November 16, 2017

Fall Career Fair Recap

Follow Weatherhead's Career Management Office (CMO) on Twitter @weatherheadcmo.

There have been two career fairs this semester: one in Philadelphia and the other one right here in PBL. The National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA) and The Association of Hispanic Professionals (PROSPANICA) hosted the 2017 Annual Conference & Exposition in the Pennsylvania Convention Center from September 26-30, 2017. This combined effort allowed for greater participation from many speakers and companies. It is a great opportunity for business graduate students to meet company representatives and make connections with peers from all over the nation. Next year’s event will take place in Detroit, Michigan on September 25-29, 2018. Mark your calendars now!

Weatherhead’s Fall Career Fair tends to target both Cleveland area companies and larger companies. Since the event is smaller it allows for students to talk to more companies and strategize on what companies to target. CMO interviewed a few students that attended either or both the NBMBAA/PROSPANICA fair and the Weatherhead Fall Fair to see their take on the two events.

What was your favorite part of the NBMBAAA/PROSPANICA fair? Favorite part about the Weatherhead Fall Fair?

My favorite part of the Weatherhead career fair was getting to participate in my first ever career fair. It gave me the opportunity to engage with companies outside my comfort zone, knowing the stakes are high as my interactions can make or break my future with them. Harsh Ranjan, MBA 2019
At the Weatherhead career fair I enjoyed getting a sense of what companies we have right here in Cleveland that are looking to hire. As an MD/MBA student, I also liked talking to MetroHealth, The Cleveland Clinic and US Endoscopy. Ian Drummond, MBA 2019 & MD 2019

What I really liked about NBMBAA/Prospanica to see what so many different companies look for in MBA students and also to understand the quality of all the students present, which helped me greatly develop my personal pitch and measure the gain instantly! It was my first experience at a career fair and I went through emotions in a very short period of time; it was quite an experience! Luiz Vieira, MBA 2019

What surprised you about each fair?

What I found surprising about my experience at the Weatherhead fair was how friendly, open and positive the representatives of the companies were. It enabled me to have a detailed conversation about the company's visions and how can I align myself with them more effectively. Harsh Ranjan, MBA 2019

I was surprised at how comfortable I felt talking to the recruiters. My expectation of career fairs was that it would be very short, generic conversations, but I found that it was the exact opposite. Many of the recruiters had personal connections to Weatherhead, and genuinely wanted to hear about my experiences. Many of my conversations were very natural.  Lauren Tancer, MBA 2019

What new insights did you learn about (i.e. companies, positions)?

I learned that each company has a wide variety of positions for a variety of different backgrounds For example, I had initially expected that a software company would only be looking for more technical positions, but I learned that they were looking for things like finance and consulting positions, as well. Lauren Tancer, MBA 2019

I discovered how many companies are incorporating sustainability into their business model and are looking for professionals to fill related positions. Harsh Ranjan, MBA 2019

How did you prepare for the career fairs?

I printed resumes and had business cards at the ready. I rehearsed my story in my head. Then, before approaching a table, I tried to make sure I had at least one clear question I wanted to ask to get the conversation rolling. Ian Drummond, MBA 2019 & MD 2019

The first step of preparing for the career fair was looking at the list of companies that were attending. I narrowed down the list by seeing what companies were hiring for internships and for my field specifically. This helped me focus my search based on my qualifications. Then, I looked at the websites and positions for the companies I was interested in. I took notes, so that I could reference them between conversations during the fair. The notes were helpful, because I could get a quick refresher on things like values, areas of expertise and what they were looking for before talking to the recruiters. After each conversation, I updated my notes with who I talked to and a few bullet points of what we talked about. I used these notes later so that I could write more personal thank-you emails. Lauren Tancer, MBA 2019

November 10, 2017

Namrata Nagdev Shares Experience at Marketing Insights Conference

Namrata Nagdev, full-time MBA student, shares her experiences at the Marketing Insights Conference, sponsored by Weatherhead’s Marketing & Strategy Club.

Last week, Weatherhead’s Marketing & Strategy Club hosted the Marketing Insights Conference, a
spectacular event with three speakers from different industries enchanting us with their exciting work and their vision of the future. I loved each of the three talks but was particularly moved by Matt Eaves, who is the vice president of digital marketing at University Hospitals (UH).

Matt started off the talk by introducing the shift in the healthcare industry landscape from fee-for-service to fee-for-pay. This shift made the reduction in patient re-admissions and improved customer satisfaction a key in deciding the eligible hospital reimbursement. These two goals put patient experience in the center of strategic planning.

Witnessing the strides taken by UH to improve the patient experience and ensure a pleasant journey right from the time a patient walks into the hospital until the time s/he is recovering at home was very moving. For example, Matt told us an interesting point that can potentially save millions of dollars over the years and reduce patient wait time, which is a big pain-point for patients. He explained how a small change in the design of the hospital hallways helped patients get to their appointments faster. It may seem like a small thing but, on a holistic level, this small thing adds up in efficient use of time, and over years it’s millions of dollars! Patients start getting backed up on appointments because, starting at the beginning of the day, some people are late by three to four minutes. As this progresses throughout the day, the last patient for the day could be waiting for two hours to get to their appointment and this is costing the entire system.

I never would’ve imagined that this solution would improve the patient experience and be worth millions of dollars to the hospital! It is interesting how small changes have a huge impact. I would encourage everyone to attend college events and make full use of the opportunity to learn from the best!

November 3, 2017

Exploring Cleveland: 2017 Holiday Events

The following blog post is brought to you by George Smiltins 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.

