2017

Stories related to "International Business".

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The View From Mumbai

Mumbai’s Booth alumni network is as large, diverse, and energetic as the city itself. Through events such as impromptu beer-and-chat sessions and the annual Pan-India Booth Alumni Retreat (PIBAR), Mumbai’s more than 150 Booth graduates stay connected and serve as the first port of call in India for any Boothie looking for help. Although Mumbai is India’s financial center, Booth alumni here work not only in the financial services sector but also in retail, healthcare, technology, and even the Hindi film industry, with one graduate having started a film training school. Many Boothies run family businesses, foundations, consultancies, or startups, and some work in the development sector.

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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.”

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A Workday with Alexandra (Smith) Rollins, ’16

Bringing together unlikely parties to collaborate on global initiatives is a nuanced job. It requires empathy, relationship building, and strategy—all skills that Alexandra (Smith) Rollins, ’16, uses daily as a community lead at the New York office of the World Economic Forum. Though the Switzerland-based international organization is best known for its Annual Meeting of global leaders in Davos, its broader mission is to improve the state of the world by fostering cooperation across borders and forging collaboration between the public and private sectors. Blending her consulting background with her Booth education, Rollins helps make these high-level conversations happen. “It’s truly amazing to hear firsthand the optimism and concerns of major global CEOs as they relate what’s happening in our world today,” she said.

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On the Ball

David Han, ’02, CEO and cofounder of Yao Capital, long dreamed of starting his own private equity shop. It’s unlikely, however, that he initially envisioned that that venture would pair him with NBA Hall of Fame basketball player Yao Ming, one of the tallest men ever to play in the National Basketball Association. Yet in January 2016—along with close Booth friend and Yao Ming’s longtime business partner, Erik Zhang—Han cofounded Yao Capital with the renowned Chinese sports icon. Their firm focuses on investments in the sports industry in China and around the globe. Considering that Yao is seven feet six and Han more the height of a point guard, the two men would be quite a mismatch in a game of one-on-one hoops. When it comes to investing, they just might be the ideal teammates.<br/><br/>Promising early Yao Capital deals involving the world’s leading kickboxing league, a booming North American sports nutrition company, and a fast-growing auto-racing championship featuring 140-miles-per-hour electric cars have put a smile on Han’s face. “We’ve made very good investments in the early stages, in and out of China,” he said, sitting in a sunny conference room of Yao Capital’s 10th-floor offices in central Shanghai. “We’re in the right time and the right place. And so far, it’s on the right track.

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Entrepreneurs without Borders

In June 2014, after five years in the marketing department at Coca-Cola, Jonas De Cooman, ’16 (EXP-21), felt stalled intellectually. He was ready to push his boundaries. He planned to pursue his MBA while continuing at Coca-Cola. Then unexpected policy changes at work eliminated continuing education support for De Cooman, and it looked like his plans were crumbling. So he sold his apartment. With two small children, De Cooman and his wife carefully weighed their options and the risks involved. Selling their apartment in Belgium provided the only way to afford his MBA. “I decided to pursue an MBA to kickstart my personal learning curve,” he said. De Cooman realized that he wanted to gain more control over his career and make his own mark in the global marketplace as an entrepreneur. With an extensive consumer marketing background, a global perspective, and a promising business idea, he also saw knowledge gaps he needed to fill in order to launch and operate a scalable new business. “I am driven by personal growth and I felt that I was not learning at the same pace that I used to be learning at the start of my career,” he said. “I chose to study again because I didn’t feel equipped enough to be an entrepreneur.”<br/>

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Six Days to Pitch

The History: The Global New Venture Challenge (GNVC) is the Executive MBA track in the New Venture Challenge process, which began 21 years ago. We kick off the GNVC in August when all of the Executive MBA students are in Chicago for their electives. The entrepreneurs put together a feasibility study about their businesses, encourage others to join their teams, and submit an application in October. We choose about six teams from each cohort—Chicago, Hong Kong, and London—to participate in the class. The Preparation: Because the course is so short, it actually starts as soon as we choose the teams. I have a kick-off WebEx call in the fall with the teams, who are located all over the world, to start working on their business models. I then host webinars for all of the teams on business plans and presentations. Finally, I have a second, one-on-one call with each team in the winter. Business plans are due a week before class starts, because I want the teams to have written their story and really gotten it down. The Curriculum: The weeklong class is stressful. It’s intensive, and it doesn’t look like a normal class. On the first day, students present to a group of coaches, judges, and outside mentors, and they get a lot of feedback. We handpick mentors for each team based on industry, business model, and startup experience to get them started working with outside people on their model and story. <br/>

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It’s All Relative to this Booth Student Group

