Friday, January 29, 2010

Marketing Summit 2010: Exploring Diversity Issues

reinemund Wake Forest has a multitude of engaging programs built around this year's Marketing Summit, but one of the centerpiece activities is sure to be the roundtable discussion on Diversity in Corporate America.

To be held at Pugh Auditorium, the panel will be moderated by Steve Reinemund, dean of Wake Forest University's Schools of Business and retired CEO of PepsiCo. Dean Reinemund has long been an advocate of diversity in the work force.

Here are brief bios of the other panelists set to appear at the Feb. 5 event.

Harris 2009 Patricia Harris: Since being named the global chief diversity officer at McDonald’s Corp. in 2001, Harris has been responsible for developing and implementing diversity strategies throughout the company. Under her leadership, McDonald’s has been voted one of the “35 Great Places to Work” by Ebony Magazine and one of the “30 Best Companies for Diversity” by Black Enterprise Magazine.


Ronald C. Glover: Prior to joining the human resources group at IBM Corp., where he leads diversity and workforce program efforts, Glover held a variety of HR management and executive posts, in addition to serving as a senior trial attorney with the U.S. Department of Labor in Massachusetts.

ester_silver_parker Esther Silver-Parker: As senior vice president of corporate affairs at Wal-mart Stores Inc., Silver-Parker is responsible for the strategic planning and execution of the retailer’s shareholder management efforts. In prior posts as senior vice president of diversity relations, she oversaw diversity efforts tied to areas such as supplier development, philanthropy and associate retention efforts.

parkerRonald C. Parker: As PepsiCo’s senior vice president and chief global diversity and inclusion officer, Parker is responsible for guiding the company’s diversity and inclusion strategy, while also having a direct role in succession planning, work force analysis, and developing the cultural competency of current and future leaders. He also chairs the PepsiCo Global Diversity and Inclusion Governance Council and its Ethnic Advisory Boards, reporting to CEO Indra Nooyi.

TapiaAbio Andrés Tapia: In his role as the chief diversity officer and emerging workforce solutions leader at Hewitt Associates, Tapia leads the company’s diversity vision and strategies. As a journalist, he covered social trends in the U.S. and Latin America, and he has release a new book: The Inclusion Paradox: The Obama Era and the Transformation of Global Diversity.

Wake Forest has a multitude of engaging programs built around this year's Marketing Summit, but one of the centerpiece activities is sure to be the roundtable discussion on Diversity in Corporate America. To be held at Pugh Auditorium, the panel will be moderated by Steve Reinemund, dean of the Wake Forest University's Schools of Business and a retired CEO of PepsiCo. Dean Reinemund has long been an advocate of diversity in the work force.

Here are brief biographies of the other panelists scheduled to appear during the Feb. 5 event.

Patricia Harris, global chief diversity officer; McDonald’s Corp.


Ronald C. Glover, Vice President, Diversity and Workforce Programs, Human Resources; IBM Corporation

Esther Silver-Parker, Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs; Wal-mart Stores, Inc.

Ronald C. Parker, Senior Vice President and Chief Global Diversity and Inclusion Officer; PepsiCo

Andrés Tapia, Chief Diversity Officer and Emerging Workforce Solutions Leader; Hewitt Associates

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Marketing Summit 2010: Networking

The 2010 Marketing Summit is fast approaching. For all students in the Wake Forest University Schools of Business and elsewhere, the event provides numerous opportunities to volunteer and participate.

Though a limited few can compete, the summit will provide abundant networking opportunities with highly successful companies such as IBM, Cheerwine, BB&T, Altria, and BBDO.

As the event nears, it is important to acknowledge several networking basics.

