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UNC Kenan-Flagler MBA Admissions and Related blogs

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OneMBA delivers dual network benefit  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jan 2018, 11:01
FROM Kenan Flagler Executive MBA Blog: OneMBA delivers dual network benefit
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Ganpi Srinivasan, senior manager at Amazon Transportation Services, is a 2017 grad of the Global OneMBA Program. He shared his experiences as an Executive MBA student and a first-generation immigrant, why he chose UNC Kenan-Flagler, and the truly unique experience of OneMBA.

Can you share one of your favorite aspects of the OneMBA program?

Easily my favorite aspect of the program was the dual local and global cohort structure. It is completely unique to OneMBA. Initially I had a hard time choosing between the different Executive MBA programs that UNC Kenan-Flagler offers, but I am so glad I chose OneMBA because I instantly became part of a local UNC Kenan-Flagler cohort and a global OneMBA cohort. From day one we  interacted with a large, diverse team. The local cohort and global teams gave us a sandbox to play in – we learned on the fly how to effectively communicate with virtual teams and keep our projects going strong across cultures and time zones.

How did your cohort contribute to your development and outcomes?

My biggest takeaway from OneMBA and the cohort experience was what I learned through my peers. An Executive MBA is not like an undergrad or even full-time MBA experience. It’s not just about academics.

UNC Kenan-Flagler offered an almost philosophical method of learning through case studies that were thoroughly discussed in groups at the beginning of the class. Most, if not all, of the time there was never one right or wrong answer. All of us viewed these cases from different angles, bringing our unique experiences to the discussion. Our class was incredibly diverse – women, military, immigrants like myself, business owners, etc. Because we were able to analyze problems from different perspectives, I would argue that I learned just as much from my peers as I did from my professors.

Secondly, the value system of collaboration in UNC Kenan-Flagler is highlighted from the very first day. This program is not centered on succeeding at the expense of your peers, but rather at excelling through teamwork. Beginning with team-building exercises during orientation, it was clear that OneMBA is built and designed around collaboration.

Adopting this value system made my shift to a top company like Amazon a seamless transition, because they’ve built their business on very similar values. At the heart of it, UNC Kenan-Flagler taught me how to listen to others’ opinions and form my own at the same time.

How important was the strength of the UNC alumni network?

The alumni network was one of the key factors I considered when choosing UNC Kenan-Flagler, and it was another reason I chose OneMBA. With other programs you gain an immediate local network of peers, but with OneMBA you instantly gain 120 connections all over the world. Having a bigger global network in addition to the UNC network has been very helpful.

When I was interviewing with executives for positions after graduating from the program, having UNC Kenan-Flagler on my resume was indispensable. When I was negotiating my role at Amazon, one of the execs told me that UNC Kenan-Flagler preps you to excel at any position at top companies because it is unconventional, competitive and collaborative.

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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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Executive MBA: ROI extends beyond tangible benefits  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jan 2018, 11:01
FROM Kenan Flagler Executive MBA Blog: Executive MBA: ROI extends beyond tangible benefits
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Matt Straatman, account executive at Dell EMC, shared his UNC Kenan-Flagler Executive MBA experience. The program exposed him to a new set of entrepreneurial skills and changed his perspective on the program’s ROI.

How did the cohort structure impact your EMBA experience?

 The diversity of backgrounds and perspectives within each class cohort is truly something that distinguishes UNC Kenan-Flagler’s Executive MBA program from others.  I’d say I learned just as much, if not more, from my classmates than anything taught by my professors in the formal curriculum.  Most students, including me, entered the program with deep experience working in a single business function, such as sales, marketing, HR, finance or engineering and sometimes unknowingly possessed a somewhat myopic view of business as seen through the lenses of those particular roles.

As a sales professional, I found learning from my engineering and finance peers incredibly valuable. It gave me new and unique perspectives into how those professionals thought, communicated and approached any given business challenge. This experience shaped me into a more well-rounded business professional and gave me the confidence and insight to communicate more intelligently with any person in any role in any organization.

Was there a standout faculty experience and how did it impact your career?

 While there are so many amazing professors at UNC Kenan-Flagler that influenced my academic and professional development, Dr. Ted Zoller truly stands out as someone that had an immediate impact on my career and really shaped my professional goals. Dr. Zoller is truly a well of knowledge when it comes to all things entrepreneurship. Not only is he adept at teaching his students the fundamentals and frameworks for creating, launching and scaling new businesses, but he also has the network and hands-on experience as an entrepreneur himself to back all of it up.

During my second year in the program, I had the pleasure of accompanying Dr. Zoller on a Global Entrepreneurship Lab (GEL) in Denmark.  We met with dozens of Danish entrepreneurs and executives around the country to learn first-hand about their experiences in founding and building their own enterprises. Through GEL, I also acted as a consultant for a European start-up company participating in the Next Steps Challenge Competition. Overall it was truly an invaluable experience that instilled a passion for entrepreneurship in me and laid a foundation of entrepreneurial skills that I continue to apply in my own ventures as well as my current role as a technology sales professional.

Since graduating, I’ve continued to stay in touch with Dr. Zoller, leveraging his expertise and network to develop my own entrepreneurial ideas as well as those of my customers. His excitement and passion for entrepreneurship is contagious, so beware!

How would you describe the ROI of the UNC Kenan-Flagler program?

Like most working professionals considering an Executive MBA and evaluating its potential return, I focused my initial ROI analysis on weighing the expected quantifiable benefits (higher salary, accelerated career growth timeline, etc.) against any perceived risks or negatives (student loan debt, potential conflicts with my current job and family responsibilities, etc.).  Although three years later many of those tangible benefit goals have undoubtedly materialized for me, so many more unexpected benefits have developed in between that deserve to be calculated into the ROI I continue to realize.

First, I’ve built an extensive network of peers and professors who will continue to play a role in my professional development and open doors to new roles and responsibilities.  In fact, my current position stems directly from an opportunity provided by someone in my UNC Kenan-Flagler MBA network.

Second, I developed a new set of entrepreneurial skills, established a network of experienced and qualified entrepreneur mentors, and found a passion for start-up consulting. Since completing the EMBA program, I’ve consulted for several small start-up companies on the side and continue to stay involved in the UNC entrepreneurial community.  Had you told me three years ago that I would be advising and helping early-stage ventures scale and grow their businesses, I would have called you crazy.

Finally, as a sales professional, having an MBA from UNC Kenan-Flagler has opened doors to new sales opportunities with immediate, tangible business results that I never expected.  Having an MBA from a top-ranked program like UNC Kenan-Flagler has strengthened my personal brand, set me apart from my competitors, and helped me to develop meaningful business opportunities. I often leverage the skills, network, and experience I gained in the Executive MBA program to help my customers solve their own business challenges or drive new initiatives forward. At the end of the day, I bring greater value to my customers and that is a true differentiator.

