Category: Graduate Students

New Full-Time MBAs Arrive

September 5th, 2012 in Graduate Students, MBA, News, Student Activities, Students

MBA GPS Preterm team-a 2012

Team B2 sets off on the GPS Adventure.

“We want the students to get to know each other, hear new ideas, explore the city, and prepare for what lies ahead.” Those were the goals Assistant Dean Kathie Nolan of the Graduate Programs Office (GPO) set for the School’s full-time MBAs in Pre-Term, the two-week period before the full fall semester begins. From the looks of the student evaluations, the program was a sound success.

The full-time MBA class of 2014 and the International MBA class of 2013 arrived on campus Monday, August 13 and have been busy ever since. (In twelve weeks this summer, the IMBA students completed half of their core courses and will now be able to complete their MBA in just two more semesters.)

“It was probably our best-run program ever,” said Gail Justino-Miller, director of the GPO. “We put a lot of effort into it because it’s more than an orientation; it sets a tone for their whole two years. Emily Libby, assistant director of the GPO, led the effort and did a tremendous job.”

Preplanning for GPS Adventure

It’s either that way. Or that way. Or…that way.

Team building was the first assignment of the program. Following lunch on their first full day, the faculty divided students into approximately 25 teams of six or seven students each for the GPS Urban Adventure. Each team was given an older generation GPS with several prefixed coordinates, a few pages of notes (with cryptic hints), and then assigned to go find locations in Boston and be back at 4 p.m. GPS Urban Adventure coordinator Paul Hutchinson, lecturer of organizational behavior, said, “The aim of the event is to help students begin recognizing the broad range of different strengths individuals can bring to a team. Along the way, when they get to each site, they also have to complete a small exercise. They start off as introductory assignments but build to become more reflective.”


Hutchinson emphasized that it wasn’t a scavenger hunt. It was about students observing each other in a non-competitive but goal-driven task. The team members were designed by faculty to maximize diversity. On Team B2 for example, were Ziad Abdelhafez of Egypt, Naid Alsedais of Saudi Arabia, Jonah Heilman of Israel, Jayanthi Selvaraj of India, and Americans Beth Haber, Cory Peterson, and Chris Tolles (all MBA’14). When the teams reported back in, the students and faculty discussed who took what roles and shared insights about what worked and what didn’t. “Who would hurry to volunteer to hold the GPS—to be in control?” said Hutchinson. “Who displayed better spatial abilities? Who was good at solving the language puzzles? This knowledge will come in handy later when they have team assignments in actual classes.”

The day ended with a cookout on BU Beach, where students shared origins, longer-term goals, Boston tips, and why they chose the BU MBA. Selvaraj was impressed with the MS•MBA dual-degree option. “The School has such a good reputation—I was accepted at several schools, but the MS•MBA plus Boston’s position as a high-tech business center made this the right choice for me.” Diego De La Mora (MBA’14) of Mexico chose BU partly because of Boston. He had visited the city before and loved it. “My wife and I wanted to attend an MBA program in the same city but different schools. I chose BU for its strong program; she chose Babson. We’re living in Chestnut Hill to split the travel difference.” He’s considering a concentration in operations management.

Pre-Term also includes an introductory event for spouses, partners, and significant others.

During the two weeks of Pre-Term, students learn about the curriculum, set up their IT requirements, meet advisors and financial aid personnel, and experience several team-building exercises. They also have a full briefing on the Academic Conduct Code, and meetings with Feld Career Center staff concerning interviews, elevator pitches, joining a career community, and more. During 16 hours of the second week, students take their first class, Ethics, Values, and Social Responsibility.

“Ethics does not equal morality,” says Rachel Spooner, lawyer and lecturer in the markets, public policy & law department, addressing the first-year MBA students in the first class. “An individual or organization can be ethical if it makes his or its decisions in alignment with his or its values.”

That may be a new definition for many, who feel no moral person can make an unethical decision, or that an immoral decision might simultaneously be an ethical one. Working through several case studies, the students wrestle with ethical dilemmas. “The point of the course,” says Spooner, “is to teach the skill of determining when decisions are ethical.”

