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Vanderbilt MBA Admissions and Related Blogs

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Around the World in Six International Business Clubs [#permalink]

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New post 21 Nov 2017, 09:02
FROM Owen Press Releases: Around the World in Six International Business Clubs
Headed into the new academic year, the Japan Business Club (JBC) at Owen hoped to double its membership from 30 to 60 members. The goal was ambitious, but the organization had won the Impact Award — given to the best small affinity club on campus — the prior year, and members were confident the new awareness would boost their numbers.

By the end of the student organization fair in mid-August, the JBC had 80 members signed up.

“We had to bring down extra registration forms to get those names down,” recalled Tomo Nara (MBA’18), President of the JBC.

During the fair, students had opportunities to sign up for Owen’s other international business clubs as well: the Asian Business Association (ABA), the Global Business Association (GBA), Greater China Business Club (GCBC), the Indian Business Club (IBC), and the Latin Business Association (LBA). Many of the clubs focus on particular countries or regions, but they are open to all students regardless background.

“We have club members from all nationalities, which is awesome…we welcome any and all comers,” said Marita Lawler (MBA’18), President of the LBA.

Club Membership Demographics

Nara estimates that a quarter to a third of the JBC’s members are international students, although not all international business clubs are as heavy on domestic students. For both the JBC and other clubs, international members frequently hail from multiple countries, regardless of the club’s regional affinity.

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Members of the Indian Business Club celebrate Holi, the spring festival of colors

Abhinav Verma (MBA’18), President of the IBC, says his club members come from five or six different countries, and that students from 10 or more nationalities — including Americans, Canadians, Colombians, Chinese, Ethiopians, and Japanese — frequently attend IBC events.

“We don’t want the IBC to be full of just Indians, because then it essentially has no meaning,” he said. “It’s not just a one-way flow of that cultural knowledge, it’s both ways. We want to learn, and we want other people to learn about our culture as well.”

The club leaders believe this two-way exchange of cultural information benefits students of all backgrounds.

“Because we have a diverse membership, we are able to accomplish our mission, both helping Asian students to make the transition to the U.S. and helping students from another part of the world learn more about Asia,” said Hieu Tran (MBA’18), President of the ABA.

Why Students Join the Clubs

Whether they are international or domestic, many students join the clubs as a way to meet fellow students they wouldn’t otherwise.

“(We want) to create a more inclusive community in general, one where we’re more likely to build friendships and relationships outside of the people who are just like us with the same backgrounds,” said James Northcutt (MBA’18), President of the GBA.

“Since I’m an international student, most of my relationships are with international students, so I just wanted to spend more time this year with non-international students,” Nara explained.

As Tran mentioned, the international clubs play a key role in helping international students acclimate to life in the U.S. Weigang Deng (MBA’18), now president of the GCBC, turned to second-year club members for advice when he first moved to Nashville from Shenzhen, China.

“When I had questions, I went to them (the club members)…after a couple weeks, I (officially) joined the GCB club,” he said.

“I think clubs were critical part of my development, professionally and personally, especially adjusting to the U.S.,” Verma agreed.

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Dean Eric Johnson (middle) snaps a photo with members of the Greater China Business Club

Likewise, domestic students — particularly those interested in working abroad — turn to international students for insight about working in other countries.

“Your immediate job right after school may be doing business in the U.S., but at some point, you may be doing business with another country, or you may move overseas,” Lawler pointed out.

Club Events and Programming

Long before classes start, many MBA candidates get a taste of the international clubs during Welcome Weekend in April. The clubs serve food from around the globe and network with the incoming students.

“Our biggest event is the Global Food Fest in the spring, which is a way to showcase all of our different students’ cultural backgrounds and also show the prospective incoming students how many different cultures there are and how we all come together,” Northcutt explained.

The various clubs also join forces for International Day, a themed Closing Bell to be held on December 7 this year. Each club puts on a traditional performance and serves cuisine from various countries and regions.

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Students perform at last year’s International Closing Bell

Clubs also partner directly with each other for smaller events. The GBA and LBA partnered to coordinate a trip to Colombia over fall break, and last spring the IBC and ABA sponsored a Bollywood movie night, with Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese, and Indian food on the menu.

In keeping with their missions, the international clubs try to offer a balance of cultural and professional events. They host lunch-and-learns where outside experts speak about doing business in different countries and trying to find a job in the U.S.

Sometimes these lunch-and-learns are incorporated into larger events. The Greater China Business Club, the Japan Business Club, and the Latin Business Club each host an entire week of programming (both professional and cultural) themed around their countries. The recent Latin Week featured salsa lessons and a Latin trivia night, while China Week in the spring includes Mandarin lessons and a dumpling demonstration.

While it doesn’t sponsor a full week of programming, the Global Business Association does offer Bridges, an initiative that pairs international and domestic students so they can build personal relationships. More than 40 students are participating this year. The GBA also hosts an International Thanksgiving potluck; students bring side dishes from their home cultures, while the club provides turkey and vegetarian entrees.

For students who seriously want to learn more about international business, the club leaders urge them to get involved in as many of the clubs and events as possible. The presidents themselves live out this advice: most of them are members of at least a few different international clubs.

“Joining as many international clubs as possible is probably the best way (to learn about other cultures),” Nara said. “Joining those clubs can lead to building individual relationships with the students from that country of origin. Once you build that (relationship), you can get a deeper dive into that culture.”

To learn more about student clubs at Owen, visit our student life page.

For more about life as an international student at Vanderbilt, click here.

The post Around the World in Six International Business Clubs appeared first on Vanderbilt Business School.
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A Time for Gratitude [#permalink]

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New post 27 Nov 2017, 09:02
FROM Owen Press Releases: A Time for Gratitude
Article by Patricia Wheeler, an executive coach in Vanderbilt Business’ Alumni LDP coaching network.

For those of you who grew up in American households, you likely engaged in the yearly ritual of Thanksgiving. This generally entails several days of shopping, cooking, visiting, stuffing yourself beyond capacity and, quite possibly, watching football. Oh, and there’s often a ritual where family and friends go around the table and name what they’re thankful for. In my experience, this is likely to be a small part of the festivities, done much of the time in a perfunctory manner and as a teaching tool to the children at the table about giving thanks.

