Thursday, February 25, 2010

Wake Teams to Highlight Health at 2010 Elevator Competition

TEC LOGO FULL A pair of companies that focus on promoting personal well-being, health and fitness will represent Wake Forest University in the 11th Annual Elevator Competition.
Runners’ Base and Healthie presented their ideas to judges Saturday, Feb. 20, at the school’s 2010 Escalator Competition, a preliminary contest for the right to compete in the Schools of Business international Elevator Competition event, scheduled for March 26-27.
In all, eight teams – four competing in the Traditional business plan category and four in the Social Entrepreneurship track – took part in last weekend’s event.
Runners’ Base, which competed in the Traditional track, is a scientific and research-based market mapping and meta-site company that provides information to people looking for the best running shoes, based on personal biomechanics. Healthie, the winner in the Social track, was created to combat the national epidemic of unhealthy lifestyles. The winners will each receive $250, said Bentsen Falb, co-chair for the Wake Forest Elevator Competition.
Wake MBA Full Time 8-18-08 Peppi Browne-Armstrong (right), the founder and CEO of Runners’ Base, holds a master’s of science degree in bio-medical engineering from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
“I am truly honored and excited to be chosen to advance beyond the Escalator Competition and to be able to represent Wake Forest University Schools of Business in the upcoming Elevator Competition,” she said. “I have already begun to solidify my presentation by addressing the issues raised by both the judges and the audience. I have some work to do between now and the end of March but I am looking forward to the competition.”
Hal Eason, founder and managing director
Agilis Equity Partners LLC, judged the Traditional track competition with Ram Baliga, the John B. McKinnon Professor of Management in the Wake Forest Schools of Business.
“From what I’ve heard so far,” Eason told Browne-Armstrong after her presentation, “I want to hear more.”
Wake MBA Full Time 8-18-08 Vincent Mac (left) and Jon Pinder, associate professor of management in the Schools of Business, judged the Social track portion of the Escalator Competition.
Mac said the presentation for Social winner Healthie was thorough and complete. “I thought they did a great job.”
Healthie is a comprehensive Internet experience that counsels people in the three key aspects of health. Through personalized workout intensifications, nutritional guidance and psychological support, Healthie succeeds in making goals attainable, say founders Brittany Bornhofen of Raleigh and Alexandra Paetow of Parkton, Md. Both are juniors at Wake Forest University.
“The presentation was a great opportunity to gain exposure to the atmosphere of the competition,” Bornhofen said. “We are excited to incorporate the feedback as we prepare for the Elevator Competition.”
“I would say that’s the biggest advantage of competing in the Escalator Competition is that we give students a chance to improve before they go to the actual competition,” Baliga said.Wake MBA Full Time 8-18-08
"Organizers this year made an effort to include more undergraduates in the competition,” Falb (right) said. He is optimistic the Wake Forest teams will do well in the Elevator event.
“A lot of the Escalator Competition is about giving some of the undergraduates competitors an opportunity to present their plans in a more formal setting to actual judges. For many this was the first time they have had this type of experience” Falb said, adding that those teams will have time to refine their business plans for the event in succeeding years. “Many have a good three years where they actually can go back and rework and retool, so they can be a little more competitive in the future.”
Teams in the 2010 Elevator Competition will compete for $100,000 in cash and prizes. The top finisher in the Business Plan competition will receive $10,000 cash; the highest-placing team that includes an MBA student will receive automatic entry into the Global Moot Corp Competition. The top Traditional Business Plan team will bypass the initial screening process with the Piedmont Angel Network, an institutional angel fund that invests more than $250,000 in early stage companies, and proceed to a member presentation to determine whether to proceed to due diligence. The Social Entrepreneurship Competition winner will receive a $5,000 cash prize.
The Elevator Competition, first held in 2000, allows students from schools around the world to test their skills at making the perfect “elevator pitch.” Teams perform a two-minute pitch (in an actual elevator) and, based on making it through that qualifying round, have the opportunity to present a formal plan of their business venture to a panel of judges.

~Article courtesy of the Wake Forest University Schools of Business website.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wake to Host Inaugural Healthcare Conference

business.wfu The Healthcare Club, in collaboration with the Wake Graduate Women in Business club, is sponsoring the first annual Wake Forest Schools of Business Healthcare Conference and Case Competition. The event is scheduled to for March 19-20.

The primary goal of the event is to provide students with opportunities to learn about the changing healthcare landscape through panel sessions, keynote speakers, and a case competition.

Speakers for the second day of the conference include Tony Atala of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine and Tim Bertram, senior vice president at Tengion.

This year’s case competition sponsor is Keranetics, a local healthcare firm specializing in developing and commercializing keratin-based products for use in areas of regenerative medicine and trauma use. We are currently seeking out students from the Wake Forest Schools of Business who are interested in participating in the case competition. Each team must have 3-4 members. If selected as the final winner they will receive a $5,000 cash prize. If you are interested in participating, please either contact Peppi Browne-Armstrong at or visit the conference website to submit your team information.

