November 16, 2018

Goodyear Innovation Challenge Recap


The 3rd annual Goodyear Innovation Challenge took place last week on November 8 and 9 to solve the question, “Where can Goodyear play beyond tires in the future of mobility?

Upon reviewing submissions from across the country, five schools were selected to participate in the hackathon: Johns Hopkins University – Carey School of Business, Northwestern University – Kellogg School of Management, University of Texas – Austin – McCombs School of Business and Kent State University – UXD Program. Northwestern University placed first and was awarded $5,000. Johns Hopkins came in second place and was awarded $3,000. Weatherhead students Yishen Cai, MSM-OR/SC ‘20, Robert Stark, MSM-OR/SC ‘20, Lin Li, MBA ‘20, Doug Kirk, MEM ‘19, and Susanna Lucianno, MEM ‘19 finished in third place and awarded $2,000. University of Texas-Austin came in fourth place and Kent State came in fifth place. All students from the five teams were invited to interview at Goodyear for an internship opportunity. Everyone had unique ideas, and it was design thinking at its best in Sears think[box]!

Lin Li, MBA’20 shared her experience below:

What was your favorite part of the event?
The design thinking process in the hackathon. Goodyear Innovation Team prepared a great schedule with a series of guiding questions and flowcharts for us to better define the problem and develop ideas accordingly. The questions and suggestions from Goodyear mentors and professors were also very helpful for us to think out of the box in a logical and practical way.

Did anything happen that was unexpected but helpful during your experience?
Our initial proposal was almost killed on the first day when facing lots of challenging questions. Fortunately, we were not afraid to give up the good to go for the great! Working as a highly diversified team from different backgrounds (engineers, ORSC and MBA), we moved forward quickly to adjust our defined problem and possible solutions. It was really an unforgettable experience and I learned a lot from my genius team members.

Would you recommend it to other students?
Yes, definitely. The Goodyear Innovation Challenge is a great innovation case competition. You will have chances to unleash your creativity to solve real-world business challenges, cooperate with students from different backgrounds, meet with Goodyear strategic mentors, polish your design thinking skills, test your prototype using all the fantastic resources in think[box], as well as communicate with many geniuses from across the United States in the final competition.

Doug Kirk, MEM ’19 shared his experience below:

My experience at the Goodyear Innovation Challenge was very positive and fun. The feedback from mentors and judges really changed the way I look at corporate innovation and new product/process development.

Interested in participating in thought-provoking challenges like this? Be a part of the action! Learn more about the diverse degrees offered at Weatherhead.

October 19, 2018

Networking Game Plan


Midterms are over and there is a brief calm before the storm of finals. Now is the time to make your networking game plan if you haven’t already! Break it down into four steps: Your Pitch, Who & Where to Network, Follow-up Schedule, and Maintaining Connections.

1. Your Pitch
You need to determine what you want to relay to contacts, potential professional connections and people you meet at networking events. Asking yourself a few questions may assist in organizing your thoughts. Ask yourself “Who is my target audience? Who is my competition? How am I different? What value or benefit do I bring? What proof do I have to support what I offer?”  For instance, if you know you want to work in healthcare, then your target audience would be hospital administrators, healthcare related networking events and healthcare companies. Once you determine those answers then you can start forming a clear pitch. This means brainstorming past accomplishments and linking them to your future goals.
 
2. Who and Where to Network
Everyone and anyone is a good start. But, if you have a clear idea of your future career aspiration, then start finding events that align with your career goals. For instance, attend club events on campus, virtual and in-person information sessions (found in CareerLink) look up organizations in your industry and see if they are hosting any networking events in Cleveland or in cities nearby. Talk to your professors, parents, family and friends and see if there are any networking events they like to attend – then join them!

3. Follow-up Schedule
Once you exchange business cards and meet a few people at various events, then be sure to follow-up the next day with an email or LinkedIn invite. Remember to note where you met them, mention something unique about the conversation, and thank them for their time. This follow-up is critical for them to remember you in the future.

4. Maintain Connections
Sending one email is not enough to keep a connection strong. You must build a good rapport with them by emailing them something meaningful on occasion. For example, if you see their company mentioned in the news for an award or a good development, then drop a note stating, “Congratulations, I just saw company ‘A’ in Crain’s Business.” Or, if you come upon an interesting article that relates to a project that they are working on then send them a quick note stating, “Thought you would find this interesting.”

We hope these steps help in your networking journey! Ready to get started? Be sure to check out the Healthcare & Innovation Panel hosted by Healthcare Business Club and the Design Club on Friday, October 26, 4 – 7 p.m. – a great networking opportunity on campus!

