Marilyn Anthony wears many hats at Temple University’s Fox School of Business (Fox), and this past semester she added yet another one. We caught up with Anthony to take a glimpse into the vital role she plays at Fox.
An assistant professor in strategic management, Anthony recently became the director of the Fox partnership with Flinders University, in which Fox Management Consulting (Fox MC) at Fox and Flinders University have partnered to deliver customized entrepreneurship and innovation education to thousands of Flinders students, and is also a Project Executive (PE) for Fox MBA students participating in the Fox MC capstone course, an applied learning experience in which students work in teams to provide research and recommendations to fee-paying clients.
Anthony has devoted the majority of her career to food and sustainable agriculture, working in various environments including non-profit, for-profit and as a small business owner.
She has worked in some of Philadelphia’s finest and most innovative restaurants as a professional chef, served in business development and management positions in the hospitality industry and overseen mid-Atlantic regional corporate food services before foraying into the sustainability movement. She began her relationship with Fox as a client whose organization hired Fox MC for a consulting project.
“I was so impressed by the quality of research and thinking that went into the project that I wanted to become involved with Fox MC. It was far beyond what my own organization could have done,” she said. She started as an extremely satisfied customer, moved into a Fox MC advisor role and soon became a PE. “I have been excited to refer projects to colleagues from the nonprofit and sustainable agriculture world, the quality of the research serving as my main selling point.”
Anthony brings substantial expertise to each MBA Capstone project, and provides 150+ hours of oversight to each Fox MC project team. In her role as PE, Anthony ensures that Fox MC MBA consultants deliver top-quality work to clients, and strives to serve as a coach to the students.
“Many students may never have previously worked with a client before, which is a very unique relationship,” she said. As a former Fox MC client, she strives to model client management and encourage students to be thoughtful, open and take responsibility.
“At the beginning of the semester, I don’t know the answer. Each project is new and unique, and the students and I are in a process of discovery to learn what opportunities are available,” Anthony said.
She noted that these projects represent a significant pivot in the students’ MBA education. “They are shifting from mastering content in a course to a topic where they’re not in control, and are addressing an unfamiliar topic with an unpredictable client. It’s a huge responsibility to deliver high quality work in a short period of time,” Anthony said. She added that there’s no ‘right answer’ to these projects, another unique aspect of the Capstone course, and emphasized the important role the PE plays encouraging risk taking and helping students have confidence that they can succeed.
“Everyone starts off knowing nothing about subject, and at end, they’ve learned enough about an industry to make a recommendation to a client whose livelihood is that industry. It’s transformative and really hard,” said Anthony.
Anthony is currently overseeing three MBA projects, including a UK-based direct to small business online insurer, who has hired Fox MC to develop a go-to-market strategy to expand its business to the U.S.; a foundation looking to restore the agricultural components of its farmland; and a non-profit seeking assistance with its board structure, governance and legal structure.
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