Friday, December 23, 2011

An Awesome upgrade!!

As we enjoy the holiday season and look forward to a few weeks of relaxation, with minimal school work planned on our minds and calendars, I am sure that the Charlotte students are also looking forward to the major upgrade that is the brand new uptown center. And what an upgrade it is!
The holiday party gave us the first opportunity to explore the new uptown center. From the magnanimous, but artistic, reception area to the magnificently marbled break room and the thoughtfully detailed class and study rooms, the exuberance of energy and modern infrastructure has impressed us all beyond our imaginations. Oh and how timely it is! The nerve wracking exams and the plethora of projects and assignments throughout the semester had left us all a bit weary and exhausted. So Wake Forest gave us the perfect gift with the major upgrades in terms of well, everything!
The party thrown in the celebration was worth as much applause. The food and drinks were great, and so was the hospitality of the staff. We could tell how excited they all were about the commemoration of the new center, and it was great to share in that excitement.
I didn’t think I would be saying this (especially after exams), but I am already excited to start the new semester; and the new uptown Charlotte center has everything to do with that! Kudos to the Wake Forest team for making it happen!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wake Forest MSA Students Have the Highest CPA Exam Pass Rate in the Nation

Wake Forest Schools of Business students achieved the #1 pass rate in the nation on the Certified Public Accountant Exam among candidates (with and without advanced degrees) from nearly 2,000 colleges and universities. Wake Forest students have earned the top ranking nine times since the School began offering a Master of Science in Accountancy (MSA) degree in 1997, more than any other university during the same time period.

Wake Forest students led first-time exam candidates by achieving an overall pass rate of 96%, compared to the next closest university at 88% (among those who have not yet earned an advanced degree). The results were recently reported in the 2011 Edition of Candidate Performance on the Uniform CPA Examination. Nationally, the overall pass rate during this same period was less than 55%.

Congratulations MSA students!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Novartis Chairman Daniel Vasella to Speak at Wake Forest Schools of Business

The chairman of one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies will discuss humanity, business and ethics at the Wake Forest Schools of Business as part of the Broyhill Leading Out Loud Executive Lecture Series.

Dr. Daniel Vasella will address the challenges and opportunities facing the global pharmaceutical industry and answer the question “how can businesses be caring?” during a on Thursday, Dec. 1, at 3:30 p.m. in the Worrell Professional Center Auditorium, Room 1312 on the Wake Forest University campus.

Vasella is the chairman of Novartis AG. He served as CEO and executive member of the board for 14 years following the merger that created Novartis in 1996. He was named chairman in April 1999.

Before the Novartis merger, Vasella was the CEO of Sandoz Pharma Ltd. and a member of the Sandoz Group executive committee. He graduated with an M.D. from the University of Bern and completed executive training at the Harvard Business School. He was also awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Basel.

Novartis, named Pharma Company of the Year at the 2011 SCRIP Awards, operates in 140 countries, providing pharmaceuticals, generic medications, eye care products, consumer health products, vaccines and diagnostic tools.

Leading out Loud is a Wake Forest University Schools of Business lecture series created to educate and inspire business students through exposure to industry leaders shaping today’s business world. This series is made possible by the of the Broyhill Family Foundation of Lenoir, N.C.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Entrepreneurship Club and Graduate Business Wine Club - Vineyard Trip


On Friday, November 11, the Entrepreneurship Club, in association with the Graduate Business Wine Club, organized a trip to the Westbend Vineyards. The purpose of the trip was to give the students an insight into a family run business. It was a delight for both wine lovers and for our aspiring entrepreneurs.
Located in Lewisville, N.C., the vineyard was first planted in 1972 by Jack Kroustalis against the advice of some agricultural authorities. The thriving vineyard is a result of Jack’s determination. His story was an inspiration for us.
Around 40 people from both clubs were able to attend the event. The owner and the manager gave us a tour of the vineyard, explaining every step of the process of making wine, from handpicking the fruit to packaging. After the tour, we chatted over wine as the sun set.
Overall, it was a very elegant experience and an inspiring trip!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

What to Keep in Your Back Pocket Here in Charlotte


I kept four things readily accessible in the back left pocket of my jeans this week – my Wake Forest campus key card, my Wake Forest copy card, my bank card, and a Yoforia gift card. When I realized mid-week that I subconsciously transferred all four cards through every pair of jeans I wore over a couple of days, it dawned on me – this was, in fact, an exam week, and I was going to need copies of accounting practice problems just as much as an already-paid-for pomegranate frozen yogurt. And I was ready.

This week required a lot of each of us here in the Charlotte program; it was the first time since we started the program in August that the stakes were raised – we were responsible for two midterm exams, a Quant Methods individual assignment, and a rough draft of a team accounting project. Not to mention, of course, our full-time jobs. If you weren’t 100% enrolled emotionally in the business school experience, you were going to be. Real fast.

The thing is, we weren’t alone – we came through for ourselves, yes; but, we came through for each other, which speaks to one of the things I love about Charlotte’s program – the people; this Class of 2013 team. We made copies for each other. We camped out in the copy room for hours talking and working through practice problems. We called. We texted. We e-mailed out study guides to everyone at 2 o’clock in the morning before the test (and by ‘we’, I mean, Morris).

Again, we weren’t alone in this experience. This past Friday, the end of exam week, Harris Teeter’s President Fred Morganthall came to the Charlotte campus to speak about his experiences and the Harris Teeter ‘story’. Organized by a second-year Charlotte student, Bryan Sprayberry ’12, the event provided insight that extended far beyond the retail world. One such insight by Mr. Morganthall - you’ve got to have the right people –your own people familiar with the company’s culture, community, goals - in place for a new store to do well in a new market. If that’s the case, then, Charlotte’s Class of 2013 – the right people to know in this new adventure - we kept each other in our back pockets this week.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

VIDEO: Students Volunteer at the Food Bank Community Garden

Will it be a three-peat?

Congratulations to Wake Forest University Schools of Business students Mike Allen (MSA ’12), Dan Kim (’13), Stephanie Gifford (’12) and Greg Gorman (’12). They will represent Wake Forest at the KPMG International Case Competition semi-final on Jan. 20 in Miami.

Mike is a Master of Science in Accountancy candidate. Dan and Stephanie are Finance majors and Greg is a Business and Enterprise management major.

“Team Wake” was selected after participating in a campus competition that took place on October 3.

