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Calling Kenan Flagler Global Executive OneMBA Applicants: 2016 Intake!

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Together, we made history [#permalink]

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New post 07 Jul 2016, 09:01
FROM Kenan Flagler Executive MBA Blog: Together, we made history
We asked you to help us make Fiscal Year 2015-16 one for the books – and together, we made history!

Here’s a look at all we’ve accomplished this year.

Most donors in a fiscal year6,574 alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends of the School helped us set a new record in FY 15-16 – that’s 223 more than the previous record.

Increased alumni giving participationSupport from you and your fellow alumni helped us reach our highest alumni donor total in over a decade.

A record-setting Reunion WeekendThis year’s reuniting classes set new records for Reunion Weekend attendance and giving.

The greatest day of giving in School historyOur first-ever Giving Day raised more than $311,000 in just 24 hours.

The highest giving total in historyTogether, we raised $3.2M for the Fund for UNC Kenan-Flagler.

That adds up to a record-setting$0M
in cash and commitments
Thanks to your support, thousands of current and future UNC Kenan-Flagler students will benefit from scholarship and fellowship dollars, faculty support, program funding, classroom and technology upgrades, and countless other opportunities made possible by these tremendous fundraising results.

Your support matters – but don’t just take it from us.

Here’s what UNC Kenan-Flagler grad Dominique Stephenson (MAC ’16) has to say about the impact your generous support has made.



Our job is far from done. As we begin a new fiscal year, it’s more important than ever to keep the momentum going!

CLICK HERETO MAKE A GIFT

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Getting down to business [#permalink]

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New post 08 Jul 2016, 12:01
FROM Kenan Flagler Executive MBA Blog: Getting down to business
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The McColl Building, home to UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School. Photo: Andre Domingues/Timeless Streets Photoworks

I remember the first time I saw UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School during the summer of 2003.

I was seven years old, celebrating my father’s graduation from the Executive MBA Program. Towering high above the base of Skipper Bowles Drive, the red brick McColl Building and its neighboring structures looked like a castle to me. Its sloping arches and square windows were simple, yet inexplicably elegant. I remember walking under the procession of flags leading up to the glass doors, squeezing my father’s hand and straining my eyes to point out the Brazilian flag to him. This was the place where my father became, in the elementary vocabulary I was limited to at the time, a “business man.” That’s how I introduced him to my friends, unaware of exactly what he did on a day-to-day basis, but overflowing with immense pride.

When I visited UNC in the spring of 2014 with my mother, the first place we went to was the Business School. It was pouring rain and my woolen sweater was doing its best to keep me dry, with raindrops beading up for several seconds only to collapse into the fabric. Undeterred, I walked out onto the terrace in front of the McColl Building and angled my neck down. Before me lay a bed of red bricks, engraved with the names of countless graduates. I struggled to make out the names, a vibrating, rippling film of reflective water obscuring rows of Smiths and Johnsons. I scanned the endings, looking for the Latino-sounding ones but combing through the Hispanic “-ez’s” in search of a Portuguese “-es.” It was probably to my mother’s surprise when I doubled over in laughter upon finding my father’s brick. Despite spelling his name right – an impressive feat in itself – it listed his graduation date as 2023. Better late than never, eh Dad? The brick has since been replaced with one listing his correct graduation year, but that story has become a special source of pride and laughter in my family.

UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School holds a special place in my heart. It is a site of immense pride, unbridled laughter and tremendous opportunity in my family. Every red brick on which I step reminds me of my father – of the two difficult years he spent travelling back and forth between Florida and North Carolina, all so that he could build a better future for me and my sister. I remember how he would spend hours on end studying in his office with the door closed and that my mother would ask me not to disturb him when I wanted to play. At the dinner table, he would hold his head up with his left arm, his fingers scrunched up in his hair, the same way I do when I’m stressed. One Father’s Day, I dressed up in one of his favorite Brooks Brothers slim-fit, non-iron shirts and a pair of dark brown leather shoes – the ones with the metal horse bit on the tops – eagerly awaiting the smile I knew my clownish appearance would bring to his face. I now own the same Brooks Brothers shirts and have a pair of the same horse bit shoes.

