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  • Typical Day of a UCLA MBA Student - Recording of Webinar with UCLA Adcom and Student

     December 14, 2018

     December 14, 2018

     10:00 PM PST

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    Carolyn and Brett - nicely explained what is the typical day of a UCLA student. I am posting below recording of the webinar for those who could't attend this session.
  • Why Do YOU Need an MBA?

     December 14, 2018

     December 14, 2018

     10:00 PM PST

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    Download Why MBA and learn how to determine your MBA goals and weave them into a compelling essay!

Calling all Kellogg Applicants (2015 Intake) Class of 2017 !

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The MBA Job Search: The hidden benefits of deep research  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Apr 2015, 07:00
FROM Kellogg MBA Blog: The MBA Job Search: The hidden benefits of deep research
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By Mark Gasche, Kellogg Career Management Center Managing Director

Interviewing, resume preparation, review of job listings – these are the topics many people think of as they engage in the job search process. But what about research? In an academic setting, the definition of research is established and easier to define. Career research is a whole different story.

Thoughtful and high-quality research plays a role in every stage of the MBA job search process. Exploring functions and industries help educate you about the trade publications in a certain sector and who the people are with successful careers. Researching industries and companies allow you to dive deeper in a specific area once you have decided on a sector. Following the latest trends, as well as identifying a target list is important. A target list can be devised by geographic location, size of company, company culture, etc.

We have an embedded team of information specialists in Kellogg’s Career Management Center focused on helping students navigate business information. These subject matter experts hold group and one-on-one sessions, as well as demonstrate methods for comparative market analysis, company research and managing information with RSS news feeds. Kellogg students become better versed in their industries and can assemble comprehensive company lists for individual searches.

Interview preparation is the most obvious area where research can help you. This is a fantastic way to demonstrate your passion for the industry/function by showing your knowledge of the company, its competitors and relevant trends. Framing your interview responses with deep organization and industry knowledge helps you differentiate from your competition.

When talking about prepping for an interview with research, we like to have students fill out a “company matrix” that contains a set of relevant data points and information. This is a form that contains a variety of criteria about a company and industry. The common question we receive is: How much time does it take to do the research? It all depends. The more knowledgeable you are about the tools, the more efficient you will be with filling out the company matrix.

The company matrix starts off with industry information. Among the key items to research deal with getting to know and understand the latest trends in the field. In the biotech space, it would be useful to know how the larger pharmaceutical companies with biotech R&D units are affecting the pure biotech firms. In the media space, understanding how the competition in the online video space is intensifying and colliding with the traditional model of cable and satellite TV providers.

“Framing your interview responses with deep organization and industry knowledge helps you differentiate from your competition.”

Knowing the key trends affecting your target company and the larger market will allow you to be able to demonstrate your knowledge of the space in the interview. It will also be helpful for you to ask informed questions of your interviewer.

The next step is to research the company. You’ll want to find the basic information about the company: number of employees, mission statement, portfolio of products/services, latest deals, etc. You’ll also want to dive deeper and do your own SWOT (strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis for the company. Once you do the research, it’s a smooth process to start synthesizing the information to be able to articulate why you like that company, what are products/services that you like, how you would market/offer services and products better, etc.

The items in your matrix will vary by industry and role. If you are interviewing with a VC firm, you want to understand their deal portfolio. What are their current investments? What niche sectors are they current providing funding to?

We meet with many students targeting VC that want to offer up a pitch of a new company for the firm to target and why it is a solid investment. We are able to use the tools to help them find the information they need to make formulate an idea to bring to the table.

If you are interviewing for a strategic role, you will want to understand the plans and strategies initiatives from the company and competitors in the space. We recently worked with a student who is targeting a niche food company in the US that is looking to expand to China. We were able to research the consumer behavior of that market, competitors in the space, and overall trends in the niche food sector. The information she was able to access gave her the opportunity to showcase her engagement with the company and potentially bring new insights to the team on this expansion.

Students realize the power of utilizing tools and arming themselves with the knowledge to make them stand out from the rest of the applicants. It’s not nearly enough to just review the company website — certainly don’t overlook this resource, though! But until you are able to see the value the resources can provide, you may be unaware of the hidden benefits of research.

Learn more about Mark Gasche.

Filed under: Career, Student Life Tagged: career advice, Career Management Center, CMC, research Image
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Re: Calling all Kellogg Applicants (2015 Intake) Class of 2017 !  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Apr 2015, 08:12
Did anyone who went to DAK I have the schedule? I would have to fly in on Friday am and leave Saturday night, though I see that Friday activities start at 8am and the reception on Saturday night ends at 11pm, meaning I would miss some things. I wanted to know what exactly I would miss and if I need to change my plans to be out there Thursday night and stay until Sunday. Thanks!
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Re: Calling all Kellogg Applicants (2015 Intake) Class of 2017 !  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Apr 2015, 07:58
zam4q wrote:
Did anyone who went to DAK I have the schedule? I would have to fly in on Friday am and leave Saturday night, though I see that Friday activities start at 8am and the reception on Saturday night ends at 11pm, meaning I would miss some things. I wanted to know what exactly I would miss and if I need to change my plans to be out there Thursday night and stay until Sunday. Thanks!


They sent a more detailed schedule in an email last week. The first few things on Friday morning are registration, section introductions, and getting to know your classmates, The Jake, and Kellogg. Still not the most detailed, and it doesn't break down the times further.

Personally, I have been told DAK is amazing and to try to come to the entire thing. So if I were you, I would at least try to be there all day Friday and Saturday and maybe skip the Thursday and Sunday activities.
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Re: Calling all Kellogg Applicants (2015 Intake) Class of 2017 !  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Apr 2015, 08:00
aa111 wrote:
Lot of deadlines for deposits are due before 13 May. I wonder if Kellogg could release decisions a week earlier.


You are better off asking for an extension for your deposit from the other school, or just paying the deposit and losing it if you choose to go to Kellogg. Kellogg will not release decisions early. Also, keep in mind that while merit based scholarships are awarded when you are admitted, need based aid information takes a few weeks.
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Calling all Kellogg Applicants (2015 Intake) Class of 2017 !  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Apr 2015, 08:24
zam4q wrote:
Did anyone who went to DAK I have the schedule? I would have to fly in on Friday am and leave Saturday night, though I see that Friday activities start at 8am and the reception on Saturday night ends at 11pm, meaning I would miss some things. I wanted to know what exactly I would miss and if I need to change my plans to be out there Thursday night and stay until Sunday. Thanks!


heres the schedule (you'll have to log in using your netId) https://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/mb ... edule.aspx
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Experiencing Shanghai, Beijing and Seoul  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Apr 2015, 09:00
FROM Kellogg MBA Blog: Experiencing Shanghai, Beijing and Seoul
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Twelve days to experience all that is Shanghai, Beijing, and Seoul. Transcontinental flights, a speed train from Shanghai to Beijing, a handful of business meetings and a collection of in-country assignments were all part of the plan for 36 Kellogg students when we departed from Chicago the morning of March 16.

