January 30, 2012

Net Impact Conference

Post By:
Nolan Green
MBA Candidate, 2012

This year, four BU MBA students (along with nine undergrads) made a cross-country trek to Portland, Oregon for the Net Impact National Conference. Net Impact is a worldwide organization dedicated to leveraging the resources of business for the social good across all sectors. Those with an interest in working in Corporate Social Responsibility, cause marketing, non-profit management, social enterprise and other related fields tend to join Net Impact as a way of further exploring those interests. The conference was an opportunity for the future leaders of these spaces to network and share ideas, inspiration, and best practices.

It was also an opportunity to hear from those who have already proven their leadership in these areas. We heard from Sally Jewell, CEO of REI, the outdoor goods company about embedding sustainability into nationwide retail operations. We also heard from Hannah Jones, Chief Sustainability Officer of Nike, who described the journey that Nike had taken around social responsibility, being transformed into one of the thought and operations leaders in this space. Between the keynotes and the breakout sessions, nearly every topic under the Net Impact umbrella was covered by an expert in the field. In my sessions, I learned about marketing to socially-conscious consumers and companies who pay living wages while enjoying high levels of profitability, among other topics.Perhaps one of the most invaluable aspects of the conference was the expo, where approximately 80 corporations and non-profits showed up to educate the attendees on their sustainability and corporate responsibility efforts. This included a wide range of businesses, including Honest Tea, Target, and Sprint as well as non-profits serving a variety of causes. This was an opportunity to learn about these organization’s socially-conscious efforts and in a few cases, a chance to learn about job and internship opportunities.
If you are a sustainability, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), or non-profit junkie, I would highly recommend considering attending the conference next fall in Baltimore. Meanwhile, here at SMG, our graduate and undergraduate NI chapters are continuing to put on a number of exciting events, culminating in the BU Net Impact MBA case competition in the spring. For more information about Net Impact at BU, visit http://smgworld.bu.edu/clubnetimpact/.
(photos from the Net Impact website and Facebook page)

Nolan is a 2nd year MBA student in the PNP program, also concentrating in Marketing. He is the Vice President for External Relations for the GSM Net Impact Chapter. He is interested in a career in marketing for socially responsible businesses.

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January 26, 2012

Tips for putting together your best B-school application

Post By:
Meg Meyer
MBA/MPH Candidate, 2012

Check out the School of Management website. There is a lot of information about requirements, the current class profile, and how to visit us on the Graduate Admissions page.

Come visit BU in person. There is no better way to get a feel for the School of Management than to come see for yourself. You can visit a class, have coffee with a current student, and/or attend an Information Session to get a better idea of the programs.

Watch videos on our youtube channel. These kinds of videos will give you a good idea about what life as an MBA is like, what professors are doing, and what the different specialties are that we offer.

Figure out what kind of job and life you want on the other side of your MBA. The admissions team wants to know that a BU MBA will benefit you and help you move your career where you want it to go. If you can convince them that an MBA at BU is the missing link between where you are now and your dream job, it will greatly strengthen your application. Don’t be worried if you’re a career switcher, just explain your reasoning.

Make your essays BU-specific. After you have learned what the program offers, be sure to make your personal statement and other essays BU-specific. It’s really tempting to use the same essays for multiple schools but more often than not, the admission committee can tell if you’re forcing it!

Proof read. (enouigh said)

Think of your application holistically (because that is what the admissions team does). Everyone has strengths and weaknesses in different areas but the many parts of the application give you a chance to create a well-rounded picture of yourself. We do not have set minimum admission requirements, but we do have target ranges that we look for in certain areas of the application, including GMAT score, undergraduate grade point average, and quality and number of years of full-time work experience. The best way to assess the competitiveness of your application is to compare yourself to our class profile. Strengths in some areas may compensate for weaknesses in other areas and if there are any parts of your work or academic history that you thing need explaining, feel free to do so! For example, if your undergrad GPA is lower than you would have hoped for but you really picked it up during your last few semesters, you might want to explain what happened in an optional essay.

