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?
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.