But how often is this ritual of giving thanks revisited throughout the year and practiced with our families, our communities and our organizations?

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Executive Coach Patricia Wheeler

From my observation, not nearly enough.

Scientists have now found clear evidence that giving thanks, which I will here call “gratitude,” yields positive results for our health, relationships, and teams.

Dr. Robert Emmons, professor of the University of California Davis and the author of “Thanks,” is the leading researcher on the science of gratitude. He and other scientists found in a number of studies that acts of gratitude yield measurable positive results. In one study, individuals who were asked to consciously focus on expressing their gratitude to themselves and others over a period of weeks reported fewer health complaints, slept better and spent more time exercising.

Researchers at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania studied a group of university fund-raisers. Not surprisingly, they found that those employees whose managers thanked them for their contributions made 50% more fund-raising calls than employees who were not thanked.

Recently, I had the privilege of facilitating a team of leaders who needed to create more alignment across their business. The organization was under financial pressure, and each participant seemed more focused on the needs and goals of their domain rather than looking toward the greater organizational good.  They often failed to understand how their actions affected the domains of others; resentment and infighting had broken out.

I began the meeting with an exercise I learned from my colleague Tom Akins.  After we clarified the hoped-for results, I asked each participant to begin by expressing appreciation to someone in the room. After some initial squirming, one brave soul turned to a colleague and thanked him for always responding quickly to her requests. One continued by complimenting the kindness of another. Sharing became progressively easier; you could sense the room beginning to relax, and people began to smile. We were off to a good start.

This simple exercise in no way negated the difficult problems the team had to solve. However, these simple expressions of gratitude set the tone for listening and cooperation, rather than defensiveness and contention.

Here’s a simple exercise that you can do for five minutes each day to increase your gratitude muscle. Each night, think of three good things that happened during that day. They don’t have to be big ones. It may have been an accomplishment, a step forward, something positive that you notice about yourself or another, or even a small thing that you enjoyed. Write them down in a notebook; many do this before bedtime to create a stable time and place to solidify the ritual. That’s all! If you want to supercharge the exercise, take a moment to remember and savor one of those moments.

Sound too simple to be true? It isn’t. I’ve used it not only myself but with a number of my executive coaching clients. They’ve reported less stress and worry, more positive outlook even in challenging situations, better connection and collaboration with colleagues and more focus and execution on their most important results.

Is it worth five minutes a day to increase your positivity, resilience and perhaps your health? All this in less time than it takes to eat a second helping of that Thanksgiving turkey. So don’t let thankfulness and gratitude be a once-a-year ritual. Practice it daily — at least try it for six weeks. You’ll be glad you did.

Dr. Patricia Wheeler is Managing Partner of The Levin Group, a global leadership advisory firm. With more than 25 years of coaching and consulting experience, she works with leaders around the world who must innovate and deliver exceptional business results within an environment of rapid change and increasing complexity. She is a contributor to Best Practices in Organizational Development, the AMA Handbook of Leadership and Coaching For Leadership: Third Edition. She is the author of the FastForward Program, helping leaders gain maximum traction and success in new roles.  Click here to learn more about Patricia.

Patricia Wheeler and Marshall Goldsmith publish Leading News, a leadership resource featuring articles and podcasts.  Visit subscribe@LeadingNews.org to have issues delivered to your inbox.

Copyright 2017, Patricia Wheeler Ph.D.

About Alumni Leadership Development at Vanderbilt Business

The Leadership Development team at Owen provides a variety of development resources for alumni. Visit their website to learn more.

The post A Time for Gratitude appeared first on Vanderbilt Business School.
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Brand Week Highlights [#permalink]

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New post 28 Nov 2017, 08:01
FROM Owen Press Releases: Brand Week Highlights
Brand Week is a three-day marketing immersion featuring real-world case projects from local companies. Participants include Master of Marketing and MBA students who work together on teams to develop strategies and marketing plans.



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MSF Alum Powers Up a Career in Renewable Energy [#permalink]

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New post 28 Nov 2017, 09:02
FROM Owen Press Releases: MSF Alum Powers Up a Career in Renewable Energy
Ask Master of Science in Finance alum Robert Bray (MSF’15) how he got to where he is today, and he’ll probably use words like “non-traditional” and even “strange” to describe his educational and career paths.

“At first, I didn’t have any idea (my current job) existed when I was at Owen, much less did I think I would have anything do with this certain career path,” he confessed.

Bray works as a product manager at T-REX Group, a company that offers a SaaS (software-as-a-service) platform with financial modeling tools for valuation, risk analysis, and structuring. The platform is specifically tailored to businesses working in the renewable energy sector.

Pursuing a Passion for Renewable Energy

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Robert Bray

Bray originally started down this career path because of his interest in renewable energy. Ever since high school, he has been passionate about the biggest problems the world is facing. “I saw moving towards cleaner sources of energy as one of those challenges,” he said.

He graduated from Tulane University with a B.S. in economics and began his career at a boutique consulting firm in New Orleans. While there, he worked on a small renewable energy project that involved a lot of financial challenges. The project helped Bray refine his professional ambitions.

“Once I started working on this project, I started realizing that the most interesting challenges — and the challenges that would have the biggest impact — were solving the financial complication around renewables, getting these projects to the point where they’re cheap enough and the economics look good enough that they can really be deployed at scale,” he said.

Bray did have a background in economics, but he decided that he needed more quantitative financial skills to supplement the theoretical knowledge he had gained during undergrad. “I don’t know if I opened up an Excel file until I graduated from college,” he said.

Searching for the Perfect Opportunity

Bray felt that he didn’t have enough work experience to pursue an MBA quite yet, so he began researching Master of Science in Finance programs. He did look at other schools besides Vanderbilt Business, but talking with coaches at the Career Management Center (CMC) narrowed his scope.

“It really came down to the Career Center and the conversations I was having with (Senior Associate Director Blake Gore), which just really put (Owen) miles head of any of the other programs I was even considering,” Bray said.

Even though Bray wasn’t pursuing jobs in investment banking or another traditional finance path, Gore worked with him to lay out a recruiting timeline and identify relevant opportunities. He also encouraged Bray not to accept a job that didn’t align with his interests in renewable energy finance.

