Kate Zipin knows what empowerment looks like. As the founder and director of Own Your Awesomeness, a program that uses summer camps to help high school girls take pride in who they are, she has seen empowerment in action.
“Last summer towards the end of camp I asked the girls to spend some time writing an introduction for themselves,” Zipin remembers. After several minutes, Zipin invited the women to present their introductions to the group.
“I thought that maybe two or three girls would want to share,” Zipin recalls. Instead, five girls immediately raised their hands.
“The first girl went up and talked about her family, and when she was done the room exploded in applause,” says Zipin. “Another talked about wanting to be the first in her family to go to college.” By the end of the session every girl but one had shared her story to affirming words and raucous applause.
“I was really proud of them,” Zipin says, “but maybe more importantly I could see that they were really proud of themselves and each other.”
Since she started Own Your Awesomeness three years ago, Zipin has watched teens find their voices. Through open dialogue about cultural issues impacting women, skills building workshops that teach girls how to change a tire or use power tools, and activities that keep the girls moving and having fun together, these young women create a sense of pride in each other and themselves.
Seeing the program’s impact is not an issue. The struggle for Zipin (and most nonprofits) is measuring that impact. More and more grants are requiring data as part of the application process, and even individual donors appreciate metrics as a way of ensuring their money makes a difference.
To help her address the need for data, Zipin reached out to the Fox Board Fellows program at Temple University’s Fox School of Business. Fox Board Fellows was created in 2000 to match skilled MBA students with non-profit boards for year-long partnerships supported by coursework.
“Fox Board Fellows is a win-win for its nonprofit partners and the Fellows,” says Program Director Maureen Cannon. “Nonprofit partners benefit from hosting an experienced, passionate MBA student as a non-voting, working board member. Fellows gain valuable insight and perspective on the realities of nonprofit management and are better prepared to be effective board leaders in the future.”
Own Your Awesomeness was matched with Fox Board Fellow Teena Bounpraseuth, a full-time student in the Global MBA program. A native of Philadelphia, Bounpraseuth says non-profit youth programs were a big part of her own childhood in the city.
“Growing up, I was part of the youth arts workshop program through the Asian Arts Initiative,” says Bounpraseuth. “It gave me an opportunity to learn more about my Asian American identity in a safe and inviting space and to see how art can be used in bridging communities. The Initiative was really important to me as a teenager and I see Own Your Awesomeness doing similar work with the summer camp. Kate and her team are amazing. They’re helping to build a network of strong, confident, and independent women.”
One of Bounpraseuth’s most vivid memories of that time was watching an Asian American spoken word duo. “Just to see the confidence in those women meant so much to me. Seeing them ooze confidence, knowing their history, embracing it, and that empowering them — It helped set an example for me.”
To help Own Your Awesomeness quantify their impact, Bounpraseuth interviewed leaders from several nonprofits throughout the city that work with youth. “Everyone measures impact differently,” she says. “The key is that your metrics are actionable, manageable and comparable, and most importantly that they align with your organization’s mission.”
Bounpraseuth also led the board through a logic model. This tool helps organizations think through how their resources and activities translate into the outputs and broader impact they hope to have.
“The Logic Model was helpful,” Zipin says, “because it gave us a chance to get on the same page about our goals. Now that we have those articulated, we can ask questions in our assessments that specifically apply to those goals.”
Bounpraseuth’s project helped Own Your Awesomeness define what metrics they should be tracking, and also highlighted that some things make better stories than charts. “One thing I’ve learned is that, even if people have a lot of numbers, there’s still a lot left up to interpretation,” she says. “Some things are just very difficult to calculate.”
This month as Zipin wraps up three weeks of camp she will distribute surveys about leadership and confidence, skills building, and plans for the future. Part of Zipin’s impact will make it onto those surveys.
But some of Zipin’s work, uncovering the intangible awesomeness of each of these women, can’t be relegated to a page. Women have laughed at themselves, talked about hard issues, played touch football, and changed tires. Some of that impact will just have to play out in the lives these women forge in the years to come.
