Frank Schultz, IBD Faculty Mentor and Instructor

frank-schultz-compressedThe Haas “Student Always” principle resonates strongly with Faculty Mentor and Instructor, Frank Schultz. “Each time I teach it’s a learning opportunity for me” shares Frank.  “I get to learn about new, exciting places, companies, technologies, and I get the opportunity to work with new students.  Every team, every project is so different.”    

This is Frank’s 7th year of being a Faculty Mentor for the Full-Time MBA IBD program and he has been the Evening-Weekend MBA IBD instructor since its inception in 2012.  As an IBD instructor, Frank loves that he gets to keep one foot in academia and one foot in the business world.  “With IBD I get to apply the theories I am teaching in class to the real world and see what is changing in the business world on a global level.”  

Frank wants his students to adopt this same methodology of applying the skills they are learning in the classroom to real-world situations. “This is where the rubber meets the road”, says Frank, “These are real organizations with real situations that need to be solved. This is valuable work and I want my students to see the value they are giving to their clients and getting from the class.”

To get the full experience, Frank stresses to his students that before they try and “solve” anything, they need to first build a relationship with their client.  He realizes this can be tough, but by slowing down and asking more questions, students can really get at the true root of the problem. “I want my students to walk away from this saying it is the best experience that they had as an MBA.”

Frank has been teaching at Berkeley-Haas since 2005 when he left Michigan State University and followed his wife, former Haas COO, Jennifer Chizuk, to Berkeley.  He has taught Executive Leadership, Competitive Strategy, and International Seminars in Brazil and China in addition to spring and summer IBD. His teaching has consistently placed him in Haas Club Six for outstanding teaching.  Frank says the role of IBD Faculty Mentor is very different.  He regularly works on balancing the different roles he has to play as a mentor, supporter, instructor, and grader.  

Frank coaching Technology Team Leads, Raphy Chines and Harsh Thusu.

Frank coaching Team Leads, Raphy Chines and Harsh Thusu.

Frank admits, “I am always trying to figure out the nature of the relationship.  Sometimes I need to be more hands off and other times I need to offer more support to my students.  I want them to learn for themselves but I also have to be task driven.  Each team dynamic is different and each person reacts to my approach differently.  Relative to teaching my other classes, I have to feel comfortable with having less control over the process. There is no determined journey and as we teach our IBD students’ to be flexible, I, too, have to be flexible with the uncertainty.”  He also jokes that a good Faculty Mentor has to be available to be on calls at all hours, especially very early and very late.  

Frank and Jennifer in Mendenhall Glacier, Alaska

Frank and Jennifer in Mendenhall Glacier, Alaska

One of the perks of teaching international courses is traveling abroad. Frank’s favorite city is Rio de Janeiro because he loves the beautiful scenery, happy people, caipirinhas (Brazil’s national cocktail made from lime, sugar, and cachaça, a spirit distilled from sugarcane juice), and picanha, a popular Brazilian cut of beef.  When asked if he had any travel advice, Frank laughed and said, “Travel business class.”  

2017 IBD Draft; Team Leads Select Their Four Team Members

A sea of resumes covered the IBD classroom tables on February 16th as Full-Time MBA Team Leads and their Faculty Mentors from four categories of IBD projects (Wild Card, Technology, Social Impact, and Retail and Consumer) met to identify and draft four additional Team Members for each IBD team.  The Team Leads were looking for the perfect balance of talent and experience to round out their individual IBD teams.

Faculty Mentor Whitney Hischier and Team Leads Elspeth Ong and Kasey Koopmans

Faculty Mentor Whitney Hischier and Team Leads Elspeth Ong and Kasey Koopmans

As the IBD Team Member draft proceeded, there was no drama or contention, and everyone came out of the process not only as friends but team allies.  While Team Leads looked out for their own team’s interest, they also kept in mind what worked best for their fellow Team Lead’s teams.

“It’s all about balance,” said one Team Lead when asked about her strategy.  “The goal is making the best team for all of us.”   