Additionally, we will be sending out an email soon after Spring Break to recruit volunteers to help with specific tasks throughout the weekend. If you are interested in volunteering for the event (which can be a great resume builder), please email Peppi to let her know of your availability. We are very excited that this is the INAUGURAL YEAR for the healthcare conference/case competition and look forward to a successful and engaging weekend!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Staying Focused

If you have been lucky enough to see any of the Olympic coverage this week you have had the opportunity to watch some remarkable athletes pursuing their passion. One thing they all have in common is focus. You hear this word again and again from the commentators, coaches, and the athletes. The focus on making their country's team, participating at the highest level, and hopefully winning a medal has given direction to their lives. To help them attain their dream they have connected with the right people to help them - coaches, trainers, choreographers, and sports psychologists.

In your job or internship you also need to be focused, directed, and connected. Focus means knowing what you want. What is your preference for functional area? For example, is it marketing, finance, or operations and not simply "business"? Can you name the industry or industries you are targeting and within each the top three to five organizations for whom you want to work? What are the job titles specific to your function, industry, and company?

Armed with this knowledge you now have a razor sharp focus on your goal. Knowing your goal will give direction to your search and allow you to make the connections with people who can help you. Consider the difference between an individual who says I am looking for a full-time job in finance compared to an individual who says I am looking for a job as a credit analyst in the financial services industry, specifically banking. My goal is to stay in the southeastern United States and my top three organizations are Wells Fargo, SunTrust, and Bank of America. Which individual will get connected sooner?

If you are feeling more like the first individual than the second, we suggest the following:

  • Connect with your career coach
  • Review your marketing plan and make any necessary adjustments
  • Complete a "Desired States" goal sheet (your coach can help you with this)
  • Utilize online resources like WIN, CareerShift and LinkedIn to build your contact base
  • Conduct research on your targeted position, industry, and company to make sure that you are a good fit

Becoming focused, directed, and connected will help you achieve your best career search performance ever.

~Beth Burdick, Career Management Center

Monday, February 22, 2010

Date Auction a Success!

WFU Business School Headshots 8-20-09

Thank you to everyone who came out to support this year's Date Auction, with 100% of the proceeds going to Red  Cross relief efforts in Haiti. We had more than 100 students from the Business and Law schools attend to bid on 20 dates.

All together we raised more than $2500 with the highest bid of the evening totaling $230!  Hugh Gwen, a local representative from the Red Cross who stopped by to thank the participants, found the event enjoyable.  He said that the relief mission in Haiti will take years and that it will be a multi-agency effort.

Once again, thank you for showing your support for this cause. A big thank you Natasha Gagger for helping me organize the event. And a round of applause goes out to the auctioneers: Sara Kyle, Justin Parker, Abbi Kuch and Kathleen Ketchum. To all the participants, thank you for your bravery and willingness to donate a date for a good cause!

If you were unable to attend last week’s event, but would like to contribute to WGWIB's donation to the Red Cross, please see me by March 1. All checks must be made payable to "WGWIB.”

~Ahkesha Murray

Friday, February 19, 2010

A View from Abroad – Project Nicaragua

WFU Business School Headshots 8-20-09

The Wake Forest University Schools of Business are fortunate to have an abundance of great students taking to the Internet to blog about their experiences. I was recently looking at the blog for first-year full-time MBA student Sandie Taylor (right) and came across an interesting discussion of her recent trip to Central America as part of Project Nicaragua.


Here is one great snippet from her post:

“My hope is that the entrepreneurs realize how much we, the students, are gaining from our experiences with them. It’s not all about us helping them improve their businesses, it’s about the entrepreneurs showing us the issues they face as they do business in a developing country and learning how their culture affects their values and how they run their companies.”

Visit Sandie’s blog to read more about her experience or visit the Project Nicaragua blog.

For those interested in knowing more about the program, click here to see a video from the 2009 trip.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

“You Need to be Passionate”

clay-with-captainHere is the second half of an exclusive series of Clay Presley's recent visit to the Evening MBA program at Wake Forest University. This particular segment takes a closer look at how the president and CEO of Carolina Pad (left) approaches running the Charlotte company that he helped reinvigorate five years ago with a significant strategic shift.


We had a great opportunity to meet Clay Presley, the president and majority shareholder for Carolina Pad, in our Managerial Accounting class on Feb. 15. When Dr. Bern Beatty sent an email over the weekend that Presley would be talking to our class, my initial reaction was that I was going to sit through a presentation steeped in financial statements and accounting methodology. The minute that Presley began speaking, I knew my assumptions were wrong.

The discussion on how he got involved with Carolina Pad was very captivating. The company was started in 1945 in Charlotte, offering commodity school supplies such as notebooks, paper, and pencils. When Presley joined the company in 2000, he began changing the organization to evaluate existing infrastructure and developed strategies to take Carolina Pad to a new level. A cornerstone of this evolution involved the incorporation of fashion designs in their products, which transformed the stationary industry.

