Friday, October 30, 2009

Emerging from the Ranks


Good evening, world!
I will understand if you thought your girl fell off of the planet, but fortunately, I did not. I have missed you world-wide-webbers, but please know that I have been keeping myself busy (as I promised you that I would).
Things are going very well for me in the Wake Forest Schools of Business community. Please allow me to debrief you on some highlights:
  • I was elected as the first-year representative of our Women in Business club (we have since been renamed as Wake Graduate Women In Business)
  • My good friend and classmate Sandie Taylor is also a co-chair in our club, and just this past Wednesday she helped to bring Dr. Kathy Korman Frey of George Washington University’s Hot Mommas project to come talk to us about Building Effecting Mentorship Networks Close to the Gender Leadership Gap. Sandie has her own blog and she’ll be posting about the event soon, so please be sure to visit her. The event was so inspiring!
  • In September I attended the National Black MBA career fair in New Orleans and was actually able to land some interviews for summer internships. I will humbly admit that I did not land any of them, but I was honored to have the opportunity (competition was fierce) and I left feeling well-prepared for my interviews to come.
  • Wake has placed in Howard University’s MBA Exclusive case competition for the past three years, taking 1st place in 2007. I have been lucky enough to be selected to compete on our team this year and the competition is just a week away (Nov. 5)! It is my hope that we will bring the trophy back home this year (wish me luck).
  • We are currently in the thick of it with classes right now. Exams are dispersed over the next few weeks between now and Thanksgiving break, so everyone is feeling the pressure, but we have made it this far and I feel confident that we will all come out ok.
There is so much more to say, but I have to run to another presentation. Renowned author Marc Cosentino is here to talk with us about mastering the case interview – it just keeps on going and I love it!
~ Ahkesha Murray is a first-year full-time MBA Candidate.

Reflecting on Fall Break

We wrapped up our "fall break" a few days back. A whole one day class free.

I spent my day off sleeping; went to bed at 2 am, woke up at 1 pm. You read that correctly. It was amazing. A perfect use of my free time! Now it's back to business and getting some work done. Since a lot of people were headed out of town for the weekend, it proved to be relatively quiet here in Winston-Salem.

I also had time to reflect on my first exam. Three hours of accounting was pretty rough. More exams are coming up in the weeks to follow, as we end the first mini and begin the second.

Most classes carry over between minis, so it's not like we have a fresh slate of professors. Just a new seating chart (I move from the cushy confines in the back row to the first row off to the side) and new material.

I've talked a lot about balance in business school, as have several other student bloggers. What is the right balance between class work, activities, and personal time? Honestly, I don't think there is one. I don't think I'll ever reach a point where everything fits into my schedule. Some weeks the coursework is light, so I focus on myself or other obligations. Other times, I have tons of work for classes and everything else falls by the wayside. Mostly, it's a mix of stuff and it's impossible to fit everything in.

~ Justin Bertholot is a 2011 full-time MBA candidate

Probability and Me


2011 Full-time MBA candidate Rahul Goyal carved out a few minutes before Halloween to present an interesting take on playing the odds in life and academics at the Wake Forest University Schools of Business.
Exam-related
What's the probability that even after studying hard for an exam, I'll score an A? Hmm. Almost .0001%.
What's the probability that I would remember what I studied last night in exam?
Thinking 0.00001%.
My Experiences with Doors
What is the probability that I would be able to open the door with the first key randomly selected from a set of six keys? 0.0000001%. From the second one - 0.00001%, From the third key - 0.0001%, Fourth key - 0.001%, fifth 0.01% and the last key - 10%. Wondering where's the rest? Depends on the kind of the door.
And When it Rains…
The probability that I'd forget my umbrella when it's pouring outside? Definitely 75%. And the probability that I'd get drenched even after carrying an umbrella? 80%. (Why? At times, umbrellas just get jammed up on me … and don’t forget the issue with finding the right key on the first try.)
Ok Ok! I’m not writing anymore about the probability of my failure in so many trivial activities. I've even stopped wondering, “why me?” because it has become natural to me. Now, while opening doors, I wait until the the last key comes in my hand. While writing exams, I give myself a scope of error from "forgetting concept" and expect no more than a B+.
Why am I documenting the trivial and stupid things? Believe it or not these things have started affecting me and my surroundings enough that I've found same folks saying "Pass on the keys, let me open the door." Consistently these people unlock the doors in seconds. Unlike me, who may first struggle with the keys for a good 10 minutes and then look helplessly at people who offer a helping (key) hand. Sometimes in spite of the probability, happenstance prevails!

