April 29, 2016

All good things come to an end

Eeshan Srivastava is a candidate in the full-time MBA program, who will graduate this May.

The time to say goodbye is coming near for the 2016 batch of MBA students at Weatherhead. I am privileged to be one of them. The graduation ceremony on May 15 will mark the end of two glorious years of academic rigour, professional pursuit and memorable camaraderie. For someone like me, studying abroad for the first time in my life, this experience has been transformative to say the least. I can go on with these accolades for Weatherhead and the Case Western Reserve community in a more dramatic format, but in this post I will try to be more objective and point out the highlights of my experience.

Although I enjoyed all courses but my favorite ones were:
I am especially grateful to have been in the Design in Management course. For an aspiring product manager, there could not have been a more appropriate year-long education that included multiple projects with real companies and an emphasis on human-centered design thinking. It’s like I've got a new pair of microscopic contact lenses in my eyes that enable me to look deep at products and systems. Combine this with the learnings from Richard Buchanan’s design theory lectures, you have a killer mindset for identifying the right problem and then solving it. What else do you need from an MBA education?

Another highlight of the program was the abundance of real-world executives coming in to the classroom, sharing their experiences and then talking candidly to students. You get to hear war stories, board room strategies and personal stories that leave you inspired in one way or another. 

The other major highlights were:
 Student Clubs: The life and bloodline of the Weatherhead graduate student community. I had the opportunity to be part of a brand new club – Weatherhead Wellness – which aims to instill wellness into the lives of students and help be better at what they do. Besides that, I enjoyed participating in club events, especially the ones hosted by Multi-Cultural club and IDEA club.

STEX: Initially led by Al DiFranco and now Alexis Hayman, the Student Experience office is the friendliest place in the school! Just go and talk to Mimi and then you'll understand what I mean. They care so much about student life at Weatherhead and try their best to keep students engaged through a variety of events at regular intervals.

Case Western Reserve Community: The university itself is a great resource of events, clubs, activities and anything else you can desire from a top notch university. You can watch deeply discounted concerts at Severance Hall every week or you can go and watch a play at the Eldred Theatre and see our talented students perform. You can play and compete in the intramural tournaments every semester. If you're an international student, then you get to experience a lot of cool events organised by the ISS. And my favorite events were the SpringFest, Garba Night organized by UISA, Country Dancing organised by GSC and the Hudson Relays. There were of course many others in this list too.

Besides these I went on city treks, career fairs and case competitions in different cities that allowed me to travel as well as represent Weatherhead outside of Cleveland. And of course I loved contributing to the “Life at Weatherhead” blog over the past year and a half (Thanks Sarah and Nicole!). After reading all of this you should be able to tell that I did a LOT of things during these two years and that's completely true. But it's also true that other friends of mine were able to many other different things. It just shows the vastness of opportunities available here to enhance not just your knowledge and skill set, but also your personality and mindset. I ended up making numerous friendships, some of which will last for a long time to come and I learned lessons that will keep coming back to me over a lifetime.

So this was my experience at Weatherhead. If you're an outgoing 2nd-Year MBA, leave a comment and let me know how it was for you.

April 22, 2016

Believing in the Power of Business For Good

Heather Frutig is a second-year student in the MBA program and a Fowler Center Fellow.

I’m not the most obviously business-type person. In fact, on more than one occasion while studying at CWRU, I’ve been told I look and seem more like a student at Mandel than Weatherhead. But, here I am, a couple weeks and too many assignments away from getting my MBA degree.

I grew up weary of business. I was convinced that policy changes were the most effective way to benefit society. I guess that’s not so surprising coming from the product of two lawyers. It was a bit of a twisted road to realize that, in the right hands, business has the power to create positive change. I can remember the moment that realization began to take hold in my mind.  

I studied Environmental Policy and Behavior at the University of Michigan and in an attempt to spend some time in, what I perceived to be, wilder terrain, I spent a semester in Condon, MT, with Northwest Connections through the University of Montana. Condon is in the Montana Rockies, halfway between Missoula and Kalispell in the Swan Valley.

The Community Forestry class took a fieldtrip to two timber mills. The first was a heavily mechanized facility for Plum Creek that could turn entire trunks of old growth timber on massive lathes into telephone poles. Men (not a women in sight) spent their working days and nights pushing a button to start and stop the machinery in their section of the cavernous warehouse. It was a spectacle of efficiency and automation. I was both impressed by human ingenuity to make order out of chaos and also broken-hearted by the lack of humanity.

The second mill could not have been more different. RBM, which stands for Roy Ben Mom, is a timber mill started by two sons, Roy and Ben, and their mom. They take downed, diseased and infected logs and turned them into boards, trim and sawdust. The difference between the Plum Creek and RBM facilities was stark. Where Plum Creek was inside a warehouse with no windows, RBM was outside. Where Plum Creek was run by union workers pushing buttons, RBM had an employee profit sharing model and trained individuals to view each log as unique. Where Plum Creek is notorious for clear cutting entire tracks of land, RBM was using timber that was viewed as defective and unwanted. And, simply to sweeten the pot, RBM had a couple dogs running around.

I got so excited. Here was my unicorn. Here was a company that cared about its employees, customers and the environment! And, while the shift to believing in the power of business for good didn’t happen immediately, the visit to RBM set in motion a trip down a road that led me, 12 years later, to Weatherhead and the Fowler Center

April 19, 2016

#MyWSOMYear 2016 Graduation Day Photo Slideshow

Weatherhead Graduation Day will be here soon and we're looking for photos that represented the full experience of Weatherhead over the past 2 years for our graduation day slideshow, as well as for inclusion in next year's Student Handbook. Photos with other students, with faculty members, at gatherings, in other cities, around campus, casual and formal are all welcome and encouraged.

Email your photos to Nicole Rothstein at njr6@case.edu tag your Tweets and Instagram posts with #MyWSOMYear.


LESS photos that look like this:

And MORE photos that look like this:

Don't forget that this is social media. Use your common sense and share only what you wouldn't be embarrassed to show your mom and future employer.

** By sharing your photos with us, we assume permission to redistribute and publish your photos on social media, in the slideshow, and/or in the Student Handbook. 

Now, go do fun things and take pictures of yourselves doing those fun things with other fun people!