Thursday, June 27, 2013

Collaborate to Graduate

MSBA Graduate Neil Watson
Neil Watson job report.  Congratulations Neil! - Professor McHie

Before I started working at TaylorMade-adidas Golf (TMaG) here in Carlsbad, just north of San Diego, I enjoyed the game of golf primarily because of its focus on individual talent.  Unlike other sports which require a concerted effort of many players working to win as a team against other teams, golf was mostly about man vs. nature – the struggle of a single person battling the all-too picturesque elements of courses carved into the face of nature.  You had your caddy, sure, but at the end of the day is was up to you walk off the course victorious or defeated.

Part of a winning team:
US Open Champion Justin Rose
I could not have been more wrong!  When Justin Rose (who happens to be a TaylorMade staff professional player) won the US Open at Merion recently, he was not alone out there shooting at the red wicker baskets.  Rather, he had a whole team working with him to achieve a championship win.  And let me tell you… I have never felt prouder to be part of a winning team than when he held up that silver cup Sunday.

In fact, the only thing typical about a day at TMaG is that team spirit.  It’s always present – permeating the entire corporate culture.  We succeed as a team; we falter as a team.  The team demands your best performance and you want to deliver on those high expectations because they are your team.

Working here reminds me of something Prof. McHie told us students our first day at CUA,
TaylorMade-adidas Headquarters
in Carlsbad, CA
“Collaborate to graduate.”  That same idea – individual and collective success is the result of team work – is our mantra here at TMaG and nothing could have prepared me better for this environment than the MSBA program.

Neil and his winning teammates
Many graduate business schools boast of their cohort models and emphasis on team work.  While I have no doubt that many of them succeed in this, few can match the real world team experience that the MSBA program offers.  I have no doubt in my mind that without an experience like this, I would not have been hired by TMaG or be able to readily adapt to such a team oriented culture.

Neil Watson
MSBA Class of 2013
Read More »

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Strategy session

Thanks Jack Yoest, Jen Barbara, Jonathan Roydon, and Becket Adams from the Blaze on the phone for helping me figure out our twitter and blog strategies
Stewart McHie, Director- MSBA
Read More »

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Caroline Gangware quoted in US News and World Report

Caroline Gangware, Sales Manager at TrendPo, was recently quoated in a US News and World Report on social media dominance among politicians. Caroline is a graduate of the University of Illinois and the Catholic University MSBA program.

Stewart McHie
Director, MSBA Program
Read More »

Monday, June 24, 2013

MSBA Grads Land Great Jobs

This years graduating class has landed awesome jobs at Taylormade Golf in Carlsbad, CA, Carat Media in NYC, TrendPo, Amtrack, Infinitive, San Miguel School, GWU, USIS, Trees for the Future in DC and more. Watch this space for their stories.

Stewart McHie, Director- MSBA
Read More »

Monday, June 17, 2013

Warren Buffett is Bullish...on Women

Attention all Women...And Men!

 I found this Interview with Warren Buffett in the May 20 issue of Fortune Magazine to be enlightening and thought provoking.  And a call to action, not so much for women who already know this, but for also for you guys out there.

Warren Buffett with the late Katharine
Graham of the Washington Post in 1980
Let me state that I don't have any shares in Berkshire Hathaway so I'm not shilling for Buffett.  I do have two daughters however and this is important for them.

Read the whole article but here is the excerpt that really got my attention:

"Start with the fact that our country's progress since 1776 has been mind-blowing, like nothing the world has ever seen. Our secret sauce has been a political and economic system that unleashes human potential to an extraordinary degree. As a result, Americans today enjoy an abundance of goods and services that no one could have dreamed of just a few centuries ago."

"But that's not the half of it -- or, rather, it's just about the half of it. America has forged this success while utilizing, in large part, only half of the country's talent. For most of our history, women -- whatever their abilities -- have been relegated to the sidelines. Only in recent years have we begun to correct that problem."-- Warren Buffett

How far have we come?  Check out this article in the Washington Post on June 8 titled, "52 years later, she responds".  In a letter sent by Harvard in 1961 in response to this student's application, Professor Doebele writes; 

"However -- to speak directly -- our experience, even with brilliant students, has been that married women find it difficult to carry out worthwhile careers in planning, and hence tend to have some feeling of waste about the time and effort spent in professional education."

