Monday, June 27, 2011

Dean Reinemund to Appear at NY Reception

Join the New York-area Wake Forest Alumni for a reception and discussion with Wake Forest University Dean of Business, Steve Reinemund, on July 19 from 5:30-8 pm at The Cornell Club.

Registration for the event is $40, which will include drinks and light hors d'oeuvres. We hope you'll join us for an update on the Schools of Business and networking opportunities with NYC Wake Forest alumni, parents, and friends.

Wake On Wall Street, the Wake Forest Club of New York, and MadDeacs would like to thank Dean Steve Reinemund for his participation and very special thanks to Michael A.J. Farrell (P '10) for his continued generous support of Wake Forest and for his sponsorship of this event.

Contact Stephanie Kohn at (336) 758-2970 for more information on how to register.

r u texting 2 much?

A recent U.S. News and World Report article, How Slang Affects Students in the Classroom, explores how “text-speak” or “textese” – abbreviations commonly used in text messages and on social networks, such as “LOL” – have impacted the way high school students and college applicants communicate.

In the article, Wake Forest University Dean of Admissions Martha Allman, says she has not yet “seen the shortcuts that you typically see in social communication.”

Fortunately, she says students in Wake Forest’s competitive applicant pool typically understand that language appropriate when texting friends does not meet the standards generally expected of an admissions essay.

Her advice to students? “Don’t throw away the English books yet.”

Allman adds, “While admissions officers do not necessarily expect 18th century formality in admissions essay writing, strong communication skills serve students well in college and in the job market after graduation.”

Though text messaging is a frequent means of connecting with his teenage son, Communication Department Chair and social media expert Ananda Mitra agrees that adaptation remains key to success both in higher education and in life.

Though Mitra does not expect a significant change in the standards of writing expected at the university level in the next five or ten years, he suggests that the evolution of language is inevitable.

“Children today are bilingual. Whether those of us from the analog generation like it or not, we should take the time to understand their other language as well,” Mitra says. In his teachings and his most recent book, “Alien Technology,” Mitra encourages people to learn more about “text-speak” to remain connected and safe.

While neither Allman nor Mitra anticipates a major shift on college campuses nationwide in the near future, they acknowledge that it remains to be seen whether “SMH” will appear in fine literature someday.

“IDK,” Mitra says, LOL.

Ananda Mitra

~ Katie Neal, Office of Communications and External Relations

Friday, June 24, 2011

Economic Recovery Ahead?

Each month, information on employment numbers, retail sales and consumer prices makes headline news, but what do these reports tell us about economic recovery?

As a finance and economics professor, Sherry Jarrell teaches business school students the fundamentals about economics so they can develop their own opinions about what the data mean. “But they have to base their interpretations on an objective reading of the facts,” she says.

“Causality is hard to pin down, and I think that this is where most economists disagree, when they disagree: what caused what, what came first. To answer that, you have to resort to first principles of economics, and that is why I focus on teaching the framework. It is also important to note that these data are basically one-period accounting data, and as such, say very little about the future health of the economy. You have to bring a lot more information to the picture before you can make sense out of the data.”

“I love empowering students to understand all types of economics. I realized in my junior year of college that I loved economics. I was fascinated with the work of George Stigler and Sam Peltzman on regulatory economics and the organization of industry. My brother, who was then studying at the University of Chicago, informed me that these two professors taught at Chicago, so I was hooked. I was accepted to the PhD program at the University of Chicago business school and was George Stigler’s research assistant when he won the Nobel Prize in economics.”

Jarrell joined Wake Forest in 1998. An expert on the impact of mergers, LBOs and IPOs, she teaches corporate finance, strategic financial management, investments, and managerial economics.

~ Kim McGrath, Office of Communications and External Relations

Monday, June 6, 2011

100% Graduation Rate for Six Sigma Exam

All Wake Forest University Schools of Business Master of Business Administration students who took a Six Sigma certification exam administered by the American Society for Quality (ASQ) in May of 2011 successfully passed, demonstrating in-depth knowledge of valuable process analysis and improvement skills.