It was a very collaborative process across all four project categories.  In addition to keeping an eye on their own team’s needs, individual IBD Team Leads looked out for the interests of the incoming Team Members.  There was a considerable amount of internal group discussion to make sure that each Team Member was assigned to his or her best project based on previously expressed project preferences.  Personal insights and class awareness also played a role in team selection: in many cases the Team Leads said to each other that a certain potential Team Member “would be perfect” for another Team Lead – sharing their knowledge of that individual’s strengths as a project candidate and how that person could positively affect the project team.

The Retail and Consumer Goods IBD group working on their selection of Team Members

The Retail and Consumer Goods IBD group working on their selection of Team Members

In the end, all of the Team Leads appeared pleased with the selection of their respective Team Members.  Overheard was this comment about the overall draft process: “I love my team.  That was way better than I thought it would be.  Our group was extremely supportive and made sure we all got the skills we needed to be successful.”

Team Leads Nolan Chao, Harsh Thusu and Raphy Chines

Team Leads Nolan Chao, Harsh Thusu and Raphy Chines

Next on the agenda for the Team Leads is making a short video that will introduce the newest Team Members to their respective projects.  These individual video presentations will be shared on March 2nd at the “Big Reveal” IBD class,  during which incoming Team Members will learn about their IBD project, as well as their Team Lead, Faculty Mentor, client, and project destination.  Here in the IBD program, we can’t wait for March 2nd.  Stay tuned for more!

 

 

Presenting the IBD 2017 Spring MBA Team Leads!

For the second straight year, the IBD program has selected student Team Leads to spearhead work with their MBA peers on an international consulting project.  In addition to providing leadership throughout the project, IBD Team Leads are responsible for fostering a cohesive and strong working  team dynamic.  We are very excited to welcome these talented individuals to the IBD program and we want to introduce them to you!

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Blakey Larsen

 

Blakey Larsen: Blakey has 8 years of consulting experience.  Before coming to Haas, she worked at Accenture, Genesis10, and spent 4 years in Apia, Samoa working as a consultant for the US Peace Corps.  Blakey has a passion for social impact and technology.

“I’m excited to lead a team in a cross-cultural consulting experience to prepare us for working in the global business world.”

 

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Carolyn Chuong

Carolyn Chuong:  Carolyn is passionate about education equality and has spent the majority of her career working to improve education for children, locally and globally.  She spent a year in Venezuela as a Fulbright Fellow teaching 100 university students and 5 years working in the education consulting industry.

“I continue to be impressed by my peers who are witty, passionate, and smart as a whip. That’s why I’m thrilled to lead a group of Haasies to collectively support a global client grappling with a strategy or management challenge.”

Chelsea Harris

Chelsea Harris

Chelsea Harris:  Chelsea is a MBA-MPH student and has passion for global health and social impact.  She worked at the Clinton Health Access Initiative in Port-au-Prince, Haiti before coming to Haas.

“I worked as an international consultant prior to Haas but was often on teams with people who came from very similar backgrounds. I’m so excited about the synergies, sparks, and unexpected ideas that arise when you put five incredibly diverse Haas students together in a room. In five, ten, fifteen years, we’ll all be in influential roles in a wide range of industries, companies, and organizations. My hope is that the IBD experience lays the groundwork for us to leverage these positions to collaborate around shared goals well beyond graduation. “

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Elspeth Ong

Elspeth Ong: Elspeth’s background is in supply chain consulting– she worked for GEP Worldwide before joining us at Haas.  She is passionate about innovative transportation solutions and is the CITRIS Foundry MBA Fellow for her work on an autonomous vehicle mapping startup.  She is currently completing her pilot’s license.

“While I have spent the last eight years in the US, I hope to one day make a meaningful impact in the business environment of my home country, Singapore. I’m excited for the chance to apply my consulting experience to a project with international impact. Most importantly, I’m looking forward to tackling the unique challenges of our client while soaking in the local sights with my fellow Haasies!”

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Hejar Oncel

Hejar Oncel:  Hejar has a PH.D in Mechanical Engineering and is fluent in French, Italian, Turkish, and Kurdish. Hejar spent 5 years in Norway working at National Oilwell Varco before coming to Haas.  He is also the founding board member of the Kurdish American Foundation of Houston which is dedicated to serving refugees.

