H1 (the first half) of the spring semester has just flown by! As I mentioned before, I am taking six courses this semester, but two of those courses (Pricing and Leadership) are already completed! Pricing was an interesting course because it made us take a look at pricing using a different framework than we're used to. Through a mixture of lectures, cases, and games in class, we had the opportunity to learn how to use this new framework in all sorts of pricing contexts from Keurig coffee makers to steel strapping. The other class is Leadership Tools and Teams. In this course we learned about a concept called X-teams (developed by our professor) and used it to create a product in only six weeks! We needed to come up with a leadership product for MIT Sloan, and our team developed an ethics SIP course based on a current MIT Sloan elective, Literature, Ethics and Authority. We're hoping that, with this SIP offering, more students will have the opportunity to take this remarkable ethics course. Even though I've completed these two courses, I still have four excellent courses that will be continuing through H2. I'll have to talk more about those in my next entry.
One of the things that I've been working on lately is the selection of new Pilots for the Orientation Leadership Program. Pilots are student leaders who are selected at the end of their first year to act as mentors and coaches for the incoming first-year core teams. I truly enjoyed my experience as a Pilot and am thrilled to be a part of the recruitment and selection of new Pilots. A small group of second-years and representatives from MBA Student Affairs worked together to develop a new process this year. We started with nominations where anyone in the MIT Sloan community could nominate students who they thought would make great Pilots. Last week, I led the interview process for the nominees. I was really impressed with the quality of the applicants and I look forward to welcoming the Pilots for the Class of 2009!
Speaking of the Class of 2009, we had our first AdMIT weekend on March 3-4. I had such a great time and the Class of 2009 is amazing! I love getting to meet the newly admitted students. I'm actually kind of jealous because they are just at the beginning of their life-changing MBA experience. I hope the AdMITs enjoyed the weekend as much as we did, and that many of them will be attending MIT Sloan in the fall.
Ilyse delivering drinks to the panelists during AdMIT Weekend
AdMIT Weekend panelists discussing their G-Lab experiences
(Photos courtesy of Jeremy Gilbert)
I just got back from a terrific IAP. For G-Lab, I had the opportunity to go to Tokyo for three weeks in January. My team and I had such a great time. Monday through Friday we were busy working hard on our project for a major advertising agency. On the weekends, we had lots of time to explore all that Tokyo had to offer. We were even able to go to a Sumo tournament and Tokyo Disney during our visit. My favorite part though had to be trying all of the different food. I have to admit that I was a bit apprehensive about the food I was going to eat, but I was pleasantly surprised by my options and how much of the food I liked. My favorite was probably shabu shabu, which is where you get thin cuts of beef and dip it in a boiling oil and water mixture (see picture below). By the end of our visit, it didn't even feel like we were tourists, but more like permanent residents. I think that's the best part of the G-Lab experience: It's something you would never get to do otherwise. We were able to spend three weeks working in another country and learning all about doing business in that culture, but at the same time we were able to be tourists and see all of the sights. I'm sure I will look back at G-Lab as one of my best MIT Sloan experiences.
Now that I'm back at school, I am right back in the swing of things. I love my classes so far. I am taking Technology Strategy, Applied Macro and International Economics, Finance Theory 2, Pricing, Leadership Tools and Teams, and Corporations at the Crossroads: The CEO Perspective. I definitely feel like I have a lot of work, but because I'm so interested in the material, I don't even mind! As the semester progresses, I will continue to update my journal with the highlights of these courses.
Of course, school being back in session doesn't just mean classes. Now is the time that we transition our clubs to the first-year students. It's hard to believe that the second-years have been leading the clubs for a year already, and we'll soon be leaving campus. Another big event coming up is AdMIT Weekend! I, along with two other second-years, am leading the weekend with many first-year students heading up different committees. AdMIT Weekend is one of my favorite events at MIT Sloan going back to when I was an admitted student. So far the planning has been going well and I look forward to meeting all of the future Sloanies!
Part of my G-Lab team enjoying Shabu Shabu.
The Tokyo G-Lab team in Asakusa.