Six Sigma is a methodology for improving business processes now widely used in corporate settings, as well as government, nonprofit and healthcare organizations. The growth in its popularity since it was developed in 1986 has led to an increased demand for individuals with Six Sigma skills and certification.

To sit for the Six Sigma Green Belt exam, students must have three years of work experience in areas related to Six Sigma. Candidates are tested on Six Sigma philosophies, principles, tools and methodologies. This year, 26 Wake Forest University MBA students received the Green Belt certification.

The Black Belt certification requires more in-depth knowledge, completion of Six Sigma projects, and the ability to teach and mentor others in the Six Sigma methodology. Five graduating Wake Forest MBAs sat for and received the Six Sigma Black Belt certification in May.

“I am delighted that almost half of our first year full-time MBA class sat for and passed the Green Belt exam,” said Scott Shafer, Professor of Management and Senior Associate Dean of Graduate Business Programs at Wake Forest University Schools of Business. “I believe our strength in Six Sigma was a significant contributor to why recruiters surveyed for the recent Bloomberg BusinessWeek ranking ranked our students 8th best in the country for Operations Management skills.”

Full-time MBA students at the Wake Forest University Schools of Business have the option to choose from several career concentrations including: operations management, consulting/general management, entrepreneurship, finance, health and marketing.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

A Quick Look Back … And Passing the Torch

WFU Business School Headshots 8-20-09 Looking back, it is hard to believe that two years ago I was in Dean Reinemund’s office promoting a platform to consolidate all social media for the Wake Forest Schools of Business. I was a bit nervous, but was ready to present my case for creating a single blog that would give students and prospects a front-row seat to the business school experience. I had my PowerPoint presentation ready and I had already established a Twitter account and a website for the blog. After a 30-minute presentation, Dean Reinemund enthusiastically approved the initiative, believing that this form of media was a sound way to spread the word about our programs.

Today, the Wake Forest Schools of Business student-run blog has received more than 23,000 visits and our Twitter account has collected more than 1,100 “followers.” We have made tremendous progress in two short years, and I am extremely grateful to Dean Reinemund for buying into my vision and supporting this effort.

WFU Biz School Students 8-19-19 I am set to complete my MBA in September, and it is time to tap a new leader to take over the student-run blog. I am pleased to announce that Eric Wiggins, a second-year in the full-time MBA program, will be taking over social media efforts this week. Eric has significant experience with the platform, handling social media for this year’s Marketing Summit and possessing a strong technological background. We have been working closely for the past month on a seamless transition, and it will be exciting to see the site grow and evolve. I plan to keep contributing over the next few months as I prepare for the completion of my MBA. I’m not going anywhere!

imageI want like to thank a few people for their roles in supporting and encouraging this blog. Of course, this blog wouldn’t be possible without the early support of our dean and the assistance of the marketing department. I must also thank Vaishali Shah for inspiring and encouraging me to discover a way to fully use my skills as a journalist to contribute to the university, supporting me as  I developed my concept for integrating WFU’s social media platform. Rahul Goyal deserves recognition for being my first blogger, volunteering to share his experiences before he even set foot on campus.

Ahkesha Murray, Justin Berthelot, Molly Nunn, Bobbie Shrivastav, Lauren Collins and Jen Ratliff all had meaningful roles getting us going early on. Thank you everyone.

imageOne of my objectives for this blog was to have it to contribute to the inclusive society that Dean Reinemund  envisions for the Schools of Business. Over the past two years, our contributors have included full-time and evening MBA candidates, members of the MA and MSA programs and undergraduates. Our programs have made great strides in the past two years, but more must be done. My hope is that in coming years, evening students will have the ability to participate in events such as the Marketing Summit, communication and collaboration among programs will continue to increase and leadership positions will be widely advertised and promoted.