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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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Developing leaders with diverse perspectives  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jan 2018, 17:00
FROM Kenan- Flagler Admissions Blog: Developing leaders with diverse perspectives
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Amanda Rodgers chose to pursue her MBA as a professional challenge to fast-track her growth in management at her company. What she didn’t expect was that earning an MBA would provide immediate opportunities at different companies and the confidence to pursue executive roles she describes as “a huge step outside of my comfort zone.”

What was your favorite aspect of the Executive MBA program?

My favorite part of the Executive MBA program was the accessibility to the faculty. The caliber of professors is amazing – of course we benefitted from our time with them in the classroom, but they also offered help and counsel outside of the classroom. Many have industry experience and do consulting work, so they really understand the industries they teach about, are at the top of their fields, and bring real-life trends and case studies to class.

What made you choose the UNC Kenan-Flagler Executive MBA program?

While there were many reasons, one of the most important was the cohort structure at UNC Kenan-Flagler. I knew that a group who valued team development in tandem with personal growth was right for me. In my cohort and study group, we took on work for each other if any of us were having a hard time with specific classes or because of non-academic reasons. My cohort was close outside of the classroom, and we developed friendships that extended beyond our professional and academic lives.

You know, I don’t think that I even truly understood the value of the cohort until about six months in to the program. It was then that I really grasped how it strengthened our personal growth and development experience –  it makes perfect sense that we would learn in teams because we work in teams every day. During the program, we got so much perspective from our peers in the cohort. I learned that it is always better to have lots of people with different expertise. I have a sales background, and people on my team were HR professionals in pharmaceuticals, aerospace engineers, marketing professionals  and more. The diversity was a huge plus and allowed us to excel in every assignment.

I wanted to make sure that UNC Kenan-Flagler was right for me, so before I applied, I sat in on several classes to get a feel for the interactions between students. I could see the relationships the teams built and the excellent working dynamic the class had, and I knew I wanted that, too.

How did the Executive MBA program develop your leadership skills?

Image
Amanda participates in a team-building exercise during orientation in October 2015.

The program gave me a toolkit to understand diverse business situations and the finesse to approach a variety of problems in unique ways. It gave me the ability to step back and look at the people in the room, and then interpret things differently based on the situation. How can I build confidence right now? How can I encourage? How can I motivate? The answers to those questions are different to different employees – the program gave us an understanding of how people think and the ability to motivate them. It’s a set of principles and a skill set I wouldn’t have learned on the job alone.

When reflecting on my MBA, it’s clear that the entire experience made an impact. Certainly there are “aha!” moments, but it’s really all of it together. Going in, I thought that the hard skills would be most helpful, but after completing the program I most value the soft skills it gave me. Knowing how to inspire and motivate teams and how to constructively go against the grain gave me a new level of confidence. Making the decision to get my Executive MBA was the first time I’d taken a chance on myself in 10 years, and I am so glad I did!

Image
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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Joined: 22 Nov 2013
Posts: 178
Impact at scale  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jan 2018, 17:00
FROM Kenan- Flagler Admissions Blog: Impact at scale
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Figuring out the best ways to be innovative in business can be difficult, but speakers at the 2017 Careers with Impact Forum gave tips on the steps to successful innovation within a corporation and industry-wide.

Communicate well and often.
Whether it’s communication to stakeholders, co-workers or recruiters, good communication drives success.

Not only will effective communication skills convince recruiters that you have the skillset for a certain position, but communication pushes innovation. Mackenzie McBride, associate of strategic initiatives at Cypress Creek Renewables, says this is especially true for quickly growing companies, where two people in different offices could be “racing down” the same path simultaneously without knowing it.

Broaden your horizons.
If you’re interested in sustainable business, you don’t necessarily need to work at a sustainable company, or even have a sustainable title at a traditional company.

You can have a traditional role at a traditional company and be a sustainable human, says Taylor Mallard (MBA ‘15), associate marketing manager at Burt’s Bees, a subsidiary of the larger Clorox corporation. If you have a passion for something, you can almost always incorporate it into your work, even if your position isn’t inherently tied to that passion.

Create your own experience.
Although large corporations can be daunting, you can almost always find some flexibility within an organization or a project that allows you to create your own experience and be satisfied with your work, says Boyce.

For introverts, this might be difficult. Once you find something that you’re good at, see how you can build upon it. This will give you the confidence to bring new ideas and stand behind your work, says McBride.

Be bold.
The best way to be innovative in the workplace is to try new things.

Many businesses, especially sustainable businesses, highly value innovation. Therefore, fresh ideas will likely be encouraged, even if they’re “half-baked” as Scott Boyce, business strategy associate at Direct Supply, says.

If your ideas aren’t making your manager say no, you aren’t pushing the limits enough, says Mallard.

Have confidence.
If you want to bring new ideas to the table, it’s necessary to convince people that you’re an expert on that specific topic, even if you aren’t at the peak of the learning curve.

Be confident with your individual value and to know that what you bring to the table can have a huge impact within a company and in the broader industry, says Mallard.

 By Mary Alice Blackstock (BA ’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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Joined: 22 Nov 2013
Posts: 178
Developing leaders with diverse perspectives  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Jan 2018, 00:02
FROM Kenan Flagler Executive MBA Blog: Developing leaders with diverse perspectives
Image
Amanda Rodgers chose to pursue her MBA as a professional challenge to fast-track her growth in management at her company. What she didn’t expect was that earning an MBA would provide immediate opportunities at different companies and the confidence to pursue executive roles she describes as “a huge step outside of my comfort zone.”

What was your favorite aspect of the Executive MBA program?

My favorite part of the Executive MBA program was the accessibility to the faculty. The caliber of professors is amazing – of course we benefitted from our time with them in the classroom, but they also offered help and counsel outside of the classroom. Many have industry experience and do consulting work, so they really understand the industries they teach about, are at the top of their fields, and bring real-life trends and case studies to class.

What made you choose the UNC Kenan-Flagler Executive MBA program?

While there were many reasons, one of the most important was the cohort structure at UNC Kenan-Flagler. I knew that a group who valued team development in tandem with personal growth was right for me. In my cohort and study group, we took on work for each other if any of us were having a hard time with specific classes or because of non-academic reasons. My cohort was close outside of the classroom, and we developed friendships that extended beyond our professional and academic lives.

