forces, making it daunting to link intervention with impact.  For example, how can one disentangle the effects of the Peterborough programs to reduce recidivism from changes in educational policy, regional economics, or cultural forces?  While sophisticated methods exist to tease out the relative impacts, these are expensive.  The challenge is to devise measures that are simple, clear and related to the impacts of concern.

One tool that we teach in the EMC is the idea of a logic map that connects intervention to impact.  Such a map traces inputs (time, money, program ideas) to activities (say job-readiness program) to outputs (job-ready ex-offenders) to impacts (reduced recidivism).  Once outlined and agreed to, one can devise affordable, practical measures that might serve as proxies for a true, but cumbersome and expensive, impact study.  Thus, in the Peterborough example, the investors might ask to see measures of inputs (matching funds), activity outputs (number of ex-offenders engaged, hours of training), output measures (pre and post-tests indicating increased job readiness), outcomes (job placements), and – if the money exists – a full-scale evaluation of whether those who graduated held jobs and, in fact, stayed out of prison.

Fox School News & Releases

M.B.A. Recruiting Activity Increases

M.B.A. Recruiting Activity Increases

 Spotlight for Career Services Professionals
Spotlight for Recruiting Professionals

On-campus recruiting activity for M.B.A.s is up compared to last year, according to results of the M.B.A. Career Services Council’s (MBACSC) Fall 2011 Recruiting Trends Survey. Seventy percent of schools taking part reported an increase in fall recruiting M.B.A.s for full-time positions, and 46 percent reported an increase in internship postings for M.B.A.s.

“The survey results indicate a positive trend we have continued to observe in the past few years,” explains Nicole Hall, MBACSC president and executive director of alumni and career services at the Graziadio School of Business and Management at Pepperdine University. “We’re seeing an increase in almost all industries and in most company types.”

At the same time last fall, 76 percent of schools reported an increase in on-campus recruiting for full-time jobs. Similarly, the findings show that 68 percent of respondents report an increase in full-time job postings, compared with 86 percent from last fall.

Increases in recruiting activity are occurring across most sectors, according to the MBACSC. More than 40 percent of respondents reported increases in consulting, consumer products, energy, pharma/biotech/healthcare products, and technology. Real estate and government continue to be the weakest industries, according to the MBACSC. In contrast, financial services showed a decrease compared with an increase last fall.

The MBACSC’s Fall 2011 Recruiting Trends Survey was conducted from January 12 – February 2, 2012; 102 programs responded to the survey. Results were compared to a survey fielded in late fall 2010, when 92 schools responded.

Information provided by www.naceweb.org 

Fox School News & Releases

Honesty is the Best Policy for MBA Job Seekers

 

To thine own self be true, the oft-quoted William Shakespeare line, is advice that MBAs should take to heart as they undertake the job hunt. That’s the conclusion of a study by two business school professors who find that candor is the best approach job seekers can take when interviewing, even though the temptation can often be strong to misrepresent oneself to appear a stronger candidate.

 

The professors, Daniel Cable of London Business Schooland Virginia Kay of the University’s of North Carolina, Chapel Hill’s Kenan Flagler Business School, followed a group of 146 MBA students over the span of their two-year B-school careers and shortly thereafter, trying to determine what role “self-verification”–people’s desire to have others view them as played in landing a job and their job satisfaction. The researchers collected interview feedback from admissions staff who’d interviewed the MBA students before they matriculated at the school, as well as their final grade point average. Students also were asked to fill out a survey both during their summer internship and four months following graduation that asked them to answer questions about how they perceived themselves. For example, students were asked to rate themselves on such questions as, “I like to be myself rather than trying to act like someone I’m not,” or “It’s important for an employer to see me as I see myself, even if it means bringing people to recognize my limitations.”

 

Those who were forthcoming about their self-image had a high level of job satisfaction, a strong commitment to their jobs, and high ratings from their supervisors, according to the study, published in the latest issue ofThe Academy of Management Journal. In addition, the authors found that business school admissions officers can do a better job predicting future academic performance of applicants who are more forthright about how they view their strengths and weaknesses.