In the fall of 2016, I’ll be joining the UNC Kenan-Flagler Undergraduate Business Program, as well as working as a photographer for the Business School – a son following, quite literally, in his father’s footsteps. He inspires me every day.

Editor’s note: Andre Domingues (BSBA ’18) is the son of Mariano Domingues (EMBA ’03), director of business development and contract administration at Odebrecht.

This post has been republished with permission from the author. View the original post.

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5 insights on the European approach to doing business [#permalink]

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New post 13 Jul 2016, 13:01
FROM Kenan Flagler Executive MBA Blog: 5 insights on the European approach to doing business
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Pedro Hofmeister (OneMBA ’17) weighs in during the global OneMBA European Residency.

In the spring of 2016, I had the chance to spend one full week immersed in the European way of doing business as part of the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School global OneMBA program. We were hosted by RSM at Erasmus University and the Gdansk Foundation for Management Development.

There, I met my new OneMBA global group composed of Ganpi Srinivasan (U.S./India), Stefanie Lai (China), Karina Orozco and Federico Fricke (both from Mexico), Jalal Fitoury (The Netherlands) and Zvonimir Mrsic (Croatia). Thank you for sharing this life-changing opportunity.

Below are the 5 collective insights we gained. I hope they mean as much to you as they meant to us!

Constantly reinvent yourself.

Rotterdam was destroyed during World War II and then rebuilt oriented for the future, for what Rotterdam wanted to be, thinking about the potential of the city: its port. Contrast this with Old Warsaw, which was rebuilt with a focus on recreating “a better version of its past.” If we had not learned the history, Old Town would be the original old town for us.

In both cities, we saw the European resilience and persistence through reconstruction and reinvention. These cities were each devastated in their own way, and it must have been hard to imagine the future immediately afterward. The residents took the long view and found the power to literally start over from the ground up (again). That’s an important lesson for when we go through rough times and lose something we previously conquered.

Questions can be too simple.

Some questions do not need or should not be answered – they are just too simple. They impose a restricted framework on us even before we start to think about the answer. When we answer these questions, we narrow our view as well as the discussion. Most importantly, issues are complex and there are more possibilities than the traditional yes/no or black/white.

In an ever faster and ever changing world, we should – first and foremost – think and challenge the given framework by checking to see if the issue could be framed differently, or even if an answer or reaction is needed at all.

David Cameron asked people to answer yes/no to Brexit, when the question to be asked might have been how the U.K. should relate to the E.U.

This approach likely takes more time and a lot more dialogue, but we avoid simplistic and sometimes harmful solutions. By acting in this way we will likely avoid conflict, break resistances and reach better solutions. It is a more inclusive and less combative manner of doing things that can be effective if time and the amount of discussion are well managed.

There is identity in unity and identity in diversity.

A core challenge for the European Union is for its countries to preserve their national identity while being part of a bigger Union (with a common European identity). This involves dialogue and respect for differences. Above all, it means dealing with complicated past issues and assuming that our future is together.

In our professional lives, we can take the same philosophy around team building and working as teams. Instead of treating teams as temporary, we could think about how we would act and do things if the team was permanent. And as old and new Europe work together to better the union and the world, we should also identify diversity in our team and see how we can leverage the best in everyone.

Think long-term. What’s your legacy?

Sustainability has a much broader meaning than is typically applied. It is about sustainable relationships, sustainable finance and sustained values – in summary, it is about a sustainable future. It is about thinking longer-term.

Professor Jan Peter Balkenende was able to consolidate different takes on sustainability in his lecture, questioning values and objectives in business. It was especially impactful to hear this perspective espoused by a politician in times when corruption and populism are affecting many of our countries.

Business is about maximizing profit and creating value for diverse people and entities. More and more, we think about business – and even our careers – with a short-term view because of incentives, or because it is harder to foresee the long-term. Short-term objectives take over the business conversation and the minds of business people.

What about the longer-term? What are the values that we are promoting? What is our legacy?

As leaders and citizens of our respective nations, we should also think about the legacy we leave behind for our future generations – and this is not only an ecological footprint. We should foster sustainability in the way we act, and in several other dimensions in our lives.

Collaboration is key.

It is not about wins or losses. Instead, it is about discussing everything and trying to reach a compromise on every issue so that all parties benefit. It is a different form of power. It is about creating and managing inter-dependency. It is feminine power in a more feminine world.