You know, I don’t think that I even truly understood the value of the cohort until about six months in to the program. It was then that I really grasped how it strengthened our personal growth and development experience –  it makes perfect sense that we would learn in teams because we work in teams every day. During the program, we got so much perspective from our peers in the cohort. I learned that it is always better to have lots of people with different expertise. I have a sales background, and people on my team were HR professionals in pharmaceuticals, aerospace engineers, marketing professionals  and more. The diversity was a huge plus and allowed us to excel in every assignment.

I wanted to make sure that UNC Kenan-Flagler was right for me, so before I applied, I sat in on several classes to get a feel for the interactions between students. I could see the relationships the teams built and the excellent working dynamic the class had, and I knew I wanted that, too.

How did the Executive MBA program develop your leadership skills?

Image
Amanda participates in a team-building exercise during orientation in October 2015.

The program gave me a toolkit to understand diverse business situations and the finesse to approach a variety of problems in unique ways. It gave me the ability to step back and look at the people in the room, and then interpret things differently based on the situation. How can I build confidence right now? How can I encourage? How can I motivate? The answers to those questions are different to different employees – the program gave us an understanding of how people think and the ability to motivate them. It’s a set of principles and a skill set I wouldn’t have learned on the job alone.

When reflecting on my MBA, it’s clear that the entire experience made an impact. Certainly there are “aha!” moments, but it’s really all of it together. Going in, I thought that the hard skills would be most helpful, but after completing the program I most value the soft skills it gave me. Knowing how to inspire and motivate teams and how to constructively go against the grain gave me a new level of confidence. Making the decision to get my Executive MBA was the first time I’d taken a chance on myself in 10 years, and I am so glad I did!

Image
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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Joined: 22 Nov 2013
Posts: 178
We need YOU for BluevBlue!  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jan 2018, 16:00
FROM Kenan- Flagler Admissions Blog: We need YOU for BluevBlue!
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It’s that time of year again – time to beat Duke’s Fuqua School of Business in our second annual 24-hour BluevBlue Giving Challenge on Tues., Feb. 27, 2018.

BluevBlue brings together the UNC Kenan-Flagler and Duke Fuqua communities – alumni, students, parents, employees and friends – to be a part of an exciting points-based giving challenge. We took the title in 2017, but we need YOU to help us keep it.

We are challenging YOU to pick your “starting lineup” – five UNC Kenan-Flagler friends, colleagues or classmates who you’re willing to contact to encourage them to give back and help us beat Duke.

Joining the challenge is easy! Follow these steps to take part in helping us claim the challenge title:

  • Fill out this form with five of your closest UNC Kenan-Flagler friends, co-workers and classmates. This will be your starting lineup!
  • Mark your calendar to email, call, Facebook, fax or text your starting lineup to encourage them to support the School (and beat Duke!) on Feb. 27.
  • If you and all of the people in your starting lineup make a gift to UNC Kenan-Flagler during the BluevBlue Challenge, your name will be entered in a drawing to win prizes, including a luxury prize to be announced in the coming weeks. Now that’s a slam dunk!
Are YOU ready to take the challenge? Let’s show Duke who has the better alumni community.

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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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Grants help MBA students make an impact  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jan 2018, 00:00
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FROM Kenan- Flagler Admissions Blog: Grants help MBA students make an impact
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There’s no doubt that the UNC Kenan- Flagler Business School is a pioneer in the field of sustainability.  Its innovative leadership in the field for almost 20 years was demonstrated again when the UNC Kenan- Flagler Net Impact Club and the Center for Sustainable Enterprise created the Social Impact Summer Grants (SISG) in 2014.

For the past three summers, Social Impact Summer Grants have supported MBA students that pursue internships with social impact organizations that require business skills and are underfunded.  The grants used to differentiate UNC Kenan-Flagler, but now 18 other top MBA programs have followed suit and created a social impact awareness fund.

“When you look at our competing business schools, all of them have a program like ours. Where they vary is how they are funded,” Tom Cawley, director of advancement services said. “When prospective MBA students are researching business schools and going through the application and selection processes, having this kind of fund is a factor. They want to know if the institution has some sort of social impact program.”

Since its conception, the program has enabled five MBA students to make a social impact through their summer internships. Today it is at risk of disappearing without new funding.  UNC Kenan-Flagler is seeking donations to fund more students with the creation of an endowment.  To make that a reality, the School needs to raise $100,000 by spring 2018.

The Social Impact Summer Grants allow MBA students to follow their passions of working for socially responsible, sustainable and community-oriented businesses. The grants are important to offset the issue that some of these businesses are unable to pay an MBA intern salary, though the work requires MBA-level skills, says Michael Flint (MBA ’18), president of the UNC Net Impact Club.

“The main reason that a program like this is necessary is because MBAs take on a lot of debt to come back to school, and that means that there’s a lot of pressure to take the job that is going to pay the most money,” says Flint. “Programs like this are necessary to keep people going to these types of roles.”

Taylor Mallard (MBA ‘15), associate marketing manager at Burt’s Bees, helped found the program to fill the gap between MBA’s interest in working for a social impact organization and their need to earn competitive wages. The grants and scholarships allow MBA students to follow their passions, she says.

Social Impact Summer Grants reflect several of the School’s core values, including community. Jake Stallard (MBA ’18) received a grant to intern at the Triangle Literacy Council (TLC), a non-profit dedicated to “teaching basic literacy and life skills for economic and social success.” He applied the knowledge and skills learned at the UNC Kenan-Flagler to spearhead outreach and marketing efforts at TLC.

Donations to create the endowment will allow the future of the program to continue to fund students and their social impact aspirations.

“It’s really all about paying it forward,” says Cawley.

To learn how to support Social Impact Summer grants, visit the website or contact Tom Cawley.

 By Halle Frain (BA ’17)

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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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Beyond academics: teaching real-world leadership skills  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jan 2018, 06:01
FROM Kenan Flagler Executive MBA Blog: Beyond academics: teaching real-world leadership skills
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Bryan Perry, global strategic marketing manager at BASF, is in the Evening MBA Class of 2018 at UNC Kenan-Flagler. Finding time to balance family, a demanding career, and school isn’t easy, but Bryan wouldn’t change it for the world.

What made you choose the UNC Kenan-Flagler Executive MBA program?
I chose it because of UNC Kenan-Flagler’s commitment has to leadership and personal development. I considered other programs, but it was clear that the Executive MBA program goes way beyond teaching hard business skills like economics, accounting, and so on. From a peer perspective, UNC Kenan-Flagler stood above the rest in terms of developing well-rounded leaders. From the initial CCL Benchmarks 360 assessment to the personal development plan you create, UNC Kenan-Flagler understands and helps students develop the personal characteristics leaders need. In short, they uniquely focus on real-world leadership skills, not just academics.