A truly inclusive society will exist when you look around any group, any organization or across any conference room and find that no group is underrepresented.

image That being said, I am very grateful for the opportunities I have been given, from interviews with John Grisham and Ben & Jerry to late nights covering the Marketing Summit and the Elevator Competition. It was a tremendous joy to interact with students from all the programs, attend lectures and participate in a cross-section of courses and events. It all started with an idea and a plan to make it happen, but the blog’s continued relevance is a function of each of you logging on and reading the content that we provide. This platform will only get better!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Wake Student Recognized for Katrina Case Study

Wake Forest University Schools of Business alumnus Michael Nestor (MBA ’10) under the supervision of Dan Fogel, executive professor of strategy, was honored for a business case focusing on an environmentally sustainable way to rebuild New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. “Habitat for Humanity:  Implementing a Global Strategy Locally” earned a 5th Place Award and a $100 cash prize in the NextBillion 2011 Case Writing Competition.

The competition, currently in its second year, recognizes and publishes the best new business cases on Social Enterprise or Base of the Pyramid (BoP) topics. The goal of the annual competition is to engage students and faculty on campuses globally in the emerging field of Social Enterprise. All of this year’s case submissions were required to describe organizations that have both a specific social objective and seek long-term self-financing.

Nestor’s case described how Henry Smith, the director of New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity, has been encouraged by the Habitat for Humanity headquarters to begin building affordable, environmentally sustainable homes, which seem to be attracting much donor and foundation support. Smith must decide if and how to facilitate this new strategy, taking into account various questions: Can and should the New Orleans affiliate do both rehabilitation and environmental sustainability programs at once? What is the best way to implement it in New Orleans? Will this be consistent with the organization’s philosophy?

“Michael took the initiative to bring his experience to the classroom,” Fogel said. “I use the case in my strategy classes and Michael attends the classes to interact with students about the nuances of the case and lessons learned.”

“I'm thrilled to think this can become a useful tool in the classroom and very much look forward to participating in its continued use, especially at Wake Forest,” Nestor said.

In addition to Wake Forest, other winning teams included: Emory University, Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business in Bloomington; University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor; and Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.  Some of the other participating schools included: Cornell University, Harvard University Kennedy School of Government, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School.

The case from Wake Forest, along with the other winners, has been published by GlobaLens, the publishing division of The William Davidson Institute, and can be found at (

Recruiter Panel to Discuss Exec Searches

The Career Management Center is hosting a panel discussion: Working with Recruiters. It will be held on Thursday, June 2 from 6-7:30 pm at Worrell 1106.

Panelists include:

  • Elaine Peddycord: Partner and Search Consultant, Banyan Search
  • Kaushalya Patel: Talent Acquisition Coordinator, WFU Human Resources
  • Adrienne Sweigart-Voak: Finance Staffing Manager, Ajilon Professional Staffing
  • Becky Koch: Director of Recruiting and Development, Northwestern Mutual

The purpose of this panel is to introduce Winston-Salem MBA Working Professionals to a diverse group of recruiters, both corporate and external/third party, and to the discuss the services provided by staffing and executive search firms. Topics discussed will include:

  • The types of recruiting firms (retained and contingent)
  • What students should expect from a corporate recruiter / external recruiter
  • How recruiters effectively communicate with candidates (personally, electronically, networking and follow-up / feedback)
  • What to avoid when working with recruiters

Drug Discovery Summit Planned

Could your current research interest lead to the development of a therapeutic? Are there opportunities for drug discovery related funding that might help your research? How can the various focus areas of our medical center be strengthened through drug discovery, chemical biology and drug delivery research? As pharma looks at universities for innovation, how can you gain access to alternative funding?

The Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative and Translational Science Institute is sponsoring a Summit on Drug Discovery, Chemical Biology and Drug Delivery. The event will be held at the Benton Convention Center at 301 W. 5th St. in Winston-Salem, N.C., on Friday, June 10 from 8 am to 5 pm.