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  • The World Is Your Playground

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    During my first year in the MBA program, one of the administrators charged me to not allow your education to get in the way of your learning. After some initial head scratching, I decoded the core message of avoiding boundaries when striving to acquire knowledge. Illinois makes no apologies for providing students with the chisel needed to sculpt their graduate school experience.
  • Sitting Down With James Pipkins

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    In continuing with our series checking in with second year MBAs currently working their summer internships, we caught up with James Pipkins. Pipkins, a dual Masters degree student, who graduated from undergrad at U of I (B.S. Technical System Management), is currently working on his Master of Human Resource Management at Illinois School of Industrial and Labor Relations while matriculating through the MBA program. Pipkins has been joined by a couple other Illinois MBA students, working at the Chicago Tribune in HR for the summer. During the interview, he offered some valuable insights regarding making the most of ones time at the Illinois MBA. Lets see what James had to say!
  • Create Your Story

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    Prior to officially beginning the Illinois MBA program, I can recall an address given by Dean Stig Lanesskog. During our orientation, he shared that a portion of the Illinois MBAs progressive nature was centered in the student creation, and by student creation, I mean students in the program possess the unique freedom the sculpt their experiences. The students control the direction of the curriculum they desire, the number of organizations they choose to join, the leadership positions they seek, and the list goes on. In his oration, Dean Lanesskog detailed his pillars for success within and beyond the program, one of which was create your story. In this edition of the Illinois MBA Student Life blog, I will offer five of the best methods (in my opinion, of course) to create your story in attaining success in and beyond the Illinois MBA program.
  • A Chat With Nat

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    Happy Friday, everyone! To conclude this week, we sat down with now second year MBA (applause for the Class of 2012, please), Natalie Keable to speak about her internship experience thus far. Natalie, who helps comprise the 10% (roughly) of MBA students that transitioned to the program straight from the undergraduate ranks, has exceled beyond the classroom. She boasts heavy involvement in Illinois Business Consulting (IBC) as a Project Manager and Chair of Alumni Relations & Client Outreach. So without further adieu, lets hear from Natalie Keable!
  • Changing of the Guard

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    Good morning, all. As the school year has come to an end, and the Illinois MBA Class of 2011 transitions into the work force, a changing of the guard has occurred. Kristen Lisa, now a member of AMD, performed extraordinarily as the digital marketing producer, keeping the masses informed on all the happenings and updates within the Illinois MBA community. She will be sorely missed, but we wish her the best of luck and much success in all of her endeavors.
  • MBA Student Creates Video Game to Teach Business Fundamentals

    Cristian Mitreanu, creator of the TEDxUIUC event, had put his expertise to work and created a new video game to teach us the fundamentals of making decisions at work. His game, OFMOS, is an innovative casual video game that mimics the basic actions taken by a CEO when deciding what the company should offer, when, and to whom. Rather than dealing with two separate portfolios, one of offerings and one of customers, this new theory allows us to analyze a company as a single portfolio of business entities. These entities are virtual business spaces defined by an offering and a set of customers, who have the same behavior relative to that offering. They are called "ofmos," a term derived from the combination of words offering-market-cosmos. In a beta-test of the game, 4 MBA students played and provided feedback and comments about their experience. Keep reading to hear from Srini, Koichi and Brett...
  • MBA First-Year Students Continue to Lock-In Summer Internships!

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    A few weeks ago we featured a set of first-year MBA students who have secured an internship for the summer. They shared their thoughts on the internship search experience, details about their summer assignments and their advice for other students looking for a new position. This week, we have another 4 Illinois MBA students talking about their internships. An internship provides invaluable experience and the Illinois MBA program is happy to see students taking on a diverse set of challenges. As always, we extend our congratulations to them and wish them luck as they take on new projects.
  • MBA Students are Honored for Extraordinary Achievements....Round Two!!

    John Foley, second-year MBA, shakes Dean Lanesskog's hand as he accepts his nomination award.
    John Foley, second-year MBA, shakes Dean Lanesskog's hand as he accepts his nomination award.
    On April 13, 2011 the Illinois MBA held the Spring Extraordinary Achievement Award ceremony. Similar to the one last fall, the award ceremony is a chance to honor those who have gone above and beyond the minimum requirements of being an Illinois MBA student through positive MBA program impact, outstanding personal acts, and/or positive community impact. This semester we honored nineteen students for their contributions to the program! Read more to hear about our nominees and the two winners of the Extraordinary Achievement Award.
  • MBA First-Year is Awarded the Joseph H. Smith Award

    Adam Ratner, MBA Class of 2012
    Adam Ratner, MBA Class of 2012
    Adam Ratner, a first-year MBA, was recently awarded the Joseph H. Smith Award for his work with the Kola Foundation. According to the Student Affairs website, Joseph Smith began his career at the University in 1864. In 1978, he was named Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Director of Affirmative Action, and Associate Professor of English. Mr. Smith worked towards creating a culturally diverse campus climate that offered educational opportunities to all students. This award was established by his colleagues to honor him as he retired. One award is presented to an undergraduate, graduate or professional student, or a registered student organization who has developed an effective and sustaining activity toward interracial or cultural understanding and an appreciation through outside-classroom experiences. The purpose of the award is to promote the educational value of racial/cultural diversity among students. Congratualtions, Adam! This is a great honor and we are excited about the future of the Kola Foundation.
  • SCPI to Host Mini-Conference on Social and Consumer Psychology