How would you describe the cohort experience?
Highly valuable. It’s easy to think you’re on an island when you start an MBA program, but then you realize everyone has the same challenges. I think about the team I’m in and the true diversity of the team – not just ethnicity and gender, but true diversity. My teammates have different experiences that bring in different perspectives – everyone from the head of anesthesiology to army officers – and I’ve learned so much from them. I’m a doer and very extroverted. The cohort sharpened my leadership skills because my group was extremely intelligent but all learned very differently. I had to learn not to overpower and how to effectively bring other members of my team along. The biggest lesson for me was realizing that I had teammates and group members I could lean on to develop well-rounded skills as a leader.

This program sharpened me in so many ways, but mainly it taught me to do a better job at listening to others and bringing them into the conversation. I learned to read subtle cues from others and understand time management and how to keep a brave face on, even in hard times, better than ever before. The skills I learned during my time at UNC Kenan Flagler made me a stronger, well-rounded, more empathetic leader.

Can you share an expected and unexpected benefit of the program?
To me the expected benefit wasn’t just about dollars and cents. It was about being considered for different roles in the organization that I otherwise wouldn’t have been considered for. The program opens doors to new opportunities; that experiential piece was expected and realized.

However, what surprised me was the marketability I’ve given myself and the network I’ve built. It’s provided a security I didn’t necessarily have before in my career. The program also helped me get a lot better at managing my time.

Is there anything else that you’d like to share?
I would just add that the majority of folks considering an EMBA think, “Can I really manage the workload and the time with everything else I have going on, and can I sit in class for four hours every week?” The answer is “yes,” you just figure out how to do it. It’s tough but you find your routine. The cohort helps – everyone is here putting in valuable time and energy together. As long as you understand that, you’re going to get through. Looking back, I am so glad I made this decision.

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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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The turn to pop-up shops: Is retail dead or just adapting?  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jan 2018, 11:00
FROM Kenan- Flagler Admissions Blog: The turn to pop-up shops: Is retail dead or just adapting?
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“Retail is dead.” That dire assessment is greatly exaggerated. Many developers, including industry heavy hitter Billy Macklowe, view the highly publicized store closures by retailers such as Macy’s and JCPenney, along with a plethora of empty storefronts across the country, as a sign that retail is dying.

While this appears to be the popular opinion in the media these days, it is not necessarily accurate.

An alternative viewpoint is that retail is simply evolving. Among the most obvious change is the transition from traditional big box retailers to smaller, more mobile pop-up shops. This trend can be seen across the country in places like New York’s Bryant Park or Dicken’s Fair in San Francisco. The pop-up retail scene has been an emerging fad for years, especially during the periods around Halloween and Christmas, but it is rapidly becoming a more permanent fixture in the retail arena outside of traditional seasonal periods.

E-commerce has certainly influenced the retail sector, but the need for experiential retail – where consumers can touch and feel products – remains. As a result, retailers have become more creative with the ways they connect to customers and pop-up shops are a great way to accomplish this.

Pop-up shops provide the flexibility to test products with clients, and can help reinvigorate a brand by piloting new products requiring less commitment than a traditional, long-term lease. Additionally, even high-end, luxury retailers such as Tiffany & Co. are using pop-ups to enhance their sales strategies.

With e-commerce as an alternative, customers are more likely to shop   at convenient locations such as New York’s Grand Central Terminal and Rockefeller Center – both of which Tiffany inhabits for the holiday season and countless others. Furthermore, pop-ups now offer flexible point of sales systems including EMV card readers for mobile devices to compete with the ease of paying at home.

The pop-up fad has not only been important for retailers to connect with customers – it’s also been useful for landlords to connect with tenants. Rents and vacancies have increased throughout New York City and to keep storefronts from being empty, landlords have begun to bend a bit more to the will of the tenant.

Assuming this trend continues, customers will likely begin to gravitate more toward the pop-up retail concept awarding tenants the opportunity to negotiate longer term leases. If not, the beauty of the pop-up is the flexibility it provides – the retailer can vacate and make way for a new tenant or simply moved to an alternate location.

By Areti Moustakis (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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Beyond academics: Teaching real-world leadership skills  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jan 2018, 11:00
FROM Kenan- Flagler Admissions Blog: Beyond academics: Teaching real-world leadership skills
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Bryan Perry, global strategic marketing manager at BASF, is in the Evening MBA Class of 2018 at UNC Kenan-Flagler. Finding time to balance family, a demanding career, and school isn’t easy, but Bryan wouldn’t change it for the world.

What made you choose the UNC Kenan-Flagler Executive MBA program?
I chose it because of UNC Kenan-Flagler’s commitment has to leadership and personal development. I considered other programs, but it was clear that the Executive MBA program goes way beyond teaching hard business skills like economics, accounting, and so on. From a peer perspective, UNC Kenan-Flagler stood above the rest in terms of developing well-rounded leaders. From the initial CCL Benchmarks 360 assessment to the personal development plan you create, UNC Kenan-Flagler understands and helps students develop the personal characteristics leaders need. In short, they uniquely focus on real-world leadership skills, not just academics.

How would you describe the cohort experience?
Highly valuable. It’s easy to think you’re on an island when you start an MBA program, but then you realize everyone has the same challenges. I think about the team I’m in and the true diversity of the team – not just ethnicity and gender, but true diversity. My teammates have different experiences that bring in different perspectives – everyone from the head of anesthesiology to army officers – and I’ve learned so much from them. I’m a doer and very extroverted. The cohort sharpened my leadership skills because my group was extremely intelligent but all learned very differently. I had to learn not to overpower and how to effectively bring other members of my team along. The biggest lesson for me was realizing that I had teammates and group members I could lean on to develop well-rounded skills as a leader.

This program sharpened me in so many ways, but mainly it taught me to do a better job at listening to others and bringing them into the conversation. I learned to read subtle cues from others and understand time management and how to keep a brave face on, even in hard times, better than ever before. The skills I learned during my time at UNC Kenan Flagler made me a stronger, well-rounded, more empathetic leader.

Can you share an expected and unexpected benefit of the program?
To me the expected benefit wasn’t just about dollars and cents. It was about being considered for different roles in the organization that I otherwise wouldn’t have been considered for. The program opens doors to new opportunities; that experiential piece was expected and realized.

However, what surprised me was the marketability I’ve given myself and the network I’ve built. It’s provided a security I didn’t necessarily have before in my career. The program also helped me get a lot better at managing my time.

Is there anything else that you’d like to share?
I would just add that the majority of folks considering an EMBA think, “Can I really manage the workload and the time with everything else I have going on, and can I sit in class for four hours every week?” The answer is “yes,” you just figure out how to do it. It’s tough but you find your routine. The cohort helps – everyone is here putting in valuable time and energy together. As long as you understand that, you’re going to get through. Looking back, I am so glad I made this decision.

