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UNC Kenan-Flagler MBA Admissions and Related blogs

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YOU made a difference [#permalink]

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New post 08 Aug 2017, 19:00
FROM Kenan- Flagler Admissions Blog: YOU made a difference
Thank you for making fiscal year 2017 the greatest year of fundraising in the Business School’s history!

Together we set new records for donors to UNC Kenan-Flagler – 6,801 – and cash and commitments – $40.7 million in fiscal year 2017.

Most donors in a fiscal year6,801 alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends of the School helped us set a new record in fiscal year 2017 – that’s 227 more than the previous record.

The highest annual giving total in historyTogether we raised $3.5 million for the Fund for UNC Kenan-Flagler.

Record-setting student supportMajor gift donors created 14 new scholarships and fellowships for students across degree programs

The greatest Giving Day in School historyWe raised $415,611 from 1,257 donors in just 24 hours – and we BEAT DUKE!

Class-based giving successMilestone reunion classes and graduating students participated at historic rates

That adds up to $40.7M

in cash and commitments!

More important than the records, though, is the impact that you collectively made as supporters.

Annual gifts made in fiscal year 2017 generated essential funding for our top priorities through the Fund of UNC Kenan-Flagler. These gifts went directly to fund the areas of greatest need at the Business School, supporting the continued success of our students and faculty.

Endowed gifts made in fiscal year 2017 resulted in five new MBA fellowships, three new study abroad scholarships, four new Undergraduate Business scholarships, along with other key priorities, such as distinguished professorship, military veteran support, leadership initiatives, capital projects, and MAC and PhD fellowships.

YOU made a difference as UNC Kenan-Flagler donors and we are so very grateful for your support.



CLICK HERETO MAKE A GIFT

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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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Join us: Alumni Weekend 2018 [#permalink]

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New post 09 Aug 2017, 12:00
FROM Kenan- Flagler Admissions Blog: Join us: Alumni Weekend 2018


An unforgettable weekend awaits you when you join UNC Kenan-Flagler for Alumni Weekend on April 13-15, 2018. Come celebrate all alumni who graduated in years ending in “3” and “8” and help us welcome our Class of 2017 into the alumni family.

Spend time with your classmates and beloved faculty, experience UNC Kenan-Flagler’s world-class hospitality and fabulous food, and network with alumni and students from a variety of our programs. We can’t wait for you to relive your times as a student and to celebrate being a Tar Heel and Business School graduate.

We are recruiting Class Connectors – volunteers who encourage their classmates to come back and give back. Please contact Carrie Dobbins, assistant director of development for reunions, with questions and to sign up today!

Learn more about Alumni Weekend here.

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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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Join us: Alumni Weekend 2018 [#permalink]

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New post 09 Aug 2017, 16:01
FROM Kenan Flagler Executive MBA Blog: Join us: Alumni Weekend 2018


An unforgettable weekend awaits you when you join UNC Kenan-Flagler for Alumni Weekend on April 13-15, 2018. Come celebrate all alumni who graduated in years ending in “3” and “8” and help us welcome our Class of 2017 into the alumni family.

Spend time with your classmates and beloved faculty, experience UNC Kenan-Flagler’s world-class hospitality and fabulous food, and network with alumni and students from a variety of our programs. We can’t wait for you to relive your times as a student and to celebrate being a Tar Heel and Business School graduate.

We are recruiting Class Connectors – volunteers who encourage their classmates to come back and give back. Please contact Carrie Dobbins, assistant director of development for reunions, with questions and to sign up today!

Learn more about Alumni Weekend here.

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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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Getting ready for business school [#permalink]

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New post 20 Aug 2017, 18:00
FROM Kenan- Flagler Admissions Blog: Getting ready for business school
The Analytical Skills Workshop (ASW) was the perfect way for me to transition to business school life – academically and socially – at UNC Kenan-Flagler.

Getting my MBA has always been a dream of mine. I knew having a graduate degree would help take my career to the next level and with my career transition from market research to marketing management.

Getting into a top business school was half the battle, but as a first-generation business school student without a business background, I have my fair share of challenges in achieving that MBA diploma.

I majored in advertising and psychology at Syracuse University, where the majority of my classes were in liberal arts and communications. I have no knowledge of the inner workings of Wall Street or the critical framework to evaluate a business plan.

Attending ASW was so beneficial in helping me feel ready to start classes in three ways.

Prepare for academic life

Since there are no grades during ASW, incoming students get a better understanding of student conduct expectations and the ardor of business academics without the pressure to perform and achieve – which all ambitious MBA students are used to doing, of course!

Attending ASW allowed me to get back into student mode after working for five years and develop my study habits. As a night owl, that meant developing a morning routine for those 8 a.m. classes.

Three classes are offered during ASW: Analytical Skills, Accounting and Finance. They require the biggest learning curve and consist of the most amount of business jargon.

