Thursday, May 14, 2009

GSM News & Summer Reading

Earlier today, I received a nice shout-out from the assistant director of the Davis GSM asking to feature my blog in their newsletter. Of course, I adamantly refused! Haha..j/k. It's pretty awesome to know that what started out as my attempt to re-invigorate my writing skills (while potentially awakening a few dormant brain cells) and chronicle my b-school journey has generated much interest from both prospective and newly admitted MBA students. As I continue this trek, I hope to shed a much more vibrant light on the GSM and highlight the amazing opportunities I'll have along the way. Remember that whether you choose a full-time or part-time program, your MBA experience is truly what you make of it. Getting an MBA is great, but relishing in the experience is priceless! I, for one, intend to take full advantage of most of what's being offered and then some.

On a related note, I am excited that the GSM will welcome our new Dean, Steven Currall, who hails from the prestigious London Business School and University College London. He also packs an impressive background in entrepreneurship and innovation. But I do have to confess that I'm going to miss our current Dean Nicole Woolsey Biggart for a couple good reasons. Firstly, I'm not too familiar with female deans, so whoo hoo! for amazing female business leaders. And secondly, she also has a sociology background, which I find so refreshing to the b-school environment. Last year, she was honored by the Aspen Institute with a Faculty Pioneer Award (dubbed as the Oscars for the business world) for her exceptional commitment to incorporating social and environmental issues into academic research & management education. She even donated her honorarium to Davis' Net Impact. This just goes to show how committed the GSM is to ensuring that corporate social responsibility is not just a fad, but an integral pillar in business education and that the school is also dedicated to educating socially-minded business leaders who will use their MBA to meet the challenges of a strained and vastly interconnected globalized economy.

Nonetheless, I'm hopeful that under Dean Currall's leadership, the GSM will receive a tremendous boost in elevating its global appeal. Already, the UC Davis GSM is the youngest and one of the smallest programs to be globally ranked in the Top 50 for 14 consecutive years by U.S. News & World Report and we're also 25th among public universities! And, according to the Financial Times, we're ranked #2 in the world for Organizational Behavior. However, in my book, the most significant attribute of the GSM is its ongoing commitment to remaining small and intimate. I attended a very large undergraduate institution and I knew that I really didn't want the lecture-style set-up in a b-school; I guess I finally figured out my learning style and the conditions under which I thrive...I know, it's about time!

Another great thing the GSM sent me was their summer reading list. No, it's not mandatory, but purely a compilation of recommendations from the GSM community. In this spirit, I also came up with my own summer reads that I hope to pick up very soon!

1. More than Money by Mark Albion

2. Uncharitable by Dan Pallotta

3. How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas by David Bornstein

4. Forces for Good: The Six Practices of High-Impact Nonprofits by Leslie Crutchfield & Heather McLeod Grant

Monday, May 11, 2009

WiLPower at UC Davis

Excited to quench my insatiable appetite for getting involved with the UC Davis MBA community, I couldn't help but commit to attending the 2009 Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Sacramento with the Women in Leadership (WiL) team at Davis. I met the president of WiL at the campus' Preview Day event months earlier prior to my acceptance and she was super cool. As such, I was invited to join their Team WiLPower on the day before Mother's Day to walk/run for a great cause. Of course, how could I refuse such an invitation, right?

Here's a picture of those of us who bravely woke up bright and early on a Saturday morning to join thousands of others in the fight for a cure against breast cancer. Many thanks to Jackie (WiL's co-pres) for bringing her camera along to document our smiley faces.
It was such an awesome event! I had a great time and it was quite touching to witness all the honorees and survivors walking/running alongside me. Surprisingly, there were plenty of men amidst the massive sea of pink and they couldn't be more proud. Afterwards, I wandered through the race expo and even got a chance to get my free body fat testing completed. I'm also happy to report I'm in the normal range, so whoo hoo! for that.

It's pretty neat to be immersed in a team environment again. Since all of Team WiLPower were finishing up the 1st year of their MBA, they were more than happy to shower me with really helpful advice on making the most of my experience and still maintaining my academic rigor. I guess it all boils down to finding a balance--much like everything else in life.

I was also excited to speak with one of the students who had attended the Net Impact Conference at Wharton last year and he encouraged me to put that on my calendar for 2009 since it's happening at Cornell's Johnson School (little does he know I've already beat him to the punch!). I've got a meeting lined up tomorrow with the president of the working professional Net Impact chapter at UCD to strategize our community involvement plans for next year. I'm thrilled she's given me the opportunity to really help build this fledgling chapter of NI since this kind of thing is right up my alley. Earlier in the week, I saw Wicked in San Francisco and conveniently used the night to also network with some non-profit gurus in the's that for efficiency?! (BTW: If you are in the bay, go see's just wickedly addictive!)

Right before drafting this post, I also stumbled upon Andrew Choi's top 10 advice for incoming MBA students. I'm happy to note that I'll probably be checking off 4 of those from my own list. So, thanks Andrew for thinking of us who are still on the brink of embarking on our MBA goals. I know you can expect plenty more from my side, so stay tuned:)