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Beyond academics: Teaching real-world leadership skills  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jan 2018, 18:01
FROM Kenan Flagler Executive MBA Blog: Beyond academics: Teaching real-world leadership skills
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Bryan Perry, global strategic marketing manager at BASF, is in the Evening MBA Class of 2018 at UNC Kenan-Flagler. Finding time to balance family, a demanding career, and school isn’t easy, but Bryan wouldn’t change it for the world.

What made you choose the UNC Kenan-Flagler Executive MBA program?
I chose it because of UNC Kenan-Flagler’s commitment has to leadership and personal development. I considered other programs, but it was clear that the Executive MBA program goes way beyond teaching hard business skills like economics, accounting, and so on. From a peer perspective, UNC Kenan-Flagler stood above the rest in terms of developing well-rounded leaders. From the initial CCL Benchmarks 360 assessment to the personal development plan you create, UNC Kenan-Flagler understands and helps students develop the personal characteristics leaders need. In short, they uniquely focus on real-world leadership skills, not just academics.

How would you describe the cohort experience?
Highly valuable. It’s easy to think you’re on an island when you start an MBA program, but then you realize everyone has the same challenges. I think about the team I’m in and the true diversity of the team – not just ethnicity and gender, but true diversity. My teammates have different experiences that bring in different perspectives – everyone from the head of anesthesiology to army officers – and I’ve learned so much from them. I’m a doer and very extroverted. The cohort sharpened my leadership skills because my group was extremely intelligent but all learned very differently. I had to learn not to overpower and how to effectively bring other members of my team along. The biggest lesson for me was realizing that I had teammates and group members I could lean on to develop well-rounded skills as a leader.

This program sharpened me in so many ways, but mainly it taught me to do a better job at listening to others and bringing them into the conversation. I learned to read subtle cues from others and understand time management and how to keep a brave face on, even in hard times, better than ever before. The skills I learned during my time at UNC Kenan Flagler made me a stronger, well-rounded, more empathetic leader.

Can you share an expected and unexpected benefit of the program?
To me the expected benefit wasn’t just about dollars and cents. It was about being considered for different roles in the organization that I otherwise wouldn’t have been considered for. The program opens doors to new opportunities; that experiential piece was expected and realized.

However, what surprised me was the marketability I’ve given myself and the network I’ve built. It’s provided a security I didn’t necessarily have before in my career. The program also helped me get a lot better at managing my time.

Is there anything else that you’d like to share?
I would just add that the majority of folks considering an EMBA think, “Can I really manage the workload and the time with everything else I have going on, and can I sit in class for four hours every week?” The answer is “yes,” you just figure out how to do it. It’s tough but you find your routine. The cohort helps – everyone is here putting in valuable time and energy together. As long as you understand that, you’re going to get through. Looking back, I am so glad I made this decision.

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15 tips from female leaders of Fortune 500 companies  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Jan 2018, 15:00
FROM Kenan- Flagler Admissions Blog: 15 tips from female leaders of Fortune 500 companies
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Don’t take yourself too seriously. That’s the advice of successful businesswomen Allison Bubar, vice president of strategy, market presence and real estate at Advanced Auto; Allegra Stanek, senior marketing manager at The Coca-Cola Company; Bryce Caswell, in-stock manager at Amazon; Nora Lee, systems integration manager at Accenture; and Serbrina Cammerato, managing director at The Siegfried Group.

These leaders of Fortune 500 companies spoke about the challenges for women in business at the 2017 Carolina Women in Business Conference and shared these tips for success.

  • Always conduct research on the company you wish to work for. What is the training like? What are the opportunities like? Ultimately, the goal is to advance.
  • Make sure that you are aware of and comfortable with the culture of the company. Find one that will support you.
  • Be honest with yourself and the types of situations in which you thrive. Do you have the tenacity to be a big fish in a big pond?
  • Be confident.
  • Always be prepared and unapologetic. Own it.
  • During tense situations, take a step back, ask questions and stay calm.
  • Don’t be discouraged by being called bossy.
  • Feedback is very important. Asking for it all the time from everyone is the only way you’ll ever improve at what you do. Don’t wait for reviews to hear feedback for the first time.
  • Make an effort to get to know people at work who you don’t know well. Don’t be afraid to ask to connect.
  • Build trust with your co-workers and be aware of how you come across to them.
  • Make time for networking inside and outside of work.
  • Always be intentional and pro-active.
  • Be prompt, timely, responsive and always follow-up.
  • Make eye contact and be conscious of cultural aspects.
  • Know you’re good at what you do and that there’s a reason why you’re there.
By Shawna McIntosh (BA ’19)

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Making a difference: The Penny Harvest  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Jan 2018, 20:00
FROM Kenan- Flagler Admissions Blog: Making a difference: The Penny Harvest


Young students in Columbus, Ohio, are making a difference in their community, one penny at a time. The children in the After-School All-Stars program run a small venture selling lemonade near their school and donate the profits to other local non-profit organizations.

At the same time, After-School All-Stars is making a difference in the lives of these kids, providing free daycare to families who could not otherwise afford it. At the center of this organization is Allison Elia, a UNC MAC student who works as the director of operations. Allison is putting her newly learned accounting skills and knowledge to work to help After-School All-Stars spend its grant funding efficiently to, in turn, maximize its impact for the children it serves.

>> Hear more from Allison on her pursuit of accounting knowledge and skills

>> Find out what it takes to join Allison

 

 

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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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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Giving back to combat hunger  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jan 2018, 13:00
FROM Kenan- Flagler Admissions Blog: Giving back to combat hunger
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Soulfull Project co-founder Megan Shea shared her experience of working in a for-profit business with a social mission in her keynote address at 2017 FoodCon at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School.

Hosted by the UNC Kenan-Flagler’s Center for Sustainable Enterprise in collaboration with NC State Net Impact and Duke University’s Fuqua Food and Agriculture Club, students, faculty and community members learned and shared new ideas about the sustainable food industry.

“It started with a promise.”
Shea recounted the story of Soulfull Project’s creation during a Campbell Soup Company work trip to Texas. She and her co-workers were researching what families were eating when they met a mother of three children who didn’t have enough food to feed her family. Shea and her co-workers left Texas, promising to do something to help people in need.

“We never followed through,” Shea said.

A year later, they were reminded of their broken promise when a mother knocked on her door and asked for food for her family. That night Soulfull Project was born, launching a for-profit company that provides good-quality combined with a social mission to end food insecurity in America. It provides access to healthy food and consumers make a difference through their purchases.

“We are centered on direct impact on people,” Shea said.

To increase their impact, Shea and her team launched the Soulfull 100 campaign on Aug. 1, 2016, with the goal of giving back to the community for 100 days. One hundred days later, the campaign ended with success.