With midterms in the books, it is a perfect time to get out of the house and explore all the seasonal delights Northeast Ohio has to offer.  Warmer temperatures are still lingering, but the coming of November promises that winter isn’t too far around the corner. Here are a few suggested activities that will help you embrace the changing seasons:

Here are a few links that will get you started exploring the outdoors:

The Cleveland Flea Holiday Showcase
This event will allow you to look for unique gifts for the upcoming holiday season. You have several weekend to choose from, but be sure to get your tickets in advance: Nov. 10-12 and 17-19; Dec. 8-10 and 15-17.

Winter Wine & Ale Fest
Taste all that local wineries, breweries, and restaurants have to offer Saturday, Nov. 18.

Every year, the Cleveland Botanical Gardens transforms with dazzling Christmas trees, a giant gingerbread competition, holiday music and much more. Nov. 24-Dec. 31.

On November 25th, Downtown Cleveland will host Winterfest featuring a tree-lighting ceremony, fireworks display, horse-drawn carriage rides, ice skating, live music, food trucks, pop-up shopping, and more.

Holiday Lights Trolley Tours
Board a red Lolly the Trolley and get a guided holiday tour of Cleveland, or a visit to the house from the famous holiday movie "A Christmas Story."

Holiday Theater & Musical Productions
Check out some of the many holiday performances throughout the city, including Playhouse Square, and The Beck Center for the Arts,

Sporting Events
Go check out a Cavaliers basketball game or our very own hockey team, the Cleveland Monsters.

October 19, 2017

Career Fair Tips: Fall Career Fair is Oct 27!

Follow Weatherhead's Career Management Office (CMO) on Twitter @weatherheadcmo.

The Weatherhead Fall Career Fair on Friday, October 27, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in PBL, is fast approaching and it is time to prep for the event! Do not come unprepared, come over prepared! Is there such a thing?! Probably not. CMO wants to stress the importance of knowing your audience (the employers) and knowing your story. Why are you talking to that specific company? What draws you to that role? Why are you a good fit?

Here are some pro tips:

Before the Fair
  • Review the companies on the digital Employer Guide  also provided in CareerLink under Workshops – Weatherhead Fall Career Fair
  •  Create a list of top companies: Research your top companies using CMO’s Company Research Resources document found in CareerLink under Document Library
  • Apply for any posted roles that fit your career path: If you apply in advance it will allow you to more quickly advance in the process post-fair.
  • Determine your pitch for each company: Tailor your story to the company and position. Your unique interest in that specific company should shine through.
During the Fair
  • The first company you approach at the Career Fair should be a company that is NOT at the top of your list! Practice your pitch and get out your jitters on companies that are not on the top of your list. Then, when it matters most, you’ll be more relaxed and confident.
  • Bring hard copies of your resume and business cards if you have them. Business cards can be created at Printing Services on campus.
  • Build a rapport with company representative. Before jumping into your story ask a question like, “How’s the day going for you?” – this is enough to break the ice and get a conversation going.
  • Write down every recruiter’s name and details about the company and position. Ask for the recruiter’s business card if the conversation went well. If you can’t get a business card then write down their name and look them up later
After the Fair
  • Write down any new information about each role/company.
  • Write follow-up emails to recruiters that you met. Look them up on LinkedIn or CareerShift (found under Jobs tab in CareerLink) and send follow-up email after the fair.

October 12, 2017

What's Happening this Halloween? Your guide to all things spooky (or not so much)

How will you celebrate Halloween this year? While we’re sure your first answer is the Weatherheadless Ball held here in PBL on Oct. 28, there are a lot of other events to add to your calendar as well. Check out some of our favorites:

Cleveland MetroParks Boo at the Zoo
Fun for the whole family, this annual Halloween tradition features candy stations, train rides, music, the carousel and 4D theater, all happening among the zoo animals.

Fridays through Sundays, Oct. 13-29
5-9 p.m.
More info 

Indoor movie night at Mahall's: "The Thing"
Mahall’s in Lakewood has a lot to offer, such as live music and bowling. But did you know they also have regular indoor movie nights? Be sure to catch this year’s Halloween flick, John Carpenter’s “The Thing.”

Saturday, Oct. 14
9 p.m. to midnight
More info

Spooky Pooch Parade
Dress up your pup and come on down to Lakewood’s annual pooch parade.

Saturday, Oct. 21
12:30-3:30 p.m.
More info 

HalloWeekends and The Great Pumpkinfest at Cedar Point
During HalloWeekends (Friday and Saturday nights thru the end of October), Cedar Point becomes a spooky spot with creepy characters, haunted attractions and a Monster Midway Invasion Celebration Parade. Or, bring the kids for some family fun and attend The Great Pumpkinfest Saturdays and Sundays.

Thru Oct. 29
More info

Haunted Tours
Bet you didn’t realize just how haunted a city like Cleveland can be… check out this list of Northeast Ohio’s best haunted tours, featuring cemeteries, monuments and other scary sites.

Dates and times vary
More info

Haunted Houses
And who could forget the most popular Halloween activity… the haunted house. Check out’s 2017 Haunted House Guide and get all the scares your heart desires (or can take).

Locations, dates and times vary
More info

October 2, 2017

Shark Tank Team at Lubrizol: Teng Yang shares his experiences

Teng Yang is a candidate in Weatherhead's MBA program and had a summer internship at Lubrizol.

School has started back up now and it’s in full swing. There are group projects that need to be worked on for just about every class. On top of that, I have things I need to do as a TA for Dr. Solow, and I am working on my job search. In short, it’s not hard to stay busy and opportunities can be found by being busy.

I had the wonderful opportunity to intern with Lubrizol over the summer and worked on the Shark Tank team developing new business ideas. Today I got to see the fruits of my work being pitched at the final Shark Tank event. It was inspiring to see an organization like Lubrizol embrace innovation and pursue future opportunities. The event was a show of commitment to innovation at Lubrizol. It was also nice to see that our learnings from school are being utilized and championed at companies like Lubrizol. Some examples of this are the customer understanding approach of product development, the need to understand your own capabilities, and the need to develop a strong value proposition.

