Business Law Professor Honored by MSFRM Program for Outstanding Teaching

Stephen Park, an assistant professor of business law, was recently honored by the MS in Financial Risk Management Program for outstanding teaching. This past December, Park was awarded the Outstanding Faculty Award by the graduating class for the second consecutive academic year. Park teaches a course on Legal and Ethical Issues in Financial Risk Management. His innovative teaching emphasizes qualitative risk analysis and writing skills, and incorporates role-based simulation exercises. Continue reading

‘Long-Term Thinking in a Short-Term World’ is Topic of UConn’s Thought Leadership Breakfast Seminar on Mar. 10 in Stamford

Executive Breakfast: Long-term Thinking in a Short-term World | Mar. 10, 2016

“Long-Term Thinking in a Short-Term World” is the topic of the UConn School of Business’ second program in the Spring 2016 Thought Leadership Breakfast Seminar series.

The program will be March 10 at the UConn Stamford Campus, 1 University Place, Stamford, beginning at 7:30 a.m. with breakfast and networking. The keynote presentation, by management professor David Souder, will be from 8 to 8:45 a.m. For more information or to register, please contact Katherine Ruiz at (203) 251-8465 or Katherine.Ruiz@business.uconn.edu.

In times of crisis and rapid change, short-term thinking helps firms survive. But, to prosper over the long-term, the transformational impact of long-term action is a necessity. Souder will share the latest thoughts on how to keep your organization prosperous by incorporating long-term thinking, even when facing pressure for short-term results.

Souder’s ongoing research analyzes the experiences and consequences of firms’ long-horizon investments, including capital infrastructure, organization design and mergers and acquisitions. His articles have been published in top academic journals. In conjunction with the Network for Business Sustainability, Souder is the lead author of a report on ways to incorporate long-term thinking into current business decisions.

Souder is the academic director of UConn’s Executive MBA program and the Ph.D. Coordinator of the management department. Before joining academia, Souder spent a decade in the private sector as a strategy consultant based in New York and London. He also serves as the finance director for a start-up that launched a non-profit charter school in New York, and continues to advise business and community organizations.

‘Risk Intelligent Compliance’ is Topic Of UConn’s Thought Leadership Breakfast on Feb. 10 in Hartford

Executive Breakfast Series | Risk Intelligent Compliance | Feb 10, 2016

“Risk Intelligent Compliance,” is the topic of the first in a series of Spring 2016 Thought Leadership Breakfast Seminars sponsored by the UConn School of Business.

The program will be offered Feb. 10 at UConn’s Graduate Business Learning Center, 100 Constitution Plaza, in Hartford. The event begins with breakfast and networking from 7:30 to 8 a.m., followed by the presentation by business law professor Robert Bird from 8 to 8:45 a.m. The program is free, but registration is limited. For more information or to register, please call Amanda Spada at 860-486-5498 or email Amanda.Spada@business.uconn.edu.

Compliance is big business and the stakes for a firm are high. Yet companies cannot simply dedicate unlimited time and resources to solving compliance issues. The skilled manager must know how to implement compliance effectively and do so at low cost and without disruption. Successful firms will be able to intelligently manage a full spectrum of risks and make decisions that both effectively and efficiently protect the firm from sanctions and harm.

In the seminar, Bird will introduce the concept of risk-intelligent compliance. He will discuss how to make compliance decisions within the confines of limited time and resources. Compliance risk is now a fact of life and something that cannot be completely eliminated. Managers can, however, evaluate the magnitude of various risks and then apply resources in a manner that is most efficient and effective in minimizing exposure. The seminar will explore multiple kinds of efficiency, the trade-off between risk and cost, and show how firms can best achieve their compliance goals and promote compliance as a source of innovation.

Bird, who is the Eversource Utilities Chair in Business Ethics at UConn, is a highly regarded and highly awarded researcher, who specializes in employment law, legal strategy, intellectual property, law and marketing, business and human rights and related fields. He has authored more than 70 academic publications in top journals and has received 15 research-related awards. He earned his law degree from Boston University in 1996.

Award-winning Professor Dick Kochanek’s Accounting Class Came with a Bonus: Great Advice for Living Life

“If the person next to you in class leans over and whispers, ‘I love you,’ you have to say: ‘Not until after class. I have to focus on Kochanek’s lecture now!'”