Fox Board Fellows just matched another cohort of Fellows with nonprofits! To get a fellow at your nonprofit contact Maureen Cannon at Maureenc@temple.edu.
This is the most common question asked by people considering an MBA. To find an answer, we spoke with three students from Fox School of Business MBA programs. We discovered there are many ways to consider the ROI of the MBA, and that salary increase, while important, is not the only one. Here’s what we learned.
Not All About the Benjamins
The salary boost is the main reason cited for pursuing an MBA. But it was about something greater than bank roll for Chris Wallace.
Wallace worked at Comcast and was eager to rise in the company when he began the Fox School Executive MBA program in 2010 (which was partially funded by his employer). His objectives were to improve his financial acumen, leadership skills, and strategic thinking, all of which he claims he did tenfold.
After completing his MBA, he founded Incite, a consulting firm specializing in optimizing sales teams. In 2015, he sold Incite to GrowthPlay, where he now works as a managing director.
“If I didn’t have the MBA skillset, I couldn’t have done this,” he says. “Financially, my MBA paid for itself two years after graduating.”
“But,” he continues, “I don’t evaluate the ROI of the MBA solely from a financial perspective. For me, the knowledge, the experience, and the personal enrichment made it worth it. Some do it just to put it on their resume; you can tell who they are. If you don’t have the hunger and curiosity, you won’t learn as much. Thinking of it as a sterile business transaction is completely missing the point.”
Serving the Public Good
Heather Qader was working with the NAACP, in Washington, D.C., when she realized her colleagues climbing the career ladder had something she didn’t: MBAs. She wanted to climb, too, but was worried it would jeopardize her commitment to community activism and the public good.
She ultimately made the MBA leap. She took student loans to finance 100% of the full-time Fox School Global MBA program, which she completed in 2016. And she found a way to balance the MBA with her altruistic commitments.
“I thought business school was shallow, but I was wrong,” she admits. “It was more collaborative than selfish and individualistic. Now my business acumen is sharper and I have more confidence in business conversations.”
Qader pursued startup job opportunities after graduation, worked freelance for a real estate investor, and did marketing for a friend’s company. Within a year of graduating, she landed the perfect job.
“I’m at the intersection of business and government, which is exciting,” says Qader, now the manager of business development for the City of Philadelphia Department of Commerce. “And I’m able to balance my interests and skills.”
“The ROI depends on what the timeline is,” she says when asked if the MBA was worth it. “The year after? Maybe not. As far as recouping expenses, I haven’t done that yet, but I will eventually. But now I’m in a great place and I love my job.”
The Network Is Priceless
A robust professional network can make or break your career. Jeff Fonda knows this—he also knows earning an MBA is a great way to build one.
“A big part of it was building a network—paying for access to alumni, local and national companies, and recruiters,” says Fonda, who completed the full-time Global MBA program in 2018. “I knew it was the path I had to pave to get to my next job. The education was secondary, but that changed, because I learned much more than I expected. Still, the network was the key.”
Prior to starting the MBA, Fonda had significant work experience. He was the founder and CEO of Earth Literary Project, which has opened 13 public libraries in Uganda, and also the vice president of a textbook company, Bell Tower Books. But he felt more contacts were required to make major moves. The MBA program fixed this.
“Fox helped me jumpstart my network,” says Fonda. “There were tons of events where I was able to meet many employers, alumni, and important industry representatives. Since the number of MBA students was small, we had meaningful individual time and access with recruiters and people I would’ve never met otherwise.”
Fonda’s connections in the program led to an internship with IBM’s prestigious Summit Program. He now works for IBM as a senior client relationship manager.
“My salary will definitely be higher with an MBA,” says Fonda. “And there’s no way I’d be considered for the job I’m taking, or even get my foot in the door, without the MBA network. Without a connection to the recruiter, I never would’ve gotten the job. Fox was the key to landing me here.”
“There’s no doubt,” he continues, “an MBA is worth it.”
Learn more about Fox School MBA programs.
