It’s Time to Celebrate IBD!

Frank and conference

When Frank Schultz, IBD Faculty Director, took the stage on September 14th at the 2018 IBD Conference, he shared that he has two favorite days in the IBD yearly program cycle: the day that IBD projects are revealed, and the day of the annual IBD Conference.  “I see this as a celebration, a celebration of IBD, and more importantly of you all and the work you have done on behalf of Berkeley Haas and your clients.”

Like Frank, the entire IBD program (including FTMBA and EWMBA students) looked forward to the 2018 IBD Conference as an opportunity to connect with fellow students, and to hear directly from them about their individual IBD experiences.  Said IBD FTMBA student Team Lead Jocelyn Brown (Seva Foundation, India): “My team and I felt that the IBD Conference was a great way to reflect on our project and the accomplishments of our team. It’s easy to rush to the end of the project in-country, and not take much time to reflect on outcomes and overall learnings. I think the Conference really allowed us to do that, and to compare our experiences to our classmates’.” 

Team Ford with Ford Client, Sam Smith

Team Ford with Ford Client, Sam Smith

IBD EWMBA student Jerry Phillips (Wildlife Conservation Society, Belize) reported that the “IBD conference was an excellent opportunity to learn what our colleagues had delivered to their clients through a thoughtful exchange of war stories, experiences and results. Between all the posters, the energy in Spieker Forum was easily noticeable with smiles all around and a constant buzz of excitement.”

Spieker Forum in Chou Hall was a fantastic new venue for showcasing the hard work of our IBD student teams through project poster presentations.  The ample space and beautiful views added to the energy of students, staff, faculty and guests, as they walked from team poster to team poster, learning about each of the 19 international IBD consulting projects.

Team Seva with their poster

Team Seva with their poster

It is especially rewarding when IBD project clients attend the IBD Conference.  This year we were joined by representatives from Seva Foundation and Ford Motor Company.  Ford Motor Company executive Sam Smith, a Berkeley Haas and IBD alumnus, said he “found it deeply rewarding to return to Haas as a client of IBD, having been a participant 15 years ago.  The scope of projects this year was remarkable in its diversity, with a common thread of creative problem solving by the teams – kudos to the teams and the administration. I can say for Ford that the engagement with our team was excellent, with the best possible feedback – we are continuing the work that they started.  I’m thrilled to expand the IBD community!”

Team Novartis after presentation

Team Novartis after presentation

Following the general project poster session, the 2018 IBD Conference program kicked off with the long awaited announcement that IBD teams WCS and Novartis were selected by a vote of their peers to come on stage to present their projects to the audience.  In addition, annual awards were given out to IBD student teams in the categories of Best Blog, Team Photo, Art Photo — and a new category called “Beyond Yourself.” (Click here to see the winners of these awards.)

Team YGA with poster

Team YGA with poster

Community, celebration, awards, and acknowledgement of the efforts of our program’s MBA students are what the IBD Conference is all about.  It was great to hear that after all the hard work and time invested in IBD projects — along with the funny and challenging moments of traveling abroad — our MBA students found real value in the IBD project experience.  As IBD EWMBA student Nik Reddy said, “The proof is in the pudding; you’d be hard pressed to find a team that did not enjoy their IBD experience.”

Thank you to the students, faculty, staff, and project clients who made the IBD program in 2018 a success. We can’t wait to launch the next IBD class in 2019!

To see the photos from the IBD Conference click here.

Tackling the Youth Skills Gap in Uganda: An Update from Makerere University

Written By: Team Makerere, Hans Klinger, Elizabeth Foster, Matthew Hamilton, Jeannie Valkevich, and Carolyn Chuong

Our sweet ride while in Kampala that we affectionately call the “Mute-mobile” (our IBD team is creating the strategic plan for the Mutebile Center at Makerere University)

Our sweet ride while in Kampala that we affectionately call the “Mute-mobile” (our IBD team is creating the strategic plan for the Mutebile Center at Makerere University)

We arrived in Uganda around midnight, which meant we needed to wait an extra day to see the bright blue sky, rich red clay, and lush green foliage of East Africa. However, what we didn’t have to wait for were the bright smiles of the welcoming Ugandan people. Charles, one of our clients at Makerere University, was awaiting our arrival with a Berkeley baseball hat, personalized sign, decaled car, and a grin ear to ear. This would become standard during our first week in-country, when we would meet Makerere students, university professors, the Governor of the central Bank of Uganda, the Prime Minister, and many others.