Megan Petitt (MSA ’12) and Swayze Smartt (MSA ’12), two of the members of the Wake Forest team that won the global championship title last year at the KPMG International Case Competition in Istanbul, Turkey, gave a presentation on Sept. 30 to campus teams before they picked up their cases. The former champs offered advice and suggested “do’s and don’ts” of case preparation.

Wake Forest also won the world title competition held two years ago in Athens, Greece.

The Wake Forest team will compete against the University of Virginia, Ole Miss, Florida State and North Carolina A&T in the semi-final competition.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Graduate Finance Club Hosts Investment Banking Weekend

On Friday, September 16 and Saturday, September 17, the Graduate Finance Club held its “Investment Banking Weekend” (“IB Weekend”). The IB Weekend—a resurrected event by the Finance Club from years’ past—was purposed to help educate MBA, MSA, and MA students about the various career paths in the investment banking industry.

Selected topics included: delineating the differences between boutique and “bulge-bracket” firms; describing new hires’ roles and responsibilities, and; discussing behavioral and technical interviewing best-practices. Dr. Rob Nash, Professor and Orr Fellow in Finance, and Dr. Jon Duchac, Merrill Lynch Professor of Accounting, offered insight into specific coursework and concepts relevant to students being successful on the job.

The Weekend featured an Alumni Panel on Saturday, September 17th.. Featured speakers on the panel included:

  • Drew Cannon (MBA, 2005)
  • Sean Kelley (BA, 2005)
  • Clint Bundy (MBA, 2006)

All of the alumni the students were fortunate to learn from have extensive experience in the investment banking industry, having worked for venerable institutions such as Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and Wells Fargo (formerly Wachovia). In addition, the alumni have worked in various locations and geographies including Charlotte, Richmond, VA, New York and Hong Kong.

The IB Weekend concluded with the Finance Club jointly hosting a tailgate with the Graduate Marketing Club for Wake Forest’s football game against Gardner-Webb. The Demon Deacons did their part on the field in making the Weekend a success all-around, as they defeated the Gardner-Webb Runnin’ Bulldogs, 48-5.

(Guest Submission By: Graduate Finance Club Leadership Team)


Friday, October 7, 2011

Business School and Sports Analogies: Inseparable

Touchdowns Home Runs and and Goals, Oh My!
“You miss a 100% of the shots you don’t take.” While this expression could easily apply to World of Warcraft or photography, I usually understood it as referring to basketball. Turns out, the speaker of this quote was Wayne Gretzsky, so I still had it wrong. In business school, however, I have ample opportunity to learn about sports. It’s seemingly inescapable, especially now in the season I used to know as fall. Now I know it by it’s rightful name: football season.

Sports references abound both outside and inside the classroom. In the hallways I hear murmurings about Antonio Gates, Chad Ochocinco, and Tony Romo echoing off the walls. Between, and I imagine during, classes, fantasy stats are being checked, adjusted, and discussed. Study sessions often feature the undulating cheers and constant chatter of a football game on TV. But students are not the only ones obsessed with sports. Professors will use basketball stars in problem sets and ask us to calculate standard deviation for high school track race times. Teamwork is taught in the framework of a sports team using inspirational sports movies as examples of the stages of team development. These references play, pardon the pun, to the interests of many business school students, but not all.

Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy sports. I played two of them in high school. But I’ve also played in a band. I’ve been part of the cast of a musical play. I’ve performed dance routines with a group. All these activities have granted me the opportunity to be part of a team as well as a leader. But where are all the arts analogies in business school? Why not try “Most people live with their music still unplayed. They never dare to try,” by Mary Kay Ash, founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics. Or “As good as I am, I’m nothing without my band,” Steven Tyler. How about calculating the standard deviation of beats per minute across musical genres or the number of words per sentence in a Hemingway novel? Professors sometimes start class by playing a song, which I greatly appreciate, but don’t let it stop there. If Wake Forest is truly attempting to foster an inclusive environment for all its students, we should consider expanding the topics of conversation beyond just sports.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Speaker Series - Dean Steve Reinemund

Whatever your faith:

  • You should be free to share your thoughts.
  • You should not object to others thoughts.
  • You should make a conscious effort to respect the thoughts of others.

Talks about leadership or success have always sparked my interest. Last week, I had the opportunity to attend our Dean Steve Reinemund's speech on leadership, success and significance. He shared his leadership stories and his success journey. I would like to share some of the highlights from his speech, a few quotes, and a particularly interesting question from the audience.

Success comes from three C's:

  • Character (1st most important attribute for success)
The biggest attribute for success in business is "Character". It determines success vs. failure. Character is built from beliefs. It comes from commitment to a particular faith. It comes from belief in God. But character will be challenged and tested many a time. He said that "Character" is one of the attributes CEO's look for while recruiting.
  • Commitment (2nd most important attribute for success)
It is the second most important attribute for long term success. And long term success is based on a series of short term successes.
  • Competence (3rd most important attribute for success)

Talking about his last business trip, the Dean said that it is intimidating to be in Silicon Valley unless you are a genius. To be successful in business, everyone should work hard with his or her God-given IQ. It is important that we take our intellect to the highest level possible.

Quotes from Dean Steve Reinemund:

"If leaders believe that they are right all the time, then they are doomed to fail."

"The right job is not the one that your parents think you should take."

A very interesting question from audience:

When do you become angry, and how do you control your mind?

"Leaders closely control their emotions. Most of the time, we don't know whether they are angry or not. Anger is OK as long as it is not disrespectful and not selfish."

It is a great experience, learning from the industry leaders. We can learn a lot just by listening to their stories. I recommend everyone to attend the Speaker Series.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Cheers to the Weekend

by Victoria Osborne (MA '12)

The past two weeks have been incredibly busy, and yet somehow I find a way to squeeze homework in with all the things I’d rather be doing. I am a firm believer in work-life balance, and since I do work almost non-stop Sunday-Thursday, the weekends are the perfect time to just have fun and relieve stress. This weekend was no exception. Yesterday, Dean Reinemund hosted his annual “Backyard Ball with the Dean” basketball tournament, where various groups from the Schools of Business competed in a double-elimination tournament. I stopped by the tournament (held on a full basketball court in the dean’s backyard, no big deal) to root on my fellow MA in Management students. We had two teams in the tournament and even though the 1st-year MBAs won our teams still had good showings. It was nice to interact with the dean and other Business students in such a fun, relaxed atmosphere. After the tournament I’d planned to go to Worrell to knock out some studying (and possibly this blog) when another student in my program said, “Hey I’m about to go suit shopping, do you want to come?” Four hours and six stores later I had not completed a single bit of homework but alas, I’d found a suit. It’s a business suit so that has to count for something…right?