  • Dress for success: First impressions are often lasting impressions. It never hurts to be the best-dressed prospect in the room.
  • The KISS Principle: When meeting an executive, follow the KISS principle: Keep It Simple Stupid. Don’t overwhelm them in the first conversation with your dreams and desires of working in their company. Executives know when someone is trying too hard and it is a major turn off.
  • Demeanor: Opportunities like these can be overwhelming, so being relaxed, confident, and an active listener will be keys to success. You may want to sell yourself, but remember that each conversation involves dialogue.
  • Get the info: Interested in a particular company? Do you homework beforehand. And make sure you have an opportunity to collect business cards. After the summit, following up with people may enhance your chance for furthering your conversation.
  • Have fun: The Marketing Summit is a great opportunity to meet new people and have loads of fun!
~ Bobbie Shrivastav

2010 Marketing Summit: Meet the Teams

Wake Forest University's highly anticipated 2010 Marketing Summit will kick off in one week as a dozen business schools converge on Winston-Salem, N.C., to compete for nearly $80,000 in prizes. Here are a few short videos from some the international programs eager to take home the top prize on Feb. 6.

This video is from the London Business School:

And this one is from the IESE Business School at Navarra in Barcelona, Spain:

If these schools keep their intensity at this level next week, it should make for a terrific competition!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Adapting to Change: A Perspective Abroad

Bobbie Shrivastav is the latest addition to the Wake Forest student-run blog. Shrivastav, an Evening MBA student, recently returned from a Winter Break trip to Nepal.
Over Christmas Break, I had an opportunity to go to my husband’s homeland, Nepal, for 25 days. As a first generation Indian, there is still a wide gap of knowledge, although my parents taught me about our culture and roots. My parents worked most of my life, so aside from cooking and understanding the major concepts such as the caste system or our family history, I hate to admit that I learned a lot about the Indian culture by watching Bollywood movies.
I’ve lived in India during my childhood and have gone for some visits, mainly to do shopping. The goal of our trip this time was to meet Soven’s relatives, who were throwing a party to honor our marriage, since we got married in the states. A lot of the ways I reacted to the changes I faced reminded me of the book, “Who Moved My Cheese,” in which you have four characters: Hem, Haw, Sniff, and Scurry. Hem is the character that never changed and got frustrated and angry. Haw was resistant to change initially, but when he accepted the change, he went on to find cheese. Sniff and Scurry were two mice who were mentally prepared that one day their cheese supply would dwindle, and when they found no cheese, they went to look for new cheese.
When we first came to Nepal, we found out that our “cheese” (the transportation system) was closed due to a curfew. Nepal is having a lot of political issues and there are times when the Maoist party would decide to close Nepal, which means all the transportation systems, grocery stores, and major department stores close. I first had the attitude of Hem. I thought that there is no way a car would not operate and I was willing not to walk or find other alternatives. I may have thrown a tantrum fit like Hem, when he stated “Who moved my cheese ... who moved my cheese?”
There were some buses for tourists but we did not know if they would go to our area, since it was a residential community rather than a tourist stop. We waited approximately two hours and we found a bus, but it would only take us halfway. I knew I had to adapt to the situation or I was going to waste precious time and never get to our destination. At the half-way point, we decided to walk to our destination with our luggage (4 large bags and 2 carry-ons). In 10 minutes, we saw a group of people, who were Soven’s relatives, whom walked a long distance to see us and to help carry our luggage. We walked for another 45 minutes, but those precious minutes laid the foundation for my relationship with Soven’s relatives. If I had been Hem, I would have had a bitter attitude and still had been at the half-way point, waiting for some transportation mechanism to arrive.
Once I got over the initial hump of adapting to change, I quickly found two relatives who assisted me with understanding the culture norms. Coming from America has some disadvantages, as people have some negative biases about us. They feel that we are disrespectful and we don’t take care of our elders. They also think that we minimize the traditional culture. My relatives helped me understand how I should present myself in front of other relatives, what I should wear on a daily basis, and what I should or shouldn’t say in front of family. I was amazed that doing small things would make such a huge difference. For example, just going first thing in the morning and getting blessings from the grandpas of the group made such a lasting impression. Wearing a sari also came as a pleasant surprise for most of the relatives. Sometimes, having the attitude of Sniff and Scurry makes the adaptation of change easier. You can just go with the flow to find your next “cheese.”
Having moments like Haw, when he had the epiphany that he should move on to find cheese, can be a liberating experience. “When you move beyond your fear, you feel free.” It is normal to feel apprehensive when a change occurs. Everyone enjoys their comfort zone. How you deal with change is important. Procrastinating or having a negative attitude will never allow you to experience new adventures but having a quick response and recovery time can help you adapt quickly to change and help us realize the following principles that Haw wrote:
“Change Happens
They Keep Moving The Cheese
Anticipate Change
Get Ready For The Cheese To Move
Monitor Change
Smell The Cheese Often So You Know When It Is Getting Old
Adapt To Change Quickly
The Quicker You Let Go Of Old Cheese, The Sooner You Can Enjoy New Cheese
Move With The Cheese
Enjoy Change!
Savor The Adventure And Enjoy The Taste Of New Cheese!
Be Ready To Change Quickly And Enjoy It Again & Again
They Keep Moving The Cheese.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Director's Corner: Successful Strategies for Job Hunting