Looking to the future
The latest collaboration with Amazon and supermarkets allows Soufull to increase their impact nationally.

Shea hopes that through Soulfull Projects and other companies, people will learn more about hunger and food access and end food insecurity so that families will never go hungry again.

“What would the world look like if we can do that?” Shea asked.

By Hanna Wondmagegn (BA ‘21)

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Industry perspectives: How can deep accounting knowledge make you a bi  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jan 2018, 13:00
FROM Kenan- Flagler Admissions Blog: Industry perspectives: How can deep accounting knowledge make you a bigger asset to your company?
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Business leaders who work with a clear picture of their organization’s finances make smarter, more informed decisions, decisions that reduce risk, increase profits, and build confidence amongst stakeholders.

Enter the accountants (and other financial wizards with deep accounting knowledge!) who document, analyze, and summarize critical data related to transactions, budgets, and financial forecasts. These individuals deliver this clarity where it’s needed most!

Admittedly, yes, we’re a little proud of the accounting profession and the power of the accounting discipline. To add some color to this topic, we reached out to seven impressive and influential leaders work in, or with, the accounting and finance world for their perspectives on one critical question:

“How would possessing deep accounting knowledge make someone a bigger asset to his or her company?”

As we expected, the expert feedback was indeed insightful.

Possessing deep accounting knowledge provides a strong foundation for someone to understand any business. That’s a pretty trite observation, but if you think about what it means, it’s easy to see why it’s repeated over and over.

The classic objective of a business is to make a profit. To determine if a business is making a profit, someone has to record the transactions that occur in the business. Collectively, those transactions tell you where money is coming from and where it is going; if more is going in than going out. The better a person understands that activity, the more valuable they are to the company.

This is relatively easy at first when a business is small and uncomplicated. As a company grows, everything becomes more complex. Sometimes it becomes so complex that a business needs to hire hundreds of people just to record all the transactions and document all the context around them so other people can understand what’s happening and are comfortable that it’s being done correctly. The deeper understanding a person has of these issues, the better he or she is equipped to help people in other aspects of the business understand their impact.

This is especially valuable to a company — having a deep understanding of accounting but also the ability to strip away the complexities and consider the profit impact of everything that a business does. That is, “Will doing X result in more money coming in, or more money coming out?” Focusing on that foundation — and being able to explain it to others in a way they can understand, will make any person a bigger asset to his or her company.

Caleb Newquist

Editor, Going Concern

When people think of accounting, they tend to default to an image of someone sitting at a desk, tracing, vouching, calculating numbers and figures. But it’s much more than that. Accounting helps you understand and evaluate the financial information that goes into creating, forming, running, and maintaining a business. Many companies fail because they are undercapitalized. So whether you’re an employee, employer, or entrepreneur, having an accounting background not only helps you understand and analyze the financial data, but also make better business decisions that are vital to your business’ success.

As a CPA and entrepreneur, I can attest to this. Every business decision I make is unconsciously ingrained by my accounting and auditing background. By using this approach and applying accounting principles, I’m able to focus on the bottom line and reduce inefficiencies. This enables me to see how each part of my business makes up the greater whole, and has allowed my company to grow from one person to over 60 in the last several years.

So no matter where your career path may take you, remember that having accounting knowledge is key to building and growing not only the business you serve, but the economy, and ultimately, your career. Numbers tell a story. It’s important to know how to read and analyze that story so you’re in control of the narrative.

Roger Philipp

Founder & CEO, Roger CPA Review

Passing the CPA exam is something to be proud of. It demonstrates a general knowledge expected by the profession of its practitioners with two years’ experience.

But specialized knowledge is what distinguishes young professionals from their peers. For better or worse, there are many areas of accounting that are extremely complex, and for which a small change in a fact pattern could change the accounting treatment. My advice to an accounting student is to pick just one hot area – e.g., financial instruments, hedging, revenue recognition, leasing — and go deep.

Tom Selling, PhD, CPA

The Accounting Onion

>> Accounting knowledge bolsters your Business IQ. Test yours here.

Financial management and related decision making — both of which rely upon having basic accounting knowledge — will always be one two of the strongest drivers of small business success. Businesses that don’t have a team with these abilities will always keep that business from reaching the crucial five-year milestone. As a business owner (or even a key team member), you may have a gut feeling that the business is humming along smoothly, but there is no substitute for knowing the numbers when it comes to measuring that business’s financial health and the ability to be successful. Staying on top of financial data gives a business its best shot at becoming established. Only by knowing the key numbers can a business plan for the future!

Stacy Kildal

Founder, Kildal Services

Accounting is the foundation of all business. All businesses get interpreted through the lens of accounting. There are many complexities in a business, including team cultures, marketing, selling, processes, and client contracts. But it all gets sorted out in the accounting records. Financial statements tell the historical story of how your business has been doing and how all of these complexities ultimately turn into profit or loss.

Jason Blumer, CPA

Chief Innovation Officer, Blumer and Associates, CPAs

A “comprehensive” knowledge of accounting is, of course, the cost of entry — table stakes, if you will. But more important to an accountant’s stakeholders — employers, shareholders, lenders, colleagues, the public, the clients, etc. — is a “deep” or “strategic” understanding of the business at hand.

You can get five accountants in a room and get six opinions on the proper treatment of a FASB rule. But the one in the room who can turn that knowledge into actionable business information is the only one who will provide unique value. The rest is commodity.

Rick Telberg

CEO, CPA Trendlines Research

People who possess a deep knowledge of accounting are in a better position to act as a strategic advisor to business owners and organizational leaders. No matter the endeavor, there is a money flow to fund it and that flow has to be intelligently managed. And, in most cases, there are matters of compliance to manage around that money flow, too. As a result, all enterprise leaders (large and small) need help from bright professionals who understand both the fundamental and strategic nuances of smart accounting management.

A deep knowledge of accounting alone is not enough to be a maximally marketable and difference making today. Leadership skills, technology literacy, an understanding of processes, relationship development skills, and the ability to communicate well are also required to make an impact in the field of accounting.

Jennifer Wilson

ConvergenceCoaching

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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Why CSR is critical in the business of health care  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Jan 2018, 15:00
FROM Kenan- Flagler Admissions Blog: Why CSR is critical in the business of health care
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Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is an important business practice – and the lack of public health in many developing and some developed countries allow health care companies to actively participate in meaningful CSR.

“Improving Access” was the focus of the keynote address by Ian Walker, senior director of Johnson & Johnsons Global Community Impact, at the 2017 Health Care Club Conference UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School.