The trip to China and South Korea was a central component of our Global Initiatives in Management (GIM) class, and for most of us, it was our first trip to Asia. The trip itself was sandwiched between two segments of five classes in which Professor Damien Ma, Sheila Duran, executive director of Kellogg’s Public/Private Initiative, and a series of distinguished speakers equipped us with the necessary knowledge to make the most of our trip.

What we did not anticipate were the unique interactions each of us would have throughout the nearly two weeks abroad, not only with the people living in the countries themselves, but also within our group of Kellogg students.

The 36 of us were broken into separate teams to perform in-country assignments during our trip. My team worked on researching new energy vehicle adoption, so we met with representatives from BMW, Ford and a few other companies. While each team had differing experiences, we all came together for a variety of shared activities, including:

  • Meetings with representatives from Disney, Pepsico, Baidu, Peking University, Hyundai and Samsung.
  • Alumni dinners in Shanghai and Seoul
  • Sightseeing trips to the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City
One of the key discussions in our class and during the trip was about the merits of a democratic state, like in the U.S., versus a Leninist-based system, like in China. While China has limits on freedom of speech, faces significant environmental concerns and has unequal educational opportunities, etc., no one could question the astounding growth China has experienced over the last 30 years.

As Professor Ma explained to us, China has experienced an average of nearly 10% growth for 30 years. No other country has put up this kind of stellar economic performance. China’s GDP was $1.5 trillion as recently as 2002, but now it is $10.2 trillion, which is about 60% of the US GDP. This growth can be seen from the incredible skyline in Shanghai to the smog that hangs over the cities. It is also evident from the advanced public infrastructure; the trains we took within cities and between cities were smooth, fast and clean – three things that cannot always be said about public trains in the United States.

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While the cities were impressive, the people themselves were also noteworthy. My experience was that the Chinese people were warm, heartfelt and inquisitive. During our small group dinners, we were able to have open discussions where we all were able to understand more about each other’s cultures – this spanned from food to politics to our views about the future for our particular countries. At the end of day, despite living halfway across the world, the Chinese people we interacted with had the same fundamental concerns and wishes we do in the U.S.

We care about the safety of our friends and families.

We care about our jobs and future career potential.

And we all take pride in our countries.

To truly understand the motivations of the people, government, etc., it was first essential to understand the country’s history and how it impacts the present day. While understanding context is important in any country, no place is this truer than in China and Korea. For example, understanding why the Chinese government requires any international firm to enter into a joint venture (JVs) may seem strange until you understand the “Century of Humiliation” in China, when there were a series of wars, occupation by the Japanese and other events where foreigners expropriated from the Chinese. These events provided the context for why China seeks to assert itself on the international stage and protect itself so it is not taken advantage of again. We were able to learn about this firsthand by talking with the Chinese people and walking down the Bund in Shanghai, where we saw the British settlements that operated the opium trade.

As with any two-week trip, it was both enriching and exhausting. After experiencing the countries, many of us are excited to travel back to Asia again, or even live there in the future.

Given how distinct all three cities were, we realized that the more we learned about these cultures, the less we really knew, which made us long all the more to experience it again!

Learn more about global learning opportunities at Kellogg.

Nathan Pohle ’16 is a first-year student in Kellogg’s Full-Time Two-Year MBA Program. After completing his undergraduate degree at UW-Madison in 2007, Nathan has spent the last seven years as an Actuarial consultant at Deloitte Consulting helping insurance companies across a wide range of consulting and audit engagements.

Filed under: Academics, Business Insight, Student Life Tagged: experiential learning, GIM, global, Global Initiatives in Management Image
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Shutterfly President and CEO speaks at Kellogg  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Apr 2015, 06:00
FROM Kellogg MBA Blog: Shutterfly President and CEO speaks at Kellogg
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Jeff Housenbold, president and CEO of Shutterfly, spoke to students at Kellogg on April 14 as part of the school’s Brave Leader Series. Housenbold, who has helped the custom image publishing service grow from $50 million in sales in 2005 to $1.1 billion this year, discussed his thoughts about driving culture, having a vision and proving the naysayers wrong.

Montoya Trice, a current MMM student, created the sketch notes above in response to Housenbold’s talk.

“What stood out to me was his focus and dedication to the “Chief Memory Officer,” his core customer at Shutterfly,” Trice said. “I was also surprised to find out that Mr. Housenbold came from such humble beginnings.

“His words were inspirational and informational.”

Megan Gordon, a student in Kellogg Two-Year MBA program and Housenbold’s sister-in-law, had the pleasure of introducing him at the lecture. Her speech can be viewed below.


Learn more about Kellogg’s Brave Leader Series.

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Re: Calling all Kellogg Applicants (2015 Intake) Class of 2017 !  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Apr 2015, 01:37
maxpayne87 wrote:
aa111 wrote:
Lot of deadlines for deposits are due before 13 May. I wonder if Kellogg could release decisions a week earlier.


Hey, could you please elaborate what all deadlines are there before 13th May. I'm also an R3 applicant. Thank you.

Edit: Sorry, I now understand you meant deposit deadlines for other schools. I thought you were referring to some Kellogg related deadlines like KWEST. My bad! :)


I have now managed to get an extension to 15 May .....so all good.
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Photos from MOSAIC 2015  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Apr 2015, 08:00
FROM Kellogg MBA Blog: Photos from MOSAIC 2015
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Last week, students, faculty and staff celebrated the global diversity found at Kellogg with “MOSAIC 2015: A Thousand Voices. A Million Stories.”

The week-long celebration featured more than 20 different events, from speaker events on topics ranging from reviewing global advertising to cultivating diversity in the workplace, to more hands-on opportunities to learn things like sushi rolling and Asian calligraphy.

The week ended with a Bollywood Bash, which took audience members on a musical journey through India.

Take a look back at more pictures from the week below:

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Learn more about diversity at Kellogg.

Filed under: Student Life Tagged: diversity, inclusion, MOSAIC, student clubs Image
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Two professors named to Poets and Quants 40 Under 40 list  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Apr 2015, 06:00
FROM Kellogg MBA Blog: Two professors named to Poets and Quants 40 Under 40 list
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Kellogg faculty members Craig Garthwaite and Lauren Rivera were recently recognized on “The World’s Best 40 Under 40 Business School Professors” list by Poets & Quants. Garthwaite is an assistant professor of strategy at Kellogg, while Rivera is an associate professor of management and operations.