A recent addition among Booth student groups, the Private and Family Business Group started back in 2010, under the name Family Enterprise Group. Providing a forum for private and family business issues, the group today has about 25 members, who host discussions on the particular challenges of such entities, particularly in emerging markets. The group hosts small dinners, lunch ’n’ learns, off-campus cocktails, workshops, speakers, and discussions. Not all members are part of a family business; some want to know what it would be like to work for a family-run firm. Chicago Booth Magazine checked in with two of the group’s current leaders, both of whom are international students at turning points in their careers facing a big question: Should they stay in the United States and better their skills in corporate America, or return home to put their Booth education to use growing the family business?<br/>

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Chicago-style Economics in China

Qi Bin, ’97, has spent nearly two decades at the heart of China’s market liberalization. When he came to Booth, he decided to pursue an MBA over a PhD. “I believed that China someday would have to build a more advanced economic system,” said Qi, now Executive Vice President of the 10-year-old China Investment Corporation (CIC), the country’s sovereign wealth fund with more than $200 billion in registered capital and $810 billion in domestic assets. “Modern China would need people who understand free-market economics, and I could be one of them.”

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At Home, Abroad

Kendra Mirasol, ’93, had one major goal while growing up in Janesville, Wisconsin. “I remember always wanting to get out,” she said. She studied German in high school and moved across country for college at the University of California, Irvine. During college, Mirasol worked in a hotel in Lindenberg, a small Bavarian mountain town. “They spoke zero English,” she says. “It was so fantastic for exposure learning. You had to sink or swim.” After graduation, in 1989, just before the Berlin Wall fell, Mirasol lived in Kranichfeld, East Germany. She stayed with a pen pal whose family struggled to get by under Communist rule. “They were basket weavers—they got paid $1 per basket.” While attempting to leave the country, she was interrogated at the border for three hours because she forgot to file the correct paperwork at the police station. <br/>“Those are exciting experiences,” said Mirasol, now president of IOR Global Services, a global mobility and talent development solutions company. Without work- and study-abroad programs, she said, “My life would be so boring.” Mirasol came to Chicago Booth to supplement her German literature and language background with business acumen. She was able to maintain a global perspective during her interactions with international students. Mirasol could tell that a good friend of hers from Japan struggled to adapt to the direct, unfiltered mode of classroom discussion favored by some American classmates. “It was so difficult for him to even contribute one idea,” she recalled. “He was probably the smartest man in the school, and when I saw that happening, I felt I had a responsibility to facilitate.” These types of cross-cultural support are needed every day, around the world, on a personal level, and in boardrooms. In April 2016, Mirasol’s passion for international exchange—and for the broader benefits of a global economy—motivated her to accept a volunteer role on the board of directors at the nonprofit Cultural Vistas. <br/>

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The Greater China Forum Returns to Beijing

This fall, the University of Chicago and Chicago Booth present the Greater China Forum, hosted by the Chicago Booth Alumni Club of China, taking place September 2–3, 2017, in Beijing. The two-day event features keynote speakers Robert Zimmer, president of the University of Chicago, and Lou Jiwei, chairman of China’s National Social Security Fund, former finance minister of China, and former chairman and CEO of China Investment Corporation. Incoming Booth dean of students Madhav Rajan and Katherine Dusak Miller Distinguished Service Professor of Finance Raghuram G. Rajan are also speaking at the Forum.

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Combining Forces

When Andreas Angelopoulos, ’02 (EXP-7), became executive director of the Private Equity Institute at the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School, he knew he wanted to capitalize on the combined brainpower of his alma mater and his new employer. With the support of Booth leadership and key faculty members, Angelopoulos has developed a triad of private equity–related programs under the Oxford Chicago banner: the Oxford Chicago Global Private Equity Challenge for the students, the Oxford Chicago Valuation Program for executives and alumni, and the Oxford Chicago Discussions for students and alumni. To make the programs successful, Angelopoulos called on graduates such as Nick Alexos, ’88, who cofounded Chicago-based private equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners LLC and is now executive vice president and CFO of York, Pennsylvania-based dental products manufacturer Dentsply Sirona Inc. We spoke with Angelopoulos and Alexos about the one-of-a-kind relationship between the two B-school titans.<br/>

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The View From Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a metropolis on the move. Walk down its streets and a population of more than 7 million people surrounds you. Many locals spend their commutes consumed by the technology in their hands. It’s a global city that straddles both Asian and Western worlds. It’s also experienced profound growth. Since 1974, Hong Kong has seen an average of 5.3 percent annual growth in its GDP, and tens of millions of tourists visit each year. More than 7,600 skyscrapers and high-rise buildings, many with contemporary architectural designs, paint the city’s skyline, evidence of both cultural and financial advances. Leading high-end consumer brands have opened storefronts in the city, making it a shopping destination for the wealthy. Some 400 alumni call this former British colony home, and they’ll be the first to tell you: Hong Kong’s wealth extends far beyond its finances. <br/>