October 12, 2018

Making Water Visible to Understand its Use


Annie Morino, Fowler Center Scholar, MBA Candidate 2020, Weatherhead School of Management

As a Fowler Center Scholar, I was privileged to attend a student reception with this year’s winner of the Inamori Ethics Prize, Dr. Farouk El-Baz who “is known for pioneering work in applying space images to groundwater exploration in arid lands.” His work led to the discovery of water in Darfur, helping to end their brutal civil war.
When we think about the UN Sustainable Development Goal to provide clean water and sanitation for the world (Goal #6), we might think about this man’s work. A space scientist and geologist, Dr. El-Baz helped identify the lunar landing location for NASA’s Apollo Space mission in 1969.

But short of landing a man on the moon, what can everyday people and businesses do to play a role in expanding clean water access around the world? My recent Design Workshop with Professor Youngjin Yoo offers some clues.

Professor Yoo asked us to take pictures of our water use for five days and review them for patterns. While a few pictures captured water’s beauty, the majority captured mundane scenes from our bathrooms and kitchens, places where the water we use is not really visible. In these cases, water is part of the background or hidden by plumbing. Even our household water bills cannot truly capture our water use, reporting use in foreign sounding units or simply estimating our use. Before coming to Weatherhead, one of my last projects at work revolved around a municipality’s struggle to accurately estimate water use by residents and businesses. Their old meters always underestimated the customers’ bills, leaving the city to cover the enormous difference in cost. Now that the city has replaced the meters, customers are seeing the real cost of their use for the first time and they are upset by the increases in cost. In the Weatherhead workshop, we designed a water meter that would connect each water outlet to a sensor and an app which would show (in gallons) how much water your family, neighborhood, and community used and how it was used. Whether your goal is to conserve water or to reduce your water bill, it’s clear that just being able to comprehend the volume is a good first step.

The environmental challenges of our time are not only opportunities to transform our public institutions; they also represent new profits and investment potential. A company could easily design this water new system and municipalities and utilities would gladly buy it for the right price. It could also attract a new kind of investor. As James Osborn of Envest Asset Management discusses in his Investopedia article, investors are increasingly concerned about the way their funds are managed and whether they are investing in socially responsible endeavors. Osborn states, "In 2016, SRI/ESG made up over 20% of the $40 trillion money management market."

Could understanding the amount of water we use lead to questions about where the water comes from, how much we actually need, and how to improve access for others? It’s an opportunity worth exploring, and I’m thankful to be at the Weatherhead School of Management to start to unpack it.


September 21, 2018

3 Steps to Prepare for Career Fairs


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

Career Fair season is upon us, and it is time to think “what do I want to tell to a potential employer?”

Career Fairs are busy and can be a bit overwhelming. Students are streaming up and down each row, and larger companies have long lines. The environment might cause some students to completely blank when meeting a recruiter. The only way to avoid being flustered and forgetful in front of recruiters is by being prepared.

1.) Research the Companies: Preparation is key with most everything in life. You need to determine your target companies prior to the Career Fair. Research those companies and come prepared with questions for each of them. For instance, if you notice Company A has an internship opportunity that you are interested in, then apply to the position before you go to the Career Fair. When you get to the fair, you can mention that you recently applied to the internship and ask questions about that role. Or, if you see a company that does not have opportunities listed on their website, you can ask that recruiter whether any opportunities will be available later on in the year or next year. This shows your level of interest. 

2.) Practice Makes Perfect: Before you meet your target companies at the fair, do a practice run on another company. Every company is important, but it is alright to talk first to a recruiter at a company that you are less interested in pursuing. This will help with your first time jitters of talking to someone new, and you'll be prepared for the recruiters at companies where you really want to work. 

3.) Prepare Talking Points: The last (and most important) part is determining what you want to point out to each recruiter. Are you exceptional at data and love a big spread sheet to tackle? Do you work well in a team and like to take a leadership role? Note your unique traits and add the proof by stating a project you worked on or a prior internship. Be concise, to the point and, when possible, end with a question. Be aware of time and don't take too much time with each recruiter. There are a lot of students and recruiters wanting to talk to as many students as possible. 

Bonus tip! Offer your business card and/or resume, and ask for the recruiter’s business card. If they don’t have one, then immediately write down their name after you are done speaking with them. Follow up with each recruiter you spoke to the next day, either via email or LinkedIn. Remember to state where you saw them and note something about the conversation that would help them to remember you.