The road for Presley was not easy. He faced failures, such as having to issues corrected financial data to the company’s bank during his first year as president. (He came out $800,000 short from his initial stated loss of $500,000.) Rather than giving up or making excuses, he had a plan for the bank to review his proposal on how Carolina Pad will increase profits the next day.

“That failure of mine to make money was really the key to the beginning of our success,” he recalled. “I felt like I was totally out of control" with the ledger discrepancy that caused the financial issue, he said. “I was so mad.”

Carolina Pad's success relies on two main qualities: trust and passion. The organization has developed a strong relationship, full of trust, with their key partners, such as banks, employees, and vendors. For example, when a vendor needed monetary assistance, Presley readily provided support, which strengthened their relationship. They also operate in an open management format, where all employees understand the company’s mission statement and the financials. In terms of purpose, the organization is built around passion. “If you are passionate about something, you see risks as opportunities.”

Another quote from the presentation hit the heart, “You need to be passionate about believing in yourself,” he said. Often, I wonder if we are really following our passion, or are we taking the safe road because we are afraid of failure. Why do we tend to fog our minds with the fear of failure, which inhibits us to see the endless possibilities that our passion could lead us?

~Bobbie Shrivastav

“A Feeling Beyond Fear”

On Feb. 15, Clay Presley, the president and CEO of Carolina Pad, visited the Evening MBA program at Wake Forest University to discuss how he turned the Charlotte business around. He also shared his experience as one of the 155 passengers aboard the US Airways Airbus that plunged into the Hudson River just over a year ago.

This is an exclusive two-part series, beginning with Presley’s firsthand account of the Jan. 14, 2009, emergency landing and how it impacted and changed his professional perspective on topics such as the economy and succession planning.


“The initial thrust of acceleration was like any other flight,” Presley began. “But 90 seconds into takeoff there was this boom and the plane just stopped.”

Initially passengers were quiet, looking around, before the smell of smoking geese (later determined as the cause of the engine failure) filled the cabin. “I heard a muffled sound,” he added. Chesley Sullenberger III, the pilot who would later be known as Sully, told passengers to brace for impact, though the plane never experienced any detectable jerking.

I took out my Blackberry and quickly emailed my wife to tell her that I loved her,” Presley said. “It only took a second to realize what was really important in life. The material things were so far removed from my mind.”

Impact delivered a series of “bam” sounds accompanied with a hit that resembled “a very hard car accident” as the lights went out. Presley, who had forgotten to put on a floatation device managed to find his way out of the cabin, inching his way out to the tip of a very slippery wing. Others followed, with some diving in the near-freezing water and others trying like Presley to balance themselves as the plane drifted across the Hudson. “Always read the safety card,” he recalled.

Presley followed this account by sharing his takeaways from the experience. “I dealt with conflicting feelings of gratitude and fear,” he said. Pausing briefly, he added: “It really is a feeling that’s beyond fear.”

In the past year, Presley has been able to see Sully, including a meeting in San Francisco. The executive had nothing but praise for the pilot, not only for his handling of the incident but for his agenda and poise in the year that followed. “Sully told me to keep one thing in mind,” Presley said. “This attention will only last for a limited time, so we must do all the good that we can in the time we are given.”

How has the experience changed Presley as a CEO? “I am more candid in my evaluations of people,” he said, realizing that it benefits the company and the employee to provide a candid assessment of performance. “After I got back, I also realized the need for succession planning,” he said in response to a question. “That is going on right now.”


Clay Presley with Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger in a photo found at the Charlotte Talks blog.

Benefiting From a Smaller University

Wake Forest MBA Staff - Courtney Cashin

One of the best things about attending a small graduate school is the continuous support  from alumni. On Friday, the Board of Visitors visited Wake Forest and all of the MA students had the opportunity to meet with top-level executives over free lunch!

We were divided into groups of five to eight students to dine with one or two executives. Board members were at Wake for meetings but took a break from their busy schedule to learn firsthand about the MA program.

The Career Management Center matched students and executives with similar interests. I was fortunate enough to have lunch with Kerry Graham, president of BOHAN Advertising. Kerry has a daughter graduating from Wake undergrad, so he was very interested in learning more about the MA program. After we tried to convince Kerry to get her to apply, he spent a couple of minutes asking each of us about our personal aspirations and giving us advice about how to pursue our career goals.

If Wake Forest was a larger school, this small meet and greet may not have been possible. Since it is smaller, alumni are always willing and excited to talk to students and help in any way possible when they visit.

~Lauren Collins

Monday, February 15, 2010

Director’s Corner

WFU Business School Headshots 8-20-09Wow!  I am so proud to be associated with a school that produces such an amazing event as the  Marketing Summit! Even with the impending weather system, our fearless team was not going to back down. Each and every part of the event went off seamlessly, according to those of us who were there to enjoy it all.

I am certain that the assistance of so many students under the leadership of Marty Wilson, Emily Willard, Ashley Stafford and Roger Beahm, were the reasons for the incredible success of the entire weekend.  I am eternally grateful to all of you who worked so hard on each event. 