I suspect that many of you are in the process of searching for a new career opportunity or an internship. Unquestionably, this process requires a lot of perseverance and time. As you know, we have a great team in place that is dedicated to helping you find and secure the right opportunity. All of us, faculty and staff, are dedicated to help as you go through your search process.
Based on our past experience in helping students, we have identified two strategies that seem to pay good dividends in a job/internship search process. To illustrate the value of these strategies, I would like to share with you three success stories. Each story highlights one of your classmates who has used one or both strategies to find the right opportunity.
I recognize that many of you have used similar strategies successfully. If your story is not highlighted below, I encourage you to share your own stories with your classmates to help each other focus on smart actions that could lead to good results.

Strategy 1: Even if your target organization doesn’t have job openings, take the time to connect with its executives through unpaid positions and informational interviews.
Robbie Shappley used this strategy quite effectively. For those of you who don’t know Robbie, he is a full-time MBA student in the health concentration. He has been very focused in his job search to the point of accepting an unpaid internship working for a healthcare lobbying firm in Washington DC during the summer of 2009. His networking and informational interviewing led him to a successful position with a hospital in Memphis. Robbie credits his success to his informal connections with company insiders: “At the behest of CMC, I began this process with an informational interview. At that time, the position I ultimately received did not exist. However, after my initial meeting, I was asked to formally interview for a position with the organization. With guidance from CMC, I went through three rounds of interviews, finally landing a terrific opportunity with a Fortune 500 company. I cannot speak any higher of the informational interview process, and how it can truly create wonderful opportunities for students.”

Strategy 2: Do your homework before each interaction with your target company. Being prepared is a must and you should utilize CMC and all other available resources to do the preparation.
For those of you who know Reyna Camps, an MA student, you recognize that she took this advice to heart and she has been extremely successful in her job search because of it. Even though Reyna’s past experience was in the nonprofit/medical sectors, she was determined to secure a job in finance. Reyna also wanted to work in Texas, so when a corporate finance position with Frito-Lay appeared on DeaconLink, Reyna applied. She excelled in her job search because of her enthusiastic dedication to researching the company, following up with contacts, and practicing for her interviews.
Reyna attributes much of her success to her intense level of preparation: “My CMC advisor was instrumental in my job search. She helped me to fine tune my interview skills by making herself available for mock interviews and pointing out strengths and important places for improvement. Working with her gave me the ability to interview with confidence despite my anxieties. Furthermore, the CMC gave me the names of other students who had worked with my target company. Speaking with these students definitely gave me a leg up in the interview process. I really appreciate my CMC advisor and all of her help. I would not have gotten the job without her!”