“Through my work with Blake, his advice was, ‘while you should be open, you don’t have to settle for something if it’s not what you want to do,’” Bray said. “I had to tell a couple offers that I had that I wasn’t interested just because I wanted to hold on and wait and see what happened.”

Bray’s patience paid off when he found a job opening for T-REX on Vanderbilt’s online job posting portal. The startup billed itself as trying to solve the biggest problems in renewable energy finance, which immediately resonated with him.

“A light went off, because that was exactly what I was trying to get into,” he said. “For this specific role, I never would have found it without Owen.”

I never would have found (this job) without Owen. -Robert Bray

Pivoting Alongside the Startup

Bray interviewed with T-REX and accepted a job offer to become an associate in November 2014. When he interviewed with the company, the job description mostly involved working on investment deals within the renewable energy sector. By the time Bray started his job in May 2015, the company had pivoted to focus on building their financial modeling technology.

Bray’s initial work looked a lot like an associate’s job at a bank, even though his models were being incorporated into a technology platform instead of an investment deal. “For me,” he says, “all the modeling work that I was doing was ultimately going into a product that I was trying to build.”

As time went on, Bray began taking on more strategic work beyond model building, serving as a go-between for customers and the software engineers building the platform. He was promoted to product manager and now flies to Tel Aviv, Israel, every few weeks to consult directly with T-REX’s engineers.

Bray says he still refers back to the financial knowledge he gained at Owen, including modeling, accounting, and more. “My background from the MSF program is relevant, (because) at the end of the day, we’re selling a financial product. A lot of what I do requires financial analysis,” he said. “I’m in an Excel file basically every day…it would have been much more challenging to do that without the foundation that Owen gave (me.)”

Bray encourages fellow MSF students to keep an open mind as they job search and says that even if they’re looking to land in a niche industry like he did, degrees such as the MSF program can help set them on that path. He also advises them to look at the career trajectories of MBA students to see how people with finance backgrounds can end up in different roles.

“I had a type of industry I was trying to get into, and then trying to understand what roles might exist in that industry that are outside of just typical paths,” he said. “It is important to keep an open mind. Even if you want to get into something non-traditional, you can still get there even from routes that might be traditional at first.”

To learn about the Master of Science in Finance at Vanderbilt Business, visit our program page.

The post MSF Alum Powers Up a Career in Renewable Energy appeared first on Vanderbilt Business School.
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The Center for Entrepreneurship Website Launches [#permalink]

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New post 28 Nov 2017, 14:02
FROM Owen Press Releases: The Center for Entrepreneurship Website Launches
The Center for Entrepreneurship at the Owen Graduate School of Management (C4E) has announced the launch of www.Vanderbiltc4e.com.

With program overviews, news, and an events calendar, the website is a one-stop shop for

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Center for Entrepreneurship Director Michael Bryant

prospective, students, and alumni to learn more about the C4E’s programming and connect with the entrepreneurial community in and around Vanderbilt.

“The goal of the website,” said Michael Bryant, Director of the C4E, “is to let everyone know about the great stuff we’re doing and that this is a great place to be an entrepreneur.”

Designed by Proof Branding, the website cleanly guides visitors through the C4E resources that give students the resources and structure needed to pursue their entrepreneurial goals. It also profiles successful entrepreneurial alumni and offers ways for alumni and friends of Vanderbilt to get involved and stay connected with the C4E.

Bryant plans to build out the site in the coming months with relevant entrepreneurial news and alumni profiles.

“This is our main method of communication,” Bryant adds. “There’s a little bit of recruiting, but then there’s also just news. It ties into the events and newsletter that we publish every week.”

Visit the new website by clicking here.

About the Center for Entrepreneurship

The Center for Entrepreneurship at the Owen Graduate School of Management was created after the generous gift from Jack and Caroline Long (Both Owen ’83’s) in fall 2016. Its mission is to build and grow a productive entrepreneurial ecosystem conducive to creating new and innovative businesses. The Center accomplishes the mission through structured programs, financial support through grants and scholarships, and network connections through alumni networks in Nashville, throughout the US, and across the world. There are thousands of Vanderbilt and Owen alums in the startup and venture capital space looking to help and support current students and other alumni.

The post The Center for Entrepreneurship Website Launches appeared first on Vanderbilt Business School.
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How Uber Is Going to Change the C-Suite in 2018 [#permalink]

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New post 28 Nov 2017, 22:01
FROM Owen Press Releases: How Uber Is Going to Change the C-Suite in 2018
The post How Uber Is Going to Change the C-Suite in 2018 appeared first on Vanderbilt Business School.
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Dean’s Ranking Roundup [#permalink]

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New post 29 Nov 2017, 10:01
FROM Owen Press Releases: Dean’s Ranking Roundup
As the holiday season approaches, we close out another year of rankings with an autumn flurry of rankings.  Last month, the Vanderbilt MBA climbed to #23 globally (#18 among US schools) in the Economist’s annual “Which MBA?” rankings – our highest global ranking in any major survey (with our career management center getting a special shout out at #6 globally).  This ranking is based primarily on the satisfaction and success of current students and recent alumni. In another global publication, our Executive MBA programs placed #20 among US-only programs in Financial Times. Again, the Vanderbilt Master of Accountancy (MAcc) and Master of Science in Finance (MSF) programs were ranked #1 and #3 respectively in the 2018 TFE Times.

In a five-year look at alumni careers, the Forbes ROI study (based on 2012 alumni) showed a Vanderbilt MBA pay-back period of 4.2 years and ranked our MBA at #49 in its ROI metric.  Likewise, based on surveys of alumni (years 2008-2010), recent students, and recruiters, Bloomberg BusinessWeek ranked the MBA at #34.  The Poets & Quants website publishes a composite ranking based on five rankings including Forbes and BusinessWeek, placed Vanderbilt at #33.  With our substantial progress in key areas like placement, starting salaries, scholarship support, and student satisfaction over the past five years, we have high hopes for future improvement in these particular rankings.

As in past years, Princeton Review raved about the Owen faculty (#5 for Best Professors) and called out our success in specialty areas like Human Resources (#5).