That’s one of the many witty remarks that Professor Richard “Dick” Kochanek has used to engage the 250 underclassmen in his “Principles of Financial Accounting” class.

Kochanek, who retired at the end of fall semester, is one of the most beloved and highly regarded professors at UConn. He has extremely high ratings from his students and is widely credited with turning their curiosity about accounting into a life-long career. Continue reading

Research Seminar with Suzanne Shu, UCLA Anderson School of Management

Suzanne Shu (centered) with Ph.D. Students Bin Li, Zahra Tohidinia, Lu Huang, and Qizhou Wang. (Nancy White/UConn School of Business)
Suzanne Shu (centered) with Ph.D. Students Bin Li, Zahra Tohidinia, Lu Huang, and Qizhou Wang. (Nancy White/UConn School of Business)

As part of Marketing Department Ph.D. student speaker series, Professor Suzanne Shu from UCLA Anderson School of Management gave a research presentation titled, “Risk, ownership, and loss in decumulation during retirement” on Friday January 29. This research seeks to better understand the psychological processes underlying Social Security claiming decisions. Specifically, higher perceived life expectations (which are subject to question framing), intertemporal impatience, loss aversion, and perceived ownership of SSA contributions are all significantly predictive of expressed preference for early versus late claiming. The findings of this research provide important insights for the continued design of interventions to help retirees make optimal individual retirement decisions. Continue reading

On the Ball

UConn Consulting Group
Back row from left: Ezra Okon (Adviser), Justin Lee, Stephen Porcello, Laura Iliescu, Jason Mraz, Kunal Kutaria, Romanna Romaniv, Katie Cavanaugh, Kyle Horvath, Paul Millerd (Adviser)
Bottom row from left: Edward Leardi, John McLaughlin, Matthew DeLeon, Jeffrey Noonan (Courtesy of Jason Mraz)

New Student-Led UConn Consulting Group Investigates Ways to Make Basketball Fans Love Games Even More

When UConn Athletics noticed a decline in basketball sales, they began to look for new ways to get fans into games. They introduced new package ticket deals, created the ‘Top Dog’ Program, and brought in the UConn Consulting Group (UCG) to help them further analyze UConn and the college basketball industry.

Primarily made up of undergraduate business students, the UCG is a competitive experiential learning group that pursues real-life (work) experience through select consulting projects. Each semester, the group takes on a new project and works to add value to a client’s strategy and operations while letting students develop skills that are, at best, extremely difficult to learn in a classroom.

The UCG worked with UConn Athletics through the fall 2015 semester to identify ways to improve the game-day experience for fans. They began by performing an in-depth analysis of UConn basketball and the different elements that have dramatically shifted the college basketball industry in recent years, such as conference realignment and technological advances. They also conducted extensive research, reaching out to more than 20 comparable universities, reading more than 50 academic research papers and articles, conducting three surveys and analyzing the results of some 1,800 respondents.

Throughout this process, the UCG identified key elements of success, as well as best practices from other universities that could be incorporated at UConn. At the end of the semester, the UCG presented its final recommendation to UConn Athletics.

“The UCG has gone above and beyond this semester to help UConn Athletics be the best it can be,” said John Seagrave, assistant director of marketing for UConn Athletics. “They have given us a lot to think about moving forward and we really appreciate all the work they did to help us out.”

The consulting group was created by Justin Lee ’15 as a way for UConn students to make an impact on their community. An accounting major, who discovered a passion for management consulting, Lee began by reaching out to alumni in the consulting industry and, with the help of Paul Millerd ’07 and Ezra Okon ’10, was able to form the UConn Consulting Group. UCG started with seven members and two alumni advisers, but has since grown to 13 members and four advisers, with more growth on the horizon.

“UCG has grown faster than I ever imagined,” said Lee, who is still an adviser. “The quality of students, and [their] passion to succeed will drive the group to be a premier organization at UConn. I cannot wait to see the group grow.”

Although the UCG has only completed two projects to date—UConn Athletics and a previous engagement with the UConn Foundation—it has experienced overwhelming success, and more importantly perhaps, has made a significant impact on the members.

“UCG has helped me with everything. My communication and technical skills have improved dramatically and it’s all I talk about in interviews,” said Katie Cavanaugh, a junior who is currently leading a project for a financial services startup. “Plus, UCG’s network of undergraduates and alumni advisers is arguably the best on campus. It really is an exceptional group and an incredible opportunity for UConn students.”