“In the developing world, I was amazed how dynamic the youth was, how they perceived the world in a more entrepreneurial and global way compared to older generation. This observation gave me hope that we are progressing globally in the right direction. I am hoping to work with such creative minds to bring positive changes via IBD.”

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Harsh Thusu

Harsh Thusu:  Harsh worked as a financial services consultant at Finmechanics Pte Ltd before coming to Haas. He also is the organizing member of a nonprofit in India that helps arrange relief drives for those who have been displaced in the Kashmiri Pandit community.

“I am excited about this experiential leadership opportunity to make an impact with a real world organization and hone my leadership skills.”

 

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Juan Norero

Juan Norero: Prior to coming to Haas, Juan worked at Vinson Consulting in Santiago and was the first president and founder of the LATAM Airlines Group Toastmaster Club.  He also studied Industrial Engineering and Management in a dual program in Italy and Chile.

“What excites me about being an IBD Team Lead is the impact we can generate for our client while having fun as a team.”

 

 

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Kasey Koopmans

Kasey Koopmans: Kasey likes to climb mountains and run long distances all over the world.  The highest mountain she has climbed is Mt. Lobouche East (Nepal) at 20,075 feet and the longest she has run is 62.14 miles when she raced in The North Face 100 (Thailand).  She speaks Spanish, Burmese and Nepali Bhassa because of her time working in Myanmar and Nepal.

“Cultural immersion is a wringer of an experience, and I can’t wait to forge through it with fellow Haasies by my side. I’m also thrilled to be a team lead and have the opportunity to combine mentorship and intentionality with real world application and unpredictability. I came to Haas to develop my own unique expression of the Berkeley Leader, and I expect IBD to be formative along that journey. “

 

Lauren Elstein

Lauren Elstein

Lauren Elstein: Lauren spent four year at OPORTUN, a for-profit financial inclusion social enterprise that lends to the underbanked Hispanic community.  She also currently sits on two boards, Reality San Francisco Church and HOPE International Regional Board.

“What excites me most about IBD is the opportunity to partner with people from other countries and cultures, learn from them, and leverage our MBA skills and experience to have a lasting impact on their organizations.”

 

 

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Lyndsey Wilson

Lyndsey Wilson: Lyndsey worked at the Bill and Melinda Gate Foundation in Seattle before coming to Haas.  She has also worked and lived in many different countries including Argentina, Mexico, and Kenya.  Lyndsey is professionally fluent in Spanish and in her free time she enjoys cycling.

“I am most excited about leading an IBD team because this project combines my experience working across cultures to strengthen grantees and partners’ capacities delivering high-impact results with my interest in building strong businesses in under-resourced settings. I am energized by the opportunity to lead a work stream in a dynamic context, learning from our client and partnering with them to develop a context-specific solution for a challenging project. The potential for high impact in this space is incredible, and I am excited to apply what I’ve learned at Haas and further refine my capacity to work across diverse industries and regions.”

Mary Harty

Mary Harty

Mary Harty: Mary is from Ireland but spent the last 4 years in London working at Whitbread Plc in financial services.  Whitbread is a multinational hotel and retail company headquartered in the U.K.  She also spent a year in France working at the Four Seasons Hotel and Resorts.

“I’m excited to start putting into practice all this core knowledge, and get to know my fellow Haasies better in an international context!”

 

 

 

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Nolan Chao

Nolan Chao: Nolan came to Haas after working at JPMorgan Chase in their Global Auction Service department and with FedBid, Inc., a multi-billion-dollar online marketplace where suppliers can bid for large contract in the form of an auction. If you need a good DJ, Nolan is the person to call, as he has spun tunes for more than 30 events and is an avid hip hop dancer.

 “I’m really excited to start putting together everything we’ve been learning in the MBA classroom into practice for a tangible project with real impact. I’m also excited to feel “uncomfortable” again. There’s a degree of ambiguity that comes with working in a new culture and a new environment–something that no matter what, you just can’t really predict or “prepare” for. But that’s exactly what makes it so fun–immersing ourselves into new experiences and coming out as a better leader because of that.”

Nony Onyeador

Nony Onyeador

Nony Onyeador: Nony is interested in screenwriting, digital entrepreneurship and multi-media. She recently finished an internship with Macro Ventures in Los Angeles where she assessed scripts for possible TV, film or digital projects.  She also worked at Accenture as a consultant.

