2017

Stories related to "My Course Correction".

perspectives

The Glittering Allure of Entrepreneurship

Of course I was well aware that most start-ups fail, and of course I was giving up the resources and access to talent that come with working for multinationals. But I had the bug to be an entrepreneur and a creator. What exactly to do with that? I always was interested in the luxury segment of consumer goods as a business. I studied to be a mechanical engineer and learned to cut and polish diamonds as part of my training. When I moved back to India in 2011, I studied the female Indian consumer and how she made female choices. The jewelry retail side here in Mumbai and across the world remained traditional. Stores continued to invest in inventory, assuming that people would come and buy whatever was in stock. I learned that even jewelers who had been in the industry for decades weren’t working off the most profitable business model. They couldn’t react to fast-moving trends because they were carrying inventory that didn’t always sell. The consumer, on the other hand, wanted to see new designs more often. I began to wonder, can technology shake up what is happening in this market?

perspectives

Coffee Futures

Back when he worked in finance, Paulo Siqueira, ’04, used to wake up in the middle of the night worried that some market event would spoil his investments. But in 2010, Siqueira and his wife, Juliana Armelin, ’04, left corporate jobs to take the plunge into coffee, starting a farm some 400 miles north of their hometown of São Paulo. “Now, we wake up at night afraid there is going to be a frost in the morning,” Siqueira said.<br/>Despite the occasional weather-related insomnia, the couple has thrived in the coffee business. Two years ago, their farm, Fazenda Terra Alta, won the highest prize for espresso coffee in Brazil. Last year, it won again. Of course, that doesn’t mean the couple’s transition from business to beans has been easy. In growing their farm, they’ve faced a steep learning curve in a business just as volatile as stocks and hedge funds. “If we had known all the risks beforehand,” said Siqueira, “I don’t know if we would have had the guts to start.”

perspectives

Call of the Wild

Patrick Wallace, ’12 (AXP-11), wasn’t quite sure what he was getting into when he and his wife, Pamela Wallace, drove down a long dirt road with miles of forest on either side in the heart of the Nova Scotia wilderness. When they finally emerged at Trout Point Lodge, however, the property was a revelation. “It is this incredible log structure where otherwise there would be nothing,” Wallace said. Around the lodge itself stretched 125 acres of densely forested landscape with only the chirping of birds and the rushing course of the Tusket River to break the silence. “It was an island of luxury in the middle of the wilderness.”

perspectives

Pushing Through Turbulence

In 2001, T. D. Arkenberg, ’86, faced a myriad of crises. After keeping his sexual identity private well into his adulthood, Arkenberg made the difficult personal choice to come out to his parents. Only weeks after Arkenberg started a new position at United—a company he had been a part of since graduating from Booth—both the organization and the United States were thrown into chaos when two hijacked United flights, along with two aircraft belonging to American Airlines, were used in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. That fall, Arkenberg’s father succumbed to a long battle with cancer, and shortly after, his mother died unexpectedly. <br/>It was a year of learning how to survive. Less than a decade later, Arkenberg left United after 23 years at the company and embarked on a career as a writer.

perspectives

From Chicago to Tirana

When is the right time to follow a dream? For Suzanne Weiss, it came near her 60th birthday. After a divorce, and with a daughter grown and out of the house, the senior marketing lecturer and former associate director of administration at the Illinois Institute of Technology Stuart School of Business quit her job, sold her house, and packed her bags for a stint in the Peace Corps. In the spring of 2015, she found herself in the tiny Albanian farming village of Shushicë, “15 minutes and 40 years” from the nearest big city.

perspectives

Chairman of the Bordeaux

Stephen Bolger, ’99 (EXP-4), made his name in international management, first in industrial minerals and then in technology. But when Bolger and his wife lost their first child, a decision to align his career with something that had true meaning to him—and the emotional intelligence gained at Booth—led him to pursue his passion for wine in the heart of Bordeaux. While at Booth, Bolger took a class focused on creative thinking, and what he learned there helped guide his career. After working internationally for years, and suffering that tragic loss, Bolger founded VINIV, a Bordeaux-based “experiential” custom-wine-making company that helps clients create not just a personalized product, but a story to tell for the rest of their lives. I will never forget the class I took with professors John P. “Jack” Gould and Harry L. Davis. It was focused on creative thinking and getting a better understanding of “Me, Inc.,” which—when you're a young rabble-rouser—gives you an opportunity to take a step back and think about what motivates you. <br/><br/>