Now before we jump all over poor Professor Doebele, which the on-line community is already doing, let's remember the times and the reality of that day and age, half a century ago.  He was simply reflecting the reality of past experience up to that point in time.  

So like Buffett (it's all we have in common I suppose) I too am "an unqualified optimist" about the future of our country.  Add to our technology advances of the last few decades this doubling of brainpower and creativity and talent.  And we won't even have to wait 300 years more to see where it takes us. I see it every day in the classroom.

Stewart McHie
Director, Master of Science in Business Analysis

Read More »

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Five Lessons (Re-)Learned in a Day at TED – Part 5

Lessons from TED – Number 5

Lesson Number 5: But remember… You are AWESOME!!!

Mr. Havard's book.
Part of the MSBA
If you think this lesson is contradictory to Number 4, then I highly suggest picking up Created for Greatness by Alexandre Havard.  It is one of the first books that we read in the MSBA program and forms the basis for many of our discussions on leadership throughout the program.  In the book, Mr. Havard explores the idea that the virtues of magnanimity and humility are essential for success in any endeavor.  As Mr. Havard makes clear, you have to have the humility to put your pride aside and to recognize your human limits.  At the same time, when you stop and think about human limitations… There is very little that we cannot accomplish.  As humans, “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.”

Put differently (in the words of one celebrated TED speaker), “The miracle of your mind is that you can see the world as it isn't.  You can
imagine the future… Remember the past…”  Think of all that has been
If we can put a man on the moon...
achieved in human existence:  From the building of ancient wonders to modern day parenting…  From daily farming in the Middle Ages to landing on the moon…  From Eden to infinity and beyond…  You get to share in the human experience in a way that no one else has or will or can…. You – and you alone – bring to humanity a completely different perspective.

You have an awesome story to share, so live your life like it’s a TED Talk.  Take the stage, cue the presentation, and go for it!  If you need a starting point, just remember:  You see the world as no one else does.  What could be more awesome than that?

Neil Watson
MSBA Class of 2013

Thank you Neil for this inspiring 5 part series based on your experiences at the most recent TED conference.  Neil has accepted a job at Taylormade golf company in southern California and will be teaching part time at his Alma mater JP Catholic.  Also, Neil and his wife Anna will continue to work at the annual TED conferences.  It was a pleasure having you in the class of 2013 Neil.

Stewart McHie
Director, Master of Science in Business Analysis
Read More »

Thursday, June 6, 2013

USA Today - New Business School aims to build moral corporate leaders

USA Today published an article about the unique nature of Catholic University's
approach to developing the business leaders of tomorrow.  Here is the article in it's entirety

In an effort to prevent the next Ponzi scheme or insider-trading scandal, Catholic University of
McMahon Hall -- which houses the School of Business
and Economics -- on the campus of The Catholic
University of America
America's new business school will integrate ethics and finance to mold students into moral corporate leaders.

Touted as the intersection between faith and business, the Washington, D.C., university will employ a value-based method that infuses integrity, morals and religious principles with traditional lessons in management, accounting and marketing.

"A lot of people have developed a poor view of business and business people, and you can understand why," said Stewart McHie, director of Catholic's graduate business program. "We all see the need for more ethical business people to be trained."

To create a new ethical approach, the university turned its business department, with about 400 undergraduates and 40 graduate students, into the School of Business and Economics in January. The first class since the school's creation graduated in May.

The school's faculty is currently working to revamp the business curricula over the summer so ethics discussion is infused into all classes on a daily basis.

For example, instead of just teaching general accounting principles, a course will examine which principles help best serve customers or a constituency, McHie said. Lessons will look beyond financial success to examine a company's ethics.

The school's dean, Andrew Abela, said the approach is unique because most business schools have only separate ethics courses or devote one class to ethics, as opposed to Catholic's daily integration of ethics into every class.

Carley Gartner, 18, a rising sophomore at Catholic, said she chose the school's business program specifically because she was looking to gain a value-based business education.

