September 30, 2015

HeadsUp: Weatherhead School of Management Homecoming 2015 - Oct. 7-11

Homecoming 2015: October 7-11

All Weatherhead alumni are invited: encourage all of your Weatherhead friends to attend! 

We are excited to welcome you back to campus for a fun-filled weekend, including class dinners, thought-provoking programming, networking opportunities and, most importantly, time to reconnect with longtime friends and classmates! An entire weekend is planned with events and activities to commemorate your time at the university.

September 28, 2015

MBA Career Trek: New York City 2015

Steve Humphries is a Weatherhead School of Management Class of 2017 full-time MBA student reporting on Weatherhead's recent trip to New York City.

Day 1:
We started our trek with one-on-one informational interviews with alumni in our fields of interest.  This was a great way to start exploring industries in which I have little experience. I was able to better wrap my head around new industries of interest--where to start, what’s required and what’s to be expected. The Career Management Office did a great job facilitating a focused dialogue with alumni who had “been there and done it,” so to speak. In my case, I met with a Weatherhead alum from Ernst & Young. We both shared our stories of how we got to where we are today. He welcomed my questions, gave me an idea of what he’s been working on, and gave quality advice regarding the next steps in my job search.

Later that evening, we traveled through the financial district to Bar Boulud off Broadway for an alumni reception. Getting to experience the city’s financial district culture was a plus. When we arrived, the alumni were excited to meet first and second year students. We met with recent and past graduates who were fully engaged in discussion ranging from career path/aspirations and perspectives on current events to their personal interests and why they live and work in NYC. It was a rewarding experience in that we were able to begin dialogues with successful professionals and learn about different career paths.

Day 2:
On the second day of the event, we were invited to watch the opening bell live on the NYSE floor. I must admit, this was one of the top benefits of the trip. Not often do you turn down an invitation to see the foundation of financial markets up close. We saw an IPO take place, a CNBC show being aired live and were given a tour by Peter Costa who spent more than 30 years on the stock exchange floor. We closed with a Q&A session wi
th Peter, who welcomed a continued dialogue if we had further questions. We were then given two hours to explore the surrounding landscape. I spent the majority of the time around the World Trade Center #1 building in awe of the architecture and memorial a few blocks away.

The next event scheduled was a lunch and alumni panel discussion at Citibank’s headquarters. This was an information session pertaining to mastering the job search. The alumni panel had both Weatherhead grads and other Citibank employees to offer alternative perspectives. All members of the panel were well versed in their fields and have taken different paths to get there. They all welcomed our questions related to both job search as well as networking tips. And just like Peter, they were open to continuing a dialogue with students after the event ended.

Overall, we spent quality time at every event getting to know what it means to work for a company in New York City’s financial district. The alumni were very helpful in answering our questions and providing valuable information that we would need to obtain an internship or full-time job. Tip of the cap to the Career Management Office for facilitating a highly beneficial event for students. I highly recommend that future students attend events like these as they are great ways to start building new networks in different regions.

September 18, 2015

How to land your dream job: Q&A with recent graduate Nitin Bhosale

Nitin Bhosale is a Weatherhead School of Management Class of 2015 MBA graduate and current BI Manager at Cord Blood Registry in Silicon Valley.

What was your strategy to land your dream job after your time at Weatherhead?
As a student, I wanted to utilize all the resources provided to me by Weatherhead in order to get an internship of my choice and eventually get a full-time job offer. I attended all the networking sessions, prepared for behavioral questions and kept working on my interview stories. The mock interview sessions conducted by the Career Management Office helped me strengthen my ability to map my experiences and learnings from school to the job process.

My year-long internship at BuyerQuest really helped me develop soft skills and get firsthand experience in e-commerce strategy. Eventually, I managed to get three full-time job offers; however, the BI Manager role at Cord Blood Registry is perfect in terms of my future goal to work in e-commerce strategy. My current role is in Silicon Valley, the heart of technology, which is where I always wanted to be.

What is the importance of networking in the life of an MBA? 
From day one, I was told that MBAs need to network, and throughout our program, we were taught different ways of doing it. Now that I have finished my degree, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of building and growing a strong network. Networking for me was simple: connect to a person of interest and create a lasting impression. I think that each individual should have a well-crafted pitch to make the other person intrigued. The difficult part for me was staying connected with them over time to build a long-lasting relationship. Thanks to my networking efforts, I had 38 job referrals and gave interviews with 12 different companies during my last semester at Weatherhead.
My internship at BuyerQuest was through networking efforts so I would definitely say that networking is an important part of MBA.