State of the Schools of Business

Steve Reinemund and Gordon McCray detailed their visions for the business schools at a meeting held Oct. 26. Topics included: purpose behind integration of the schools and its benefits to students, our progress against current goals, and future goals.

Your student ID and password will be required to access video through this link:
http://media.mba.wfu.edu/mediasite/Viewer?peid=b7fb3fa0-7bd0-4ce5-8d0b-d4fa55584dcb

Thursday, October 29, 2009

My Unbelievable Opportunity ~ Corporate Fellowship

~Lauren Collins ~ MA in Management Candidate 2010, Corporate Fellow
When I was making preparations about post-graduation plans last May, I was hesitant about my next move. Although applying to jobs and graduate programs, I honestly wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my career. I knew that I didn’t want to settle for a job just because it was offered, and I didn’t want to take out loans for a graduate program I wasn’t truly interested in.
“FREE MASTERS PROGRAM AT WAKE FOREST FOR MINORITY STUDENTS!” I remember receiving this e-mail thinking this must be a hoax. A free masters program? In my personal research, that was simply unheard of, as most masters programs give minimal scholarships.
After receiving the e-mail, I began researching the MA in Management program and the Corporate Fellowship at Wake Forest. First, I read about the Wake Forest Schools of Business through its web site and other sites discussing business schools. I wanted to make sure that if I decided to pursue this opportunity, I would be entering a welcoming learning environment and have access to resources needed to make me a better candidate by the time I graduated.

Once I was convinced by Dean Reinemund’s (left) vision for the business schools and his commitment to a diverse learning environment, I reached out to Debra Jessup, who was the diversity coordinator at that time. I emailed Debra expecting her to briefly answer my questions and re-direct me to some non-human communication tool as do most “busy” administrators. Needless to say, I was surprised when she asked for my phone number and a convenient time to chat. We talked for more than an hour about Wake Forest, the Corporate Fellowship, and the application process to the MA program. I was even more surprised at her honesty about the small number of minority faculty and students at Wake. But she confidently expressed that the Dean, who had been recognized for the diversity initiatives he implemented while serving as the CEO of PepsiCo, was actively working hard to recruit and retain the best minority talent.

Immediately after our conversation, I submitted an electronic application to the MA in Management program because I knew I wanted to be a part of the program and attend business school at Wake Forest. As a part of my application, I did a 30-minute phone interview with Stacy Poindexter Owen, who was also very personable and made me feel even more secure. After submitting all my materials, I was invited to an MA Open House to learn more about the program. Though the admissions event was geared toward students who planned to enter the program in 2010, I took advantage of the opportunity to visit the school and meet the faculty and staff to whom I would potentially commit the next year of my life. The morning of my visit, I received an acceptance letter via email stating I was admitted to the MA in Management program. I was thrilled and waited anxiously until the end of the Open House to find out if I would receive the Corporate Fellowship. By the end of the afternoon Stacy and I were sharing a box of Kleenex over tears because I was so expressively happy when she told me I indeed had received the Corporate Fellowship, which includes full tuition and a living stipend.
Six months later, I’m in the second module of the MA in Management program and still quite content with my decision to accept the scholarship. I’ve become close friends with the other Fellows, who have degrees from Harvard, Stanford, Vanderbilt, Brown, Davidson, Emory and Wake Forest. We meet bi-monthly over breakfast with our program director, Hansford Johnson, to discuss our experiences with our sponsor companies and the various challenges and opportunities that come along with being a graduate student.
My sponsor company, Flow Automotive, has provided me a unique mentorship with its Vice President of Organizational Development Dennis Chriss, as well as direct guidance from the CEO Don Flow. In the spring, I’ll complete an educational project covering four of the functional areas of business using Flow Auto as the subject. Don and Dennis have done a great job of providing me career coaching and leadership development. All of the Corporate Fellows (right) are having an amazing experience and gaining marketable skills from our sponsor companies.
Last week, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Dean Reinemund to discuss how we could help add more value to our sponsors. We want to make sure that we are doing everything possible to maintain ongoing relationships with these admirable companies on behalf of Wake Forest, so next year’s Corporate Fellows will have an even greater experience than we are currently enjoying.
The other corporate partners for 2010 are: Alex Lee Inc., BB&T Corp., Frito-Lay, Hanesbrands Inc., Primo Direct, Reynolds American, and VF Corp.