Professionally, we can imbibe that approach in our collaborative teams to drive success. We can also identify small milestones, celebrating those successes as the milestones that pave the way for bigger successes.

Thanks to this life-changing opportunity filled with lectures, interactions, company visits and workshops, we all took a new part of Europe with us back home. We hope that the European spirit in us will guide us in our personal and professional lives.

By Pedro Hofmeister (UNC ’17), head of digital at AIG, with Ganpi Srinivasan (UNC ’17), Stefanie Lai (Xiamen University), Karina Orozco (EGADE), Federico Fricke (EGADE), Jalal Fitoury (RSM) and Zvonimir Mrsic (RSM).

This post has been adapted and republished with permission. View the original post here.

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How to negotiate a job offer – and why you should [#permalink]

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New post 18 Jul 2016, 12:01
FROM Kenan Flagler Executive MBA Blog: How to negotiate a job offer – and why you should
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Congratulations! You got the job!

But what happens when said job offer doesn’t come with the compensation, benefits or title you were expecting? Don’t worry, don’t get your feelings hurt and certainly don’t turn down the offer—it’s time to start negotiating.

Negotiation is an expected component of the recruiting and hiring process –and not just for executives, says Elizabeth Wallencheck, director of alumni career management.

Feeling timid about negotiating your offer? Fear not! These tips and strategies will help you navigate the process.

Do not accept a job offer right away – no matter what.

Respond to the hiring manager and thank them for the offer, but make it clear that you need a bit of time to think it over. Be sure to provide the date you will get back to them. If they need an answer sooner, they will let you know.

Shift your mindset.

Many people perceive negotiation as contentious and, as such, worry that it will upset the employer and cause them to rescind the offer. That’s enough to give anyone – even the most seasoned executive – a serious case of anxiety.

But when it comes to the hiring process, negotiation is simply about identifying the gaps between the offer you received and the offer you want and communicating that information with your prospective employer.

If that doesn’t ease your fears, consider this: employers expect middle-level employees and above to negotiate. And just like any business deal, companies do not extend their best offer right off the bat. While it’s possible that the company will not want to play ball, it’s extremely rare. The more likely worst-case scenario is that the company will say they cannot meet your request, but the original offer still stands.

Bottom line: if you don’t negotiate, you are leaving money and/or benefits on the table.

Do your research.

Gather comparable market data on salary and benefits for similar roles at other companies. Make sure you understand every aspect of the offer that’s been presented. If you are unsure about anything, contact the hiring manager and ask for clarification before starting negotiations or accepting the offer.

Understand what is – and is not – negotiable.

Nearly every aspect of a job offer is potentially negotiable – salary, bonuses, commission, vacation time, work schedule/arrangements, start date, severance and even job title. But certain benefits – such as insurance coverage and 401K plans – are usually non-negotiable. Because these benefits are provided by third-party vendors, the hiring company often has little-to-no control over the available offerings. It’s still important to review and be prepared to discuss these benefits, though. In some cases, there may be some room for negotiation or the employer may offer an alternative solution to meet your request.

Know the process.

  • Do not approach the topic of negotiation until an official offer has been extended. Never attempt to negotiate during the interview process.
  • When you’re ready to negotiate, contact the hiring manager. Pro-tip: don’t use the term ‘negotiate.’ Use ‘discuss’ instead.
  • Start with a compliment. Highlight the appealing aspects of the offer, such as an excellent healthcare plan. Leading with the positives shows you’re genuinely interested in joining the company, which will lead the hiring manager to seriously consider your concessions.
  • After discussing the positives, address the aspects of the offer that fall short of your expectations.
  • Always start with salary – but do not give an exact number. Doing so not only caps your value, but guarantees that the employer will not offer you so much as a dollar over that amount. Instead, use broad ranges to discuss salary – for example, “from the mid-120s to the upper 130s” or “in the 70s or 80s.”
By Emily Brice

We're here to help.Our Alumni Career Management team offers resources to support your professional success – from online career advice and access to webinars, job postings and networking tools to personalized, no-cost coaching services.

Visit Alumni Career Management

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MBA Reunion Weekend 2017 [#permalink]

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New post 19 Sep 2016, 09:02
FROM Kenan Flagler Executive MBA Blog: MBA Reunion Weekend 2017
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Nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina for Reunion Weekend!

SAVE THE DATE! Reunion Weekend is April 28-30, 2017.

Spend time with old friends and beloved faculty and network with students and fellow alumni. We’ll provide world-class hospitality and fabulous food as you reflect on your time in Chapel Hill and, most importantly, celebrate being a Tar Heel!

Look for a full schedule and online registration in October.

We need YOUR help!Join fellow alumni who have volunteered as Alumni Class Connectors to help plan our Reunion Weekend event, encourage classmates to attend and raise critical funds for Class Reunion gifts.

Volunteer to be a Class Connector

Together, we can make this the best Reunion Weekend ever.

If you’re interested in volunteering, have questions or want more information, contact Carrie Dobbins, assistant director of development for reunions, at (919) 962-7428.

All gifts made to UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School between July 1, 2016 and April 29, 2017 will count toward your class campaign! Make your gift today!

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How to adopt an active marketing strategy for your business [#permalink]

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New post 19 Oct 2016, 12:01
FROM Kenan Flagler Executive MBA Blog: How to adopt an active marketing strategy for your business
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When asked how he was so good at scoring goals, Wayne Gretzky – the greatest hockey player of all time – said, “I skate where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.”

It seems like such an obvious concept. But if it was only that easy, everyone would be doing it.

The sentiment of Gretzky’s comment maps extremely well to business. If we, as business executives and leaders, could see the future direction of the market – of customer demand, of what the world wanted – we would simply skate to where the “puck” is going and deliver on that need. Sadly, it’s not even close to that easy. It takes more than a crystal ball to accurately predict the future movements of your business environment and stay in front of those needs.

As a strategy and marketing executive at a high velocity technology startup, I’m focused on trying to solve these exact problems. There are a few specific points that I’ve learned over the years that can help you skate to where the puck is going instead of where it has been.

Push the market, don’t chase the data.
There are two different types of strategic marketing models: active and passive. The models are separated by a different thought process around the decisions and choices that you have to make on a daily basis.

Active marketing is focused on innovation and creating or inventing a market. What matters most in active marketing is making sure your strategy, product direction and marketing message are all pushing the market forward towards a place where only you can deliver the promised solution. Active marketing is creative, inventive and innovative all at once, and it results in a distinct competitive advantage.

Passive marketing is a method in which you look to your competitors and customers and react to what they tell you is happening in the market. It’s focused on the data that you collect about the market, reacting instead of looking forward to what is coming well beyond what the data points indicate today.

Don’t get me wrong – you have to collect and analyze the data around your customers, competitors, market dynamics and technology changes. But you can’t fall into the trap of expecting the data to tell you what to do. It’s never that simple. Data shows you the market dynamics as of a moment in time.

The high velocity technology market changes so quickly that by the time you are able to collect data and turn it into a fully baked feature or product, the market has moved and is on to another ask. You have to continuously use data collection to inform strategic decisions about market direction and move your company and technology to deliver on what the buyer doesn’t yet know they want. In essence you have to take all the data you can get, analyze it and make predictions on where the market will be in the future (not today), then make a plan for how you can move to intercept that prediction while continually analyzing data to uncover any required corrections to your course. This is the crux of active marketing.

Timing is everything.
Active marketing sounds like something that is difficult, but it can be achieved. The trick to success is timing.

Like a hockey player skating towards an open section of ice, you may have to slightly slow down or speed up your velocity in order to time your entrance into the gap and get a clean shot at the goal. Strategic marketing is no different. If you are too early to market, you’ll skate right by the buyer demand and someone else will pick up your miss. If you are too late to the market, you’ll miss the chance to even have a shot at success – allowing others to take control of the situation and move the market in another direction instead.

The difficulty of nailing market timing is knowing when and how to speed up or slow down. The best strategic marketers will understand timing intuitively – it’ll be a “gut feel.” Wayne Gretzky just knew how fast or slow to skate to be in the right place at the right time. In lieu of having this innate ability, there are a few things you can do to improve your market timing expertise.

