Intersecting Minds: Education, Business and Technology at the North Carolina State Jenkins Graduate School of Management

Study Abroad Discussion

February 22, 2010
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On Friday, I had an opportunity to sit down with two first-year MBA’s who are planning to study abroad this fall. The conversation is in the YouTube below:

Listening to Derek and Emily talk about their excitement and what they hope to get out of the program was nice for me, too. Their thoughts reminded me again why I was so excited to go to Denmark and what I gained out of the trip on the other end. Cross-cultural immersion is a powerful experience, one that opens your eyes to just how big the world is, and how relativistic expectations and happiness can be. I’m a better, more thoughtful person for having gone through it, and I’m sure that while those two will have their own unique experiences, they will report similar conclusions when they return.

Derek and Emily are in for an amazing trip, and I wish them both the best.


Almost There

December 19, 2009
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My head is completely full of ideas to write about: COP15 and the Great Debate; Lunch with the Danes; all the developments in the economy, health care legislation and financial reform. But right now all of us are a little overwhelmed with the finale of this trip.

We’ve been saying goodbye to people for almost a week now, and as each person leaves a part of the experience leaves with them. For the next 48 hours I’m going to stay away from the computer and just soak the last of it in. There will be time to write over the Holiday Break, and I’ll fill in those stories then, but for now, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Glædlig Jule og godt Nytår!

The Last Week

December 15, 2009
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Early this morning I put the finishing touches on my last final, a 15-page essay for my Innovation Leadership class. Advanced Corporate Finance nearly killed me last Friday, but it’s already receding from view. And now here we are, a few days from departure back to the United States.

Last night we had our residence Goodbye Dinner, featuring the finest Mexican food, BBQ and sangria Denmark has to offer in the middle of December. I suppose I could talk about the bonding and the first goodbyes, but anything I would have to say would come out sounding trite.

Instead, I like to think about the wall decorations, sheets of paper covered with our favorite quotes, memories and experiences drawn out and posted for all to see. Not everyone knew every story. There’s no way 80 people are going to become best friends, no matter how long they are living together. But we all knew what at least some of those words and pictures meant. They were the collective experience spelled out for all.

Living this experience has been invaluable in so many respects. The classroom has been enriching, and I do feel like I’ve come away with hard earned skills, particularly in finance. But while the classroom has been intense at times, it really has been secondary to the people and the experiences. That daily ritual of seeing your friends, talking through your problems, and sharing good times and bad. I think people here are thinking a little more deeply about who they are, what they value, and how they’re going to take all of this back to their friends at home. There is no doubt coming here has been expensive, there’s no price tag that can measure the relationships that have been built. Our professors preach networking back at home, and now it feels pretty good knowing my network is global.

I’d also like to think we’re looking at the future. After all, isn’t this the direction the world is going? Smaller, faster, more interconnected. I believe we’re going to live in a world where we’ll be expected to communicate with each other and learn from each other. We’re all going to take this new perspective on the world home with us, and we will all benefit from it.

The Home Stretch

November 30, 2009
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I’m back in Copenhagen after an amazing 5 day trip home to San Jose, CA for Thanksgiving break. We’re now down to just 3 weeks left in the semester, and it’s become very obvious that our time here is coming to an end. The final exams are coming in droves, and the Facebook invites to semester end parties are landing at an even more furious pace.

It’s very bittersweet to even contemplate the end of this experience. It’s been so jam packed with eventfulness, emotion and learning that it’s hard to digest it all, and I don’t think I’ll really come to terms with it until I’ve been back in the States for awhile.

But in the meantime I’ll be focusing on enjoying every hour I can here (even if I have my head buried in books at the library, which is quite likely over the next 10 days). After my brief excursion to the States, those aspects of Denmark that I really enjoy: biking to school, flødekartoffler, the library at CBS, and most importantly, my friends have come into sharper focus than ever. I couldn’t be happier with my decision to study here, and now I just want to sit back and enjoy it while I can.

Studying Abroad

April 11, 2009
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The letter came in the mail today. I’ve been officially accepted to study abroad at Copenhagen Business School for the Autumn 2009 semester. Orientation is August 24th. Needless to say, I’m pretty excited about the whole thing, and I’m headed out to celebrate tonight with some classmates.

I’ll have much more to say about this over the coming weeks, as it will have a direct impact on this blog and its content over the summer and next fall. It should be fun.