Earlier this spring, U.S. News and World Report placed Owen at No. 25 in their ranking of full-time MBA programs. That represented a first for the school of two consecutive years inside the top 25 in that particular ranking.

These are just a few of the rankings from year, with several more on the horizon for the winter and spring. As always, we study and learn from these rankings, looking for ways to improve our program. But while these provide useful data, none reflects the unique personal-scale experience that attracts students to Owen and establishes a foundation for long-term career success and satisfaction (see my blog post on career success).

Beyond the ups and downs of any individual ranking, I am most excited about our improvement in the fundamentals—bringing together a diverse group of talented students and placing them in high-paying careers at increasingly higher rates.  Our faculty is growing larger, stronger and more diverse, creating more impact for the school.   I am proud of what we are accomplishing as we focus on our strategy to deliver world-class business education on a personal-scale.

The post Dean’s Ranking Roundup appeared first on Vanderbilt Business School.
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Consumers on a Quest for “the Best” Are More Likely to Behave Immorall [#permalink]

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New post 30 Nov 2017, 08:01
FROM Owen Press Releases: Consumers on a Quest for “the Best” Are More Likely to Behave Immorally
Consumers looking for the “best”—in terms of value, quality, fit, or any other measure—are more likely to engage in immoral behavior, according to new research by Kelly Goldsmith, associate professor of marketing at Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management.

The search for an optimal product or service creates a “maximizing mindset,” and while prior research has found a variety of personal implications (positive and negative), this is the first study to identify how the strategy may affect the way people treat others.

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Kelly Goldsmith

“Children today are bombarded with the message that they should go for ‘the best’ in all areas of life, from the schools they choose, to the jobs they choose, to the products they buy,” Goldsmith said. “This got us wondering: Could this type of mindset have negative consequences for how they interact with others?”

The study, to be published in Journal of Consumer Psychology, finds that adoption of a maximizing mindset can trigger feelings related to scarcity, which can increase consumers’ willingness to engage in immoral behavior for their own benefit. Through a series of five experiments, Goldsmith and her co-authors (Caroline Roux of Concordia University and Jingjing Ma of Peking University) establish the relationships between the maximizing mindset, scarcity, and immoral behavior.

In one experiment, participants were asked to solve a series of “word jumbles” with a growing degree of difficulty, to the point of being “unsolvable,” based on pre-screening of the participants. A portion of the group was given a financial incentive; within this subset, a group was told that use of outside resources, like online anagram solvers, constituted cheating and would be a disqualifier.

Results revealed that participants who had an activated maximizing mindset and were offered a financial incentive were more likely to have cheated on the word jumble than those without the mindset, or those who were warned about cheating.

In another experiment, participants were told to solve a series of five math problems; each correct answer would earn them entries into a lottery for a $50 Amazon gift card. After completing the test, they were shown the correct answers and asked to self-report their results. Participants imbued with both of the inherent components of a maximizing mindset (the motivation to choose and a focus on the best) were more likely to self-report higher scores than those with an alternative motivation and/or focus.

Goldsmith’s findings provide a deeper understanding of the psychological mechanisms inherent to a maximizing mindset and illuminate the broader consequences that such a strategy can have, not just for oneself, but for others. In a marketing landscape where potential customers are urged to choose “the best” and the notion of scarcity is employed regularly, the effects that a maximizing mindset can have on consumer behavior should be heeded carefully.

“Although many marketers want to motivate consumers to act in their own self-interest and to buy what is best for them,” Goldsmith said, “our findings suggest that retailers who incorporate such messaging in-store may want to keep an eye out for ensuing immoral behavior, such as increases in theft or illegal returns.”

The post Consumers on a Quest for “the Best” Are More Likely to Behave Immorally appeared first on Vanderbilt Business School.
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Student Entrepreneurs Compete for the $25,000 Sohr Grant [#permalink]

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New post 30 Nov 2017, 12:01
FROM Owen Press Releases: Student Entrepreneurs Compete for the $25,000 Sohr Grant
On Monday evening, seven start-up teams pitched for a $25,000 entrepreneurship grant in Averbuch Auditorium.

The money comes in the form of a Sohr Grant, named after founder and veteran entrepreneur Jim Sohr (MBA’90). The grant program provides funding for a maximum of five students each year, and the funds are paid in three blocks, contingent on how the student develops their company.

“If you go around to other top business schools, having grants of this size are pretty rare,” Michael Bryant, Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at Vanderbilt, told attendees at the beginning of the competition.

Students presented their ideas to a judges panel of seasoned entrepreneurs, including Sohr, the founder of AIM HealthCare Services. Teams had five minutes to present, followed by 10 minutes of Q&A.

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Jim Sohr (front) listens to a pitch

Business ideas covered a wide range of industries, from handcrafted laser-cut wood designs (created and sold by MBA’18 Taneisha Gordon) to a software platform that connects parents to available daycare providers (presented by EMBA’18 Billy Ripley). Deepen Patel (MBA’18) pitched the judges on contributing to his search fund, in which investors pay a promising entrepreneur’s salary for two years while he/she looks for a privately held company to acquire and grow.

Two Summer Grant recipients, Rachel Rock-Blake and Patrick Morsches (both MBA’18), brought their businesses to the Sohr Grant competition. Rock-Blake’s concept is Green Anchor, a certification designed to combat invasive species, such as Asian Carp in the Mississippi watershed.

“Green Anchor embodies the spirit of environmental entrepreneurship,” Rock-Blake told judges.

Morsches’ concept, Let’s Room Together, is a website that helps graduate students find roommates. He currently has 29 graduate programs signed up for the service and has scheduled a tour of Southwest after he graduates in May. “I’m doing this full-time,” he said.

Let’s Room Together earned an additional shot, as did another housing concept, Avail, founded by Cameron Huddleston (MBA’18). Avail helps graduate students rent to each other during summer internships, undercutting the short-term housing premium they would otherwise pay. Both Huddleston and Morsches will meet again one-on-one with Sohr to answer additional questions; Sohr will then decide whether or not to award the grants.