Before going to the basketball tournament, I spent my Saturday morning volunteering with United Way and Hanes Brands. Hanes held a massive sale of their products, as well as some Ralph Lauren items, with all proceeds going to United Way. I was a “replenisher”, so I was in charge of restocking items as supply depleted. Sounds simple enough, I thought, until I got there and saw what can only be compared to Wal-Mart on Black Friday. There were cardboard boxes everywhere, piled high with t-shirts, shorts, socks, pajamas, underwear, etc. It was hard to know where to start because everything needed replenishing and yet nothing needed replenishing at the same time because there was so. much. stuff. I’m the kind of girl (woman?) who organizes her closet by type of item and then by color, so I was definitely overwhelmed. Not knowing who or where my supervisor was, I just started going through boxes and making sure what was in each box matched what was written on the outside of each box. If I had to guess there were probably 200 boxes total, each one swarming with bargain-hungry Winston-Salemites. Oh, and did I mention the rain? Yes, it rained, yes, we were outdoors, and no, this did not deter the crowd in the slightest. As chaotic as it all was though, I had a good time.

Lastly, the Dixie Classic Fair is in town. Though I am ride-adverse (see: Final Destination 3) I absolutely LOVE fair food and the thought of a giant turkey leg was enough to convince me to go. The fair was amazing—such good energy, tons of rides, and endless opportunities to develop diabetes. One stand even had deep fried butter… and here I thought there were limits to what could be deep fried. On a dare, I actually tried it and it literally was the most revolting thing I’ve ever eaten. I was so hypnotized by the fact that it was covered in cinnamon and powdered sugar that I ignored the fact that underneath lay an actual stick of butter. I have a strong stomach but boy, was it tested last night. Though it was hard to top that experience, I’d have to say the best part of the night was the fireworks show (though I will say I did not get to see “The Woman with 8 Legs” or “The World’s Smallest Horse”). The fair is in town all week so if you’re in the area and haven’t been yet, I recommend you go! ….but please stay away from all things deep-fried.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Imperfection ... What's that?

By Shounak Ray (MBA '12)

Encouraging his students, especially the intimidated ones, to ask questions, one of my graduate school professors announces “No question is a stupid question”.

He is so wrong. There is always room for us to make mistakes when we are in that protected and comforting world of our overlooking family and close friends. As we grow out of that comfort zone and mature into embracing a society that is so perfect but we are not, we fear whether there is any room for our weaknesses and vulnerabilities. Most people, including me, do have that fear. And what do we fear? We fear not having understood or liked a book, of admitting to not having liked a particular sport or game, we fear of coming across too "old school," we fear our blogs will be too boring for readers..we fear our receding hairlines.

And what do we do to overcome that fear? Well, we just try to become more perfect - try to become more of something that we are probably not. Sometimes, we succeed, and sometimes we become the object of more ridicule and the fear only multiplies. There are actually some other effective ways to deal with our fear as well. One of them is to adopt the "first mover advantage" strategy. So, before our vulnerabilities are exposed, we go on the offensive and try to bring out the vulnerabilities or weaknesses of others around us. Quite an effective strategy, I tell you - it has worked pretty well for me on several instances.

And then we are tired; we feel like quitting this never-ending game and going back to our protected world where it was so easy to make a mistake. But that protected world doesn't exist anymore. We are on our own. Some questions are indeed stupid - we should definitely know.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Viral Videos: Why Force Them?

By Eric Wiggins (MBA '12)

(This is an except from an assignment I did in my Buyer Behavior class; we made a blog entry on an aspect of consumer behavior as it relates to advertising.)

Within the last few years, the global phenomenon of YouTube has, in turn, given birth to another global phenomenon commonly referred to as the “Viral Video.” Companies have seen the attention these videos attract, and salivate to get a piece of that exposure. As these videos are quickly (and often inadvertently) able to draw hundreds of millions of viewers to a single YouTube page, it is very easy to see the enormous marketing potential.

As a result, many companies have tried to intentionally create viral campaigns. However, the essence of a viral video, and part of what makes it “Viral” in the first place, is the unrehearsed, unintentional, spontaneous moments that either happen to be caught on film, or contain so much humor and entertainment value that viewers feel the need to share.

As a result, many of these “Forced Viral Video” campaigns have failed, for example Sony’s “All I Want for Christmas is a PSP” video, which backfired and left a bad taste in the mouths of viewers: http://bit.ly/PT750. GM attempted to cultivate a Viral Marketing Campaign in which they challenged buyers to create their own advertisements. Too bad they were completely unprepared for the environmentalists who began to submit negative ads! http://cnet.co/12zUyP.

Orchestrating the creation of a Viral Video can have high payoffs, but can also be risky to a brand. As is the case with most high-risk investments, the payoff can also be high. Companies just need to make sure they are not trying so hard that they lose touch of the core reasons a video becomes viral – viewers want to be entertained, and they want videos they can share with friends and family. While examples of some of the more successful companies include the Old Spice Man http://bit.ly/aMkmHc, as well as the Evian Roller Babies,http://bit.ly/Z9m3n, and the “Will It Blend?” Videos by Blendtec http://bit.ly/3nFqfp, most others have not been so successful. If I could send a message to companies out there: before jumping on the Viral Bandwagon, make sure you're being genuine with your customers, because they are smart enough to realize when you aren't. Pay attention to your customers, focus on making a great advertisement, and people will want to share it. But no company should focus their strategy on trying to force a viral video campaign.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Drinking From the Water Fountain

It has already been a month since I landed in the United States. How time flies! Finding a place to stay, unpacking and shopping for necessities all happened in a blurry week before orientation. I used the week-long student orientation to orient myself and shift my focus towards business school.

The first two weeks of business school are intense. Everyone feels like they have been "drinking from a fire hose". There are many who hate this phrase, but I don't know why. Maybe because people hate speaking in clich├ęs. But I don't mind using this phrase to define my experience so far.

We are already getting a taste of core MBA courses. Reading assignments, cases, team deliverables, club events, information sessions and social gatherings have become part of our life. All of this looks overwhelming. Nobody wants to fall behind the curve. Time management is key. I like what I am doing, so drinking from fire hose seems manageable to me.

What I do find particularly difficult is drinking from the water fountain. Truth be told, water fountains are alien to me. I don't understand why there are no glasses next to these fountains. I am convinced that it will take me a few more days to master the art of drinking directly from the water fountain.

Stay thirsty and stay foolish.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Welcome to Work Forest

by Victoria Osborne (MA '12)

Since starting the MA in Management program two months ago I have already been exposed to so many new ideas, experiences, and people. After a jam-packed week of orientation and a super intensive summer session, we’ve made it to September, home of shorter school days, slightly cooler temps, and (most importantly) football season! Last Saturday the head of our program gave us tickets to the Wake Forest/NC State game and I had a blast, not to mention Wake Forest came out victorious. We spend so much time with our classmates in Worrell that it’s always nice to see them outside of a classroom setting. A good majority of our class showed up to cheer on the Deacs and just as many came to the Student Government-sponsored tailgate before the game. Being from the South I love a good tailgate and am hoping SGA puts one on before every home game (hint, hint).

So far I have really enjoyed this program and, as cheesy as it sounds, have definitely grown and improved as a student and a future professional. Before coming to Wake I had a small Business background (I minored in Business at Wofford College in South Carolina), but the Business skills I gained during undergrad were mostly academic, whereas here they teach you skills in so many other relevant areas. A typical day consists of class from 9:30-12:15, lunch, group meetings and/or information sessions, dinner, and then leisure time to do whatever you have to do (9 times out of 10 “whatever you have to do” = homework). During Orientation they said a lot of people refer to Wake Forest as "Work Forest" and I'd say that's pretty accurate. To say we’re busy is an understatement, but luckily the work is manageable and we all find time to enjoy ourselves outside of the classroom. We’re all actually pretty close and generally enjoy spending time together, which is nice. When we’re not in class, doing work, or hanging out, we’re progressing on our job searches. Wake has already given us so many resources to help us discover who we are and want we want in a future career, so now it’s time to put the effort in to search for those careers we want and deserve. We're all ready for the challenge, though, and can't wait to see what the next few months hold!

P.S. Here are a few little things that you wouldn’t know about the Schools of Business from just looking at the website/admissions booklets:

*It is custom here (and in most business schools, I’ve heard) to call your professors by their first names
*Every Wednesday SGA supplies free bagels and doughnuts for students
*You have to dress up for class each day. It really isn’t as bad as it sounds though; I used it as an excuse to go out and buy business clothes. Any day you can justify shopping is a good day.
*After every exam our program provides us with food…I’m talking REAL food. For our first exam we had fried chicken, pasta salad, macaroni and cheese, green beans, and cornbread. No complaints here.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Character Assessments

Thus far the MA in Management has been an incredibly challenging and invigorating academic experience. We have covered a variety coursework in accounting, quantitative modeling, and macroeconomic principles. However, some of the most interesting work we have done has consisted of personal interest and character assessments in our career management and organizational behavior courses.

In the beginning of the program, all of us took the Strength Development Inventory that classified us into 7 different motivational value systems. This information was then used to group us into our Action Learning Project teams so that they would be well balanced. We have also taken assessments in our learning styles, skill strengths, and emotional intelligence. These exercises have been incredibly useful tools to help highlight our strengths and weaknesses as individuals and team members within a group. I strongly believe that our group has benefited immensely from these assessments in terms of delegating tasks and facilitating communication.

The most interesting evaluation gauged our emotional intelligence (or EQ for short). We did this in our organizational behavior course by sending a questionnaire to 5 people, in which they evaluated our EQ. The results were incredibly enlightening and have really motivated to me to work on my weaknesses. One of these is conflict management. I try to avoid confrontation as much as possible but I know that this hinders me from maximizing my EQ. As a result, I have taken up bikram yoga, and journaling to help me center thoughts and my emotions for when I do have to be in those types of situations.

Taking these assessments has also helped me hone in on the type of career I would want to pursue after the program. I am confident that knowing my skills and strengths will be a huge advantage during my job search. For instance, when I saw that some of my strengths included influencing others, coaching and mentoring, creative production, and enterprise control, I began considering careers I had not previously thought of pursing like consulting and human resources. Additionally, I will be looking over my results before interviews because I think they will be useful in guiding my responses to tough interview questions.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Let the Juggling Act Begin

by Gina Katzmark (MBA ’13)

The word “relief” best describes my initial feeling after diving into graduate business student orientation at Wake Forest University Schools of Business. Taking the plunge and pursuing an MBA degree while working full-time and having a family is a huge commitment. Like any other commitment, I have gone into this adventure with plenty of concerns.

The Concerns
Let’s start with can I achieve an acceptable score on the GMAT? Nearly two decades had passed since I looked at a quadratic equation, so I knew that test was a hurdle I needed to get over. After surviving the GMAT with minimal emotional scars, my next concern elevated…Can I handle the rigorous coursework? Just hearing the words “quantitative methods” makes me break out in hives. While we are on the topic of work, how can I handle the housework and the yard work? Being part of a family takes work, too. Am I putting too much of a burden on my husband while taking classes and studying? Will he grow to resent the fact that my time will be dominated with the selfish pursuit of my desire to earn an MBA? Yet another concern arises, will I fit in with the rest of the class? Will there be others with an educational background in liberal arts? Am I going to be significantly older than my peers? Will there be many other women? How am I going to find time to eat and sleep?

The Relief
Guess what, I can chill the heck out because I am not alone. I am surrounded by intelligent, caring individuals who want me to succeed. Many conversations with classmates involve shared concerns. All of the concerns haven’t gone away, but I feel tremendous support. I am also encouraged and inspired. After hearing messages from such accomplished leaders as Dean Reinemund and Dr. Christopher Howard, I am reminded of what a privilege it is to be a student at Wake Forest University Schools of Business. As my dad would be quick to advise, I “better not screw this up.”

Friday, September 2, 2011

Wake Forest To Launch Unprecedented Retail Marketing Center!



Indoor sketch of new Farrell Hall, future home of the Center for Value Delivery Innovation



Attention all you Retail Marketers!



The Wake Forest Schools of Business are poised to become a leader in retail marketing development, with the launch of the Center for Value Delivery Innovation (CVDI) in 2012! The center is a joint collaboration between the Wake Forest Schools of Business and Inmar Inc., a leading provider of technology-driven data analysis solutions.





The Center will serve as a collaborative link between the retail industry and academia, attracting students, faculty, and professionals alike to participate in events, workshops, and training for marketing management. Students will have direct access to the center, providing opportunities to connect and network with companies, participate in new and innovative projects, and learn about current trends in retail marketing!



“Thanks to the Center, our students will get the opportunity to learn and have an immediate impact on the retail industry,” said Roger Beahm, Wake Forest Graduate Schools of Business Professor of Practice, who also serves as the faculty advisor to the Wake Forest Marketing Summit.



The official CVDI Kick-Off Event will take place during next year’s 22nd Annual Marketing Summit Competition, which will begin here at Wake Forest on February 16-18, 2012. The new Center will be located within Farrell Hall, the brand new Graduate Business School building scheduled to open next year!



For more information, check out the official press release: http://bit.ly/pVEvLb



And be sure to check out the Facebook Page! The site is constantly buzzing, complete with contests, prizes, up-to-date information, and opportunities for page members to influence future CVDI programs and events! http://www.facebook.com/WFUCVDI



For more information on the Marketing Summit Competition, check out: http://www.marketingsummitlive.com



Tell us what you think in the comments! You will need a working gmail account to post your comment.



Friday, July 29, 2011

Duke Professor to Apply Hayek to Current Economy

Bruce Caldwell, the director of the Center for the History of Political Economy and a research professor of economics at Duke University, will visit the Winston-Salem campus on Thursday, Sept. 13, from 5-6:15 pm. He will discuss the topic: Insights from Friedrich Hayek for These Trying Times.

Hayek, a Nobel Prize winner, was best known for his defense of classical liberalism and free market capitalism against collectivist and socialist thought.

Caldwell will appear at Greene Hall, Room 145.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Accounting 3-2-1

Diverse high school students from across North Carolina spent three days and two nights on the Wake Forest University campus to learn about accounting.

Deloitte, Dixon Hughes PLLC, Ernst & Young, KPMG LLP, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Resnick Group joined Wake Forest University Schools of Business accountancy faculty and staff to create the Accounting 3-2-1 program in 2010. On July 15-17, 40 students attended the second annual weekend at Wake Forest.

“We are really trying to increase awareness of accounting as a profession and a career in general with diverse students before they get into college,” said Yvonne Hinson, associate professor of accounting and Dean of Wake Forest Charlotte Programs.

“Many think of law and medicine as professions and do not realize that the accounting profession has its own certification exam and own set of ethical and professional standards – just like medicine and law," she added. "We are trying to give the students an awareness of exactly what accounting is and what accountants do. “

Mikayla Kinlock, a rising senior from Hickory Ridge High School came to the Accounting 3-2-1 program to see how she can connect her personal passions with a career. “I want to go into a form of business. I have done well in math and am good with people, so I would like to tie that into a career like accounting,” she said.

General career topics like Top 10 Tips for College Success, Building Your Personal Brand and Resume Preparation were also addressed during the weekend. The scholars participated in a business etiquette dinner and watched a “dress for business” fashion show.

“I came to the program because I think it is a good basis no matter what you decide to do,” said Brooke Wilner, a rising senior from the Epiphany School in New Bern. “I am leaning towards studying business, law or engineering. Regardless, you need to be accountable with your personal finances.”

Throughout the weekend, students stayed on campus and got a feel for college life while working on team projects. Each of the sponsoring firms gave a group of six to seven students a challenge to work on and present during the farewell luncheon.

Wilner, who comes from a very small school, appreciated the opportunity to learn alongside talented students from around the state. “Everyone has been so open and friendly and you can have intelligent conversations with them,” she said.

Event organizers expect some of the relationships built with the young scholars during the Weekend at Wake Forest will continue.

“We hope that some of the students will consider Wake Forest, but we are also happy if we can get them to consider accounting no matter what university they choose,” Hinson said.

Marcus Johnson, a rising senior from Lexington High School is already considering Wake Forest. “I like numbers, currency and math. At college night at my high school, I met a Wake Forest admissions counselor who told me how in five years you can get your bachelor’s and master’s degree and take the CPA exam.”

Applications for the Weekend at Wake Forest Accounting 3-2-1 program become available in March. Interested students should contact their high school guidance counselor for details. The program is offered free of charge, thanks to the generous support of the sponsoring firms.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Meet the Man Behind the Gift

By Nathan Hatch, President of Wake Forest University (published in the Charlotte Observer on July 21)

Porter Byrum’s recent gift of Park Road Shopping Center to Wake Forest University, Queens University and Wingate University is more than just the latest example of generosity from a local philanthropist.

It is indicative of Mr. Byrum’s adherence to the principles instilled in him by his grandfather and his parents. It demonstrates his belief that perseverance can overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles, that education equals opportunity, and that helping others is the key to a meaningful and well-lived life.

Porter Byrum’s grandfather, Isaac, grew up in Chowan County near the coast and fought in the Battle of Gettysburg, where he was seriously injured and lost a leg. After spending time in a prison hospital in Maryland, Isaac Byrum walked back to North Carolina using a wooden leg, a device now on display in the Museum of the Albemarle.

Against great odds, he carved a small farm out of the forest to provide for his family of nine.

Porter Byrum’s father, John Thomas Byrum, felt called to the Baptist ministry as a teenager and graduated from Wake Forest in 1908. His senior thesis, written in his own hand, still exists in the University archives and tells the story of their home church, Ballard’s Bridge Baptist Church, which dates from 1781. Ministering to churches in Winston-Salem, Wilmington and Chowan County, John Thomas raised a family of deep conviction. Their resources, however, were not as abundant as their faith. Mr. Byrum recalls hunting and fishing with his brothers – not as sport but to enhance the family table. Mr. Byrum, 91, continues to be an avid sportsman and lover of nature to this day.

Mr. Byrum’s parents were passionate about their faith and about educating their five sons, despite financial challenges. Scholarships allowed four of them, including Porter, to attend Wake Forest University.

“Daddy had one ambition in life: to college educate his five boys,” Byrum said. “He lived to see all five of us attain college degrees.” Porter and his brother, David, became lawyers, his brother, Conwell, a physician, and his brother, Paul, a teacher. A fifth brother, John, chose to study engineering at North Carolina State University.