BWIB: Out with the Old … In with the New

Good morning!

We would like to thank the students who submitted suggestions to re-name the Babcock Women In Business. We were pleasantly surprised to discover that the majority of the suggestions came from men – thanks guys!

In the end, we decided on a name that reflects the fact that we interact with many different groups and are ourselves a very diverse group. We also wanted to keep it simple. However, we liked the mission statement from one of the suggestions because it reflects what the club does now and what we hope to do in the future.

Wake Graduate Women in Business is committed to empowering female students through mentorship and social support, as well as helping female students gain the skills and training needed to successfully position themselves in the highly competitive workplace.

Congratulations to Carmesha Scott, MA 2010, (right) for helping us define who we are regardless of what program we are in. The $75 gift certificate will be placed in her box in the next few days.

The name change is effective immediately and will be reflected in all materials as quickly as possible.

Thank you,

Wake Graduate Women in Business

Monday, October 26, 2009

Director's Corner ~ Happenings in the MSA Program

Greetings Everyone!

I trust that you are all doing well and enjoying the fact that you are now past the halfway point of the semester! Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks are rapidly approaching. As the end of the semester approaches, things can get a bit hectic and stress levels can increase. Please try to make sure that you are taking time out for yourself and getting plenty of exercise during these crunch times.

I understand that there are many intramural sports teams already set up through the graduate programs. These are an excellent way for you to have something fun to do, besides coursework of course, and to get to know others. If you are not currently involved in these activities I strongly encourage you to consider them. More teams will be forming as we move into the winter and spring so there will be plenty of opportunities for you to get involved.

I would also like to take this opportunity to update you on some important MSA events:

• We will have a Town Hall meeting for all students who have recently joined us from other universities on Sunday, Nov. 1, at 5 pm. Please plan to join me and discuss the transition to Winston-Salem, Wake Forest University services, job searches, and your current course load. We want to hear how things are going for you and hope that you will be willing to share your experiences with us.

• We will be setting up a Town Hall meeting shortly for all MSA students (those who have been here and those new to our campus). We would like to hear about program issues and concerns that relate to everyone and may not be as related to transition to a new place. Please plan to attend this event as soon as it is set.

• We are still looking for MSAs and MBAs to compete in the KPMG Global Case competition. This is an international business case competition and not just accounting so we need non-accountants on these teams as well. To be considered for this you need to have the following dates fairly open: Nov. 20-23, 2009 (WFU team competition); Jan. 22, 2010 (Atlanta trip for national competition ); April 7-9, 2010 (possible international trip to Athens).

Please feel free to contact me anytime at hinsonyl@wfu.edu or 758-5113.

Best, Yvonne Hinson, MSA Program Director

Friday, October 23, 2009

Career Search: Combining Purpose with Passion


As the weekend approaches, I am excited about the possibility of sleeping. In undergrad, naps seemed like a daily necessity. I would go to a whopping two hours of class a day, maybe a 30-minute club meeting, devote a few hours to studying, and still have time to nap before making a hearty dinner. These days I’m in class for five hours a day, usually have up to three hours of meetings and on top of it all…
I NEED A JOB!
I think that is the biggest difference between my undergrad experience and being in grad school. When you’re in undergrad, you aren’t thinking as heavily about your career. Your ‘focus on the future’ is that week’s football game and planning spring break.
Graduate school brings a new challenge everyday. On top of tests, quizzes, papers and assignments, you spend just as much time interviewing, researching jobs and writing cover letters. I think I’ve written about a dozen cover letters this week. I wrote one during my entire four years of undergrad, a general letter that got me three great internships. Of course I changed the date on each of them, and maybe added a company specific sentence to mix it up.
However, what the Career Management staff at Wake is helping me realize is that employers want individuals who know their company and sincerely want to make a life-long career working with them. I never knew how much easier a job search could be if I simply put “purpose to my passion.” When I applied for jobs in undergrad, I mass distributed my resume like it was the New York Times and interviewed with anyone who would listen to me ramble. Recently I’m realizing how key it is to find an organizational fit with a company and make sure they can meet all my needs.
So now I hold my resume close to my portfolio, only peep-showing it to employers I foresee a life-long relationship with, because there isn’t enough time on either end to be wasted on a job I won’t be happy doing. And if a company is so lucky to get a personalized cover letter from me, when I’m sitting in the interview room with their most esteemed human relations generalist, I’m evaluating them just as critical as they are interviewing me.
~ Lauren N. Collins, first-year candidate, MA in Management program, and Corporate Fellow