Last week the Tasting Club hosted the first annual Great Cookie Contest, which was featured in the latest issue of News @ MIT Sloan. It was such a fun event! Sixteen Sloanies (including SOs and staff) baked their best cookies and brought them to E51 for the contest. We had an editor's choice, which was selected by our esteemed panel of judges: Mr. Murali “Cookie Monster” Krishnan, MBA '07, Ms. Kathleen Poe, MBA '07, former co-owner of Craigie Street Bistro in Cambridge, Ms. Susan Rogol, MBA '08, former Senior Associate Food Editor at Martha Stewart Living Omnnimedia, and Ms. Laura Wilcox, a serious foodie, from MBA Student Affairs. We also let students vote for their favorites and awarded a taster's choice award. It was a great event that I hope becomes a tradition here at MIT Sloan.
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to take a tour of the MIT Media Lab. It's one of those places that MIT is known for and it was very cool to have access to it as a student at MIT Sloan (a special thanks to the MIT Innovation Club for organizing the visit). Sometimes it's easy to just stay within the confines of E51, but it's great to see the cutting-edge work being done throughout the Institute.
Tomorrow is the MIT Sloan Talent Show, which I have been working on as a member of the MIT Sloan Activities Board. The event begins with hors d'oeuvres and wine (courtesy of the Vintner's Club) and then there will be two hours of acts from some of my very talented classmates. I remember being quite impressed by last year's show and I know this year will be no different.
After that, I just have to wrap up my TA duties and then it's time for break! I'm looking forward to spending some time with my husband's family here in Boston and then flying to Chicago to see my family at the end of the month. Then, before I know it, I will be off to Tokyo for G-Lab! I can't wait!
This semester has been keeping me quite busy. Even though my job search is over, my classes and TA and club responsibilities have been enough to fill my Outlook calendar. Right after my last entry, I found out my G-Lab team is heading to Tokyo over IAP! My dad used to travel to Tokyo a lot on business and always told me how much he loved the city, so I'm looking forward to finally experiencing it for myself. My team has been working hard doing preliminary research in preparation for our trip. We will be working on the project here in Cambridge until December and then we'll head to Tokyo just after the new year to work with the company in person. We actually submitted our first deliverable to our client today and I think it's really starting to come together!
This semester I'm a TA for Data, Models, and Decisions (DMD), which is a core course for first-year MBA students. It covers the basics of quantitative methods that are used in business decisions. Being a TA is a large time commitment because it consists of attending lectures, holding office hours, teaching recitations, and grading homework, but it's definitely worth it. It's been a great way to get to know some of the first-year students as well as reinforce the material I learned last year.
Today I had the opportunity to attend a presentation by the president of The Marmaxx Group (T.J. Maxx and Marshalls). We learned all about off-price retailing, which I found fascinating and based on the number of questions that were asked, it looked like the other students were very interested and engaged as well. I was also able to attend a small private lunch with the president, another executive and a few members of the Retail and Consumer Goods Club. I feel so lucky to be at MIT Sloan where there types of opportunities come up all of the time!
Thursday night is the South Asian C-function. Last year, at the last minute, I decided to participate in the fashion show. It was so much fun that I decided to do it again this year! I'll have to make sure I get a picture, so I can post it with my next entry!
Settling back into school life was easier than I expected. Right away I was swept up with Orientation activities for the Class of 2008. I am a pilot for a great group of six first-year students who come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences. It's hard to believe that I was in their shoes just one year ago.
Classes are in full swing now. I'm taking a wide range of courses including Listening to the Customer, where I learn about qualitative market research, Basic Business Law, System Dynamics, and Power and Negotiation. I actually just finished a mock negotiation with Murali earlier today. I am also taking G-Lab (Global Entrepreneurship Lab) this semester. Tomorrow we find out where our team is headed over IAP and I can't wait! Seeing as I have never worked internationally, I'm really looking forward to the experience.
Clubs are also very busy already. For the Marketing Club, we've already had several speakers (from GE and Bain) come to campus, and this week we have speakers from Dell and LinkedIn. We also have treks planned this coming weekend to Dunkin' Donuts and Samuel Adams. For the Tasting Club, we had an MIT Sloan alumna who started her own chocolate tasting business come in last week and do a tasting for our members. So much fun! And so much good chocolate! Oh, and this Wednesday, I am going to a lunch with the CEO/CMO of Aeropostale that was organized by the Retail and Consumer Goods Club.
