December 2, 2016

Keeping active in Cleveland this winter

The following blog post is brought to you by Alexis Hayman, director of Weatherhead's Office of Student Experience (STEX). STEX is here to assist students with finding opportunities for experiences outside of the classroom that will complement the holistic learning environment of Weatherhead. Learn more.

It is December! Depending on how you look at it, we are burdened
or gifted with very traditional winters here in Cleveland, Ohio. Here are the facts: It is pitch black at 5 p.m. and the air can get so cold it hurts your face. Luckily for you, Cleveland rises to the challenge of keeping spirits up in these harrowing conditions!

For those of you who want to get away from the weather, and learn a little something, try Winter Week at The Great Lakes Science Center. General admission tickets get you a host of fun activities including the Fuitcake Explosion show and an open workshop where you can make snow that won’t melt in your hands out of polymers! It's being held December 26 - 31 at the Great Lakes Science Center.

Not an egghead? Why not try out The Big Bang dueling piano bar?  Located in the exciting new Flats East Bank in downtown Cleveland, Ohio The Big Bang features non-stop live musical fun by request! Sing along, request your favorite songs and forget about the chill outside. The Big Bang also features a unique, modern menu of handcrafted small plates and shareable appetizers, as well as a full-service bar and a seriously great craft beer selection.

Ok, so maybe you don’t loathe the cold weather. Maybe you are from a warm and tropical place, ready to really enjoy the outdoors for your first winter. Many native Clevelanders suit up, wrap up and gear up for a great time in the cold temperatures.

Brite Winter is a quickly growing tradition in the Near West Side neighborhood of Cleveland. From their website, There might be snow, there might be rain, it might be cold, it might be a blizzard, but it doesn’t really matter. This is Cleveland, and we’re going to play outside. Music, drinks, games go all night long on February 18, 2017. Come create warm memories on a cold night!

Feeling sporty, ice skating rinks pop up all over the city this time of year. University Circle and Public Square boast fantastic opportunities to skate and enjoy the city. Skiing is also popular around here with Boston Mills and Brandywine, and Alpine Valley only a short drive away! Both location offer lessons as well as other snow-fun! Or, if you are really feeling wild, why don’t you try out the Polar Bear Plunge? Strip down and jump into the icy lake to raise money for the Special Olympics. Sure, it’s freezing, but it's for a good cause!

Whatever you choose to do, Student Experience would love to hear about it. Send you stories and photos to so we can share your adventures and inspire fantastic winters!

November 18, 2016

MSM-Finance Students Attend NYC City Trek

Over Fall Break students in the MSM-Finance program went on a NYC City Trek, exploring not only
New York City but also visiting a variety of companies including Bloomberg, PrivCo, Deloitte and Daruma Capital Management. It was another successful City Trek filled with business insights and great site seeing!

Here are a few thoughts about the trip from our students:

Sheng Tang, second-year MSM-Finance student, commented, “Visiting so many excellent companies and connecting with alumni in NYC was really inspiring. I love the visit to Daruma most. It gave me new understanding in investing aside from the numerical part.”

David Chen, MSM-Finance candidate, said, "It was a really nice opportunity to visit NYC during the break. All companies we visited, including Bloomberg and Deloitte, gave us a decent introduction and presentation. The best part of the trip was not just learning more about the industry but actually interacting with those people who you may work with in the future!

Lue Fang, Lei Gao and Mengsha Li, all second-year MSM-Finance students, described their experiences below.

What was your favorite employer visit (Bloomberg, PrivCo, Deloitte, Daruma Capital Management) and why?
Fang: I think I liked Daruma Capital Management the most. That company has a very nice environment and company culture. The speech was truly about helping us instead of purely advertising their company.

Gao: I was impressed by the visit of Bloomberg. The employees were very nice and patient. They not only trained us how to use Bloomberg briefly, but also showed us around the office. Moreover, the working environment in Bloomberg seemed pretty good.