I think the biggest take away of all today was the lessons learned portion at the end of the event. The idea of “make friends” was mentioned by almost all the presenters. None of the projects would take off without the support of the people who had a hand in the project. I think this can be applied to me as well; I can’t succeed without the support of the people around me and the people around me can’t succeed without my support.

September 22, 2017

Venturing Beyond PBL: A breakdown of nearby study spots

Stephanie Hagen is a candidate in Weatherhead's MBA program.

With the end of September fast approaching, students are settling into the familiar routine of classes, job/internship hunting, and bemoaning our lack of free time. Where the first-year MBAs generally all share the same schedule, we second-years have scattered to explore different electives. Yet there is one thing we all still have in common: homework. The Peter B. Lewis Building has plenty of inviting study nooks, but with most—if not all—of our classes in PBL, it can be far too easy to never venture beyond the building. Take advantage of the warmer weather (while it lasts!) to check out some of these alternative study spots.

1. The Coffee House
Distance from PBL: 0.2 miles (5-minute walk)

Despite its name, The Coffee House doesn’t have the greatest coffee. What it does offer is plenty of tables, a cozy atmosphere, and decent hours. Come here with a friend for group study—or don’t, you’ll probably run into someone you know.

Go here when: You really need a jolt of caffeine to make it through that evening class; it’s too cold to walk any farther; you don’t mind overhearing someone’s job interview.

2. Kelvin Smith Library

Distance from PBL: 0.3 miles (6-minute walk)

Ignore the scattered tables and comfy chairs near the entrance—head up the curving staircase to the large, well-lit study room on the third floor. Though often busy, it’s usually easy to snag a table; all are equipped with swivel chairs and charging ports. Or, if you need even more focus, there are individual desk pods with shielding walls to guard against that overly talkative friend. Newsflash: Apparently there is also a grad student/faculty-only study room on the second floor, if you get tired of the undergrads.

Go here when: The deathly silence might help you finally buckle down and study for tomorrow’s exam; you’re sifting through an armful of books from the stacks across the hall; you’re tired of PBL but don’t know where else to go (no worries, that’s what this post is for!).

3. Cleveland Museum of Art

Distance from PBL: 0.3 miles (7-minute walk)

Did you know that one of the world’s most visited art museums is just a short walk away—and it’s free? The museum’s spacious, airy atrium brings light to the dreariest of Wednesday afternoons. Check your backpack at the front desk, grab a tandoori wrap from the café, and park your laptop near the perimeter of the densely packed tables. Be aware, it does get busy (and noisy) during peak lunch hours.

Go here when: You could use a break from calculating cycle time to admire Church’s Twilight in the Wilderness; it’s freezing outside but you’re craving sunlight; you don’t mind some ambient noise.

4. Presti’s Bakery

Distance from PBL: 0.5 miles (12-minute walk)

By now you’ve probably heard of Presti’s—the bustling café in Little Italy serving up decadent desserts to a hectic crowd. But it’s a different place in the off hours, when the tables are mostly empty aside from a few older folks enjoying their afternoon coffee, and the soft rock on the radio barely covers the hum from the gelato freezer. Grab a number and pick your poison—is there ever a bad time for pizza by the slice?

Go here when: You’re hungry; your laptop is already fully charged; you can avoid the mealtime rush.

5. Rising Star Coffee

Distance from PBL: 0.6 miles (14-minute walk)

By far the best coffee shop around campus. Satisfy your inner hipster with an Aeropress or pour-over of an exotically named blend like the “Nueva Armenia”—or give in and try one of the delicious specialty lattes. If the tables are full, there’s usually an extra chair at the wraparound counter.

Go here when: You’re in the mood for an excellent cup of coffee; you have time for a bit of a walk; you’ve finally joined the ranks of the cool kids.

This is just a (not-so-random) sample of some of the great places nearby—where is your go-to study spot?

September 15, 2017

First Impressions: Thoughts from First-Year Grad Students

Follow Weatherhead's Career Management Office (CMO) on Twitter @weatherheadcmo.

It has been about a month on campus. Classes are in full swing. Assignments and events are filling your calendar. At CMO we hope everyone is enjoying the first few weeks of graduate life and that your graduate experience here at Weatherhead is a feeling of elation like the current mood of Cleveland Tribe fansundefeatable and history making!

We reached out to a few students to see just how Weatherhead has started to make an impression on each of them. We asked them the following questions—scroll on down to check out each of their responses!

1. What is the most interesting aspect about Cleveland?
2. What did you like about Orientation?
3. What clubs did you join and why?
4. What are you most excited for in this coming year?
5. What has been most surprising to you since coming to Cleveland/joining the program?

Brooke Bridges, First-Year MBA

1. The most interesting aspect about Cleveland is that Playhouse Square houses the largest outdoor chandelier in the world. It was my first must-see when I arrived in Cleveland!
2. My favorite part of orientation was attending the ropes course. It allowed me to connect with my classmates that I hadn’t had the opportunity to talk with yet. It allowed us to get to know each other in a fun and comfortable atmosphere.
3. I joined Women in Business, Multicultural Club, Marketing Club and Wine Club. I joined these clubs so that I could meet students from all the different programs of Weatherhead. I look forward to having the opportunity to listen to influential women and to learn about different people’s cultures.
4. I am most excited to have the chance to work in teams. Being able to work in diverse groups with people from different parts of the world and different skill sets will help me to grow and to be able to work with different types of leaders in the future.
5. I am most surprised how quickly I’ve been able to become acclimated to Cleveland and to going back to school. Weatherhead has made it an easy transition from moving across the country. Everyone from the faculty and staff, to my classmates have made Cleveland feel like home.