In other news, I received a full-time job offer from Bose and have decided to return there when I graduate next spring. As I mentioned before, I had a great summer internship and am looking forward to starting my post-MBA career there. In the meantime, I plan to make the most of my second year at MIT Sloan!
Is it really almost September already? This summer has just flown by. I can't even believe that it's been one week since I finished up my internship at Bose. My internship ended up exceeding my expectations. I am now confident that marketing is the right job function for me and I think Bose may be the place for me to work as well. Only time will tell, but at least I know that this experience will serve me well wherever my career takes me.
Back to school in just over a week. Well, that's not exactly true. Classes start the day after Labor Day, but my school commitments have already begun. This past Wednesday, I gave a presentation to incoming first-year students about IT classes at MIT Sloan. Starting this Sunday, I will begin training to be a pilot for first-year students. As a pilot, I will help guide one core team of six or seven students through orientation and their first year at MIT Sloan. I am looking forward to meeting all of the new students as well as reconnecting with the second-years who are returning from spending their summers all over the world.
In the meantime, which is only a couple of days at this point, I am planning on just relaxing and enjoying the rest of summer here in Boston. Maybe I'll even read all those books I intended to read this summer ... ok, hopefully at least one will get read!
Six weeks down, six to go. I can't believe I am halfway done with my internship already! I have been having such a great time at Bose; I don't want the internship to end so soon. I am fortunate to work with really smart and fun people, which makes it exciting to go to work every day.
During my internship, I have spent a lot of my time doing primary market research, which has been a great learning experience and reinforced the notion that I want to go into marketing upon graduation. I have also had the opportunity to attend meetings outside of my department to see how things work throughout the company, which I know will help make me a better businessperson.
While I'm sad that my internship will be winding down shortly, it means that it will soon be time to head back for my second year at MIT Sloan! In my free time this summer, I have already begun planning for the upcoming year. The Marketing Club is busy gearing up for the arrival of the first-years and we're even starting to plan for the AdMIT weekend for the Class of 2009!
However, that doesn't mean that I forgot about my fellow 2007 classmates. My husband, Brian, and I just went into downtown Boston earlier this week to watch the Fourth of July fireworks with a fellow Sloanie and her husband. This weekend, Brian and I are going to head to upstate NY to visit another Sloanie who is interning in Rochester. We're going to take the opportunity to tour some of our favorite wineries in the Finger Lakes region, including the one where my husband and I had our wedding reception three years ago. Hanging out with fellow students has definitely kept us busy this summer, but I wouldn't want it any other way!
Wow. My first year is done. I finished up my finals just over a week ago and am still in shock that I am halfway through this amazing MBA experience. There is so much to say about my experiences at MIT Sloan, but I suppose I'll have plenty of time to do that over the summer and in the coming year. At this point, I'll just give a quick overview of what led me to my current internship with Bose, which I just started this week!
I came to MIT Sloan ready to combine my experience in retail management with an MBA focused on operations to work in supply chain for a large retailer. I had no idea that after taking Marketing Management with Duncan Simester that this plan would change. During the core, I took a lot of great courses, but marketing was something I really took to. So, I did a MarketLab project in the fall with ALDO (the shoe and accessory company based in Montreal, Canada) to see how much I would actually like doing marketing work. The MarketLab program is a great opportunity that the Marketing Club offers for students to do a volunteer consulting project for a company, while in the midst of the MBA program. It's a way to instantly take the tools you are using in the classroom and apply them to a real real-world situation.
After that excellent experience, I decided to do an externship, which I found through the MIT Alumni Office. An MIT Sloan alumnus working at Unica Corporation was looking for an extern to work on a Market Opportunity Analysis. For four weeks, I had the chance to test out doing market research as a full-time job.
After these two experiences, in addition to my courses in marketing at MIT Sloan, I was convinced that I wanted to try a summer internship in marketing. I was fortunate to find the perfect internship for me at Bose. One thing I had been reminded of over and over again was that if I was to go into marketing, I need to market something that I am passionate about. Well, seeing as music has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember, Bose seemed like a great fit! Also, I'm working in a group that works closely with their retail stores, so I still get to use my past work experience as well. After one week on the job, my initial excitement about starting work has yet to fade and I'm hoping it lasts through the summer!