Day In The Life
by Jim Baek, MBA1
Quick. All you M&A investment banking types out there: tell me what 1998 merger created the nation's fifth largest banking corporation with assets totaling $240 billion and annual earnings growth estimated at 13 percent? If you didn't guess Bank One, you should consider spending some more time reading that other Journal the one printed on Wall Street. Formed from the union of Banc One Corporation and First Chicago NBD Corporation, Bank One is a major provider of financial services to consumers, institutions, and corporations. Bank One, headquartered in Chicago, is also where I chose to spend my Day in the Life.
Because of my interest in public finance investment banking services for public and nonprofit entities versus corporations I spent my DITL interacting with and observing bankers from First Chicago Capital Markets (Bank One's investment banking arm) Government Banking Department and Public Finance Educational and Cultural Institutions Group. The Relationship Managers at Government Banking work with public sector clients to identify financial product needs everything from cash management to capital raising services.
The Educational and Cultural Institutions Bankers help nonprofit organizations including private universities, museums, and human service agencies to issue debt for capital projects. In addition to learning about the Bank's strong on-the-job and classroom training opportunities, I also discovered some of the unusual challenges of working with government and nonprofit clients. Here's a couple of questions for all you accounting jocks: How do you depreciate a Tyrannorsaurus Rex fossil? What exactly is the useful life of a fixed asset dating back millions and millions of years? Kristyn Harrell, an Educational and Cultural Institutions Associate faced this very dilemma during her recent work on a bond deal for Chicago's Field Museum of Natural History. Professor Frankel, would you recommend accelerated or straight-line depreciation?
Bank One offers UMBS students excellent summer and career opportunities in commercial and investment banking through its Corporate Finance Associates Program. Associates gain broad exposure to the Bank's capital markets services through a six month rotation system and also receive in-class training on specific products. Summer Associates work with one department, generally within First Chicago Capital Markets. So, if you have an interest in anything from asset-backed securities to fixed income sales and trading to real estate, give Bank One's Corporate Finance Summer Associate Program some serious consideration. Christie Smit (312) 732-7170 who directs recruiting for the Associate Program will be coming to UMBS in February for Summer Associate interviews.
Enterprise Development Fund
by Daniel Rose, MBA1
Several weeks ago, I had the unique opportunity to spend a "Day in the Life" with a local venture capitalist. Tom Porter is a Partner at Enterprise Development Fund (EDF), an Ann Arbor firm with close ties to the University of Michigan.
Tom invited me to a meeting with a group of people at the medical center who were working on a hi-tech start-up. I was familiar with this project through my involvement with the Wolverine Venture Fund (WVF), and I knew that it was currently at a crossroads. EDF, like WVF, saw potential for the product but recognized significant hurdles in bringing it to market.
Tom went into the meeting with an open mind. He spent the first hour simply listening. At the appropriate time, he stepped in to articulate EDF's position. He discussed, in a supportive and non-threatening manner, the potential risks and rewards of starting a company. Then he explained exactly what EDF would require to consider a potential investment.
This experience was unique in two important ways. First, this is a high-risk venture requiring the commitment of scarce resources. EDF's involvement is a testament to their support of the University community and their unique vision to work with early stage start-ups. Second, I could tell that Tom genuinely wanted to help these people resolve their dilemma, whether they decided to move forward with the business or not.
There is no substitute for hands-on learning. A class on venture capital could never have taught me what I learned by watching Tom Porter in action. I owe a debt of gratitude to Tom and his associate Mike Partsch for spending a day in the life with me.
Ethicon Endo-Surgery (EES)
by Amy Marta, MBA1
Ethicon Endo-Surgery (EES) is a Johnson & Johnson company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio chartered with developing non-invasive surgical instruments and procedures. Essentially they market instruments, tools and techniques that allow surgeons to complete operations through tiny incisions rather than standard large cuts which normally leave much bigger scars, typically cause more pain for the patient and take longer to heal.
During my visit in late December, my host Ed Jenkins provided me with an insightful view into Ethicon Endo-Surgery's business practices, product lines and company culture. Jenkins has worked for Johnson & Johnson for several years and currently holds a relatively unique marketing position as a Marketing Manager. He is the marketing member of a well-integrated product development team that launched a revolutionary new product called the Suture Assistant in November.
