Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Oh Winston

Just a quick blog - what is it with old men and Winston Churchill? Almost every person that spoke in our Leadership class mentioned him as a personal favorite in Leadership. This led me to believe that our professor made love of WC a prerequisite for being a guest speaker. I am 4 pages into a 5 page epitome on why Churchill was a great leader and pondering why I wasn't allowed to write about Maggie. Maggie Thatcher that is. Churchill saved England and all, but when you know your professor loves someone, it is incredibly difficult to frame a criticism. And without criticism, my paper looks a little weak! OK, back to work... 2 days until I'm done, 10 days until I'm wed!

Best of Blogging

Well I was bumped out of the top 3 this year but just barely - I did manage to hold onto a solid 4th! And even more so, I was pleased that the bloggers I voted as the 3 best won! Congrats to my personal faves: MaybeMBA, JulyDream and Paragon2Pieces!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Please hire me

This is what the opening to my cover letter says:
Please accept this letter and my accompanying C.V. in consideration for the X position...
I am earning my MBA to expand my general management knowledge and gain more experience in the non-profit sector. Working for an organisation with the mission to transform non-profits is my ideal way to apply the knowledge and skills I have gained in business school...
I hope to work as part of the X team to help non-profits become more impactful institutions.
What I would like to say:
PLEEEEEASE hire me...
I don't know why I am still in this MBA program but I vaguely remember it was because I wanted to help people. Your company is so amazing and I could actually apply the power point skills I learned in business school and I would actually accept the pittance you call an annual salary...
You actually help people. Well you help people to help people, which is more than most jobs can boast. So please, I will work unpaid overtime, take extra projects and pretend like I'm working for an American company vacation wise if you'll only hire me! I need a job! I love you... I mean your company.

Friday, April 24, 2009

New logo for MSB

So I was editing my profile on facebook when an ad for the new Georgetown Leadership program appeared in my sidebar with... the new logo!! The new logo hasn't even been revealed on the main website yet. I think it's pretty basic and less confusing than the old logo while maintaining our color scheme.

Just remember, you saw it here first. ;)

It's an honor just to be nominated.

I've been trying to find a good video to post here saying "it's an honor just to be nominated" that would have made this post a lot more interesting, but alas I have failed in that mission so I am left merely to say it with text only.
It is exciting to once again be included in Clear Admit's BoB contest. I am carefully going through all the applicant blogs to decide who to vote for. Obviously I never read those anymore, so as with last year I am taking a few hours to scroll through and get a good sense of what's what. I am an avid blog reader in general so it doesn't take me to long to spot the diamonds. :) My fellow students I'm pretty sure I know who I am going to vote for already, but I always have difficulty choosing the "best post" I can't wait to see the winners! I hope I'll crack the top ten this year, but there are always some great and more enthusiastic 1st years waiting in the blogging wings!

When I see puppies, I think of my marketing professor

I have Marley and Me on right now and I can only think of one thing. Professor Homa, one of the most brilliant marketing professors at Georgetown. One of the biggest creative check marks I earned in business school was from Prof. Homa on a little project entitled Dewey the Cat. Dewey is a Cat, not unlike Marley, the dog, who is not a pet, but a brand sensation. There are only a few books a year that support the entire industry. Marley was one of them. Dewey is another. The brilliance of the marketing is that the books are not just paper and binding, they are a story. A story that speaks to a large segment of the population about unconditional love. About the bond between humans and their furry friends. The authors of these books were able to communicate this love in a way that spoke to so many people that it became a sensation, again - a brand, rather than a book. The book becomes a movie, a tv series, a childrens' version, a stuffed animal. Animals are the human marketing sensation.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Back to Plato

