Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Meeting a Corporate Idealist: A Conversation with Christine Bader


Have you ever been curious about the steps you can take to promote responsible business? Yesterday, members of Rutgers Business School’s Net Impact and Women in Business clubs had the opportunity to explore this question through an eye-opening conversation with Christine Bader led by Sharon Lydon, Executive Director of MBA Programs. Christine discussed her recent book, Evolution of a Corporate Idealist: When Girl Meets Oil, which was inspired by her nearly decade long career in corporate responsibility at BP.

 

Taking from the title of her book, Christine explained her transformation as a corporate idealist. At the onset of her career at BP in 2000, a time when corporate responsibility was less ubiquitous, she was an optimistic proponent that business would change society for the better. While her zeal and belief in responsible business are still ever-present, Christine has adopted a more tempered stance, which we, as business students, can integrate in our own future careers.

 

Incremental advances towards universal standards for responsible business are more likely than dramatic leaps. The greatest tool to accomplish these small, yet significant victories is dialogue. Investigate all stakeholders’ needs. Consider the ways business can meet stakeholders’ needs. Find ways to motivate business to take action. And overall, start the conversation.

 

Link to Christine’s Website: http://christinebader.com/


 

 



Monday, January 6, 2014

SPECIAL STUDENT FEATURE: Julie Godfrey and Cal Petrey, RBS '14

Julie Godfrey
Marketing
VP Alumni Relations, Rutgers Women in Business

Cal Petrey
Supply Chain Management
RBS Social Chair

What makes this student feature so special?  Oh, just the fact that Julie and Cal are married.  And from the south. And super stars.  Prospective and current students alike can learn from this fabulous twosome, who are both MBA Candidates in the full-time program.  See what they had to say about their journey from Nashville to Newark...




Where were you before you came to RBS? Why are you here now?
We had been working in Knoxville, TN for a few years Cal was working for US Bank and Julie was working for Lancôme. Cal had completed his bachelor's in Organizational Psychology and Julie Completed her MFA in Fine Art. We felt like we had maxed out our growth. The exciting thing about being 2 Full-time MBA's in the same program is that we have to not only plan for the team but also plan for our individual contributions. We applied to a number of business schools but Rutgers offered all of the things we wanted for our future. The New York area was one of the only places where we could both have a successful career in our respective fields. 

Where do you see yourself in 15 years? Why?
One reason we get along so well is that we have similar long-term goals. Our future as we see it will be in corporate for a few years and then onto startups and long-term equity building. We want to get the experience and training in the corporate world but we are very creative and have a passion for disruptive technology. In the long-run we will be happiest as entrepreneurs.

What is your favorite thing about being an RBS student? Why?
We aren't worried. The job placement is great, the cost is great! With 2 MBAS in one house we have to think about those things. We love the location because we can really use Newark to its full potential! We can get to New York, Philly, Boston, or the shore whenever we want. The small class size is nice because it allows most of the class to have a leadership role of some type. We all work as a class team, sure, there is competition, but really, the entire class is cheering for you to get a good internship or a job.

What did you think business school was going to be like? What is it actually like? 
We were surprised about the openness of the professors to accommodate your schedule for looking for jobs. Also, the attentiveness of the RBS Staff. They actually get involved in your well-being. Student Services and the OCM office care about your challenges and your goals,

Who is your favorite professor and why?
Cal: Don Klock Procurement because he is truly an expert in his field and he brings real world experience to the Classroom
Julie: Aggregate Economics with Farrokh Langdana bar none. Coming out of a Fine Art background economics Seemed like a complete mystery but Langdana Made macro fun...yes... fun. Even though I am a marketing concentration, this is a "must take" class.

What is the best advice you can give candidates looking to apply to RBS?
Apply to the right program: Part time is for people who are happy with their current career trajectory, Full time is for career switchers and people who want the boost to the next level. They have different requirements in terms of commitments and different pay-offs. Be sure to think carefully about your choice and understand, from admissions, which one will be best for you.
Go to RBS recruiting events and open houses.
Make sure what the school focuses what you want to do career- wize in terms of industry and concentrations.
Be ready to hit the ground running if you get in. It will be a whirlwind from day 1 of orientation.
Know that you might end up a completely different place than when you began.

