It’s been an incredible first quarter. A lot has happened in the three months since I began my business school career. But before we get into that, I should introduce myself. My name is Frank Wang and I’m a first year Full-Time MBA student at Rady. Like Drew, I hail from New Jersey where I was born and raised. I graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2007. My professional background is diverse: I worked in corporate retail as a Buyer and Planner for Linens ‘N Things and Macy’s Home in New York City and following that, I founded my own internet start-up company that I ran for two years before business school.
However, I am not here to write about that. I was posed the question, “What defined your first quarter experience at Rady?” Reflectively, I thought of several different experiences. I thought about all the quantitative analysis case studies I worked on. I thought about an out-of-class market analysis project I took on with a consumer goods company in San Diego. I thought of the interview opportunities I secured, which I wouldn’t have if I didn’t attend Rady. Yet, one thing really stuck out in my mind; my classmates. Rady prides itself on training world managers for the future and, unequivocally, that’s exactly what they’re doing.
The Full-Time’13 class size is just under 60 people; this may be small compared to other business schools, but there is an interconnectedness between us that should not be understated. Over the course of the quarter we all became really close, which is remarkable considering the diversity. We all come from different walks of life; we vary vastly in work experience, culture, age, and goals. Moreover, one would think that a class comprised of nearly 50% international students would breed constant conflict and ignorance. Instead, I found the exact opposite. I saw my classmates demonstrate tolerance and curiosity in trying to learning each other’s cultures. Most recently, after our last Final, the Indian students treated 15 of us out to a local South Indian restaurant. We experienced a full array of South Indian cuisines. I had Indian food a few times prior, but that particular experience made me love it. All the rich flavors and textures changed my entire flavor profile. As I write this on a plane (returning back to glorious NJ for the holidays), I am aching for the samosas I had a few days ago.
It is certainly true that business is going global. However, it does not mean that we have to see it as a mechanical byproduct. As students of business, we should not act like we are forced to learning new cultures for the advancement of our businesses, but rather as a benefit in improving business and society. Here at Rady, students from different cultures and schools of thought come open minded to amalgamate successful practices from their respective cultures and work experience to formulate new ventures and business solutions. Assuredly, these ideas will be taken to our Lab-to-Market course during the Spring Quarter. Lab-to-Market is a core Rady program where students take a business idea, write a business proposal, and then collaborate together in putting it into market. It is a renowned program that distinguishes us from other business schools. Already, I have heard some exceptional, innovative ideas and cannot wait to see them explored.
I have a fascination with people’s personal stories (I’m an avid autobiography reader). Hence being placed in an environment where everyone is invariably different than the next person excites me. While I wish I could write small biographic blurbs for each of my classmates of how they came to be at business school, I do not have the space. There is one story, although, that I think highlights and encapsulates the type of people I am surrounded with on a daily basis. This classmate, Yohei, quit his job as a Data Analyst with Yahoo! Japan to pursue a different life in business and in America. In Japan, their culture dictates them to stick with one company for the duration of their professional career (also known as lifetime employment). It is a long-standing practice, and those trying to seek mobility in their career are often deterred. However, Yohei was not content with what he was doing; he was working 15 hour days which forced him to come home very late at night and he felt he was missing being part of his daughters’ lives. Feeling displeased with his life at the time, he decided to go against the grain and left his job. He took his savings and moved his wife, two daughters, and himself to San Diego in search for a more amenable life where he can be both professionally and personally satisfied. Determinedly, he will use his MBA to leverage himself into a position that will allow him to achieve this. Furthermore, even though he is one of the politest and kindest people you will ever meet, there is a quiet perseverance and tenacity in him that will push him into achieving his goal of being a successful businessman and a great husband and father. Often, the other Japanese students–who are sponsored by their respective companies to be here–speak of the courage and boldness required for a Japanese person to take such a risk. Nevertheless, when I talked to him about it, he smiled and replied, “When I think of my daughters, it’s not a risk, it’s what’s right for them. ” After hearing this, I think it’s an honor to be surrounded by people who possess the resolution to chase their dreams and have a distinct plan in achieving them.