A bit of reflection, some last pieces of advice...
One of the basic tenants of my application advice was "know thyself" - what you want, where you can live, what you future could entail. With almost two years of business school experience under my belt, I will go back to Plato and say that I have effectively accomplished the goal of any educational pursuit. That is, I do not claim I know what I do not know. I am more aware of all the wonderful possibilities out there in the world, and I know that there are numerous things that I do not know about corporate social responsibility, microfinance and plain old finance.
I think I had a lot more direction in my life before I went to business school. Career wise anyways. In my personal life I have acquired a lot more direction since I started. Marriage does that (16 days and counting...) The economic crisis has made future husband's social welfare state look mighty appealing.
Though I do not know exactly what I want to do in ten years, I have a better understanding of who I want to be. As monotonous as some of my paralegal work was, I could go home every day feeling good about the work I was doing. I am a strong believer that I had the good fortune to be born in one of the best countries in the world, a country that was built on the backs of immigrant labor. A country that allowed my family to prosper. I got to help others take a step closer to that dream and pay off my student loans at the same time.
My personal mission statement currently resembles that of Net Impact's - doing good through business. I am still interested in the non-profit sector but definitely more in the arena of something very business related such as microfinance.
I've learned that I have a lot left to learn after business school. This was merely a slight bump onto a different path than the one I thought I was on in college. I am excited, hopeful and curious about what is ahead. I may blog, I may not. My final advice comes from someone far wiser than I, Dr. Seuss
"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose."

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Leadership lessons from private equity

So good news for my wedding registry - http://www.kpsfund.com/newsandpressreleases/press2009-03-26.asp
Michael Psaros, one of the co-founders of KPS Capital Partners spoke to my Leadership class last night on leadership and characteristics he recognizes in successful CEOs hired by his firm. He is an alum of Georgetown's business school of course - with a bachelor's degree. I understand why the student services office is always trying to inspire love from the MBAs because the new building was almost entirely funded by undergrad alumni of the business school, not MBA alums.
One of the key lessons from class last night was that in a turnaround situation chopping of the head seems to work. At least when the CEO is replaced by someone with the ability to effectively deal with a crisis situation. Experience in turn around doesn't seem to be a key element though according to Psaros. Though what mattered even less than turn-around experience was industry-specific experience. The biggest crash and burn situation from one of the CEOs put in by KPS was one that they hired based off of a headhunting firm's selection process! He said that the CEOs need to be active and are often focused on the organizational chart of the firm as a source of trouble. This fits nicely to what I learned in Leading Organizational Change about how the leader is the expert on aligning people and systems, not managing the details.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Favorite G-20 Quote

From Howard Davies, the director of my boyfriend's alma mater, the London School of Economics (and Political Science, but people forget that part):
"You can understand China; they are part of the global financial system now and you have to hear them out. But while we may have messed things up royally, that doesn't mean we should be taking advice from Argentina."

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Fading Out

I remember this time last year when I was giving a Yale 2nd year a hard time (via his blog) about how he didn't post anymore! Well, MaybeMBA is doing a fantastic job keeping up with what has been going on during her 2nd year, as my enthusiasm for the MBA has faded, so has my willingness to blog. Not that I have been filling my time with worthwhile endeavors. I must admit I have spent a fair bit of time watching too much Netflix. (Spooks aka MI-5 is an AWESOME show, btw.) Also, I need a job. Oh wait, and more importantly than that, I am getting married in 35 days. (Thank you wedding website countdown.) Due to impending nuptials, I am taking a lightened courseload this module. Frankly, I deserve it, I almost killed myself in the fall by taking ridiculous classes I barely understood simultaneously.
This module I am taking Models of Leadership, Defending the Bottom Line, and Corporate Social Responsibility. Models of Leadership is taught by the dean, and has served as an interesting summary of the many models and lessons for organizational change and leadership I have studied in other courses. This week we start having guest speakers - our first is the commander of one of my classmates who helped turn Walter Reed around. Gotta love DC and the military action we get every day. Sometimes I forget what it's like NOT to ride the metro with dozens of uniformed individuals every day.
Defending the Bottom Line is a bit of a public speaking/ mind game class. We have to give press conferences and defend corporate decisions. We also have to take the role of the press for some classes, which I think is the more entertaining part of the course. On other side of the role we get a good idea of how corporations can effectively or ineffectively handle crises.
My third class is actually a self-designed tutorial. Georgetown did not have a course on CSR so I made one, and host a seminar style class with 9 other second years once a week. So far we have discussed AngloGold and the company's HIV/AIDS program and Starbucks and how they dealt with activists. Next week we are looking at Ben & Jerry's and the case on how they have maintained a social mission post-acquistion.
That's about all for now. The cherry blossoms are once again in bloom in DC. Today marks the end of peak bloom and by Monday they will almost certainly be blown away due to the windy city DC has become this week.