The Suture Assistant has taken the surgical community by storm and has been an enormous success for EES. The Suture Assistant consists of two positioning tools and a specialized needle that permit surgeons to easily tie knots. The product has simplified a process described as tying shoestrings using chopsticks with one eye closed to just the push of a button and these sutures are consistently superior to those that could be tied via traditional methods.
Jenkins was intimately involved in the product development process working as what he describes as a translator between the design engineers and the customer surgeons. Jenkin's role offered an opportunity to follow the Suture Assistant from the primary needs identification, to the project financial justification, product conceptual design and subsequent design evolution through to the final product launch. This particular marketing position is distinctive and exciting due to the enormous amount of strategic responsibility compared to the higher percent of tactical management expected post product launch.
With extensive customer involvement including observing surgeries first hand, Jenkins and his teammates were responsible for establishing the product, price, positioning and placement for the Suture Assistant. At the most rudimentary level, that's what marketing is all about!
The day of my visit coincided with the EES year-end "State of the Company" business review showcasing the years successes and even more challenging goals for 1999.
This presentation confirmed the fact that Ethicon Endo-Surgery has an impressive record of innovation yielding improved quality of life for the end customer the patient. Among other reasons, the personal rewards gained from contributing to such positive and impactful products make EES an exceptionally attractive company to work for. EES is competing in a fast-paced industry leading to dynamic career opportunities for MBAs with a variety of interests. Special thanks to Ed Jenkins for sharing his day and showing me the benefits of working with Ethicon Endo-Surgery.
by Anthony Volpe, MBA1
Although the typical day of an entry-level consultant is spent working at the client site, the confidentiality contract with the client prevents visits on-site by anyone other than the consultants themselves. Despite a concern by A.T. Kearney that the consequent restriction of my visit to their home office might hinder a meaningful Day In The Life Experience, their attempts to provide as much realism as possible about the life of a consultant at A.T. Kearney proved successful.
My day with A.T. Kearney began with an early breakfast meeting on the 28th floor of the Southfield Town Center, home of the Detroit office. Rajiv Jetli, coordinator of the Day In The Life experience and co-class manager for the UMBS Class of 2000, and Laura Sue D'Annunzio, officer (partner), spoke with me about their experiences in the firm to date.
The remainder of the morning consisted of 20-40 minute, one-on-one discussions with a total of 8 consultants. They included representatives from both the Automotive Practice and SITP (Strategic Information Technology Practice), and represented every level of the firm: associate, manager, principal, and officer (partner). The advantage of this structure was that the consultants were able to explain different aspects of consulting life from on their particular perspective in the firm.
After a delicious sushi lunch with several consultants, I "shadowed" David Peck, an associate who also helped coordinate the day for me. I was able to watch both his preparation of the final recommendation to a well-known client, and the meeting with his team to finalize these recommendations.
My small window into the culture at A.T. Kearney impressed me. Without exception, everyone exuded professionalism and a sincere enthusiasm for his or her work. Also, the fact that A.T. Kearney put so much effort into making the day so meaningful for only one UMBS MBA student again reflects their deep commitment to our school.
I would suggest that anyone interested in consulting should place A.T. Kearney high on his or her preferred list of firms.
Ford Motor Co.
by Joshua Landau, Tushar Narsana, & Brad Stewart, MBA1s
If you desire a fast-track, high visibility career in the most sophisticated information technology corporation in the world, you should seriously consider Ford's Accelerated Development Program. Last November, we spent a "Day in the Life" at Ford and learned how it maintains its outstanding position in the auto industry through the best information technology available.
At 9:00 a.m., we met our host, Jack Mumford, a Supervisor in Planning Product Information Management Systems. We discussed the Ford Motor Company organizational chart, Ford's brand portfolio (Mercury, Lincoln, Jaguar, and Aston Martin), and process improvement strategies with Mazda.