To make it on the list, Poets & Quants writes that the professors need to possess an excellence in research, combined with world-class teaching prowess.

Garthwaite, who teaches Business Strategy, joined Kellogg’s faculty in 2009. His research examines the effects of government policies and social phenomena. He has a specific focus on the health sector.

Rivera teaches Leadership and Organizations at Kellogg, where she’s taught since 2009. Her research is centered around how people evaluate merit and social status. She is the author of the soon-to-be-released “Pedigree: How Elite Students Get Elite Jobs.” The book will be available on May 4.

Poets & Quants posted Q&As with Garthwaite and Rivera, as well with students about their experiences with each professor. Take a look at some of the answers for each professor below.

Craig Garthwaite, Assistant Professor of Strategy
What professional achievement are you most proud of?

Most of my recent work has focused on the changes that we can expect from the Affordable Care Act (ACA), a.k.a. Obamacare. In 2014, I co-authored a study examining the labor market effects of the ACA. Using estimates from an earlier Medicaid expansion in Tennessee, we found that the ACA could result in nearly 1 million people leaving the labor force. Our estimates were prominently cited by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) when they updated (and dramatically increased) their estimate of the expected job losses from the ACA.

What do you enjoy most about teaching?

The core strategy course at Kellogg is the first interaction that some of our students have with microeconomics. Watching these students develop an understanding of how economic intuition can help them to make effective decisions, both for the firms in which they will be employer and for themselves, is a particularly rewarding feature of teaching at Kellogg.

What students said:

Professor Garthwaite reinforced my belief that business school was the right choice for me. Sure, the teachings and concepts were incredibly important, but the real takeaway was learning how to be a strategic thinker. He demands and expects a lot from his students and because he thinks at such a high level, you have to constantly stay on your toes just to keep up with him. – Sheila Shah ’15

The most powerful aspect of Professor Garthwaite’s teaching style is his approach to questioning students during case discussion. He brings passion and intensity to every class discussion. His approach is extremely genuine. He’s pushing you to work harder and think about business decisions from every possible angle and stakeholder perspective, something that not many business leaders often do. You come to class prepared because you don’t want to disappoint him. That’s the type of impact he has on the students at Kellogg and it carries on to their other classes, extracurriculars and well after graduation. – Rhett Braunschweig ’15

More on Garthwaite from Poets & Quants

Lauren Rivera, Associate Professor of Management & Operations
What professional achievement are you most proud of?

My recent book, Pedigree: How Elite Students Get Elite Jobs, which is the culmination of many years spent researching the hiring practices of top-tier investment banks, management consulting firms, and law firms.

What do you enjoy most about teaching? 

The instant gratification I get from seeing students’ faces light up as they begin to look at the social world in new ways.

What students said:

Professor Rivera’s Leadership in Organizations class was the first class I took at Kellogg, and I remember walking out on the first day thinking, “This is why I came to business school.” Professor Rivera is engaging, approachable and warm, and her teaching style makes all of the students feel extraordinarily comfortable participating in candid discussions. She’s also incredibly relatable, bringing real-world consulting experience and an interesting research background in how social groups impact workplaces biases. – Jonathan Feldman ’15

Professor Rivera taught my Leadership in Organization’s course as part of Kellogg’s MBA core program, and I quickly understood why it was a required course for all entering students. Professor Rivera made the subject matter come alive by throwing us into hands on activities where we experienced important leadership principles before even realizing we would be covering the topic. – Nancy Choi ’15

More on Rivera from Poets & Quants

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Life as a mother and wife at Kellogg  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Apr 2015, 07:00
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FROM Kellogg MBA Blog: Life as a mother and wife at Kellogg
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It was in late 2012 when Sanil (my husband) was accepted to Kellogg’s full-time program. We were overjoyed that his hard work had paid off and his dream to achieve a master’s degree from one of the world’s best business school appeared more of a reality. Secretly, I was apprehensive to undertake the ordeal of a student life with two little kids.

Despite all hesitation, he accepted the offer, and before we knew it we were on a flight to Evanston from Abu Dhabi.

Our initial days were spent exploring the neighborhood and enrolling the kids in preschool. Evanston has many choices when it comes to preschools and daycare, providing something that fits most people’s needs.

Soon after, as I glanced over Sanil’s schedule for the CIM (orientation) week, he handed me one of my own. It listed a number of activities specifically marked out for me, the spouse, or in Kellogg language, the ‘Joint Venture (JV).’ It included a host of activities from JV orientation to fun stuff like pottery, painting and cocktail socials. Additionally, by being a Kellogg Mom, I was welcomed by the Kellogg Kids Club, a group that had its own activities like ice cream socials, playground play dates, pizza Fridays and other events for incoming families.

Wow!

Kellogg had it all planned out, ensuring full inclusion for families.

As a JV, you have certain privileges, like an opportunity to audit classes — even the highly desired ones that can be difficult for your student to enroll in. You can attend a number of educational and entertainment events at Kellogg. Many JVs also enroll in short skills courses at Northwestern, such as baking, wine tasting, playing musical instruments, etc. For those seeking more involvement in the community, JVs have the opportunity to hold leadership positions in most non-career clubs, and JVs also have the chance to participate in performance events like ‘Bollywood Bash’ and ‘Special K.’

As a mother, involvement in my children’s learning was important to me. I took up a key position in the governing board of my son’s preschool. This helped us connect with families outside of Kellogg and increased our engagement with the local community. Evanston is a great place to raise a young family. The city has a fabulous public library a short walk from campus, beautiful playgrounds in close proximity and several park district locations with a range of activities to choose from. For example, my kids enjoy learning swimming at our local YMCA, ballet and gymnastics at the park district, and Bollywood dance and Spanish at other private establishments.

With graduation so close, as I reflect on the past two years, I am actually sad to be leaving behind the moments we have had here and the friendships we have nurtured. As we begin a new chapter in our lives, I can confidently say our experience at Kellogg has been very fulfilling.

For families that share our apprehensions about going back to school with children in tow, clearly there are adjustments to make. The support structure at Kellogg, however, makes it an enriching experience for the whole family.

Rashmi Juneja takes care of her husband and two children in Evanston. Prior to coming to the U.S., Rashmi held multiple managerial positions in sales and marketing with P&G in Europe and Asia. Rashmi is a graduate of the State University of New York. Her husband attends Kellogg’s Full Time Two-Year MBA program.

