Marketing Alumni Event Makes an Impact on Students
On March 25, UConn marketing faculty, alumni, students, and professionals gathered in the Benton Art Museum for the annual Marketing Student and Alumni Networking Event to exchange ideas, experiences, and advice. Surrounded by a Husky Basketball exhibit, “In the Paint: Basketball in Contemporary Art,” delicious food, and good company, all attendees enjoyed conversation about careers, school, and the terrible spring weather. This event strengthens relationships between all involved, and provides students the opportunity to build relationships at UConn and beyond.
Keynote speaker Stewart Lander, class of 1980, challenged the group with the line: “If you skipped class, took off work, or stayed out instead of going home, would you be missed?” In essence, what sets you apart from others? Stewart stressed the importance of finding your passion, building quality and lasting relationships, pursuing lifelong learning, and providing service to those around you.
Lander, who earned his master’s degree from UConn, has more than 30 years of experience in selling and leading large sales teams in the financial services industry. Named the 2013-2014 Outstanding Alumnus by the Marketing Department, his involvement in the school and community reflects the foundation of his speech. His words resonated with both professionals and faculty, who have experienced the truth of his words, and with the students, who look to follow the framework as they enter new careers.
About the event, Lander noted that, “the networking events give me a chance to interact with students and hear their enthusiasm regarding their vision for their futures. Alumni have much to offer these students, and want to assist students, just as they were helped when they were students.”
Senior marketing student Paige Gregory agrees: “Networking is incredibly valuable, but it can also be somewhat stressful. Networking with UConn alum, however, takes off some of the additional pressure. These are people who have, quite literally, walked in our shoes and are eager to help in whatever way they can.”
More than 100 UConn business students were inducted into the Beta Gamma Sigma scholastic honor society during a dinner and ceremony on Sunday evening.
Beta Gamma Sigma recognizes students with the highest academic achievement at the undergraduate, masters and doctoral levels. Students from Storrs, Stamford, Hartford and Waterbury attended the ceremony in the Dave Ivry Seminar Classroom at School of Business. Keynote speaker was Dean John A. Elliott.Continue Reading
UConn undergraduates are invited to sign up for the April 4th TechnoEDGE workshop. TechnoEDGE workshops are designed to provide students with technology training that focuses on reviewing, analyzing and formatting data for use in the business environment. A major component of the training is hands-on assignments, group projects and a capstone assignment, each designed to provide practical experience.
UConn School of Business Saturday, April 4, 2015
Room 122 – Storrs campus
Breakfast and Lunch is provided
Register on HuskyCareerLink under “Workshops”
TechnoEDGE is offered as a part of Travelers EDGE Professional Development Institute (PDI), a career readiness training program offered in partnership with Travelers Insurance.
The School of Business and its faculty are key organizers of a new Entrepreneurship and Innovation Consortium on campus.
The consortium is designed to provide a coherent vision of UConn’s extensive entrepreneurial effort, as well as inspire, support, advise and encourage inventive and creative business ventures, simplify the start-up and grant-seek process, and introduce potential business partners.
“The School of Business is extraordinarily happy to be involved in the leadership of this effort for several reasons,” said Professor Timothy Folta, co-director of the consortium. “First of all, it will make an enormous impact on the university. Second, in today’s environment, entrepreneurship and innovation are critical for nearly every university stakeholder, so it makes sense to develop a coherent effort in this realm. Finally, the School of Business feels it has a great deal to contribute, because we offer programs and courses on entrepreneurship and have renowned scholars in this area.”
The consortium’s members come from across the university, representing diverse organizations that foster entrepreneurship and innovation. It is being led by the School of Business, School of Engineering, Office of the Provost, and Office of the Vice President for Research. The consortium was launched this Fall and will have its first Steering Committee meeting Jan. 28, 2015.
“The feedback we have received is phenomenal—it seems every organization wants to be part of the consortium,” said Folta, who serves as the consortium’s co-director with Hadi Bozorgmanesh, professor-in-residence in the School of Engineering.
The consortium will not be implementing programs, but will be a conduit for program leaders to share information and close the gaps on campus that inventors and business start-ups frequently encounter.
