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’.”
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.
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!”
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.)
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.