If you go around to other top business schools, having grants of this size are pretty rare – Michael Bryant

The judges didn’t need to see the final contestant, Leaf, a second time to award them the $25,000. Leaf is a blockchain-based mobile app that allows refugees to safely transport their money digitally from country to country. Tori Samples (MBA’18) and Nat Robinson (MBA ’07, JD’18) presented the idea; their team also includes Connor Echols and Alejandro Sabillon (both MBA ’18) and Kevin Lubin (GPED ’18). The team plans to use the $25,000 to help complete app development and launch a pilot test in Rwanda in March.

“I’ve spent most of my life working with refugees…So many people have wealth at home, but without the ability to access it, it may as well be non-existent,” Samples said. “I ask you to remember these 65 million (refugees) living without the ability to change their circumstances, and support us as we provide transformative solutions for them.”

Students will have another chance to pitch for the Sohr Grants in the spring. To learn more about other entrepreneurship opportunities at Vanderbilt Business, visit the new Center for Entrepreneurship website.

The post Student Entrepreneurs Compete for the $25,000 Sohr Grant appeared first on Vanderbilt Business School.
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Master of Marketing Alum Lands Analytics Internship at the ‘Most Magic [#permalink]

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New post 01 Dec 2017, 09:01
FROM Owen Press Releases: Master of Marketing Alum Lands Analytics Internship at the ‘Most Magical Place on Earth’
Victoria Conlon (MMark’17) discovered Vanderbilt’s Master of Marketing program while she was deciding where to send her GMAT scores. A Chicago transplant, Conlon wrapped up her undergraduate degree in marketing at the University of Alabama in just three years and planned to stay in Tuscaloosa to complete the school’s one-year Master of Marketing program.

Even though Conlon had her next year planned out, she was already thinking 3-5 years down the road when she took the GMAT. She decided to go ahead and send her GMAT scores to other schools now, in case she chose get her MBA later.

“I was just scrolling the list of schools and seeing where different MBA programs were, because I knew I wanted to send (my scores) to a few places,” she recalled. “And then all of a sudden, it said…Vanderbilt University-Master of Marketing. I was like ‘What? That’s new.’”

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Victoria Conlon (MMArk’17)

Vanderbilt Business had just launched the program that January, which Conlon describes as “perfect timing.” She immediately began researching the program and was impressed by the comprehensive range of marketing courses at Owen.

“Being a one-year (program), having MBA-level coursework, and getting to focus on a lot of those marketing topics, both quantitative and qualitative, was something that I felt really built me up going into the real world,” she said.

Conlon was convinced by what she read and applied before the first deadline, just a week after discovering the program. “The way I see it, everything happens for a reason, and Vanderbilt did too,” she said.

Preparing to Recruit

Shortly after arriving on campus, Conlon hit the ground running with recruiting efforts. Megan Nichols, Associate Director of the Master of Marketing program, helped Conlon prepare for interviews and reviewed her resume and cover letters. Conlon also turned to her MBA student mentor for advice throughout the recruiting process.

Originally, Conlon planned to seek out brand management positions for consumer packaged goods companies. But as she progressed through her coursework, she realized that the classes were preparing her for in-demand quantitative marketing roles.

The analytics side was something I knew I was uniquely qualified for because of Vanderbilt’s Master of Marketing program and the quantitative skills we got in that realm. – Victoria Conlon

“The analytics side was something I knew I was uniquely qualified for because of Vanderbilt’s Master of Marketing program and the quantitative skills we got in that realm,” she said. “Especially starting out, I wanted to build that credibility and have that marketing skill in my pocket moving into positions with potentially more creative focus down the line.”

Landing at Disney

Conlon expanded her job search to include more analytical marketing positions and came across an intriguing opportunity online: the Walt Disney Company was taking applications for a Marketing Analytics and Insights Professional Intern.

She knew how many people applied to online job postings and that her chances of ever hearing back from Disney (much less securing an interview) were slim — but she decided to go for it anyway. She submitted the application online and reached out to Owen alums who worked at the Walt Disney Company.

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Conlon outside the Walt Disney Parks & Resorts office

Conlon was invited to complete a phone interview and then a Skype interview. Ultimately, Disney extended her an internship offer to work with their marketing analytics and insight team.

“I didn’t think it would work out at the beginning, considering how many thousands of people apply to these jobs, but having that Master of Marketing was something that was definitely unique compared to other candidates,” she said. “(The master’s degree) was something that my recruiter at Disney said really stood when she was looking through applications.”

Conlon believes that her degree showed that she was serious about pursuing a marketing career, and that’s partly why it stood out to the recruiter at Disney.

“It was a great way to express the fact that I really was interested in (marketing),” she said.

Looking Ahead

In her current role, Conlon focuses on consumer insights and marketing analytics, trying to figure out where to optimize marketing strategies to improve campaign performance. She specializes in parks and resorts, tracking how particular rides and attractions are performing in terms of attendance, social media, customer satisfaction, and more.

The internship is immersive: Conlon sits in on strategy meetings with directors and vice presidents of different divisions. She hopes to secure a spring internship in brand management so she can experience that aspect of Disney’s marketing as well.

For students looking to land at a highly sought-after company like Walt Disney, Conlon advises keeping an open mind in the job search. She also says that if they see an opening, they should apply for it, even if they think it’s a long shot.

“Being too rooted in your plan is just as dangerous as not having a plan going in,” she said. “You never know what company will see your resume and find it valuable and call you up.”

To learn more about the Master of Marketing at Vanderbilt Business, visit the program page.

The post Master of Marketing Alum Lands Analytics Internship at the ‘Most Magical Place on Earth’ appeared first on Vanderbilt Business School.
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How I Got the Job: Lexi Jankun (MBA’18), Senior Consultant Development [#permalink]

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New post 04 Dec 2017, 14:01
FROM Owen Press Releases: How I Got the Job: Lexi Jankun (MBA’18), Senior Consultant Development Program, Accenture
Image
Right after graduating college, Lexi Jankun (MBA’18) got a job at a smaller health care consulting firm. While she didn’t have prior experience in health care, she greatly enjoyed working in the space, and decided to make a career out of it — and  to get her MBA in order to accelerate her trajectory into larger consulting firms.

“(My first job) just happened to be at a health care company. That was how I was exposed to it, and I just really loved it,” she recalled. “There’s a ton of opportunity (in the industry), and everyone’s affected by healthcare, so I felt like it was an easy thing to be passionate about.”

