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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, 10:01
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, 10:01
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, 16:00
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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Impact at scale [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jan 2018, 16:00
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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Developing leaders with diverse perspectives [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jan 2018, 23:02
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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We need YOU for BluevBlue! [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jan 2018, 15:00
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 10 Jan 2018, 23:00
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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, 05:01
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, 10:00
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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Beyond academics: Teaching real-world leadership skills [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jan 2018, 10:00
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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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, 17:01
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.

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

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New post 18 Jan 2018, 14:00
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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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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Making a difference: The Penny Harvest [#permalink]

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New post 19 Jan 2018, 19:00
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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Making a difference: The Penny Harvest   [#permalink] 19 Jan 2018, 19:00

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