Present your best self by researching each company, preparing questions, dressing in business professional, and most of all - stay confident! No weak handshakes and look the person in the eye when you meet them. Recruiters know you are searching for a role. This is your time to find out more about the companies. Dive in and don’t be shy!

Put these tips to use at the University Career Fair on Thursday, October 4 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Register now through Handshake!

September 14, 2018

Student Club Spotlight: Design Club


Allison Grazia is a candidate in the full-time MBA program and the co-President of Design Club. In the first edition of our Student Club Spotlight, we sat down with Allison to discuss the short and long term benefits of joining Design Club.

1.       Q: Why did you join the Design club, and ultimately decide to become a leader in the club?


A: I was very fortunate last year in getting paired with Lauren Nelson through Case’s Buddy program. Lauren and I met a few times prior to school starting, and upon hearing what her goals were for starting the Design Club at WSOM, I was intrigued and eager to help out. A lot of my interest came honestly from her enthusiasm, and obvious passion to bring design in that capacity to Case, and I was hooked from the beginning. I was their Secretary for my first year, and saw incredible results and potential for the club, so when the time came for my Presidents to part, taking over was a no-brainer. Throughout my first year, I also became good friends with my co-President and fellow designer Kevin Verne, and the two of us knew we would be great partners in this endeavor.

2.       Q: What are your day-to-day duties in Design Club?
A: Day to day is mostly about communication—with my co-Pres, with members, with guests that we are bringing to Case, and with those we are collaborating with. We are lucky in the relationships that were established last year through Design Club, and have continued to build on those. 

Right now, the name of the game is planning for events. We really wanted to have 2 large events for this semester, and with the first one coming up in a week and a half, we are in the final stages of coordination between our guests, and making sure we get the word out. We are constantly emailing, planning, reaching out to companies, making presentations, designing posters and flyers, planning workshops, agendas, spreading the word about competitions, and talking through ideas of how we can elevate Design Club this year. Another important item to note is that co-President Kevin is leading our Design for America team this year as well. Along with Design TA Jonathan Lerner, the two of them are continuing the work they did last year with DFA, and are seeking new students to bring in to be a part of a current, real-life project.

3.       Q: What big projects are coming up?
A: Our two big events will be focused on Entrepreneurship and Healthcare/Innovation. We love Cleveland, and wanted to shed light on businesses that were started here, and are thriving, and discuss how design falls into the entrepreneurial spirit. We are involving 6 local businesses (whom Kevin, Jonathan, and myself all love) to come speak with students about how they got started, what design means to them and their company, and how important it is to know how to problem solve. We knew from the get-go that any event we held we wanted to be hands-on and interactive, so another aspect of this event will be about helping solve current problems. Guests are coming to us with some dilemma they are facing, and students will work in a rapid-fire style deep dive into how design thinking can help frame the problem in perhaps a new way. This gives students and attendees the opportunity to learn new skills, and the companies hopefully a fresh perspective on their problem.

For the Healthcare and Innovation event, we plan to bring in designers and innovators from Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals, as well as guests from the tech industry such as Plug and Play and Samsung. This will be held at the end of October, with a planned happy hour afterwards so students can spend time mingling even more with our guests.

4.       Q: In your opinion, why is joining a club at Weatherhead important for students?
A: When you are a part of a club, that club is there solely to bring you information and opportunity. It is our goal to teach students some new skills, give them a new way of looking at something, to expose them to others, meet new people, and broaden their horizons. When we have events, it’s an opportunity to practice networking skills, meet leaders of companies, showcase your skills, and just simply have fun. Being a part of a club can also show those after graduation that you are a go-getter, that perhaps you don’t just do the bare minimum, and that when you have interests, you pursue them or are open to new things. Of course, being a part of a club takes time, but it’s time that I truly feel is valuable. 

5.       Q: What would you tell students who are on the fence about joining Design Club?
A: I would tell them, and have told them, that we are a low risk, high reward club that is all about getting people to think about things a little differently, while having some fun. We like to think we know what students really want: a low time commitment, to meet large companies, and to do something that’s easy. It might be a hard truth, but it’s common when you are dealing with young professionals who are juggling school, work, and social lives. Ultimately though, we want people to want to come to Design Club, and who want to see what we’re doing. We feel that what we are creating this term is all about opportunity, and we are hoping that those who are on the fence about what design and design thinking is, might just have enough of those basic desires checked off, to take the step towards us and see what we’re all about. 

6.       Q: How can interested students join the club or participate?
A: Students can reach out to myself and Kevin via email – alg131@case.edu  and kxv108@case.eduThey can also message us on Facebook – WSOM Design Club / @weatherheadDESIGNS or join through Campus Groups.