 

The findings may be counterintuitive to MBA students, who often erroneously believe they need to engage in “extensive image creation” when trying to land a job, the study’s authors said. That can backfire, because if individuals cannot deliver on the skills and abilities they promise, they may find themselves in a role where they will not be able to succeed. In addition, they may alienate themselves from their co-workers, Cable and Kay suggested in the paper, titled “Striving for Self Verification during Organizational Entry.”

 

“Anyone who teaches in an MBA program has likely heard the litany of student complaints about the need to wear the mask, check your values, etc., when you enter the corporate jungle,” Cable said in a press release. “When we launched this research, I would have been prepared to argue that maybe it’s not so bad to be true to yourself even if it does diminish a bit your chances of landing a job. Finding that it doesn’t diminish those chances in the short term while it helps everyone in the long term is a great outcome.”

 

The report’s findings jibe with the advice that career services officers traditionally give MBA students. Julie Morton, associate dean of career services and corporate relations at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, says the authors’ conclusions are “totally in line” with how they advise students beginning their job searches.

 

Even if students can “fake it” for the first round of interviews, they will find it harder to do so during the second and third round of interviews, when they spend a longer time interacting with people at the company where they are interviewing, Morton says.

 

“Our assumption is that you can be candid and professional at the same time,” Morton says. “Your professional self may not be exactly the way you interact with your family and friends, but your professional self should not be this made-up, manufactured being by any means.”

To be directed to the full article click here:http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-04-27/honesty-is-the-best-policy-for-mba-job-seekers

Fox School News & Releases

Social Media Marketing Strategy: Google+ or Facebook?

Research indicates that marketers plan to increase social media spending by 46% in 2012.   However, not all social media platforms are alike.  To make the most of a social media marketing budget and effectively engage new and existing customers, marketers should understand the culture and features available with each platform and develop strategy accordingly.   To help with this process, this following infographic offers a snapshot comparison between Google+ and Facebook.

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Risk, Sustainability, and Corporate Resilience

The risk and insurance industry fills a unique role in the world’s economy as a private market mechanism for the sharing of risk, with the global pooling of what would be risks otherwise borne solely by the individual and/or entity estimated at US $100 trillion.   As this risk pooling is instrumental for creating the resilience that underpins the efficient functioning of economies and societies, the insurance industry is clearly a legitimate object of public policy.  As the risk pooling afforded is only possible with investors’ willingness to put capital at risk, value creation is a necessary condition for its continued existence.

The convergence of public and private interests in the industry are nowhere more keenly apparent than in the risks and opportunities presented by “sustainability,” the issues and factors illustrated with a “Taxonomy of Sustainability” developed at the Fox School of Business.  An EMC faculty member and MBA team conducted a global survey of sustainability and the insurance industry on behalf of the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (“UNEP FI”).  This survey had two lines of inquiry.

First, what is current “state of play” as respects the integration of Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) factors in insurance underwriting?  Secondly, what is needed for the development of a more purposeful dialogue on the role of the insurance industry in response to ESG factors?  From the survey results, five broad themes emerged, each of which is discussed in depth in the publication that resulted from the survey: The Global State of Sustainable Insurance.

Dialoguing on Sustainability & Risk

  1. ESG factors influence underwriting.
  2. Proper management of ESG factors potentially enhances insurance industry earnings via avoided loss and new product offerings.  This in turn could afford greater protection for the insureds’ they serve.
  3. Given their assessment of ESG risks, insurance underwriters judge societal response for many ESG factors as under-developed.
  4. There are significant differences in the assessment of ESG factors dependent on whether an underwriter is operating in the “developed” or “developing” world.
  5. Promotion of ESG risk management and financing requires:
  • Working with a fragmented insurance industry structure to achieve integration
  • Enhanced forums for dialogue between stakeholders
  • Distinct, and sometimes new, skill sets
  • A recognition and respect for interests divergence

Understanding sustainability allows insurance companies to better understand the risks they are assuming, and in so doing, make more money – all while doing the “right” thing as well.