Spooner began developing the course in December with Associate Professor Jack McCarthy of the organizational behavior department, who added, “What we wanted was to start everyone off with a certain mindset. It’s the first course for a reason: to help students lay a foundation for the rest of their lives.”

Nina Desai (MBA’14, HSM) of UCLA (neuroscience undergrad from Santa Monica, Calif.) says, “This material is really important—and necessary—to address. There are multiple aspects to address in many ethical situations. This gave us a way to ask if we are consciously acting in an unethical manner. Of course, as we discussed cases, we were not as definitive as you might think.”

One event was a discussion on cross-cultural relations, led by consultant and SMG lecturer Beth Rogers of Point Taken. Students from the International MBA cohort helped lead discussion sections, having already gone through a similar experience themselves. In 90 percent of the student evaluations, students wished there were more time spent on the topic, so it will likely be expanded next year.

Exuding confidence...just before the launch

Confidence abounds…just before launching.

Organizational Behavior Lecturer Jim French, who taught one of the Ethics sections, commented, “These students are very bright, and issues such as ethics and cultural sensitivity are top of mind for them, perhaps more so than in years past. I felt there was a sincere desire to be different in their career, to make better choices than the corrupt and criminal examples we discussed in some of the ethics cases.”

All the incoming full-time students participated in the community service project, spread over a dozen venues in the city. Students volunteered at Boston Food Bank, Cradles to Crayons, and Learning Ally, helped clean up the Charles River shoreline, and more.

The two-week program concluded with a day at the Warren Conference Center in Ashland, Massachusetts, where students engaged in a friendly competition and team-building experience in an outdoor setting. At the Warren Center, students were paired with others from different cohorts, to further expand acquaintances.

Marwan Kanafani

Marwan Kanafani (MBA/MPH’14)

Marwan Kanafani (MBA/MPH’14) said, “The Grad Programs Office did a great job first getting us comfortable with each other, and then organizing events, which allowed us to build relationships before we dive into the intensive group projects coming this semester.” He added that the day at the Warren Conference Center perfectly capped off the experience. “After two weeks of cerebral work, they knew we must have been physically restless. So that day we were able to illustrate behaviors we learned in classrooms. And we let it all out.”

Other student-written evaluations of the day included comments such as, “It was a challenge, but it was appropriate.”  And perhaps more tellingly, “I’m tired! Looking forward to regular classes.”

Justino-Miller described the events at the Warren Center as “fantastic.” She said, “It was possibly our best trip there in years in terms of student enthusiasm and satisfaction. The level of camaraderie and community building was just great.” Assistant Director of Academic Advising Betsy Dick added, “I loved that they took it upon themselves to synchronize just jumping off the dock together like little kids. At the end of an intense week, they were just so comfortable with each other. That’s what you hope for.”

As Professor Tim Hall, Morton H. and Charlotte Friedman Professor in Management, said, “It takes a lot of work to make something look effortless. Kathie Nolan and Emily Libby (and their committee) deserve a huge amount of credit for the success of the Pre-Term.” Diane Reamer of the Feld Career Center, Hall, Patti Cudney, assistant dean of Graduate Admissions, Spooner, and second-year MBA student Lili Emad (MBA’13) were all essential to the program’s success.

Following Pre-Term, during the week of August 27-30, the students completed a summer intensive in organizational behavior. Hall teaches one of the sections of the OB Intensive, and said the previous week’s introduction to ethics was evident in his class. “In areas where I used to point out to students (such as organizational values) that there was an ethical area, now students are bringing it up first. This is a new phenomenon. This will make it easier for faculty to keep these themes prominent in classes going forward.”

The full schedule began September 4.

Graduating with a Little Help from Your Friends

September 5th, 2012 in EMBA, Graduate Students, News, Students

BU helps EMBA student in India via Skype

Excerpts from BU Today:

It could have meant the end of his BU education.

Just a few months short of graduation, Abhijit Mhetre had traveled home to India with classmates for a nine-day trip to Mumbai and New Delhi when he got some bad news. Immigration officials told him he would not be allowed to return to the United States because of complications with his visa. At the time, Mhetre feared having to resign from the Graduate School of Management’s Executive MBA program (EMBA).