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Booth 101: Cooking Local

After earning his Executive MBA from Booth in 2011, Daniel Tan, ’11 (AXP-10), decided to take time off to recharge and rediscover his passion before returning to the corporate world. Family and friends advised against it, saying he should leverage his new degree for a promotion and pay raise. But Tan stuck to his plan, and looking back, he has no regrets. “The entire year of slow travel in Latin America and Asia helped me discover so much about myself and the social causes I’m passionate about,” Tan said. “That eventually led me to quit the corporate world and become a social entrepreneur.” During his travels, Tan realized he had reached his limit in visiting temples, museums, and other typical tourist destinations. He yearned for unique local experiences, and started taking cooking classes wherever he could. “It was a good way to get to know a place,” Tan said. “The cooking-class teachers bring you to the markets. You get a crash course on local ingredients. It’s a complete cultural immersion.”<br/>

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75 Years at the Forefront

The year 1943 dawned upon a world at war. Little more than a year had passed since the United States entered World War II, but American life had already been rocked to its core. All personal car production had ceased, as Detroit’s Big Three factories churned out tanks, equipment, and billions of rounds of ammunition. By the end of the year, two million men would leave the workforce to serve in the military. And American women—many working outside the home for the first time—marched into factories in unprecedented numbers to replace them. It was an era of change, as Americans struggled to meet the challenges of the day. Chicago Booth entered that changing landscape when it launched the world’s first Executive MBA Program in 1943. The school recognized the need for experienced leaders to apply their knowledge and training to urgent tasks and expand the capacity of American industry. For the first time, there existed a course of rigorous business education tailored to the specific needs of mid-career managers. Or, as an early Executive MBA brochure put it, “The task of war is primarily one of co-ordination of men and materials in the work of industrial production; it is a problem of management.”<br/>

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The View From São Paulo

Fly into São Paulo’s sprawling business hub, and expect a cadre of close-knit Booth alumni to help you get acclimated. Whether they’re wining and dining or simply making time for a last-minute meet-up, the dozens of alumni in the city maintain close ties with fellow graduates, no matter the industry: though Paulistanos with a Booth degree often go into consulting or investment banking, private equity and venture capital roles represent a growing portion of the alumni base. Since arriving in the city five years ago, Leonardo Alves, ’12 (XP-81), has become part of a growing number of alumni attending events—both formal and informal. Recently this meant going to a U2 concert with a handful of alumni; other nights Alves joins former Booth students to experience some of São Paulo’s excellent Japanese cuisine. A Rio de Janeiro–based Booth graduate’s monthly business trip has turned into standing dinner plans. <br/>

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The Jet Set

In order for Todd Musgrove, ’10, to get to the office, he takes a plane, a train, and a car. And he likes it that way. Every two weeks, the Tokyo-based founder of Flight Digital Media, a digital marketing and mobile development firm, hops a nearly five-hour flight to his Metro Manila, Philippines, office. He doesn’t stay at a hotel. Instead, a corporate apartment in the city makes it easier to commute with only a carry-on. In Manila, unlike in Tokyo, life revolves around the business—and he embraces the grueling schedule. “I work crazy hours when I’m there because I try to maximize my time,” said Musgrove, who relocated from Chicago to Tokyo with his wife and two young children five years ago. Musgrove is a supercommuter—a new kind of business traveler who often traverses multiple time zones just to get to the office. The career path is by choice, albeit not one without difficulties. Today’s so-called supercommuter is just as comfortable hopping on a three-hour international flight as his neighbor who may take the highway to work and spend 40 minutes in traffic. For supercommuters, it’s not simply about taking on a temporary assignment elsewhere: they are strategically flying to global hotspots in order to get ahead in their careers without uprooting their lives.

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Student Supercommuters

Every four to six weeks, Robindra “Rob” Chatterjee shuttles more than 4,000 miles from his home in Brisbane, Australia, spending about 21 hours in trains, taxis, and airplanes, to get to his Executive MBA classes on Chicago Booth’s Hong Kong campus. He’s picked up a few travel tricks along the way. For instance, the showers at the Singapore airport are surprisingly nice. It pays to invest in a good pair of noise-canceling headphones. And an eight-hour flight can make for an adequate night’s sleep. “I’m practiced at sleeping upright on an economy-class flight,” said the 37-year-old, who works for his family’s coal sales and minerals exploration business.<br/>