The last thing I want to reflect on is the study group work. Rady divides the student body into different study groups. Each study group is comprised of 4 members who have different work backgrounds and cultures. For example, in my study group, we had a recent undergraduate from UCSC, an engineer from China, and a biologist from India. I functioned as the guy with the marketing/entrepreneurial background. Together, we were team 8 (or informally known as Mamba Consulting Group for group projects). These groups were put together to simulate real-life work environments, where diversity is really prevalent. Moreover, as the business world goes global, it is important to acquaint ourselves with differing work habits and ethics. I remember the first time we met. I was quite apprehensive; we were all so different, including the other American in my group. Nevertheless, over the course of the quarter we really bonded and produced high-level work. We also encouraged each other and would not let anyone fall short. To illustrate, there was a time where we were working on a linear programming assignment for our quantitative analysis class. I had a really difficult time understanding how to represent production and costs constraints with mathematical inequalities. We were able to finish this project without much input from me. When we were about to break for the night, I tiredly said, “I don’t really understand this, but oh well.” Prarthana, the biologist from India, slammed the table and exclaimed, “No! That’s unacceptable. We will go through it again until you understand.” I was really appreciative of her concern: it was not her problem that I didn’t understand it—we had already completed the assignment. Her refusal of letting someone on her team be knowledge deficient demonstrated great leadership and a deep understanding of what it is to be part of a team. Undeniably, she will be a fantastic manager in the future.
At Rady, we are constantly building. For administration and professors, they are building leaders. As students, we’re building a school culture and and new lives for us and the future generation. There is an unbelievable pool of talent at Rady. With the completion of the new state-of-the-art Wells Fargo Hall next year, the next class will undoubtedly be as promising if not more promising than my class. I am both enthusiastic and excited to be part of and building the future of Rady.
This past Wednesday, the Rady Entrepreneur Club was fortunate enough to team up with Seedstock in hosting a panel of six San Diego entrepreneurs involved with Sustainable Agriculture:
- Dan Gibbs (CEO and Co-founder of Home Town Farms)
- Thomas Del Monte (President and General Counsel of Interra Energy, also a Rady Alum!)
- Seth Burns (CEO and CFO of Biogas & Electric)
- Colin Archipley (CEO of Archi’s Acres & Veterans Sustainable Agriculture Training (VSAT) program)
- Ralph Crevoshay (CEO of VermiVision)
- Jeff Robbins (Co-founder of Revolution Landscape)
The panel also featured Don Nishiguchi, regional local produce buyer for Whole Foods Market, who deserves a huge THANK YOU for catering the event. Serving as Seedstock’s first live event, the 3-hour event featured individual presentations by Seedstock and each of the agriculture entrepreneurs listed above, followed by a panel discussion that allowed a Q&A session with the audience, comprised of local professionals in the sustainable agriculture industry, and students from the Rady School of Management. The gathering opened up for 30-minutes of networking both before and after the presentations.
Sustainable agriculture is focused on finding ways to meet global food demand that is forecasted to increase over 70% in the next 40 years, as world population is predicted to reach nine billion by 2050. Each of the panelists highlighted the efforts of their respective companies to meet these growing demands, and a plethora of topics were covered. Without going into too much detail, some of the revolutionary ideas that were addressed included Vertical Urban Farming, the benefits of biochar, and the advantages of using vermicompost. Also discussed were the topics of the stress on global water supply, and making locally grown produce available to communities at an affordable level – even ways to allow for low-income areas to grow produce right in their own yards.
Big thanks also goes out to Jason Reed, founder and CEO of Seedstock, and Robert Puro, managing partner of Seedstock. The Entrepreneur Club hopes this to be the beginning of an on-going relationship with Sustainable Agriculture Entrepreneur community in the San Diego area.