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Period of Academic Discovery

Is it really the middle of October already? It feels like just a few short weeks ago that I arrived back on campus to start my journey as an MA in Management. Graduate school has certainly been different than my three years as an undergrad at Wake Forest. Business school has been a whole new ball game for this former History/French student. Talk about jumping into the deep end!

I certainly didn’t anticipate everything escalating so quickly in such a few short weeks – October for the MAs or at least me, has been akin to that one week of midterms undergrad when you never left the library aside from actually going to class – and even then you considered skipping class just to get your work done.

Here, skipping class certainly isn’t an option, especially since with only 40 students, its rather obvious. So thank goodness for classes starting at 11:30 in the morning as opposed to 8! So far the MA program has been challenging but rewarding, and I’ve seen an improvement in not only my basic business skills but also my ability to follow a business conversation.

Prioritizing has taken on a whole new meaning for me, especially this month, as I try to decide whether I want to study for a potential quiz, read the 20-some pages, work on the quant problems, attend one of three club meetings, see my best friends, hang out with my new MA friends, or actually eat and get some sleep. Whew!

My journey as an MA so far has been quite an adventure. I consistently remember Columbus and his belief that he was embarking upon a trip to the Near East, and his surprise at arriving in parts unknown and “discovering the New World.” Well … I certainly won’t compare myself to Columbus and his immense luck, nor do I believe that I will discover anything that is new to a seasoned business person. However, I certainly will admit that I am constantly surprised by what I’m finding in my classes and my journey through school and planned port is changing daily.

Next week looks particularly busy, with PepsiCo reps coming onto campus, club meetings, a debate on the Sherman Act, speakers, and a free “etiquette dinner” being offered to those interested in perfecting their business dinner acumen – and that’s only on the academic side!

~ Jen Ratliff is a first-year student in the MA in Management program.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Tomorrow’s Financial Leaders Weigh in on Industry Issues

This was an interesting set of observations included in a newsletter issued by Taylor & Co., an executive search firm. Rod Taylor recently conducted a survey of future leaders in finance, and these are his findings on the top issues faced by the industry.

*****

Throughout the world of financial services, industry and government leaders are making extraordinary decisions in the wake of unprecedented chaos. Inevitably, the next generation of leaders will inherit a new industry paradigm resulting from those decisions.

Too few younger leaders are ready to succeed the multitudes of retiring baby boomers so their career choices will determine which institutions win or lose as the future unfolds. Therefore, to help clients better understand how to attract and retain them, Taylor & Company surveyed over 100 young executives and asked “What are the issues, questions, or challenges facing the financial services industry today that concern you most?”

Here are 10 answers that represent the consensus of survey responses:

Trust
Shareholders, employees, customers and regulators no longer trust the system.
How do we rebuild, regain, and restore faith, trust, and confidence in our institutions?

Talent
There are too few leaders ready to replace the many who soon will retire.
Who will win in the “War for Talent,” and how?

Capital
Real capital has disserted the industry.
What must we do to attract investors with realistic expectations?

Obsolescence
Much of the industry’s existing infrastructure is obsolete.
How can it be transcended without overwhelming losses?

Education
As a new industry paradigm forms, “old school” credit skills are in short supply and badly needed.
The “skill vacuum” requires empirical knowledge beyond academics. Who will teach and train …and how?

Ethics
A get rich quick mentality made many forget the virtues and values of an honorable career.
Can the professional traditions of integrity and loyalty as guiding principles once again be embraced in both policy and practice?

Regulations
A new regulatory system must be practical, integral, efficient, cooperative, and focused on industry reality well beyond the systemic abuses of the recent past.
The rules can change, but can the “rulers” make them work?

Globalization
Global economic interdependence will accelerate systemic integration universally.
How will we engage and/or compete with the much larger monolithic foreign institutions that are positioned to acquire and expand everywhere, including here?

