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!

April 15, 2016

MSM-Finance students tour three companies in a City Trek around Cleveland

City Treks is one of the resources Weatherhead's Career Management Office (CMO) offers as a way to provide students an internal glimpse into American business operations. Follow CMO on Twitter @weatherheadcmo

Nine MSM-Finance students participated in a City Trek around Cleveland that encompassed three companies: Cleveland Research Company, KeyBank and Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. Students enjoyed an interactive case study at Cleveland Research Company. While at KeyBank, high-level representatives discussed their roles and where they are expanding. They finished the day at the Federal Reserve where they took a tour of the facility including the largest vault door in the world. These visits gave students additional insights into industries and career paths that they might like to explore. The ability to meet with current employees and hear their thoughts provided students with first-hand feedback and skills that employers seek.

Student thoughts from the Cleveland Trek

Carlin Jackson: My favorite visit was with the Cleveland Research Company (CRC). It was great receiving insight into the operations and methodologies of a top market and equity research firm. I certainly plan on utilizing the connections I made with CRC staff as I continue to learn and grow in my finance career.

Prathima Cheeti: I enjoyed our time at the Cleveland Research Company because we had an opportunity to see real-life applications of the type of work we have been doing in many of our classes. Also seeing the variety in careers that are available for someone with our educational background was reassuring for someone who does not want to go into a stereotypical finance field.

Claire Wu: My favorite visit was the visit to Cleveland Research Company. The case study was very informative and interactive, which gave me better insight to the company and day-to-day work employees perform. The team of representatives was very friendly and encouraged conversations and discussions during the whole session. I learned about the company’s culture, different types of service lines or job positions they offer and, most importantly, how to participate in those kind of networking and learning events together with other students. I was also able to get information that I need or might need in the future, seize the opportunity to ask questions based on informative presentations given and network with people more comfortably. It gives me a better idea on how to start networking through different channels and job hunt more strategically by gathering information about positions that I am interested in and talking to more people within the company or in the industry to get a close look on whether the position could be a good fit and level up the skills needed accordingly.

Billy Zhu: My favorite trek was KeyBank because of the extensive number of speakers presenting about the various areas within the company. It helped me expand my horizon as I continue on the path searching for an internship and job.

The Career Management Office encourages all students to participate in future treks. Students in each entering class are encouraged to complete requirements to qualify to participate in these informative career excursions. Some of the past trek cities include New York CityChicago and Cleveland.

Find our more information about Weatherhead's City Treks and stay tuned for details about the 2016-2017 lineup!

April 1, 2016

April Fool's Day 101: An explanation of this hoax of a holiday

The following blog post is brought to you by Weatherhead's Office of Student Experience, which 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.

Warm weather and longer days making you feel good? Is there something possessing you to frolic, joke around with your friends, or smile at strangers? You aren’t the only one. We are entering the Spring equinox, a time, it seems, that brings about mirth in many cultures. Maybe it is the euphoria of finally getting much needed vitamin D from the sun, or maybe it is eager anticipation of long, lazy days of summer, but across the globe people celebrate with good-natured pranks and jokes. The following are just a few examples. For those of you who are enjoying your first April Fool's Day in the United States, I hope this helps put this holiday into perspective! Let’s start in the United States. Your friends might text you asking how you felt about a big exam--one you never recall hearing about. Your heart rate goes up, you scramble through your notes and class syllabus, and right when you are near tears, they send “April Fools!” Or your roommate calls to tell you that they are very sorry, but the landlord said you can’t return home because of the raccoon infestation in your room. You start thinking about your bedsheets ruined by rodents, your favorite clothes torn apart by their little claws. April Fools! The basic structure of an American April Fools is to make the victim sincerely feel that something absurd, and often disastrous, has happened. Even mass media gets in on the gag. Check out Hoaxes.org/aprilfools for some great April Fools pranks throughout history. While predominantly an American and British holiday, other countries have joined in on the fun. To stay close to home, I’ll only mention the Taco Liberty Bell prank of 1996. Taco Bell took out a full page ad in six national newspapers stating they had purchased the Liberty Bell and would be rebranding it the Taco Liberty Bell. Hundreds of people called the National Historic Park in Philadelphia to express their outrage. Eventually, Taco Bell confessed to the practical joke and the nation enjoyed a good laugh. 

This year, your own Weatherhead School of Management marketing team is spreading April Fool's Day cheer... check out some of our hoax news stories for April 1. In France, April Fools is celebrated a little more stylistically (you wouldn’t expect less from France, right?). Instead of a hodgepodge of nerve-racking practical jokes, the French make a game of attempting to attach a fish to the backs of unknowing targets. While similar in jovial spirit, the Indian tradition of Holi has a much less sinister bent than April Fools. The Holi celebration includes colored powers being tossed around and jokes being played. The goal is not so much to make a fool out of your friends and family, but to celebrate, joyfully, the sharing of love and the start of Spring. China has recently started to embrace April Fool's Day in some areas. It seems to be more popular with young people, starting in the mid 1990’s. Although older generations are not as keen to pick up on the tradition, those young folks are getting into the workforce and bringing some pranks along with them. In 2013, national news outlets in China ran a fake story that Virgin Airlines was set to launch their first glass bottomed airplane. One would presume this generated with some of those classroom pranksters from a few decades ago. So, go on out there and enjoy the day, whether it is a harmless joke or an elaborate hoax, have fun and spread the good vibes of Spring time!