B-School Bulletin: Could The Next iPhone Cost $1,200?

The Mindset That Fosters Career Agility

News from INSEAD

“In the 1990s, when Subhanu Saxena was about to be promoted PepsiCo’s CFO in Africa, a higher-up asked him if he would consider going to Russia instead. Accepting meant he would shift to a line role for the first time, on a turnaround assignment, no less. ‘I asked the organisation to just show me I wouldn’t get shot at,’ he said. Once his wife gave the green light, the Indian-born and British-educated executive moved his family to Moscow.

“Amid change, some people just feel in their element. An engineer by training, Saxena started as an investment banker and switched to consulting after earning an MBA at INSEAD. He then joined PepsiCo before turning to the pharmaceutical industry, eventually leading Cipla, India’s third largest drug maker. He now runs a private equity firm and is involved with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Some may find the breadth of such a career almost dizzying. We like to think of Saxena as a model of career agility.”

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Philip Bourne, who previously led a major program at the National Institutes of Health, in May became the second director of UVA’s Data Science Institute. Photo by Tom Cogill

Q&A: Institute’s New Director Leads Quest To Glean Wisdom From Data

News From the University of Virginia Darden School of Business

“For Philip Bourne, a leading data science researcher and the new director of the University of Virginia’s Data Science Institute, mining today’s massive data sets for truth and wisdom – and then sharing that insight with others – is an abiding passion.

“Bourne came to the University in May from the National Institutes of Health, where he led a major program to coordinate analysis of biomedical research and make it publicly available to international researchers.

“Bourne now leads similar efforts at UVA, extending to scientific and technological disciplines across Grounds through collaborations between the institute, schools and departments, and other new UVA institutes dedicated to studies of the brain, the environment, global infections, and more.”

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From Carolina To Capitol Hill, Mary Moore Hamrick Navigates Public Policy

News from the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

“Mary Moore Hamrick (MBA/JD ’87) grew up in ‘Main Street’ North Carolina, but her career has taken her from Wall Street to Capitol Hill.

“She never anticipated a career in politics, but she has spent almost 30 years working for and with the U.S. Congress. Her career spans a unique background in business, politics and law.

“Hamrick is the national managing principal of public policy for Grant Thornton LLP in Washington, D.C., where she is the firm’s primary liaison with members of Congress, regulators and other policy makers. She is a member of Grant Thornton’s U.S. enterprise leadership team and chair of its political action committee.”

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Gaining Global Experience

News from the University of Florida Warrington College of Business 

“Alex Llodra wasn’t sure what to expect when she started an internship at Vandergeeten Trading Co. in Beijing. Feeling uncomfortable at the beginning of her internship while in a foreign culture turned into one of the most beneficial experiences of her life.

“’I am always looking for ways to develop myself,’ Llodra said. ‘If you are comfortable, you are not growing. Being immersed in a business environment where you barely speak the language and have to carry out job tasks is a great way [to] get uncomfortable and develop your professional experiences.’”

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Ryan Petersen, Columbia Class of 2008, went from $140,000 in debt to $29 million in venture capital backing

Launching A Startup With MBA Debt

News from Columbia Business School

“Many business school students dream of launching a startup. Most never will; not because they lack the skills or ideas, but because a combination of debt and opportunity cost hold them back. MBA degrees are expensive and graduates of top programs have to turn down high-paying jobs at great companies if they want to start a business of their own.

“As a result, it is often irrational for recent MBA grads to launch a startup — which is a shame, because the skills and network MBA students gain in two years of studying business full-time are invaluable for any company focused on solving real-world problems.

“I graduated from Columbia Business School in 2008 with almost $140,000 in student debt. Despite the debt, the idea of starting a company never felt risky to me; what felt risky was getting a corporate job. I do not take orders well, and often struggle to operate within the confines of a well-defined process, so for me the risk was that I would get fired way before I could learn how to fit into a big company.”

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