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How we won the Allstate Business Challenge  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Apr 2015, 08:00
FROM Kellogg MBA Blog: How we won the Allstate Business Challenge
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This year’s Allstate Insurance Business Challenge gave students at Kellogg a chance to tackle a real strategic problem currently faced by Allstate. For the challenge, we were asked to develop a strategy to revamp Allstate’s usage-based insurance product group.

The competition was open to five-person teams of students – the only requirement was that the team needed to have one person outside of Kellogg but a part of Northwestern. The members of our winning team were four students from the One-Year MBA program – Amit Berry, Bilal Hussain, Yajur Kapoor, Wojtek Korpal – and Deniz Alpay, a fourth-year graduate student at the McCormick School of Engineering.

“I was very eager to join an all-star team of MBA students to get experience in developing a case solution and a deliverable” Deniz Alpay said. “I was greeted enthusiastically by my Kellogg team members and I feel I learned a lot working with them”.

We made it through the first round of qualifications and advanced to the second and final round, where only three teams participated. This round spanned six weeks and required the teams to dig deep into large data sets, do extensive research and work closely with Allstate mentors to deliver a comprehensive solution that could potentially be implemented.

In the end, there were three key things we felt gave us the edge when it came time to present our proposal:

[b]Ideas people could relate to[/b]
Our recommendation involved creating new products that had real-like brand names, well thought out tag lines and actual mock-ups of how mobile apps would look. This really helped the judges visualize our strategy as if it were a real product decision they were making. “This was not your standard case competition with right answers and clearly defined rules,” Amit Berry said. “We worked more as independent advisors solving a very real, vaguely defined problem.”

[b]Insights grounded in research[/b]
The suggestions we presented all started with insights that came out of intensive brainstorming exercises that we supplemented with research about actual consumer behavior. We were careful to provide the right mix of supporting data to validate that we were on to something with our ideas. “The latter round required a lot of work from us,” Bilal Hussain said. “We met frequently on weekends for six to eight hour sessions and thought constantly about the challenge and how we could approach the problem differently.”

[b]Truly collaborative experience[/b]
We had a really diverse team comprised of individuals from four countries and from backgrounds spanning investment banking to management consulting to material science. Each of us learned from one another, and complemented each other’s skills in a way that I haven’t yet experienced yet at Kellogg. It also helped that we had a fierce desire to win and that meant the best ideas rose to the top, regardless of where they originated.

In addition to the teamwork and learning experience, the greatest satisfaction comes from the fact that we got to work on solving a pressing problem for the company and that our ideas will actually get implemented.

Wojtek Korpal is a student in Kellogg’s One-Year MBA program. Before joining Kellogg, he worked at the Warsaw office of The Boston Consulting Group. During his time at BCG, he focused on work in the retail banking and insurance industries.

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How sports brands are innovating fan experiences  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Apr 2015, 11:00
FROM Kellogg MBA Blog: How sports brands are innovating fan experiences
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The 2015 Sports Business Conference took place at the Allen Center on April 18. This year’s theme revolved around Redefining Growth in Sports through the lens of fan innovation.

How are leagues, teams, networks and other sports organizations keeping fans and sponsors engaged within and outside of the stadium?

How do these companies scale effectively, efficiently and creatively?

These were some of the key questions surrounding the half-day conference.

Eric Nyquist, senior vice president of strategic development at NASCAR, engaged the audience with his morning keynote about how far NASCAR has come in the past six years thanks to some truly remarkable innovation. From securing new broadcast agreements to investing in the multiple screen experience, NASCAR has found impactful ways to engage with its audience.

NASCAR is aiming to build closer relationships with fans while rewarding them for their loyalty, in-stadium presence and mobile engagement. Future goals for the organization include enhancing the event experience, further developing environmentally-focused initiatives, and providing the at-home fan with relevant and thought-provoking data and video content.

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The two panels of the day focused on growth and scale from different perspectives.

The “More Than Just a Stadium” panel featured marketing and innovation experts from the Atlanta Falcons, Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers and Levy Restaurant. Each panelist brought a unique take to the in-stadium experience. Atlanta Falcons CMO Jim Smith displayed some of his out-of-the-box ideas for the new Falcons stadium, including the latest structural technology combined and enhancing the tailgating experience to a whole new level. Colin Faulkner of the Chicago Cubs and Alison Weber of Levy Restaurants focused on the renovation challenges at Wrigley Field in Chicago.

Teams are innovating beyond just new stadiums with localized food and beverage, digital menus, and most importantly, an experience that cannot be mimicked at home.

The Dodgers’ Janet Marie Smith emphasized how the history of the Dodgers organization was inherent in every level of the stadium experience.

The second panel of the day took a look at how emerging organizations are scaling their businesses through a variety of strategies. Amy Lupo of the X Games and Dan Lyle of USA Rugby pointed out similarities in the rapid growth of their sports through media distribution, modified games and mobile content consumption. These organizations have leveraged the richness of data in social media and sponsorship activation with the help of companies such as rEvolution. Which was also represented on the panel.

The day concluded with a joint session from Kellogg and Northwestern Athletics. Professor Sandeep Baliga and Assistant Athletic Director Ryan Chenault joined forces to discuss the development and impact of Purple Pricing, a truly innovative way to price tickets. With more value created and captured, this auction-system of pricing caught the attention of many attendees, leading to a rich discussion during the Q&A portion of the discussion.

Overall, it was made clear throughout the day that innovation and marketing strategy are the next frontiers in sports business. And where better to groom these future leaders than from Kellogg?

Sandeep Satish is a second-year student in Kellogg’s Full-Time Two-Year Program. Prior to moving to Evanston, he worked in investment banking at Citigroup in New York City. This summer, he interned with Major League Baseball at the Commissioner’s Office and will to stay in sports business after graduation.

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Our journey to winning ‘Best Impact Investment’ at the MIINT competiti  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Apr 2015, 06:00
FROM Kellogg MBA Blog: Our journey to winning ‘Best Impact Investment’ at the MIINT competition
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Do we build a strong case in our presentation for the short- and long-term social impact of this app?

Do we clearly state the incredible market opportunity?

These were some of the questions we were asking each other on the last night before the MIINT competition, where we would deliver our final pitch in front of an investment committee.

This impact investment journey started in September 2014, when our six-member team (female strong!) was selected to represent Kellogg in MIINT: Duda Cardoso ’16, Ashley Luse ’15, Jamie Lu ’16, Blair Pircon ’16, Rebecca Sholiton ’16 and Alexandra Korijn ’15. MIINT is a program hosted by Bridges Ventures and the Wharton Social Impact Initiative to educate the next generation of impact investors.