Antwand Hill, First-Year MAcc 
1. Personally, I would have to say the most interesting part about Cleveland is the professional sports teams. I am a die-hard Cleveland fan and recently the Cavaliers and Indians have had so much success that it is difficult not to support them. The Browns have been my favorite team for the last 15 years, no matter how much they struggle at times I will always support them. The future is very bright for all Cleveland professional sports teams.
2. In terms of orientation, I appreciated the fact that I had an opportunity to meet some of my classmates before classes started. We discussed our current work experience as well as our future aspirations.
3. I am currently working to join Beta Alpha Psi (BAP). BAP provides a great environment to network with professionals as well as volunteers in the community.
4. I am looking forward to two things this school year. I am looking forward to becoming the first person in my family with a Masters degree! I am also looking to securing a full-time audit position with a company that will aid in the development of my professional career.
5. The most surprising thing since I have joined the program has been the GreenLink/BlueLink shuttle that runs every 20 minutes to takes students around campus.

Shu Liu, First-Year MSM-Finance
1. I think the most interesting aspect about Cleveland is the artistic environment here. I love the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra, not only can I enjoy the symphony orchestra in Severance Hall, but also I can enjoy it in my home through the broadcast. Also, there are lots of museums around our campus, that is fantastic!
2. I think orientation is great in several aspects. First, the bingo game is a good idea for our students to get to know each other. Also, it is a quite informative orientation and new students can receive lots of useful information related to our study and life.
3. I joined several clubs, including the public speaking club and the healthcare club. I chose public speaking club because I hope to practice my public speaking skills, also I hope to make friends with similar interests as me. Also, I am interested in the healthcare industries, so I hope to acquire more information on this area through the healthcare club. I hope these clubs will enrich my study journey and make my life more colorful.
4. Well, I think I am most excited for this coming year is that the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra will have several wonderful performances in the following year. I already have the FANS card for this year’s performances!
5. A surprising aspect for me is the learning environment in Weatherhead. I love this competitive learning environment; it is a great way to motivate me to make progress in my study.

Xinyi Ye, First-Year MSM-Operations Research and Supply Chain
1. The weather changes so quickly in Clevelanda joke here that when it rains here, wait for 5 minutes and it’ll be gone!
2. Orientation was well designed in detail so we could meet with all the people in the schoolpeople that could further assist us in the future when I have questions about school, work or life. And it also had one especially for international students so that we could quickly learn all the useful information regarding student visa, opt during a day of orientation.
3. I didn't join any clubs yet!
4. I’m excited to learn more useful knowledge throughout the second semester and apply what I have learned in the first semester. And internship hunting is going to be stressful and exciting as well.
5. People in Cleveland are really hyper about sportsthe Cavs, the Indians and the Browns! And the people in the program and the entire school are really helpfulthey’re trying to provide you with the most useful information and knowledge in the industry, the most helpful way of finding internships and jobs, and the lady at the front desk is very pleasant to talk with!

September 1, 2017

Welcome back and who's who in STEX

The following blog post is brought to you by George Smiltins 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

The Office of Student Experience (STEX) would like to welcome all of our students to campus for the fall semester! Our office has been busy over the summer planning for new student orientation and also organizing a number of events for the fall. Judging by our conversations with you over the last few weeks, we can tell that this year is going to be both an exciting and engaging one!

Here are some early events to put on your calendar! Please register at the links below (also found on the Weatherhead Event Calendar)

Welcome Back BBQ 
Thursday, September 7th, 4pm to 6pm. Outside of Peter B. Lewis Building. Register by Tuesday, September 5th. Students will receive tickets for entry at close of registration.

WSOM Graduate Student Club Fair
Thursday, September 7th, 12pm to 4pm. PBL Building. No Registration Required.

Cleveland Browns Football vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Sunday, September 10, 1 p.m., First Energy Stadium. Tickets: $25 ($55 dollar value)

We’d also like to take the time to introduce you to a few key people in the landscape of the Weatherhead Graduate Student Experience:

Meenakshi Sharma is the assistant dean of career & student affairs. In addition to her role as head of the Career Management Office, Meenakshi oversees the Student Experience Office providing advice on event management as well as counsel to students to ensure their personal growth.

George Smiltins (me) is student services specialist. As an advocate for all students at Weatherhead, it is my job to make sure you have all the resources (University-wide, at WSOM, or in the larger local community) you need to thrive during your time with us. My role often takes the form of assisting students with immigration concerns, academic problems, health issues, or personal matters that may disrupt their ability to focus on their program. Additionally, I am responsible for coordinating events for the student population. Contact me if you have ideas for what you would like to see this year!

Mimi Filsinger is our student experience coordinator. Her main focus is the logistics of day to day success here in WSOM. She has been with Weatherhead since long before the Peter B. Lewis building came to be and knows, often better than anyone, how to make things happen. Locker, study room, AV reservation or reimbursement questions? Stop by Mimi’s office!

Student Experience would not be nearly as successful or lively without our esteemed student leaders. Our Graduate Business Student Association consists of an executive board, a vice president and a president who all work tirelessly to enrich the lives of all graduate students at Weatherhead. With a seven-person executive board, the president and vice president are well supported and ambitious!

Wenlong Ma is the Graduate Business Student Association president. Wenlong consults with the STEX team on major plans for GBSA and acts as a link between the student body and the administration.

Zihan Xiong (Kelsey) is the Graduate Business Student Association vice-president. Kelsey is tasked primarily with advising student clubs in the planning and execution of their events. Kelsey also consults with the STEX team on logistics and insights to help clubs become most effective.