Johnson & Johnson has a strong history of caring to improve the health of all, says Walker, and quoted CEO Alex Gorskey as saying, “Health is not a privilege; it is a basic human right. That means businesses, like ours, must help create healthier societies.”

CSR tactics and campaigns need to be based on a strategy that connects to the company’s values and mission. These efforts need to be measured and evaluated so all parties involved – and for the rest of the world to see – the impact that partnership, donation or company actions had on society and for the company.

Walker points to the potential mistake of “corporate ego.” This happens when a company makes a big fuss and gains a lot of media coverage over a small action, but after crunching the numbers and looking closely at the effort has made a huge difference, which can happen with celebrity appearances, for instance.

CSR efforts at Johnson & Johnson have community-based partnerships. “These groups are recognized for their expertise and their direct experience in the field; therefore, their ideas stand the greatest chance at success,” says Walker. Partner organizations can range from large non-governmental organizations to small, grassroots groups.

In 2011 the UNC Burn Center partnered with Johnson & Johnson to provide aid to people in Malawi affected by severe wildfires. The motivation and the passion within the individuals directly involved in the programs are what keep the programs running.

More recently this team with Johnson & Johnson has been very busy assisting with the major natural disasters that have happened in fall 2017. They donated thousands of hygiene kits to those affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria and earthquakes.

Partnerships are not the only way to have social impact. Another method is through procurement. Johnson & Johnson has pledged to donate $15 million per year to assist social companies, those that employ ex-prisoners, disabled persons or the terminally unemployed.

This idea of doing good in the world is becoming even more important as more millennials enter the workforce. It is predicted that around 80 percent of millennials want to work for a company that cares about and gives back to society.

Lack of access to proper health care is a problem in many nations, including the U.S. The dearth of supplies and attention to health in developing countries gives health care companies many channels to act and many ways to give back, Walker says.

By Emily Brice (BA ’18)

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Understand the health care consumer to understand the market  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Jan 2018, 15:00
FROM Kenan- Flagler Admissions Blog: Understand the health care consumer to understand the market
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Industry experts addressed “The Business of Healthcare: Adapting to an Aging Economy” 2017 conference organized by the Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School to share ideas and gain perspective on issues facing by the health care industry.

In a breakout session, four panelists, all from health care consulting backgrounds, spoke about what lies ahead in health care and pharmacy marketing in the U.S.

The panelists were Candy Lurken of Deloitte’s Life Sciences & Healthcare Strategy Consulting Practice; Jon Kaplan, senior partner and managing director at The Boston Consulting Group; Alex Gray, a member of the principal market development team at Echo Health Ventures; and Robert Furburg, a research health informaticist at RTI International.

These experts agreed: To understand the future of the health care market, you must understand the state of the healthcare consumer.

Pharma and health care are unique industries, notes Kaplan, because they haven’t seen the disruption you might expect when looking at the dissatisfaction with the current system.

Furburg spends his days at RTI International, an independent, nonprofit research firm, researching the increasing sophistication of the consumer when it comes to public health and medicine. He cites the recent rise in wearable technology as an example of the phenomenon.

Gray’s work developing investable themes at Echo Health Ventures led him to identify a trend: “Health care is becoming more and more convenient and consumer driven,” citing the urgent-care company FastMed as an example.

“How many people would wait three hours for anything?” Kaplan asks rhetorically. We’ll “only do it for health care” because we haven’t quite reached that peak of frustration that would kickstart disruption in the industry, he says.

Lurken shared three trends that she’s identified that will drive towards better overall outcomes in pharma.

  • Delivery: Sophisticated consumers will demand personalized medicine, such as genetically assisted prescribing.
  • Engagement: Personalized marketing tactics resonate best with consumers, resulting in higher levels of engagement.
  • Patient adherence: Understand what motivates (or fails to motivate) patients to follow prescribed regimens.
By Madeline Stefan (BA ’18)

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Key issues in global public health and how to fix them  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jan 2018, 17:00
FROM Kenan- Flagler Admissions Blog: Key issues in global public health and how to fix them
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Experts in the field of global health representing many different corporations, research organizations and non-profits came together at the 2017 Health Care Club Conference at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School. They explored issues that the world will experience in the coming years and proposed solutions.

Key issues
  • The growth of the aging population comes not just from baby boomers, but also from people living longer and will place a burden on the health care industry.
  • There will be a shortage of health care workers internationally. Not only do the patients need nurses, doctors and assistants, they need to be present, ready, educated, connected and safe. They also need to be able to work through cultural, linguistic and social barriers.
  • Family planning and reproductive health is another huge issue globally. There are more than 200 million women in the world who are not using any birth control methods but do not wish to become pregnant.
  • There is a difference in health care and optimal health care. Don Turner, global head and SVP of business strategy and commercialization at IBM Watson Health, explains a relationship with health care in three steps. “First, do you have pure access? Meaning, can you get to the doctors office or clinic and do you have the insurance or the means to pay for it,” Turner says. “Second, is the breadth of care. Does the clinic you are in offer the exact services you need. And lastly, is the quality of care. Are you getting the best that you can at the least possible cost?”
Solutions
  • Markus Saba (MBA ’93), head of marketing for diabetes brands at Eli Lilly and Company, describes a program for reaching the uneducated and rural populations in China and India. “Typically programs are set on a three-year schedule, but projects like these that require lots of initial education and capital will not generate change in that time.” This is why Eli Lilly has set programs like these to be on a 10-year plan to give the efforts more time to cultivate and generate growth.
  • Technology can be a huge solution in terms of connecting and educating health care workers. Maureen Corbett is the VP of programs at IntraHealth International, a non-profit that focuses on supporting health care workers. She describes how technology can help create an online directory with all the educated and able health care workers present in a specific community to allow for more efficient care and for companies to see where there needs to be extra attention and aid.
  • Task shifting and further education will help doctors. Doctors who don’t want to live in rural areas can train local health care workers to administer basic health care methods, like prescribing birth control pills, or inserting IUDs. This can help save women from dangerous pregnancies.
  • A huge issues doctors and physicians have today is the mundane and enormous amount of administrative work. Creating a bigger medical and hospital administrative staff will save clinical physicians hours of time and allow them to treat more patients.
By Emily Brice (BA ’18)

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Late Night Bites: The story of a startup  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jan 2018, 17:00
FROM Kenan- Flagler Admissions Blog: Late Night Bites: The story of a startup
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n the Foundations of Business and Leadership class for freshman students pre-admitted to UNC Kenan-Flagler, Shimul Melwani, assistant professor of organizational behavior, wanted to create a team project experience that would introduce them to the myriad aspects of their future business school experience: the vertical capabilities of strategy, marketing, operations, finance and leadership integrated with the essential horizontal capabilities of leadership and teamwork.