Then, we met Paul Malefyt in his design office about 2 miles away. Whoa! Did you know it takes 41-60 months and over a billion dollars for a new concept to take effect? We also spoke about initial concept approval & approval design manufacturing. Later in the meeting we were joined by UMBS 1993 graduate John Chin who made the "big switch" in 1993 when he left GM and joined Ford.
At 11:00 a.m., Chin drove us in his brand new Ford Taurus SHO to meet with Dave Henderson. Henderson showed us the Crash Test computer system graphical simulation, which predicts how passengers will react in a crash by interpreting millions of elements of crash data.
You may wonder where all this computing power comes from. Well, right in the next room we were introduced to a T90 Cray super computer system, the most powerful machine in existence today (8GB RAM with a price tag of $30M). After the US government, Ford has the 2nd largest computing resource in the world. We bet it's more than Y2K compliant.
After gasping at the super computers and mini-computers, we went to the new Employee Development and Training Center for lunch where we were joined by Stew Caulfield, the manager responsible for Ford's IT Accelerated Development Program. Caulfied spoke about current multinational efforts to standardize some of Mazda's IT infrastructure with Ford's.
After lunch, we visited Ford's Vehicle Operations Center where we enjoyed a demo of their CAD/CAM (Computer Animated Design & Manufacturing). Ford's internet-based software running on SGI workstations is able to simulate everything from the 3-D assembly and rotational-viewing of the latest Taurus to the muscle movements of line workers used to study stress and fatigue.
For our last stop of the day, we were joined by Tom Clemons, another UMBS graduate (in fact, his class was the first MAP participants). He works on the Marketing and Sales side of the IT Division, and showed us a new web tool used by dealers all around the country to configure and price virtually any model sold by Ford and its affiliate brands.
Ford will be interviewing on campus in early February. Several opportunities exist in Quality & Process Leadership including Business Strategy, Application Development, and Systems Infrastructure. Visit M-Track to learn more about the opportunities in Ford's Accelerated Development Program.
Plante & Moran LLP
by Rachel Zimmerman, MBA1
Plante & Moran (P&M) is well known for its accounting practice in the Michigan-Ohio region. Did you know that P&M also offers specialty services such as family business consulting and financial advisory services? If you like to work with people and have an interest in tax, investments or estate planning, this would be a great place for you to work.
I started my Day in the Life in Bloomfield Hills, MI talking with Ed Parks, the partner in charge of the Family Business practice. He provided colorful stories and insight on issues that family-owned businesses have to deal with. He first develops relationships with the families, forms an understanding of their business, then helps with everything from ownership succession issues to the hiring of new company officers. Maree Mulvoy, the partner in charge of Trust Services, also works with individuals and families to organize their financial assets into trusts and keep track of all paperwork (probate, etc.) that the family needs to deal with upon death of a family member. It is a service that provides enormous relief during a difficult time for families.
The second half of my day was spent in Southfield, MI at the office for Financial Advisory Services (FAS). Rick Dirksen founded the group as an offshoot for accounting clients who needed more detailed financial planning advice. The group is rapidly growing and has about 35 professionals. Each person in the group has a specialty in one or two particular areas, including tax, investments, estate planning, and institutional investing. Client accounts are separated into large, medium and smaller accounts and each person tends to specialize in one group of accounts.
Altogether, I would highly recommend Plante & Moran's financial services groups if you are interested in working for a company that provides excellent potential for a high level of responsibility early in one's career.
by Scott Holstead, MBA1
After spending the day at ENRON in Houston, TX for a "Day in the Life," I can tell you that the University of Michigan Business School is well represented at one of the most well positioned companies for the 21st century. From 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on December 21, I learned first hand how ENRON has developed an incomparable North American franchise for marketing commodities and structuring creative energy-related finance and risk management products.
During the course of the day, company personnel explained in detail maps diagramming ENRON's intricate array of pipelines that stretch across the United States. I learned how the company uses collars to provide energy producers and end users with price protection. I was shown computers that track up to the minute weather forecasts that enable ENRON to proactively anticipate future consumer energy demands. I learned that Enron Capital & Trade Resources (ECT) is the largest purchaser and marketer of natural gas and the largest wholesale marketer of electricity in North America.