Classes are important, but your career is the priority.


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

STUDENT FEATURE: Jaina Wald, RBS '14

Jaina Wald

Marketing & Strategy

Co-President, RAMS
VP, Membership, Toastmasters
Tech Chair, SGA


Jaina is a second-year, full-time Marketing and Strategy student.  If you know her, you know that Jaina smiles in the face of wild, 900 pound felines. If you don't know her, you wonder why she smiles in the face of wild, 900 pound felines.  Nonetheless, here is an interview with a future brand manager at Campbell's Soup. 



What’s your deal? Where were you before you came to RBS? Why are you here now?

Let’s see…I’m originally from Gainesville, Florida (Go Gators!), did my undergrad at Washington University in St. Louis, and moved to New York in 2005 to work in publishing. After learning that every English major in America wants to work in publishing (not to mention the low pay and long hours), took a job at a boutique Venture Capital and Consulting firm instead. I thought I’d be there for a year, but stayed for six, doing marketing, communications, sales, consulting and HR, and working with some of the coolest technology startups on the plant. I loved the people, but it was a small company and I knew that I would have to leave eventually. Given how much I had learned about Marketing and Business, I started to think about business school and began sending out applications. Instead of sitting around and waiting to hear back, my husband and I decided to quit our jobs and travel the world for six months. We spent three months in SE Asia, two months in Africa and one month in South America, and arrived back in the states a week before I started at Rutgers. One of my funniest memories of the trip was doing my Rutgers admissions interview on the trip via Skype. I was in Vietnam at the time, staying in a hostel, without anything to wear for an interview. Luckily, SE Asia is renowned for custom-made clothing, so found a guy in an alley who promised me he could make me “a suit in a day,” and despite the all-around sketchiness, he had a suit jacket and shirt ready for me an hour before the call. I did the interview that night in an internet café wearing my new suit jacket, shirt, ripped jean shorts and sandals :)




Where do you see yourself in 15 years?

Man oh man. Running my own company? Doing triathlons professionally? So many options…Most likely, I’ll be in a senior marketing and communications role at a large firm. I just accepted a position as an Associate Brand Manager at Campbell’s Soup in August 2014, so that’s the first stop. In an ideal world, I’d also like to be living and working internationally – maybe South America or Australia? Though I might have to convince my husband first…

What is your favorite thing about being an RBS student?

The camaraderie in our class is insane. When I looked at other business schools, I was amazed and turned off by how competitive and cutthroat the students were. At Rutgers, students work together– it’s not about cutting each other down to get ahead. People are genuine and care about helping each other (and the school). That’s what business schools should be like.

What did you think business school was going to be like? What is it actually like?

I thought it was going to be really serious, stressful, and boring. It’s not. It’s awesome. It’s undergrad, minus living across the hall from everyone. Plus, there’s this sense of appreciation for being in school, because most of us worked for a few years beforehand and we know that we’ll be back in the “working world” in a short time.

What do you do for fun?

Travel, Travel and more Travel. I’ve lived on four continents, visited 37 countries, and have toyed with the idea of joining the Peace Corps more times than I can count. I love sports, play soccer, and do races/triathlons. Plus, I’m a bit of an adrenaline junkie – skydiving, bungee jumping, swimming with sharks – you name it, I’ve done it. When I’m not running around, I’m hanging out with my husband and preparing for my first baby, due in January 2014!

Who is your favorite professor and why?

I love me some Susan Mach (business communications) – she’s super nice, cares about her students and really knows her stuff. Plus, with all the quantitative classes first semester, I loved having the chance to write again. I’m also enjoying Executive Leadership with Patti Ippoliti and Multicultural Markets with Jerome Williams. Both are discussion-based, interesting, and have taught me more about real-world issues I’ll be encountering post-business school than my traditional core classes.


How did you land your summer internship? How was it?