“I’m excited for IBD because it challenges me, as a lead, to connect the dots between my team’s experiences, the client’s experiences, and the new cultural context. I have never been to my project country or worked in the industry specifically, but I have been in neighboring countries and worked in industries that have several similar attributes for clients that were working toward similar goals. Learning to be comfortable in a new setting while also identifying the value that I bring to the table will be tremendously useful as I look to become a savvier business leader.”

Peter Wasserman

Peter Wasserman

Peter Wasserman: Peter is a MBA-MPH student and joined Haas after working with Accenture for 4 years where he worked in China, Scotland and Europe.  He speaks Mandarin and Spanish and is an enthusiastic participant in language partner programs.

“Through IBD I get to lead a group of diverse and intelligent Haas students to solve a challenging problem for a real client in an international environment. What could be more interesting than that?”

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Raphy Chines

Raphy Chines: Raphy worked for L.E.K. Consulting since 2012 and provided pro-bono consulting services to small businesses in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods.  Raphy has lived in Madrid, Tel Aviv and Argentina and speaks Spanish.   To relax, Raphy backpacks, runs, hikes, meditates, and practices yoga.

“I’m most excited to take on a difficult business problem while stepping outside of my comfort zone and getting to know a new culture. Additionally, the unique opportunity to lead a team of my peers will help me improve my leadership skills in ways that would be difficult to accomplish outside of this context.”

Sarah Evans

Sarah Evans

Sarah Evans: Before coming to Berkeley-Haas, Sarah was with Vera Solutions, a consulting and technology solutions company that focuses on social change, to get her MBA.  She has lived in South Africa, India, Tanzania and Botswana and speaks French and Swahili.  Sarah is a MBA-MPH student and is committed to global health care.

“What drew me to Haas was the rich diversity of perspectives among the student body. Now that I’m at Haas, and leading an IBD team, I can’t wait to leverage those diverse perspectives to solve real companies’ largest international development challenges”.

Meet Judy Hopelain, our Newest Faculty Mentor!

Judy Hopelain

Judy Hopelain

As the IBD team works to solidify IBD projects around the world, we are proud to have our amazing group of Faculty Mentors ready to start working with our students and clients in January.  We recently added our fourth mentor to the team, Ms. Judy Hopelain.  Judy has been a member of the Haas Marketing Group’s professional faculty since Spring 2011. She started out teaching UGBA162, Brand Management & Strategy in the Undergraduate program and has since added Principles of Marketing, UGBA106, and the Marketing Module of Principles of Business, UGBA10.  Judy is also an undergraduate faculty mentor.

In addition to teaching, Judy is an experienced management consultant and continues to serve clients across industries. She started her consulting career at The Boston Consulting Group, where she worked across the global economy. Her experience there included extensive work for the World Bank in Mexico’s textiles and apparel supply chain to prepare domestic manufacturers for the elimination of trade barriers. Judy spent 7 years at BCG, another 7 in Accenture’s Strategy Practice, and 5 years at Prophet Brand Strategy. She has also held leadership roles in specialty retail at Patagonia and Illuminations, and now serves clients at her own consulting firm, Pure Gravy LLC, and through her partnership with Brand Amplitude LLC.

We wanted you to get to know Judy a little better and so we asked her thoughts on being a part of the IBD team, what she wants to get out of this experience and how she feels she can best benefit the MBAs in the course.  Here are her answers:

Question:  Why become an IBD Faculty Mentor? 

I jumped at the chance to join the IBD faculty and participate in the MBA program by sharing my experience and passion for business and brand strategy with our students who are our next generation of leaders. IBD’s global client base and issue set are also a big part of the program’s appeal for me, both intellectually and in terms of opportunity for impact.

Question:  What do you hope to get out of the experience of mentoring 20 MBA students? As an UG faculty mentor do you foresee it will be a different experience? 

I thoroughly enjoy mentoring and learning from the undergraduate students I teach and advise. And I expect to enjoy doing the same with the MBA students. I suspect the experience will be quite different largely because MBA students are at point in their lives and their careers where the stakes are higher and the issues are more urgent. I expect their questions and concerns will be both broader and deeper than undergraduate students

Question: What do you hope to provide/teach/instill in the 2017 IBD MBAs?

