Berkeley Haas 2019 MBA Commencement, Patrick Awuah, MBA ’99

Patrick Awuah speaking at Berkeley Haas Commencement

For the MBA class of 2019, Friday, May 24th, was an exciting day of celebration as Evening & Weekend and Full-Time MBAs crossed the stage at the Greek Theatre to accept their hard earned MBA diplomas.  It was also a special day for the IBD program as former IBD student Patrick Awuah delivered the commencement address. In his remarks, Patrick spoke of his time at Berkeley Haas spent working on his business plan for Ashesi University, along with five other MBA students.  He told the audience that “Ashesi started here, and I recognize the fact that there are not many places where this could have happened. We all had hope that it was going to be a remarkable institution, but it has exceeded even our loftiest dreams.”

Team Ashesi after presentation in Uganda

Team Ashesi at a presentation in Ghana

The IBD program is pleased to acknowledge Patrick’s leadership and the growth of Ashesi University, as many of our IBD teams have benefited from the continued development of this remarkable African institution.  IBD students have worked on 13 separate consulting projects with Ashesi University since the year 2000, including a team of five MBA students who are currently in Ghana for three weeks. Check back with us as the latest IBD Ashesi team writes a blog that shares their unique experience of working with the faculty, staff and students of Ashesi University.

David Richardson and Patrick Awuah

David Richardson and Patrick Awuah

To see the Berkeley Haas 2019 MBA commencement and view the video of Patrick Awuah’s address, click here.  To read the address only, click here.

 

Interview with ‘19 MBA Libby Andrada; IBD Alum and now 2019 IBD Graduate Student Instructor

Team Makerere in Kampala with the Prime Minister of Uganda

Team Makerere in Kampala with the Prime Minister of Uganda

IBD is fortunate to have former ‘18 IBD Team Lead, Libby Andrada, join this year’s IBD program as a Graduate Student Instructor (GSI).  Her role is to offer the IBD Staff and Faculty Mentors insights into the current student perspective on the IBD program. IBD interviewed Libby about her experience as an IBD student last year, as well as her role as a GSI this year.

IBD 2018 Team Makerere- Renee Medina, Luca Cosentino, Tamara Pace-Emerson, Logan Gallogly, Libby Andrada

IBD 2018 Team Makerere- Renee Medina, Luca Cosentino, Tamara Pace-Emerson, Logan Gallogly, Libby Andrada

IBD:  As a Team Lead for the Spring 2018 IBD Program with Makerere University.  Tell us a bit about the project you worked on while in Kampala?

Libby:  We worked with Makerere University and the government of Uganda to develop a strategy to grow the country’s tourism sector. Our time in Uganda was spent interviewing tourism industry stakeholders and exploring the country as tourists ourselves.

To read a blog written by Libby and her IBD Team about their experience in Uganda, click here.

IBD:  What surprised you most about what you got out of the IBD program?

Libby: What surprised me most about the IBD program was the access and responsibility our team was given. Our project was focused on growing one of Uganda’s most promising industries. We presented our final recommendations to the Prime Minister and various Ministers and members of government, including the Minister of Tourism.

IBD:  Why did you decide you wanted to return this year as a GSI for the IBD program?  

Libby:  I had such a positive experience with IBD last year and learned so much that I wanted to give back to the program. Additionally, thinking back on my experience, I thought I would have benefited from knowing more about the student experience before our time in country with the team and the client – and wanted to share my learnings and experiences with this year’s IBD class.

2018 IBD Team Makerere

2018 IBD Team Makerere

IBD: It’s early in the semester, but have you gotten what you wanted out of the experience?

Libby: My favorite part so far has been brainstorming and problem solving with the different teams. The projects are all so different and I’ve enjoyed learning about the projects and trying to provide insights or examples from my own experience where I can.

IBD: How does it feel to be on the other side now, working with the staff and Faculty on the program verses being a student in the program?