Our first task was to develop our own investment thesis, which would help guide us through the sourcing and due diligence phase. Through several team discussions, and the guidance of our mentor Tasha Seitz, chief investment officer of Impact Engine, our team decided to target:

  • Early stage social enterprises that have a scalable model and could achieve measurable social impact and financial returns.
  • Enterprises that targeted underserved communities in the United States.
  • Teams based in the Chicago area to facilitate frequent in-person interactions, with the goal of increasing the quality of our diligence.
The next step was to create a sourcing strategy in order to find companies that aligned with this investment thesis. Collectively, we created a long list of organizations and contacts to reach out to. To find out whether these organizations aligned with our investment thesis, we set up meetings with them over the phone or (preferably) in person. This process helped us narrow down our 30+ list of social enterprises to a shortlist of three high-potential candidates.

Our internal discussions to get from our shortlist of three to one were really interesting and fun. Each of us had unique prior experiences working in the finance, consulting and social enterprises space, and so the discussions brought up many interesting dimensions to consider. We challenged each other’s assumptions on the business models, the market potential, and the social and financial returns.

At the end, we unanimously voted for one: Infiniteach.

Infiniteach was truly impressive. Infiniteach’s team collectively had more than 40 years of experience in the autism education space. The co-founders, Katie Hench and Christopher Flint, had spent many hours providing one-on-one therapy for children with autism, but they realized that these services were not scalable and were a huge cost burden on families. By creating an app with evidence-based interventions, they believed they could bring these proven solutions to all families at an affordable cost.

The Infiniteach team tested this hypothesis with its ‘first gen’ product, which taught 10 skills to children with autism. Infiniteach received overwhelmingly positive feedback from parents and educators and were encouraged to develop the ‘second gen’ product: Prismatic.

With the second generation product ready for launch, Infiniteach was raising funds in order to hire additional technology and business development professionals. Infiniteach already had $270,000 committed from various angel investors by mid-April, but an additional $50,000 investment from MIINT would provide a meaningful contribution to the company’s growth and development.

After months of in-depth due diligence, we only became more convinced of Infiniteach’s potential. Now we just had to convince the MIINT investment committee.

In order to practice, many fellow Kellogg students and professors were prepared to listen to our pitch and ask us difficult questions. These practice sessions were incredibly valuable in helping us refine our story, particularly since we were almost ‘insiders’ after seven months on the project.

April 28 was the final day of the competition. There were a total of 10 business schools presenting that day, so we got to see many great pitches, ranging from clean water solutions in developing counties to sustainable food solutions in Europe.

After we all presented, the 10-member investment committee asked four groups to advance to the final round, which consisted of 15 minutes of Q&A with the committee.

We were extremely excited when they announced soon after the final round that we won the ‘best impact investment.’ We were even more excited to call Infiniteach with the great news.

Overall, it was a very rewarding experience to stand in the position of an impact investment fund and experience the full process of sourcing, due diligence and investment. It was equally rewarding to be a part of such a strong team of women in social finance.

We can’t wait to see what the future of Infiniteach looks like.

Alexandra Korijn ’16 is a student in Kellogg’s Two-Year MBA Program and active in the Net Impact Club, Board Fellows and European Business Club. After completing her Bachelors at Cornell University, Alexandra spent three years working at Dasra, India’s leading strategic philanthropy organization.

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‘Embracing differences’ photo contest  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Apr 2015, 08:00
FROM Kellogg MBA Blog: ‘Embracing differences’ photo contest
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To celebrate Kellogg MOSAIC week, the photography club arranged a photo contest during spring break focused on the theme, “Embracing Differences.” How Kellogg embraces its diversity and how its students immerse themselves in different cultures and places around the world inspired the theme.

This was the second year the club hosted the contest. We were looking forward to seeing the photos from everyone’s spring break experiences.

We divided the contest into two categories: DSLR submissions and Instagram photos with the hashtag “#KelloggMOSAIC.” We also added in another category for students who went on Global Immersion in Management (GIM) trips.

For this year, we were very fortunate to have great judges on board – Professor Julie Hennessy from Kellogg’s Marketing Department, Professor Zach Wise (a former award-winning interactive producer at The New York Times) from the Medill School of Journalism, Global Programs Associate Director Deborah Kraus and current student Jenni Yi ‘16. Each judge was selected to provide their insights on the pictures’ content, photography and diversity.

Once spring break ended, we were very excited to see all the photos from our Kellogg friends. We constantly explored the submissions on Instagram and were eagerly waiting for DSLR contenders to submit their photos.

It turned out that more than 300 photos were submitted on Instagram and more than 30 DSLR photos. The photos came from all over the world: China, Korea, Thailand, Mexico, Brazil, Bolivia, Namibia, Sudan, Peru, Israel, Korea, Argentina, Chile and more.

We had a great time going through all of the pictures, and it was really hard to select the shortlist. Some of the photos were so stunning that we could not believe our eyes, and we really wanted to meet the photographers.

On the day of contest, there were a lot of participants and we really had a great time listening to their experience and looking at their photos. The judges also said it was really difficult to choose the winners. We finished the event with a popular vote prize and let the audience pick their favorite photos.

See the winning photos below, the stories behind them and why the judges thought they stood out.

DSLR category
First Prize: Luke Liu
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The photo was taken in the Namib desert on a trip by four students (three of them in the background) to Namibia. When the eye travels to the background it is stunned not to find the usual sky on the horizon, but rather what looks like a Martian backdrop. It actually is a giant sand dune. This, combined with the composition of the trees and people who are lost in the grandeur of nature, made this picture a clear winner.

Second Prize: Yi Zheng
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This picture is from a trip to Bolivia and was taken at salt flats called Salar de Uyuni. This is a very popular shooting spot in South America, and the composition is strong. The only thing that the judges were missing were the people.

Third Prize: Jeronimo Prieto
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This was taken on a Kellogg Scuba Club trip to the Revillagigedo Islands in Mexico. The photographer is not only a second-year student at Kellogg, but he also is an underwater film director of “Mexico Pelagico,” a movie for which he received the 2015 Director’s Award at San Francisco Ocean Film Festival. The picture is an amazing scene of two worlds meeting in the underwater kingdom.

Instagram category
First Prize: Ruben Navarro
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This was taken in the mountains of Patagonia in a place called Torres del Paine in the wee hours of the morning. The unusual picture with the mysterious woman in red caught our attention when we were picking finalists, and it went on to become the winner. This would have been a strong “postcard” without the figure, but the lady in red turns it into an unexpected spectacle.

