February 28, 2014

Life at XLRI in India

After a whirlwind first semester in Shanghai and a well-deserved break, the second semester has begun at XLRI in Jamshedpur, India.  The transition has not been without a few bumps. The Chinese and American cohort have had trouble adjusting to the food, since Indian food is very spicy and our taste buds have trouble adapting to it. XLRI has been making an effort to provide us with Western and Chinese food now, so we are coping better and getting used to all different kinds of new flavors. That’s one thing I’ve learned while being in this program, food is important and having to adjust to a new type of food is a huge part of the culture shock you experience.

XLRI is basically a small community in a city owned by TATA. The thing that makes XLRI a great school in my eyes is the amazing shared school spirit. In one of the first weeks we were here, XLRI had organized a sports weekend where they competed with the Kolkatta School of Management in a variety of sports. The winner would be the school with the most victories across all disciplines. XLRI had not won in the last 8 years. It was amazing witnessing all these students practicing every day so that they could win for XLRI. In the end, XLRI did win and the celebrations that ensued were legendary. Seeing all these students work and fight together for the school really had an impact on me.  This is what XLRI really is about, making a commitment to their students so that in return the students will make the same commitment to the school.

Every week we receive guest lectures by Indian CEO’s, most of them alumni from XLRI. Through these lectures we gain insight into the Indian business world. It is fascinating to learn how much culture, habits and tradition shape a business environment. This is one of the key advantages that this Global MBA has, we learn about how culture shapes business and we get to experience that firsthand in 3 vastly different cultures.
Adjusting to living in India is not without its challenges. It is a developing country and that shows in many different ways. However, it is also a country with colorful traditions, a rich history and kind people. Once you see that, it is all you can see.

Catherine Van Ryckeghem, Global MBA '15
Catherine Van Ryckeghem is a first year Global MBA student at Weatherhead School of Management. She is currently studying in Shanghai, China as part of her two-year program.

February 7, 2014

Life in Cleveland – in the winter…

Winter in Cleveland – Ok, maybe it’s not a dream vacation.  It’s cold; sometimes, it’s really cold.  And if this is your first winter in Cleveland, you deserve a badge or a medal, or at least a photo with a snowman to commemorate the accomplishment.  We’re breaking records this year.

So, how does life in Cleveland change in the winter?  First, the practical stuff.  We pull out our warmest clothes.  If you have the right outerwear (especially a coat and boots), you can actually stay pretty warm.  I have favorite sweaters and scarves that only get to come out of the closet when it’s cold; they’re like old friends.  Once we have our extra layers, whether walking or driving, we allow more time to get where we’re going.  On that note, something we tend to take for granted here in Cleveland is street and sidewalk snow removal.  I lived in Cincinnati once, and it only took ½ inch of snow to make cars slide all over the roads.  Here, a ½ inch is no problem!  It takes 20x that to stop us.  If you’ve experienced the difference, you know what I mean.  Gotta hand it to you, Cleveland. 
Obviously, all the snow and cold temperatures make some outdoor activities impossible, well, improbable.  I still see runners out on the streets, but I have yet to see a snow volleyball game.  Sand just works so much better.  Faced with temperatures in the bottom 1/3 of the thermometer and sand volleyball out of the question, we still have options.  There are things to do outside, and there are things to do inside.
With the Winter Olympics starting today, let’s take a look at some of the sports we can try in Northeast Ohio.  Some day or half-day activities are great for groups and are, at the very farthest, an hour’s drive from campus.  A number of fun things are in the Metroparks: toboggan chutes at The Chalet and snowshoeing and sledding in several places.  I just found out that Big Met Golf Course offers cross-country skiing.  I’m thinking of heading over this weekend.  A little further away, you can go snowboarding, skiing and tubing at Boston Mills/Brandywine.  If you’re used to the Alps, our slopes might not cut it, but it’s a great place to learn and have fun with friends.  Right around the corner from us, The Rink at Wade Oval offers ice skating with free admission and skate rental is just $3 (adventurous, affordable addition to a Valentine’s Date?).  Of course, we can do a lot of the same activities anytime of the year, like going out to eat, to the movies or shopping.  But why not take advantage of all the winter sports we’re lucky to have in Cleveland? 
If you just can’t fathom the idea of having fun outdoors these months, I recommend this time of year for reading a book (or five), watching reruns of your favorite show or catching up on a new series.  Hmm, how perfect that Downton Abbey’s 4th season premiered this month.  And having spent plenty of winters as a student, I’ll add that it was always easier for me to focus without the distraction of warm, sunny weather just on the other side of the window.  So my advice is to use this time to get ahead!
In closing, I have to mention that, here in Cleveland, I’ve always found that people are extra friendly, concerned and helpful in the winter.  Neighbors shovel snow and clear off cars for each other; everyone’s asking “are you staying warm?”  Writing this post brings back a childhood memory of making hot chocolate for the mailman, who was walking door to door in blustery weather.  And come to think of it, what better time of year to turn on the oven and make some chocolate chip cookies for your friends?
If you just don’t buy that winter can be fun, you’ll probably agree that is does make spring that much sweeter.
Katherine Gullett, MBA '13 - Cultural Contributor

