iTech: A company run by Illinois MBAs
Over the past semester, a team of Illinois MBA students has been running a fictional company, iTech, in between classes, the internship search, and school activities. iTech produces the most innovative flash drives on the market. Through our participation in the International Collegiate Business Strategy case competition, Tian Gan, Alan Lu, Mina Rhee, Adam Smith, Nhan Vo and me have guided iTech to a large market share and high stock price after seven “years” (ten weeks) of careful management...
Columbia Street Roastery Tour
“Cute” is incorrectly the word that comes to mind as one walks into Columbia Street Roastery. The nearly claustrophobic retail space is reminiscent of a remote country wine shop designed for tourists as the green paint, gobs of metallic red bags and bright tea room welcome visitors to examine the roastery’s wares. Having been edified in my amateur coffee snobbery and specialty roasting philosophy in queues at some of the country’s most revered (and arguably trendy) coffeehouses such as Blue Bottle (NYC, SFO), Stumptown (SEA, PDX, NYC), Intelligentsia (CHI, LAX) and Ritual Roasters (SFO), one feels that possibly this is just some small city diversion...
My first thoughts upon waking up to my alarm on Sunday morning were panicked: “It’s late! Am I late for Finance?! We have a quiz! I still need to study!” After my initial panic subsided, it dawned on me: today was the day of the Cubs game!...
Holi: Festival of Colors
Holi, the Indian festival of colors, which is usually celebrated in March, marks the beginning of spring in India. The 'Asha for Education' organization scheduled it for the mid of April and the weather gods at the UIUC campus were still making up their minds about the beginning of spring...
Women In Business: Silent Auction
Traditionally, every spring semester Women in Business hosts a silent auction to raise funds for club activities and every year, the club leadership adds their own touch in organizing the event. This year, apart from reaching out to professors, we have reached out to our very own classmates and asked for them to donate their time and skills. Items range from group dinners with professors and their families, a tiramisu cake...
The Kola Foundation: 5k Race!
The Kola Foundation hosted its second annual April Fools 5k last Saturday, March 30th. The Kola Foundation is a not-for-profit organization run by Illinois MBA students with the mission of bettering the lives of the Lakota people and stimulating economic development on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation...
GCP Brazil: I refuse to say goodbye, so I will see you later
How do I recap such an incredible, eye-opening, humbling, tiring, and slowly fast-paced trip? We worked so feverishly hard in small groups to create a product that highlights weeks of research, analysis, and preliminary strategies to provide value to our clients. Though each team had a slightly different interaction and amount of time with their clients, every team seemed satisfied and excited to be equipped with insights, tips, and direction to prepare their final deliverable...
GCP Brazil: The name of the game is agility
Ideally, the first two days would have gone just as planned. We would have arrived in paradise and the embrace of the sun’s rays, warm breeze, and cool waves would more than distract from the task at hand. Sure, ideally, we would all have tans by now, asked several times to participate in the upcoming World Cup and Olympics, and dined on the best steak Brasil has to offer while paying close to nothing...
IIP Israel: AT&T and Intel Visits
I'm late to work. I'm really not but it feels like it as, slightly behind schedule, our bus speeds towards AT&T's Foundry, their R&D center in Israel. The understanding of how an industry giant has mobilized to stay relevant in the competitive U.S. telecom market cuts through the haze of a few hours of sleep and serves as a lesson and inspiration...
GCP China - Shanghai: Our Client Presentation
Today was the day we've spent the semester preparing for: our presentation to our Global Consulting Program client. My team had spent many hours, and a few flights, working on our research and deliverables. Weekly late night calls have been the norm because 9 pm in Champaign is 10 am the next day in Shanghai...
IDF and the President
Sprinting up and down steep dunes with sand blowing into my eyes and 17-year-olds barking orders at me is not normally my idea of a perfect Sunday morning. Neither is transporting stretchers weighed down with 40-pound sandbags along choppy shores or burying half-naked men in sandy slopes for a cruel game of hide-and-go-seek...
GCP China - 5 Fun Facts
Beijing Olympics: 5 Fun Facts
Our China trip team went to the 2008 Olympics site today, seeing sites from the Olympic Village to the Aquatics Center and stadium. Along the way we learned several fun facts about the investments China made for the Olympics and how the buildings are being used now. These facts include...