    Professor Brittany Duff, a faculty member in the Advertising department is part of a team that is organizing a University of Illinois "mini-conference" that deals with social and consumer psychology. This conference (SCPI) will hopefully serve as a first step to facilitating connections between colleges and departments that may have people working in an area that could pertain to consumer psychology (note that consumption can mean products, food, health, media, etc). This groups is hoping to find interested parties and work over the summer to create a more formalized format for the group for next year. Read more for details on the conference.
  • Real Estate Case Competition Team Places First!

    We recently posted an interview with second-year MBA Matt Lesh about the Real Estate Case Competition that he and six other students were participating in. Well, we are happy to announce that after many weeks of hard work and a strong presentation last week in Chicago, the team brought home a win! MBA students Lesh, Kyle Pietila and Jenna Goebig were joined by Taylor Douell,Connor Matthews, Briana Dunne, and Cheng Wang for the competition held in the Windy City on April 9, 2011. The competition was hosted by the Harold E. Eisenberg Foundation at the Union League Cluv of Chicago. Read more for details on the competition, and the win!
  • Meet MBA Professor CK Gunsalus

    Professor CK Gunsalus teaches MBA 501 Leadership & Ethics, and there is no question that she is passionate about her course, and about teaching. Professor Gunsalus sat down with us to talk about her course and what she loves about her job. Read more to hear our interview with a very experienced Professor, who, at the end of the day really just enjoys having the opportunity to work with Illinois students.
  • Illinois MBA Students featured in "A Day in the Life" Video

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    Illinois MBA students Jennifer Schmidt, Adam Ratner and Pawan Gaargi are letting us into their lives for a day in the new "A Day in the Life" video that was recently launched. While its easy to read descriptions about how great the Illinois MBA experience is, sometimes, its more fun to see! In the video Jen, Adam and Pawan give us a sneak peak into the life of a grad student and share their favorite things about the program. This is the first video of it's kind and given its instant success, we hope to see more! Read more to get the link to the video on the Illinois MBA site.
  • MBA1s Secure Internships and Look Forward to Summer Part I

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    According to many first year MBAs, the biggest fear they have is finding an internship in a difficult economy. Well, given the amount of Illinois MBA first-years that have accepted a summer internship offer, it doesnt appear fear stood in the way of success! Keep reading and hear from a number of first-year students who have internships and are excited to share their experience! The process may be difficult and at times stressful, but it seems that a little hard work and a positive attitude turned out great results for many students. Congratulations to you all and have a great summer!
  • Meet MBA Professor Nick Petruzzi...

    In an effort to keep bringing you new content, we have decided to add a new layer and give you an ever deeper look inside the Illinois MBA - interviews with our professors! They are a critical piece of the MBA experience and we finally have a chance to get them out of the classroom, talking about why they are passionate about their work and about teaching graduate students. This week, we spoke with Professor Nick Petruzzi who is an Associate Professor of Business Administration, a Gutman Teaching Excellence Fellow and the Academic Director of the MBA Program. However, our students know him primarily for his enthusiasm for teaching two popular courses. Read more to hear Professor Petruzzi talk about his courses and why he loves being a professor at the University of Illinois.
  • MBA Second Year Student Talks About Her Semester Abroad...in Paris!

    Photograph Courtesy of Kelly Groen
    Photograph Courtesy of Kelly Groen
    Kelly Groen, second-year MBA, decided to spend this semester abroad in Paris, France. She is not only taking full advantage of all the sights and famous places, but she has also been enjoying class and learning about the culture. Her experience in a new country will benefit her well beyond graduation both in her career and in her personal life. Based on our interview with her, it seems Kelly is happy with her decision and has certainly made the most of her time over seas. Keep reading to hear about her favorite things and about a "day in the life" of a student abroad!
  • MBA Students to Compete in Real Estate Case Competition

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    MBA second-year students Matt Lesh and Kyle Pietila will be competing next week in a Real Estate Case Competition in Chicago. For the past few weeks, the team (comprised of real estate, MBA and architecture students) has been doing market research on the current real estate market in the Chicago land area. The research includes: absorption rates, building trends, interest rates. the land & building entitlement process, and commercial tenant build out requirements. Additionally, the team has conducted multiple interviews and meetings with real estate professionals from the Chicago area as well as proprietary online real estate databases. Read more to hear from team member Matt Lash as he sat down with us to talk about the competition and his experience.
  • Spring Break Study Abroad in Rio de Janeiro