In addition, I was proud that our own home team, comprised of Joe Parry, Vaishali Shah, Matt Starker, Ian Jankelowicz, Katy McClure and Andy Rinehart represented us so well and came in second place! We also enjoyed terrific media exposure thanks to our crack external relations team! We should all be very proud! I hope you all had the chance to network with some of the many impressive executives who were here for the event.

We have a lot to be proud of at Wake Forest these days. In addition to the incredible success of the Marketing Summit, we had a student accounting team take first place in the national round of the KPMG global case competition and they will soon represent us in Greece for the global portion of the competition. We also improved our MBA rankings in both the national and global Financial Times lists. Before the semester ends, we will likely be in the news again as we host our first annual Healthcare conference, the very popular Elevator Competition, and our first Women's Conference, hosted by Wake Forest Women In Business.

I hope that each of you feels proud to be associated with Wake Forest University Schools of Business as you reflect on our recent successes and upcoming opportunities to shine once again. I also hope to see many of you involved in these events and networking with other students and professionals participating in each. These are all opportunities to expand your networks and meet new and interesting people. You never know when one connection may help you leverage your Wake Forest degree in a way that helps you realize your dreams.

Best Regards,

Sherry Moss

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Marketing Summit 2010: A Final Look Back

Wake Forest MBA Staff - Courtney Cashin The last of the dust from the Marketing Summit is finally starting to settle, yet the relationships created during the past weekend are just beginning to development. The summit brought dozens of exemplary executives to Wake Forest and gave many students the opportunity to connect with these individuals. As a student volunteer, I was fortunate enough to host Ron Glover, IBM’s vice president of diversity and workforce programs and human resources. He spoke at Friday night’s diversity panel with other distinguished guests from McDonalds, Wal-Mart, PepsiCo, and Hewitt Associates. The panel, moderated by Dean Steve Reinemund, offered advice on how students should distinguish themselves from other candidates.

Themes from the discussion included: finding something you truly enjoy doing, continuously learning and forecasting your next role, thinking creatively, and appreciating the arts. Perhaps most importantly, Esther Silver-Parker of Wal-Mart advised that students should “spend more time building their skills than their resumes.”

The panelists made a challenge to administrators and professors of higher education to focus on experimental learning and innovation. They encouraged this group to not only teach students yesterday’s business practices but to also teach them how to foresee, manage, and solve tomorrow’s problems. Glover recommended professors complete internships in Corporate America so they are always on the edge in preparing students for the future.

The panelists reminded us of how diverse our individual skill sets must be, and they promoted our participation in thought-provoking events like the Marketing Summit Case Competition.

In the time we spent together, I found Ron to be a kind and humorous mentor-like figure who provided great advice in my personal career search. He was empathetic to how this economy was affecting job placement and gave me advice on how to position my MA degree in this competitive job market.

As I finish writing the last of my thank you notes to the executives I spent time with this weekend, I can only be thankful for the opportunity to create these relationships through the intricately planned Marketing Summit. With every hand I shake and every business card I pocket, I feel more comfortable networking and more confident in expressing my career aspirations.

~ Lauren Collins


Friedman Touts Innovation at Wake Lecture

Thomas Friedman (right) told a crowd of about 2,200 people in Wait Chapel Wednesday night that there is still time to launch a "Green Revolution" to address many of the world's problems. "The stakes can't be higher, and the payoff could not be greater, and we have exactly enough time, starting now," he said.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Marketing Summit Recap: Late Night Hijinks

Competitors in the 2010 Marketing Summit found release in many ways: music, dancing, throwing things in the study rooms. Perhaps the most discussed event was the midnight push-up contest involving most attending teams. At Saturday's gala, IBM executive Robin Young announced that Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina won the contest.

Finally pictures of this athletic competition have surfaced (courtesy of the team from IESE), giving us all a glimpse into efforts to remove stress in the midst of a 36-hour marathon case preparation!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Marketing Summit Recap: Making Contacts


If you were looking for a productive way to hide from the wintery mix outside today, the Marketing  Summit Networking Event was the place to be. More than 50 undergraduate and graduate students had the opportunity to meet with top-level execs from a diverse array of companies such as Pepsico, BB&T, Fleishman-Hillard and, of course, IBM.

The event, sponsored by Altria, is best characterized as a type of career search speed dating. Students rotated through the nine rooms of various executives, spending 10 minutes in each room. Talk about the importance of making a good first impression! The executives encouraged us to ask them anything!

In the time I spent with Fleishman and Hillard senior vice president Britt Carter, we covered everything from today’s current job market and the hard work ethic it has generated in job applicants, to the imperative of PR account managers to tell a company they represent, “no, the event you have in mind might do you more harm than good,” even at the risk of losing an account. What follows a conversation like that? At F&H, it’s creative thinking and a reliance on the relationships that they are so excellent at cultivating.