I found myself loving accounting and appreciating the jumpstart to prepare for on-campus recruiting before it is at full speed. The workshops on business writing, presenting and advanced Excel skills were unexpected bonuses that will give me an edge once the homework, class presentations and business competitions roll in. Professor Larry Mandelkehr had fun, practical Excel tricks up his sleep that I’m confident will make life much easier come crunch time.

Familiarize myself with the Research Triangle

The three weeks of ASW were also more than enough time for me to settle loose ends from making my move from the Chicago area to North Carolina, and to get to know not only my new home in Chapel Hill, but also Raleigh and Durham. Throughout ASW, great activities were organized outside of class to help students become more familiar with what the charming South has to offer.

On Service Day, a few classmates led groups of us to do community service with local organizations – SEEDS, NC Therapeutic Riding Center and Salvation Army Family Store.

And several evenings were dedicated to socials at local restaurants, bars and a Durham Bulls baseball game. All of these activities were wonderful ways to get to know classmates, their partners and families.

Start building my network within my class

I had time to get to know more than half of my class inside and outside of the classroom as more than 60 percent attended. I learned that there were so many people in the same boat as me, who were new to the frameworks and concepts of business.

I found my people, too! Those, who share my passions and interests. I also discovered great people who I can rely on for help, whether to better understand those sticky finance problems or to jump my car when I’m stuck somewhere, which did happen the first week!

It was overall a very delectable, teasing taste of all the fun adventures to come for the next two years. Professor Isaac Dinner facilitated an interesting business case discussion on the music industry, which showed me one of the things I am absolutely looking forward to in b-school – lively debates and discussions with my classmates, who offer interesting points of view from their fascinating, diverse backgrounds. I’ve come to business school to learn from them just as much from the world-class faculty and staff.

Now with classes starting, I’m so glad that I decided to do ASW as it was such a fun way to start my business school journey. UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School here I come!

By Cristina Balitaan (MBA ’19)

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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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When the incumbent innovates [#permalink]

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New post 28 Aug 2017, 06:00
FROM Kenan- Flagler Admissions Blog: When the incumbent innovates
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Alina Clarke (MSPH ’18)

While I completed the first year of my master’s program in health policy and management, I really valued the opportunities to continue exploring my interests in innovation and entrepreneurship with the Adams Apprenticeship.

I was thrilled to cobble together these seemingly disparate interests and dive into a summer internship where I could explore how the best of both worlds come together. My master’s program gave me the industry knowledge that I needed to truly understand a health-care system, and the Adams Apprenticeship gave me the mindset that I needed to innovate in it.

I spent my 2017 summer interning at Carolinas HealthCare System in Charlotte, North Carolina. I worked with its Innovation Engine, which accelerates the transformation of organization as part of its strategic services division.

Interning at the Innovation Engine immersed me in the “disrupt yourself before others disrupt you” mentality of innovative incumbents, and gave me firsthand exposure to the growth executive perspective of entrepreneurship. I learned three big lessons that also reflect my learnings from my Adams Apprenticeship experiences.

Fall in love with a problem, not a solution.
This concept is such an important underpinning of the Innovation Engine’s approach that it’s proudly displayed across a wall of their office in bold letters. The projects I worked on incorporated an in-depth discovery phase, using different types of interviewing techniques, business model and value proposition canvases, multi-stakeholder design sessions, and a relentless focus on the pain points and needs of the end user. The willingness to listen to consumers and pivot as the problem requires directly mirrored the advice that so many founders, funders and growth executives gave us throughout Ted Zoller’s Entrepreneur’s Lab course and our spring San Francisco trek.

Serendipity can be intentional.
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Alina Clarke at the Innovation Engine

The Innovation Engine proactively seeks serendipity by organizing experiences that make those “lucky” ideas, projects and engagements more likely. While the Adams Apprenticeship calls the travels to startups, companies and firms “treks,” the Innovation Engine refers to them as “field trips.” I toured Marriott’s national Innovation Lab at the Charlotte City Center and attended a lunch where their general manager offered analogous learning from their experiences testing innovations for hotel rooms and checking in, which prompted lively ideation and discussion around hospital rooms and health care check-in processes.

Innovation is a process, not an event.
I learned this from the Entrepreneur’s Lab course where the guest speakers shared their experiences and myth-busting discussions showed us how “overnight” successes don’t happen as quickly as the general public thinks. I now truly understood this after seeing how the Innovation Engine tirelessly deploys frameworks, design processes and emergent approaches to support Carolinas HealthCare System’s steps towards transforming healthcare in a heavily entrenched field.

By Alina Clarke (MSPH ’18)

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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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Real-world development challenge [#permalink]

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New post 29 Aug 2017, 07:00
FROM Kenan- Flagler Admissions Blog: Real-world development challenge
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Site plan for “Durham Commons” from the winning team

One of the UNC Real Estate Club’s most anticipated events is the annual First-Year Real Estate Case Competition. Each year club leaders write an introductory case narrative that challenges first-year students to create a development plan that offers holistic solutions to a given set of constraints.