August 20, 2018

Intern Report: Kelsey Knutty reflects on her internship at KeyBank

Kelsey Knutty is a candidate in Weatherhead's full-time MBA program

This summer has been one for the books. My time at KeyBank flew by and I am definitely looking forward to classes starting back up next week! I’m spending my last week before this semester begins hopping back into my graduate assistantship in the Student Activities & Leadership Office and wrapping up my summer class about Intentional Change Theory with Richard Boyatzis.

I ended my internship about a week ago, and I constantly find myself reflecting on how positive my experience was. I had the opportunity to work on impactful projects, create relationships that I’m looking forward to continuing in the future and explore and learn more about a city that I love.

My favorite project that I was able to work on this summer was with the leadership development area of talent management. I had the challenge of assessing the current internship program and helping to redesign it for the summer of 2019. It was so much fun working with two incredibly insightful women from the leadership development team and another intern to figure out the best way to engage future interns and provide them with a great summer experience at Key. We conducted focus groups with 40 different interns from various lines of business in cities all across the U.S. to gather their thoughts on the program. From their feedback, we began brainstorming ways to make improvements to areas that this summer’s interns wanted more from. I felt so proud at the end of the summer to see the final design we created and I can’t wait to hear the 2019 summer interns’ excitement next year.

I’ve always known that my true passion is working with leadership development, and being exposed to that experience in the corporate world was so much more rewarding than I could have anticipated. Key did a wonderful job figuring out a way for me to successfully fuse my interests in design thinking and organizational behavior with this project – another example of how Key truly cares about personal development and interests. The culmination of that entire experience without a doubt strengthened my confidence in my career goals and aspirations.

I realize that the majority of the people reading this may be prospective or first year students, so I want to make sure I touch on some of the important lessons I learned when looking for and completing my internship. First, make sure you begin your internship search early on in the school year. The LAMP list and CMO should become your best friends. If you make that happen, you will definitely start off on the right track to landing the internship you really want. Second, treat your internship like a full-time job interview. The company you work for will probably be looking to fill positions after graduation, and even if they aren’t, your coworkers will be great connections to have when you are looking for a job after graduation. Third, challenge yourself to branch out and ask for projects outside of your comfort zone. You will learn so much and you may be surprised to find new areas of business you enjoy!

I couldn’t have asked for a better experience this summer at Key and I’m thrilled to start full-time with them next summer! Until then, I’m ready to get back into PBL and finish off my last year of the MBA program.

August 9, 2018

Intern report: Maria Daniela Aguilera at Moen

Maria Daniela Aguilera is a candidate in Weatherhead's MSM-Operations Research and Supply Chain Management program 

When I was asked to write two blog entries about my internship experience, I thought they would be very different from one another, and that I’d be writing them very far apart. However, the time has gone by so fast that it still feels like the beginning of the summer—I’m still soaking up all the lessons from this experience. 

I’m currently preparing for my internship presentation, where I will summarize the projects, activities and key learnings from my summer experience to the operations teams and managers at Moen. It is an excellent opportunity to pause and think about the main takeaways. 

After this first part of the internship and my first year in Cleveland, I have a clear sense of myself, I challenged everything I knew and I was willing to re-learn. I was searching for the next milestone in my career, and I found it.  

One of the challenges I had during this time—and this one may seem somewhat obvious, but it is worth mentioning—was working with significant amounts of data while learning about the business. When I started my master’s degree last fall, I had only a general idea of the quantitative and data analytics side. During the three months I have been in my internship, I have been able to apply those concepts, combine them with my previous experience and work with large amounts of data that Excel cannot handle. Is great to see the real power of using data to bring ideas to the next level and to uncover opportunities to move forward. 

The most rewarding part of my summer experience at Moen was when some of my suggestions for improving input data were considered and implemented. It gave me immense joy to see how the concepts I learned at Weatherhead could be applied to enhance the functioning of a supply chain. I will be continuing to intern at Moen next semester, so I’m able to keep helping and adding value to the organization in the upcoming months.

My internship experience has helped me confirm my professional interests within the supply chain field. After this experience, I am convinced that I want to keep growing and working in inventory, planning and continuous improvement processes in a manufacturing company in the consumer goods sector. It also gave me the opportunity to extend my options and consider a wide range of career paths, including internal consulting, where I could apply my problem-solving skills. 