The students were eager to learn and the executives were more than willing to share their stories and offer advice. I walked out of my time with Primo Water, Cheerwine and HigherApps representatives feeling that three successful businessmen genuinely wanted to know how they could help, and encouraged that in interviews, if I show who I am and articulate passionately that my time has been well spent in previous jobs, internships and classrooms, the recruiters you will want on your side, in the end, won’t miss the value.

~Elisabeth Holby

OSU Student Paper Honors Marketing Summit Winners

The Ohio State University team that won the graduate case competition was recognized in The Lantern, the school's student newspaper. The full article can be accessed by clicking here and a personal blog from team caption Michael Hrostoski is accessible here.

Among the interesting behind-the-scenes tidbits:
  • Hrostoski only slept for 20 minutes on a hardwood floor during the home stretch of the 36-hour case prep;
  • Chad Stultz was responsible for the team's mock ads and a 30-second commercial;
  • Judges told OSU that having solid financial data was the differentiator;
  • Prize money will be used to throw a party for the entire business school, following a donation to OSU
A perusal of blogs and other social media posts unveil more of the back story for the OSU team. Their strategy involved only four hours of work the first night and much of the second day was spent in small groups hammering out the proposal. PowerPoint crashed twice the night before as the team was preparing its slides. When the group found time to venture out to eat, they went to Little Richard's for BBQ and Bojangle's. At least one member of the team will return to North Carolina to participate in the Duke MBA games in April.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Marketing Summit 2010: Fostering Relationships

Wake Forest's marketing summit was "executed with precision.” The event was very well-organized and the competition was stiff. From beginning to end, every small event involved big names, high sophistication and warm collaboration. But, in my view point, this mega event will be remembered for one term - relationships.

Every stake holder, volunteer, participant, team, sponsor, coordinator and staffer involved in this event must have developed new relationships of varying nature. To speak for myself, I connected with new executives from the sponsoring companies, volunteers across the various programs, members of participating teams, and a couple of professors. (I hope all of my volunteer friends are witnessing new friends' requests in their various social networking accounts.)

I propose that all of us when evaluating this event should count the "relationship" factor.

Of course, the effectiveness of these newly developed relationships will depend upon how much we invest in these relationships, but this chapter of Marketing Summit, surely, more than satisfied each one of us looking forward to network, collaborate & make new friends.

Hopefully the next chapter of the event provides each of us with further opportunities to foster relationships.

Rahul hanging out with the team from IESE (Barcelona) ~ photo courtesy of Elizabeth Laws.

Director’s Corner

HinsonY I certainly hope you all made it through the last week of snow and ice without problems.  What a way to start February!  I think that this is making us all look forward to Spring Break. I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you about some upcoming Spring events hosted by the MSA program so that you can be sure to get them on your calendar. These events are also open to anyone who would like to attend – MSA or not!

Feb. 10: the AICPA will be on campus discussing specialized certifications beginning at 4:30 pm in Worrell 1101. I hope that you will make every effort to attend this event. This is something that is being started with WFU and will be rolling out across the country if it is successful here. Eddy Parker from the AICPA will be here to tell you more about the certifications that you can think about working toward once you have your CPA in hand. 

March 26: We will have two White Collar Crimes panels in Benson 401C. The first will run from 8:30–11:30 and the second will be from 1:15–4:15. Please try to attend one of these exciting sessions.  More information is available here

April 15: Our annual Hylton Lecture will take place from 4:45–6:30 pm (location TBD). We are thrilled to have Tim Flynn, chairman of KPMG International, as our 2009/2010 Hylton Lecturer. We will also be setting up some small group meetings with Tim earlier in the day so please let me know if you would like to participate in these.

In addition, we will be setting up several MSA Town Hall meetings throughout the Spring semester so please be on the lookout for these events.  Please remember that I am here, as well as are Jan Pagoria and Patty Lanier, if you have anything you need to discuss.

~Yvonne Hinson

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Marketing Summit 2010: A Student's Recap

This year’s Wake Forest Marketing Summit was a monumental hit regardless of the brutal weather that besieged us on Friday. With wonderful sponsors such as IBM and Cheerwine and dozens of student competitors from all over the world, such as Brigham Young, Ohio State, Toronto, London, and Spain, this event was bound to be successful.
The website,, was ranked 427,559 in the US on its first day of launch, according to Alexa. Considering that there are more than 3 billion sites worldwidem this is an amazing number. The official website also had more than 23,000 hits by Saturday evening's big finale.