I got my internship with Campbell’s Soup by attending the NSHMBA career fair during my first year at Rutgers. I didn’t apply to Campbell’s ahead of time, but stopped by the booth, and just clicked with all the recruiters. I was interviewed on the spot, and again the following day, and found out a week later that I had the internship. The experience was incredible. I lucked out with an amazing team and loved spending the summer with students from all over the country. Plus, Campbell’s gives its interns incredible exposure to senior leaders, and real, business-driving internship projects so it felt like my contributions were making a difference. And, it never hurts working for a food company – we had constant samples of Milano cookies, Goldfish, Pace Salsa, V8, and the best part -- Free Soup Fridays! 

What would you do differently if you could repeat your first semester all over again?

I wouldn’t change a thing. I dropped Finance and it was the best decision I could have made – it allowed me to concentrate on the other classes I was taking (accounting and economics mostly) and just get used to being in school again. I took Finance second semester when things were calmer and I was settled in to the routine, and was much happier for it. Actually, one thing I would do differently – bring my lunch more...no matter how long I’m here, I will never understand why it takes so long to get food in the café.



Monday, November 25, 2013

DIWALI PARTY 2013

Last Thursday, the third floor of the business school at 1 Washington Park was magically transformed into the best Diwali party this side of Newark has ever seen.  Thanks to the coordination of second-year, Richa Poras and the International Student Organization, students, staff and faculty enjoyed a fabulous Indian fashion show, skits, dances, and a delicious spread of Indian food.

 My personal highlight was the "RBS Student in India" skit starring first-years Sunil Ayyagari and Shane Gustafon, with Prasannadevi Mara as "the Air India hostess," and Shailesh Pagareas as "the pani puri vendor."  Let's just say...."Dinesh Vera," Indian Director of Career Management, makes our own Dean Vera seem like a dream (which he already was for some :)).

Enjoy the photos!































Monday, November 18, 2013

RBS Alumni Tailgate

I have been at every home football game this season, and I know at least two other classmates who are as avid fans as I.  But this past Saturday, RBS was well-represented thanks to Cal Petrey and a few others who organized an awesome tailgate for the RBS community.  We couldn't have asked for better weather (but we should have asked for a win).  Below are some pictures from the day!  You'll notice a particularly adorable 18 month old at the end.  That's my particularly adorable son, "networking" in the stands. 














Friday, October 25, 2013

FACULTY SPOTLIGHT: Dr. Ramon Henson

rutgers business school blog
Professor Ramon (Ray) Henson is an organization and management consultant with over 25 years of global experience working in senior positions with various Fortune 500 companies, including Merck & Co., Avon Products, Merrill Lynch and Citigroup.  He currently heads Henson Consulting International, is a Consulting Partner with Organisation Solutions (Singapore), and is a member of the consulting team of the Center for Organizational Design (United States).  

 At Rutgers Business School, Professor Henson teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses in Organizational Behavior, Human Resource Management, Executive Leadership, Cross-Cultural Management, Team Development, International Business, Global Management Strategy, and Strategic Management.  He is also on the faculty of the RBS International Executive MBA Program, where he travels overseas (China, Singapore) to teach. 




Not only is Professor Henson a dedicated teacher, but he is also an avid blogger. His blog was recently ranked by OnlineMBA.com as one of the top 50 business blogs by business professors.

Advice on Developing a Global Mindset

So you have heard that many multinational firms today want their new hires and managers to have a global mindset.  Yes, you say to yourself, that makes sense, since many firms today do business around the world, sell products globally, and have employees from different regions. 

But you are not sure what having a global mindset means.  You have a passport, and you have traveled overseas.  Perhaps you are a second-generation American, whose parents immigrated to the United States.  Or perhaps you came from overseas to study at RBS.  You have taken courses in international business and global strategy, and you have friends from different parts of the world.  You are familiar with the business issues that multinationals face when they do business in different countries, and you are aware of some of the cross-cultural challenges that these businesses face when they try to implement their policies and practices in different countries.  Does that mean that you have a global mindset?