2017-2018 GBSA Executive Board
President: Wenlong Ma
Executive Vice President: Zihan Xiong (Kelsey)
VP of Academic Affairs: Lauren Nelson
VP Finance: Tianjiao Liu (Liz)
VP Social and Cultural Activities: Ben Forman
VP Marketing and Communications: Maria Landaeta
VP Operations: Navid Tavoli

August 25, 2017

End-of-Summer Events in the CLE

Cap off summer with some fun events around the city these next few weeks, since we all know the winter weather will be here soon enough. We've pulled together just a small sampling of the many things Cleveland has to offer; feel free to comment on this post with some of your own ideas of not-to-be-missed happenings going on in the CLE.

Heights Music Hop, Sept. 7-9
  • EUCFest Block Party: Explore Uptown in University Circle with this fifth annual event featuring live music, food from Uptown vendors and more. 8/25
  • Akron Pride Festival: This inaugural pride festival aims to unify and and affirm the LGBTQ community and allies in celebrating our diversity and recognizing our likeness. 8/26
  • Cleveland Garlic Festival: Enjoy live music, children's activities, and moreand lots of your favorite garlic-laden food. 8/26-8/27
  • One World Cleveland Day: The official event of the Cleveland Cultural Gardens since 1946, celebrating peace through mutual understanding. 8/27
  • Great Geauga County Fair: With over 13,000 exhibits, 2,000 animals, live music, rides and tons of food, among other things, you'll find something for everyone. 8/31-9/4
  • Cleveland Labor Day Oktoberfest: Too many activities, shows, food vendors to mention! Don't forget to check out the schedule for the Bier Garten. 9/1-9/4
  • Peninsula Flea at Heritage Farms: This upscale and artsy flea market strives to offer only the highest of quality items from eclectic artists, craftspeople and collectors. 9/2
  • Cleveland National Air Show: The Air Show is Cleveland’s Labor Day Weekend tradition with three days of aerial thrills featuring the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds. 9/2-9/4
  • Heights Music Hop: Free live music festival in unique places throughout Cleveland Heights business district. 9/7-9/9
  • NEOCycle: The nation's largest urban cycling festival with lots of races, rides and more to offer. 9/8-9/10
  • SkunkFest: Yes, this is a real thing. A friendly gathering for skunk lovers and owners (offering way more than just simply skunks) that you'll have to see to believe. 9/9

August 14, 2017

Intern Report: Cori Finefrock at Eaton Corporation Part III

Cori Finefrock is a candidate in Weatherhead's MBA program.

Summer is finally coming to a close and on days like semi-stormy Friday, it really feels like Fall is knocking on our door. This week I have spent my time unpacking boxes, working on an assignment for Richard Boyatzis’ Leading Change from a Complexity Perspective class, and trying to figure out how to finagle a better parking spot on campus. It seems surreal that only one week ago my life was in Georgia, I was eating lunch with the HR team in Eaton’s Lighting Division and getting ready for my final presentation.

The last month was a whirlwind, filled with completing projects and tying up loose ends. But one of the most enlightening and beneficial opportunities was the long-awaited manufacturing experience. On July 22nd, two other interns and I spent 8 hours on the manufacturing line, updating an old product model with a new censor. Our site’s manufacturing line is not the full-scale manufacturing production you might be envisioning. This is more like a boutique manufacturing line that makes test models, searches and recommends fixes for new product lines and produces small batch orders. There are about 20 workers, mostly women, who work this line 10 hours a day, four days a week. They were deft teachers and master managers of the products and their time. We rotated stations every few hours so that each worker knew how to update this particular product from start to finish. It very cool to work with wires and power tools and state-of-the-art technology. The next day my hands were sore in ways I didn’t know they could be. The women were cordial and wanted to know where I was from, how I met my fiancé, what I was studying in school, what I thought of the South. Most of them are from the greater Atlanta area, or southern Georgia. They talked about their grandchildren and children, summer picnics, former jobs, and the best way to get rid of cockroaches. I was tired at the end of the day, but was sincerely proud to have a physical representation of the all the work we had completed.

Working in HR, it is critical to understand the environment in which your employees operate, especially when those environments can vary from position to position. Working in engineering it is equally important to see how the parts you designed are put together. Many of our engineering interns came out of this experience with a greater perspective on how to design products to be manufactured efficiently.

So much of our world is becoming digital and technological, and maybe even what seems permanently manual now won’t be in the future. But on some level, at some juncture, creating something will always be personal. This was an amazing reminder of that.               

As this is my last internship blog post, I don’t want to wax philosophical on the manufacturing world too long. So, I will leave with a few pieces of advice for future interns:

  • An internship is just as much about learning about yourself as it is learning about the company. Ask anyone whose ear you can catch about their experience with the company and ask yourself about your values and goals. See where the two align.
  • Do not spend any energy comparing yourself to your classmates or other interns. Each internship is what YOU make of it, so spend your energy on getting as much out of it as possible. It goes by so fast!
  • Do yourself a favor and update your resume as the summer progresses. By the end of the internship you will have a hard time remembering everything you’ve accomplished.
  • Stay in touch. During your first year of the MBA program you learn a lot about networking and how to appropriately make and utilize new connections. An internship is an open door to many, many new connections. These are people who can help you figure out what it is you want from a job, what it is you have to offer, if this company or another is right for you. Don’t let this rare chance to meet new people pass you by.
It was an amazing summer with Eaton. I can’t thank my team members and my fellow interns enough for being engaging and thoughtful colleagues.

Now comes the really fun part – applying for jobs!

Pictured above: Eaton Lighting Division Intern Class 2017

July 21, 2017

Intern Report: Teng Yang at Lubrizol

Teng Yang, candidate in Weatherhead's MBA program, describes his experiences in his summer internship at Lubrizol.

The Company
Lubrizol is a Berkshire Hathaway company in the specialty chemical sector. The company has a broad range of products to offer. The additives business offers fuel additives, lubricating additives and specialty monomers. The advanced material business offers coatings, polymers, and health care products. Lubrizol is headquartered in Northeast Ohio but operates globally and has $6.5 billion in sales globally.