I hope to provide relevant experience and actionable advice to the teams I mentor, and to help them see and capitalize on the tremendous opportunities for creativity that consulting affords. Decisions about where to focus, what to analyze, how to illustrate and present the findings and recommendations, how to structure a meeting or brainstorming session – whatever the task, there is opportunity for creativity.

Question: What do you want them to get out of this experience?

I want students to develop core consulting skills*, gain perspective and experience on doing business across cultures and geographies, and better understand their own professional strengths and interests
(*e.g., problem framing, problem solving, team dynamics and leadership, client relationship management, project management, business writing and presentation)

Question: What qualities make a good faculty mentor? 

A good mentor needs to be accessible and provide help that’s actually helpful. Active listening skills, critical thinking and relevant experience are among the keys to effective mentoring.

Question: What does success look like for this role?

To me, success in this role hinges on the quality of the:

  • Individual participant’s experience
  • Team experience
  • Team output/recommendations
  • Client experience

Question: Is there anything that is new for you?  Do you foresee any challenges? 

Working with MBA students is not exactly new for me – in my consulting career, I have worked with lots of summer associates and recent business school graduates (and recruited them, as well). But that was a while ago, and the economy has changed a lot since then, putting new pressures on MBA students. So, that’s what’s probably new and potentially most challenging.

Question: You have your own consulting business and worked in the industry for a large part of your career, do you have a strategy for introducing MBA’s to the consulting industry?

I don’t have a specific strategy, though I do have a point of view on what’s important: developing core consulting skills will serve students well regardless of the career path they choose.

Question: Where is your favorite place in the world?

I love travel, and while I’m always up for going someplace new, Mexico is one of my favorite places in the world – I love the people, the food, the language, the culture and more.

Question: Where would you like to go that you haven’t been yet?

There are so many places I’d like to go to! I’ve been to East Africa, and would like to know others parts of Africa. I’ve been to Brazil and would like to know more of South America.

Question: What are your dogs’ names?

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Rosey and Barney

We have 2 dogs that we rescued as pups – Rosey is an 11 year old Rottweiler-basset love child and Barney is a 2 year old boxer-Dalmatian sweetheart. They are the best!

Question: Is there a book that MBAs should absolutely read?

I’m reading (and enjoying) BCG’s Your Strategy Needs a Strategy now. It is based on the insight that companies operating in diverse environments should develop their strategies in markedly different ways, but often don’t. It introduces a new framework for thinking about business strategy, the strategy palette and proposes five distinct approaches to strategy, helping leaders to match their approach to their business environment and execute effectively.

As you can see, Judy is going to be a wonderful addition to our already amazing team of Faculty Mentors.

IBD in the World

IBD Director of Development, David Richardson and Executive Director, Kristi Raube, have been traveling around the world the last couple months meeting with alumni and prospective clients to talk about the IBD program.  In fact, Kristi and Dean Lyons were all in Santiago, Chile, this past week at the spectacular venue, Los Majadas de Pirque.

Haas Alumni in Santiago at Las Majadas de Pirque

Haas Alumni in Santiago at Las Majadas de Pirque

120 Haas alumni were in attendance, including the Chilean Haas Alumni Network Chapter President, Marcello Vasquez ( ’02) and one of the owners of Los Majadas de Pirque, Pablo Bosch (’15).  Pablo is also an IBD alumnus and in 2014, he went to Haiti to work with the Haitian Education & Leadership Program (HELP), which provides scholarships to low-income, high-achieving Haitian college students.

David’s travels took him to Bogota, Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires, this past week and Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Beijing in October.  Meanwhile, Kristi has been to four continents in the last 3 months.  Her travels have taken her to Nigeria, Ghana, Sweden, Norway, Shanghai, Ecuador, Vietnam, and Chile.  All the fruits of Kristi’s and David’s travel will soon reveal themselves in January when the 16 team leads will be assigned to their projects.   We can’t wait to reveal the clients, projects and destinations in March 2017.  Stay Tuned!

Berkeley-Haas alumni dinner in Bogota

Berkeley-Haas alumni dinner in Bogota

Please enjoy photos from both of David’s travels.  To view photos from David’s trip to Latin America, click here and to view photos from his trip to Asia, click here.