I’m a Cleveland native who loves my city, and I am thrilled to be sharing it with you. It seems I always have recommendations of things to do and places to see. This summer, I’ve started experiencing the city from a fresh perspective—by getting here and there on my bicycle.

February 5, 2014

Behind the scenes: getting to know Weatherhead

Whether your ticket to town is booked or you're considering a trip soon, we bet you're wondering what you can expect when you visit Weatherhead School of Management. Read on to learn how we showcase our school and Cleveland, Ohio.

What is Cleveland all about?

S'mores toasting station with
homemade marshmallow

From tours of downtown Cleveland and the city's prominent neighborhoods to dinners with local leaders and our “Welcome to Cleveland Fair”, you'll get the chance to ask about living, working, studying and transitioning to Cleveland.

Wining and dining

As you will come to find out, Cleveland has a great food scene. And when it comes to sharing insider foodie knowledge, we're all up for it. We've been known to travel all across the city to ensure our guests get a true taste of our delicious city, or we just bring the goods straight to Weatherhead! Because let's be real, if you're going to study here, you're going to need to eat. And you might as well eat really good food. 

Getting down to business

We know it's important that you get a feel for the local economy and prospering businesses here in town. Whether the local leaders come to Peter B. Lewis Building or we take our visitors on-site, you often get to meet and hear from local leaders of organizations such as, Greater Cleveland Partnership. We want to make sure you know about their efforts to cultivate attractive business conditions that create jobs, grow investment and improve the economic prosperity of the region. 

Psssst. Did you know that all of these companies are headquartered in the Cleveland area? Here are some of the companies that we visit when prospective students come to town. 

Experience the classroom with Weatherhead faculty

It's not all business as usual around here. Our faculty put a great emphasis on practical hands-on, real-world learning and thinking. When you visit, you will have the opportunity to experience what it's like to learn at Weatherhead with faculty such as Simon Peck, our Associate Dean for MBA programs. 

Find out more about our programs and our new Design & Innovation Department and why Weatherhead is a great #place2think!

Fun and games

Aside from the mind-blowing thinking we do around here, we also like to have a good time. Cleveland has plenty of to offer and we make sure you get a feel for the city via tours of the Progressive Field baseball stadium, the Cleveland Museum of Art and Playhouse Square theater district, just to name a few. If you visit us in February, you may even get the chance to join current students and alumni, and win great (and we mean great) raffle prizes at our annual Casino Night scholarship fundraising event.

Need to see more? Look at some of our photos from visitors in the past or read more about our students' experiences and life at Weatherhead in general or follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter

If you are interested in visiting Weatherhead, contact Julie DiBiasio at julie.dibiasio@case.edu.

We look forward to welcoming you on campus!