Students are divided up into teams of five to six members who have an equal level of prior real estate experience. In less than a week each team creates a development program, a supporting pro forma and financial analysis, and a 20-minute presentation to share their recommendation with a panel of judges, who are practicing real estate industry professionals.

 The mission of the 2016 competition was to transform a 15-acre lot in Durham, North Carolina, into its highest and best use.  The property was located just south of Highway 147, across from the Durham Bulls Athletic Park and the American Tobacco Campus. Among the restrictions was a caveat to include at least 55 affordable senior housing units.

Teams combined their creativity with financial feasibility considerations to create an optimal site plan proposal. “I found the case competition an excellent opportunity to apply all the real estate fundamentals we have learned throughout the fall,” says Mark Robinson (MBA ’18). “It has been a great talking point in every internship interview that I’ve had.”

After all teams presented their development proposals to the judges, three teams of finalists were asked to present again in a winner-take-all showdown.

The Real Estate Club was very fortunate to assemble an experienced and diverse group of judges, including Dave Bookhout (BSBA’06, MBA’15), development director, AvalonBay Communities; Meredith Daye, director of development, Durham Housing Authority; John Florian, president, The Florian Companies; Michael Lemanski (MBA ’04), director, Development Finance Initiative; Lee Perry (BA’00, MBA ’06), development director, East West Partners; and Anthony Scott, CEO, Durham Housing Authority.

After the conclusion of the final presentations, competition participants, judges and volunteers met for a much-anticipated Happy Hour and networking session at Top of the Hill Restaurant and Brewery where the winners were announced.

The winning team included Robert Smith, Hunter Weaver, Mark Robinson, Spencer Wright, Zach Spencer and George Cavelius, all MBA Class of 2018. Their winning proposal, “Durham Commons,” was a mixed-use development featuring multi-family residential buildings with ground-floor retail, a boutique hotel, a creative food hall with walkability to the American Tobacco Campus and, of course, ample parking!

As someone who is a career-switcher – transitioning into the world of real estate – I found great value in the process.  The ability to work outside of our comfort zones andreceive constructive feedback from industry experts are rare and appreciated opportunities.

The exposure to the various aspects of real estate development, coupled with the experience of working as part of a project team served as a jump-start into the second semester’s formal real estate coursework.  Although no official prizes were awarded, being a member of the winning team granted us bragging rights for the rest of the year and the confidence that we can successfully pursue a career in real estate.

Kudos to each of the competing teams for their outstanding work and to the UNC Real Estate Club leadership for managing a tremendously successful case competition.

By George A. Cavelius (MBA ’18)

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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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MAC Student Perspectives: Game Day [#permalink]

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New post 01 Sep 2017, 15:00
FROM Kenan- Flagler Admissions Blog: MAC Student Perspectives: Game Day
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September is finally upon us. First-years are settling in on campus, upperclassmen are reuniting with friends after a summer spent apart, and MAC students are starting to prepare for exams. But there is only one thing on my mind – football season in Chapel Hill. The beginning of college football season is my favorite time of the year, and I’m especially excited about this year in particular. I was a UNC cheerleader throughout undergrad and this will be the first year I get to experience a UNC football game as a student cheering from the stands.

While standing on the field in Kenan Stadium in the midst of a Carolina victory is a phenomenal experience, nothing beats enjoying time well-spent with family, friends and classmates on a sunny Saturday in the Southern Part of Heaven. As the football team is warming up in preparation for the first kickoff of the year, I’ll spend the morning tailgating with fellow MAC students and old friends. I’ll walk down Franklin Street and through north campus as I venture to the stadium. I’ll walk past the Old Well, South building and the Bell Tower and be reminded that we attend the best University in the nation. I’ll spend the afternoon in Kenan Stadium singing the Fight Song after every touchdown scored and Hark the Sound at the end of the game. And win or lose, you’ll find me at TOPO after the game with an Old Well White in hand.

This morning, I woke up early and ran to the stadium. As I sat and reflected on the four years I spent cheering on the sidelines, my mind flooded with memories from seasons past. I can’t help but get chills thinking of the many seasons to come in which I will spend my Saturdays in this town and in this stadium surrounded by great friends and Carolina blue. How lucky am I to call this place home?

by Stephanie Watts, MAC ’18

>> Learn more about the UNC MAC student experience

 

 

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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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MAC Student Perspectives: “Be Audit You Can Be!” [#permalink]

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New post 08 Sep 2017, 12:00
FROM Kenan- Flagler Admissions Blog: MAC Student Perspectives: “Be Audit You Can Be!”
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When I walked into my audit class today, on the board read, “Be audit you can be!” Professor Dikolli provided just the subtle, punny, and comically-relieving motivation for MAC students in the midst of midterms.

