Monday, May 30, 2011

Week 9 rundown

Activity 3/27 4/034/104/174/245/01 5/085/155/22
Intl Biz Strat 8.410.711.910.819.313.
Mktg Strat 4.813.912.812.717.36.810.314.316.4
HR Mgmt 11.86.613.710.
* Note that 3 hours each week is spent in class

I'm a little bit late getting out part 9 in this 10-part series thanks to a Marketing Strategy presentation that we have to give tomorrow. Although I tried to avoid presenting this time because I'm taking the class Pass/Fail, I was unsuccessful. So I'll be one of the two up there tomorrow.

Overall, I'd say the theme last week was winding things down.

International Business Strategy
We had a nice and easy week, with very little to read or prepare for both classes. In the first class, we talked about Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), including why a firm would elect to do a FDI and the pitfalls of doing so. In the second class we had a nice "debate" (it was really a discussion) about trade policy in the US. The two positions were whether or not we should adopt a more open or closed policy going forward. Lots of good discussion, and in the end the class overwhelmingly supported a more open policy (via these awesome clicker voter things that we use in class sometimes). Our final presentation is tomorrow on Friday, but I don't have anything to do for it fortunately. I'll probably just help answer questions as necessary.

Marketing Strategy
Although I'm taking this class Pass/Fail (it's called Credit/No Credit here), I've on average been spending more time on it than any of the others. I can't say I'm surprised though, as it is known to have a heavy workload. This week, I spent a lot of time working on tomorrow's presentation, which is an update of our Markstrat simulation results and plans going forward (if the simulation were to continue).

I was hoping to do something more creative for the presentation to save the class from a boring "consulting-style" deck, but ultimately we decided to go with the standard slides, which are much easier to make I have to admit. You can't win 'em all!

Professor Calkins even supported the style, saying in an email that it was appropriate and would probably make it more memorable. So take note! You can have fun with this presentation if you are in Calkins' class.

This is what the creative one was looking like (stripped of all pertinent information about the simulation or our strategy).








I'm not going to lie...I love making presentations. Call it perverse, but I think there is something really fun about crafting a good story.

Human Resource Management
We also had a relatively slow week in this class, though I spent a lot of time on it preparing for the final, which we get tomorrow night. We talked about discrimination, both taste-based and statistical, and the impact that it has on determining wages for the minority group in a market. The key takeaway was that less discriminatory firms can make a profit by taking advantage of a discriminatory environment to higher employees for less-than-market wages. Apparently, when Alan Greenspan had a consulting firm, all of his top lieutenants were women because he could hire them cheaper than male economists while getting the same, if not better, quality. Pretty interesting stuff.

We also had an awesome guest speaker from Deloitte talking to us about their women's initiative, which was the subject of the case we prepared for class. Before she took on the job of leading the initiative, she worked in both strategy consulting and PE (M&A mainly) roles. She was extremely entertaining and very direct about the challenges in her role.

I'm really bummed that this class is coming to an end tomorrow night, though I'll be very happy when I'm done with the final.

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