Dinner in Hong Kong with Berkeley-Haas alumni James Man and Alan Cheng

Dinner in Hong Kong with Berkeley-Haas alumni James Man and Alan Cheng

IBD 2016 Crowns Conference Winners!  Team Apsara Takes Home Best Presentation.

Every year at the Berkeley-Haas IBD Conference, the IBD faculty announces student team winners in a variety of categories to celebrate another successful year of IBD spring and summer courses.  This year’s IBD team winners were:

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After reviewing six IBD team presentations delivered during the Conference, the award of Best IBD Presentation was unanimously awarded to Team Apsara.  Team Apsara traveled to Harare, Zimbabwe, to develop and teach a two-week entrepreneurship program named ACT (Apsara Capital Trust).  The ACT program was directed to young Zimbabweans who are passionate about social change in a country that faces challenging economic and political conditions.  This was the fourth IBD team to work with Apsara, and the team’s main project objective was to develop curriculum for an online and in-person course for ACT’s Intensive Entrepreneurship Program.   During two weeks of teaching, Team Apsara worked with 21 students daily on design thinking, prototyping, brainstorming, constructing empathy maps, and developing interviewing skills.  At the end of their in-country experience, the IBD team delivered more than course materials. They also recommended how to create an ACT Ecosystem whereby students could share and help each other with entrepreneurial ideas.  In addition, the IBD team suggested possible revenue streams to help ACT become more sustainable.  IBD team member Julian Garzon shared this conclusion from his project experience: “We were impressed to find great people with great ideas everywhere, but the resources are not for them all the time.  It makes us think how privileged we are, and how we should be committed to give back and contribute to the community because these great people should have a shot to flourish with their business ideas. Finally, we can’t underestimate the power of bringing people together who are motivated and driven to work hard and achieve their dreams”.

To read Team Apsara’s blog click here.

Greetings from Team Nando’s

Starting our project

The first thing we realized as soon as we stepped out to the field was that Malaysians take eating out very seriously (they eat out on average 5.6 times a week).  Our project was no small task: we had to analyze the customer journey for both our client and its competition, to identify what works best for the Malaysian customer.

In less than 5 days, we had already visited over 10 Nando’s locations and more than 20 competitors, interviewing employees, managers and customers – and probably gained a few pounds while at it!

Our first group Nando’s meal – the first of many. If you have not tried Nando’s famous Peri Peri chicken, we recommend you get to it!

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Uber drivers who don’t speak much English and don’t know the streets make for very fun rides…if you finally make it to your destination on time!

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One very important highlight of our trip: location! Nando’s chose an Airbnb for us, in the middle of KL center, which provided us easy access to all main dining locations. The biggest perk of it? We had an infinity pool on the rooftop! Our daily morning routine included gym and pool to help us cope with jetlag.

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Arriving to Malaysia in the middle of Hari Raya

Over 60% of Malaysia’s population is Muslim – and we arrived during their main festivity. Hari Raya Aidilfitri is the day that marks the end of the Ramadan fasting month, and many Malaysians take these days off to travel and spend time with their families. Every mall we visited was packed, which meant plenty of customers for us to interview and observe for the project.

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Visiting Nando’s offices

We visited the central support office multiple times to meet with different key stakeholders, from Human Resources to Operations to Marketing, digging deeper into Nando’s culture, brand and operations.

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We even got our own Nando’s shirts – we used these while interviewing customers in restaurants in stores, to make customers more comfortable about sharing their experiences with us.

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Visiting Nando’s Casas

We visited over 10 Nando’s restaurants in Malaysia to interview staff and customers.  All employees were extremely helpful and cooperative in providing us the information we required to shape our project.

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Visiting competitors

While in country, we split into two smaller groups to be able to visit as many competitors as possible. After a couple of days, we were almost professional mystery diners, ready to identify what differentiated each restaurant and what Malaysian customers experienced at each location.

One single mall had over 100 restaurants. So many choices!

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Some restaurants used technology for certain steps of the ordering process. This sushi restaurant had iPads to place orders with.