Practice predicting market and business dynamics. This will improve your instincts. Just like a hockey player does drills and scrimmages to become proficient at flow and timing, to be a strategic marketer you have to do the same thing. Practice following a few specific markets or businesses in detail and try to predict the success of the macro moves of the entities on the battlefield.

Will the latest product release be successful? What does it mean to the market? How will competitors respond to this move? What will happen to the market when they do?

Make sure you write this down! Publish your predictions on public forums such as Twitter, Facebook or Seeking Alpha. Open yourself up for discussion and criticism so that you can learn from the opinions of others who are also practicing strategic prediction.

Push the market with innovation. You aren’t a passive player in the market – you are an entity that has the ability to move markets and make things change. You can speed up your company’s trajectory towards a prediction you’ve made by innovating and pushing the market forward. Don’t be complacent and hope that your prediction was correct. Create new technology, messaging, vision, features, etc. that will help your prediction come true. There is no reason to sit back and hope you are right. Be an activist investor and make your investment successful.

Don’t be afraid to let them catch up. Sometimes you out-skate the puck. Sometimes what you create or innovate is beyond what the market can currently consume. Don’t be afraid to let your competition catch up. As long as you have a lead and are thinking ahead of the competition, it’s no big deal to let other market players back you up on what you are selling. An active marketer will quite often move too fast – but if your predictions are correct, the rest of the market will start to adopt your messaging, copy your features and otherwise execute passive marketing behind you. Let them do just that. It reinforces what you have created as successful and lets the buyer catch up to where you are. When you successfully skate to where the puck is going to be, go ahead and let it come to you. And while you are waiting, plan your next move!

Dream big, execute small.
Every time that Wayne Gretzky took the ice, he was thinking “I’m going to score a goal.” There was no doubt in his mind that he is going to succeed in what he sets out to achieve. As a market mover, you have to think the same way. Believe that the market you create or push forward will succeed and that you will be the one to deliver on that need.

Dream big. The trick to making sure you are successful is to always remind yourself of the end goal and destination – and to make sure that goal is enormous and difficult to achieve. Tell yourself: this company is going to be a billion dollar valuation. I’m going to hit $100M in revenue next year. Engineering will double in size in the next six months.

It doesn’t matter what your goals are. What matters is that they are large enough to keep you dreaming and to give you the drive to make the decisions that will push your market towards these goals.

Execute small. It’s easy to be overwhelmed when you dream big, so break these dreams down into smaller chunks to execute. Then, break those chunks down into even smaller chunks until you’ve created consumable chunks that you can get up and achieve every single day. You have to execute very small in order to succeed big.

Adjust frequently with minor changes. The interesting thing about dreaming big and executing small is it gives you the ability to correct your course. Chances are you aren’t going to change your biggest dream very often. It’s huge, after all. It’s a major thing that has so many moving parts that it’ll be difficult to adjust that vision more than once or twice in the lifetime of a company. By breaking your dream into very small, consumable chunks, you give yourself the ability to course correct in real time.

As external and internal forces to your company morph and change, you’ll have to adjust the particular small chunks you’ve created. . You might lose a key employee, the competition might come out with a better widget than your design, or your marketing message may need adjustment. These things don’t change the overall goal, but they may change the path you take to get there. Don’t be afraid to adjust your short and mid-term decisions in order to continue down the path towards your main destination. Execute with patience on the bigger-sized chunks and don’t be afraid to adjust the small to mid-sized ones as necessary to win.

Don’t forget to shoot.
As Wayne Gretzky once said, “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.”

What he means is this: shoot frequently. Make a decision, move forward and go for it. If you don’t take a shot, you’ll never score. If you are spending your strategic time thinking about pushing the market forward, checking your timing, dreaming big and executing small, you will quickly find that your shots will score more often than not.

Good luck becoming a strategic marketer, and remember: you make the calls, you take the shots and you make your company succeed.

By Tyler Shields (EMBA ’12), vice president of marketing, partnerships and strategy at Signal Sciences Corp.

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Reunion 2017: Register now and save! [#permalink]

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New post 14 Nov 2016, 15:01
FROM Kenan Flagler Executive MBA Blog: Reunion 2017: Register now and save!
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Come back to beautiful Chapel Hill to spend quality time with classmates and faculty and celebrate your Tar Heel pride at UNC Kenan-Flagler MBA Reunion Weekend, April 28–30, 2017.