Give your recommenders plenty of time. It never looks good to rush someone that you are wanting a recommendation out of. It’s also a nice idea to thank them formally after. As an idea, I sent my recommenders BU mugs as a small thank you gift!

Practice for your interview and come prepared. If you get asked in for an interview, try to think of answers to questions you might get and practice what you might say. Be sure to bring a copy of your resume as well and be comfortable explaining everything on it. Good luck!

Meg is a second year MBA/MPH student studying Global Health Management. She is also the President of the new Global Health and Development Association. You may find her running around Boston with a backpack on or challenging people to dance-offs.

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January 23, 2012

What will you make of your time at BU's School of Management?

Post By:
Felipe Spinel MBA Candidate, 2012

Two years go by in the blink of an eye and here I am, done with my third semester and feeling a sudden desire for the program to last much longer. While trying to compile a list of the things that have made this one of the most exciting times of my life I came across the following:

World. Meeting people from all over the world was inspiring and eye-opening. The cultural differences were initially a puzzle and, later on, a source of amusement. For this reason, my wife and I decided that our summer internship was going to be a three-month “expedition” through Asia. Our trip took us to amazing places like the base camp of Mount Everest, the colored cities, palaces and forts in India’s Rajasthan, the crowded streets of Mumbai, paradise beaches in Cambodia, the Mekong River in southern Laos, the ancient temples of Angkor and the chaotic, sizzling cities of Vietnam.

Friends. Not only have the academic qualities of my classmates permanently raised the bar in class but also their diverse background and personal qualities have created strong, long-lasting friendships. The Cohorts have made it feel like a family.

Learning. Most of the best professors in my entire life I have met while at BU. Their styles vary incredibly but each one of them has special characteristics that make them outstanding. Whether it was their rigorousness, kindness, counseling, experience or simply fun and innovative teaching style, their unique ways definitely made my classes so much more enjoyable.

Boston. Finally, besides being one of the most innovative cities in the world, Beantown is essentially a huge campus. It is the Amazon jungle of knowledge, a bubbling pot where curiosity, ideas and science meet business and opportunities. I have had the chance to spend time on amazing things like setting up an electric car competition with fellow students from MIT, participate in (and win) BU’s Smart Lighting challenge, attend talks of several heads of state, speak to several CEO’s and intern for one of the most exciting Cleantech startups in the country. Networking events are non-stop, entrepreneurship is in the air, and serendipitous connections have happened to me in pubs, coffee shops or random parties at friend’s places.

Electric Car Competition

Mass Challenge Dinner with the Governor

BU has offered me all the elements to write my own story, what will YOU make out of your time at BU’s School of Management?

Felipe Spinel is a second year MBA student concentrating in strategy and business analysis. He has worked for companies in the IT and Oil&Gas industries and is passionate for the outdoors, mountain biking, entrepreneurship and the environment.

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January 18, 2012

Alternative housing: have you considered living on a boat?

Post By:
Carl Palme

MS-MBA Candidate, 2012

Life on a boat is fantastic! You get to live next to the ocean (literally) and are rocked to sleep every night. There is a great community in the marina and Charlestown is a great town. Even if you live on a small sailboat, the marina has showers, bathrooms, a mailroom, washers, dryers, grills, and even a covered pool for the winter months. The following is a satellite picture of the marina, and the map shows the distance (only three miles) from the marina to the Boston University Graduate School of Management.