Second Prize: John Closs
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The picture was taken in Northern Thailand and was dubbed “The Elephant Selfie” by the Photo Club. The unusual perspective stood out in a row of animal pictures. The shot was apparently taken during the hardest time of day – around 2 p.m. – when direct sunlight kills shadows and tries to make any picture flat. But the author avoided this danger by applying an unusual composition with most of the animal in the foreground.

Third Prize: Arantxa Gomez Castellanos
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This picture was taken in China. The photo composition works perfectly with the child in the foreground against the terraces of rice fields. The child’s face is artistically illuminated, bringing associations with characters of Rembrandt’s paintings. Professor Wise said that this picture is almost a “Visit China” photo and makes one want to visit the country immediately after seeing the picture.

GIM Category
First Prize: Danielle Wipperfurth
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Here’s what the photographer says: “This photo was taken on the GIM China-Korea trip atop the Great Wall of China. It was a beautiful, clear sunny day (rare for Beijing!) and we were enjoying exploring the views and the different stretches of the wall. This portion of the Wall in the photo was a bit hard to find, and it is unique in that it hasn’t been restored.

To me, this image represents not only the success of having gone through a rigorous course and traveling together to China; it also represents the elation we as Kellogg students feel whenever we collaborate to achieve our goals.”

Debbie Kraus of Global Affairs liked how this picture conveys a sense of camaraderie and the subjects stopping to take in the moment, even though you can’t see their faces. Instead, their body language and the photo’s composition tells us that part of the story. The landscape looks so sparse, almost alien. It gives the photo a bit of an otherworldly look.

Honorable Mention: Andrew Ruffin
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This photo was taken during a GIM China-Korea trip to the Old Town market area in Shanghai. The group chose the spot to take the picture because it was unique within the incredibly modern city of Shanghai, and, of course, the perspective is great!

The picture was picked because of the detailed architecture and vibrant colors in the background, and the subjects are really well placed in a way that captures all of them and the location. The man staring at the camera from behind the two students in the middle adds a bit of humor and connects the students to the scene happening around them. Finally, everyone in this photo just looks happy to be there!

Popular vote category: Sarah Degerman
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Here is what Sarah had to say: “This photo was taken at a placed called “Laguna Colorada” in Bolivia. I did a three-day, two-night 4×4 jeep tour from Hito Cajon (Chilean/Bolivian border) to the Uyuni salt flats. Throughout the three days, I saw an incredibly vast array of stunning topographies and landscapes. This was one of my favorites, taken at the end of our first day on the tour. I was so impressed by how you could see so many different colors all in one scene – the red and blue water, the yellow and green terrain, the brown mountains in the distance, the light blue sky, and especially the pink flamingos, which were an unexpected sight in the middle of this random giant Bolivian lagoon.”

During the event, Professor Wise also shared some techniques and suggestions to take better and meaningful photos. We were really happy with the number of attendees for the event, we were glad that everyone enjoyed it and left with a better understanding of photography, and most importantly we’re glad they enjoyed the stories and photos from their classmates.

On behalf of the club, we would like to pay our gratitude to our judges, the Global Program and our friends who participated in the contest. We hope to see more photos again next year!

The Kellogg Photography Club

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Lean operations in real life  [#permalink]

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New post 01 May 2015, 09:00
FROM Kellogg MBA Blog: Lean operations in real life
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First-year student Rohan Rajiv is blogging once a week about important lessons he is learning at Kellogg. Read more of his posts here.

In the past week, we’ve been deconstructing the idea of “Lean operations” in our Operations Management classes. Lean, for the uninitiated, is a way of operations pioneered by Toyota’s legendary founder Taiichi Ono. It was simply called the “Toyota Production System” until academics from the west re-branded it as “lean.”

Lean embraces the idea of “kaizen,” or continuous improvement. The process behind lean improvement is illustrated in the image above.

The concept illustrated here is that having large amounts of inventory can hide the issues in the system. The best way to understand and fix problems is to gradually lower the inventory level. As soon as we do that, we start bringing problems to light and can begin the process of continuous improvement. It is critical that we don’t bring the water down all at once, as it is impossible to fix everything together. In fact, yesterday’s solution is, very often, today’s problem. So, it has to be one at a time and it has to be continuous.

The beauty about learning Operations Management is that every learning has a direct application in our daily lives. There was an interesting article on 99U.com titled “Don’t work harder, work faster” – inspired by social media consultant, author, investor and speaker Gary Vaynerchuk. This is Gary talking about the idea of working faster:

“I always tell people to start working harder, to hustle. I truly believe that people could watch an hour less of Scandal and instead do some f****** work. But there’s another variable that I don’t talk about enough: be much faster in the hours you’re already in. Train yourself to do a little bit more in each hour than you normally would. Every day add something, and get it all done. The first few days you may not get it all done, but keep adding on, and you’ll get there. It’s training for a marathon. It takes time, but once you’re done, you’ll see that you’re doing much more in a day because you’re moving faster.”

That’s lean operations in action. Even though I am nowhere close to as prolific as Gary, that’s been my experience with thinking about a learning every day. Over these years, it’s been a gradual process of thinking about ideas like productivity and making small tweaks that have all added up over time.

I feel myself getting through larger volumes of work than I ever thought possible a few years back, and yet, I seem to be able to make time for sleep, food, exercise, reading and even meditation. This was in complete contrast to my life just three years ago – I’d barely manage seven hours of rest, exercise half the amount I do now and never find time/space to meditate.

Small improvements over a long period of time add up. That’s what makes lean and the idea of “kaizen” really powerful.

Lean is a way of life.

Rohan Rajiv is a first-year student in Kellogg’s Full-Time Two-Year Program. Prior to Kellogg he worked at a-connect serving clients on consulting projects across 14 countries in Europe, Asia, Australia and South America. He blogs a learning every day, including his MBA Learnings series, on www.ALearningaDay.com.

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Previewing Kellogg’s Greater China Business Conference  [#permalink]

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New post 04 May 2015, 07:00
FROM Kellogg MBA Blog: Previewing Kellogg’s Greater China Business Conference
Do you need inspirations from and in-depth perspectives on China’s growth story?

Would you like to strengthen your network with elite business leaders in China?

You can take advantage of these opportunities and more at Kellogg’s Greater China Business Conference

China has witnessed incredible economic development since the country opened its doors to the world 36 years ago. But China’s growth is facing fierce challenges from multiple angles, and China’s annual GDP growth will inevitably slow to less than 8 percent. How China solves these issues and fuels its future growth will lay the foundation of China’s next chapter, and potentially change the world.

The conference, titled “China’s Next Chapter – Future Growth Engine,” will take place on May 9 at Kellogg’s Allen Center in Evanston. This year’s conference will be streamed live online, so even if you can’t attend the event, you can still experience the conference for yourself.