I learned how new and upgraded water infrastructure will be needed throughout the world in order to meet the increasing demand for clean and drinkable water. I am convinced that ENRON's newly formed AZURIX division will provide the capital infrastructure and expertise to fill this niche. I also learned from the director of the company's weather derivatives and SO2 trading division how companies can insure themselves against non-profitable weather conditions and benefit from SO2 trading.
As we approach the 21st century with deregulation of developed economies, economic liberalization in developing countries and an emphasis on cleaner fuels and water, I would encourage all first year MBAs to take a serious look at a potential summer internship with ENRON.
ENRON's corporate office is located in Houston's downtown area. Houston is a fabulous city to live in and can successfully boast that only New York City headquarters more fortune 500 companies. It is an exciting time to be in Houston as new companies are continually making it their home.
I would like to thank ENRON's Michigan Business School Alumni Geoffrey Allen ('96), Mallik Avs ('98), Kevin Greiner ('98), and Robyn Roberts ('98) for all their help in scheduling my day's activities. I would also like to thank John Henderson, Patrick Hickey, Mark Miles, Billy Lemmons, Ed Baughman, and Lynda Clemons. They were generous with their time and made it very clear that they enjoy working at ENRON.
by Tim Wainwright, Frank Rolles and Gayle Guzzardo, MBA1s
Owens Corning hosted Gayle Guzzardo, Frank Rolles and Tim Wainwright for an informative and well-run Day in the Life (DITL). Owens Corning's corporate headquarters is located about one hour south of Ann Arbor in a modern, high-tech facility on the waterfront in downtown Toledo, Ohio. With $5 billion in sales in 1998, Owens Corning is the industry leader in building material systems and high performance glass composites. Glass fibers and composites can be found in hundreds of products including thermal insulation, structural shapes, roofing materials, snow boards, auto parts, water craft, and many other applications.
Jody Turin, Director of Investor Relations, coordinated the DITL event and arranged several meetings with Owens Corning executives for the DITL group. Turin is a graduate of UMBS ('96) and joined Owens Corning in the Leadership Development Program (LDP), a general management rotational program.
The DITL group met with Brad Johnson who shared his experiences as business manager for the PinkCore product. It was a compelling case of general management and marketing that included product development, production, distribution, market targeting, promotion, and sales. The striking difference between Johnson's case and that of the information-rich cases business students face in the classroom is that Johnson had to hunt for relevant information in far-reaching corners of the business from the production floor to the customer's office. However, with this additional challenge came additional satisfaction and reward in solving the issue.
The DITL group gained other perspectives of the company, including a financial viewpoint from Jeff Boersma and a logistics and information management view from Mike Radcliff. The group also met with Dom Cecere, Senior Vice President of North America Building Material Systems. Cecere shared some interesting stories about developing relationships with major investors and about legal issues.
In all of the conversations it was apparent that there is tremendous opportunity for individuals to contribute and develop at Owens Corning. The company provides a positive and encouraging atmosphere for MBAs who have an interest in general management.
by Ted Brockman, Amy Marta, Brian Zhang and Hao Wu, MBA1s
SmithKline Beecham (SB) is one of the world's leading healthcare companies. Headquartered in London, SB markets pharmaceuticals, over-the-counter medicines and health-related consumer products. SB provides healthcare services, including clinical laboratory testing, and pharmaceutical benefit management. Some of their more recognizable products include the antidepressant Paxil, antibiotic Augmentin, smoking cessation aids Nicorette/NicoDerm, and Aquafresh dental products.
The four of us were invited to visit the US headquarters of SB located in Philadelphia. Ted spent the day with an Assistant Product Manager responsible for Paxil, and participated in a discussion about market research strategies related to product positioning and physician focus groups. Amy was hosted by the Manager of Marketing Research for Coreg and sat in on a meeting with the Coreg product team and an outside market research firm that was presenting data related to anticipated product positioning and advertising. Brian met with the Oncology product management team and had an opportunity to compare and contrast marketing oncology products against more typical pharmaceuticals. Hao shadowed a Senior Product Manager with responsibilities for Infanrix, a children's vaccine that reduces doctor visits. During his visit, Hao attended meetings involving competitor analysis with respect to SB development priorities.