She tasked student teams with the goal of starting and actually running their own businesses to raise money for a charity of the winning team’s choice. In October 2017, students pitched their ideas to a set of faculty judges. While all student groups were promised seed funding of $50, they had the opportunity to merit more based on their ability to demonstrate need, potential value and profitability. After receiving their funding, the groups had six weeks to market and sell their services or products.

They had to follow one rule: They were not allowed to tell potential customers and stakeholders that they were raising money for a charity. Their ideas included a hot chocolate bar, an espresso bar, a business selling cookies, muffins, UNC paraphernalia, including condoms, stickers and buttons, and a face-painting service. Together the class raised more than $1,700. Of this, approximately $1,100 raised by two teams that merged to create Late Night Bites. This is their story, told by Mary Laci Motley (BSBA ’21).

Late Night Bites

When asked to pitch a startup idea to a panel of judges, my Business 188 team considered everything from a smoothie bar to key chains. In the end, we agreed upon a late-night food service outside of campus dorms. Late Night Bites was born and for the next two months, our team pulled all-nighters to satisfy late night cravings of UNC students.

Late Night Bites aimed to solve two problems: over-priced late-night food and long delivery times. We targeted late night studiers, partiers, and dorm residents. Our three-step business model was simple:

  • Location
  • Food
  • Dedication
For location we targeted UNC dorms. We set up stations outside of Granville Towers and outside of the south campus P2P stop. Students could pay in cash or by Venmo and one by one grabbed a bite of the action on opening night. The second night of sales slowed because of sub-freezing temps. In response to this dilemma, Late Night Bites went mobile. And to address the scarcity of late night studiers on a Saturday night, we contacted fraternities and drove to sell food at several parties.

In terms of food, we contacted local food vendors to work out business deals that increased our profit margins. The first night of sales we connected with the local McDonald’s operator. In exchange for 300 free burgers, we agreed to advertise McDonald’s partnership with Uber Eats and offer discounts to students who downloaded the app. We sold cookies, donuts and burgers the first night of sales and profited $700.

This partnership proved not only beneficial for us, but also for the local McDonald’s as well. The Franklin St. McDonald’s we partnered with is currently the lead Uber Eats operator in the region, and has credited much of their success to our advertisement. In response, McDonald’s corporate reached out to our team and featured Late Night Bites in the regional corporate newsletter.

The next week, we changed merchandise from burgers to pizza. I contacted every pizza place within 30 miles of UNC and hand delivered donation requests to six different pizza places. We received 27 free large cheese and pepperoni pizzas from Papa Johns and Dominoes in the Chapel Hill and Durham area. We sold by the slice and profited more than $400 the second night of sales. From this, we learned reaching out can be extremely beneficial.

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As for dedication, our two groups of 12 worked tirelessly, pulling all-nighters on both operational days. Communication was key to successfully operate and complete presentations. From the start, we set a goal of $1,000 and would not stop working until we reached it.

A key component that helped us reach our goal was marketing. We created an Instagram page (@late_night_bites) that was a vital platform used to promote the business. More than 300 people followed the page before opening night. Through social media, a local startup app BlipMe discovered our business. Founded by UNC Kenan-Flagler graduates, BlipMe aims to bring the community together by sharing events going on daily at UNC. BlipMe offered to promote Late Night Bites for our initial launch, and we were featured on the app. This partnership stressed the importance of social media as a great platform for networking and spreading news.

From this experience, we gained insight into the dynamics of entrepreneurship. From an initial investment of $100, we profited $1125.40 in just two nights.

The Late Night Bites team agreed to donate the profits to the Inter-Faith Council, a local Chapel Hill organization focused on improving the lives of the homeless and impoverished in the community. We would like to thank Professor Shimul Melwani for giving us this invaluable opportunity to explore and apply her lessons to our startup. Although it was sad to see Late Night Bites go, building friendships, creating memories and giving back to the Chapel Hill community are experiences I will treasure.

By Mary Laci Motley (BSBA ’21)

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Earning an MBA is a family matter  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Feb 2018, 15:00
FROM Kenan- Flagler Admissions Blog: Earning an MBA is a family matter
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Pursuing an MBA is a life-changing endeavor for students – and for their partners. I met my husband, Diego Angarita Horowitz (MBA ’17), as he was in the midst of applying to business school. We are a team, and I have supported him in pursuing his goal since day one.

The preparation process for applying took a few years. To ensure a strong application, Diego took extra courses, studied for the required testing, networked and, most importantly, researched the best schools in the U.S.

After receiving admissions offers from various programs, we decided on UNC Kenan-Flagler full-time MBA Program.

We were very excited to move to the Chapel Hill/Carrboro area – but at the same time, we were very nervous. We didn’t know what to expect. When sharing the news with our family and friends, some were very happy for us. Others wondered whether our diversity would be embraced in the South.

When we arrived in our new town, Carrboro, we unpacked in our apartment and started exploring our surroundings. UNC Kenan-Flagler’s Analytical Skills Workshop started in July – and with it, our journeys as a full-time MBA student and partner.

Looking back, the experience of being a partner to a full-time MBA student was a roller coaster. While Diego expanded his knowledge and became a business expert, I immersed myself in the experience and developed new skills.

Partners are welcome to participate in social, Legacy Cup, club and educational events. I networked during Carolina Casuals, enjoyed people singing and dancing during Karaoke Night (my personal favorite Legacy Cup event) and made Matzo balls for the Jewish Business Association’s Rosh Hashanah potluck dinner. I acquired new understanding about race and equality through the Race Matters Forum organized by the Alliance of Minority Business Students and the Green Zone Training organized by the MBA Program team. I was so involved supporting Diego that during a social event, an MBA student thought I was enrolled in the program and asked me, “Where have you been, I haven’t see you in class?”

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This experience gave me the chance to be part of Kenan Connection, the full-time MBA Program partners association, and undertake for the first time in my life a leadership role as vice president. Kenan Connection helps partners to acclimate to the area, the University and their new lives as MBA partners. This experience gave me the opportunity to learn how to network, develop my leadership skills, become a supportive MBA partner, and be a valued member of the UNC Kenan-Flagler community.

Reflecting on Diego’s time as an MBA student, I can’t imagine a better place to be than at UNC Kenan-Flagler, where I now am a staff member in the Undergraduate Business Program. We have been thoroughly impressed with how open and accepting the Business School community is. As a partner, I’m thankful for the opportunity to be part of UNC Kenan-Flagler’s great community, and to have met so many bright students and amazing partners! We all have different backgrounds, interests and goals, but as a great family, we all come together, care for and support one another so much.

By José E. Cartagena-Ortiz

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Earning an MBA is a family matter &nbs [#permalink] 03 Feb 2018, 15:00

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