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Where in the World Are MBA1s?

Each spring, the Multidisciplinary Action Projects (MAP) course sends first-year Michigan Ross MBAs around the globe to tackle real business problems at real organizations. This year's class completed projects ranging from an operations analysis at Amazon to a business model for a municipal government in Turkey. Along the way, students were encouraged to share their experiences via social media. Learn more about the 2013 projects and see a compilation of the best student tweets and photos.

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IN THIS ISSUE :

 Alumni Spotlight

 Tappan & Hill

 Thought in Action

 

alumni spotlight

Forbes Makes a Big Dealio about Seelio
Forbes recently featured Moses Lee, BBA '02/MAcc '03, and his startup, Seelio. The company allows students to build online portfolios that showcase everything from school projects to athletic performance. The investment banker-turned-entrepreneur got the idea from observing a group of Ann Arbor middle school students and now is building his company in A2, as well. In addition to easy access to the U-M alumni network, Lee says the town was a good choice because, "There's a lower cost of living [than Silicon Valley], and we have gotten a lot of resources from [Ann Arbor] SPARK and different entrepreneurs from around the area." Seelio recently raised a $600,000 round of seed funding, and the product is being used by more than 900 schools.
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Focused on Fitness
Cavan Canavan, MBA '12, and Grant Hughes, MBA/MS '13, want to improve your workout through their startup, Focus Solutions. Canavan's penchant for keeping in shape sparked the idea for Focus, a digital personal trainer that uses a high-tech wristband and a smartphone application to help people track, evaluate, and guide their workouts. Canavan and Hughes, who met through the Design + Business Club at Michigan Ross, secured a first-place finish in the final round of the 2013 Michigan Business Challenge, winning the $20,000 Pryor-Hale Award for Best Business. "If you build a product that you believe in, and that your customers really need and want, then you'll be successful," they say.
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Keeping it Real in Real Estate
So you want to be CFO of a publicly traded company? You'd better like unpredictability, says Mark Parrell, BBA '88, CFO and executive vice president of Equity Residential. You just never know what you're going to be dealing with from one day to the next. There's also a delicate balance between tactical work and strategic thinking. But the juggling act — along with big projects like Equity Residential's merger with Archstone — is what makes the job exciting. In this video interview, Parrell talks about life as a CFO, and why today's students should be persistent.
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tappan and hill

A Fresh Take on Capitalism
The leaders of Whole Foods Market Inc. have some big ideas about changing the way we eat, the way food is farmed, and how to get fresh food to underserved areas. They also want to change the way people think about capitalism and the role of business. Walter Robb, co-CEO, shared Whole Foods' vision of what is possible for business in society during his Positive Leaders Series conversation in February. "Real sustainability should be built into the very core of who you are and how you operate," Robb said.
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Ross Student-Athletes Go for the Win
Everyone knows college is a busy time. Students juggle rigorous class schedules around their social lives and clubs. But what if you added 20 hours a week of intense athletic practice to that mix? And traveling every other weekend, plus tournaments? The student-athletes walking the halls of the Ross School of Business are doing just that. It's not only the proximity to South Campus, but the possibilities for life after sports that drew them to Michigan Ross. Shaun Bernstein, BBA '14, JD Johnson, BBA '14, Claudia Lau, BBA '15, and Matt Vogrich, BBA '13, talk about balancing life at one of the world’s top business schools and most storied college athletic programs.
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An Insider's View of the Ford Story
Ford Motor Co.'s turnaround from losing $12.7 billion in 2006 to a profit of $5.66 billion in 2012 didn't happen by chance. As COO Mark Fields explained during the inaugural Handleman Lecture in February, the to-do list included critical decisions around brand focus and product excellence, but also the simple-sounding concept of working together. "That sounds strange," Fields said. "Why would you need to make that a priority?" Chalk it up to 109 years of history with a top-down culture, where reporting bad news made you vulnerable. In 2006, Alan Mulally left the Boeing Co. to become CEO of Ford and worked to change that culture by embracing the color red.
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thought in action

Ross Professor, Zell Lurie Director Call for Stronger Entrepreneurial Education in Financial Times Article
In February, Tim Faley, managing director of the Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies, along with entrepreneurship professor Peter Adriaens, urged business schools to take a wider view of entrepreneurship in an op-ed written for the Financial Times' business education site. "Entrepreneurship should be a highly valued profession, not a get-rich-quick scheme," they wrote. "There needs to be an end to the 'lottery' mentality and instead academic rigor needs to be put into the process. ... Business schools need to lead the way. To those institutions that are struggling against the tide and are doing exactly this in their classrooms and programs, we applaud you. For the remaining charlatans, please exit stage left, your fifteen minutes are up."
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A Conversation with the Martian's Daughter
As a pioneer for women in business and academia, Professor Marina von Neumann Whitman carried a family legacy that both opened doors and cast a shadow over her career. She writes about living with this legacy and provides an insider's view on some of the biggest moments in 20th-century history in The Martian's Daughter: A Memoir. Whitman's father was John von Neumann, one of the Hungarian immigrant mathematicians and physicists known as "the Martians" for their otherworldly brilliance. Von Neumann has been called the greatest mathematician of the 20th century and the greatest scientist after Albert Einstein — not an easy legacy to live up to. But he also showed his daughter that using your gifts will get you far in the world, and being a woman shouldn't be a deterrent.
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BOSTON

5.14.13

"Second Tuesday" Cross B-School Happy Hour
This evening is designed to give business school graduates and their friends (work colleagues, significant others, etc.) an opportunity to socialize and network in a relaxed yet elegant setting.
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6.11.13

"Second Tuesday" Cross B-School Happy Hour
Celebrate the almost-start of summer by socializing and networking with other business school graduates and their friends (work colleagues, significant others, etc.).
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LOS ANGELES

5.14.13

Michigan Ross on Location: Competing in Innovation-Based Markets
Strategy professor Gautam Ahuja shares new research with Michigan Ross alumni and prospective EMBA students.
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SAN FRANCISCO

5.13.13

Michigan Ross on Location: Competing in Innovation-Based Markets
Strategy professor Gautam Ahuja shares new research with Michigan Ross alumni and prospective EMBA students.
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SEATTLE

4.24.13

Michigan Ross on Location: Building Brands in the New Global Economy
Marketing professor Rajeev Batra shares research with Michigan Ross alumni and prospective EMBA students.
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SOUTHEAST MICHIGAN

5.15.13

Networking Happy Hour
Spring is finally here! Join fellow RSB alumni to catch up with friends and make new contacts at the Corner Lounge at the Townsend Hotel in Birmingham.
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ZURICH

5.28.13

Joint Event of Leading Business Schools
Network with graduates of other top business schools at this 10th-annual event. The keynote speaker is Sergio Ermotti, CEO of UBS.
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