We each had the pleasure of lunching with Lisa Nettis (MBA '97). She is currently a member of the Management Development Program. This program is typically 24 months in length, and consists of three assignments (Nettis has already completed two and is transitioning to her third). Her initial position in sales gave her the chance to not only gain in-depth knowledge of the SB product line, but also familiarize herself with the Philadelphia area. Her assignment was in marketing research and the next assignment is a fabulous opportunity in product management launching Avandia, a promising diabetes treatment.
The time we spent with Nettis was an invaluable occasion for us to barrage her with questions about joining the management program and working in the SB culture.
We were all impressed with the comfortable, casual and accessible environment at SB. Nettis emphasized the benefits of participating in the management program along with the realistic opportunities to contribute in a meaningful and significant capacity.
Our consensus is that SmithKline Beecham is an exciting healthcare company with a plethora of experiences ready and waiting for qualified MBAs. SB provides an interesting forum in which to build a vibrant and diverse career in healthcare.
Ernst & Young
by Jason Olekszyk and Rick Harpster, BBA1s
BBA Global Blue Alumni Club began the first BBA "Day in the Life Program" last fall. Their plan was to give the first-year BBA students an opportunity to experience a typical day in their field of interest. Thanks to the support of Ernst & Young and the BBA Global Blue Alumni Club, we were able to experience a typical day in the life of an auditor.
E&Y planned an informative office visit at their national office in Cleveland, OH. Our journey began on January 4, when we drove into Cleveland in time for dinner with UMBS alum Mike Faremouth and two other E&Y auditors. At dinner we discussed the training process for incoming E&Y employees, the variety of industries E&Y audits and disputed the college football ranking system.
The next morning, we met with recruiting coordinator Robin Hamilton for breakfast. We discussed the upcoming day's activities, future E&Y recruiting activities at UMBS and the important role Cleveland has as the site of E&Y's national office. After breakfast, we met with Mike Faremouth again at Eaton Corporation to experience what auditors do at a multinational corporation such as Eaton.
Faremouth, Dave Benisek and Mark Vasiliauskas organized and gave us a presentation describing the requirements they must fulfill to complete a successful audit for Eaton Corporation. They discussed the annual audit cycle; the technology used at E&Y and the skills needed to be successful in this field. This presentation gave us the opportunity to informally ask questions related to the audit process and see firsthand the importance of technology in the audit process.
After the presentation, we went to lunch at the Cleveland Athletic Club with Faremouth and Jay Young, a Partner on the Eaton audit. Young discussed the partner's role in the audit process and we talked informally about life at UMBS. After lunch, Tom Barton, a partner in the Assurance Support Center of E&Y spoke of the large role technology plays in providing valuable information about each client to the E&Y auditors.
Following our meeting with Barton, we met with Brett Nelson, an employee in the Information Systems Assurance and Advisory Services (ISAAS).
Nelson gave us an informative session on how E&Y is expanding its operations to help their clients meet their technological needs for the future. We finished the day by meeting with Robin Hamilton to discuss the day's activities.
In conclusion, the trip to E&Y's Cleveland office was definitely an informative and enjoyable experience. We would like to thank Ernst & Young and the BBA Global Blue Alumni Club.
by Amy Marta and Mary Jo Wainwright, MBA1s
Recently we had the chance to spend a Day in the Life at Guidant Corporation to learn about career opportunities in corporate finance. Guidant is a global leader in the medical device industry, providing innovative, minimally invasive, and cost-effective products and services for the treatment of cardiovascular and vascular disease. The company is divided into three business groups: the Vascular Intervention Group in Santa Clara, CA; Cardiac & Vascular Surgery in Menlo Park, CA; and lastly Cardiac Rhythm Management in St. Paul, MN. Our Day in the Life experience was spent at Guidant's corporate headquarters in Indianapolis, IN.
On the morning of our visit, Guidant had received FDA marketing approval for a new coronary stint system, Multi-Link Duet. Needless to say, the headquarters was buzzing with excitement and very happy stockholders. Even with this significant announcement, the VP of Investor Relations, Todd McKinney, took time to present the Wall Street Road Show for us. This included an overview of Guidant's current product lines and research and development ventures.