To summarize, the biggest takeaway is confirmation in my career direction. I am passionate about being an agent of change and being part of the supply chain in a company is so powerful. You’re able to leverage the competitive advantage, impact customer satisfaction, optimize costs and increase profitability all by identifying root causes, bottlenecks and other shortcomings, determining the best fixes and engaging the affected areas.   


I would like to thank Margaret Hagan in the marketing department from Weatherhead for inviting me to share my experience through this blog; I felt honored to be asked. 

Thank you to everyone in the Career Management Office, who’ve been excellent guides in helping me set my goals, strategize my next steps and learn how to tailor my profile to different opportunities. I would also like to thank Matt Maloney for always checking in and for giving me great professional advice anytime I asked him.

Thank you to all the operations research professors for their teachings and help when I came back to them with doubts, especially prof. Kamlesh Mathur who helped me find technical information during my internship. Also to Karla Schiebel, for being great a support this summer.

I am very grateful to be part of Weatherhead and have met such wonderful people here.  I am happy to say I made the right choice when choosing a graduate school. I’m ready to come back for my last semester! 

July 23, 2018

Intern report: Kelsey Knutty at KeyBank

Kelsey Knutty is a candidate in Weatherhead's full-time MBA program

Before sitting down to write this post, I began reflecting on my experience at KeyBank and how fast time has passed since I began my internship search last fall. On top of that, if you would have asked me what type of internship I was looking for, HR definitely wouldn’t have come to mind. It is funny how these things work themselves out, though. Now that I’ve made it to where I am, almost a year later, I can say that I’m in the city I love, at a company I’m valued at, doing real meaningful work that I enjoy.

This is the part where I give my shameless plug for the amazing team of professors and the Career Management Office Weatherhead has assembled for graduate students… Entering the FT MBA program I was pretty set on the fact that I wanted to focus on marketing, but quickly shifted my focus when I began learning how leadership development plays a critical role in organizations through our LEAD class. With the help of CMO, I was able to identify positions in training and talent management that I wanted to pursue for summer internships.

I began my search in early September, and I’m so happy that I did because the majority of corporations fill their internship openings during early fall. I found the HR internship at Key through LinkedIn at the beginning of October and immediately applied through Key’s website. After completing three rounds of interviews that month, I had received and accepted an offer with Key by the end of October. My decision to join Key was a no-brainer for me. They are one of the largest organizations in Cleveland and the reputation of their culture, especially in HR, seemed to speak for itself.

My first couple of weeks at Key were even better than I could have expected. During orientation I was able to learn so much about Key and how each line of business plays a critical role in helping the organization succeed. Key makes a point to allow interns to meet with leaders throughout the entire company to encourage growth and development. Since I’ve been at Key, I’ve meet with the Chief HR Officer and every member of the HR Leadership Team. These meetings aren’t just for ‘meetings sake’ either. They’ve asked me about my passions and where I want my career to go, and I’ve been put on projects this summer solely because they listened to my interests.

I have had the chance to work on so many meaningful projects within my first couple of weeks. Because I’m assigned to the training team in HR, I’ve been working on developing training materials for a loan servicing transformation project currently happening. Myself and the three other interns I’m working with are working on a capstone project around onboarding at Key, which has been so interesting. My favorite part, though, is that I’ve been put on three separate projects focused on design thinking and leadership development solely because I expressed interest in those areas. 

I’m really looking forward to this last half of my internship because I know I’m going to continue to learn so much. I hope you are able to see how the end of my summer wrapped-up next month!

July 16, 2018

Intern report: Maria Daniela Aguilera at Moen

Maria Daniela Aguilera is a candidate in Weatherhead's MSM-Operations Research and Supply Chain Management program 

Everything started with an elevator pitch. I met a Moen recruiter and the company’s Forecast Manager at Weatherhead’s Career Fair last fall. I gave them my pitch, using the knowledge I had researched about Moen and the training I had received from the Career Management Office (CMO), which made for an interesting conversation. They encouraged me to apply online for an internship and after a few weeks, I received an email from Human Resources inviting me to interview with the VP of Supply Chain and two of the Supply Chain Managers. The interviews went well and I landed the internship.

As the number one faucet brand in North America, Moen offers a diverse selection of thoughtfully designed kitchen and bath faucets, showerheads, accessories, bath safety products, garbage disposals and kitchen sinks for residential and commercial applications each delivering the best possible combination of meaningful innovation, useful features and lasting value. The Moen Values are: Do what’s right, work together and get results. Since the beginning, I knew these values were a good fit with the type of company culture I was looking for.