“Staying in India wasn’t my choice,” says Mhetre (GSM’12). “It was forced upon me, and it could have been disastrous if I had not been able to complete the program.”

He knew that to successfully finish the program’s requirements, he’d have to be able to actively participate in classes and group projects, so he started brainstorming. He came up with an unorthodox idea: what if he could participate in classes from India via the free videoconferencing program Skype? Using Skype would mean that Mhetre could view classes and even ask questions.

“I interviewed Abhijit when he first applied to our program, and it was clear how excited he was about the program,” says EMBA director Janice Dolnick, who was one of the first people Mhetre went to with his idea. “It was a very big deal to him, so we were committed to helping him graduate. He’s a great ambassador for the program.”

But the idea would work only with the help and coordination of Mhetre’s classmates and GSM professors and staff.

“The Executive MBA program is small and we work as a team, so we know all of the students on a personal level,” says Peter Russo, an SMG executive-in-residence and director of entrepreneurship programs for the Institute for Technology Entrepreneurship & Commercialization (ITEC). “We all understand what needed to happen, and how to get through it to allow Abhijit to graduate. But this was the first time anything like this has happened.”

Read the full story on BU Today.

Story by Amy Laskowski. Photo courtesy of Abhijit Mhetre via BU Today.

BU Team Second in Emory Case Competition

April 6th, 2012 in Case Competition, Graduate Students, News, School, Students

Multidisciplinary Team Shines in Complex Healthcare Case

BU team members, from left, Ivan Busulwa (MBA/MPH’12), Darash Desai (ENG’14), Meg Meyer (MBA/MPH’12), Catherine Shih (MBA/MPH’13, Daniel Silva (MED’13), and Sunil Nair (MD/MBA’13).

BU team members, from left, Ivan Busulwa (MBA/MPH’12), Darash Desai (ENG’14), Meg Meyer (MBA/MPH’12), Catherine Shih (MBA/MPH’13), Daniel Silva (MED’15), and Sunil Nair (MD/MBA’13)

The examples and rewards of Boston University President Robert Brown’s concept of “One BU” continue to roll in.

This time, it was an interdisciplinary team of students carrying off second place in a 23-university case competition.

A Boston University team of six with three MBA/MPH students, an MD/MBA student, a medical student, and a doctoral student in biomedical engineering came in second out of 23 teams in the Global Health Case Competition at Emory University on March 31. The home team, Emory, won. This is the first time BU competed in this event.

Boston University also won the “Audience Choice Award” voted by their peers in the contest.

The team members were Ivan Busulwa (MBA/MPH’12), Darash Desai (ENG’14), Meg Meyer (MBA/MPH’12), Sunil Nair (MD/MBA’13), Catherine Shih (MBA/MPH’13), and Daniel Silva (MED’15).

The multidisciplinary competition, developed and coordinated by the Emory Global Health Institute’s Student Advisory Committee, includes graduate and undergraduate students from numerous fields including agricultural and life sciences, business, engineering, law, medicine, nursing, public health, theology, the social sciences and the humanities.

The Global Health Contest is designed to raise awareness of and develop innovative solutions for 21st century global health issues. Teams receive a global health-related case that requires an interdisciplinary approach to formulate recommendations that may involve issues such as health care policy, public health implementation and planning, business partnership/investment, medical research, logistics management, faith/cultural understanding, and international law.

The 2012 case had political overtones as well as health and development issues. The question was: “Develop a strategy for Canadian aid to Sri Lanka that deals with the health and resettlement issues of the Tamil population, keeping in mind the resistance of the Sinhalese government to accusations of war crimes and persecution, and recognizing the presence of a great many Tamil refugees in Canada.”

The US teams were Boston University, Claremont Graduate University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Duke University, Northwestern University, Princeton University, Tulane University, University of Alabama at Birmingham, University of California at San Francisco, University of Chicago, University of Miami, University of Pennsylvania, University of Southern California, University of Virginia, Vanderbilt University, Yale University, and Yeshiva University.