Consolidation
As universal institutions shrink in number, loyalties are becoming even more transient.
What will be the profitable service delivery model that wins and retains loyal, local customer relationships in the future?

Demographics
New perspectives on segmentation are emerging with a dynamic demographic shift in America’s population.
How will market strategists reach multiple segments with superior efficacy and efficiency?

To view the entire newsletter, click here.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Women In Business Mentorship Program

Lately, I’ve been feeling like business school is exploiting all of my weaknesses, so I wanted to post something that focuses on the positive.

Before I started school, I conducted a 360 degree feedback survey to identify both my strengths and weaknesses. One of the abilities I would have liked to have ranked higher on was Influencing Others. I believe this is a must-have quality for any leader, so the mid-level rating I received for this ability won’t do. I’ve seen myself lose steam advocating my ideas or those of others before, and the fact that others have noticed this too, gives me motivation to change.

I got my first opportunity to improve my persuasion skills as the co-chair of the Babcock Women in Business mentorship program. My co-chair, Vaishali, and I were tasked with four objectives: 1) identify women in the graduate business school who wanted mentors, 2) find mentors to match them with 3) design a mentorship program 4) host two workshops a year on the mentoring process.

When I was told this summer that we needed to find a speaker for our first workshop, I immediately thought of Kathy Korman Frey. She’s a professor at George Washington University’s business school and an expert on female leadership issues. Kathy also founded the Hot Mommas Project, a social enterprise that raises the self-efficacy of women and girls through exposure to role models.

I’ve been following Kathy on Twitter and her blog for several months and was jazzed about bringing her in to speak at Wake Forest. When I found out our budget for the event and her speaking fee, I saw a problem…and an opportunity.The problem was obviously the lack of funds, but I had the opportunity to influence others to supply those needed funds. I thought about the other student organizations that might be interested in utilizing Kathy’s knowledge on entrepreneurship and started chatting them up. Then, I thought about the lack of women in our program and how the admissions office might want to support an event like this that shows our school cares about helping women succeed. Vaishali had also developed a relationship with the Career Management Center and knew mentorship had become a significant priority forDean Steve Reinemund.

Our first attempt at selling this event to CMC was met with a luke warm response. The reason for bringing this particular speaker had to be put into perspective. I presented some research I had written an article about in my job as managing editor of the McCombs School of Business alumni magazine. It showed that women with mentors made less than men with mentors and that women with mentors make more than men without mentors. Now, our CMC partner is using this research in speeches he gives about the dean’s mentorship initiative, and his office is funding the other half of the event, along with the Admissions Office who was all for helping out from the start.

So what did I do to change my influencing abilities? I spent more time considering how the issue would be viewed from the other person’s perspective and sold the idea accordingly. In the past, I focused more on my point of view on why a certain idea was good and not as much on how benefits could be interpreted by others.

I’ll admit that even though school has been getting me down the last few weeks, I can at least look back and see that I’m growing from these experiences. In the last two months, I’ve probably had more opportunities to work on my weaknesses than I had in my four years of work experience. It’s a severe shock to the system, but perhaps if I celebrate these small successes it will give me motivation to keep confronting the mounting workload and overcome the discomfort I feel so often in everyday situations. This is what it takes to get an MBA.

Director's Corner

Greetings students,

At the MA town hall meeting on Wed., Oct. 14, an issue that came up was your current workload and how to handle it. In addition to having a full load of courses, you are also working on finding a job, have Action Learning Projects to complete, and are trying to maintain some balance between school and having a life.

We all recognize how difficult this is and the stress it can create. Throughout the MA program there will be peaks and valleys in your workload and right now you are in one of the peak periods.

While all of these elements of the program are important, there will be times where you have to prioritize what is most important to you and allocate your time accordingly. Developing this skill now will serve you well for the rest of your professional and personal lives.

A couple of other strategies that you might also consider to help cope with the demanding workload include:

  • Seek the advice of some of our second year MBA students. I’m sure they would be happy to share with you the strategies they employed to navigate the set of courses you are currently taking.
  • In the past I have offered a sequence of three to four workshops on time management for the MA students. I would be happy to offer these again if you have an interest.
  • Finally, please let me or Jan know if you feel that you are so overwhelmed that you can’t find the time to take a break or that you are generally not coping well with the workload.