UniFi, a mobile app focused on financial wellness and onboarding, won the Bernard and Murray Spain Grand Prize at the 20th annual Be Your Own Boss Bowl® (BYOBB®), a Temple University-wide business plan competition.
Led by Jessica Rothstein, an MBA student at Temple’s Fox School of Business, the UniFi team won $60,000 in prize money at the April 19 final presentations. The earnings will immediately support UniFi’s acquisition of talent and technical resources.
“Our team celebrated winning Be Your Own Boss Bowl®, but for us, it was right back to work,” Rothstein said. “We have so much to achieve in the coming weeks and months, and two pilots to launch this summer. Winning this competition will definitely help us reach our goals.”
UniFi’s mission is to solve financial illiteracy through a digital platform purchased by companies and distributed to their employees. The app, Rothstein said, aims to improve communication between employers and employees to curb low adoptive rates of benefits packages—a workplace epidemic that exists nationwide, Rothstein said.
Additionally, UniFi will create “a snapshot of a user’s finances, centralizing statements for employee benefits and mortgages,” Rothstein said, and offer access to critical financial resources “in language everyone can understand.” UniFi also will provide 24/7 support, either through text messaging or social media.
“We’re not financial advisors. We’re translators,” said Rothstein, whose business partners include Lauren Della Porta and fellow Fox MBA alumnus Derek Miller. “The world’s top financial institutions have created this content and shared it on the Internet, but people don’t understand it, or know how to look for it.”
BYOBB® is the flagship program of Temple’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute (IEI), and is ranked one of the nation’s most-lucrative business plan competitions. This year, 12 finalists representing five of Temple’s 17 schools and colleges delivered presentations in competition for more than $200,000 in cash prizes and related products and professional accounting, legal, and marketing services.
BYOBB® features three distinct tracks. The winners from each were:
- Social Impact Track: Ovarian Lab. Led by College of Engineering student Emily Kight, the company produced an in-home, non-invasive urine test that screens for ovarian cancer.
- Undergraduate Track: Kovarvic LLC. The company, led by Fox School student Daniel Couser, developed a handheld device that uses pulses of vibration to influence brain waves and de-escalate anxiety attacks.
- Upper Track: UniFi.
“Even if you don’t win, you’ve already won,” said Temple provost and executive vice president JoAnne Epps, addressing the competition’s finalists. “You are our future. The notion going forward that says, ‘We do things this way, but why can’t we do it differently?’ That’s you who are posing those important questions, and that’s you who are forcing us to answer them.”
IEI recognized Steve Charles, KLN ’80, with the Self Made and Making Others Award, celebrating lifetime achievement in entrepreneurship. A Temple University Trustee, Charles recently gifted $10 million to support the university and Temple Libraries.
And for the ninth year, IEI recognized students who best demonstrate the passion for entrepreneurship that was embodied by former Fox School professor Dr. Chris Pavlides. Entrepreneurship major Douglas Trachtman and Real Estate major Jalen West received the Pavlides Family Award.
Learn more about the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute.
A $2 million gift from Temple University graduates Stanley and Franny Wang will support a fully endowed chair professorship at the Fox School of Business.
The couple’s philanthropic support allows the Fox School to create an endowed fund for the Stanley and Franny Wang Chair in Business and Management. This fully endowed chair will be held by a leading scholar in a department soon to be chosen, said Dr. M. Moshe Porat, the Fox School’s dean.
The Wangs’ gift to the Fox School, which was founded in 1918, ranks among the largest in the School’s history for the purposes of academic leadership.
“I am continually humbled by the generosity of our school’s graduates, and Stanley and Franny Wang serve as shining examples of this philanthropy,” said Porat. “The Fox School has a proud tradition of providing leading and cutting-edge business education. Stanley and Franny’s transformative gift will significantly enhance our efforts to attract the world’s top professors and most-renowned researchers—both now in our centennial year and throughout the school’s next 100 years.”