James W. Hutchin
Willis Research Network 

ESG Factors at work

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Fox School of Business Mentioned in U.S. News & World Report

Alter Hall Exterior

 

With the release of the 2013 Best Graduate Schools rankings, many programs see their academic stock change considerably. These 10 business schools made some of the biggest jumps in the rankings from last year to this year. Schools are listed in order of their overall increase in the rankings.

Here is a link to the slideshow featuring the top 8 graduate business schools on the rise: http://www.usnews.com/education/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools/slideshows/business-schools-on-the-rise/4

 

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Reaching through prison walls to develop strategy

Image Credit: The Inside-Out Center

A little over a year ago, a team of our MBA students spent a Saturday in maximum security Graterford Prison facilitating a day-long strategy session for the steering committee for Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program.  Started at Graterford more than 15 years ago, Inside-Out has grown into an international network of 310 trained facilitators and several prison-based think tanks – all without a well-formulated business model.  The strategy session was designed to stimulate the steering committee – roughly half inmates and half professors, with a smattering of students and staff – to design a business model to support the organizational component of Inside-Out.

Programmatically, Inside-Out provides incredible educational offerings in which inside and outside students conduct workshops and take college classes together, inside prison walls.  The quality of thinking is exemplary, with the inside students holding the (often younger) outside students to an extremely high standard of preparation and logic, and the outside students (often having the benefit of more formal schooling) bringing to bear strong technical skills in reading and writing.  Even more important telling the high-quality thinking is the commitment to mutual respect and deep listening such that participants draw from each other and the group deeper insights than would be available individually.

Needless to say, talking business and strategy in this setting was extraordinarily challenging, both because many of the participants are actively suspicious of business and because the group expects the highest level of honest and respectful participation in decision-making.  The team prepared by clarifying the goals of the session, designing a flow, blocking out the day in 15 minute intervals, assembling needed materials, and practicing various listening, recording and facilitating techniques.  On the actual day, this meticulous preparation allowed the team to adjust nimbly as the group challenged, changed and eventually found its way back to the central themes and decisions.

In the end, the steering committee’s insights and decisions shaped the EMC teams recommendations for Inside-Out, even as these recommendations have guided Inside-Out.

On the dissecting table [at a recent Think Tank discussion] was the EMC team’s comprehensive 176-page report prepared for Inside-Out, entitled “Pathways to Sustainable Growth.” Out of this critical meeting of minds rose a guiding theme: harnessing the power of the international network. To maximize this power, the Graterford Think Tank has been placing special focus on the continued development of what EMC identified as Inside-Out’s core competencies (what has made Inside-Out successful, unique, hard to copy, and what will give Inside-Out an edge moving forward). They are: the Graterford Think Tank, the international network, and the instructor trainings.
The Inside-Out Center Newsletter, Fall 2011

As useful as the strategic work has been to Inside-Out, the experience of working with such a powerful group of people, inside and out, has also left its mark on the EMC team:

On a practical level, the facilitation at Graterford made me realize how important preparation is for any sort of meeting and how being intentional – about activities, questions, etc. – can make an incredible difference on the outcome of your discussion and the richness of the content and dialogue that you create.

On a personal level, as always – going into Graterford was a transformational experience.  It was incredibly humbling to stand up in front of professional facilitators and try to facilitate a meeting.  It was also incredibly rewarding to be able to create a structure – and see it unfold in expected and unexpected ways – that allowed people to discuss their ideas and reactions to our work and listen to their suggestions of how we could make it better and support Inside-Out in deepening their own impact.   Also, as a person who can be on the shy-side, especially in large groups, having to facilitate in front of 40 people – without my teammates! – was character building to say the least.
–          Christy B., GMBA, 2010

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