The international teams were Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México, McGill University (Canada), Universidad de los Andes (Colombia), and the University of Oxford (UK). Additionally, the University of British Columbia and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (Israel) competed in a pilot contest via video stream, which took place at the same time as the full case competition.

Ericsson Hires BU MBAs

March 29th, 2012 in Alumni, Career Related, Case Competition, Graduate Students, News, Students

One of the great advantages of a case competition is displaying your talents to a corporate sponsor. Sometimes this happens in the competition itself, and often it happens behind the scenes.

Following the 2011 International Tech Strategy Business Case Competition, sponsored by Ericsson, seven Boston University MBA students accepted jobs with the Swedish-based telecommunications giant. Each of the students mentioned below traveled a slightly different path, but all attribute their success to the connections they made during the competition or the intensive days of preparation beforehand.

A Broadband Connection

During the weeks leading up to the 2010 case competition, Arvind Patravali’s (MS•MBA’11) responsibilities working on the event included helping dozens of visitors feel comfortable on their trip to Boston by setting them up in hotels and taking care of logistical issues. Among the guests were top executives from Ericsson, the competition’s main sponsor. The event allowed Patravali to turn his background in engineering into a wonderful job opportunity.

Over drinks one night, an Ericsson senior manager asked Patravali what he had planned for the summer. With no job on the horizon, the manager instructed Patravali to forward his resume to her after the competition. A couple of months later he began a three-month internship that, upon his graduation from BU a year later, became a full-time job. Patravali is currently working in the mobile broadband area of Ericsson out of their Plano, Texas office.

“When I spoke to people [at Ericsson] about connecting people and what they’re doing in the next five years it seemed very interesting,” he said. “It’s always good to be on the cutting edge, which they are.”

Network into the Network

In his two years working on the Ericsson Case Competition, Nathan Robbins (MS•MBA’11) learned a ton of useful information about the importance of networking.

During the event’s opening night each year, he was able to have dinner with the CEO of Ericsson and hear his vision for the company around the globe. “That was when Ericsson was put on the radar for me as a company I would want to work for,” he said. “Not only because of my interest in technology, but their activity in telecommunications, a basic human need, really appealed to me.”

Last year he was committee chairman, overseeing the event and making sure everything went smoothly. Several times throughout the competition, he worked in the same room with approximately 30 of the most senior people at Ericsson.

“It’s a great opportunity for students to get to know major industry players, and with me, a lot of the networking itself was done at the event. With everyone in one place, things happen a lot faster.”

Today, Robbins works as a business analyst, spending his time developing Ericsson’s global strategy and business operations within North America from the company’s office in Plano, Texas.

Analytical Approach

When she was a high school student in Delhi, India, Kirti Malik (MBA’11) knew she wanted to be a marketing analyst. Working on the Ericsson Case Competition helped her achieve this goal, but in a more subtle way than most of her colleagues.

She worked on the competition’s committee in both 2010 and 2011, helping with organizational tasks and establishing a tournament timeline, but unlike the other students who went on to find immediate work by taking advantage of the event’s various networking opportunities, Malik took a different tack. Instead of approaching Ericsson’s executives during the event’s weekend, she submitted her resume at a BU job fair, and then spoke about her role in the competition’s organization with her interviewer.

“I know a few of my friends made contacts at the competition, and it worked out for them,” Malik said. “But I chose not to talk job opportunities during the competition. Instead, I chose to build some common ground with my interviewer.”

Obviously the approach worked. Today Malik is working in Leawood, Kansas as a marketing analyst for Ericsson.

Familiarity Breeds Respect

Before serving as marketing coordinator for the 2010 International Tech Strategy Business Case Competition, Rahul Nagpal (MBA’11) was targeting Microsoft,, and Google as possible employers for a career in product marketing.

But after the event, during which he spent time creating brochures, updating social media, and blogging for the competition, Nagpal began to shift his interest toward working in telecommunications at Ericsson.

“First and foremost, I got to meet the top executives, which is really helpful,” he said. “The case competition opened doors for me with entering the telecommunications industry.” After meeting Ericsson’s CEO during that weekend, Nagpal decided to approach the company about pursuing a job. Right now he’s a sales account manager working at Ericsson’s Plano, Texas office, handling the company’s T-Mobile account.