Click through Jankun’s timeline below to find out how she landed the offer.

Want to learn more about getting an MBA at Vanderbilt Business? Visit the program page.

The post How I Got the Job: Lexi Jankun (MBA’18), Senior Consultant Development Program, Accenture appeared first on Vanderbilt Business School.
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Executive MBA Alumni Help Chart the Future of Telemedicine [#permalink]

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New post 05 Dec 2017, 08:01
FROM Owen Press Releases: Executive MBA Alumni Help Chart the Future of Telemedicine
In 2011, Sanat Dixit (EMBA’12) connected with a prospective Executive MBA student at a Starbucks in Nashville’s Green Hills neighborhood. The neurosurgeon was completely unaware that seated behind him was fellow EMBA alum and physician Rob Moskowitz (EMBA’08), until the emergency room doctor overheard their conversation and interjected, offering his own testimonial about his experience at Vanderbilt.

They didn’t know it at the time, but the fortuitous connection the two doctors made that day would help change a career and a company in only a few years’ time.

A Serendipitous Reunion

Moskowitz went on to take a position at a hospital in Miami and remained in Florida for almost 5 years, until he felt compelled to look for new opportunities. “I wasn’t feeling any of the creativity that I was hoping to garner after I completed my Executive MBA,” he explains. “I used the degree to become better at operations in an emergency department, but being a little disillusioned and not creative, I looked to get out of administration.”

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Robert Moskowitz (EMBA’08)

In the spring of 2016, Moskowitz emailed 10 people, inquiring about their careers with the hopes of learning more about how to navigate the next step in his own. One of those people was his Starbucks connection from Green Hills.

“It was very timely, very serendipitous,” recalls Dixit.

Dixit had co-founded a healthcare solutions company, Satchel Health, and the changing direction of the business required a new Chief Medical Officer – the position he was holding. “I needed someone who was a better fit for the CMO spot,” he says.

Satchel Health, founded in spring 2014 out of Nashville’s Jumpstart Foundry, began with a single telemedicine product built for the company’s first client and had rapidly evolved with the market opportunities that presented themselves. By the time Moskowitz got on Dixit’s radar, the company had created multiple telemedicine platforms and was providing healthcare services in the post-acute care space, an area that was less familiar to the neurosurgeon but very much in Moskowitz’s wheelhouse.

“(Satchel) was looking at how to utilize telemedicine to decrease unnecessary hospital readmissions,” Moskowitz explains. “As an ED doctor, it was the bread and butter of my angst – these unnecessary ER visits and subsequent admissions of nursing home patients – so it fit my clinical experience.”

Moskowitz assumed the role of Chief Medical Officer at Satchel Health in August 2016. He wasn’t the last Vanderbilt EMBA alum to take on a senior role at the company: Lanson Hyde (EMBA’03) assumed the role of CEO in April 2017.

“It’s fun to work with Owen alums; it just adds a lot to what we’re doing,” Dixit says.

Hyde’s arrival came after a formal search by Satchel’s board of directors to identify a chief executive to lead the company through the next steps in its evolution – namely, scaling the business and cementing its identity as a tech-enabled healthcare services provider. “The health care world is moving toward post-acute care,” Hyde says, “and we’re getting in front of that movement and helping to define it.”

A Crash Course

Dixit and Moskowitz arrived at Owen with different priorities but were both drawn to the program’s creative elements and free-thinking environment.

Moskowitz was looking to strengthen his operational abilities, and the Executive MBA program’s emphasis on thinking outside of the box helped in his administrative roles. “Learning from people not in medicine was important,” he says. “As you grow (in the medical field), you realize the inefficiencies, and as you look for opportunities to elevate and disrupt it effectively, you need to stop thinking like a physician.”

Image
Sanat Dixit (EMBA’12)

Dixit echoes the sentiment. “Probably the best thing I got out of the Owen experience was that I learned not to think like a neurosurgeon,” he adds. He pursued the degree because he wanted to be an entrepreneur and liked the creative and innovative energy that came with starting a business.

When he entered the program, Dixit came with an idea for intellectual property in neuromuscular care, but its small potential market size compelled him to look for other opportunities. “I got enamored with healthcare in India, then I got involved in telemedicine, then started talking about Google glass,” he recalls.

He linked up with a developer through an Owen MBA connection, and they started working together on applications for a wearable device. When they were contacted by a company to build a formal product, the duo switched gears to telemedicine, building a minimal viable product and earning their first customer. Satchel, then called Optimus, picked up the pace from there.

“It was a crash course in what Michael Burcham taught: moving from having a nice little product, to figuring out what our niche was going to be, to figuring out our customer and business strategy. We started forward integrating and becoming a healthcare services provider. That happened within the span of 12 – 14 months,” Dixit says.

He also notes that Jim Bradford, a strategy professor and former Dean of the Owen Graduate School of Management, was a supporter from the earliest stages. “He liked what we were doing,” Dixit says. “He was a bit of a champion for us in the Nashville community, and it opened up a lot of doors for us in terms of communication and contacts.”

The Executive MBA Advantage

With Satchel positioned for additional growth, the two Executive MBA alums still return to their education every day. “It doesn’t matter what your role is,” Moskowitz says. “I’m pulling bits and pieces from strategy, operations, marketing, you name it.”

Dixit’s experience launching and growing Satchel Health continually affirms the significance of his Vanderbilt Executive MBA Education. “The big overarching theme that I got from b-school: you need to create value,” he concludes. “When you’re starting up a company, you need to demonstrate your value proposition, and it’s not just your product or your business model, it’s your people. It was all right there.”

“One of the classes that most people snickered at during school was an HR course… ‘oh it’s all about being PC,’ or this and that,” Moskowitz adds, “but the big takeaway is that when it comes to a startup, human capital and how those pieces integrate, from personalities to work ethic, is invaluable.”

That MBA is one of the most valuable things I ever did in my life. None of this would’ve happened without the context and experience I got at Owen. – Sanat Dixit

From establishing an effective board in the early stages, to recruiting a talented, cohesive development team and pivoting toward the right markets, Dixit and Satchel Health have benefited from Owen’s best practices and innovative thinking. With Moskowitz and Hyde in the C-suite, they’re benefiting from its people as well.