The first taste of Brazil was the warm air that greeted you the moment you stepped off the plane into the gate. Dave shared glances and Aerian high fived people - we were here. Still not real, we all confirmed father winter did not make it onto the flight with us as the exotic trees swayed in the breeze and the mountains in the distance confirmed he was no where in sight. Greeted by Meriana and Felipe, our tour guides, we converted our US dollars to Brazilian Reaies...
IIP - Off To Israel!
Welcome to Israel!
Welcome to Israel!
On Friday morning, we boarded our bus at 6:45AM – many of the Innovation Immersion Program (IIP) members were sleep deprived and bleary-eyed, and a few of them were chipper from their coffee rush. Yet all the same, there was a smile on every face...
Update from O'Hare: En Route to China
En route to China!
En route to China!
Growing up in central Illinois, I always liked O'Hare Airport. For anyone who has been delayed at O'Hare, that's likely a strange statement. The reason why I liked O'Hare was because it meant we were en route to a new adventure...
MBAA/MVA: Illinois MBAs Combat Stress
Last week the programs U.S. veterans rallied 44 Illinois MBA students -- with a great mix of first years, second years, dual degrees and PhDs -- to drive out to Charleston and spent an afternoon shooting at one another. The first of hopefully many annual paintball excursions was a great hit...
2013 Alumni Banquet
The 2013 Alumni Banquet took place on Friday, March 1st at the JW Marriot in downtown Chicago.
Spring Kola Trip: Red Cloud and Little Wound
After months of correspondence and preparation, three MBA students from The Kola Foundation traveled to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota to promote the foundation’s higher education initiatives.
Illinois MBA Strategy Case Competition The Event
The 2013 Illinois MBA Strategy Case Competition was held February 7 – 9 in the Business Instructional Facility. Ten schools (Arizona State, Baylor, Connecticut, Hong Kong UST, Illinois, Iowa State, Michigan State, Minnesota, Penn State, and Purdue) participated in this exciting competition. Event sponsors were Bosch, HD Supply, and Whirlpool.
2013 Illinois Strategy Case Competition
Even though the faces on Thursday night’s cocktail reception showed a little bit of anxiety for what was going to come up over the next 48 hours, the faces on Friday morning at 8:15 a.m. were a completely different story! All the hours spent on preparing for the internal rounds were about to be put used towards a marathon of 24 hours that did not include any sleep (may be a 10 minute nap), lots of crackers and Sun Chips, and insane amounts of going back and forth discussing DropBox’s growth strategy. The Illinois MBA Case Competition was a great experience for me.
Women in Business Leadership Conference
I had the pleasure of attending the first annual Women in Business (WiB) Leadership Development Conference on Friday, February 1 at the ACES library on campus. The conference theme was “Unleashing Your Inner Potential,” featuring several sessions of speakers and workshops. The night before, a nice pre-conference networking reception was held at Crane Alley in Urbana. The lead coordinator for the conference was MBA2 student Vanessa Fuller, along with the previous WiB board (Stephanie Barry, Laura Schneiderman and Doreen Lee), the current board (Priyanka Kushwala and Christiana Laleye), MBA2 Lindsay Gross, and PMBA Krista Kimme. Over 30 guests attended, including full-time and part-time MBA students, undergraduate students in business, LER students, and several men!
Last month the MBA program hosted a birthday celebration in the MBA lounge for all students with a January birthday. Because this is the inaugural birthday event, the celebration was for all students with fall birthdays as well. Between the full-time and PMBA programs, I would estimate that more than 30 people circulated through the festivities.
MBA & MBAA Networking Reception Sponsored by AT&T
This past Thursday, the first networking event of the semester was held in the BIF Commons and was sponsored by AT&T.
Wall Street Prep Professional Development Workshop
The MBA program hosted a “Wall Street Prep Technical Finance Interview Workshop” on Friday, January 18. This session is part of the MBA Professional Development program that is open to all full-time MBA students.
India GCP: The Last Chapter
As I sit at home in Illinois writing this final blog entry, I still can't believe that less than two days ago I was halfway around the world, and that I have been on 3 continents in the last 48 hours! Our last moments in India were fun ones, and the trip home was an interesting one for some of us, too!