Filed under: GreenTips, Life at Rady, Networking
Well yesterday was a complete success! Drew and I drove over to Quartus Engineering and reviewed the company’s workspace for potential areas of improvement. It only took us about 50 minutes to go through all of the offices and find out what areas are available for improvement:
A few things we noticed that aren’t available in the report:
- Digital Picture Frames left on
- A few offices not using surge protectors
- Hard to tell if people were using sleep mode, however, most computers were left on when
- Thermostats left on in unoccupied offices
Overall we were very impressed with the office and since we don’t have access to your monthly bill, we cannot provide specific annual savings.
- Turn off computers at night and have computers on sleep mode instead of screen savers (most cost effective change)
- Fix weather stripping on side door
- Put occupancy sensors in the main hallways, common areas, and computer lab/storage areas
- Thermostats should be programmable and set to correct date and time (this is 15% of HVAC costs)
- Look into the feasibility of acquiring energy efficient refrigerators
We are very excited to do another energy audit and if you stumble upon this page and want to request an audit, feel free to contact either Drew or myself at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Never Had I Ever spent Thanksgiving Day away from my family. But traveling 3,000 miles to and from the East Coast for a 4-day weekend wasn’t the most efficient use of time or money. Thankfully, I was extended an invite to head home with a classmate – his parents live just 15 minutes off the Las Vegas strip. The four-day vacation in the desert proved to be just what I needed, a hiatus from my first-quarter workload, which helped me prepare for the 2-week grind through presentations and finals. But before I fall mercy to around-the-clock assignments, allow me to re-live my Vegas vacation in a few short paragraphs.
Day 1: We beat any heavy traffic on the way to Vegas, arriving in just over 5 hours. My buddy’s parents remind me of what my Mom & Dad will be like in 10-15 years, when all the kids are out of the house (I’ve got little sisters!). They served us delicious red wine and cooked up a delicious dinner. As the night progressed, we transitioned to port wine, lit some cigars, and played putting games in the backyard. Great first impression of Henderson, NV.
Day 2: Early morning plans to hit the golf course were nixed by the majority of our foursome feeling under the weather (wonder why?). The chit-chat at the breakfast table quickly turned to that day’s NFL games. Football starts earlier on Thanksgiving, and on the west coast, that equates to a 9:30AM kickoff. After placing some morning bets at GVR (my new favorite off-strip experience), we kicked back and enjoyed a traditional Thanksgiving. Food and spirits all day long, intermingled with football, sleeping, and a late-night trip to the casino (but not to cash any winning tickets, unfortunately).
Day 3: I enjoyed some quiet time Friday morning, and was able to bang out some work on my laptop. I had failed to mention that my friend’s older sister and brother-in-law were in town from NYC (very entertaining couple) – and the six of us spent the day in Boulder City, enjoying lunch at The Dillinger. I received a history lesson of Boulder City, and had some fantastic views of Lake Mead. That night, our gracious hosts took us out for a 6-course dinner at Comme Ca, a French restaurant at The Cosmopolitan. I half-heartedly joke about moving in.
Day 4: We successfully woke up and hit the golf course on Saturday morning, playing 18 at Rio Secco (where Tiger Woods holds the course record). Aside from the turkey feast, it was a lot like Thanksgiving Day: food, drink, naps, and football. The six of us enjoyed one last meal together at GVR (accompanied by some of the smoothest wine I’ve ever had), then got hot with the dice on a previously empty craps table. You know you’re breaking the bank when the casino lowers the minimum at your table in order to attract new patrons!
We left early Sunday morning for the 4.5-hour drive back to San Diego. Originally, I hadn’t been sure if I should ‘intrude’ on family time and take up my friend on his offer to come home for Thanksgiving. But his parents were fantastic, made me feel at home, and the 4-day trip helped take my mind off the workload that would be waiting when we got back to La Jolla. Now I’ve just got to snap back into “productive mode” to get through finals! The reward at the end of the quarter will be a 2-week vacation back to the east coast, where my family and girlfriend are eagerly awaiting my visit. I’m not sure what I’m more stressed about – final exams or unfinished Christmas shopping!