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Design thinking –  Airbnb style

Most of our work was field based, and we spent many working hours in restaurants – which meant we had to debrief late at night.  Luckily, all of us proved to be night owls. Our Airbnb walls were quickly turned into impromptu boards for our design thinking exercises, which ran until late hours at night.

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You don’t have 2 minutes?

Probably one of the most interesting parts of our project was having to intercept customers after their meals, in order to obtain their insights. You know how you feel when people approach you at the mall and try to ask you some questions for research? Well, put 5 MBA students at it, and see if you can say no! We will probably have to trademark the phrase: you don’t have two minutes? 

Exploring Malaysia

Besides visiting what seemed like hundreds of restaurants, we also played tourists during our free hours. One of the most fun areas in KL is Changkat Bukit Bintang, where you can find restaurants, clubs, and a night food market which offers bbq frogs, to satay, and of course the infamous Durian! We were adventurous enough to try it, but we never got over the smell.

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Students Shine at 2016 IBD Conference

We officially wrapped up another amazing year of the Berkeley-Haas International Business Development (IBD) program with our final event, the 2016 IBD Conference on September 16th. The Conference started with an interactive poster session during which 22 IBD teams presented their projects, answered questions and showcased their unique experiences and wearables.  Some of the IBD students who went all out were Team Nando, who wore custom designed clothing produced by their client; Team Ashesi, who had matching pockets sewn onto their shirts; Team Inka Moss, who sported Peruvian sweaters and caps; and Team PAG, whose student team lead, Zarrah Birdie, donned a panda hoodie in honor of her team’s experience working in China. 

“All of the students were excited not only to share their adventures and the consulting work they did with their clients around the world, but also to see the huge variety of other projects and cultures that their classmates completed and experienced. Curiosity and enthusiasm were extremely high, and the noise level even higher.” Mark Coopersmith, IBD Faculty Mentor.

The energy was high for everyone at the Conference, including Haas’s CFO, Suresh Bhat, who came by the poster session to engage with IBD students and spend time learning about their projects.

“Attending the IBD conference is always a fabulous experience and seeing the enthusiasm from both FTMBA and EWMBA students as they present their findings, brings their project to life.  The students favorably commented on the experiential learning process. In addition, having to face and overcome language and cultural barriers is a mirror of what many of them will have to face as they take on new career opportunities post their MBA.” Suresh Bhat.

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Following the poster session, students and guests were treated to a lunch program that consisted of a panel presentation of IBD student team leads, overall comments from Berkeley-Haas Dean Rich Lyons, TED Talk style presentations by six IBD teams, and an acceptance speech from the 2016 IBD Alumnus of the Year, Rajiv Ball.

Rajiv, a Partner at THNK, Berkeley-Haas lecturer and host of the Design Thinking Course held recently in Amsterdam over spring break, worked previously with IBD as a project sponsor.  In his acceptance video he talked about the amazing experience that IBD provides for students:  “The notion of broadening your international horizons… and the ability to really step outside the US, and explore how business gets done there, that is a true gift that the program brings its participants.”

While there are many highlights from the IBD Conference, it was ultimately about hearing from the students their impressions of their projects and their reflections on the IBD experience.  New to the IBD Conference this year was a panel discussion with IBD student team leads.  IBD Executive Director Kristi Raube interviewed five student team leads and asked them to share their insights on serving in a team lead capacity. One student team lead, Vanessa Pau, said, “It is a rare opportunity to lead a team of peers, many of whom are much smarter than I am, and to actually work with them, learn from them and motivate them throughout times in the project.”  

In addition to the panel discussion, six IBD teams were chosen by a combination of student and faculty voting to present their projects to the Conference audience.  Videos of the lucky winners and presenting teams can be seen here.

Many IBD teams shared how their journeys changed once they were in country, including shifts in their perspectives, relationships, and overall project recommendations.  The student team lead for Team groupelephant.com, Theo Grzegorczk, said of his team’s time in South Africa, “It gave us a real reason to care, and we made this transition by actually getting involved with their company…we learned by really getting into their business.  We went through this process of understanding how they work…and by living the way they do business…we came to understand a little bit more of their company and that is the first step in the design thinking process.”