Working at Lubrizol, I feel like there is a family atmosphere; everyone is very friendly in the hallways. Everyone seems to be willing to help with whatever questions I have. There is also a strong coaching culture in the company. It is not hard to find mentors or coaches. Lubrizol is heavily invested in developing younger employees, there are around 120 co-ops and interns in the north east Ohio area alone.

The Work
I work under the Corporate R&D group in the Shark Tank project. It is new initiative by Lubrizol to generate new business ideas. Any employee is allowed to submit a business idea and our job is to take the most promising ideas further toward commercialization. It is similar to working at a small business incubator. The work consists of market research, business plan development, technology evaluation, and networking. We enjoy a lot of autonomy in what we want to do with our projects. Most of what I do is self-directed. A lot of our work is giving technical project a business/money making argument.

The people I work with do not treat me like an intern, I feel more like a full-time employee. They are open to my ideas and opinions. This truly show up when we are in conferences and team discussions. I just came back from Washington, DC, last Sunday on a business trip for Lubrizol. It is not common for companies to send interns on business trips. It is rare to have a day without multiple meetings; I live by my email calendars now. If you never worked in corporate environment before, this is something that you have to get used to.

Me (The Teng) 
I have a MS in mechanical engineering and four years of product development experience in the oil and gas sector before starting my MBA at Case Western Reserve University. I have learned a lot from this internship so far, and it's only halfway through. I’m getting experiences I would never get from a classroom. I’m learning how to navigate the corporate structure. Different groups in the company have different needs and concerns and we need to understand those needs and concerns to be successful.

On the other hand, I’m also applying my learnings from every class I have taken at Weatherhead. In particular, learnings from our leadership class in the first semester have helped me develop working relationships with teams quickly. I’m applying NPV calculations from our finance class to business cases I’m working on. More importantly, this internship is guiding my thoughts on where I want to be when I graduate next May.

July 16, 2017

Intern report: Cori Finefrock at Eaton Corporation Part II

Cori Finefrock is a candidate in Weatherhead's MBA program.

Hey, readers - I'm back! We are coming up on the tenth week of this twelve-week internship, and at the risk of sounding trite, I have to say it has gone by SO quickly. My final three weeks will consist mostly of wrapping up my projects and preparing and delivering my End of Assignment Presentation. Every Eaton intern makes a 15-minute presentation summarizing their projects and achievements to fellow interns, managers, and leaders on site. As with any job, my assignments have evolved, and I have had the chance to focus on everything from leading onboarding sessions for one of the 40+ new hires that have started since May to whipping up a community affairs event to benefit a local charity and bring our employees together.

During any good internship, you should learn about the company, the industry, and yourself. Here is a snippet of what I have learned about each so far...

The Business - Eaton is a $20 billion corporation with nearly 100,000 employees worldwide. The sheer scale of this company is unlike anything I have ever experienced. The company is in the process of evolving from its traditional manufacturing roots to a cutting-edge conglomerate pursuing innovation. Even in the HR function, I have needed to use the skills I learned over this past year from classes like Accounting, Finance, Strategy, and Economics to better understand the ins and outs of this corporation. At its core, Eaton is a manufacturing business, so terms like throughput, WIP, safety stock and takt time are used every day in every function. I am so grateful I paid attention in operations! Having a broad understanding of these and other business concepts have been an immediate advantage.

The Industry - As I mentioned in my last post, I am working in Eaton's Lighting Division. The lighting industry is the in the midst of a technological transformation. Not only is the technology of the lamps themselves improving with the advent and now the mass production of LEDs, but the technology surrounding the light and use of IoT are the new competitive frontiers. It is actually uncanny how closely this relates to the design project we did last semester. Our team was tasked with investigating how to take advantage of IoT and integrate it into a traditional business model. Lighting was one of the industries we researched that is doing this well and is paving the way for other industries. It has been amazing to meet (and onboard) the engineers who are thinking through that technology and whatever will come next. Watching a large company adapt to attracting and retaining that talent has also been a great experience.

Me - I have really enjoyed the transition to a large, for-profit institution. The opportunities seem endless, and there is always something new to learn. The challenges and problems people solve have a real impact on the company and its employees. In addition to enjoying working with people, which has always been a priority for me, I realized that I actually enjoy working with data and hope to continue to strengthen my skills in that area over the course of this next year. Finally, for those of you who are new to or will soon be moving to Cleveland, know now that it is a fantastic place to call home! We have missed Lake Erie, the Cleveland Indians, the West Side Market and much more while being away this summer. It is a special place to learn, live and work.

This week I will actually participate in my manufacturing experience at Eaton's Innovation Center, and next month I look forward to updating you on that, my first Atlanta FC game and my End of Assignment presentation!

July 11, 2017

Intern report: Rodrigo Mayen at Cleveland Clinic

Rodrigo Mayen in a candidate in Weatherhead's MBA program.

I had never thought how the health care industry can have so much business operations inside the organizations, and I had never thought about working in the health care industry.

Here I am, at Cleveland Clinic in the International Operations Department. It has been a delightful experience full of learning and collaboration. The internship is designed to enjoy the work at the same time I am getting knowledge from all the brilliant people working here and getting exposure to several areas of the Clinic. It’s amazing the back-end of a hospital, it’s like the doctors are the main characters in a movie but all the back-end is a huge team working on the production, development, enhancement, marketing, etc…. of the movie. Also it has been very exciting in this internship to work with people from all over the world and to see how the mixture of cultures create great ideas based on the experiences that each other has lived in their native countries.

Each intern has a preceptor (in my case I have two) who are the ones that are in charge of the activities and the projects the intern can fit and get knowledge and at the same time add some value to the project. In my particular case I am assigned to the International Operations Director and to the International Operations Finance Director; they both had designed a path for me during the summer. I am assigned to several projects and in some of them I am having a role among the team and in others I’m just shadowing other people to learn the process and to know how things are done.