“Owen is in our DNA,” Dixit says. “There were so many salient things we had to go through that I was taught and was exposed to at school. That MBA is one of the most valuable things I ever did in my life. None of this would’ve happened without the context and experience I got at Owen.”

Hyde can see why Dixit and Moskowitz pursued their Executive MBAs. “I know that they are entrepreneurial and see how getting that degree was a natural step for both of them. It gave them the skills they needed to pursue ventures outside of their daily practices. It’s been a pleasure and a joy to get to know them.”

The Next Chapter

Satchel’s board tapped Hyde because the company was looking for someone with experience scaling a business, and the CEO certainly fits the bill: he helped take Surgical Development Partners from $0 to $300 million in revenues and 0 to 1,500 employees.

Image
Lanson Hyde (EMBA’03)

As it was for Dixit and Moskowitz, Satchel Health embodied the perfect next phase in Hyde’s career. “I was tired of running bricks and mortar, building and running facilities. I wanted to get into a business in the post-acute space, anything that was improving patient care and shifting the cost curve that had alignment with payers and hospitals. I think it’s the first inning of that wave and that it’s going to be huge for the next 10 years.”

Hyde believes that Satchel is uniquely suited to take advantage of the shift towards post-acute care. With an experienced in-house development team that can incorporate end-user feedback in real time and demonstrated success selling into managed care plans (“our ultimate client,” Hyde says), Satchel Health is focused on wide-spread adoption. The CEO has helped build out the operations and sales teams with seasoned industry veterans who will help generate and meet demand. For Satchel, “2018 is all about sales,” he concludes.

Profits aside, Hyde sees incredible value in the services the company offers in the post-acute world. “There are huge provider gaps in our space,” he explains, “where medically complex patients don’t have access to the physicians or care that they deserve. We bring the doctor to the patient when that patient needs that care.”

The post Executive MBA Alumni Help Chart the Future of Telemedicine appeared first on Vanderbilt Business School.
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How I Got the Job: Lexi Jankun (MBA’18), Senior Strategy Consultant, A [#permalink]

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New post 05 Dec 2017, 08:01
FROM Owen Press Releases: How I Got the Job: Lexi Jankun (MBA’18), Senior Strategy Consultant, Accenture
Image
Right after graduating college, Lexi Jankun (MBA’18) got a job at a smaller health care consulting firm. While she didn’t have prior experience in health care, she greatly enjoyed working in the space, and decided to make a career out of it — and  to get her MBA in order to accelerate her trajectory into larger consulting firms.

“(My first job) just happened to be at a health care company. That was how I was exposed to it, and I just really loved it,” she recalled. “There’s a ton of opportunity (in the industry), and everyone’s affected by healthcare, so I felt like it was an easy thing to be passionate about.”

Click through Jankun’s timeline below to find out how she landed the offer.

Want to learn more about getting an MBA at Vanderbilt Business? Visit the program page.

The post How I Got the Job: Lexi Jankun (MBA’18), Senior Strategy Consultant, Accenture appeared first on Vanderbilt Business School.
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Vanderbilt MS Finance Releases 2017 Employment Report [#permalink]

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New post 05 Dec 2017, 11:01
FROM Owen Press Releases: Vanderbilt MS Finance Releases 2017 Employment Report
The Vanderbilt Master of Science in Finance program released its employment report for the Class of 2017, and the results are impressive.

For the second time in three years, 100% of students received a full-time job offer by 90 days after graduation — 92% and 97% accepted an offer within 90 days and six months of graduation, respectively.

The results underscore the program’s ability to help foreign nationals secure employment in the U.S. (97% of them did so in 2017) and enable students to pursue diverse career paths. Investment Banking and Research remained the most popular functions, but MS Finance students also secured opportunities in management consulting, private equity, venture capital, corporate development, and elsewhere.

“I am proud of the steep trajectory of both the program and our graduates’ careers,” said Blake Gore, Senior Associate Director of the Career Management Center.

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CMC Associate Director Blake Gore

Gore credits the Vanderbilt alumni network (from MBA to MSF and undergraduate) with facilitating placement. “A loyal and accessible alumni network is absolutely essential in today’s competitive job market, and that is exactly what the Vanderbilt MS Finance program offers,” he explained.

He also notes the caliber of career preparation and training MSF students receive, well before orientation. “That approach continues to work year after year and gives our students a key competitive advantage.”

The impact of that commitment is reflected in student satisfaction scores, which are also featured in the report. The program achieved an overall score of 85% in 2017, without a single student reporting low satisfaction.

To read the full MS Finance employment report, click here.

To learn more about MS Finance students and alumni, check out our stories on Robert Bray, Ronke Oyekunle, Wade Freebeck, and Shelby Moats.

The post Vanderbilt MS Finance Releases 2017 Employment Report appeared first on Vanderbilt Business School.
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Career Insider — Consulting at Deloitte [#permalink]

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New post 05 Dec 2017, 11:01
FROM Owen Press Releases: Career Insider — Consulting at Deloitte
The Career Insider series takes a very focused look at Consulting this week, with a view into Deloitte. Hear from Human Capital Consulting and Supply Chain/Manufacturing/Operations interns Carys Petrie and Chris Entrup, respectively, as they discuss the recruiting process, work streams, the importance of network building, and more.

Courtney Fein and Megan Nichols of the Career Management Center conducted the interviews.

Listen on iTunes here

Listen on Stitcher

Listen on Overcast

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Making the Switch from Sales to Analytics with an MS Finance Degree [#permalink]

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New post 06 Dec 2017, 09:01
FROM Owen Press Releases: Making the Switch from Sales to Analytics with an MS Finance Degree
Meredith Harding (MSF’17) graduated from Vanderbilt University in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in political science, but her attachment to the school fully formed when she came back to get her Master of Science in Finance at Vanderbilt Business.

“Going to Owen really made me fall in love with Vanderbilt as an institution,” she said.

Harding’s interest in finance stems from her passion for numbers and quantitative work. As a college freshman, she originally came in as a math major, but the weed-out courses steered her towards a degree in political science instead. After graduation, she ended up getting a job in sales.