During the first days on the job, I learned about the organization, the products and their supply chain structure. I met with the master schedulers, the demand planners and the supply chain managers to understand their goals and how I could help them achieve them during my internship. I also visited the customer service call center facilities and the quality laboratories, which are amazing. During these visits, I kept applying all the networking skills learned in Weatherhead.


In my first two months at Moen, I have been working in the Global Inventory team, assigned to a project called: Right Sized Inventory, in which I have been analyzing data, demand behaviors and applying the supply chain concepts and previous experience in order to verify the proper safety stock levels by SKU and by location. I am also using a program that is built based on Monte-Carlo simulations, to best determine inventory size.  

I had been applying everything I learned from ERP, Computer simulation, statistics, optimization modeling and operations in my work. The knowledge acquired during my first year at Weatherhead has been very beneficial, especially when analyzing the demand distributions and making simulations to verify the adequate safety stock levels.

I am thankful to be working with the Global Inventory team because they are brilliant, and a great team to work with. The manager is always checking in with me about my internship and making sure that the tasks I’m assigned are aligned with my career objectives and the concepts I learned in the OR program.  Also, I have been working a fellow Weatherhead alumnus who is an experienced and smart professional responsible for the safety stock calculations for each SKU in each location. He has helped me understand the particular master data configuration of the different product characteristics as well as the various tools available to work with significant amounts of data.

I have been working in other supply chain department projects too, such as inventory matching with external suppliers, where I’m able to apply my VSM and LEAN knowledge and MOQ verification skills for specific types of products.

I’m grateful to the CMO, all my professors and staff for all the help and support they gave me in the first year of the program. Everything has been handy during my internship experience, and for all those that are now in the middle of the summer internships, enjoy the time, learn and contribute as much as possible, develop your skills, build professional relationships and challenge yourself—every day is a new opportunity!

May 14, 2018

San Fran City Trek: Students Tour Silicon Valley

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

Career Management Office hosted a San Francisco Trek during spring break, March 15-16. The students visited Paypal, Samsung, Layer, Google and Plug and Play. Weatherhead alum Arnindam Jha hosted students at PayPal, alum Jamie Wheeler hosted students at Layer and alum Alicia Sanchez hosted at Google. CMO is thankful for the relationships of our alumni and employers who gave their time to show students what it is like to work in Silicon Valley. Some of our students who participated in the trek share their experiences and thoughts on the trip below.

Ashwin Mendhi, MBA Candidate
I recently returned from an exciting San Francisco Trek organized by the Career Management Office at Weatherhead School of Management. As part of the trek we visited various small and large companies and got an opportunity to interact with alumni, explore career opportunities and experience the unique Silicon Valley culture.

Day 1 started with a visit to PayPal headquarters in San Jose. We were hosted by Weatherhead alum Arindam Jha who, along with one of his team members, took us through a day in their life at PayPal. They also talked about their career progressions and what mattered along the way. We then visited the Innovation Center where we looked at different PayPal products and services and how these products and services work together to create maximum value for PayPal.

Our next stop was Samsung Research America (SRA) in Mountain View where we learned about the kind of research SRA is doing in different technologies and industries, especially healthcare. We also discussed some ways in which Samsung is fostering innovation within the company and how they are currently creating opportunities for employees to innovate.

Next, we headed to downtown San Francisco to visit a startup called Layer. The conversation started off with how Layer is enriching the interaction between businesses and customers using Artificial Intelligence. Alum Jamie Wheeler, our host, (and his wife, also Jaime Wheeler) went to school in Cleveland and now live in SF. They had a very interesting story to share about the journey they took and the cultural differences they experienced in these two cities. Layer, for me, had the perfect Silicon Valley vibe that I had heard so much about. They had a small rustic office (which used to be a creamery) that looked friendly and casual with couches and string lights with employees chatting and working in groups. We met Remi, Jamie’s dog, who looked a little confused while we were in our discussions. By the time we were done at Layer, it was time for an Alumni Reception and Networking event. Apartment List, a startup by Weatherhead alum John Kobs, hosted the event that was attended by more than 20 alumni from the region. It was a great experience and we all made many valuable connections. We ended the day on a high while exploring the streets of downtown SF.

Day 2 started with a visit to Google’s San Francisco office. First up, some of us who had arrived a little early headed to the cafeteria, led by our host alum Alicia Sanchez. There were delicious looking breakfast items all over the place. We got ourselves some coffee and headed to a meeting room. We discussed Google’s culture, their interview process and Alicia’s work and journey within Google.
Our next stop was at Plug and Play Tech Center—a startup accelerator in Sunnyvale. At Plug and Play we got an opportunity to witness a pitch competition where startups where pitching to raise money from Angel Investors and Venture Capitalists. We also toured the facility and saw all the facilities/resources that startups have access to and rooms and desks that they can rent to function as their office space. Our visit ended with a group picture in front of one of the many walls painted with the names of startups that have called Plug and Play their home.