What I like most of this experience is that Cleveland Clinic is really open to hear what you are interested in as an intern, if you want to participate in a particular project or want to learn more about specific areas you are always getting exposure to what you want.

Working in the International Operations department as an International Student has rounded perfectly the first year of my MBA because I am applying the knowledge from my classes of last year together with the international business operations.

Actually from the first year classes, there are some concepts such as NPV, IRR, Diversifying, Sustainability that I’ve been applying this summer; it is very interesting how the concepts are applied in the real world.

July 8, 2017

Intern report: Lauren Nelson at Goodyear - Takeaways

Lauren Nelson is a candidate in Weatherhead's MBA program.

Hello again! The first eight weeks as the Design and Innovation intern at Goodyear have flown by! My aspiration to become a business designer has been affirmed 100 times over by this experience.  I’ll frame my takeaways in terms of what got me interested in human centered design in the first place: empathy, creativity, and integrated thinking.

Empathy. A disclaimer: the closest I had ever gotten to truck drivers before testing our prototype was renting a U-Haul, so you can imagine that I was a bit nervous and unsure about what to expect when we sat down with a local fleet to introduce the devices that we were about to install in their trucks. As with past experiences studying abroad in various Latin American countries, the more I sat with our “user” the more I could understand their language, culture, and hence, their needs. Never did I expect that our hacked-together solution would produce the delight, excitement, and enthusiasm that I saw in their eyes and heard in their voices as we did our post-experiment debrief and co-creation session. The drivers revealed insights and ideas that we never would have come up with on our own in a laboratory or cubicle. This goes to prove my favorite Teddy Roosevelt quote to be true:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

My experience working alongside these truck drivers affirmed my choice to pursue a career in business design. I look forward to learning more tools that this team uses to gain insights through empathy!

Creativity.  I have long defined creativity simply as the ability to rearrange existing pieces to create something new. This shows up when we apply existing technologies to new contexts, involve our users in prototype testing and decision-making, and create for our ideal future. During my childhood “what if” was a phrase I annoyed my parents with during long car rides; today generating “what if” and “how might we” statements is an exercise that my team at Goodyear does to generate out-of-the-box solutions for complex problems involving exceedingly complex human behaviors. Each day I am astounded by the depth of knowledge that my teammates have around different frameworks and tools that can be used in the design process. My coworkers have helped me to see how necessary the cliche “fail quickly” actually is - but perhaps we can frame it more positively: “you never know what will work until you try it.”

I am further convinced by my experience this summer that creativity is indeed a skill that is necessary as companies like Goodyear seek to remain competitive in a world that is moving toward digitization, servitization, and integration. Having always been known as “the creative one” it is heartening to have finally worked on a team with other creatives, and to see that this attribute is in demand in corporate innovation spaces.

Integrated thinking. I have gotten to see this more strategic side of things because I’ve been tasked with developing a presentation of the future state of the electric vehicle market and Goodyear’s place in it. I have come to conclude that the winning companies are going to be those that can develop strategies for the future that integrate with the increasingly complex network of service providers, tech companies and startups. No longer can legacy manufacturing companies be sustainable by maintaining the status quo. It takes different business functions working together to get ahead of the rapidly changing business models and consumer preferences. I feel fortunate to have worked at Goodyear, which has established an entire global department completely devoted to ensuring that the company is not only ready when the future comes, but that it helps to create the future.

Again, it would be impossible to overstate my gratitude for this experience and how Weatherhead has prepared me for it. Since beginning at Weatherhead I have been overjoyed by the opportunities that I’ve had to engage in work that really suits me. I extend thanks to the Career Management Office, professors, classmates, alumni, and everyone who has crossed my path in the last year, and I look forward to all of the new connections, projects, and experiences that will happen in my remaining six weeks here at Goodyear as well as MBA year two at Weatherhead.

June 30, 2017

Intern report: Namrata Nagdev at Global Prairie in Cleveland

Full-time MBA student Namrata Nagdev shares her experience as an intern at Global Prairie in Cleveland, Ohio.

Global Prairie has already become a family to me as I am in the third week of my internship. In November 2016, I had the opportunity to interview the Co-Founder of Global Prairie, Mr. Douglas Bell, and Regional Director, Ms. Natalie McAllister, for my Aim2Flourish project. I instantly admired the company culture, values and their innovative business model. When I got selected for the internship, I knew I was carving a good path for my career. I get to work on real client projects with the senior team members and am currently doing work for Sherwin-Williams and Bayer. Being a part of an experienced team sets base for new challenges, collaboration and most importantly new learning every day.

Each intern is guided through the summer by a mentor, which adds another dimension of learning process and sets expectations from our end. My mentor Ivan Sheehan ensures that through every project assigned I am learning what I want and even more. Every discussion leads to new discoveries, opinions and analysis thus garnering growth and new knowledge. At many points, I have learned from him how quantitative data can be translated into educated strategies for campaigns or the next steps forwards.

Through this blog, I would like to take the opportunity to share three questions that I am asked every week: 1. What did I learn? 2. What made me smile? 3. What made me laugh?

1. I learned that geography does not inhibit your flight but puts wind under your wings. I never understood this until I experienced it. I recently had a two-hour WebEx meeting with our team in Kansas City for one of the projects we were working on together and this included Tableau software training and coding. It was really cool how easy it was to work with the teams in the other offices. I remember one thing, the Co-Founder Douglas Bell told the interns during on-boarding “You just need one employee and one client to expand Global Prairie.” This holds true for the intern project that the seven of us (based in different cities) have to work on in collaboration with National Institute of Health and National Geographic.