The story of David Uzzell highlights how he put to use both of the above strategies. As many of you know, David is a second-year full-time MBA student and plans to pursue a career in Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG). Because internships with CPG companies in the summer of 2009 were scarce, David reached out to the parent company of his previous employer and landed an internship in brand management in San Francisco. Wanting to acquire additional CPG-related experience, David reached out to alumni and contacts that he identified while searching for his internship and secured two marketing projects with CPG companies.
David highlighted these projects on his resume. His dedication and these experiences landed him several CPG interviews and ultimately a full-time offer from Heinz as an Associate Brand Manager. David’s focus allowed him to contact the right people in the right places to both help and advise him in his job search. His level of preparation also made a difference. David would not only practice with a CMC career coach before each interview, but he would also take time to do extensive research about each company using the on-line library resources. He also used his course projects to do research on his target companies. For example, he used Professor Baliga’s assignment in his strategy course as an opportunity to research Heinz.
As David confirms, preparation was key to his success: “Many times before going into interviews I was informed who I was meeting with and what their position was. In my preparatory research I would analyze each job description and put myself in the interviewer’s shoes to determine what I would look for in a top candidate. I would then read the analyst reports and apply what I learned from my classes and try to determine the current state of their business and how they were reacting to current market conditions. This research allowed me to talk with my interviewers at their level.”
I recognize that many of you, besides Robbie, Reyna and David, have used these and other strategies successfully and encourage you to share the lessons you learned from your experience with others. I also encourage each one of you who is stilling searching for an opportunity to reach out to your faculty and staff who are here to help you as you go through your search process. We are always willing to help and all you have to do is ask.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Such a Long Trip

Well ... it's certainly been awhile! I apologize for not posting for the last few months, but things just got crazy busy for awhile. By the time I was ready to write about something, ten more things had crept up and blogging got put on the back burner for awhile. Hopefully it doesn't get like that again!

So what's happened in the meantime? Thanksgiving, Christmas break (a whole month!), finals, and internship stuff. Last semester ended with a blowout party, which was nice. Finals went well, I got pretty good marks on all my exams and ended up with a decent GPA. Over break I did some networking for my internship, which was somewhat successful. All in all, not too bad.

As soon as I got back to school, things were back in full swing in no time! Three classes carried over from last mini (quant, finance and marketing) and three new ones began (macroeconomics, operations and information technology management). With the new classes comes reshuffled sections. Half of the teams from my old section joined half the teams from the other section. It took a few class sessions for everyone to get a feel for the others, but now the debates are lively.

Internship stuff is also happening. I had two interviews this week, two more next week, and one the week after. This, along with preparations for the Marketing Summit and Project Nicaragua's March trip have kept me super busy! It doesn't stop though, you've got to keep pushing forward as best you can. I still wouldn't trade this for anything!

Giving Something Back to the Community

By Lauren Collins

Some of my most memorable events take place outside the classroom and usually involve the comfort of my classmates.
On Martin Luther King Holiday, I joined four other Corporate Fellows (Najah Woodby, Nicholas Melvin, Alex Willis and Angelina Darrisaw) to volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters at a Read-In event organized to educated young children about Dr. King. We were each responsible for aiding two to three children in creating Valentine’s Day cards for the elderly, thank you cards for the troops, and leaving their personal mark in library books.
In doing so, we were able to share with these young scholars Dr. King’s messages of serving others and literacy through conversation, books and film.
I was fortunate enough to work with the sweetest two kids, Ellia and Alexander, who both loved to draw and were great conversationalists! It was a truly rewarding experience, and their father told me how important he felt it was for his daughter to see an African American young woman pursuing a graduate education.
The other fellows and I are privileged enough to be sponsored by local companies, so we want to continue to give back to this community in any way we can. Last fall, a few of the fellows volunteered at the Second Harvest Food Bank, organizing food for holiday distribution. There are dozens of volunteer opportunities here in Winston, and we are constantly searching for different opportunities to strengthen Wake’s connection with the greater Winston Salem community.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Welcome Back!