There are two words that I have converted to acronyms that I’d like you to remember.  The first is FACE.  Global mindset is a mental attitude, an inclination.  It is not a behavior, but it should predict behavior.  In my own experience and interviews with executives and students, I would say there are four components to global mindset you can easily remember with the acronym FACE:  Flexibility, Acceptance/Openness, Curiosity, and Cross-Cultural Empathy.  So having a global mindset means that when you interact or work with people from different cultures, you need to: be flexible; learn to accept different points of view and to be open about them; be curious about other cultures; and develop empathy by trying to put yourself in the other person’s shoes.

If these are the four orientations to having a global mindset, what can you do practically to develop it?  The second word I’d like you to remember is the acronym ROPE, which stands for Reading, Observing, Practicing, and Experiencing. 

First, reading.  Yes, you can read randomly and surf the internet to learn about other cultures and global issues, but it’s better to be focused.  Pick a country or two you are interested in (for example, countries of the colleagues or customers you are interacting with), and spend at least 15 minutes daily learning more about that country – its politics, its business environment, its history, its people, what consumers in that country are like, and what it’s like to do business in that country. 

Second, observe.  No, you don’t have to be a voyeur or an eavesdropper.  But when you are watching a foreign movie, or are observing people from other cultures talk or interact, step back and pay attention especially to the non-verbals – their body language, their use of personal space, the tone and manner of speech.  Another suggestion is to observe the interactions during meetings with global teams or with people from different cultures.  Find someone to help you “de-brief” these meetings, especially around the group dynamics and interactions, to get a better understanding of how people communicate cross-culturally.

Third, practice.  Here’s a suggestion.  When you enter a classroom for a new course, do you tend to look for a familiar face and then instantly sit down beside that person?  Next time, look for a person you don’t know, even someone who you think may be from another culture, and introduce yourself.  After establishing rapport and gauging the person’s comfort level, ask questions about his or her country in a general way (e.g., “What’s the weather like this time of year?”).  More often than not, that person will appreciate your interest and you will be able to make a connection and build a relationship.

Fourth, experience.  Break up your routine and get out of your comfort zone once in a while.  There are a lot of different ways you can do this.  For example, when at a restaurant, order a dish that you have never had before.  Or better still, go to places that offer a different type of food than what you are used to.  Once in a while, take a different route in your commute.  Once a week, leave your mobile phone at home.  The point of these small changes to your habits will be to help you expand the range of your comfort zone so you can become more adept at “going with the flow” in the future.

The bottom line - global mindset is about having an attitude of eagerness, curiosity, learning and openness about different cultures and the people from those cultures.  Of course it helps if you are well traveled.  But I know people who travel to different countries and only stay at American hotels, eat only American food, and hang out only with other Americans (you can replace “American” with whatever your nationality or cultural identity might be).

As it turns out, your RBS colleagues have an intuitive idea of global mindset, as you probably do also.  From my classes, here are some of their replies to the question of what global mindset means to them:
 “Global mindset means that you are aware of your environment, of others and the impact of ideas and events in your business, strategy or position.”

“Taking a more macro look at things … understanding that things won’t work the same all over the world, and taking that into account.”

“Having an understanding that countries have different cultures, and going into each country, one must always be aware and sensitive to that country’s cultural ways.”

 “Someone who understands or has an open mind to understand different cultures and how these affect the outcomes of decisions.”

“Putting yourself in the other culture’s shoes.”

“Listening and resisting reflexive judgments.”

“Your way is not always the right way.”

“Understanding that different countries/cultures have different ways of doing things.  They value certain things differently.  A global mindset has to take all of that into consideration and be open-minded and willing to compromise.” 

For further reading, here are five highly recommended books:
          
Charan, R.  (2013)  Global Tilt.  Crown Business.  
Gundling, E.  (2003)  Working GlobeSmart.  Nicholas Brearley Publishing.
Nisbett, R.  (2004)  The Geography of Thought.  The Free Press.
Reid, T. R.  (2000)  Confucius Lives Next Door.  Vintage.
Morrison, T. and Conaway, W.  (2006)  Kiss, Bow or Shake Hands.  Adams Media.

For more wisdom on Global Management, visit Professor Henson’s blog: