Meet The Founders Of 3 Michigan Ross Student Start-Ups

News from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business

“The entrepreneurial spirit is strong in top MBA programs, with a number of MBA students entering business school each year with the intention of starting a business of their own — but what is that experience really like?

“A new episode of the MBA student podcast, Business Beyond Usual, explores that question from the perspective of MBA students pursuing their start-up goals while at Michigan Ross.

“The conversation features MBA students and entrepreneurs Holly Meyers, Chima Mbadugha, and Sheela Lal. The episode is hosted by Lal and fellow Business Beyond Usual executive producer Marjace Miles, MBA ‘19.”

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Lane Abernathy. Owen photo

From Musician To MBA: One Student’s Journey To B-School

News from Vanderbilt University Owen Graduate School of Management 

“Walking out to home plate at Camden Yards, ready to sing the national anthem for 38,000 people at a Yankees/Orioles game, I never would have imagined that one day I’d get an MBA. But, as I look back, my journey from musician and songwriter to entrepreneur to MBA student at Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management seems inevitable.

“In the music industry, there is no road map to success, no internship posted on LinkedIn for Senior Associate Rock Star with the goal of transitioning to a full-time hire after graduation. So, I did what any strategically minded, ambitious young-blood with a healthy appetite for calculated risk would do: I wrote a business plan, raised capital, and founded a music publishing company. I never meant to be an entrepreneur, but it happened.

“The goal was to build enough momentum to attract business partners so I could eventually focus entirely on creating music, not run a company. But soon, I realized the excitement and challenge of developing a business and leading teams inspired me just as much as my passion for music. I had discovered a way to combine my innate creativity and curiosity with a life-long passion for solving complex problems using critical thinking and data analytics.”

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USAFacts President Poppy MacDonald helped judge the USAFacts Data Visualization Challenge at the Darden School in March.

Darden Students’ Data Visualization Wins Seat At Table With Steve Ballmer

News from the University of Virginia Darden School of Business

“Thanks to a single compelling data visualization, University of Virginia Darden School of Business Class of 2019 students Mike Christison, Jette Welch, Aamir Imam and Michael Osborne will soon have the opportunity to dine with one of the world’s most influential business leaders.

“The four Darden students were the winners of the USAFacts Data Visualization Challenge, a novel competition held at the Darden School in late March. Sponsored by USAFacts, a nonpartisan organization founded by Los Angeles Clippers owner and former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer that aims to make government data more available, accessible and understandable to the media, policymakers and the public at large, the competition involved 27 First Year teams from Professor Robert Carraway’s ‘Data Analysis and Optimization’ course and one Second Year team. Each team submitted a single visualization showing the effectiveness of government spending.”

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How Gender And Racial Biases Are Hurting Economics

“A survey released this month by the American Economic Association (AEA) reveals a disturbingly high level of gender bias in the field, with nearly half of the women respondents saying they’ve experienced discrimination and more than two-thirds saying their work wasn’t taken as seriously as that of male colleagues. In addition, hundreds of women reported being sexually harassed, assaulted or inappropriately touched by male colleagues.

“The voluntary survey completed by 9,000 current and past members of the association — both men and women — also shows evidence of racial bias in a discipline that has struggled to attract more minorities. Nearly a third of nonwhite respondents said they had faced racial discrimination, compared with just 4% of white respondents.

“The results have prompted the association to take action to curb unacceptable behaviors and make the field more welcoming to women and people of color.”

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Fintech’s Game-Changing Opportunities For Small Business

News from Harvard Business School

“Artificial intelligence, machine learning, and big data will transform financial services and small-business lending long before they impact driverless cars, predicts Harvard Business School Senior Fellow Karen G. Mills. ‘As we speak, large banks and fintech providers are working on solutions that will dramatically change the options for small businesses.’

“Her new book, Fintech, Small Business, & the American Dream: How Technology is Transforming Lending and Shaping a New Era of Small Business Opportunity, was published April 4.”

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