Team Samai’s Bruno Vargas said, “We had all kinds of backgrounds, not just nationally, but professional backgrounds…We were hands on, we were rolling (up) our sleeves, working hand in hand with them…We were actually giving them to tools to manage their business and in the end, we built strong relationships.”

IBD Faculty Mentor Whitney Hischier summed it up best when she shared the following comment: “The students were really energized and proud of their work and the relationships they built with their clients.  A few told me it was the best experience they had at Haas, and specifically the best team experience.  Exciting to see we are having such an impact!”

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Buyer Beware

The first thing we did was the one thing we had been warned about. We entered the secret room. The shopkeeper said that he kept all the good bags in the back. To get through there, we went through a small door in the rear of the shop, through an antechamber with walls all made of mirrors, and into a narrow room with the lauded purses. The negotiation intensified quickly. The price was shouted louder, even if it did not go lower. From nowhere a second man appeared, standing behind me. The shouting went back and forth and I started to get nervous. Another Haas student had come with me, and we towered over these small Chinese men, but they were aggressive. I decided I did not want the bag and told the men. They remained unconvinced. After 5 minutes of practiced negotiations, we were able to get out of the secret room and get on with our shopping.

sapchina1Negotiating and understanding the culture was key to having an impact on SAP’s new product launch into the US. They knew the Chinese market well, but we had been brought in as consultants and ambassadors on the US small and medium business market. They were fantastic hosts, spending significant time with us helping us understand the depth of their product. They also took us to beers at the hot spots in Shanghai. We used design thinking to match our insights of the US market to the capabilities of the product to help them focus their development efforts on lighthouse customers to maximize their impact. This small but friendly team is taking on some established software players in the US.

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It was a great experience to understand the growing software industry in China and the challenge of taking a new product to a new established market. The team has a lot of work ahead, but we hope that we were able to add some focus and clarity to the path to take. And the work ahead does not mean that we did not celebrate along the way. Ganbei!

-Team Red Dragons

Updates from IBD Beijing

 

EWMBA students Tiffany Barbour, Ketaki Gangal, Benjamin Kim, and Jaimin Patel are currently in Beijing, China, working on an International Business Development (IBD) project with CreditEase. EWMBA student Leanne Chu is managing the offshore project operations in Los Angeles, CA and San Francisco, CA.

Our Project

Our mission was to help CreditEase understand the Wealth Management (WM) industry in the U.S., and develop an implementable strategic framework recommendation for offshore investment by CreditEase target customers using U.S.-based investment vehicles. After six weeks of intense research and interviews with industry experts in the U.S., we were ecstatic to finally be in Beijing!

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A Day In The Life…

We started each morning with a call to sync up the Beijing and US teams, discuss the learning and findings from the previous day, as well as plan our next steps. Work life in the Beijing office was very similar to the U.S., except the workday typically started around 9:30a. Once the office doors opened, though, it was off to the races with product team meetings and client conference calls scheduled throughout the day and usually in different buildings across the city. No need to go to the gym… these walks definitely kept us fit.

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Team interviews with various product team leads and current WM customers.

Meeting with the product teams and current customers for an hour at a time was so illuminating. Every conversation seemed to double our learning, which helped us generate new insights and even better ideas for the market entry strategy.

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Team photo in our cubicles.

Between meetings, we would spend time at our cubicles debriefing the previous meeting, formulating new ideas, and connecting with our nearby neighbors from the Corporate Strategy team.

The Country and Culture

Even though the project kept us continually busy, we managed to find time to take in the sights, learn the history of China, and of course enjoy the delicious cuisine.

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Jaimin and Ben at the Great Wall of China at Mutianyu.

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Team photo in front of entrance to the Forbidden City.

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Delicious lunch spread in a local restaurant.

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We also took some time to enjoy a traditional tea ceremony…

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… and then learned how silk is made.

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Team photo with our hosts: Bing, Kelly, and Meichen.

Our overall goal was to wow the client, and we did just that! The senior management in attendance for the final presentation were highly engaged, asked lots of questions, were genuinely impressed by our ideas. If you had asked any of us about Wealth Management, Fintech, or CreditEase two months ago, there would have been a number of blank stares. Now, we feel like experts in training and are eagerly awaiting the day when we can invest with CreditEase in the U.S.!