There are several ways of getting to BU from the marina. On a nice day you can walk or take a bike, and on other days you can ride the subway. The closest “T” station is North Station on the Green Line. During the summer, life on a boat is a breeze. You come home to friendly people, and the smell of a sizzling grill. During the fall, the excitement winds down a little, but the Boston Bruins start the season and are just 10 minutes away. Here is a picture of me holding a faux Stanley Cup with the marina and the TD Garden behind me.
During the fall, the summer boats pack up and leave, and only the live-aboards stick around. There are approximately 100 of us that live on boats yearlong. The fall is beautiful in Charlestown. The leaves start changing colors, the days are shorter, and the breeze that you get from the ocean is always refreshing. Also, the sunsets are amazing as you can see from this picture. As the winter approaches, people start winterizing their boats. This includes shrink-wrapping it, adding antifreeze, and tying your boat well so you can brave the Nor’easter storms. The shrink-wrap is placed over the boat for several reasons. For starters, it keeps the snow off the surface of the boats. It also creates additional space on the top deck. And lastly, it creates a sort of Green House effect where the sun shines in during the day and the heat is trapped inside the shrink-wrap so your boat is nice and warm for the evening.
The winter isn’t so bad. Contrary to what people think, it is actually warmer than the mainland. The friendly staff at the marina keeps the snow and ice off the docks and your neighbors will invite you for a winter warmer. This picture shows what the marina looks like during the winter. All of the boats look like tents from the shrink-wrapping. As spring approaches, people like me tend to get overly eager and remove the shrink-wrap way too soon. I usually set up the grill on the top deck and start grilling during the first weeks of March. Finally, the warm months return and life is beautiful once again. It is definitely an interesting life, and one worth having and talking about. There are many housing alternatives in Boston, but few so interesting. The MBA Experience is so much fun, and I never thought I could make it even more interesting until I jumped on the opportunity of living on a boat.

Carl Palme is a 2nd Year MS-MBA with experience in Entrepreneurship, Operations, Marketing, and Boat Living. Most recently, he has been sighted sporting a mustache for Movember.
Follow @carlpalme on Twitter.

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January 12, 2012

The Cohort Cup

Post By:
Akshay Shah
MS-MBA Candidate, 2012

With all the time students spend on classwork, it can be easy to forget that you're allowed to have a little fun, too. Between classes and the Integrated Project, there's the Cohort Cup to help you meet your friends, meet new people, and unwind. The Cohort Cup is a competition between the cohorts, started by Dean Nolan in the mid-2000s. We hold various events throughout the year, such as:

- Cheers with Professors, where you can meet your professors outside the classroom at Cornwall's -- the local bar for BU MBA students
- Karaoke night
- Trivia night
- Basketball and soccer tournaments
- Pum
pkin carving contest and Halloween party
- March madness brackets
- Art show
- Talent contest

Each event is an opportunity for you to meet your fellow classmates and earn points based on attendance and performance (if applicable). The first objective is to get people out and mingling, letting people get to know each other outside the context of school. The second objective is that by having events that require preparation, such as the sporting events or talent, people who normally wouldn't work together can do so towards a common goal. It is before and during these events that clubs form, relationships are forged, and memories are made. Though it can get pretty competitive at times (we are, after all, MBA students), I've found that attending Cohort Cup events is a great way to get to know your classmates both within your cohort and outside it. It helps that we provide free drinks and appetizers at some of the events. As if the camaraderie, drinks, food, and competition weren't enough, the winning cohort gets a huge party thrown for them at the end of the year to celebrate, with food, drinks, and T-shirts commemorating the win!

Of course, the Cohort Cup events aren't the only social events for you to enjoy. The various student clubs hold Thirsty Thursdays at nearby bars, if you're looking for a little more variety. The Graduate Student Council also holds formal galas at the end of each semester. You're also free to organize something with your new-found friends, as well. And finally, you can always stop by Cornwall's. There are usually a few MBAs hanging out there at any time, "practicing" for the next event.

Akshay Shah is a 2nd year MS-MBA concentrating in Strategy & Business Analysis. He is on the Cohort Cup Committee, on the Graduate Student Council, and an Admissions Ambassador. Follow @aushah on Twitter.

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