Stanley Wang is the founder, president, and chief executive officer of the Pantronix Corporation. Based in Fremont, Calif., Pantronix is a national leader in advanced packing, testing, and microelectronics assembly for industries ranging from semiconductor and automotive, to medical, computer, and military.
The Wangs earned MBAs from the Fox School of Business in 1972, with Stanley’s concentration in management, and Franny’s in accounting.
The Wangs have long supported the development and growth of the Fox School of Business. The school’s home in Alter Hall, which opened in 2009, houses the Stanley Wang MBA Business Center. The couple’s philanthropy has supported the building of schools and scholarship programs in rural China and California.
“Franny and I are lifelong advocates for the importance and value of education,” Stanley Wang said. “It is our hope that supporting the Fox School of Business in this way will launch bright futures for dynamic students and create a better world through education.”
Lisa Peskin, MBA ’86, never thought she’d work in sales.
“I had the same negative connotations most people do of the pushy, obnoxious car salesman,” says Peskin, whose focus in the Fox School of Business MBA program was marketing. “But my opinion of sales certainly changed; now I’ve been doing it for 31 years.”
Peskin started her own sales training and management company in 2003. In 2010, it evolved into Business Development University.
“BDU works with salespeople, and if they’re underperforming, we help them get their numbers,” explains Peskin. “If they’re average, we figure out how to get them good. If they’re good, we get them great. And if they’re great, we figure out how to turn them into superstars. We maximize the performance potential of the people we work with; we help each person and each team drive the numbers.”
Peskin, in addition to being the CEO of BDU, is presently writing a book. The topic? Sales!
“The focus of the book,” she says, “is what I wish people told me back in 1986 when I started in sales. I had to make so many mistakes, and I wish someone had taught me the fundamentals so I didn’t have to figure it out on my own.”
With her upcoming book in mind, we asked Peskin, who in the past has worked with Temple University Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute to create workshops for students on similar topics, to share some of her sales secrets.
1. Have a well-defined game plan
“Most salespeople wing it every day; there’s no rhyme or reason to what they’re doing. How many coaches come into a game without a game plan? Doug Pederson, the Eagles’ coach, clearly had a well-defined game plan in their game against the Vikings. Salespeople need that, too. They need activity goals and result goals.”
2. Build strong networks
“In 1986, when I started in sales, it was dialing for dollars. There was no such thing as the Internet, or email, and it was all about knocking on doors and picking up the phone. The best way to fill your pipeline with good prospects is building a strong network of centers of influence who will be able to refer business on a consistent basis. The close ratios will be much higher if they come through networking.”
3. Leverage your existing customer base
“I have a concept called ‘squeeze the lemon.’ It’s not making lemonade out of lemons, it’s making the most out of every opportunity, every meeting, every day. Everything we do should be purposeful. A lot of times salespeople aren’t purposeful when it comes to their existing client base. The best way to get referrals is from happy customers.”
4. Uncover key information
“You must uncover the prospects needs and what they need to know. They need to know qualifying information, decision-making process and criteria, timelines, budget, and so on. Most salespeople are good at uncovering what the prospect needs, but not what they need to know to make the sale. They need to take a consultative approach.”
5. Prepare a customized presentation
“Most salespeople do what I call ‘showing up and throwing up.’ They go into presentation mode before they find out what the prospect cares about. When you walk into a physician’s office, they hand you a clipboard. Then you go into another office and they ask you the same questions and they take your vitals. Then the doctor does a full examination and they send you to get more tests and then they offer a diagnosis. Salespeople need to act more like doctors and not offer a diagnosis before they’ve done proper discovery.”
6. Handle objections effectively
“Most salespeople don’t try to handle objections, and the ability to properly and effectively handle them at the beginning and end of the sales process is critical. Objections aren’t a bad thing; salespeople have to stop thinking about it like that. Instead, they need to examine specifically why the prospect is objecting. There are six different objection handling techniques that we use to train people.”
7. Formulate a solid closing strategy
“Closing begins at the very beginning of the sales process. If you don’t set it up properly, you’re going to sound like a pushy, obnoxious car salesman trying to close at the end. There are about nine closing techniques. My favorite is the assumptive close, where if you’ve done everything right, you should be able to assume the sale.”
8. Maintain a positive attitude and stay motivated
“This is the most important thing. Are you willing to do what it takes to be successful and are you committed to it? The fact is you’re going to get way more ‘Nos’ than ‘Yesses,’ so you need a strong attitude, work ethic, and to stay motivated. In sales, you never get to take a breather because you’re only as good as your last month, last week, and last quarter. Attitude and motivation trump everything.”
Learn more about Fox MBA programs.
On February 2, Temple University’s Liacouras Center was buzzing with excitement for the Fox School of Business and School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management winter graduation ceremony, where over 500 undergraduate and graduate degrees were conferred.
The keynote speaker was Lori Bush, MBA ’85. Following her position as the president of Nu Skin, the personal care brand, Bush served as the CEO and president of skin care company Rodan + Fields until her retirement in 2016.
In her speech, Bush, the author of a best-selling wellness book titled Write Your Skin a Prescription for Change, detailed how she achieved great things in her career by being scrappy, leveraging her strategic training, and pushing the limits of business with limited resources. She advised the new graduates to look at the small moments of everyday life through a business lens, as this can lead to meaningful, career-changing insights.
“Everything is business,” said Bush. “You have to take inspiration from everyday life—then just add business principles and stir.”
The student speaker was Beatrice Raccanello Esq., MBA ’17. Raccanello, a native of Italy, earned her law degree from Bocconi University in Milan, and then relocated to Philadelphia to earn her Master of Laws from Temple University’s James E. Beasley School of Law. While working full-time for the Beasley School, as the assistant director of the Office of Graduate and International Programs, Raccanello enrolled in the Fox School’s Part-Time MBA program.
Raccannello spoke about how she was initially afraid to move to an unfamiliar country, but that her experiences as an international student ultimately molded her into a bolder leader. She found strength and inspiration by working with other exceptional students in the Part-Time MBA program who, like her, had full-time jobs, family responsibilities, and other life commitments.
“We became better leaders,” she said, noting how beneficial it was to work with students who brought diverse backgrounds and professional perspectives to the classroom. “We were able to collaborate to pursue our dreams.”
I’m sitting in the middle of the dining area at the Temple University Main Campus location of honeygrow—the health-forward, fast-casual, customizable salad and stir-fry restaurant—strapped into a Google Daydream VR headset. In reality, I’m swiveling wildly and waving my arms like a lunatic. In virtual reality, I’m moving ingredients around—a cartoon chicken, an oinking pig, and a cheese wheel—to various shelves inside a walk-in refrigerator. It’s fun. I’m also learning quite a bit about food safety regulations.
This is one of the scenes in the VR experience honeygrow uses to onboard new employees. Created in collaboration with the Philadelphia-based experiential art shop Klip Collective, it’s the latest tech-savvy move from the company founded by CEO Justin Rosenberg, MBA ’09. When Rosenberg developed the business plan for honeygrow while studying at the Fox School, tech was an essential component, namely the automated kiosks that simplify the ordering process while creating a uniquely interactive experience for customers.
Honeygrow opened in 2012 and now has 23 locations in nine cities, including New York, Chicago, and Boston. Since honeygrow is constantly onboarding new employees, it wanted to develop an innovative, efficient way to teach newbies the ropes. Kyle Brown, honeygrow’s director of operations, estimates that about 100 people will take the VR training each year. He claims turnover has already dropped and employees are earning required training certifications at a significantly higher rate.
“Technology is not a silver bullet to stand out, but rather an operational enhancement to better streamline the experience for both guests and team members.” – Justin Rosenberg, founder and CEO of honeygrow
The first thing I see once jacked into the VR experience is Rosenberg welcoming me to honeygrow. Next I observe employees as they prepare menu items on the salad and noodle line. Then I’m thrown into the interactive walk-in exercise. I learn all about how raw pork and raw beef should not be stored together. I also witness an employee providing fantastic service to customers in a virtually crowded honeygrow dining room.
Virtual reality is a buzzing topic in the news, so using this technology in an inventive way has earned honeygrow attention from publications like Wired, The Washington Post, and Entrepreneur. In addition to optimizing new employee training and relations, it elevates the honeygrow brand by showing how much they value experimenting with new technology. And honeygrow’s success in virtual reality is raising the real bar—months after announcing its VR strategy, major companies like Kentucky Fried Chicken have jumped onboard to do the same.
“Technology is not a silver bullet to stand out, but rather an operational enhancement to better streamline the experience for both guests and team members,” explains Rosenberg. “It’s critical to be constantly searching for ways to thoughtfully and purposefully be better than our competition. And we love to figure out ways to be better than we were yesterday.”
Learn more about Fox School MBA programs.
A short film produced by Shpat Deda, a 2015 graduate of Temple University’s Fox School of Business Global MBA program, received the British Academy Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Award for Best Short Film.
Deda served as one of five producers on the short film, Home, which calls attention to the plight of refugees worldwide. The 20-minute film depicts a British family leaving its comfortable life and experiencing uncertainty and violence as refugees. The term “reverse migration” has been used to describe the plot of the film.
Deda accepted the BAFTA award, along with writer and director Daniel Mulloy, at BAFTA’s Feb. 12 ceremony in London’s Royal Albert Hall, to honor the year’s top contributors to British film.
In addition to its BAFTA win, Home also has claimed top prizes at 11 separate film festivals. It received donations from Open Society Foundation-London, USAID, and United Agencies in Kosovo to make the production possible.
The film holds special significance to Deda, an ex-refugee from Kosovo.
“No more than 18 years ago, I and the majority of the Kosovo cast and crew who worked on this film, were among the one million Kosovans displaced and turned into refugees as a result of a devastating war that was tearing our country apart,” Deda said. “In our misfortune though, we were fortunate enough to be living during a time when the world was one of open hearts and open doors. It’s what ultimately saved the lives of so many of us. My hope today is that we can be able to say the same for the millions of refugees out there who are frightened, facing an uncertain future, and without a home at this very moment.”
The Fox School of Business at Temple University will introduce new academic programs for the 2016-17 academic year.
A Bachelor of Science program in Statistical Science and Data Analytics headlines the new offerings by the Fox School, and joins two undergraduate minors in Leadership and International Business Administration.
At the graduate level, students can elect for MBA concentrations in either Business Analytics or Enterprise Risk Management. In Fall 2016, Fox also will launch a Master of Science degree program in Business Analytics.
“The addition of new programs and concentrations demonstrate our reputation as one of the nation’s most-comprehensive business schools,” said Dr. M. Moshe Porat, Dean of the Fox School of Business. “Employers and industry partners agree that these areas represent emerging fields and areas of study wherein professionals and leaders are in great demand, and we have the diverse, renowned faculty to answer the call of industry and these support programs.”
The undergraduate major in Statistical Science and Data Analysis will provide students with the ability to select, utilize and apply quantitative reasoning and data analytic skills to their future fields of study, according to program director Dr. Alexandra Carides, Associate Professor of Statistical Science.
The minor in International Business Administration incorporates the nationally ranked curriculum of Fox’s undergraduate-degree program in International Business. The minor requires only four courses and four prerequisites, delivering the cornerstones of international business education while offering students the opportunity to complete a study-abroad trip in the process.
The minor in Leadership cultivates stronger interpersonal skills for effective management and leadership positions. With courses focusing on workplace demands for leadership from both the organizational and interpersonal points of view, the minor allows students to move beyond technical competence as they step into leadership roles in industry.
The MBA concentration in Business Analytics is designed to enable graduate students to use data and models to recognize opportunities and to improve organizational decision-making. “Data-driven decision-making has been shown to have large positive effects on outcomes of interest to organizations of all types,” said Assistant Professor of Marketing and Supply Chain Management Dr. Eric Eisenstein, the concentration’s director. “Business Analytics concentrators will meet the growing demand for talent in the areas of managing, analyzing, predicting, and discovering insights from the complex data that is available to modern corporations.”
The MBA concentration in Enterprise Risk Management, offered by one of the most-prestigious Risk Management programs in the nation, will prepare MBA students to design and implement state-of-the-art processes that enhance and improve organizational strategic decision-making, how it manages risk across the enterprise, as well as improving traditional risk mitigation decisions. “This concentration will provide MBA candidates with the concepts and tools to develop advanced organizational risk management capabilities and pursue executive responsibility for managing enterprise-wide risks,” said Assistant Professor of Risk, Insurance, and Healthcare Management Dr. M. Michael Zuckerman, the concentration’s director.
All eligibility and declaration questions regarding the new undergraduate major and minors should be referred to Fox’s Center for Undergraduate Advising. Graduate students are encouraged to speak with their program advisors for more details about new curricula.
Fox School of Business alumnus Justin Rosenberg is returning to his roots.
The founder and CEO of honeygrow, Rosenberg announced that he plans to open a location of his Philadelphia-based, fast-casual restaurant on Temple University’s campus in the fall. The store would utilize commercial space within Morgan Hall, a residence hall located at the southeast corner of Broad Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue.
With seven stores currently and plans to open nine more by the end of 2016, honeygrow offers fresh-to-order salads and stir-fries that are made with seasonal, local ingredients.
“Temple University is on the rise, and it’s a location that I’m beyond confident will work,” said Rosenberg, who earned his Fox Global MBA in 2009. “I’m a Temple guy, I wrote a chunk of my business plan for honeygrow at Alter Hall, and the business is very much a #TempleMade concept. This makes perfect sense.”
The Temple University location would feature an innovative interior design, new ordering kiosks, and seating for up to 50 patrons, Rosenberg said.
For Rosenberg, honeygrow’s upward progression in the last 12 months has been “moving pretty quickly,” he said. In June 2015, honeygrow received $25 million in investment funding from Miller Investment Management to support further expansion of honeygrow and updates to the company’s technology platform. This spring, Rosenberg said honeygrow’s corporate headquarters will relocate from Center City Philadelphia to the city’s Fishtown neighborhood.
“We’ve renovated a warehouse where we’ll have 30 corporate employees to supplement the 300 employees we have in the field,” he said. “That’s where we’ll have our commissary, where our chef and culinary director David Katz will work on our sauces, dressings, and beyond. There has always been a deep passion for the product – inclusive of where we are sourcing it to how we are training our staff to prepare it, care for it, and work with it. Everything counts.
“For 2016, with stores opening from Washington, D.C. to the New York City metro area, I couldn’t be more excited about honeygrow’s future than I am right now.”
Business meetings in Colombia seldom begin promptly, said Dr. Kevin Fandl.
How does he know this? An Assistant Professor of Legal Studies at Temple University’s Fox School of Business, Fandl has studied in Colombia. He traveled there in 2006 as a Fulbright Scholar, taught there, investigated its informal economy, and even wrote his PhD dissertation on his experiences there.
“You never walk into a business meeting (in Colombia) and start on time,” Fandl said to a gathering of Global MBA students. “Small talk can go on for 90 percent of the meeting and, in the last 10 minutes, you need to make your points and sign your deal.
A host of distinguished guests spoke to Fox’s second-year Global MBA students Feb. 12-13 at Alter Hall, sharing wisdom and tips in a panel-discussion format during a two-day workshop in preparation for the students’ upcoming Global Immersion trips.
Divided equally into two groups, the 42 Global MBA students will spend two weeks in either the South American nations Colombia and Chile, or in Turkey and Morocco, of the Middle East/North African (MENA) region. While there, the students will meet representatives of local companies and firms, participate in case studies and learn the entrepreneurial ecosystems of what Fox’s Dr. MB Sarkar called “transitional economies.” Last year, this very cohort made Global Immersion trips to India and China, two of the most promising BRIC nations.
“Among the competencies that are relevant in today’s market, developing contextual intelligence is being rated as one of the most critical for MBAs,” said Fox School Dean Dr. M. Moshe Porat. “We at Fox believe that, in order to develop the next generation of global leaders, we need to learn from the innovative business models that are being seeded in these emerging markets.”
Sarkar, Fox’s Global Immersion Academic Director, and Rebecca Geffner, Fox School’s Director of International and Executive Program, assembled dynamic panels with marquee guests related to both the Latin America and MENA regions.
- Ahmet Kindap, of Turkey’s Ministry of Development
- Marwan Kreidie, Founder and Executive Director of the Philadelphia Arab American Development Corporation
- Z. Joe Kulenovic, an international economist
- Christian Rodriguez, Consul-General of Colombia
- Laura Ebert, International Trade Specialist with the United States Department of Commerce and International Trade Administration
- Ali Solyu, of Cameron University in Oklahoma, and Ipek University, in Ankara
Sarkar and Geffner kicked off the two-day event with opening remarks, discussing the importance of immersing oneself into the culture and business practices of the countries they’ll visit, while offering insights into what the Global MBA students might expect during their travels.
Fandl served as moderator on a guest-speaker panel into the history, culture and politics of Latin America, of which Rodriguez and Kulenovic were guests. The panel informed students about the business climates and entrepreneurial ecosystems of Colombia and Chile. Fandl and Rodriguez offered the graduate students advice on conduct and decorum in a business atmosphere, while introducing themselves to professionals.
“In Chile and Colombia, know about their food, wine, culture, weather and definitely know your (soccer) teams,” Fandl said.
“Chileans and Colombians know when you are telling the truth about yourselves,” said Rodriguez. “Know your story and be comfortable. That will help you out 70 percent.”
Other guests on the panel included: Mitchell Mandell, attorney at White & Williams LLP, and Laura Ebert, International Trade Specialist with the United States Department of Commerce and International Trade Administration.
Later on Day 1, Global MBA Academic Director Dr. TL Hill presided over a panel discussion into the business climate and entrepreneurial ecosystems in the MENA region. The panel featured: Kreidie; Jean Abinader, COO of the Moroccan American Center and National Association of Arab Americans; Kindap from the Turkish Government and Joe Kulenovic, a consultant with the World Bank who is researching how cities in emerging countries become globally competitive.
The speakers conveyed to Global MBA students a pervasive gender inequality issue, mentioning the infrequency with which women are integrated into the workforce. Guests on the panel also suggested that international trade has significant growth potential in both Turkey and Morocco, which are natural bridge countries due to their geographic positions.
Porat and Deputy Dean Dr. Rajan Chandran provided keynote addresses. Additionally, Chandran will join Global MBA students, Sarkar and Geffner in Morocco for a one-day entrepreneurship conference being organized in partnership with Al Akhawayn University in Casablanca, as part of the Global Immersion experience.
“Our sincere hope is that this conference will become a seed for Fox’s intellectual engagement in the region, and our contribution to helping the local economies grow,” Chandran said.
Global MBA student Emily Fox, who majored in Spanish as an undergraduate, chose the Global Immersion trip through Colombia and Chile for obvious reasons.
“In the future, I see myself conducting business in a Spanish-speaking country, so I wanted to be exposed to how negotiations are handled in those countries,” said Fox, who is slated to graduate in May.
During the information sessions, students were asked to “prep now,” so they could immediately take advantage of the experience once their flights had landed.
“You have to get to know the people, figure out your target and set an idea of what you wish to accomplish,” Rodriguez said.
For Global MBA student Andy Oakes, learning about contrasting business practices and emerging global markets are the benefits of gaining international field experience.
“Long-term I’d like to work outside the United States in technology consulting,” Oakes said. “It’s important in the globalized economy that exists today to become immersed in multiple cultures.”
“Global Immersions are an extension on the program,” said Neeharka Damea, another Global MBA student. “The opportunity to experience multicultural backgrounds was the reason why I chose the Fox Global MBA program.”