"I knew they were getting the business school and that it was going to be rooted in ethics," she said. "I knew it would set me up with the ethical background that I need."

Gartner said her friends at other business schools did not seem to have the same intense ethics study. She said she didn't consider some other Catholic schools, such as Georgetown University or Notre Dame University, that mix business and faith because they did not have as strong of a religion-based program.

Shirley Lee, 19, a rising junior at New York University's Stern School of Business, also said Catholic's school is unique. At NYU, business students take an ethics class each year on a different topic, but Lee said students did not always take the lessons beyond that course.

"It's only one class that really pushes social responsibility," she said. "I don't think people understand the gravity of our jobs. We're handling other people's money."

Students know what is illegal, Lee said, but the gray areas are where many ethical lapses occur.

McHie said that there is a "right" way to conduct business — always making ethical decisions, even in ambiguous situations. This is a skill he says the university tries to help students develop using the Catholic tenet of commerce as a service to society.

The idea for the business school's new approach came from its master's program, which factors Catholic values into every class and has no distinct ethics course.

Jenna Antos, 24, graduated from the master's program in 2011 and said it helped to shape her perspective on business in her job at data management company NetApp.

"It really changes the mindset; it's not just about management and administration," she said. "You really understand business as an ethical practice rather than a money-making way of life."

The master's program's focus on honesty and integrity was something her employer admired, and it made her a strong candidate when she applied, Antos said.

McHie said the school urges students to shirk corporate greed and scandal in favor of moral grounding and social benefit.

The goal is for business students to understand the responsibility they have as professionals to treat colleagues and customers with dignity, he said.

"If we can prevent one Enron down the road, if we can prevent one WorldCom, it's certainly worthwhile," McHie said.

Ally Mutnick is a summer 2013 Collegiate Correspondent.
Read More »

Monday, June 3, 2013

Lesson 4 of 5 from TED - Humility

Five Lessons (Re-)Learned in a Day at TED – Part 4
Lesson Number 4: You’re not as awesome as you think you are.

 Much to Prof. McHie’s dismay and disappointment – this blog post has been a long time coming.  I apologize for the delay as I got caught up in finals and graduation and moving and etc…

My new office in Carlsbad, CA
To be honest, I have written this blog post several times.  Its central theme – humility – is one of those topics that you have to tread carefully in speaking of.  I personally don’t believe in the “Gold Star” culture that dominates a lot of our daily activities, but I also believe in empowering others by giving credit where credit is due.  However, as I opened my draft this morning to proof read what I had written a few weeks ago, it struck me that with all that has recently happened in my life, this lesson from TED was particularly relevant. 

A lot of really good things have happened in my life and that is great cause for celebration: I graduated with my MSBA and earned a 4.0 GPA in the process.  I moved into a nice new apartment close to the beach in San Diego.  I started a fantastic new job at TaylorMade Golf.

Jack Andraka at TED2013
 All of these things recently had me in an “I’m pretty awesome” mood.  So when I opened my previous draft, I thought back to TED and what made me think of this lesson in the first place: meeting Jack Andraka.  If you don’t know about Jack and his story, I highly suggest taking a moment to read about him on the TED website here.  If ever there was a moment in my life to believe that I’m not as awesome as I think, it was meeting Jack.  After all, what I have accomplished in an even longer life than him?

CUA commencement
Congrats Class of 2013!
Remembering my time at TED with Jack quickly put me back in my place.  In the MSBA program, you always have a lot going for you.  Your professors are encouraging and they root and cheer for your success every step of the way.  Your classmates are smart and challenge you intellectually in ways you never could have thought.  You go to school on a beautiful campus in an incredibly amazing city.  All of this culminates in an indescribable feeling of proud accomplishment that you get to celebrate at Commencement.  It’s easy to think, “Wow!  I am awesome!” just as I had been doing the last several weeks.

But it is in moments exactly like that when it’s important to remember the Jack Andrakas of the world.  Step back and remember, you’re not as awesome as you think.  Don’t think of it as a put down, but as a challenge – an opportunity to become as awesome as those you admire most.

Neil Watson
MSBA Class of 2013
Read More »