Last week, we had exams in Financial Reporting A and Finance, and this week, we have an exam in Auditing and Assurance Services. We made it to week 5—how fast the MAC program is moving! Learning Teams have bonded, the accounting concepts are beginning to gel, and we’ve survived the hot summer weather!

Now that we’ve made it halfway through the first mod, I’ve noted three takeaways I’ve experienced in the past five weeks:

1. There is no such thing as procrastination in the MAC program. When it comes to the asynchronous material, videos must be watched before class, and it’s best to develop a regimented schedule.

2. Appreciate the differences in everyone. How mentally stimulating it is to be surrounded with students from different backgrounds, majors, and universities! Different perspectives are normally what saves our group assignment grades, and enjoying one another keeps us sane and refreshed during these extra-busy weeks!

3. Being confident, participating in class, and “being audit I can be” really maximizes my MAC program experience. Class sizes are ~25 students, and sometimes professors cold- call….which may seem daunting; however, students grow comfortable with an open classroom environment. These top-notch professors are invested in your learning and truly want you to know the material, whether you’re probing through financial statements, following an audit program, or playing catch-phrase to review for the midterm this Friday!

Time to study — wish us luck!

by Elizabeth Gay, MAC ’18

>> Learn more about the UNC MAC student experience

 

 

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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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Finding MBA health-care opportunities in RTP [#permalink]

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New post 09 Sep 2017, 01:00
FROM Kenan- Flagler Admissions Blog: Finding MBA health-care opportunities in RTP
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What if I told you there is a multibillion dollar Fortune 500 “World’s Most Admired” health-care company co-headquartered just 20 minutes away from campus?

What if I told you it’s not GlaxoSmithKline, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina or UNC Health Care or any of their counterparts?

If you’re scratching your head, it’s probably because you’ve only been seeing three types of health-care firms on campus:

  • Pharma
  • Payer
  • Provider
After your first year, you might add a few more contestants:

  • Pharmacy
  • Policy
  • (Non-)Profits
But you would still be missing a group of market players who are heavily invested in the Research Triangle Park, are growing rapidly and whose niche is expected to top $60 billion in the next five years.

When pharma needs a partner who can conduct research across six continents, they turn to this sector. When the National Football League needs to track injuries and understand key trends, they turn to this sector. And when payers need to benchmark effective care pathways, they turn to this sector.

Leading service providers in the health-care industry have evolved from providing back office statistical support to building analytics platforms, processing petabytes (1 million gigabytes) of anonymized patient data, and executing half-billion-dollar global trials. These strategic partners offer a range of integrated services to bring new efficiencies and new insights to the practice of health care. Some veterans know these vendors by their older classification as contract research organizations (CROs), and some pure CROs do still exist. After years of mergers and innovations, however, the biggest companies in this market have almost completely transformed.

As a second-year MBA student exploring local health care options, I was deeply grateful to the alumni who shared their experiences working for a wide range of these service providers. As I cross my one year anniversary of starting at QuintilesIMS, I can’t help but reflect on my own experiences to date.

Yesterday I spoke with the chief medical officer of a company fighting flesh-eating bacteria. Over the summer I signed business with a local firm that is running a groundbreaking FDA pilot study. Next week I’m showcasing a novel way to use digital health to track serious migraines occurring outside the health-care system.

That NFL work I mentioned? I sit next to the team who handles it. From these to anthrax to epilepsy to antibiotics, I have a front row seat to what’s coming next in health care. No two days are the same (not least because I work from home two to three days a week) and I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way.

If you’re considering work in the health-care industry, I encourage you to go beyond the big three and learn about more non-traditional paths. And if you have any questions, please reach out! I welcome the opportunity to pay it forward.



By Samantha Cunningham Register (MBA’16), senior business development representative, real-world insights, QuintilesIMS

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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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Patterns of Persistence [#permalink]

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New post 09 Sep 2017, 01:00
FROM Kenan- Flagler Admissions Blog: Patterns of Persistence
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Camille McGirt (MPH ’17) lending a helping hand at her Healthy Girls Save the World Summer Camp

Participants in the Adams Apprenticeship program at UNC Kenan-Flagler’s Center for Entrepreneurial Studies display a number of attributes that make them stand out as student entrepreneurs. One characteristic they have in common is persistence.

The Adams Apprenticeship provides undergraduate juniors and first-year MBA and graduate students with unique opportunities designed to have a transformative impact on their careers as entrepreneurs. The experiences of Michael Biron, Camille McGirt, Pierce Gaynor and Alain Glanzman are no exception.

These Adams Apprenticeship graduates have developed startups that span across a range of industries and market spaces, and their tenacity and perseverance played key roles in contributing to their success.

Biron, co-founder of Altis Biosystems, brought a business background and all-in attitude to his company, which has developed technology to accelerate safe, affordable drug discovery.

Since his experience connecting with top-level advisors and learning how to navigate difficult business situations through the Adams Apprenticeship, Biron has guided his startup through a process of final product validation and begun developing customer relationships.

“Working with CROs and pharmaceutical companies takes a lot of patience and persistence,” says Biron. “The B2B business model has a long sales cycle, and since Altis Biosystems was developed through UNC, there is an additional layer of complexity to every step of the process. In this type of business very few things happen quickly, but our hard work has been well worth it.”

In the nonprofit arena, McGirt is making an impact through her social enterprise Healthy Girls Save the World by providing transformational experiences and education that teach girls about healthy lifestyles.

After interning at the White House in 2010 and being inspired by Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign, McGirt became determined to be a part of the solution to overcoming challenges relating to adolescent health.

The Adams Apprenticeship played an instrumental role by connecting McGirt and her venture with crucial resources and relationships, helping her find funding, assisting with the creation of a sustainable growth strategy and guiding her through challenges along the way. The experience was a significant factor that allowed her to create a thriving organization, which acquired office space in Carrboro, North Carolina, in 2017 and is continuing to grow.

“The Adams Apprenticeship is an invaluable network comprised of people who truly care about developing UNC’s next generation of entrepreneurial leaders, and I am extremely grateful for the opportunity,” says McGirt.

Gaynor, who participated in the Adams program as an MBA student and Launch’s participant, is making waves in the world of literature. His venture, Fixional Inc., aims to create and curate the world’s largest library of fiction online while providing personalized user recommendations and establishing incentives for authors to contribute their writing.

“I’ve been working on this idea in various forms for the past seven years,” says Gaynor, an avid reader and writer of fiction. “I think we’re drowning in content to the point where ideas seem interchangeable and commoditized, and I wanted to put together a haven for works worth reading, remembering and learning.”

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Alain Glanzman (MBA ’17) and Co-founder, Marc Miller, present Walletfi at Launch Chapel Hill

Gaynor showed persistence when he changed his platform from an ad-supported site to a subscription-based business model and overcame obstacles associated with running an early stage company.

Glanzman, co-founder of WalletFi, created a startup designed to let consumers easily manage recurring payments from one card to another. Since graduating from the Adams Apprenticeship and participating in Launch, he expanded his business model to also offer it to banks.

Glanzman developed the idea for Walletfi with co-founder Marc Miller after moving several times and experiencing the process of changing the address on all his accounts as a major pain point.

What began as a dynamic duo that literally knocked on doors to gauge customer interest has transformed into a growing, thriving company that participated in a globally recognized accelerator in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Whether working in the health care, nonprofit, creative or financial sector, all of these entrepreneurs have persisted through formidable challenges. The Adams Apprenticeship taught them the tools to manage both the victories and complications of developing their ideas and transforming them into the successful ventures they are today.

By Lindsay Thompson (BA ’18)

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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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Patterns of persistence [#permalink]

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New post 12 Sep 2017, 09:00
FROM Kenan- Flagler Admissions Blog: Patterns of persistence
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Camille McGirt (MPH ’17) lending a helping hand at her Healthy Girls Save the World Summer Camp

Participants in the Adams Apprenticeship program at UNC Kenan-Flagler’s Center for Entrepreneurial Studies display a number of attributes that make them stand out as student entrepreneurs.  One characteristic they have in common is persistence.

The Adams Apprenticeship provides undergraduate juniors and first-year MBA and graduate students with unique opportunities designed to have a transformative impact on their careers as entrepreneurs. The experiences of Michael Biron (MBA ’17), Camille McGirt (MPH ’17), Pierce Gaynor (MBA ’17) and Alain Glanzman (MBA ’17)  are no exception.

These Adams Apprenticeship graduates have developed startups that span across a range of industries and market spaces, and their tenacity and perseverance played key roles in contributing to their success.

Biron, co-founder of Altis Biosystems, brought a business background and all-in attitude to his company, which has developed technology to accelerate safe, affordable drug discovery.

Since his experience connecting with top-level advisors and learning how to navigate difficult business situations through the Adams Apprenticeship, Biron has guided his startup through a process of final product validation and begun developing customer relationships.

“Working with CROs and pharmaceutical companies takes a lot of patience and persistence,” says Biron. “The B2B business model has a long sales cycle, and since Altis Biosystems was developed through UNC, there is an additional layer of complexity to every step of the process. In this type of business very few things happen quickly, but our hard work has been well worth it.”

In the nonprofit arena, McGirt is making an impact through her social enterprise Healthy Girls Save the World by providing transformational experiences and education that teach girls about healthy lifestyles.

After interning at the White House in 2010 and being inspired by Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign, McGirt became determined to be a part of the solution to overcoming challenges relating to adolescent health.

The Adams Apprenticeship played an instrumental role by connecting McGirt and her venture with crucial resources and relationships, helping her find funding, assisting with the creation of a sustainable growth strategy and guiding her through challenges along the way. The experience was a significant factor that allowed her to create a thriving organization, which acquired office space in Carrboro, North Carolina, in 2017 and is continuing to grow.

“The Adams Apprenticeship is an invaluable network comprised of people who truly care about developing UNC’s next generation of entrepreneurial leaders, and I am extremely grateful for the opportunity,” says McGirt.

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Alain Glanzman (MBA ’17) and Co-founder, Marc Miller, present Walletfi at Launch Chapel Hill

Gaynor, who participated in both the Adams Apprenticeship and Launch Chapel Hill as an MBA student,  is making waves in the world of literature. His venture, Fixional Inc., aims to create and curate the world’s largest library of fiction online while providing personalized user recommendations and establishing incentives for authors to contribute their writing.

“I’ve been working on this idea in various forms for the past seven years,” says Gaynor, an avid reader and writer of fiction. “I think we’re drowning in content to the point where ideas seem interchangeable and commoditized, and I wanted to put together a haven for works worth reading, remembering and learning.”

Gaynor showed persistence when he changed his platform from an ad-supported site to a subscription-based business model and overcame obstacles associated with running an early stage company.

Glanzman, co-founder of WalletFi, created an app designed to let consumers easily manage recurring payments from one card to another. Since graduating from the Adams Apprenticeship and participating in Launch, he expanded his business model to also offer it to banks.

Glanzman developed the idea for Walletfi with co-founder Marc Miller after moving several times and experiencing the process of changing the address on all his accounts as a major pain point.

What began as a dynamic duo that literally knocked on doors to gauge customer interest has transformed into a growing, thriving company that participated in a globally recognized accelerator in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Whether working in the health care, nonprofit, creative or financial sector, all of these entrepreneurs have persisted through formidable challenges. The Adams Apprenticeship taught them the tools to manage both the victories and complications of developing their ideas and transforming them into the successful ventures they are today.

By Lindsay Thompson (BA ’18)

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Why does (should) data analytics matter to accountants [#permalink]

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New post 12 Sep 2017, 09:00
FROM Kenan- Flagler Admissions Blog: Why does (should) data analytics matter to accountants
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“What do the numbers tell us?”

“Let’s dig into the data!”

“Can we analyze this in real-time?”

It’s very likely that you’ve heard these expressions around the office. Big data. Data analytics. Data science. This is important stuff.



>> Are you data savvy? It’s a key component of your Business IQ. Test your IQ here”.




But why is this important? And what does it have to do with accounting?


Accountants use data analytics to help businesses uncover valuable insights within their financials, identify process improvements that can increase efficiency, and better manage risk. “Accountants will be increasingly expected to add value to the business decision making within their organizations and for their clients,” comments Associate Professor Wendell Gilland, who teaches Data Analytics for Accountants at the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School. “A strong facility with data analytics gives them the toolset to help strengthen their partnership with business leaders.”

Here are a few examples:

Auditors, both those working internally and externally, can shift from a sample-based model to employ continuous monitoring where much larger data sets are analyzed and verified. The result: less margin of error resulting in more precise recommendations.

Tax accountants use data science to quickly analyze complex taxation questions related to investment scenarios. In turn, investment decisions can be expedited, which allows companies to respond faster to opportunities to beat their competition — and the market — to the punch.

Accountants who assist, or act as, investment advisors use big data to find behavioral patterns in consumers and the market. These patterns can help businesses build analytic models that, in turn, help them identify investment opportunities and generate higher profit margins.

 

Four types of data analytics

To get a better handle on big data, it’s important to understand four key types of data analytics.

1. Descriptive analytics = “What is happening?”

This is used most often and includes the categorization and classification of information. Accountants report on the flow of money through their organizations: revenue and expenses, inventory counts, sales tax collected. Accurate reporting is a hallmark of solid accounting practices. Compiling and verifying large amounts of data is important to this accurate reporting.

2. Diagnostic analytics = “Why did it happen?”

Diagnostics are used to monitor changes in data. Accountants regularly analyze variances and calculate historical performance. Because historical precedent is often an excellent indicator of future performance, these calculations are critical to build reasonable forecasts.

3. Predictive analytics = “What’s going to happen?”

Here, data is used to assess the likelihood of future outcomes. Accountants are instrumental in building forecasts and identifying patterns that shape those forecasts. When accountants act as trusted advisors and build forecasts, business leaders grow increasingly confident in following them.

4. Prescriptive analytics = “What should happen?”

Tangible actions — and critical business decisions — arise from prescriptive analytics. Accountants use the forecasts they create to make recommendations for future growth opportunities or, in some cases, raise an alert on poor choices. This insight is an example of the significant impact that accountants make in the business world.

 

Why accountants make excellent data scientists

Accountants have outstanding technical skills. Gilland notes, “Accountants are used to aggregating information to create a picture of an organization that summarizes the details contained in each transaction. Working with descriptive analytics, predictive analytics, and prescriptive analytics comes more easily to people who already possess excellent quantitative skills.”

Accountants are natural-born problem solvers. The jump from descriptive and diagnostic analytics to predictive and prescriptive analytics requires that one shift from an organizational mindset to an inquisitive mindset; a shift from stacking and sorting information to figuring out how to use that information to make key business decisions. Accountants are experts at making this jump.

Accountants see the larger context and business implications. The true value of data analysis comes not at the point when the data is compiled, but rather when decisions are made using insights derived from the data. To uncover these insights, a data scientist must first understand the business context. Not only do accountants understand this context, they live it.

 

How can you become more data savvy?

Build your skills. A Master of Accounting degree from the University of North Carolina will significantly expand your knowledge of data analytics. The topic headlines one of our key courses. And, perhaps more importantly, data analytics is infused into many classes across our curriculum so that you can acquire this critical training in context with many other key topics.

 

Interested in data analytics? Here are a few things to try:

>> Download “What would the accountant say?”

Solve a common business problem through the lens of an accounting data scientist.

>> Take our Business IQ quiz.

Use our self-evaluation tool that measures numerous aspects of your business savvy, including, of course, your penchant for data and your analytics mindset.

 

What’s your next career move?

The online Master of Accounting (MAC) degree from the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School can give your career the boost it needs.

  • Flexibility: Evening courses and a pace you set
  • Reputation: World-class faculty and a top-ranked program
  • Support: A career services team dedicated to the needs of working professionals
>> Learn more about the program>> View a demo of our live classes

>> Join our next webinar

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Dean’s Circle Spotlight [#permalink]

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New post 12 Sep 2017, 10:00
FROM Kenan- Flagler Admissions Blog: Dean’s Circle Spotlight
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“My heart is in Chapel Hill,” says John Chapman (BSBA ’00, MBA ’08), who served as president of the MBA Student Association when he was a student.

Chapman has definitely not slowed his involvement with UNC Kenan-Flagler since turning his tassel on graduation day. He serves on the Alumni Council and as an executive board member for the UNC Kenan-Flagler Atlanta Alumni Chapter.

“I find giving my time personally rewarding, and I enjoy the networking aspect of UNC Kenan-Flagler events,” says Chapman. “I love getting to know people who are as passionate about Carolina as I am.”

Chapman’s passion for the School also shows in his philanthropic giving. He is a member of the Dean’s Circle, which recognizes annual donors who make annual gifts of $1,000 and above, and directs his gifts to the Fund for UNC Kenan-Flagler – the unrestricted annual fund supporting students, faculty and programs. By giving, he knows his contributions help provide an even better education than he had and increase the value of his degree.

“I give largely because I’ve realized that universities and graduate schools are more and more dependent on outside sources of funding to be successful – or even to exist,” he says. “I really care about future students and the continuing value of my degree, and it’s important for me to invest in both.”

Chapman hopes that students will go outside their comfort zones to figure out what it is that they want to do with their lives.

His advice? “Get involved and take risks. Your few years in the MBA Program are a great opportunity to lead an organization or start a club. The downside to doing this is pretty minimal.”

Chapman has taken this approach in his career. He searched for an organization that would be a good cultural fit and eventually landed as director of onboarding at athenahealth, Inc. During this search, he leveraged his network from the MBA Class of 2008.

Most recently, Chapman volunteered to serve as a Class Connector to encourage his MBA classmates to come back to Chapel Hill for their 10th reunion and give back to the School. They will celebrate the milestone during Alumni Weekend on April 13-15, 2018.

“Being with the people in the place where we shared these wonderful years together will be so energizing, fun and meaningful,” says Chapman. “The opportunity to do that with my UNC Kenan-Flagler friends and colleagues will be incredible.”

More than anything, he wants the MBA Class of 2008 to remember two of their best years spent together in a town and community they love.

“Think about how wonderful it was to be in Chapel Hill as a student,” he says. And while that feeling might have faded since graduation, coming back helps to invigorate that feeling. Put Alumni Weekend on your calendar, don’t second guess yourself and you’ll be very glad you made the effort.”

Chapman plans to travel back to Chapel Hill even before Alumni Weekend to attend a football game with his wife, Kerry (MBA ’09), and son, John.

“My 4-year-old is a huge Tar Heel fan. My 1-year-old doesn’t know it yet, but she is too. The opportunity to bring back my family to reunion and to see other classmates’ families is another big reason to come back.”

Chapman met his wife at UNC Kenan-Flagler and they married at the Carolina Inn. They live in Atlanta.

To learn more about the Dean’s Circle, Class Connector Program or Alumni Weekend, contact Carrie Dobbins, assistant director of development for reunions, at carrie_dobbins@kenan-flagler.unc.edu or 919.962.7428.