The summit offered many opportunities for other cohorts and disciplines to jump in and take advantage of events. For example, the evening MBA and the MA students volunteered for the event. They also had the opportunity to participate in the luncheon and networking event. This year, the networking event was planned in such a way that everyone had an opportunity to meeting executives from two to four different companies. Big kudos to David and Poonam for their leadership!
The diversity panel discussion, which was held Friday evening, was opened to the public and had great representatives from companies such as IBM, McDonalds, Wal-Mart, Pepsico, and Hewitt Associates, to provide unique perspectives around diversity at the workplace.
The gala, held Saturday at the Millennium Center, was an amazing closing event for the Marketing Summit to honor the teams, VIP guests, and the volunteers. Wake Forest placed 2nd at the graduate level. The award presenter, also one of the case judges, commented that they presented a very professional and complete marketing plan.
All of the Marketing Summit co-chairs, committee leads, and volunteers did an amazing job in making the event successful. As this summit has completed, it has ignited a lot of fire in the full time and evening MBA students, graduating in 2011, to understand how they can add value to the next year’s summit.
~Bobbie Shrivastav

Marketing Summit 2010: Gratitude from Ohio

Greetings from Ohio! We just touched down in Columbus around an hour ago. We wanted to take a moment though to thank everyone involved in this amazing weekend.
First of all, thank you to Wake Forest University and the Wake Forest Schools of Business. Everyone on this handpicked team was a veteran case competition participant, and the Wake Forest MBA
Marketing Summit was the finest case competition that we have been to so far. Every moment of the weekend was carefully orchestrated, and the student volunteers worked around the clock to accommodate our team.
Thank you to the corporate sponsors who made the whole weekend possible. Huge thanks to
IBM for the giant $50,000 check. Thanks to BB&T for sponsoring the gala on Saturday night. Finally, thanks to Cheerwine for providing the beautiful and incredibly heavy Cheerwine Cup. On a side note, Jeremy and Ed couldn’t get enough Cheerwine this weekend; they probably went through a couple of cases by themselves.
Thank you to all the judges who came out to Wake Forest from all over the country. We hope that some of the ideas that the teams came up with this weekend can be implemented in the near future. If you need help with the implementation phase, several of us would be more than happy to assist after we graduate in June.
Thank you to the other teams for making the weekend enjoyable. We really enjoyed interacting with students from some of the finest MBA programs from around the world. It’s always a pleasure hearing about other schools and taking home some best practices to make the program better.
Finally, a huge thank you to Marc Ankerman, our case competition coach. Marc is the heart and soul of the MBA case competition program at The Ohio State University. He spends a lot of his personal time coaching the teams, meeting with us one on one, and traveling to case competitions. We have grown so much as presenters under his tutelage and the Fisher College of Business is lucky to have him.
Now it’s back to the books as many of us have midterms this week.

Thanks again for an amazing experience,
Mike Hrostoski
Vandana Agrawal
Ed Lapteanu
Jeremy Jacobs
Seth Blatter
Ryan Kilpatrick
Chad Stutz


Saturday, February 6, 2010

Winners Announced!

What will the team from Ohio State University do with the $50,000 cash prize from this weekend's Marketing Summit?
Team members said their foremost objective involves a donation to their school, followed by a party to celebrate a well-earned victory. The remainder will be used to pay for student loans and other debt, they said during an interview immediately after their winning presentation.
IBM, the Summit’s primary sponsor, had challenged students to spend 36 hours developing a comprehensive marketing plan for its Smarter Cities program, an initiative designed to revitalize developing markets.
Wake Forest University's MBA program finished second, followed by Dartmouth College.
In the undergraduate competition, the University of Pennsylvania won the first-place prize of $10,000 for their marketing plan focused on IBM’s Smarter Planet initiative. Their challenge was to evaluate the market conditions, dynamics, and environmental factors IBM should consider in order to ensure the success of the program.
For undergraduates, Emory University placed second, followed by the University of Maryland.

Marketing Summit 2010: Reversal of Fortune - Fan Voting

Notre Dame's grip on fan voting is over, with Brigham Young taking a 70 vote lead Saturday morning. The two schools have completely dominated online voting at, with a combined 1500 of 2010 total votes.
Wake Forest University is the only other team to crack 100 votes. Show your support for all of these school's at the summit's official Web site!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Marketing Summit 2010: Bringing "Cheer" to the Summit

The 2010 Marketing Summit is under way and last night team members, judges, professors, media and more joined together at the Deacon Tower to kick off the weekend. A jovial spirit ran throughout the room as teams from around the country and abroad were announced and interviewed. With hors d'oeuvres and array of beverages served, one in particular stood out and added to the pleasant ambience of the room - glass bottles of Cheerwine! When talking to some team members nearby, this small detail seemed to bring back collective memories of warm, summer afternoons. These thoughts were especially welcomed in light of the frigid February weather and added to the overall very enjoyable evening.

On Friday, Tom Barbitta, the company's vice president of marketing for participated in a discussion about what B-to-B executives can learn from their B-to-C counterparts. To find out more about Cheerwine - the last soft drink company to be owned by its founding family, watch for updates on the official Marketing Summit blog.

~ Molly Nunn

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Marketing Summit 2010: Meet the Home Team

Here are the official biographies for the team representing the Wake Forest University Schools of Business at this year's Marketing Summit.

Wake MBA Full Time 8-18-08 Matt Starker received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English with a minor in Communications from Villanova University. After graduation, Matt worked at AIG SunAmerica Asset Management as a Trading Analyst on the Domestic Equities Desk. He played Major League Lacrosse for the Chicago Machine during the team’s 2008 season. Matt is a second-year MBA student at the Wake Forest Graduate School of Business where he is concentrating in Finance. He is the vice president and treasurer of the business school’s finance club and a member of the school’s Venture Capital Investment Competition Team. He spent last summer interning at Agilis Equity Partners, a Winston-Salem based middle-market privateWake MBA Full Time 8-18-08 equity firm.

Ian Jankelowitz received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education and Art History from  theUniversity of Nevada, Las Vegas. After graduation, he was a Hillel director in New South Wales inAustralia. Returning to American in 2006, Ian worked at the CineVegas Film Festival rising to the position of managing director. He is a second-year MBA student at Wake Forest Graduate School of Business where he is concentrating in Marketing. He is the co-social chair of the Student Government at the business school and an avid runner, having completed his first-ever half iron man in May 2009. Ian spent this past summer working in Digital Strategy at Mullen Advertising in Winston-Salem.

Wake MBA Full Time 8-18-08 Vaishali Shah received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from the University of Virginia and a Master of Arts degree in Teaching from Virginia Commonwealth University. After graduation, she worked for five years as a second-grade teacher and taught the gifted and talented. She has completed coursework and passed the board test to earn the Certified Financial Planner® designation. She is a second-year MBA student at the Wake Forest University Graduate Schools of Business where she is concentrating in Marketing and Finance. She is a co-chair of the Wake Graduate Women in Business Mentorship Program. She spent last summer interning at EMM Financial Services and Total Pension Administrators, a financial planning firm and retirement pWake MBA Full Time 8-18-08lan administrator.

Joe Parry received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Government with a minor in Mathematics from  Georgetown University. Joe worked for Tim Russert at Meet the Press and the SEC. After graduation, he joined Teach For America and spent two years teaching middle school Social Studies in eastern North Carolina. Upon completion of the program, he spent the summer of 2004 at the Teach For America Houston training institute working with in-coming members. Following Teach For America, Joe spent four years working for a commercial real estate start-up in Charlotte. He is a second-year MBA student at the Wake Forest Graduate School of Business where he is concentrating in Finance and Marketing. He is president of the Student Government Association and serves on the board for Community Charter School in Charlotte. He spent last summer interning at Frito-Lay North America in supply chain finance and is currently pursuing a full-time position in the consumer packaged goods industry.

WFU Business School Headshots 8-20-09 Katy McClure graduated from Duke University in 2005 with a Bachelor of Arts in History and a minor in Political Science. After college, she went to work for a Charlotte-based non-profit designing services and products and leading research and development initiatives to fight obesity in North Carolina.

Katy spends her time working with community based non-profit agencies to advance the livelihood of the non-profit sector and ensure agencies have the abilities to measure and respond to changing community needs. She is a first-year MBA student at the Wake Forest Graduate Schools of Business and lives in Charlotte with her fiancé and two dogs.WFU Business School Headshots 8-20-09

Andy Rinehart graduated from Wake Forest University in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science  degree in Computer Science. Upon graduation, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army and served as an Armor officer with the First Infantry Division. Stationed at Fort Riley, Kan., Andy deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from February 2007 to April 2008. He completed his initial active duty obligation in May 2009 as a Captain and is serving in the North Carolina Army National Guard. He is a first-year MBA student at the Wake Forest Graduate School of Business, and he hopes to go into consulting after graduation.

Marketing Summit 2010: It's Go Time!

We are republishing a Feb. 2 blog by Michael Hrostoski, a second-year graduate student at the Fisher College of Business at Ohio State University. Michael is the captain of a seven-member team eager to bring home first place and a trophy back to Ohio. For videos of the OSU team and other coverage visit the official Marketing Summit blog.

It’s less than 24 hours until we get on that plane to Wake Forest. I hope my body can handle two straight days with no sleep on nuts, berries, vegetables, protein bars and water. There’s a feeling of anticipation and excitement that I haven’t had since the day before last year’s Put-In-Bay trip.
I think we’ve done a good job getting ready for the competition. We’ve all participated and placed well in several case competitions in the past. We’ve been meeting as a team every week for the past four or five weeks. We’ve conducted countless interviews with professors, IBM employees, and past case competition participants. We have super-coach Marc “tell them what you’re going to tell them” Ankerman helping us prepare. And we’ve planned for every minute of the weekend, every change of dress, and every possible scenario.
As we get ready to leave for Wake Forest tomorrow, I wanted to give you some links that you can use to follow our progress online.
Tomorrow, Wake Forest will launch a new web site: Student bloggers will post updates throughout the competition as well as interviews with the teams.
Also, you can follow the action on Twitter. That way, you’ll be the first to know the topic for our case and whether we win the $50,000 prize.
Have a great weekend everyone. As you lay your head down to sleep on Thursday and Friday night, keep us in mind as we’ll likely be working frantically into the night. And if we win on Saturday, that might just have to turn into a third sleepless night.

Marketing Summit 2010: Representing the Home Team

Aiming as we have all week long to give everyone a complete advance look at the Wake Forest University team for this year's Marketing Summit, here is the firsthand experience of Andy Rinehart.
Continue to look for more updates over this weekend's events and activities as the official website gears up for its debut!