“Getting to speak with [Ericsson’s executives] one-on-one was great,” he said. “It was a key opportunity, and a wonderful experience.”

Job Fair to Amazing Job

Last January, Anup Patel (MBA’11) attended a local European job fair with hopes of finding work at a technology-based organization.

Patel, who worked on the International Tech Strategy Business Case Competition in both 2010 and 2011, saw a familiar company name: Ericsson. After submitting his resume, and chatting with the recruiter at the fair, he was contacted four months later and offered a job.

“The relationship I established with [Ericsson] at the case competition helped me,” he said. “How much? I’m not sure, but having talked to the company’s CEO did come up in my interview, and it may have been helpful.”

Today, Patel is working as a business analyst in Plano, Texas, and he couldn’t be happier. “Everyone who works here is willing to learn new things,” he said. “Sometimes people get complacent after being at a company for so long, but the people here want to change with how the industry is changing. It’s amazing.”

Students Found Global Health and Development Association

March 15th, 2012 in Graduate Students, Health Sector, HSMP, Social Impact

Bridging Management and Global Health & Development

Students from the Health Sector Management Program at Boston University have founded the Global Health and Development Association (GHD). This new organization seeks to bridge the divide between management and global health and development, while directly connecting and involving BU MBA students with issues that affect the developing world.

“We seek to better understand these complex issues of health and development so that we can learn to address them through innovation and effective management,” GHD members explain, through events such as speakers and panels with industry leaders, international collaborative consulting opportunities, alliances with other schools and departments across the University, and social and networking events. “The GHD Association is also a great addition to two clubs already operating within the Health Sector Management Program—the Bio Business Organization and the Health Services Management Association because we present the perspective of providing care in developing countries, emerging economies, and low resource settings,” adds student Meg Meyer (MBA’12).

Participants include primarily first- and second-year MBA students across many concentrations, including the Health Sector Management Program as well as students from the Professional Evening MBA Program, the School of Public Health, the School of Engineering, and the School of Medicine at Boston University.

Recent and upcoming events sponsored by GHD include:

  • Friends of Ngong Road: Using Business Principals to Launch and Grow an International NGO: On Friday, October 14th, 2011, Amy Johnson, Board Member/CFO, and Peter Ndungu, Executive Director, both from Friends of Ngong Road, a Nairobi, Kenya-based NGO, discussed starting and growing an international non-profit using business principles. They covered topics such as creating strong financial controls and metrics; overcoming growing pains and pitfalls; using technology to your advantage; and working with different currencies.
  • Global Health and Diagnostics: Featuring Dr. Una Ryan, President and CEO, Diagnostics for All, discussing her organization’s dedication to creating low-cost, easy-to-use, point-of-care diagnostics specifically designed for the 60% of the developing world that lives beyond the reach of medical access. More
  • Spring 2012 semester back-to schools networking event, co-sponsored by the Bio Business Organization and the Health Services Management Association
  • Fundraiser auction supporting a rural clinic in Palwal, India—one of the destinations of the School’s India Field Seminar
  • Upcoming Speaker Series event in collaboration with Boston University School of Biomedical Engineering, planned for March 29, 2012, and featuring three speakers discussion their experiences in the fields of business, engineering, and public health.
  • Discussion and collaborative learning experience between School of Management and School Engineering students, focused on exploring innovative business models for products that have been developed at BU School of Engineering, including a counterfeit drug detector and a device to diagnose pneumonia.
  • Participation in the Emory for a Global Health Case Competition (March 30th-April 1st)

Explains Meyer, “This club is important to MBAs because many students are interested in or have experience with international health but aren’t quite sure how to integrate it into their career or are interested in learning more about it.  The GHD club gives them an opportunity to hear speakers and meet people with expertise in this area.  It’s also a great opportunity for collaboration across different schools within Boston University. In the future,” Meyer adds, “we hope to continue connecting with other schools throughout BU and establish yearly signature events.”