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The key to real estate? Relationships, relationships, relationships [#permalink]

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New post 13 Sep 2017, 10:00
FROM Kenan- Flagler Admissions Blog: The key to real estate? Relationships, relationships, relationships
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Real estate is an entrepreneurial business. No matter what company you work for, our industry is one where you “eat what you kill.” I certainly learned that to be the case when I interned with a lean, retail investment and development firm, Crosland Southeast, in Charlotte. I spent my summer underwriting retail investments alongside Bobby Speir (MBA ’15) and learned valuable lessons about real estate investment and what makes it so entrepreneurial.

Real estate is a local business.
We’ve all heard that the three most important aspects of real estate are: Location, location, location. I learned just true that is, especially for retail investments. I canvased various markets in the southeast and looked for the best retail locations for potential acquisition and development.

But even more important than looking at sites is speaking to experts in each market. Since real estate is a local business, I learned that the best people to talk to about potential sites are local brokers. They are in tune with the leasing market, the investment players and each new development. Connecting with local experts is the fastest way to learn a market and determine its potential for investment.

Cold calls are necessary.
When investment markets are on fire, cold calls become absolutely necessary to finding good deals. The entrepreneurial nature of real estate takes over. If you want to make deals happen, you have to be willing to pick up the phone and call 20 or more current owners to see if they are willing to sell before you even get once response. Be willing to accept “no” as an answer and persevere. Having an entrepreneurial spirit and being willing to face rejection and keep going are critical to success in this industry.

Real estate is still relational.
Real estate is all about relationships. To be successful you have to build relationships with local sales brokers, land owners, lenders, tenant representatives, architects, engineers, land planners, leasing agents, developers – and the list goes on and on. Many people are needed to make a real estate deal successful and being able to form and cultivate relationships are crucial skills. I learned this firsthand when I attended the Nashville ICSC Deal-Making Meeting, where we had multiple meetings with brokers and land owners about potential acquisitions.

Remember that to be successful in real estate, you have to have a “go get ’em” attitude, form a large network and be ready to talk to anyone because you never how a single conversation might lead to something bigger!

By Alex Griffin (MBA ‘18)

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How my Adams Apprenticeship Coach Inspired my Company Idea [#permalink]

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New post 16 Sep 2017, 01:00
FROM Kenan- Flagler Admissions Blog: How my Adams Apprenticeship Coach Inspired my Company Idea
Sports have always been a passion of mine. I experienced the transformational power of sports as an immigrant child from Nigeria who lacked confidence in his new surroundings of the Bronx, NY. Playing organized baseball taught me discipline, perseverance, and how to deal with winning and losing. My experience as a child is not unique but rather one that is shared by millions of children all around the world. Sports allow us to be who we want to be and unite us under the banners of competition and fandom.

Sports equates to passion.

As I’ve grown older, that passion has blossomed into more than I could have expected. I’ve had jobs in sports ranging from company CFO to fantasy basketball expert to TV show producer. I am the “guy with the cool job in sports” within my network and have embraced that distinction like a badge of honor. I’ve been part of founding sports technology companies and came back to business school determined to start my own venture. UNC Kenan-Flagler seemed like the perfect fit because of its reputation for both academic and athletic excellence. During my post-acceptance visit, my conversations with Ted Zoller and Kris Hergert showed me a path forward as an entrepreneur, and I came in excited to access all the resources that UNC and the Triangle had to offer.

Without a doubt, the Adams Apprenticeship program has been the most impactful resource in my journey as an entrepreneur. The access that the Adams Apprenticeship provides is immeasurable, as Adams Advisors have served as sounding boards for me while at Chapel Hill.

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The perfect example of this is Phaedra Boinodiris, my Adams Coach. Within our first few conversations, Phaedra was able to help me answer several key questions I was battling with during my 1st year at Kenan-Flagler. Should I start a company in sports? Do I pursue one of my lifelong goals of engaging kids in academics through sports now or wait until I’ve built out another business? Phaedra spoke to me about her experience building her own company, womangamers.com, and her experiences working at IBM, and we instantly connecting the dots that I should go deeper into preparing kids for the future. The future will be centered around machine learning, virtual reality, augmented reality; concepts which all have their roots in computer science.

And that’s when the idea came. Expose young kids to computer science through sports and gaming.

Phaedra and I have continued to work together since those early conversations. This summer, I developed a pilot workshop that teaches the basics of Data Science through basketball. That workshop will be used this fall to better understand the needs of students and to validate the teaching methods I will build into software. The workshop will also be part of the EdTech Ecosystem Program IBM is developing with the United Nations (Phaedra is spearheading this program) to cultivate the next generation of new collar employees and entrepreneurs.

Phaedra and I are growing together professionally and it’s all because of the Adams Apprenticeship.

Chijioge Nwogu, MBA ‘18

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How my Adams Apprenticeship Coach Inspired my Company Idea   [#permalink] 16 Sep 2017, 01:00

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