Friday, April 14, 2017

Welcome Weekend 2017: Recap

Welcome Weekend is our annual kickoff for newly admitted students each spring. This allows them to get an early taste of student life and Athens, in addition to the resources they need to maximize the value of their pre-term summer to really hit the ground running when they get here in August. A record 31 of our incoming students attended Welcome Weekend last Friday and Saturday, coming from as far away as China!

Friday was a great introduction to city and student life, including a guided tour of Correll Hall and North Campus, a presentation by the Career Management Center, a reception downtown, and then dinner in small groups with faculty, staff, and current students. 

Saturday morning began with a breakfast at Correll Hall. Even though there was a fairly late “Athens orientation session” at Little King’s Shuffle Club the night before, students were engaged throughout the morning sessions. A well-planned series of events, participation of university and Athens partners, and endless coffee surely helped.  

Mary Charles Howard of Athensmade and Jordan Burke of Four Athens led introductions to the city’s small businesses and culture. Athensmade is a single point of contact for tapping into the local entrepreneurship community. Four Athens is the local incubator and accelerator for tech startups. Howard talked about promoting creative culture in Athens, and she showed a short video of Athens’culture – musically and beyond. Jordan talked about the explosive growth in local startups and he quickly disposed of startup cliches and myths that don't apply here.

Rick Watson, the J. Rex Fuqua Distinguished Chair for Internet Strategy in the Department of Management Information Systems, gave a mock lecture entitled “The Digitization of Capital.” Watson stressed the importance for MBAs to see the world as a system and to play a role in the creation of a more sustainable society. Among other topics, he discussed the role of the Internet of Things in allocation of capital. Watson teaches a couple of courses in the MBA curriculum, including Energy Informatics and Data Analytics.

Nathan Stuck, a Georgia MBA from the Class of 2017, gave a lengthy talk on experiential projects completed by him and other MBA students. Stuck successfully leveraged his experience on a B Corp certification project into a full-time opportunity at Ad Victoriam Solutions, and he emphasized the value of learning/working experience outside of the classroom. Thankfully, our program is increasing options for experiential learning as part of the University's experiential learning initiative.

Aditi Kardekar, Justin Nachsin, Carmen Sullivan, Malisha Mendis, and Ross Manfre led a panel of current Georgia MBAs discussing the student experience, life in Athens, navigating the internship/job search, and a variety of other topics, addressing students’ questions throughout.

The mix of student panelists, in terms of industry background, geographic representation, and year in the program, brought many perspectives to address the concerns of incoming students.
We closed the weekend with a reception at South Kitchen + Bar in downtown Athens. There, we were proud to announce breaking news: the University of Georgia team won the SEC MBA Case Competition! Our 31 incoming students, plus significant others, had a wonderful weekend.  They are all a great bunch of people, and we’re excited to see everyone again with the full class at Orientation!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Spring Snapshots: Networking Events

While the Fall semester is the busier time for networking events, our students participate in several Spring networking events as well. The Spring Networking Night is the counterpart to our similar event each fall in Atlanta. At Spring Networking Night, over 60 professionals, mostly alums, represented more than 40 companies for a fun night at Atlanta's Parish: The Brasserie and Neighborhood Cafe. We also had an Employer Showcase in Atlanta at Terry's Buckhead campus, with Ashford Advisors, AT&T, LexisNexis, and Invista.
On the Charlotte Trek, students crossed state lines and had site visits at Bank of America, Regions Corporate Bank, Spectrum Properties, and Newell Brands. The Charlotte Trek included an alumni reception with Terry Dean Benjamin Ayers, where they heard more about Phase II of the Business Learning Community, need-based scholarships, and upcoming alumni events.

We are grateful to have such dedicated alumni and corporate partners and thought we would share a few photos from each of these events.

 Clearly, Spring Networking Night was an engaging two hours!
 Students, alums, and other industry partners sure can fill a room fast.
Students pose with recent alums at Spring Networking Night.
 Ashford Advisors meets one of our students at the recent Employer Showcase.
 AT&T is a reliable employer of UGA MBAs, and the Employer Showcase is
one of many touch points during a busy recruiting season.
 A thorough tour of the new headquarters of Spectrum Properties in Charlotte.

Monday, March 13, 2017

UGA MBA Students Win Healthcare Case Competition

A team of UGA MBA students recently won a Healthcare Case Competition hosted by Emory University’s   Goizueta Business School.   

First-year MBA students Colin Williams, Wei Shi, Dalton Corbin, David Russell, and Andrew Suddreth comprised the sole UGA entrant in the competition. Team members split the top prize of $5,000. They beat out ten other teams, including six from Emory and two from Georgia Tech.

Unlike a certain local team's recent Super Bowl performance, team Not the Falcons maintained early momentum throughout the case competition.
The case competition challenged students to make recommendations for Blue Shield of California given healthcare industry trends and changes due to the Affordable Care Act. The students received an overview of the case on Thursday and a case prompt on Friday morning. The team had four hours to prepare a ten minute presentation and five minutes of Q&A for Friday afternoon.

Team member Andrew Suddreth summarized the experience: “It was awesome to watch a team come together in a stressful environment with minimal information and perform. Everyone on the team was vital to its success and we were able to exploit each team member’s strengths. Hopefully a team from UGA can compete next year and help continue to grow [the program's] interest in the healthcare space."