2012 Executive MBA International Field Seminar: India

March 15th, 2012 in EMBA, Global Work, Graduate Students, News, Students

The Executive MBA 24 cohort is currently traveling through India with the 2012 EMBA International Field Seminar

BU’s Executive MBA Program’s International Trip

Strategy & Innovation Professor and faculty director of EMBA Pete Russo discusses the global focus and international components of the program.

About the EMBA International Field Seminar

EMBA students get the opportunity to put the curriculum into action in a global context during the international seminar in Residence Week 3. The seminar provides hands-on experience making business contacts abroad, conducting research on countries and industries overseas, and pulling together — quickly and efficiently — a high-performing team. During the seminar, students have the opportunity to attend presentations and discussions, conduct site visits, and engage with local organizations in team assignments. More Information

About EMBA

Boston University’s Executive MBA program (EMBA) is designed for mid-to-senior level managers with 10+ years of professional experience. The program focuses on a cross-functional understanding of the interdependencies among organizations’ components. It also offers a strong global component through a concentrated international module and trip designed to provide an understanding of the many factors that frame the business context in a range of developed and developing economies. More Information

Liwu Hsu (PhD’12) Wins Dissertation Honor

March 14th, 2012 in Academic Departments, Emerging Research, Graduate Students, Honors & Awards, Marketing, News, School, Students

Hsu Dissertation Honored by Marketing Science Institute

HsuLiwuPhD2012-3Product recalls: companies hate them; customers get annoyed by them. But how companies handle them makes all the difference in the world.

Liwu Hsu (PhD’12), who will defend his dissertation this spring, won a prestigious honorable mention in the 2011 Alden G. Clayton Doctoral Dissertation Proposal Competition for his dissertation “Can Online Chatter Kill a Giant? Insights into the Role of Brand Equity and Social Media during a Product Recall Crisis.”

According to his doctoral advisor, Professor Shuba Srinivasan, “From 80 submitted papers, 168 marketing scholars selected one winner and four honorable mentions. It’s a great honor for Liwu and the department.” The annual award is given by the Marketing Science Institute. Hsu will begin as an assistant professor at the University of Alabama at Huntsville College of Business Administration in Fall 2012.

In his study, Hsu looks at how social media can help or hurt a company’s shareholder value in a product recall crisis situation and provides insight into the potential moderators of brand equity. This study builds on brand research previously published by Professor Susan Fournier, one of his doctoral committee members.

In the event of a product recall, when a company denies a problem or even hesitates to acknowledge a rumor of recall, social media gives consumers the power to tarnish a company’s reputation, increasing investors’ concern about future company cash flows. Investors fear the initial costs of product recall and replacement, potential lawsuits, and potential new regulations, and stock value and reputation can take a big hit (even if it’s temporary).

A big brand company can’t readily hide its faults and provide an insurance-like protection of shareholder value. Company denials get countered by user stories and blogs spread the word. That in turn generates more criticism, and generates more ill will. “Negative buzz spreads quickly via social media,” says Hsu, “and worse still, social media enables and encourages consumers to be more critical of companies and their brands. Moreover, it is increasingly difficult for a company to bury or hide from its mistakes on the web.”

Hsu recommends that in a PR crisis, the CEO should respond proactively. Immediate solutions include creating a post, perhaps a video, to air out the problem, and the company’s solution, immediately. “Share information efficiently, completely, and directly with consumers,” he says. In recent years, Hsu explains, marketing dollars have increasingly shifted from traditional communication vehicles towards the Web 2.0 platform. Companies are learning that it is important to be continually communicating online, keeping the channels open for when the need arises.

Recent business scandals demonstrate that it’s better to acknowledge a negative event quickly, admit fault, and then move on. The Internet assures that bad secrets never stay hidden for long.

BU MBAs Win MIT Sloan Case

March 5th, 2012 in Graduate Students, Health Sector, HSMP, MBA, News, Students

Health Sector MBAs Solve Digital Marketing Case

By Lauren Dezenski

BU MBA MIT Sloan Team

The team representing Boston University’s Health Care Management MBA program (Michael Barrett, Timothy Chanoux, Anshuman Mirani, and Matthew Scott, all MBA ’13) won it all on February 24 at the MIT Sloan 2012 Healthcare Case Competition.