This trek to San Francisco will definitely be one of the highlights of my time at Weatherhead. This was my first ever trip to the Bay Area and I met some amazing people, visited successful companies that are redefining their respective industries and experienced the distinctive workplace culture in Silicon Valley. I have new-found motivation to someday work in the Bay Area and the trek made me realize that it’s not a far-fetched dream.

Luiz Vieira, MBA Candidate
The San Francisco trek was a great experience for the different perspectives I've learned.
I really enjoyed visiting all the companies, but two stood out for me: Layer and Google.

At Layer I was surprised by Jamie Wheeler's dynamic professional approach and how he is always looking for ways to innovate and add a lot of value to it. His trajectory of persistence and capacity to drive his future and to create things very fast taught me a lot.

Google was a brief but fruitful visit. Alicia seemed very transparent and her work was something I never expected. I was amazed by her vision and to learn what Google is doing to create new tools for the platform.

San Francisco is probably my favorite place in the U.S.; I have yet to find another place like it. The business opportunities there are tremendous, especially when it comes to innovation. I truly believe that this Trek should be repeated every year, and I hope that more students will continue to participate in this amazing experience.

Lauren Nelson, MBA Candidate
The San Francisco trek was everything that I expected it to be. I got to explore the city, meet alumni in the area, and get the inside scoop on major Silicon Valley companies. Going on the trek really made networking with people on the West Coast a lot more approachable!

May 10, 2018

How to wear a cap and gown!


Graduates, may we have your attention please! Now that you have mastered the quantitative skills required to manage finances and developed the emotional intelligence to lead people and organizations, there is one more difficult, yet important task for you to learn: How to put on a graduation cap and gown! Don't worry, Weatherhead is here to help!

Before you step inside your graduation regalia on commencement day, take two minutes to watch our video on how to wear a cap and gown.


April 16, 2018

Dear Lauren: Advice to Incoming Students

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

My advice to incoming Weatherhead students? Set your post-graduation goals early, and seek opportunities outside the classroom to differentiate yourself from day 1 of b-school. Here are a few ways I did that and what I learned along the way. 

Before coming to CWRU I knew that I wanted to become a business designer. For those who aren’t familiar with that term – it means solving complex “hairy” problems using a human-centered approach, combining customer empathy, business strategy and design thinking. Often it starts with ethnographic research and problem definition, followed by an iterative series of prototypes and experiments tested and co-created with actual users in the field, and finally a human centered solution is solidified. I knew it to be my vocation. Knowing that made it easy to find opportunities to grow in this respect. Some of my classmates knew what industry they wanted to work in, for example: one peer wanted to work in something Organizational Behavior related, another wanted Investment Banking, and yet another wanted to work in advanced marketing analytics. While you may not know every detail about what you want to do, at least have a type of work or industry in mind so that you can more easily evaluate all of the many opportunities that are going to come your way, and choose to get involved in what will give you great stories and skills that you can discuss in your interviews. 

I spent most of first semester of year one looking forward to the MBA core Design class that I knew would come in the Spring for my cohort. A lot of my free time was spent pursuing creative interests on my own, but there weren’t many opportunities to engage in design-related project work or events outside of class. So, shortly after the first days of Design class I, and another student, approached our Design professor, Professor Yoo, to ask for more opportunities. We didn’t let the dearth of opportunities stop us, we made our own! We got a design challenge from our professor to work on as an extracurricular project, which gave us both some great talking points that helped us both get our business design-focused internships in the summer. 

Shortly after the meeting I mentioned above, we made plans to start our own Weatherhead Design Club. This year that club has come to fruition and it’s one of the things I’m most proud of from my time at Weatherhead. We’ve come up with some repeatable templates for events that engage students with outside speakers, skill-building, and ongoing project work for those who desire it. I’m not telling everyone to start a club, but at least get involved in one and make it your own. If I could change something, I would probably have gotten more involved in event planning for different clubs in my first year. Just because you’re not a club leader your first year, doesn’t mean you can’t plan! In fact, club leaders would probably be grateful for someone to step up and help with event coordination, especially when they’re often working, going to school and leading a club. 