Mid-Week School Update

January 28, 2009
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While I’ve been focusing a lot of my posts on the economy recently, a lot has still been happening with school. Here’s a quick recap of some events that happened this week and what else I’m looking forward to:

  • Completed 1,500-word market positioning paper with Team
  • Prepared for beginning of Marketing Simulation
  • Held first meetings for Purchasing semester-long, corporate partner project
  • Turned in final documents for Study Abroad application and scholarship
  • Covidien Site Tour coming up on Friday morning
  • Speed Networking event coming up on Friday evening

I’ll also be creating a new video tomorrow featuring two of my classmates who want to start their own companies after graduating from the program. Should be an interesting topic.

Steve Jobs and Study Abroad

January 15, 2009
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A quick note this morning before I head out the door. For anyone who follows the business world closely, Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple has announced that he will take a medical leave of absence from the company due to a “hormone imbalance.” This is sad news for a number of reasons. First, Jobs is a pillar of Apple and the hi-tech community in general. His product innovations over the last decade have revolutionized computing and entertainment. The iMac, MacBook, iPod and iPhone have become staples of American society. Jobs is so integral to what Apple does that shares dropped almost 8% yesterday on the news he was leaving.

Second, and on a more personal level, Jobs is simply a good guy. I saw him speak at my cousin’s commencement at Stanford University back in 2005. At that time, he had just returned to Apple after battling a severe bout of pancreatic cancer. He spoke about his personal journey, befriending Bill Gates, dueling with the board of Apple during the mid-1990’s, and the creation of Pixar. But most importantly, he told the students to follow their own path, to listen to their own hearts and to follow their own dreams. It was typical commencement speech stuff, but made incredibly powerful by the story of this man who had accomplished so much and come back from the dead (both literal and metaphorical) on numerous occasions. I wish him the best in his recovery.

On a completely unrelated note, I’m going to drop off my Study Abroad application at school today! While I still have one or two loose ends out there (filling out an Accommodation Application and a new FAFSA later this year), the vast majority of the work has been done. I’ll probably hear back as to whether or not I was accepted in mid-March.

Positive Direction

December 3, 2008
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Back from the break and already knocked out a presentation and a final for Management of Technology. Amazing how fast the time is going and can’t believe we’re a few days from the end of the first semester. A few quick points on some various topics:

Look for more video blogs following the winter break. We just purchased a new video camera for the College of Management which should boost our production quality quite a bit. We also have plenty of creative ideas to improve the content.

I’m making steady progress on the Study Abroad application. I have an individual advising appointment next week where I will hopefully learn more about Copenhagen in particular and what I need to do to round out the application.

We have 4 finals left. A public speaking final on Friday, then 3 exams for Econ, Statistics and Accounting. We’re halfway done with the teamwork, and I couldn’t be prouder of the effort put forth by Amy, David, Subbu, Suki and myself. We definitely made the most of the semester in terms of the simulation, the presentations and the research papers. Great work team!

Finally, keep an eye out for more posts from me over the break. Despite the fact that we’ll be on vacation, I’ll continue to blog and update on other topics such as the internship search and preparation for next semester’s class load.

Big Week Coming Up

November 16, 2008
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Here’s a few items on the agenda this week:

Monday – M.O.T class from 9-11; volunteering for Internet Summit?

Tuesday – Econ midterm; volunteering for Internet Summit?; filming for first video blog!

Wednesday – Internet Summit All Day

Thursday – Class; Trip to Study Abroad Office for financial and educational details

Friday – Career Effectiveness from 9-12; Leave for Washington DC!

Keep an eye out for that video blog. I haven’t busted out my iMovie tool yet, but it’s on the way!

Studying Abroad

November 12, 2008
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Perhaps one of the only regrets (and even that’s too strong of a word) from my undergraduate experience was missing the opportunity to study abroad. Between classes, leadership positions in my fraternity and holding down a part-time job, I didn’t have the time to make a trip overseas happen.

Fortunately, I have an opportunity to remedy that while I’m here at NC State. The Jenkins College of Management has a sister program in Copenhagen, Denmark that I’ll be investigating and hopefully applying to next semester. While in Denmark, I would most likely take a number of marketing courses with a potential supply chain course mixed in there to move me toward satisfying my concentration requirements. I’d also have an opportunity to get some much-needed international business experience as well as travel around Europe.

On the downside, I’m looking at making some more financial sacrifices (i.e. more loans because cost of living is so much more expensive, and it might put aspects of my scholarship in jeopardy), and it will restrict the number of courses available to me in the Spring of 2010. However, I consider this a potentially small price to pay in return for the opportunity. I’ll be blogging more on this as well as my internship search in the coming weeks and months.