February 13, 2012

This is Good Business

Post By:
Matt Scott, MS-MBA 2013
Rob Gordon, MBA 2013
Sam Cecala, MS-MBA 2013

The first semester of BU’s full time MBA program culminates with the Integrated Project, a semester-long team assignment integrating the skills and techniques learned in the core courses of accounting, finance, statistics, marketing, organizational behavior and especially executive skills. The project centers on selecting a neglected consumer product brand and developing an acquisition and revitalization plan. At the end of the semester, each team presents to their respective cohorts and professors, and the best team from each cohort is judged by a panel of alumni and industry experts in the “Best of the Best” finals, the last event of the semester. Among all of the great presentations in our cohort, we were honored to have been selected by our peers to represent cohort D.
This is the story of how our team won the whole thing.

Before we even knew the details of the project, our team was sent on a scavenger hunt through Boston. We probably should have taken some pictures of this, but we didn’t. Still, we had a great time.

Here’s a quick rundown of our squad: 

Matt Scott: Former pro tennis player and health care researcher. When asked to describe himself, Matt says he “carries his stress in his hips.”

Rob Gordon: Michigan alum, Dunkin Donuts enthusiast, and Tom Brady apologist. Despite his carefree demeanor, he has a shockingly in-depth knowledge of hair care products for men and women alike.

Guo Shan: The most patient Chinese language instructor we could hope for. If there’s a harder worker in the BU MBA program, we’d like to meet her. She also moonlights as a private detective. Role models include Angela Lansbury and Gene Parmesan (he’s the best).

Jess Friesen: Raised in Malaysia, schooled in Illinois and awesome the world over, Jess kept us grounded and smiling throughout it all. Jess always sneezes 5 times—no more, no less.

Andres Biguria: A supply chain guru, don’t let his name or ridiculous impressions fool you, he’s not Italian–he’s from Guatemala by way of Memphis, and loves joking about your dad.

Sam Cecala: The ideas man. This wasn’t always a good thing, but was usually entertaining. He has amassed and publicized a large collection of Matt Scott quotations on current events that oddly parallel those made by public figures.

Without doing too much preliminary research (you can make yourself crazy overanalyzing at this stage), our team selected the hair care category on the advice of Guo Shan. We then selected the Selsun Blue brand on the advice of our resident hair expert, Rob Gordon, whose life mission was to bring back the old slogan “Never wear black without the blue.” Words to live by. 

Over the first half of the semester we held weekly team meetings and analyzed purchase and promotion data from the AC Nielsen database. Central to our research agenda was getting to the bottom of key consumer attributes, namely: Who is the purchaser? Who is the user? (But you just told me you were the purchaser!) BU’s first-rate library resources, professors, and second-year students were instrumental throughout the journey. The project is daunting, but proved rewarding as we applied the concepts and methods we learned in class. 

Everything was multiplied after our interim presentation, as we began to develop our marketing and brand revitalization plan alongside our final valuation. Although we had one sleepless night before the final product was done, coming together to give our final presentation to our cohort and professors was exhilarating, and getting to do it again for the entire MBA class and faculty was even better. 

We could write about this stuff all day, but we’re getting our hair did this afternoon, so we’ll wrap up our tale with some pictures. Please enjoy.

Here’s us at the reception after taking home the prize

The night before our pitchbook deadline. We pulled an all-nighter… Things got weird.

The IP will come to define your first semester in the full time program. You’ll learn a ton, you’ll lose some sleep, and no matter how arduous the process, you will come to appreciate it in the end.

Matt Scott is a first-year MS-MBA in the Health Sector Management Program

Rob Gordon is a first-year MBA with a Finance Concentration

Sam Cecala is a first-year MS-MBA with a Leadership and Organizational Transformation concentration

Bookmark and Share

No comments:

Post a Comment