Porter Byrum was a stalwart of “the Greatest Generation.” After college, he enlisted in the army but was not allowed to become an officer, as he was color-blind. He was involved in extensive combat, including the Battle of the Bulge. A crack marksman since the days of his youth, Porter received a battlefield promotion to lieutenant for his skill in directing artillery fire to enemy positions.

He also served in Korea, where he was part of the U.S. military government immediately after the Japanese were expelled.

Mr. Byrum remembers those years with a novelist’s eye for detail. He can recall what it was like being shot at in a foxhole, to endure winter without proper clothing, and, as a young officer, to be responsible for compelling citizens from a small German town to visit the ravages of a concentration camp only days after its liberation.

Porter Byrum moved to Charlotte in the early 1950s and set up his legal practice. He applied his talent shrewdly and creatively, with a rare ability to solve problems for clients and assist with their business deals.

For nearly 60 years, he practiced law in the way he thought best and allocated time to projects of his own choosing. He never charged clients an hourly fee, nor for the time he spent exploring whether he would accept a case; billing was premised on the actual help he delivered. To him, the work was more about a much broader purpose – making a difference and helping others, living the spirit of Pro Humanitate (for humanity) that he learned as a youth and as a student at Wake Forest.

From its earliest days in the 1950s, Mr. Byrum was involved with the Park Road Shopping Center. In 1967, Mr. Byrum bought the center and has been involved in actively managing it ever since. Scores of businesses located within the center attest to Mr. Byrum’s distinct style – firm and fair, supportive, committed to long-term relationships. Mr. Byrum has always taken a rare personal interest in the well-being and success of Park Road’s merchants.

The most remarkable thing about Mr. Byrum is his steady purpose. Never distracted by success, he continues to demonstrate an unwavering commitment to his principles, as well as his friends and colleagues. He, in fact, lives in the same home he built more than 50 years ago, and his life remains remarkably straightforward and uncomplicated.

Mr. Byrum speaks often of the influence of his parents, John and Ida Ward Byrum, and their strong moral compass. Their abiding principles of doing right and doing good are wonderfully reflected in the life of their son.

We are grateful indeed that this special man chose to extend that same opportunity and challenge to future generations of worthy students.

Kids, Family Business ... and Consequences

The Wake Forest University Business Center invites you to join us for a special forum customized for family business owners and their families. Wake Forest committed to preparing students for a successful college-to-career transition, and financial literacy is an important piece in that preparation.

Rich Morris, the co-author of Kids, Wealth and Consequences, will provide parents with the motivation to start communicating their financial values, and the tools to do so with confidence.

Topics will include:

1. Talking to Kids about Money: Who, when, what, how and why?

2. Defining the Family's Financial Values: How can parents instill financial values? To what extent do parents model them?

3. Successful Choices: How can one harmoniously integrate a family and business, and provide children successful and happy career choices?

Rich Morris is a principal of ROI Consulting. Previously, he worked at his family's 80-year-old, privately held company, Fel-Pro, until its sale in 1998. Rich has spoken at family business centers across the country, and has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Crain's Chicago Business, and Family Business magazine.

This Family Business Center forum is open to WFU Parents, FBC members, sponsors and their guests. Contact Kathy Baker, FBC Director, for information on FBC membership and guest policies. The event is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 16, from 9:30 am- 1 pm at the Graylyn Conference Center.

Wake Students to Attend KPMG's Fast Forward

A pair of Wake Forest University Schools of Business students have been selected to attend Fast Forward, a three-day leadership development program sponsored by KPMG LLP.

Natalie Friedman, a senior accountancy major from Southport, Conn., and Melanie Green, a senior accountancy major from Chester, Va., will join more than 100 top students from the United States and Canada to attend this elite program in Hollywood, Calif., from July 27-29.

Students taking part in Fast Forward were selected they exhibit KPMG’s core values and are leaders on campus and in their communities.

“The Fast Forward program is a great opportunity for the top students at KPMG’s most heavily recruited business programs to get a head start on understanding the public accounting profession and how important their leadership skills will be as they pursue careers in audit, tax or advisory services,” said Stacy Sturgeon, KPMG National Managing Partner for University Relations and Recruiting.

The program was created to provide participants with an inside look at a career in public accounting while building key skills that will help in all aspects of life. The curriculum, specifically designed for Fast Forward, is designed to teach students about the public accounting profession, KPMG and situational leadership.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Can China Save the World?

Chinese and international political and business leaders now look to Chinese consumers to replace their American and European counterparts and rescue the global economy.
Pressure for the Chinese to consume more is certain to continue in coming years. But what are the implications for China and the world of Chinese consumers adopting the lifestyles of the middle classes in developed economies?
Dr. Karl Gerth, a university lecturer in modern Chinese history from Oxford University, will explain how - from the brands we buy to the biosphere we inhabit - we are all being affected by the everyday choices made by ordinary Chinese, whether we do business there or not.
The lecture is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 8, from 6-7:30 pm at 145 Greene Hall.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Changes Planned for the Evening Program

As we begin our 2011–2012 academic year, I wanted to make you aware of several structural and leadership changes in our Winston-Salem Evening MBA program.

Beginning July 1, program management responsibilities will be split between a dedicated program manager and an academic director. This change brings a consistent management structure to all of our graduate programs, and reflects our continuing effort to provide a high quality graduate educational experience. In addition to this structural change, we are pleased to announce the following personnel changes.

Pat Peacock has been named program manager for the Winston-Salem Evening MBA program. Pat will have responsibility for managing the entire student experience including developing and maintaining the program culture. Pat will be your primary point of contact for all questions and issues, whether they are academic or otherwise.

The program director role will be retitled to academic director to better reflect a refined focus on the curricular dimensions of the Evening program.

Bill Davis will continue in the role of academic director. His focus will be on executing and integrating the delivery of our curriculum and continuously improving our offering.

Dr. Marlane Mowitz will be transitioning into the career coaching position for the incoming students in the Winston-Salem Evening program. Marlane brings 20 years of career counseling and career services director experience to her position. In addition, she has 15 years of business experience in retail store management and energy utility public relations. She has earned a Doctorate of Philosophy in Higher Education Administration, Master of Arts in Organizational Communications and Business Administration and Bachelor of Science in Vocational Education. She has consulting and training experience with corporations including Hewlett-Packard, AT&T, IBM and United Way. Her areas of training expertise include Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and Strong Interest Inventory assessments, career planning, job searching, team development and customer service skills.