Throughout the weekend, you will have the opportunity to:

  • Chow down on BBQ during the family-friendly kickoff event.
  • Catch up with friends during your class-specific socials.
  • Enjoy a champagne brunch on Latane Plaza.
  • Network with fellow Business School alumni.
  • Advance your career with educational programming and 1-on-1 career coaching sessions (by appointment).
  • Hear Dean Doug Shackelford discuss the future of business education.
  • Meet current students.
  • Tour the Business School (and Carolina campus).
  • Shoot baskets and enjoy a sit-down dinner on the floor of the Dean E. Smith Center.
  • Leave Carolina filled with Tar Heel pride and knowing you’ve made a difference as an alumnus.
View the full Reunion Weekend 2017 agenda.

Registration is $175 per person. Use promo code “OldWell” to save $25 when you register by December 15, 2016.

For inquiries on registering, becoming a Class Connector, giving to your class campaign or planning a class-specific event, please contact , assistant director of development for reunions.

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Giving back: The reason for the season [#permalink]

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New post 15 Dec 2016, 08:01
FROM Kenan Flagler Executive MBA Blog: Giving back: The reason for the season
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Just after Thanksgiving Break, a group of MBA students who serve on our Alumni Advisory Board spent hours calling hundreds of loyal Business School donors to share an important message: thank you.

As any Tar Heel will tell you, UNC Kenan-Flagler is a truly special place – because of people like you.

In 2016, more than 6,000 alumni, parents, students, faculty, staff and friends made a gift to the Business School. Your support allows us to attract and retain the world’s best and brightest students, faculty and staff and continue our long-standing tradition of excellence in business education that began nearly 100 years ago.

Pay it forward: Give todayBe part of our success. Make your gift to UNC Kenan-Flagler by December 31.

Make a gift

Want to double – or even triple – the impact of your gift? Ask if your employer will match your donation to UNC Kenan-Flagler! Click here for a list of companies that offer a matching gift program.

Remember, all gifts must be postmarked by Dec. 31 to quality for a 2016 tax deduction. You can also make a gift online until 11:59 p.m. EDT on Dec. 31.

Thank you for carrying on our tradition of giving back by making an annual gift to the School. Each and every member of our community greatly appreciates your support and generosity.

Questions about year-end giving? Contact us or phone (919.962.6815).

 



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The business of beer [#permalink]

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New post 23 May 2017, 16:02
FROM Kenan Flagler Executive MBA Blog: The business of beer
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The market for craft beer is brewing up a burgeoning global industry, one that’s doubled its sales this decade and claims annual revenue of more than $80 billion.

Local craft brewers and industry experts shared their entrepreneurial stories at UNC Kenan-Flagler’s MBA Reunion Weekend, opening up about an industry that’s all about crafting unique flavors, combinations and experiences.

Laying down roots in a community
After UNC basketball’s home win against Duke in 1997, Scott Maitland (JD ’95) stood on the balcony of Top of the Hill watching the party on Franklin Street below him, proudly wearing the hat of an entrepreneur.

Instead of running east down the street closer to campus as in the past, the fans gathered at the intersection of Franklin and Columbia Streets. The celebration had moved.

“With our national championship win this year, people have been talking about the role that Top of the Hill played in keeping Chapel Hill unique and different at a time when frankly, the town was struggling,” Maitland says.

Before Top of the Hill marked the “social crossroads” of Chapel Hill, a TGI Fridays almost took over the Franklin-Columbia intersection. But as a second-year UNC law student who had decided to call Chapel Hill home, Maitland took on the challenge of fighting off the chain influence in downtown Chapel Hill.

“Community and uniqueness are what moves me,” says Maitland, founder and proprietor of Top of the Hill Restaurant, Brewery and Distillery and an entrepreneur in residence at UNC Kenan-Flagler. “And it was in fact the anti-homogenization that comes with building something unique to a community that drove me to start Top of the Hill.”

After successfully raising money through crowdfunding, equity and stock purchase agreements, Maitland’s Top of the Hill opened up in 1994 as one of North Carolina’s first microbreweries. It now sells upwards of 2,200 barrels or about 8.7 million ounces of beer each year at the establishment.