You can also flex your leadership muscles with GBSA and deepen your content knowledge by becoming a TA. These are things you should start setting up for during the beginning of the first year – want to TA for a specific professor? Do extra great work for them and attend office hours whenever possible! Want to represent your classmates in GBSA? Apply for a class representative role, and find innovative ways to collect student voices so that you can do your role meaningfully. For me, being the VP of Academic Affairs in GBSA was a great way to get an understanding of the inner-workings of higher ed institutions, and to advocate for my peers. TAing for the first year’s Design class was incredibly valuable and gave me the opportunity to use skills from my past life in teaching in a new context that I am more passionate about. 

Don’t underestimate the power of extracurriculars to get you to the next level and help you meet your goals. The experiences I described above helped me land a job in my vocation and you can too! It’s the things outside of class that strengthen our network and form the connections that will last far into the future. So go get involved!


A photo from our first Design Club event back in the fall.
Excited for next year’s leaders to repeat this event, and make it even bigger and better!

April 6, 2018

Meet the 2018-2019 GBSA


The following blog post is brought to you by Gursewak Singh, 1st year MBA student and Graduate Assistant for 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.

Hello Students,
Please take some time to learn the names and faces of your fellow students who will be representing you next year on the Graduate Business Student Association (GBSA). GBSA plays an important role in our continued growth and success as a school. Not only do these students organize great events, such as the Weatherheadless Ball, Casino Night and Multicultural Festivals, they also facilitate the active community of student leaders who brought you a host of wonderful club events this year.

Moreover, GBSA provides a link between the students and the faculty and administration at the school. They create a collaborative, working relationship that helps shape programming and day-to-day life here in Peter B. Lewis and beyond. 

These individuals will be reaching out to you between now and the start of next year to get a better understanding of your needs as a student body. I also encourage you to reach out to them with your suggestions and ideas.


Graduate Business Student Association (2018-2019)

President: Chris Blanchard, MBA Candidate
Prior to coming to Weatherhead for his MBA, Chris worked as a member of the Houston Electrical  League board of directors where he learned to effectively resolve challenges and lead discussions with working professionals in many different roles. Chris also has 5 years of technical field sales experience on a global scale.






Vice President: Harsh Ranjan, MBA Candidate 

Harsh is a first year MBA student. Prior to Weatherhead, Harsh led multiple design teams as a head architect, and recently created and led a joint venture between an American and Indian design firm  focusing on idea creation and portfolio diversification.






VP Academic: Adriana Benavides Trevino, MBA Candidate

Adriana is also a current first year MBA student. During her tenure as Lead Math Teacher at Montessori High School Cleveland, Adriana worked collaboratively with students in planning future curriculum items.







VP Marketing: Lauren Tancer, MBA Candidate

Before coming to Weatherhead, Lauren worked as President of Miami University Student Foundation where she developed rich experience in Event Planning, Marketing and honoring university traditions such as Miami University Homecoming, Family Weekend, Greek Week, Senior Week and a variety of other events throughout the year.




VP Finance: Suyash Gayawal, MSFI Candidate
Suyash is a current Master of Finance Student. Suyash has several years of industry experience in design, development, and supply chain management at a pre-revenue company (Echogen Power Systems) as well as a fortune 500 company (Cummins Inc.).






VP Operations: Shu Liu, MSFI Candidate
Prior to Weatherhead, Shu developed her leadership experience as an academic leader of the Model United Nation organization at her undergraduate institution. Shu also enjoys working with Youth Volunteer organizations.





VP Social and Cultural: Kuiran (T.K) Song, MSFI Candidate
Kurian is a current Master of Finance student. His experiences as an active member of the CWRU undergraduate community and as the president of the student council in high school have given him the skills necessary to build strong connections between student voices and university staffs.




Program Representatives

MSFI: Bohao Bi 
Bohao will be the Master in Finance rep in GBSA. He has experience working as Vice President of Liaison International Elite Program, MetLife Hong Kong Branch and as a leader in his undergraduate Student Union.







MBA: Nathan Sundheimer
Nate will be an additional representative of the MBA program in GBSA. During his undergrad in Neurobiology, he held a number of leadership positions including President of the College of Wooster Neuroscience Club and President of College of Wooster Club Soccer Global.  





ORSC: Jiaxin Hong
Jiaxin Hong, first year MS-ORSC student, has a background in Communication and Transport Engineering. He was the Financial Department Head of Student Union, Shanghai Maritime University and Recreation & Sports Secretary, and a member of the SMU Class Committee.




MACC: Bei Wang
Bei Wang will serve as the MACC program rep in GBSA. Bei has a background in International Business and was an active member of her student council in undergrad.