Libby:  I have so much more insight into all the behind the scenes work that takes place in order to make the program possible! I’m also realizing how, despite the differences in projects, there are a lot of learnings and experiences that can be shared across groups.

IBD: Do you have any advice for MBA students in IBD now?  How about for prospective students looking at Berkeley Haas and IBD?

IBD Big Reveal Day - 2018 IBD Team Makerere

IBD Big Reveal Day – 2018 IBD Team Makerere

Libby: For current IBD students, my advice is to enjoy it! It goes by so fast and it’s one of the most unique experiences you can have at Haas. For prospective students looking at Berkeley Haas and IBD, I’ve learned that IBD is very unique to Haas. It allows students to not only gain consulting experience, but experience working in a different country with a different culture, which is extremely valuable.

IBD: What was the most memorable thing about IBD or traveling to Kampala?

Libby: The most memorable thing was presenting to the Prime Minister and then sitting next to him at a dinner that was hosted in our honor – that was a ‘pinch myself’ moment. Our team also got to go on safaris in Queen Elizabeth National Park and Murchison Falls National Parks, which was a definite highlight.

IBD: After you graduate, what will you be doing?  Will you bring any of the skills or experiences learned in IBD to your new role?

Libby: After graduation I’ll be at Parthenon in San Francisco, so the skills I gained through IBD are very relevant! One of my biggest takeaways is the importance of expectation setting and being open and comfortable with ambiguity.

The IBD staff and Faculty Mentors are thrilled to have Libby on the team, and we look forward to her continued insights and contributions to the 2019 IBD program.  

IBD Helps EWMBA Student Pivot to New Role: Interview with Shaun Hundle, ‘19

Shaun Hundle, Haas MBA '19

Shaun Hundle, Haas ’19

Evening & Weekend MBA (EWMBA) student Shaun Hundle, ‘19, is graduating in May.  Shortly after that he will start a new role as the Manager in Consulting & Analytics division at Visa.  Shaun was a 2018 Summer IBD student who spent two months working on a project with a financial services company located in Mexico City.  We interviewed Shaun about his IBD experience and how it helped him pivot to his new career position.

IBD:  What is your current position now?  

Shaun: I am a Project Manager at the Swedish Trade and Invest Council, a go-to-market consultancy affiliated with the government of Sweden to assist Swedish companies to expand globally. As Team Lead of our Healthcare and Life Science practice, I’ve spent most of my time with small to mid-size Swedish companies looking to enter and grow in the U.S.

IBD:  Tell us a little about your new upcoming role at Visa as a Manager in Consulting & Analytics division?

Shaun and his team in Mexico during 2018 IBD Summer program

Shaun and his team in Mexico during 2018 IBD Summer program

Shaun: I will take on a Manager role on the Consulting & Analytics team. I will still be client facing (although focusing on only one or two clients at the same time, unlike at my current company) and leading the internal delivery. At Visa I will be working more with quantitative data than the qualitative consulting I’ve focused on to date, so I see this as an excellent opportunity to gain a new skill set and transition to the fin-tech industry with a globally recognized company.

IBD:  You worked for a large financial company in Mexico City last summer for the 2018 IBD program. Did this experience offer you new skills or insights that helped identify this new opportunity for a career shift?

Absolutely! The work we did was very similar to the type of work I will be doing with Visa’s clients, including data analysis. Having this type of hands on consulting experience gave me very relevant experience to talk about in my interviews with Visa, as well as strong knowledge in the retail banking and payments industry ecosystem.

IBD: What did you take away from the IBD experience that you plan to apply to this new role?

Shaun:  I learned quite a bit about how to leverage influence in a larger organization, as well as understanding how to manage various stakeholders from different divisions who we were responsible for delivering to. My big take-a-way was that it’s important to listen and build trust with various stakeholders before doing the more complicated work of presenting and recommending solutions that some stakeholders may not like.