The afternoon was highlighted by a visit with Jim Cornelius, Chairman of the Board. His devotion to the employee talent at Guidant was obvious. Guidant is a company that truly believes that employees are its greatest asset and supports that with significant incentive plans at all levels throughout the corporation.
The day ended with a visit to the Northeast US Sales Office, also located in Indianapolis. There we discussed some of the challenges facing Guidant relative to competitors and recent acquisitions. The discussion also included an ad hoc case study in pricing for the newly approved coronary stint.
Throughout the day, we interacted with a series of fabulous, energized people and discussed a variety of careers in finance. Our host, Joe Harris, a Senior Financial Analyst and UMBS '98 alum, is primarily responsible for monthly consolidation of all business group financials. Other responsibilities of the Financial Planning group include evaluation of acquisition targets, annual financial planning, and investor relations support. Overall, the characteristic that made the greatest impact on us was the universal positive attitude and genuine job satisfaction shared by everyone we met.
The employees of Guidant are constantly challenged to be on the leading edge. Guidant's business is dynamic and fast paced with some product cycles of only twelve months.
Technology developments and new product introductions have the ability to instantly change market leaders. For this reason high-tech devotees may want to take a second look at Guidant. It could be a hidden treasure.
Thanks to Guidant we gained a better understanding of the role of financial analysts in a corporate environment as well as a unique inside perspective of Guidant that we could never have gotten on campus. Thank you to everyone at Guidant for spending part of the day with us and a very special thanks to Joe Harris for coordinating and hosting our visit.
Marketing in Asia
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by Jaclyn H. Park, MBA1 firstname.lastname@example.org WeĠre not in Kansas anymore.
That was the shared assessment when representatives of U.S.-based multinationals gathered for a panel at the Asian Business Conference, January 29. Marketing experts from Ford Motor Co.,
Northwest Airlines and American Express agreed: Asia, for all its promise,is far from an ideal market "just over the rainbow".
Ronald J. Leicht, director of marketing and sales for Ford's Asia-Pacific operations, drew on "The Wizard of Oz" references familiar to most of the panel's audience when describing his move to Hiroshima four years ago as one of the first non-Japanese managers for Mazda in Japan. Everything he knew about auto marketing in the U.S. was stood on its head, he recalled, as he grappled with a work environment that did nearly everything differently--from the egalitarian way the desks were laid out, to how one's seniority impacted relevance in the corporate culture and beyond. "Japan is homogeneous," Mr. Leicht stressed. "Your rank in business determines who you are as well as your social rank."
Charles W. Breer, a Northwest Airlines product director who was born in Japan and is a UMBS alumnus, further reiterated how important it is to understand Asia's sense of history. As he outlined elements of Northwest's Asia strategy, he specifically addressed the airline's challenge in having a reputation that stemmed from World War II. "Northwest was seen as being the airline of U.S. soldiers," he said. "We still 'suffer' from that heritage" because being "local" matters more and more to Asian consumers.
The Minneapolis/St. Paul-based carrier has traditionally leveraged the frequency and convenience of its schedule as its selling point in Asia, but the focus has been shifting into improving the in-flight experience. Elements of that push encompass everything from having flight crews native to the specific markets, to making the meals more pleasing to Asian palates.
American Express' approach to creating a "value story" in Asia was detailed by Mark Chamberlain, vice president of business development and strategy.
Mr. Chamberlain discussed a five-month project that aimed to uncover the differences among AmEx-merchant relationships in Australia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia. A large number of merchants advertised acceptance of the American Express charge card, but in effect asked customers not to use it because of the associated fees. After researching this problem, AmEx was able to see that its best chance for fighting the trend was to offer a straightforward core value to storekeepers: Money talks.
"We bring (them) customers who spend more," because of AmEx's traditionally higher socioeconomic profile when compared to rivals Visa and MasterCard, Mr. Chamberlain said.
By recommending that AmEx hang its relationship management in the region on this hook, Mr. Chamberlain was able to offer the company a framework that translated into a stronger message, pricing strategy and service.
Most importantly, it could be applied to any and all of the countries researched--and possibly carry over to the rest of the world.