Li: My favorite employer visit was Daruma. In Daruma, the founder and COO did a heart-to-heart communication with us, teaching us about how to look for a job, networking and enjoying life.

What new information did your learn during the city trek?
Fang: I learned that while we are seeking our careers, finding the field you truly like is very important.

Gao: I leaned that there might be a huge job demand in the area of risk management, e.g. CCAR.

Li: I was wondering what size of company I should work for. The city trek gave me a good sense of how small, medium and large companies are different from each other.

What surprised you about New York City or the companies you visited?
Fang: Bloomberg building is all glass structured. Transparency seems to be very important to them.

Gao: It was my first time to visit NYC. Manhattan is fancy and I can find almost everything I need.

Li: Each company had its own corporate culture and organization structure that influence its employees in different ways.

How did this trip help you with your career goals?
Fang: It helped me open my eyes to the big city.

Gao: It helped me to have a deeper insight into the hot issues in current financial areas, which I will focus on more when seeking jobs.

Li: I learned I don't really want to be a small fish in a big pond.

What was your favorite thing to see or do in NYC?
Fang: I think I liked the metropolitan museum the most.

Gao: One of my favorite things to do in NYC is to watch a Broadway show.

Li: The old buildings and one way roads are the funny things to see in NYC. It's like a big city trying its best to contain a large amount of people from all over the world.

November 15, 2016

Becoming the Business-Minded Designer: Civil Engineer Career Spotlight

Civil engineers design some of the most practical systems we experience everyday: transportation systems, city plans, structural designs, water distribution systems, land reclamation projects, and more.

As inherent problem solvers, civil engineers create efficient, safe, ethical designs. Every time one of these designs is optimized, even more creativity is required to make the next improved iteration. Civil engineers often work in teams of professionals with diverse specialties, including construction, agriculture, infrastructure, water, waste, utilities, and city planning. Because creativity thrives on multiple perspectives, civil engineers have the opportunity to harness the diversity of such teams to create the best possible designs.

This team leadership role is a natural progression of the civil engineer’s career path; the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) lists the following mid-career roles as stepping stones on the engineer’s way to business executive and senior management:

In government: Engineering Manager
In consulting: Program or Business Unit Management
In industry: Program Management
In construction: Project Manager

To succeed in these roles, civil engineers need not only top problem-solving and design expertise but also leadership and people management skills. By applying their design skills to learning leadership, engineers can accelerate the performance of both the long- and short-term teams they’re part of – in return accelerating their careers and those of their team members.

How to Apply Engineering Design to Learning Leadership

In a previous article on creativity, we stated, “Using the principles of design in business is a method of problem solving that considers all options, starting big and working toward practicality, to find and create the best possible solution for all stakeholders.” Civil engineers are already experts at applying design learning to the technical tasks of their jobs. But how can they apply it to team dynamics? Consider these methods:

Learn to balance business and quality goals through inclusive problem-solving rather than by process of elimination.
Ensure every possibility is considered by drawing out big-picture ideas from every team member before disqualifying options.
Use appreciative inquiry to drive productive, inclusive strategy sessions.
Analyze your daily interactions to create trust and enhance team performance.
Discover management practices that drive teams and individuals to flourish concurrently.
By opening up your team to more possible solutions, discover new problem-solving process optimizations.
Uncover hidden business opportunities that new team processes allow you to pursue.

Civil engineers have the unique opportunity to influence entire teams with their problem-solving skills – if they learn to apply design to management. They can only do so with the right design learning training – one that’s designed for the creative, problem-solving leader.

Are you interested in transforming your engineering career with a design-focused management degree? Register for our Create Change Challenge by December 15 for a chance to:

Compete for a scholarship and spot in our design-centered MBA program
Show off your vision for change
Experience Case Western Reserve University’s campus in Cleveland
Meet Weatherhead faculty, alumni, and like-minded potential employers

Find out how you can apply your inherent, critical ability to create solutions to harness the potential of your team. Contact us for more information.