UNC Kenan-Flagler Blogs

Tag Archives: marc

The "Trade-Off"

Life is full of trade-offs. So, apparently, is business. This morning, as part of Arv Malhotra‘s “Managing Innovation Processes” class, we had accomplished tech journalist Kevin Maney speak as a guest lecturer. Maney is author of the recently released Trade-Off, and presented the book’s namesake framework to us. Essentially, Maney has identified two conflicting forces in business: fidelity, which he defines as the total experience of something; and convenience, or how easy it is to get or do something. All products in today’s economy, he argues, can only be high in fidelity or convenience — not both. Take music. A U2 concert offers consumers high fidelity — the music, lights, 360 degree stage, the bragging rights to friends — but Read More

Introducing the Family Tree

As a Second Year student planning on starting a business, I’ve started to shift my academic focus at Kenan-Flagler toward those classes that will directly provide me with the tools necessary to successfully do so. One such class I’m taking now is an Entrepreneurship course offering, Innovation & Product Development, taught by Prof. Barry Bayus. Throughout the quarter, Barry has walked us through the new product development process, providing best practices on conducting market research, identifying voice of the consumer, translating needs into specifications, brainstorming ideas and designing new products. Concurrently, we have been working in small teams on an innovation project for mobile phone giant Nokia. The project has allowed students to directly apply all that we are learning Read More

A trip to Europe and a new semester

“In order to pursue leadership positions beyond the creative realm, I need a broader understanding of how companies operate. Part of this involves gaining the necessary quantitative and general business management foundation that I have had only a limited, informal exposure to.” This is from my application essay last year to Kenan-Flager. My case for admission at the time was pretty straight-forward: with no formal business background, I sought the fundamental quantitative skills, knowledge, and network that were critical to successfully starting and growing my own business. It’s safe to say that after only a semester at UNC — one that has included ten courses, including macro and microeconomics, financial tools, corporate finance, business strategy, marketing, operations, statistics, organizational behavior Read More

My life as a manufacturing executive

I’ve only been in business school for 3 months and am already running a factory. I’ve teamed up with two of my classmates to supervise Littlefield Technologies, a manufacturing facility that produces digital satellite receivers. We’re responsible for determining inventory, placing raw material orders, managing batch size and purchasing equipment — all with the intention of maximizing company profit. There’s just one caveat: Littlefield doesn’t exist. As part of the Operations Management core course, first year students at Kenan-Flagler are participating in an online factory production simulation (here’s a demo). In small groups, we’ve been making managerial decisions, applying what we’ve learned in class, all with the intention of generating more profit than our classmates. It’s a healthy and friendly Read More

Life outside of the bubble

I’ve often heard business school described as “living inside of a bubble.” It’s said that the first-year experience is so demanding and all-encompassing that life revolves around the same activities, people and places. Students go to class, meet with study groups, grab lunch in the cafeteria, hit the gym, have dinner or drinks with friends, head home, do work and hit the sack. Rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat. In some ways, my first three months in Chapel Hill have followed a similar rhythm. There is so much to juggle, so many opportunities to get involved, so many interesting and smart students to work with, that you almost forget that there is life beyond McColl’s walls. Not to say that this is Read More