Our team is working specifically with the Makerere University Private Sector Forum (PSF), which was established 11 years ago as a public-private partnership in the country’s largest and most prestigious university. The Forum’s mission is to bridge academia and the private sector to foster socioeconomic development throughout the country. It’s now launching a new center, for which our IBD team is creating the strategic plan, that will address the youth skills gap in Uganda.

Jeannie Valkevich demonstrating how to create a journey map

Jeannie Valkevich demonstrating how to create a journey map

Before arriving, and continuing into our first-week in-country, we’ve conducted over 50 interviews across what our client calls the ‘trinity’: Academia, the Public Sector, and the Private Sector. Part of the process was understanding the student perspective and, in particular, their pain points as they enter the workforce. To that end, we carried out a design thinking workshop for 23 students, led by our team’s former rockstar teacher (and timekeeper connoisseur) Jeannie. After a silly icebreaker that involved some pretty embarrassing dance moves on our end, we asked students to draw out their “journey maps.” Students mapped out the high points when they felt encouraged and confident about the career development process, as well as low points when they felt confused or discouraged. Given that the students were overflowing with ideas Jeannie had her work cut out facilitating the group discussion.

Matt Hamilton showing off his flawless dance moves during the icebreaker

Matt Hamilton showing off his flawless dance moves during the icebreaker

The workshop really started to get rolling after the break. Four groups of students, each paired with one IBD team member, began to ideate on potential programming for the new Center. After diverging, we encouraged students to converge around an agreed upon set of programs. The groups came up with a number of creative ideas–everything from a student-run farm, to a marketplace to share student ideas with the private sector, to a cross-faculty idea sharing platform. The groups then presented their ideas and recommendations (Shark Tank style) to PSF leadership. And they weren’t shy about asking questions or challenging each others’ proposed programs. As we closed out the session, we had to cut off half-a-dozen raised hands and ask them to keep the conversation going after the workshop. It was pretty inspiring to see how much energy the students had at the end of the three hours. One of the PSF staff members Patrick remarked afterward, “Our students often feel like their voices don’t matter–they were so happy to have their perspective considered.”

Hans Klinger working with the students as they begin to converge on a program idea for the center

Hans Klinger working with the students as they begin to converge on a program idea for the center

After wrapping up the design workshop, we headed over to the Parliament of Uganda to meet with the Prime Minister, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, who just happens to be a Cal Alum. Dr. Rugunda has been a staunch supporter of this new center at Makerere University from the start. Before getting down to business, he was eager to hear which states in the U.S. we hailed from. He was back on campus just a few years ago for a class reunion, which I’m sure made some of his classmates feel unaccomplished. Apparently, Berkeley hasn’t changed much since 1978. He also mentioned there was an East Africa Berkeley reunion in Kampala just a few months ago–pretty cool knowing there’s a Cal Bears community in this part of the world. Before heading out, we gave Dr. Rugunda a Cal pennant as a gift, which we’re sure certain he’ll hang behind his desk, right next to the flag of Uganda.

Left to right: Jeannie Valkevich, Matt Hamilton, Khamisi Musanje (Makerere University), Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda (Prime Minister of Uganda), Carolyn Chuong, Beth Foster, and Hans Klinger

Left to right: Jeannie Valkevich, Matt Hamilton, Khamisi Musanje (Makerere University), Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda (Prime Minister of Uganda), Carolyn Chuong, Beth Foster, and Hans Klinger

More to come from Kampala soon!