Any takeaways you can share from all of those interviews?
Interview preparation is really straight forward: one should analyze each and every statement in the job requirements, roles and responsibilities and try to align yourself and your experiences to those requirements.

Interviews are typically a three-step process:
1) The first interview is generally an HR screening round, in order to see if you are a fit for the role. Here it’s important you understand the company, its culture and the job requirements to prove that you are a fit by aligning your skillset accordingly.
2) The second interview is typically with the hiring manager where you are asked behavioral questions and case-based questions, depending on the nature of the organization.
3) Next is a set of three to four interviews in a row with your future team members during which the focus is on your communication skills and problem solving skills

How important a role did Weatherhead play in shaping your career? 
Weatherhead was the perfect platform to help me transition from a Technical Expert to a Business Manager. First, the Career Management Office has a wonderful team of career experts who always helped me in mock interviews and motivated me throughout the two years. Blackstone LaunchPad helped me develop my new product idea, “DormSquare,” which eventually helped me get into E-commerce strategy. Weatherhead has excellent professors who helped me academically as well as professionally, to expand my network with alumni of the school. The Business Marketing course with Mohan Reddy, Strategy with Simon Peck and Technology Entrepreneurship with Scott Shane were key to building expertise in pricing, product roadmap and product feature launch. Overall, it was a wonderful experience.

What advice would you give the students who are in the MBA program right now?
As an international student, it is challenging to adapt to a different business culture, so it’s important to start early and groom yourself for these changes. Networking is key: it’s important to attend all the events hosted by the Career Management Office, build contacts and maintain these relationships throughout your life. Find a book you like for interview preparation and make that book your bible. I used the book Cracking the PM Interview: How to Land a Product Manager Job in Technology and it was really helpful. Weatherhead has a great network of alumni who serve as mentors to guide you through each and every step of the MBA journey.

Lastly, don’t miss the Jolly Scholar's happy hour! I think it’s important to relax and also have a good time. Your MBA is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so enjoy it.

September 11, 2015

INTERN REPORT: Aligning your goals and values

Jaclyn Agui, MBA candidate, held an internship this summer at Tesoro Corporation, a Fortune 100 Company operating as a refiner and marketer of petroleum products in the United States. Tesoro is headquartered in San Antonio, Texas.

I arrived to San Antonio, Texas, in late May with mixed emotions of excitement and jitters. This was my first time in Texas and my first time working for a large corporation. My previous experiences were with small businesses where hands were needed at every front. In contrast, at Tesoro Corporation I became a part of a very structured internship program, with clear project goals and initiatives.

My efforts surrounded the implementation of cloud-based software to improve lead generation, cost savings and overall business improvement for Tesoro’s marketing segment. Upon joining I had to overcome a steep learning curve for not only my project and responsibilities, but of the industry as a whole. The concept of working with a commodity-based industry like oil and gas involved an adjustment in strategic thinking for me. However over my time with Tesoro, I felt like I contributed meaningful work and gained the respect of my business team. I feel very much embedded in the work culture. Moreover, I have expanded my professional network with a diverse body of individuals from within my intern class and throughout the enterprise.

I think that I entered Tesoro at a very exciting time. I witnessed its growth, a shift in work culture and sprouting support for innovation. This experience has helped me understand what values I find important in a company and how I can actively participate in aligning my goals and values with my organization. Being completely honest, this internship experience far exceeded my high expectations and I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Texas.

September 8, 2015

Global MBA: As rigorous as it was, I would do it all over again without hesitation

J. Michael Tasse is a current student in the Global MBA program at Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University. To read more about his experience, view his blog.

Originally, Sarah Wells from the Weatherhead School of Management commissioned me to write a piece conveying the feeling of the general experience I had returning to Weatherhead in June of 2015. After all, my batch of the 2015 Global MBA had been in Asia for one year at XLRI’s School of Management—studying and working with the Tata Conglomerate in India—and at Tongji University in China, immersed in the fascinating world of business, networking and overall entrepreneurship of Shanghai. Naturally, returning to the States can feel a bit strange, and seeing my jiaxiang, or “hometown” from a different perspective warrants reflection.