    Matt Lesh
    Matt Lesh
    Saturday 3/19/11 Day 1 By Matt Lesh, MBA2 Our group arrived in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 19. After going through Brazil Customs, we were greeted by Daniel Amgarten, our tour guide from Campus Brazil. Campus Brazil has a close relationship with the University of Illinois College of Business Study Abroad program and they are eager to host more Illinois study abroad trips in the near future. After arriving at our hotel, The Ipanema Inn, we walked to Carretea, a Brazilian steakhouse, for lunch. The food was excellent! Waiters came to our table offering us freshly cooked steak, pork, chicken, and beef ribs. In addition to the meat, our group ate a number of items from the buffet as well as dessert. Daniel encouraged us to try the Guarana, a popular Brazilian drink. This drink is served carbonated in an aluminum can and tastes like apple juice without a lot of sugar added. After lunch, many of us walked half a block from our hotel to the famous Ipanema Beach. The beach was very crowded with locals, spring breakers, and other tourists. Our group hung out at the beach for a few hours and relaxed. As the sun went down, everyone returned to their rooms to get ready for our first night out in Brazil. We went to an outdoor restaurant, Bartholemeu, that was just a few doors down from our hotel. We enjoyed a traditional Brazilian drink, Caipirihna, which is similar to a mojito.
  • Kola Workshop with DoGood Consulting CEO Laura Huth

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    On April 1st from 1pm-5pm, the Kola Foundation with host a workshop featuring Laura Huth, CEO of DoGood Consulting. This workshop was designed to ensure Kola's sustainability in the work they are doing on and off the Pine Ridge reservation. It is focused on marketing and fundraising, but will address all components of operating and growing a non-profit organization. The format will be interactive workshop style - not a typical lecture. Laura has an extremely impressive background - in 2008 she was named Female of the Year by Central Illinois Business Magazine, and in 2009 Do Good Consulting was recognized by the Champaign Chamber of Commerce as Small Business of the Year. Keep reading to learn more about this distinguished guest speaker and the event.
  • Kola Foundation Distributes Goods in Pine Ridge

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    The Kola Foundation is at it again! The non-profit organization, run by Illinois MBA students, recently took part in distributing thousands of good to the Porcupine Middle School, a centrally located venue on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. The event was "tremendously successful", according to Kola CEO, Adam Ratner. Continue reading for Adam's account of the trip to South Dakota and the great work the foundation is doing.
  • MBA Students Polar Plunge for the Illinois Special Olympics

    Students plunging at the Lake of the Woods
    Students plunging at the Lake of the Woods
    On Saturday February 26, 2011 the Illinois MBA had 9 student volunteers at the Polar Plunge after raising money to benefit the Special Olympics of Illinois. One plunger, first year MBA student, Colleen Symansky sat down with us to give us the download on her freezing cold adventure into the Lake of the Woods in Mahomet, IL. Although it was cold, the team had a great time...keep reading to learn more!
  • Illinois MBA Helps Sponsor TEDxUIUC 2011 Event

    TEDxUIUC Curator Cristian Mitreanu
    TEDxUIUC Curator Cristian Mitreanu
    For the second year in a row, MBA student Cristian Mitreanu served as the curator of the TEDxUIUC conference. Held at the Business Instructional Facility in Champaign, this event brings together students, alumni and some of the world's top thinkers to spark discussion and conversation about innovation in the world around us. Whether its consumer psychology, cosmology or our relationship with technology, the event features remarkable speakers talking about the incredible research they've done. TEDxUIUC is certainly a unique experience, both for the university and its students, which is why this years event was nothing short of inspiring. Keep reading to learn more about the conference and the TED organization.
  • MBA Students to Compete in Net Impact Walmart Better Living Business Plan Challenge...

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    ...it seems that this is the season for competition, and the Illinois MBA continues to motivate students to be a part of the action! A group of 6 students involved with Net Impact in the program - Jon Chan, Kevin Elens, Alex Garcia, Deon Lucas, Shubhashri Mohanty, John Sadilek and faculty advisor Kathryn Rybka - have been working hard the past few months to compete in the Net Impact Walmart Better Living Business Plan Challenge. Keep reading to get the details of this exciting opportunity and check back for interviews once they've completed their plan!
  • Meet the New Illinois MBA Students Ambassadors!

    The Illinois MBA recently launched its new "Student Ambassador" site and we are very excited about the students who are profiled! Eight students from the MBA Class of 2012 have been selected as points of contact for prospective students because of their diverse experience and passion for the MBA. The site is designed to be a landing page for prospective students to go and connect with current students to learn first-hand about life in the Illinois MBA. Be sure to check out the site and reach out to these students for all things MBA!
  • MBA Dean's Fellows Spend the Day With Accenture Executives

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    The Dean's Fellows program at the Illinois MBA has been very busy. This select group of students - Vinay Patel, Adam Russell, Adam Ratner,Justin Essig, Jill Krivacek, Emilia Poppe, Alex Garcia, Olaide Lawal, Andrew Kennedy, Diana Vallejo and Larry Rubeck- - have not only recieved a scholarship for their previous accomplishments, they also have the opportunity to recieve focused career development through a mentor-relationship with as Dean Lanesskog. Additionally, they are meeting with various members of the MBA board to discuss their career goals and the strategy they are developing for the future of the program. Most recently, the Dean's Fellows had the opportunity to meet with executives at Accenture in Chicago. Keep reading to hear from our guest writer, Adam Ratner, about his experience at one of the top consulting firms in the Windy City.