I hope you all had a wonderful and restful break and that you are now energized and ready for the spring semester. For second years, hopefully you are taking some interesting courses and networking like crazy. I know that many of you already have job offers and quite a few have accepted. Congratulations! For those of you still in the hunt, we are all here and ready to help you finish your MBA successfully and find a great job! Please do not hesitate to use every resource available (CMC, faculty, staff and your own network). We are here for you!
For first years, you have survived your first semester of MBA school (even though you didn’t think you would)! You are hopefully eager to get started with a new set of courses (Information Technology Management, Macroeconomics and Operations) and to delve back into some old favorites (Quant, Finance and Marketing)!
For all of you, there are many exciting things to look forward to this semester. One is the Carolina Connection MBA fair coming up on Feb. 16. Lori Sykes has sent you information about this. Everybody looking for an internship or job should attend. First years – you do not have class on this day, so I definitely encourage you to attend!
One of the most exciting events coming up is the Marketing Summit. As you know, this year it is sponsored by IBM. Roger Beahm and the executive committee (Emily Willard, Marty Wilson and Ashley Stafford) are planning an extraordinary weekend for all of us! I know that many of you are involved in the host of jobs required to pull off this event. Have fun with it and make sure to make lots of good contacts while other students and executives are on campus. The summit will be here before you know it – Feb. 4-6.
But that’s not the only great event we’re hosting! The Healthcare Club will be hosting our first-ever Healthcare Conference on March 19-20. The conference will feature a newly created competition format with guest judges from companies like St. Jude, Dixon Hughes and SAS, as well as guest speakers addressing various healthcare related issues. Some of our sponsors include Aetna, Health Benefit Associates, Moses Cone and Baptist Hospital systems. The event will also include local community involvement as well as a fund raising effort for a health related non-profit. We look forward to seeing you there. For more information or any questions please email Peppi at
Our third big event for the year will be the Elevator Competition, to be held on March 26-27. This is also a signature event for the Graduate Schools of Business and many of you will be needed to help manage the competition. The event features a traditional business plan competition as well as a social entrepreneurship competition. I hope to see many of you involved.
Many other extracurricular activities are being planned including special speakers, speaker panels, career-related events and Wake Forest events. This promises to be an exciting semester, full of possibilities and experiences. I know it will be challenging to balance schoolwork, job search and extracurricular activities at the same time, but I am confident that your experience at Wake Forest so far has helped you develop some of the organization, prioritization and time management skills which will enable you to develop a well-balanced experience.
Finally, take a look here at what one of your classmates is saying about his first-year MBA experience.
I hope you are all excited to be back. Hopefully, you had some fun, some relaxation, and some time to network and focus on your career plan. I hope you have a wonderful semester. Your Student Affairs, CMC staff, faculty and administration are here to help you achieve your academic and career goals. Please do not hesitate to utilize all of the resources at your disposal.

Sherry Moss

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Looking for the Next Good Read...

For those interested in getting plugged into the community and expanding their literary horizons, I would recommend visiting the Friends of the Reynolda Manor Library annual meeting on Jan. 26 at 7 pm. After a brief business session, author Rachel Keener (right) will be reading and signing copies of "Killing Tree." I have heard great things about the book. It is always exciting to meet the individual behind a solid read! Keener, who graduated from Wake Law, lives in Winston-Salem.
The meeting will also include door prizes, including an advanced galley of Keener's new book, "The Memory Thief," which for now is only available to reviewers. (So far the new book has also gotten some positive reviews.)
Anyway, just thought this might be a great opportunity for business school students to take a break from the educational books (accounting, marketing, etc.) and venture out into the community.
Click here for more information. Read "Killing Tree" or met the author? We would welcome reviews in the comment section!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Safeway CEO to Speak at Wake Forest


For more information on Steve Burd and his presentation, click here.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Spirit of Belief

WFU Business School Headshots 8-20-09

Molly Nunn is a new addition to the Wake Forest Schools of Business student blog. She recently completed her first semester in the Evening MBA program.


Happy New Year and Happy ‘Start to Another Semester! Since this is my first time writing for the Wake Forest Schools of Business blog, I would like to take a brief moment to discuss my background. I graduated from Wake Forest  as an undergrad in 2006, with a major in English and a minor in Journalism, I set out with the desire to find my “fit” in the working person’s world. Growing up and going to a very small high school - my graduating class had a staggering 23 people - I had the unique opportunity to get to know and spend time with my teachers. Because I so greatly admired them, I decided to try my hand at teaching.

imgresSo I found myself in middle school. Ah, the land of bliss … or rather the land of nervous twitches when a text arrives (“R U going to the movies l8r?”), 8th grade girls all with matching Uggs and 7 Jeans (“Omg!”), and the curtain of oblivion starts to rise as the birds finally discover the bees (“will u b my gf?”) This became my world and as my teachers had inspired me, I hoped to instill in my students the same passion for learning and discovery that I had gained long ago.