Watch the live stream here.

The day-long event will feature keynote addresses from Yan Xuan, Greater China president of Neilsen, and Alex Tze-Pin Cheng, General Manager of Baidu, U.S.

The conference will also feature three panel discussions. Our panelists represent a variety of corporate firms, including Lenovo, LinkedIn, Letv, Alipay.com, Procter & Gamble, BCG, Emerson, Cummins and more.

The scheduled panels will address:

  • Panel 1: Technology and innovation

    China is transitioning from the “world’s factory” to an innovation lab. What exactly is encouraging this innovation ecosystem? What should we expect to see from this innovation lab? What are the challenges in China’s quest to lead the world in innovation?
  • Panel 2: Retail and Consumer Market

    China is expected to surpass the United States to become the world’s largest consumer market within five years, presenting huge opportunities for consumer goods and retail sectors. How can firms manage national expansion? How can firms handle operations complexity?
  • Panel 3: Sustainability

    The extensive development model of China’s economy has led to an inefficient use of natural resources and environmental deterioration. What efforts has the Chinese government taken to change the development model? What is the implication for firms in China?
For more information on the conference or to register, visit http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/conference/chinesebusiness/index.html.

Summer Guo is a first-year student in Kellogg’s Full-Time Two-Year Program. Prior to moving to Evanston, she worked in consulting at Boston Consulting Group in Shanghai. This summer, she will intern with Danaher at Beckman Coulter in Brea, Calif.

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4 tips for marketers to reach today’s connected consumer  [#permalink]

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New post 06 May 2015, 08:00
FROM Kellogg MBA Blog: 4 tips for marketers to reach today’s connected consumer
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When I was young, my brother and I would occasionally use a branch or toy hammer to bang each other on the knee, hoping to see the patellar reflex in action. We saw doctors do it on TV and, as over-confident children, naturally felt we could achieve the same results without any training. Unsurprisingly, it never really worked. To this day I’m still unconvinced I actually have the knee-jerk reflex.

There is a reflex, however, which I undeniably have and I’m sure you do, too. It’s a new digital reflex, brought on by the rise of mobile, to turn to whatever device is at hand to satisfy our need for information right in the moment. For example, recently my friend told me about a movie he enjoyed the night before, and without even thinking, I pulled out my phone to read reviews and find a theater near me where it was playing.

Google calls these instances “micro-moments,” and we have many of them each and every day. Having super-computers in our pockets has allowed us to initiate these micro-moments anywhere, at anytime, and has led to a fundamental shift in consumer behavior.

As a student at Kellogg, it’s a privilege to be able to partner with academic thought leaders and industry-leading companies to define how the next generation of marketers can adapt to the changes in consumer behavior brought about by technology. This quarter, in an experiential project sponsored by Google, I worked alongside three other Kellogg students in my Analyzing and Operating Digital Platforms course to create an approach that brands can utilize to reach consumers in their micro-moments.

Along with Google, we believe that micro-moments represent an improved opportunity for marketers to reach consumers. Micro-moments are the new battleground for customers, allowing marketers to understand the needs and motivations of their customers in the moment and deliver relevant messages, content and experiences that move people to choose their brand or product.

We recommend four key ways for the modern marketer to capitalize upon micro-moments in order to best connect with consumers.

1) Think beyond traditional segmentation and targeting

As marketers, we typically have learned to segment our consumers based on demographics, psychographics, etc. But segmenting and targeting based on micro-moments allows for greater granularity in understanding a customer’s need and context.

Instead of a yogurt brand targeting a segment of “females, 30-45, high income”, a micro-moments segment could be closer to the need. For example, the same brand could target the precise moment when a consumer is in a store and searching on her phone for healthy, at-home snacks to please her family.

Because there are needs in the moment that span across different consumer segments, a micro-moments segmentation approach can uncover blind spots where loyal consumers in de-prioritized segments are wanting greater engagement with the brand.

2) Identify moments and motivations through consumer journey mapping

Forward-thinking brands must undertake consumer journey mapping exercises, a form of exploratory research that uses interviews and observation to trace the full stories of how real customers buy, use and consume products.

These journey-mapping exercises should cover a customer’s total experience with your product, including expectations before the first encounter, key touchpoints and attitudes throughout each stage of the customer’s experience. This is a critical step for marketers to effectively target and act on the most relevant consumer micro-moments.

3) Layer data to understand when consumers are most receptive

We all go through life with varying levels of receptivity to the advertising messages around us. Today, disparate data can be structured and utilized to better identify peaks in receptivity. Inputs such as search trends, time of day, purchase patterns or proximity to a retail location can be combined to determine when consumers are interested in a product, have a time-sensitive need and are able to fulfill on that need. Identification of these high receptivity moments can increase the impact of one’s marketing efforts.

4) Experiment and utilize tightly integrated feedback loops

Finally, to ensure success in micro-moments, marketers must embrace a culture of experimentation and validated learning. Design micro-moment engagement with simple triggers, actions and test messaging, and analyze outcomes in order to optimize future moment-based marketing. Iterate until you find the messaging, content, cadence and call to action that speaks best to your target.

Ray Hwang is currently a first-year student in Kellogg’s Two-Year MBA Program. He is a leader in both the Marketing Club and High Tech Club. Prior to Kellogg, Ray worked at General Mills in a cross-functional rotational program. He will be interning on the Product Marketing team at LinkedIn this summer. Raymond’s team members included Aly Sivanich, Adam Tollefson and Ye Bai.

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Kellogg’s presence at the Wharton People Analytics Case Competition  [#permalink]

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New post 07 May 2015, 09:00
FROM Kellogg MBA Blog: Kellogg’s presence at the Wharton People Analytics Case Competition
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After a cancelled flight from Chicago, three calls to exceptionally patient customer service agents, a hasty rebooking, a diversion to New York and a train ride through New Jersey, KJ Plank, Dan Metzel and I finally reached Wharton’s Huntsman Hall. It was less than an hour before the scheduled start of the second annual Wharton People Analytics Case Competition, where we would present to a panel of 15 judges from our client organization, academia and industry.

Luckily, we’d arrived with just enough time to take a few deep breaths.

The three of us traveled to Philadelphia because we were inspired by the mission of YearUp, the client organization for the competition. YearUp is a non-profit that bridges the opportunity divide for urban young adults through job skills training and higher education.

YearUp generously provided millions of real-world data points—sanitized for anonymity—on how they assess and mentor their students, and how their graduates performed after leaving the program. More than 20 teams from top MBA and data-science programs accepted the challenge to draw meaningful insights from this panoply of human interaction, summarized in rows on a half-dozen spreadsheets.