I tried to piece together memories of the foreign feeling I felt after being abroad so long. I conjured memories of cars driving on the right side of the road rather than the left; of few open air markets; of set prices in stores not requiring bargaining. I thought of the blandness of un-spiced, curry-less dishes. I thought of the lack of public transit in America… but none of that seemed to really flow from my mind, nor did it serve to express my honest experience.

What did strike me powerfully was today: my first day of courses without my XLRI and Tongji
classmates. They had been my colleagues and business partners throughout the last year. I felt at a loss without my GMBA friends. In our final semester, each cohort returns to their respective university to complete their Global Master of Business Administration.

Walking the halls at the Frank Gehry-designed Peter B. Lewis Weatherhead building today was a foreign feeling, even after spending an entire summer semester there almost seven days a week. The chairs were filled with students I had not yet met; the halls flowing with energetic bodies I had never seen. While they also hail from all over the world (as Weatherhead does a fantastic job at immersing its classrooms in incredible talent from all over the world), I found myself looking for Soumy Singh, my best bud and Bollywood-connoisseur from Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India—the oldest city in the world. Or Akshay Chaudhary, a great artist from Jamshedpur, Jhakrhand, whose inventor capabilities have only just begun to blossom. I hear a voice speak Mandarin, Chinese and consider Yi Wen, the woman who shyly guided Sammy Bandy and me through Nanjing, China. I miss Pranai Devulapalli, my first friend in the program with whom I read Sun Zi’s Art of War before arriving in China. I miss Rishabh Jain, co-founder of the Global MBA consulting club who would push me to always keep my cool and to become a better “resonant leader.” I missed the people in whom I had invested and who had invested in me so profoundly for the past year.

Today, I felt it.

I looked around for the faces from the Global MBA program I knew well but with whom I had not spent as much time. I wondered if I would ever get the chance to talk about Vietnam and the oil business with Adhithya Gugan Ravi, who lived in Vietnam with his family for a time. I missed Vishakha Maliwal, from whom the great fountain of financial knowledge flowed; all one had to do was politely ask her. I missed Vivienne Zhang, likely the smartest mathematical mind and sweetest, most compassionate woman in our class. Vivienne was the first to devote as much time as needed to any of us who had failed to understand a statistical or financial concept.

I realized today, walking the halls of PBL, that those friends (and likely future business partners) I had made throughout the previous year of the Global MBA really meant something to me. It was more profound than just a graduate program—I had learned to ebb and flow with those from India and China; I had learned to feel as they felt and see the world evolve through their eyes. In that, we had created our own language of understanding.

After my first class today with Dr. Rakesh Niraj—Marketing Metrics—I walked around the
classroom and said hello to my classmates. While I did not yet know them as I had my previous Global MBA cohort, I found myself more seamlessly interacting with them than perhaps I would have a year ago. My language skills instantly connected me with several folks from Delhi, India, and from Anhui province in China. All I needed to say was “Namaskar, Supra bhat! Mere naam Michael hai!” or “Zaoshanghao!, Wo de mingzi jiao Michael!” meaning “Good morning! My name is Michael!” in Hindi and Mandarin, respectively. I looked around the classroom with a different eye; I used my Global MBA experience to better open conversation with my new classmates, also from all over the world. I even met a guy, João, from Recife, Brazil, and a woman from Potsdam, Germany—speakers of languages I had learned and practiced while abroad in the Global MBA.

I knew that it was the Global MBA program that prepared me for this day. It was the way that the
Global MBA shapes and molds us into truly resonant leaders who grow, listen and learn to engage others in a more profound way than I ever could have imagined. I look back and wish I could struggle through one more project at 11 p.m. in Jamshedpur or Shanghai, complaining about how unrealistic the challenge of a certain due date we would eventually overcome was.

While today was our first class on our own here at Weatherhead, I check my WeChat messages (WeChat is an App from a company called TenCent reminiscent of WhatsApp). I see posts from wo de pengyou, from mere dosts – “from my friends,” and I think to myself:

“I now have a network throughout the entire world—I have extremely talented friends in the most powerful, growing economies and countries on Earth. This is the beginning of the power of Weatherhead’s Global MBA."