The team representing Boston University’s Health Care Management MBA program won it all on February 24 at the MIT Sloan 2012 Healthcare Case Competition. The theme was Digital Marketing for Healthcare.

Michael Barrett, Timothy Chanoux, Anshuman Mirani, and Matthew Scott (all MBA’13) shared the $4,000 first-place check.

The BU MBA Health Sector students faced teams from Harvard, MIT, Babson, and Cornell. “It was really an honor to represent BU in this competition against so many good schools. It was an honor and exciting to come out on top,” said Chanoux.

“Plus, we had a great time. It was great to meet a number of teams that all had great ideas,” Mirani added.

First, the teams had to submit a qualifying application. Of the eighteen submissions, ten teams, including BU, were chosen for the competition. “We were given the case one week in advance of the presentation day,” Mirani said. “We used the first days for brainstorming to be sure to cover all of our bases. That process really helped, and it’s something that is a product of our education here at BU. At the competition, the Q&A’s went really well, specifically because we debated all of these things among ourselves beforehand.”

After making it through one round of presenting followed by a Q&A session, BU and one of three MIT teams were named the two finalists. Following the two presentations, “it took the judges 30 to 45 minutes to deliberate. We were expecting it to be ten minutes, but it shows how tough the competition was,” said Chanoux.

The case was about developing a strategy for the launch of a kidney cancer drug by AVEO Pharmaceuticals (the sponsoring firm), which has just passed Phase III trials. Given the relatively small size and constrained marketing budget for AVEO, the teams had to design a digital media strategy. “We especially liked that all of the information in the case was actual market research done by AVEO, and it was a real business problem that they are currently facing,” Mirani continued. “The judging panel included senior members of the management team of the company and other senior leaders from consulting as well as other health care organizations such as Veritas Health Systems.”

“General feedback from the judges, and the reason we probably won,” said Scott, “was that we had three very different concepts. We were the only group to talk about accountable care; we were the only team to come up with a name for the drug; and we were the only team to brand the research effort. Our BU preparation absolutely helped, especially with the accountable care. The education helped us have a good sense of these things. When we got to finals, we really won with our Q&A.”

2012 India Field Seminar

February 9th, 2012 in Graduate Students, News, Students

From January 1 through January 14, 20 MBA students traveled through India with the 2012 India Field Seminar.

About the India Field Seminar

The Indian Field Seminar is focused on health sector management and the rapidly changing global forces of the health sector as they intersect with the dynamics of an emerging country. The program includes visits to government agencies, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, health sector start-up companies, health centers, research laboratories, and academic research settings. The seminar is designed to help students examine the emerging global market in the health sector and understand the complex interacting dynamics of economic development, international competition, government policy, and the entrepreneurial initiative in a key emerging country. More Information

About the International Field Seminars

International Field Seminars are offered to those graduate students who seek to learn outside the classroom and beyond the book. Students begin their studies in a Boston classroom with preliminary research and complete the program abroad. More Information

MSMF Students Join 1st Annual IAFE Competition

February 7th, 2012 in Graduate Students, MSMF, School, Students

Boston University School of Management students from the Mathematical Finance Program gave a strong showing at the first annual International Association of Financial Engineers (IAFE) Competition. The event was open to students enrolled in mathematical finance and economics (or related) programs at schools that are IAFE Academic Program Affiliates.

Twenty-seven teams from fifteen financial engineering programs entered the competition. They were tasked with solving a challenge related to the analysis and modeling of financial crises and sovereign risk, which was selected for its rigor and relevance by the Honorary Chair and IAFE Board of Directors.

The Boston University Math Finance Team included Ning Cheng, Jianing Liu, Quang Pham Huy, Jessica Ahn, and Sichares Suppapanya (all MSMF ’12).

The winning team, from the University of California, Berkeley, was announced at the Financial Engineer of the Year Dinner in New York City on February 2nd, 2012. They were awarded a $1,000.00 prize and an invitation to present their solution at a future IAFE event in New York.