~ Scott Shafer, director of the MA program

Thursday, October 8, 2009

They Said It Would Be Hard


And they were right! From when we first arrived on campus, the second year students told us that October (along with February) is absolutely brutal in terms of workload and the busy factor. They weren't lying. Just this week alone I've had three presentations, a pop quiz, six meetings, a deliverable for econ and many other things. This weekend is my reunion and homecoming, but we also have an accounting final Monday morning. This is a crazy balancing act!

I fully understand what they mean when they say October will test your will. While mine hasn't broken, it is definitely being pushed to the limit. I don't think I've woken up and felt confident about my work for that day. I continue to plug away and try and do the best I can; at the end of the day, that's all you can ask of yourself.

Last Friday I had my first interview for an internship. I had heard about it from our Career Management Center and spoke with several students who did this same internship last summer. For my first interview, I think it went well. It was completely behavioral, as I'm sure most of mine will be. I did get a nice bag of swag, which is always nice! It was also my first attempt at a career fair. It can be daunting, walking up to potential employers and literally throwing yourself in front of them. While a good number of companies were not in my future plans, it was excellent practice.

Things continue to spin dangerously close to the ridiculous line here at Wake Forest Schools of Business. You can see stress levels rising each day when someone has a presentation or interview. It's October, so the first mini is almost over. Can't believe 1/8th of our MBA program has gone by!

Books, Job Hunt and Clubs … So Much To Do!


I have received a lot of questions since my last post. How have the first months been? What am I doing in terms of an internship hunt? Have I had my share of fun? Have I joined any clubs and do I have the time to participate in these activities?
These are all very good questions that will help you understand how I have gotten acclimated to Wake Forest University’s Schools of Business. As you might remember, I moved to North Carolina from India in August to prepare for my full-time MBA program.

Tighten your seat belts and get ready … I am going to answer each question right away.

How’s it going?
As I have said before, it is very hectic these days. I didnot realize how quickly these eight weeks went by. On weekdays, it’s all about pre-class reading, home work and some extra preparation for unannounced quizzes. Honestly, there haven’t been many days when I have actually finished all the given readings, assignments or in general felt confident for the next day’s classes. Weekends usually end by mid-Saturday because there’s always some class work or team deliverable requiring special attention. Between, I could not even realize that the first mini-semester is almost 80% done. The first set of main exams will start on Monday.
Overall, I am enjoying my stay and am thrilled to be in such a competitive yet learning atmosphere.
What am I doing in terms of my internship hunt?
Every day I try to keep myself well prepared for the next day’s classes. The internship hunt has also started in full swing so I am working along with a very helpful career management center (CMC) at school to identify industries, companies and areas of interest. I’ve already had my resume and cover letter critiqued from a highly experienced CMC team, and I have applied to a few companies. On a positive note: I hope to get some interview calls pretty soon.
Have I had my share of fun?
Oh sure I have! I’ve already been to a couple of football games, and the tailgates are so much fun. I’ve started playing ping-pong in school – yes Wake has tables - and I never realized that I could learn it so fast. It’s always fun to have a few close and competitive games sneaked in between the classes. It’s a great way to relieve tension!
Have I joined any clubs and do I get time to participate in these activities?
Oh yes I’ve. I am an officer in the International Students’ Association (ISA) and Entrepreneurship Club. I also joined the Finance club and Project Nicaragua. I’ve already been a part of couple of key ISA activities, and there are some activities coming up for entrepreneurship club, I am looking forward to the investment banking week by Finance Club and the next chapter of project Nicaragua has goten in full swing too. (Please feel free to click on the links to learn more about these clubs.)
Hope to write pretty soon.
~Rahul Goyal, full-time MBA candidate, class of 2011

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Wake Forest Recognized for Helping Vets

BusinessWeek recently published an article looking at how some universities are working to provide educational opportunities for veterans, and Wake Forest University’s Schools of Business was recognized for being on the forefront.

The article by Alison Damast points out that that Wake Forest has spent the last 19 years actively looking at ways to draw more applicants with a military service. The university for instance was one of the first schools to sign up for the Graduate Management Admissions Council’s Operation MBA program in 2005. To qualify, schools must offer scholarships and deferment flexibility.