2. I smile everyday as I enter the office feeling privileged to be a part of an agency that is shaping the way the world perceives the marketing industry. No matter where we go, we definitely learn a lot but it is so important to pause and ponder where we are gaining an enriching experience from. The culture of an agency/organization shapes your career, attitude, thinking and learning process. Everyday I’m doing something that is completely new to me but I look forward to the experience because of the support and resources I receive at Global Prairie.

3. I laughed the most during a Royals baseball game that all the interns went to in Kansas City. I was seriously jet-lagged after a 26-hour flight from India on a Sunday morning and had travelled to Kansas City on the following Tuesday. Eight innings in I gave up and went to sleep shamelessly during the innings that changed the game for the Royals. Little did I know all my friends were clicking embarrassing pictures of me sleeping and hilariously uploading them on snapchat. Their laughter woke me up and I cringed seeing the snapchats. We did have a good laugh about it the next day though! (I just hope those pictures don’t go in the 2017 internship book)

Importantly this calls for a big shout out to the Career Management Office team, especially Julie Guthiel who worked tirelessly with me throughout my journey and was probably more happy than I was when offered the internship. Julie taught me that it is more important to build a relation/rapport with a recruiter and not just network. In the end, all you need is one person to believe in you and give you a platform to shine and I think this is what Global Prairie means to me!

June 23, 2017

Intern report: Stephanie Hagen at Tektronix

Stephanie Hagen is a candidate in Weatherhead's MBA program.

Before starting this internship, I’d never heard of a waveform monitor or a rasterizer, let alone understood the business models they represent. That’s all changing, though, as I get deeper into my work with the Product Line Finance team at Tektronix. Tek, as everyone here calls it, manufactures test and measurement equipment from its headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon. The best-known devices are probably their oscilloscopes, which graph electrical signals; I haven’t quite figured out how it works, but am still very much in awe of the new model they just launched. (It’s so cool!) Although I was expecting to hear a lot about break-even analysis and NPV, I’ve been struck by how much my work draws on other classes from last year. One of my first tasks was a correlation analysis that had me missing Statistics (and wishing that “call up Professor Solow” wasn’t just a classroom joke). My main project focuses on Software as a Service (SAAS), providing solutions that were previously hardware-based on demand through the cloud—it reminds me a lot of our design discussions about the transition to digital. I’ll also be working with the marketing team in developing a strategic pricing analysis. And of course, this wouldn’t be a finance internship if I weren’t spending much of my time tweaking models in Excel. After living in Cleveland for several years, it’s been interesting to see some of the cultural differences back in Oregon. The style is a little more casual, rain is accepted as inevitable, and people take their coffee very, very seriously. Not only does Tek have its own Starbucks in the heart of its campus, but it also has a “coffee cam” on the company intranet where caffeine-deprived employees can check the length of the line before heading over. It’s also just a quick trip on the MAX to downtown Portland and its hipster coffee shops on every corner. Thanks to the “summer hours” policy at work (working longer hours during the week to take a half-day on Friday), I’m looking forward to the chance to check out as many of them as I can!

June 9, 2017

Intern report: Lauren Nelson at Goodyear

Lauren Nelson is a candidate in Weatherhead's MBA program.

Four years ago as I was sitting in the office of the career counselor of Teach For America Chicago, I was mapping out my dream of becoming a human-centered designer. I must admit, at the time it seemed quite lofty. I knew most people doing the jobs I aimed for had considerable experience, MBAs, and/or design degrees, hence my pursuit of Weatherhead’s design-focused MBA program. I couldn’t have imagined that in three short years I would be applying human centered design to problems around tires at a Fortune 200 company in Akron, Ohio. (Literally, who knew a tire company could be this cool?)

My first three weeks with the Goodyear Customer Centered Innovation team got off to a great start. Here are my top three highlights from the experience so far:

  1. Global collaboration. I couldn’t have started my internship with Goodyear at a better time. My start date happened to fall in the week of the Global Innovation Retreat, during which our partner team from Luxembourg joined us for a week of norming, vision-setting and team bonding. How do a bunch of business designers bond? Over computer programming, logo creation, and competing in a “hackathon”, of course! More than anything, the invaluable experience during the first week allowed me to get to know my new teammates outside of their cubicles. Because of this, and because they are awesome people in general, it was much easier to jump into the challenging and exciting projects that I have been assigned to work on this summer.
  2. Prototyping. The one thing we didn’t get to in our introductory design core MBA course was prototyping. Fortunately that gap has been filled quickly, as both of the major projects I’m working on this summer are in the prototyping stage. I’ve really experienced how the design process forces you into a “hacker” mindset - throwing together websites and apps, testing them on real users, modifying them to isolate the impact of individual variables, and making recommendations for implementation. Key lesson: a prototype does not have to be pretty to get a feel for how it might improve the customer experience.
  3. Community Service. My previous life as a teacher and my present life as a business designer united this past week. We hosted a human-centered design workshop for local middle school STEM teachers as a part of Goodyear’s Week of Volunteering. I felt all of the emotions that come with teaching: the creative pressure of planning,  the pre-lesson butterflies, the mid-lesson giddiness of students energetically engaging with the material, and the post-lesson gratification of achieving a learning transformation and high-quality end products. The teachers were complete rockstars! They were already coming up with ideas of how to implement design thinking in their classrooms, impacting the educational journeys of hundreds of students. Needless to say, I left the workshop very energized and inspired!

I look forward to the following upcoming eight weeks with Goodyear. I hope to take what I am learning in this internship to help positively influence the academic experience at Weatherhead through my roles as the VP of Academic Affairs with GBSA and as the Design TA this fall.

And to those Cavs fans who may be asking - yes I have taken full advantage of employee discounts on wingfoot Cavs gear!

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with questions about design, Goodyear, or life in general! And definitely check back in July for an update on the nitty-gritty of the Goodyear Customer Centered Innovation experience.