As one of two first-year MBA students on the team representing the Wake Forest University Graduate Schools of Business at this year’s Marketing Summit, I don’t possess the same level of academic experience as my second-year teammates. That’s one of the main reasons I applied for the team in the first place: the opportunity to compete and learn in a challenging, exciting environment.
Despite a lack of marketing experience, my military background means that I can still be a useful, productive contributor on the team. In particular, I think my biggest strength in the competition will be my ability to handle ambiguous, uncertain situations. Dealing with uncertainty is something that all officers are trained to do in the U.S. Army, because no plan survives first contact with the enemy. Nobody on the team knows what problem IBM will throw at us, and that’s just fine by me.
The selection process involved a written application and an interview with the four second-year MBA students on the team. The interview revolved around a discussion and analysis of contemporary issues in marketing, and the hour seemed to pass by quickly. When I received an email the next week letting me know I had been selected, I was pretty psyched.
I was an all-season athlete in high school, and I really get fired up at the prospect of testing my skills and preparation in competition. As a team, we’ve worked on practice cases and done plenty of research to get ourselves ready for crunch time. It is a tremendous honor to represent Wake Forest as the “home team,” and we are eager to show the judges what we can do.

Marketing Summit 2010: The Varsity Marketers

As part of ongoing series of perspectives from the Wake Forest marketing summit team, this view of the inside comes from Matt Starker, a second-year full-time student.
The 2010 Wake forest Marketing Summit is less than a week away and the anticipation is exponentially building inside the Worrell Professional Center. As the Summit Chairs and countless volunteers put the final touches on preparation plans, “the Varsity Marketers,” as we have self-appointed ourselves, are hard at work getting smart on IBM.
The 2010 Wake Forest MBA Team is comprised of Katy McClure, Ian Jankelowitz, Joe Parry, Andy Rinehart, Vaishali Shah, and myself. This year’s team is extremely well rounded with significantly diverse experiential rolodexes. The team’s backgrounds range from a former Army Officer who has actively served his country to a past director of consumer experience to the ex-managing director of a top US independent film festival. We hope to utilize our diverse experiences to provide the sponsor with innovative and insightful solutions to whatever issue is thrown our way.
Even though the team is usually hard at work, with school and prep alike, one can imagine that we have our fair share of fun. What was supposed to be a standard, quick head shot picture session between classes, turned into a full on photo shoot with glamour shots galore. I have to give Katy most of the creative credit on the shoot and I am sure that a few incriminating photos will hit the blogosphere soon.
The entire team is extremely honored to be donning the black and gold and representing the Graduate School of Business in the 2010 Marketing Summit.
More updates to come as we get closer to the competition!
Go Deacs!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

An Inclusive Society: Diversity Panel Preview

Summit logoAndres Tapia, the chief diversity officer at Hewitt Associates, took a few minutes from a busy schedule to discuss his expectations for the Diversity Roundtable set for Friday, Feb. 5, as part of the Wake Forest University Marketing Summit.

Paul Davis of Firsthand Experiences conducted this online Q&A, giving a hint of what to expect in just a matter of days:

PD: What do you hope to accomplish from your appearance on the panel?

AT: To be part of making the compelling case that each graduate going into the workplace can make a significant contribution to creating a more diverse and inclusive workplace that ends up being profitable for business, employees, society, and our communities.

PD: Do you have a particular message to share with attendees?

AT: Don't fall for the either/or, zero-sum, polarizing thinking currently strangling us all. Instead become part of creating a both/and, win-win, inclusive society. Let's stop demonizing those we don't agree with and instead create bridges of understanding. And this goes beyond just understanding each other, or tolerating each other, or being sensitive to each other's differences. Instead it means embracing that "I need your difference … and you need mine."

PD: What is your company doing to foster diversity? timthumb

AT: Many things! But too many to detail here. In a nutshell, for us at Hewitt it's doing the classics of diversifying our sourcing and creating an attractive value proposition to all kinds of talent. And just as important, continuing to create an inclusive environment that not only is ready for those who look different, but most importantly, think different.

PD: How would you measure the success of those efforts?

AT: Diverse representation from the bottom to the top of the organization A highly engaged and motivated workforce that wants to say they work for a great company, want to stay, and want to serve. Greater product and service innovation. Increased quality. Increased efficiency. Revenue growth. Margin growth. That's all!

PD: How well do you know the other participants and how would you size up the quality of the overall panel?

AT: OMG! It's an awesome panel. These D&I leaders are the real deal. Not only in terms of deep running rivers of passion but also in terms of mind-bending knowledge and, most importantly, irrefutable results

PD: What is the optimal work environment from the perspective of diversity?

AT: I believe that diversity is the mix and inclusion is making the mix work. You can have mix but it may not be working well. You may have inclusion but not have diversity. An optimal environment is where you have both diversity and inclusion in spades. Where people from all walks of life can come and do their best work and, in the process, make our world -- through our companies -- a better place.