Shaun Hundle and Team- 2018 IBD summer final presentation for client

Shaun Hundle and Team- 2018 IBD summer final presentation for client

IBD:  Do you have advice for other MBA students who are thinking of a career change? How can they utilize the IBD experience to test this hypothesis?

Shaun: IBD gave me the opportunity to have an “internship-like” summer project that became invaluable to speak about in my interviews and conversations when I was recruiting in the Fall, so I think this is a great opportunity for Evening & Weekend MBA students especially. It definitely allowed me to pivot towards tech, fintech, and consulting roles a bit easier than previously, since I had direct experience I could point to. Although I had previous consulting experience, I didn’t have much experience working in fintech, retail banking, or payments, but the exposure to the industry I received through IBD was great in helping me decide where I wanted to focus for Fall recruiting. There is a high level of diversity in the types of IBD clients and industries which makes it a bit of an adventure, but there is a lot one can gain out of the experience, especially if you are still a career or industry explorer.

End of Interview:

We in the IBD program love hearing from our IBD students about their experience working on international consulting projects, and we especially love it when the experience contributes to making valuable career choices.  Shaun’s experience is not unlike many MBA students who participate in the IBD program. If you are a Berkeley Haas MBA student, and would like more information about IBD, click here or contact the IBD program office.

The IBD Big Reveal for Team Members

Elinor Chang finding out she is working with Seva Foundation

Elinor Chang finding out she is working with Seva Foundation

IBD Team Members Find Out Their IBD Projects:

A significant day in the IBD spring program took place on February 14, 2019: “The Big Reveal”.  This is the day during which all IBD students (Team Leads and Team Members) come together for the first time in their IBD class.  It is also the day during which the Team Members learn for the first time the nature of their IBD projects, their clients, their teammates, and where they will travel in May for their in-country experience.

Team Dura-Line gives hugs

Team Dura-Line hugs

Video Reveal:

In continuation of a recently established IBD tradition, our sixteen student Team Leads created short videos to show during the IBD Big Reveal, introducing their respective IBD projects to the newly announced Team Members on their team. IBD Executive Director David Richardson had this to say about the event: “Each video was thoughtfully crafted, and it was so much fun to see the newly identified Team Members jumping up to greet their new Team Lead and other Team Members. There were hugs, high fives and the occasional handshakes, as some Team Members and Leads were meeting each other for the first time.” 

Team Makerere's Pat and Nick give high fives

Team Makerere’s Pat and Nick give high fives

What’s Next?

Now that the IBD student teams have come together for the first time, there is a lot of work to be done.  IBD teams will immediately arrange to meet with their global clients via video conference, beginning the process of learning about the organization and the project problem they are being asked to solve.  A great deal of teamwork, team building, and analysis of different countries and industries still needs to be done before each IBD student team can travel to their respective project destinations.

IBD 2019 MBA Students

IBD 2019 MBA Students

Clients and Destinations:

Every year, IBD is fortunate to work with phenomenal international project clients, and this year is no exception.  This year’s client organizations are diverse in size and industry, and represent a mix of for-profit, non-profit, education, and social enterprises.  Each IBD project is important to each client, and is fully expected to add a great deal of value to the organization. In fact, in one of the introduction videos to her new Team Members, the IBD Team Lead tells her new team that the work they will do for their client is “intended to scale globally and will affect every company in the corporate world.”  What an amazing opportunity this is for our MBA students!

Out of the sixteen project clients working with IBD this year, eight are returning from past IBD projects — including five who have had projects during each of the last three years.  This coming May, 80 IBD students will travel to 15 different countries during their three weeks of in-country project experience.

Hugs all around

Hugs all around

The entire IBD team at Berkeley Haas, including faculty and staff, is excited to be a part of our students’ unique and challenging project experience. We look forward to sharing more with our readers during the next three months, leading up to the IBD students’  and especially time in-country. Stay tuned; there is a lot of fun ahead! To check out more photos from the IBD Big Reveal class, click here.

 

Jon Metzler Joins the IBD Faculty Mentor Team

Jon Metzler speaking on panelIBD is excited to welcome our newest Faculty Mentor to the Spring IBD program, Jon Metzler.  Jon is a Lecturer at Berkeley Haas, where he teaches competitive advantage in technology, telecom and media markets (Strategy for the IT Firm), and international business.  He teaches MBA and undergraduate students at Berkeley Haas, and has led EWMBA students on Seminar in International Business (SIB) class trips to Japan. Jon is also associated faculty for the UC Berkeley for Center for Japanese Studies, and a faculty mentor at Berkeley SkyDeck, our local accelerator for Berkeley-affiliated startups.

When Jon is not teaching, mentoring or leading SIB class trips to Japan, he is managing the consulting firm that he founded in 2007, Blue Field Strategies.  Blue Field Strategies helps clients accelerate service innovation through market research and entry support, investment sourcing and due diligence, and market and policy advocacy.  Jon has supported new business launches in online media, print, edtech, wireless infrastructure, geolocation, events and services.

Jon is also an alumnus of Berkeley Haas, where he earned his MBA/MA-Asian Studies. He co-founded the Berkeley Asia Business Conference, now called the Bridge Conference.  

Jon can now add IBD Faculty Mentor to his extensive resume, and we are thrilled to have him on our team.  Recently we tracked down Jon to ask him some questions about himself and his career. Please check out his answers below.  

IBD:  What excites you most about being an IBD Faculty Mentor, and what would you like to get out of the experience?

Jon Metzler: “ What I enjoy most about teaching is working with students and getting to know them — how they think, what they aspire to, and then working with them to help them grow.  I also come from a client services (consulting) background and derive satisfaction from helping clients, so IBD is very aligned with both of these!”

IBD:  What skills or qualities do you hope to bring to your new role and/or offer to our IBD MBA students?

Jon and David Richardson, IBD Executive Director eating soft cream

Jon and David Richardson, IBD Executive Director eating soft cream

Jon Metzler:  “I have launch experience in print, wireless broadband, events, edtech, wireless infrastructure and innovation spaces, and have experience helping clients assess new opportunities and figure out how to go to market, or, as incumbents, how to harness a growing market.  In general, I enjoy helping new enterprises get off the ground and hope to bring this to the IBD program.”

IBD:  What brought you to Berkeley Haas, and how has your experience been teaching these last 4+ years?

Jon Metzler: First, some context.  When I was a student at Haas (MBA/MA-Asian Studies), I really enjoyed the balance of tenured and professional faculty, and with regards to the professional faculty, I always enjoyed the pragmatism of classes led by practitioners.  

Fast forward to 2014.  There were two paths that led me to teaching at Haas. First, I felt like I had value to provide to students after years working at startups and in services, particularly in the fields of tech and telecom. This is what eventually led to teaching Strategy for the Information Technology Firm. Secondly,  my Master’s thesis advisor (Steve Vogel in PoliSci) suggested that I teach on Japan. This is what led to leading SIBs on Japan in the EWMBA program, and a business in Japan class in the UGBA program.”

Jon Metzler- moderating panelIBD:  Tell us about being the Founder & President of Blue Field Strategies, and how this work relates to what you can offer to IBD students or clients?

Jon Metzler:  “I will answer this question as:  I feel that teaching and consulting feed each other — consulting allows me to deep dive into current industry issues, and teaching helps me digest and synthesize that into more broadly applicable lessons and material.“

IBD:  What do you like to do when you aren’t teaching, mentoring or working at Blue Field?

Jon Metzler: I am board chairman of a non-profit in San Francisco – the Japan Society of Northern California. It’s a 113-year-old non-profit, and I take that heritage and history seriously. It’s been fun working with the board and staff making sure a venerable institution is addressing market needs today.

I also have two children, one in sixth-grade and one in third-grade. Both are far smarter than I am. This keeps me on my toes!  And also helps me keep perspective on what’s important.

Lastly, I play – albeit not well – soccer as often as my schedule and body permit.”

The IBD team feels very fortunate to have Jon as a Faculty Mentor, and we look forward to his contributions to the upcoming 2019 IBD Spring program.  

Continued Reflections on Our Plastic Use

*POST 2: Written by Catherine Soler, Leslie Brian, Kelly Lamble, Scott Peacock and Sipian Wang

Beautiful water and skyline with boatsThis is a second post about our project in the Bay Islands. After spending three weeks answering the question, ““How might we provide clean drinking water to the communities of the Bay Islands without a plastic footprint?”, we are now examining the question,

“How has this project changed the way we look at our own plastic footprint?”

See reflections from our team members below.

Scott’s Reflections: Developing Gratitude and Empathy

There was a perception on the islands that the pollution is caused by a “live for today” mentality. But, it’s not about enjoying the day; it’s about surviving the day. How can someone worry about the future consequences of plastic waste when they are worried about food, water, and safety today? I have the means and time to plan for the future, but still, many things that I use for convenience, saving money, or fun have negative externalities. This experience has reinforced my appreciation for the benefits I have and has made me reconsider the conveniences I take at the expense of others.

Beautiful water and sky with branch

Kelly’s Reflections: Called to Action

As we slowly moved down Pumpkin Beach on Utila, methodically picking up pieces of plastic, my heart sank. A staggering number of microplastics dotted the white sand with blues and reds and greens. Even the most painstaking cleanup could never get all of those little pieces off the sand and into a trash bag.

Witnessing the effects of plastic pollution firsthand made me think about my voice as a consumer. What excuses do I tell myself for why I’m not able to make a bigger impact? Is there really not enough space in my kitchen to have trash, recycling, and compost bins? Is there really no way to avoid buying new consumables, like big coffee tins from Trader Joe’s or shampoo from Walgreens, instead of refilling them? Those small pieces of plastic littering that beach was the motivation I needed: I bought two new trash bins yesterday, and a bar of soap that came without packaging. These may be small steps, but if enough consumers start voicing their desire for less plastic and greater sustainability, companies will have no choice but to listen.

banner saying "El Plastico recicla, la naturaliza, no!"

Catherine’s Reflections: Demystifying Plastic Perceptions

When we interviewed local people about their clean drinking water sources and plastic pollution, there was a pervasive sentiment that because we were from the US, we knew how to do things the right way. There was blind faith that, in America, we are free of single use plastic water bottles and all of our waste is composted or neatly packaged and disposed in environmentally friendly ways. Meanwhile, those same people were promoting sustainable straw use and drinking from 5 gallon jugs of water in their homes to reduce single use bottle waste – practices that are far and few between in the US. More so, by interacting with the communities on the Islands, I recognized many of my own behaviors that actually encourage plastic pollution and was inspired by their actions to change.

In a place like the US, we have the luxury of resources, education and expertise to make substantial plastic reduction and be a true ecological leader to others in the world. I hope that we act on that opportunity quickly and live up to the expectations that the rest of the world has for us. After this project, I hope to work to help local people feel empowered to design their own solutions to sustainability and have the confidence to share their practices with others. I am committed to learning more about how to reduce my own plastic footprint and find ways to inspire others around me to do the same.

plastic coke bottle on the beachClick here to read Post 1 from Team TBP

To view additional photos from Team TBP, click here

Maximum Satisfaction: The IBD Max Warehouse Experience

Written by Natalie Bauman, Vicky Ngo-Lam, Jeremy Scheier, Elana Congress, and Alex Austin

Team Max WarehouseMay 31, 2018

“Before you come, there are two very important words which you must know: guacamole y frijoles,” asserts Juan Carlos on our first weekly team call. Juan Carlos is the project lead at Max Warehouse and serves as our cheerleader and guide throughout. He is really invested in our Spanish language education. “Next week, you will learn some new words,” he assures us. Can you guess the word we learned the next week? Cerveza–por supuesto! We learned vocabulary beyond just guacamole, beer, and beans, though. We pick up “Guatamaleños” (Guatemalan slang words)  and use them incorrectly and excessively.  Our favorite is “va” (“let’s go, sure, got it!”). We figure that between us, we have 2.5 people proficient in Spanish (and also 2.5 MBAs). Our motley collection of Spanish knowledge and ability to support one another in communication attempts represents well our team dynamics.

Introducing: IBD Team “MaxWareHaas.”Team with Duracel Bunny

We are the MaxWareHaas IBD team: Natalie, Jeremy, Elana, Alex, and Vicky.  Our project is with Max Warehouse, a subsidiary of Grupo Cemaco, the fourth largest retailer in the country. Max Warehouse started in 2012 as an online wholesaler for Ace hardware products and then launched its own website, MaxWarehouse.com, in January 2017 as a way to increase profits, build brand equity, and ensure a sustainable business. Our task is to create short-term recommendations, tactics, and a 3-year roadmap for MaxWarehouse.com’s growth. As the project progressed additional questions emerged, which kept us busy and provided a perfect opportunity to leverage our MBA skills to help this enthusiastic company. Our work at Max Warehouse
While at Berkeley this spring, we completed a design thinking-style story-board about Max Warehouse as a client and their current story. It really helped us get a grasp on how we fit in and how we can help them. What we came away with is that Max Warehouse is a feisty, entrepreneurial company pushing for growth. They are in a bit of an identity crisis though,
unsure of their value proposition or ideal customer. They are tenacious and eager to succeed in the U.S. market as an ecommerce player, despite the fact that they’re Guatemala-based and competing with Amazon.

IBD presentation Our final recommendation included 5-10 short and medium term recommendations. When we came in the next day, they were already in the process of implementing the recommendations. They had started interviewing for search optimization personnel, cutting products that weigh > 50 lbs from their SKUs, figuring out how to eliminate products without complete content listings, and implementing project management and communication software to increase cross-functional knowledge sharing across the team. This just shows the client’s drive to improve, and is what has made this project so rewarding and fun.

Touring Guatemala in Style

One of the highest ROI moments of the trip occurred when Alex and Natalie Team site seeingattended Grupo Cemaco’s annual internal football tournament. 26 teams competed, consisting of Grupo Cemaco employees from the stores, warehouses, and corporate teams. The Zona 5 office team, where we work, made the championship game for the first time ever. Alex and Natalie attended the game to cheer on the team and show our support. Afterwards, they chatted with Don Mario, the patriarch of the family that founded and leads the Grupo Cemaco enterprise. They mention that the upcoming weekend agenda was a trip to Tikal to see the ancient Mayan ruins. Don Mario asked about flights, arrangement, and hotels. Alex and Natalie sheepishly admitted that nothing has yet been booked. Two hours later, we had an entire weekend itinerary: flights, a stay at a beautiful eco lodge in El Remate (near Tikal) and a luxury hotel in Antigua, a top-notch tour guide, and complete transportation. The generosity and care is unfathomable to us. We cannot even begin to express our gratitude. This is just another example of the hospitality which is woven into the fabric of the Guatemalan

Sunset in Antigua IBD

Sunset in Antigua IBD

culture.

Farewell to Guate.

As we prepare to depart from this beautiful country, return to Berkeley, and start our internships, we are grateful for our amazing experience here. In addition to the work we accomplished for the company, everything that we learned about ecommerce in the home goods segment, and how a startup nested within a corporation can find success, we have learned about this hidden gem of a place and met some of the kindest people in the world.Team in Antigua