“If you’re a social sciences major, and you don’t know what you want to do exactly, it’s hard to get out of sales, because they really target the social sciences,” she said.

Pivoting Her Career

Harding missed working with numbers and kept (unsuccessfully) trying to make her sales job more quantitative. Eventually, she realized that she needed to go back to school to launch the next phase of her career.

“(The MSF program) made so much sense for me, because I really wanted to be quantitatively focused. I didn’t want to take two years out of the workforce. That was a really big sell for me,” she said.

Harding may have nurtured a passion for numbers coming into the MSF program, but she had no formal financial education. Her experience in sales had convinced her that finance was critical to every business decision.

“Every single business problem that you’re faced with…at the end of the day, it’s all about finance,” she said. “Using that as a framework to look at every other challenge that comes across my plate has been so valuable.”

Harding turned to the Career Management Center to help her articulate her career goals. Based on conversations she had with Senior Associate Director Blake Gore, Harding determined that financial and analytical consulting roles would be a good fit for her.

Ultimately, she accepted an offer at Fortune 500 company AMSURG — which manages hundreds of ambulatory surgery centers — to become their Director of Strategic and Operational Analytics.

Making the Quantitative Move

Now Harding spends about half her time in operational analytics, figuring out how to improve the performance of the surgery centers that AMSURG already owns. The rest of her time, she looks at potential acquisitions and the accompanying financials for parent company Envision.

“I could not do my job now without the finance background. They would have never hired me,” she said. “I have all my MSF notes in my office. I use everything I learned here every single day.”

Harding praises the Career Management Center for all the support the staff gave her, especially after her original offer was rescinded. She “loves” her current job at AMSURG and says the CMC helped her find a much better position than she could have secured on her own.

“I have a Director-level title, coming in with no finance experience (prior to the MSF program). I would never have had that without the Career Center to help and support me,” she said.

Beyond the CMC, Harding credits the entire MSF program with helping her land the “MBA-level” position she has now. She says Vanderbilt’s excellent reputation made her stand out from other candidates and convinced AMSURG that she could more than handle the job.

“Everything I do in my day-to-day job now, I learned how to do in MSF. I was able to get a position that I never would have gotten without the program,” she said.

To learn more about the Master of Science in Finance degree at Vanderbilt Business, visit the program page.

The post Making the Switch from Sales to Analytics with an MS Finance Degree appeared first on Vanderbilt Business School.
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Apologies May Not Be Enough [#permalink]

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New post 06 Dec 2017, 12:01
FROM Owen Press Releases: Apologies May Not Be Enough
The post Apologies May Not Be Enough appeared first on Vanderbilt Business School.
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How I Got the Job: Jason Levinson (MBA’18), Associate, RBC Capital Mar [#permalink]

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New post 07 Dec 2017, 07:01
FROM Owen Press Releases: How I Got the Job: Jason Levinson (MBA’18), Associate, RBC Capital Markets
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Oil and gas is practically in Jason Levinson’s blood. After graduating from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in petroleum engineering, he went to work at ConocoPhillips, where he stayed for six years. Levinson had been promoted up to Senior Engineer when he began to consider a pivot into energy finance and started looking at MBA programs to help him make that transition.

“There was still a strong (Owen) alumni presence in energy and energy finance, specifically in Houston,” he said. “The opportunity to go 1,000 miles away and get two years away from it all was amazing, but I still had the ability to reach back (to energy finance connections) and not feel like I was putting myself at a disadvantage from a recruiting perspective.”

Click through Levinson’s timeline below to find out how he landed the offer.

Want to learn more about getting an MBA at Vanderbilt Business? Visit the program page, or request information.

The post How I Got the Job: Jason Levinson (MBA’18), Associate, RBC Capital Markets appeared first on Vanderbilt Business School.
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Alumni Spotlight: Clint Freeland, Dynegy CFO [#permalink]

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New post 07 Dec 2017, 09:01
FROM Owen Press Releases: Alumni Spotlight: Clint Freeland, Dynegy CFO
How do you turn a company around after every member of the executive team and board of directors quits? What’s the best route for a finance student with lots of passion and education but little experience?

We talked this week with Clint Freeland, the Chief Financial Officer of Dynegy, Inc., a Houston-based Electric Companythat owns and operates a number of power stations across the U.S. The MBA’92 alum talks about opportunities and challenges in today’s energy industry, his path to the C-suite, and overlooked skills that finance-focused professionals should develop. Freeland participated in Vanderbilt Business’ new Alumni Fireside Chat Series, where distinguished alumni share stories about their career and chat with a small group of students by the fireplace at the Walker Management Library.

Listen on iTunes here

Listen on Stitcher

Listen on Overcast

Want to learn more about getting an MBA at Vanderbilt Business? Visit the program page, or request information.

The post Alumni Spotlight: Clint Freeland, Dynegy CFO appeared first on Vanderbilt Business School.
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How I Got the Job: Christiana Newcomb (MBA’18), Associate Brand Manage [#permalink]

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New post 11 Dec 2017, 09:02
FROM Owen Press Releases: How I Got the Job: Christiana Newcomb (MBA’18), Associate Brand Manager, E&J Gallo Winery
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Christiana Newcomb (MBA’18) entered the workforce at a full-service marketing firm. While she loved marketing, she realized that her account management role wasn’t the best fit and went to business school to explore other options. She was immediately drawn to brand management’s combination of business work and creative thinking.

“A lot of the work I had done at the agency was service-based — our clients were hospitals, non-profits, tourism bureaus, banks — so (I was really intrigued by) the dynamic of something tangible people could interact with and how they make decisions while they’re looking at a shelf,” she said. “I felt like there was a lot more room for getting to know your consumer and putting a lot into your branding story to get people to choose your product.”

Click through Newcomb’s timeline below to trace her brand management career search.

Want to learn more about getting an MBA at Vanderbilt Business? Visit the program page, or request information.

The post How I Got the Job: Christiana Newcomb (MBA’18), Associate Brand Manager, E&J Gallo Winery appeared first on Vanderbilt Business School.
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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How I Got the Job: Christiana Newcomb (MBA’18), Associate Brand Manage   [#permalink] 11 Dec 2017, 09:02

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