Mercy Eyadiel will be joining the Schools of Business as executive director of employer relations in mid-July. She joins us from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, where she served as director of alumni and Sloan Career Services. She will be leading the Employer Relations efforts across all of Wake Forest, not just the Schools of Business. She will be focused on growing relationships in the employer community with the ultimate goal of developing job opportunities for graduates across the entire University.

I hope that you are excited about the enhancements that these changes will bring to our program, and will join me in thanking those who have served in these roles over the past several years.

Dean Reinemund

Monday, July 11, 2011

Leveraging Your MBA

The Wake Forest Evening MBA program is hosting a evening of advice from previous graduates on how to best use the degree. Come hear from alumni on how they utilized their graduate business education and experiences to leverage themselves professionally within their current workplace, or within their respective industries.

The event will be held Tuesday, July 12, from 6-7 pm at Worrell 1106.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

WFU Planning Study of Family Owned Businesses

The Wake Forest University Family Business Center has partnered with SBR Consulting LLC to launch a study on family owned businesses. As family-owned businesses navigate through our “new economic normal” they are recognizing the value of staying competitive, engaging and leveraging talent and working within the constraints of the economic environment. To assist in these areas, the research study will provide proprietary data to family owned businesses and be accomplished through three objectives.

The study has three objectives:
• Measure the levels and levers of employee engagement at each participating company specific to their ability to attract and retain talent.
• Provide a benchmark of the participating companies (in the aggregate) against other participating companies to see how they measure in regard to engagement.
• Produce proprietary family owned business data to assist the Family Business Center in their outreach and support of family owned businesses.

“We are really excited to partner with SBR Consulting to produce our own research on such an important aspect of family business,” said Kathy Baker, the director of the Family Business Center. She continued, “I encourage all family businesses in the area to participate as the information we collect will be invaluable.”

SBR Consulting, an independent human resource consulting firm, will conduct a confidential survey of each company’s employees to gauge their opinions and perceptions of their company, identify what is important to them in a workplace and assess their engagement levels. SBR Consulting will include specific questions to provide data on the benefits and challenges of being family owned and gain greater understanding of the family-owned business community in North Carolina.

If a company is interested in participating please contact Kathy Baker at (336) 758-3568 or bakerka@wfu.edu. The deadline to submit the registration form is Aug. 31. More information can be found at www.business.wfu.edu/fbc.

The Family Business Center was established in 1999 to address the issues faced by closely held and family firms. It was the first program initiated under the Angell Center for Entrepreneurship at Wake Forest Schools of Business. Utilizing the capabilities and educational resources available at Wake Forest, in our community and nationally, the Family Business Center provides closely held and family firms the assistance they need to grow and succeed from generation to generation.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Is the American Dream Dying?

Stars and stripes. Fireworks. Red, white and blue. For many Americans, summertime is a colorful celebration of freedom, independence and patriotism – particularly around the 4th of July.
This summer, however, David Coates, professor of political science and Worrell Chair of Anglo-American Studies, suggests the ongoing financial crisis has put the American dream of independence beyond the reach of many of our nation’s citizens. He says it’s a frightening reality explored in his new book, Making the Progressive Case: Toward a Stronger U.S. Economy.
Just as the nation was changed forever by the terrorist attacks in 2001, the U.S. economy was irrevocably altered by the financial meltdown of 2008, says Coates, who is also a regular Huffington Post political columnist.
“America needs a wake-up call. It’s time for all of us to realize we’re not on the same playing field anymore,” Coates says. “Politicians in both parties should take off their blinders and look at the challenges that lie before us.”
Offering facts on each side of the debate, Making the Progressive Case examines the myriad economic problems facing the Obama administration and the nation as well as possible remedies.
Given the rapidly changing political landscape and the spotlight on the 2012 presidential race, his viewpoints offer new insights on key issues. Topics include Obama’s response to the financial meltdown, the green economy, regulated markets and managed trade. The book also includes in-depth information on the roots of the crisis and an economics primer for the average American.
Coates hopes students reading the book will realize that historical solutions don’t necessarily work in new circumstances, which is why he advocates combining knowledge and efforts to put America on a stronger economic path. He says reckless budget cutting and brief stimulus packages are not enough because fundamental problems require fundamental reforms.
“My hope is that this book will help us move beyond the partisan quagmire and bring forth new ideas and new ways of solving our main economic problems,” Coates says. “By presenting both sides of the arguments, the goal is to counter the rhetoric and generate real ideas.”
More information about his latest book is available at www.davidcoates.net.

~ Katie Neal ('03), Office of Communications and External Relations

Monday, June 27, 2011

Dean Reinemund to Appear at NY Reception

Join the New York-area Wake Forest Alumni for a reception and discussion with Wake Forest University Dean of Business, Steve Reinemund, on July 19 from 5:30-8 pm at The Cornell Club.

Registration for the event is $40, which will include drinks and light hors d'oeuvres. We hope you'll join us for an update on the Schools of Business and networking opportunities with NYC Wake Forest alumni, parents, and friends.

Wake On Wall Street, the Wake Forest Club of New York, and MadDeacs would like to thank Dean Steve Reinemund for his participation and very special thanks to Michael A.J. Farrell (P '10) for his continued generous support of Wake Forest and for his sponsorship of this event.

Contact Stephanie Kohn at (336) 758-2970 for more information on how to register.

r u texting 2 much?

A recent U.S. News and World Report article, How Slang Affects Students in the Classroom, explores how “text-speak” or “textese” – abbreviations commonly used in text messages and on social networks, such as “LOL” – have impacted the way high school students and college applicants communicate.

In the article, Wake Forest University Dean of Admissions Martha Allman, says she has not yet “seen the shortcuts that you typically see in social communication.”

Fortunately, she says students in Wake Forest’s competitive applicant pool typically understand that language appropriate when texting friends does not meet the standards generally expected of an admissions essay.

Her advice to students? “Don’t throw away the English books yet.”

Allman adds, “While admissions officers do not necessarily expect 18th century formality in admissions essay writing, strong communication skills serve students well in college and in the job market after graduation.”

Though text messaging is a frequent means of connecting with his teenage son, Communication Department Chair and social media expert Ananda Mitra agrees that adaptation remains key to success both in higher education and in life.

Though Mitra does not expect a significant change in the standards of writing expected at the university level in the next five or ten years, he suggests that the evolution of language is inevitable.