Stacy Poindexter Owen (right), the director of graduate admissions, described efforts to recruit qualified military applicants, including the Yellow Ribbon program where $6,000 in tuition reimbursement is bolstered by a government match, a "no brainer" for the university. "We have always been happy with military candidates," she told the publication.

“The recruiters like our students, so we said, 'Absolutely we will sign on,'" she added. (Wake Forest also has a former lieutenant colonel on the admissions staff to develop recruiting programs.)

I personally know several classmates in the Evening MBA Program who have served in the military, and at least one who is benefiting from the government’s tuition programs. The BusinessWeek article also quoted Andre Toman (left), a former Air Force pilot and a full-time student I met at orientation who is considering consulting once he completes his two-year program.

"I was planning on going to business school before I heard about the Yellow Ribbon program, but it just made that decision much easier,” he told BusinessWeek. “For me, it was one of those things that sweetened the deal."

Monday, October 5, 2009

Wake Forest Recognized in BusinessWeek

Wake Forest University's Schools of Business was

Director's Corner: Admissions and Career Services


I hope that everybody is settling into the year and that your experiences, both academic and extracurricular, are having a positive impact on you. I am thankful to the SGA for offering me this opportunity to update you from time to time on all of the exciting things going on in the Full-Time MBA program.
Today, I’d like to talk about two areas, the bookends if you will, of our program: Admissions and Career Services. There are some very exciting things going on in the Admissions Office this year. As the recruiting season gears up, our admissions officers have been on the road, visiting with prospective students from all over the country. Wonderful stories are coming in about the interesting students who’ve approached the Wake Forest table at recruiting events. The applications are already beginning to roll in and I can’t wait to see how the Class of 2012 shapes up.
You might be interested in a couple of new ways we can attract great students to our program: First, we now have a Health Concentration to offer. Both alumni and prospective students seem to be reacting very favorably to this development. Also, like the university, we are attempting to attract a wider base of talent. We have made the decision to begin accepting the GRE as an alternative to the GMAT. To be sure, we will hold students submitting the GRE to the same rigorous standards as we do GMAT-takers, but the GRE will allow us to reach out to a wider audience of individuals who may not have anticipated attending business school, but who have seen the light! Finally, we have changed our interview policy to “invitation only.” Students may sign up for a 15-minute phone counseling session so that an admissions advisor can give them all the critical information they need. While the majority of applicants will be invited to campus (or SKYPE) for an interview, we reserve the right not to interview individuals who clearly do not meet our basic criteria (e.g. insufficient work experience for the FT program).
You might ask, “How can I help?” There are indeed some things you can do. First, I’d like to thank those of you who signed up for the Ambassador Program. You are on the front line when it comes to prospective students visiting campus. In addition to welcoming them and giving them a realistic preview of what a Wake MBA is like, you are their lifeline for questions after they leave campus. All students can be instrumental in helping us identify interesting, talented and intelligent individuals to come to Wake in the fall. The Admissions office is currently in the process of developing a formal referral program and if you send a prospective student who we admit and who enrolls, you will be rewarded! I will discuss the details of this upcoming program in a future column. Meanwhile, don’t hold back. If you send somebody who ultimately enrolls, you will qualify for the reward. Remember to tell prospective students about the new Health Program and our new GRE policy.
At the other end of the spectrum is Career Services. I have been informed that most full-time students are focused and engaged with their career search and I am very happy to hear this! I echo the mantra, “focused, directed and connected.” If you engage in all of the activities and processes the CMC recommends, you will have the skills to not only find a great job or internship now, but in the future as well. The skills they teach you will last a lifetime, just like a good regression or DASeR! I know that there are many career-related activities coming up, including company visits and career panels. I encourage you to attend as many of these as you can. These are wonderful opportunities to explore career opportunities and to network with people who can help you find a job. The CMC has an open door policy so please take advantage of your wonderful counselors, who are there to help you at every stage.
Finally, keep in mind that we are all here to serve you. Student Services is available to students from all programs and can direct you to the resources you need. Soon, I will begin a series of lunchtime feedback sessions where we have two-way conversations about what’s going on and how we can enhance your experience. If you ever have problems of an academic nature, please do not hesitate to contact me. I encourage you to set up an appointment with me using Outlook. Just find an empty spot and put yourself on my calendar!
Sherry Moss ~ Director of Full-time MBA Program and Associate Professor of Organizational Studies