From homebrewing to breweries
Sumit Vohra (EMBA ’08) found his passion in homebrewing while working at Cisco Systems from 2001 to 2008.

Vohra, who is chief executive and chief drinking officer of Lonerider Brewing Company, turned his passion into a career opportunity after he landed some brewing equipment at a bargain price. With the means to produce in his hands, Vohra says he wrote a business plan for Raleigh-based Lonerider in UNC Kenan-Flagler’s classrooms.

Meanwhile, Mystery Brewing Company got its start in Hillsborough, North Carolina, after founder and homebrewing enthusiast Erik Myers latched onto an idea for a business model that deviated from industry norms.

“Most people these days don’t want to go out and just drink the same beer all the time. Instead, they want to try what’s new,” Myers says. “So, I thought, ‘what if we just always make the new?’”

While most craft breweries focused on making a flagship beer that’s available year round, Myers wanted to shift the focus by opening a seasonal homemade brewery – one that includes a quarterly rotation of beers to appeal to more consumers.

Although Myers thought it might be difficult to convince investors to take a dive on a business model that had never been tested, Mystery Brewing defied all odds and became the first Kickstarter-funded brewery to open its doors in 2012.

Craft beer’s exploding popularity has also created a niche market for business-to-business organizations.

Audra Gaiziunas (OneMBA ’08) runs her own consultancy, Brewed for Her Ledger, to provide accounting, finance and operations strategy guidance to the craft brewing and cider communities. Gaiziunas, who got her start in the industry working at breweries since 2009, noticed an overarching need for more proficiency and better operational infrastructure in the business.

“I made it my mission to help alleviate that issue and minimize the chances for a brewery to open and operate undercapitalized,” Gaiziunas says. “I basically play devil’s advocate every step of the way while breweries start up so that when they open, they’re not going to be strangled for cash.”

Dream big – among all the challenges
With alcohol as one of the largest industries in the world, craft beer is poised to take on a larger share of that dominance. But with so much of craft beer’s appeal rooted in tight-knit communities, reaching new markets poses a unique challenge for business owners.

Competitors have risen quickly and complicated growth opportunities across the industry, oversaturating the market with beer. There are more than 5,300 breweries nationwide – up from less than 2,000 at the start of the decade.

That’s more reason to dream big when it comes to your ventures, Vohra says. The more confident you are, the quicker you’ll be able to move and take advantage of growing markets before they become oversaturated.

Gaiziunas says growth in the craft beer industry is centered around hyperlocal markets now, meaning expansion entails nuanced complications such as arranging for distribution that follows the laws in respective states.

But the industry’s still ripe for opportunity, she says. It’s just about understanding the community around the brewery and staying true to yourself.

“Above all, authenticity is key in this industry,” Gaiziunas says. “You have to be open and transparent about who you are when it comes to your business or else consumers will punish you by just not coming in.”

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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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Connect with alumni and students at our 2017 Summer Welcome socials [#permalink]

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New post 12 Jun 2017, 16:01
FROM Kenan Flagler Executive MBA Blog: Connect with alumni and students at our 2017 Summer Welcome socials
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As part of our annual tradition, the UNC Kenan-Flagler alumni engagement team – in partnership with the School’s degree programs and alumni clubs – is hosting a series of Summer Welcome events across the U.S. Join us at an event near you!

These casual, after-work gatherings connect students with alumni in the cities where they are interning and welcome our newest UNC Kenan-Flagler grads in a fun and relaxed setting.

Find an event near youRegister for your local Summer Welcome gathering and other alumni events in your area.
View our Events Calendar

Be sure to update your contact information to ensure you receive email invitations to events in your area.



Join us at an upcoming Summer Welcome event:




Thanks to everyone who helped make the Summer Welcome events in Charlotte and Seattle such a success!

Join us at an upcoming Alumni Club event:

  • Bay Area – June 24 – Bravante Vineyards Reception
  • Bay Area – June 26 – Breakfast in Silicon Valley with Dean Doug Shackleford
  • Atlanta – Sept. 15 – Breakfast with Tom Long – MillerCoors
  • Cary – July 18– Triangle Carolina Coffee

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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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Connect with alumni and students at our 2017 Summer Welcome socials   [#permalink] 12 Jun 2017, 16:01

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