“Children today are bilingual. Whether those of us from the analog generation like it or not, we should take the time to understand their other language as well,” Mitra says. In his teachings and his most recent book, “Alien Technology,” Mitra encourages people to learn more about “text-speak” to remain connected and safe.

While neither Allman nor Mitra anticipates a major shift on college campuses nationwide in the near future, they acknowledge that it remains to be seen whether “SMH” will appear in fine literature someday.

“IDK,” Mitra says, LOL.

Ananda Mitra

~ Katie Neal, Office of Communications and External Relations

Friday, June 24, 2011

Economic Recovery Ahead?

Each month, information on employment numbers, retail sales and consumer prices makes headline news, but what do these reports tell us about economic recovery?

As a finance and economics professor, Sherry Jarrell teaches business school students the fundamentals about economics so they can develop their own opinions about what the data mean. “But they have to base their interpretations on an objective reading of the facts,” she says.

“Causality is hard to pin down, and I think that this is where most economists disagree, when they disagree: what caused what, what came first. To answer that, you have to resort to first principles of economics, and that is why I focus on teaching the framework. It is also important to note that these data are basically one-period accounting data, and as such, say very little about the future health of the economy. You have to bring a lot more information to the picture before you can make sense out of the data.”

“I love empowering students to understand all types of economics. I realized in my junior year of college that I loved economics. I was fascinated with the work of George Stigler and Sam Peltzman on regulatory economics and the organization of industry. My brother, who was then studying at the University of Chicago, informed me that these two professors taught at Chicago, so I was hooked. I was accepted to the PhD program at the University of Chicago business school and was George Stigler’s research assistant when he won the Nobel Prize in economics.”

Jarrell joined Wake Forest in 1998. An expert on the impact of mergers, LBOs and IPOs, she teaches corporate finance, strategic financial management, investments, and managerial economics.

~ Kim McGrath, Office of Communications and External Relations

Monday, June 6, 2011

100% Graduation Rate for Six Sigma Exam

All Wake Forest University Schools of Business Master of Business Administration students who took a Six Sigma certification exam administered by the American Society for Quality (ASQ) in May of 2011 successfully passed, demonstrating in-depth knowledge of valuable process analysis and improvement skills.

Six Sigma is a methodology for improving business processes now widely used in corporate settings, as well as government, nonprofit and healthcare organizations. The growth in its popularity since it was developed in 1986 has led to an increased demand for individuals with Six Sigma skills and certification.

To sit for the Six Sigma Green Belt exam, students must have three years of work experience in areas related to Six Sigma. Candidates are tested on Six Sigma philosophies, principles, tools and methodologies. This year, 26 Wake Forest University MBA students received the Green Belt certification.

The Black Belt certification requires more in-depth knowledge, completion of Six Sigma projects, and the ability to teach and mentor others in the Six Sigma methodology. Five graduating Wake Forest MBAs sat for and received the Six Sigma Black Belt certification in May.

“I am delighted that almost half of our first year full-time MBA class sat for and passed the Green Belt exam,” said Scott Shafer, Professor of Management and Senior Associate Dean of Graduate Business Programs at Wake Forest University Schools of Business. “I believe our strength in Six Sigma was a significant contributor to why recruiters surveyed for the recent Bloomberg BusinessWeek ranking ranked our students 8th best in the country for Operations Management skills.”

Full-time MBA students at the Wake Forest University Schools of Business have the option to choose from several career concentrations including: operations management, consulting/general management, entrepreneurship, finance, health and marketing.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

A Quick Look Back … And Passing the Torch

WFU Business School Headshots 8-20-09 Looking back, it is hard to believe that two years ago I was in Dean Reinemund’s office promoting a platform to consolidate all social media for the Wake Forest Schools of Business. I was a bit nervous, but was ready to present my case for creating a single blog that would give students and prospects a front-row seat to the business school experience. I had my PowerPoint presentation ready and I had already established a Twitter account and a website for the blog. After a 30-minute presentation, Dean Reinemund enthusiastically approved the initiative, believing that this form of media was a sound way to spread the word about our programs.

Today, the Wake Forest Schools of Business student-run blog has received more than 23,000 visits and our Twitter account has collected more than 1,100 “followers.” We have made tremendous progress in two short years, and I am extremely grateful to Dean Reinemund for buying into my vision and supporting this effort.

WFU Biz School Students 8-19-19 I am set to complete my MBA in September, and it is time to tap a new leader to take over the student-run blog. I am pleased to announce that Eric Wiggins, a second-year in the full-time MBA program, will be taking over social media efforts this week. Eric has significant experience with the platform, handling social media for this year’s Marketing Summit and possessing a strong technological background. We have been working closely for the past month on a seamless transition, and it will be exciting to see the site grow and evolve. I plan to keep contributing over the next few months as I prepare for the completion of my MBA. I’m not going anywhere!

imageI want like to thank a few people for their roles in supporting and encouraging this blog. Of course, this blog wouldn’t be possible without the early support of our dean and the assistance of the marketing department. I must also thank Vaishali Shah for inspiring and encouraging me to discover a way to fully use my skills as a journalist to contribute to the university, supporting me as  I developed my concept for integrating WFU’s social media platform. Rahul Goyal deserves recognition for being my first blogger, volunteering to share his experiences before he even set foot on campus.

Ahkesha Murray, Justin Berthelot, Molly Nunn, Bobbie Shrivastav, Lauren Collins and Jen Ratliff all had meaningful roles getting us going early on. Thank you everyone.

imageOne of my objectives for this blog was to have it to contribute to the inclusive society that Dean Reinemund  envisions for the Schools of Business. Over the past two years, our contributors have included full-time and evening MBA candidates, members of the MA and MSA programs and undergraduates. Our programs have made great strides in the past two years, but more must be done. My hope is that in coming years, evening students will have the ability to participate in events such as the Marketing Summit, communication and collaboration among programs will continue to increase and leadership positions will be widely advertised and promoted.

A truly inclusive society will exist when you look around any group, any organization or across any conference room and find that no group is underrepresented.

image That being said, I am very grateful for the opportunities I have been given, from interviews with John Grisham and Ben & Jerry to late nights covering the Marketing Summit and the Elevator Competition. It was a tremendous joy to interact with students from all the programs, attend lectures and participate in a cross-section of courses and events. It all started with an idea and a plan to make it happen, but the blog’s continued relevance is a function of each of you logging on and reading the content that we provide. This platform will only get better!