Competition representatives invited six of those 20 teams to present; three of the final six were teams from Kellogg.

After the final presentations, the tension in the waiting room gave way to congenial conversation. We were able to swap stories of common friends and shared employers with the teams from Harvard, Cornell and MIT. We talked about the data—where we focused, how we made tradeoffs in the analysis and which facts we chose to highlight for the client.

Later that night, we were notified we earned third place in the competition.

Beyond the excitement of working with YearUp, the second draw of the event was the chance to attend Wharton’s People Analytics Conference as a guest of the school. The conference drew speakers from LinkedIn, Goldman Sachs and McKinsey.

Google’s Lazslo Bock and Credit Suisse’s Michael Mauboussin each shared insights from their recent best-selling books.

Former NBA basketball player Shane Battier gave a keynote address.

Wharton’s Angela Duckworth presented her findings on the importance of grit.

Yale Professor Amy Wrzesniewski shared findings from a study (of which I had unknowingly been a part!) of West Point graduates that used performance data to emphasize the importance of finding meaning in one’s work.

Overall, the People Analytics Case Competition was an incredibly opportunity. We were able to connect with people-focused academics and analytics professionals to learn about the leading ideas and trends in the field.

We had the chance to provide robust, actionable insights for an innovative nonprofit organization in YearUp.

Most importantly, we had the chance to draw inspiration from our experience for our long-term goal of being data-driven leaders who build strong teams that create lasting value.

Zac Seidel ’16 is a first-year student in Kellogg’s Full-Time Two-Year MBA program. Before Kellogg, Zac graduated from the United States Military Academy and served as an Army infantry officer; his primary career interest is managerial analytics.

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Insider tips for succeeding in a CPG internship  [#permalink]

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New post 08 May 2015, 06:00
FROM Kellogg MBA Blog: Insider tips for succeeding in a CPG internship
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Photography by Michelle Kanaar

Outside, the sun shone on a brilliant spring Saturday in Evanston. Crowds of alumni and current students descended on Kellogg to celebrate Reunion, and several other groups were having fun with activities ranging from the Kentucky Derby to the Floyd Mayweather – Manny Pacquiao boxing “fight of the century” — and yet I was looking out over a room packed with first-year students analyzing market trends and sales data.

Few things are compelling enough to attract a group of MBA candidates away from such temptations, but I was thrilled to be part of organizing such an event, one that I hope will go on to become a Kellogg tradition: the inaugural Kellogg Marketing Club’s CPG Internship Boot Camp, presented by Kraft Foods.

The inspiration for part of this event occurred to my Kellogg Marketing Club colleague, Dan Rubin-Wills ’15, and me early on in our summer internships, which coincidentally were at Kraft. Together, Dan and I are the co-vice presidents of career preparation for the club, so we are responsible for developing and running programs that help Kellogg students hone their resumes for marketing positions, prepare for interviews and dominate their internships. Thus, sitting together in a summer training for Nielsen — a research tool that is the backbone of marketing departments at CPG firms nationwide — Dan and I saw an opportunity to bring exposure for this critical knowledge to Kellogg’s students during the academic year, so that our interns could hit the ground running even faster (a summer internship is the quickest way to spend 10 weeks I have ever encountered).

Once we learned that Kraft had approached Kellogg about developing a workshop on internship preparedness, Dan and I jumped at the chance to facilitate what would become so much more than a Nielsen primer, but rather an intensive learning experience for Kellogg first-years about to embark on internships.

The Boot Camp kicked off with Christine Peggau, Kraft’s marketing director of growth channels, discussing the shifting venues where consumers are buying food today. When most people consider a box of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese or a bag of Planters Peanuts, they are probably mentally placing themselves in the middle of a grocery store, but increasingly shoppers are turning to different options for purchasing food. In fact, the fastest growing food channels are places you might not expect. Drug and dollar stores are seeing their share of shopper dollars grow 1.0% and 1.6% respectively, and club stores like Costco have grown share by 5.0% since 2000.

Firms that want to win in this changing environment need to play by a different set of rules. For one thing, shoppers go to different channels for different buying missions that each require a different marketing approach. Club stores are perhaps the most foreign environment of all, with their limited assortments and massive pallets of merchandise, but manufacturers ignore this opportunity at their peril. Oreo, for example, redesigned its packaging to stand out on the club sales floor, and lifted its sales by an incredible 22%.

After Christine’s talk, we heard from Amy Liever ’15, one of Dan’s and my associates at Kraft last summer, who shared her secrets on storytelling, an art that is especially important for persuasive marketing presentations. I had the privilege of practicing with Amy as we prepared for our high-stakes final presentations at Kraft, and she set the bar high (I also might say that she cheated a little by bringing her audience French fries as a demonstration for her presentation, but I digress).

Next, experts from Nielsen took us through the guts of how the Answers on Demand tool is used to research sales trends and performance questions and make critical business decisions. Nielsen is a highly technical subject, and I didn’t expect anyone in the room to master it on the first try, but Dan and I firmly believe that planting the seed early will translate into a smoother summer transition.

Finally, Aubrey Ellis from Kraft gave us an overview of the millennial consumer. Millennials are quickly rising into prominence as one of the most powerful buyer groups in the US, and their preferences are a marked departure from generations before them. Millennials are a values- and authenticity-driven cohort who expect a connection with what they buy, and marketers are working full-throttle to ensure their offerings can deliver.

In fact, every student in the room was a millennial, but the value of the exercise lay in learning how to understand who is buying your product — and also learning to be careful not to project your own preferences onto your consumer in spite of how similar you may think you are (Or, it’s about remembering that, in Professor Julie Hennessy’s words, “You’re weird.”).

If this sounds like a lot of material, it definitely was, but then again, the CPG marketplace isn’t going to get less complex any time soon. For Dan and me, it was incredibly rewarding to see the last year of work recruiting first-year attendees and refining agenda topics with Kraft pay off in such a well-attended and information-packed event. We are hoping this event will continue in years to come, and even grow to include industries beyond CPG. For now, though, we wish our classmates good luck as they prepare to embark on their summer internships.

Matthew Benson is a second-year student in Kellogg’s Full-Time Two-Year Program. Prior to Kellogg, Matt worked in finance at Target Corporation in Minneapolis. After graduating, he is looking forward to returning to brand management at Kraft Foods, including diving back into the Nielsen Answers on Demand tool.

Filed under: Academics, Career, Student Life Tagged: CPG, internships, Kellogg Marketing Club, marketing Image
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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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This post has been originally posted on the Admissions Blog and re-posted here for convenience.

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Insider tips for succeeding in a CPG internship &nbs [#permalink] 08 May 2015, 06:00

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