In the coming months, UCG will begin working with two start-ups—one based in Connecticut, the other in New York City. The projects will include detailed analyses of things such as revenue growth, cost/benefit of strategic partnerships, valuation, and overall business plan evaluation.

“The UCG is expanding to two projects next semester, allowing us to further our impact even more,” said Stephen Porcello, managing director. “I am very excited about the future and the numerous ways we will continue to grow and develop, and enhance our impact within the UConn community.”

The UCG is currently looking to recruit new members. If interested, please send an email with your resume to uconnconsultinggroup@gmail.com and a representative will get back to you with further details on the recruiting process.

UConn Students Rise to the ‘Interview Challenge’

Interview Challenge participants enjoy dinner at Chuck & Augie's restaurant on December 8, 2015 (Juanita Austin/UConn School of Business)
Interview Challenge participants enjoy dinner at Chuck & Augie’s restaurant on December 8, 2015 (Juanita Austin/UConn School of Business)

The School of Business Undergraduate Career Development Office (UCDO) successfully hosted its first “Interview Challenge” in the fall semester. With prizes funded by a Target Corporation Campus Grant, students were challenged to participate in coaching to develop their professional interview skills. Over the course of one month, students who registered for the Interview Challenge had three tasks, or challenges, to complete.

The challenges were:

  1. Choose a random interview question from the “interview bowl” and answer it on the spot for a UCDO career counselor;
  2. Record an online interview utilizing InterviewStream; and
  3. Complete an in-person practice interview with a UCDO career counselor.

The goal of the program was to help students develop their interview skills and become aware of the services that UCDO offers, allowing them to feel more comfortable in the career development process.

For senior international exchange student Guzela Marisova, the Interview Challenged helped ease her fear of interviewing.

“UCDO challenge put me in a situation where I had to show my best in order to get a ‘job.’ What was really good about it, is that this situation was not stressful at all. Lorraine Liswell, who interviewed me, was a very nice and friendly interviewer who made me understand that I’m not in danger (as we are used to thinking while being interviewed),” said Marisova.

As a result of the program, 71% of the mock interviews that were conducted this semester were from students engaging in the Interview Challenge. These students included freshmen up to seniors, business and non-business majors, and first-time UCDO visitors. As a sidebar, another significant result of the program was that UCDO staff had the opportunity to meet business freshman, Seeyashree Sodani, who impressed us so much that we offered her a job in the department. We are happy to announce that she has accepted and will join our student career intern staff this spring semester.

All students who completed the challenge were invited to a dinner held at Chuck & Augie’s on December 8th. This business casual event was an informal and fun way to network with their peers, Target Executives and the UCDO Team to de-stress before finals.

“Not only was the interview challenge fun and helpful, but it was easier than I thought it would be. The staff is so approachable and really cares about helping each student, plus there was food afterwards!”

noted Evan Wexler, a Management and Engineering for Manufacturing junior.

This program would not have been possible without the support of Target Corporation. Over the last couple of years, Target’s Campus Grants have sponsored a number of career development events including:

  • Leadership Speaker Series—Spring and Fall 2014
  • Freshman/Sophomore Case Competition—Spring 2015
  • Intern Queen Presentation—Fall 2015
  • Interview Challenge—Fall 2015

UCDO would like to thank Target for their continued support and commitment to student development. The success of the Interview Challenge set the ground work for the program to be continued each year.

Advocates Say High-Speed Internet Key to Attracting Businesses

CT Post – No matter how much it spends on technology upgrades, Connecticut will never have a city like Boston.

But it can still make investments in hardware, software, networks and data facilities that would appeal to large companies, experts say, and might prevent the next General Electric from leaving — or help to bring in its replacement.

Global Recognition

UConn's Full-time MBA Program ranks among the top 100 in the world.

Financial Times: UConn’s MBA Program Ranks Among Best in the World

UConn’s MBA program has been ranked among the Top 100 in the world, according to a prestigious new report released today by Financial Times.

This is the first time that the program has received the honor in the short history of the report. UConn’s Full-time MBA program ranked No. 46 nationally (No. 19 among public institutions) and No. 96 in the world. The rankings were determined in part by responses from members of the Class of 2012, evaluating the program and its contribution to their career growth.

Continue reading