I was given the rare and very special opportunity to work with middle schoolers who have learning and attention disorders. We work one-on-one and I teach my students social studies in ways that are geared towards their strengths, and then use those strengths to work on their weaknesses. Currently being in my fourth year of this position, I have truly gained a profound respect for those in the teaching profession and certainly those that work with children with various type of learning difficulties. It has been greatly fulfilling to me and it brings me such joy when former students return to my office to update me on their triumphs and simply their lives.

Although teaching has meant a great deal to me, I decided it was time to set new goals and ultimately change careers. Part of this motivation was a result of my personality and aspirations in other parts of my life. As a semi-professional distance runner whose grand goal is to qualify for the 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials, I have a great passion and determination for setting high goals for myself. When analyzing my current career and my hopes for my life’s work, I started researching graduate p rograms and schools that fit my personality and career goals. I was immediately drawn to business school.

Even though I am not the “typical” MBA student with a business background, there was something so very intriguing to me about this foreign world. I was drawn to its fast pace, to the goal-oriented people I met who also had high hopes and great passions for their future, and to the intellectual curiosities and challenges that business seemed to bring with it. I wanted in.

Researching schools was somewhat daunting because I was still unsure about many things, but all along the choice seemed clear; a Wake Forest MBA. Upon contacting the school, I received immediate responses and invitations to come and view what the school’s MBA programs were all about. From the admissions staff, to the facilities, to the efficiency in which events were run, and to the friendliness and willingness of professors, staff, and students to meet with me, I knew it was time to return “home” to Wake Forest. I was absolutely elated when I received the phone call that let me know I had been ACCEPTED!


Without looking back, I dove into my first semester. The line up; Financial Accounting with Bern Beatty (right), Quantitative Methods with Pat McMullen, and Organizational Behavior with Chet Miller. At first, accounting felt like I had just taken off face-first into the Arctic Ocean. ‘Wow!’ Getting back into the swing of things after a few years outside of school was … challenging. However, after a few weeks and getting to further know my wonderful classmates - we had the opportunity to get to know each other at a ‘Team Building’ Day during Orientation - I was good to go. And the rest of the semester fell into place.

Looking back on the first semester, I not only took a big sigh of relief but a sigh of gratitude. The experiences that I had, the classes, clubs, and organizations I have gotten involved in, and the people that I have been given the opportunity to know easily reached the status of “priceless” to me. Moving forward, I simply cannot wait to see what the future will bring not only for me, but also for each of the WFU MBA students. There is simply a wealth of opportunity just waiting and I find the challenges exciting. And in the spirit of belief that goals can be achieved, I wish everyone a very happy 2010.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Winter Break … A Student’s Look Back

WFU Business School Headshots 8-20-09 Yes! yes! Yes! I was excited to get a break from a hectic academic schedule and lead a relaxed life for some time. For a long time I had planned to do few things I enjoy: movies, writing, music, friends, family and sleeping. Anyway, just to keep this short and to touch base with big highlights in a minimalistic way, I will cover a few points: 1) What have I been doing? 2) What do I plan on doing? 3) Life in general.

What have I been doing? Movies! I have seen quite a few. I have also been hanging out with friends, particularly in Old Winston Salem. I’m not counting three Parties and two dinners :). I have a couple of invitations for dinner lined up. I have also started working 10 hours a week with a professor and started a unpaid school time internship with a private equity firm.

What else do I plan on doing? I am continuing to look out for internships and finding time to watch more movies. I am planning to get back to some of my finance books (never too early to resume studying). I also completed an exciting trip to New York!

Life in general has been going great. My cooking is improving as I have tried some new dishes. Oh, it snowed and I went crazy. I had never seen snow before and it was so nice to see snow flakes falling from the sky. I did go out with roommates and had good fun. It just looks beautiful right now and I am in complete awe.