“We’ve found that people don’t know where to go to get information, and that’s something we can centralize, beginning with our web site,” Folta said. The newly created web site, entrepreneurship.uconn.edu, shares links to member organizations, stories of successful UConn-associated start-ups, grant application information, helpful business course links, and resources, both on- and off- campus, for people interested in starting businesses.
In addition to serving the immediate UConn community, Folta said he believes it will appeal to stakeholders beyond the university, including federal and state granting agencies that want more information about what innovation is occurring through the university.
Folta, who holds the School of Business’ Thomas John and Bette Wolff Chair in Strategic Entrepreneurship, said the participants will benefit from discussing ideas and sharing initiative and enthusiasm.
“We don’t want duplication of efforts,” he said. “We feel by improving connectivity, we will help coordinate new and exciting endeavors.”
What will it mean in the future?
“We hope that our member programs will develop new businesses and our educational programs will lead to a new generation of inventors of tomorrow,” Folta said. “We hope to increase the collaboration on campus, decrease duplication, promote a better statewide awareness of what we’re accomplishing at UConn and, ultimately, increase economic development.”
This article first appeared in the UConn Business magazine, Volume 4, Issue 1 (Winter 2014)
If UConn alumni Dennis ’04 and William Bok ’08 (CLAS) had listened to popular opinion, they never would have launched their now wildly successful FroyoWorld franchise.
‘”There are other people who are smarter than you… why haven’t they started a self-serve frozen yogurt lounge?”‘ Dennis recalls someone saying. Others simply said, “Good luck,” with a sarcastic laugh.
“But three years later, after countless hours of hard work, we have more than 40 locations, and 30 more planned stores, including our first official international store opening in Australia,” Dennis Bok said. “Hopefully that puts the nay-sayers to rest!”
“When we started, we had a vision—and the vision was not opening a couple stores in and around Connecticut. We are FroyoWorld, with a little emphasis on the world,” he said with a chuckle. “Hopefully soon we’ll be an internationally-recognized brand. Time will tell.”
A first-generation American, whose parents moved to this country from Korea, Dennis said he always imagined himself as an entrepreneur. He was, in fact, so eager to prove himself that he didn’t want to go to college at all.
But his parents, who operated a dry-cleaning business in Branford and had an impeccable work ethic, were “sticklers for education.”
“After being ‘forced’ to go to college, I realized obtaining a higher education is the building block for one’s success,” he said. “With a strong base of knowledge from higher education institutions, such as UConn, mixed with some analytical reasoning abilities, your options are endless in this huge global market.”
William initially started a self-serve frozen yogurt lounge in San Francisco with his wife’s cousin. A few years later he sold the business and returned to Connecticut. By then both he and Dennis recognized the potential success of a frozen yogurt business on the East Coast and “jumped on it.”
The first FroyoWorld opened in New Haven in August 2010, with the brothers and William’s wife as partners. Today most of FroyoWorld’s stores are located in New York or New England, with another six in Puerto Rico and one in Australia. Each store employs about 15 people.
Perhaps Bok’s favorite store is the one located in Storrs Center, adjacent to UConn. FroyoWorld is one of 29 businesses in the center, which includes a mix of restaurants, shops, offices and homes.
“We believed in UConn and the Leyland Alliance’s vision of a downtown Storrs so much that we signed the lease and paid a deposit almost two years prior to opening our doors at Storrs Center in 2012,’’ Bok said. “It was a coming-home to UConn. To say the least, we loved the location.’’
And at that store, as with others, business is brisk.
“I think the popularity of our business is that it is a nice place to visit,” Dennis said. “People come in with a smile, and they leave with one. The yogurt is delicious and it is a healthy sweet alternative because of its probiotics.”
In the beginning, Bok admits, he ate three or four frozen yogurt treats a day, although lately he has scaled back some. “My preference is original tart flavor, with a little ‘cake batter’ added in,” he said. “And I like the fruit toppings.”
By adding new flavors and toppings, the franchise plans to grow and retain its customer base, he said.
Last summer FroyoWorld had a store opening almost every weekend. “It has been pretty hectic and I don’t see it slowing down soon,” he said. “We’ve added more staff, but we’re working 24/7. It comes with the territory.”
Despite starting the business during an economic downturn, Bok, had few reservations.
“I don’t make any decision based on emotions. I have to have the facts to back it up,” he said. “Everything in life can be a calculated risk. Being educated in accounting at the UConn School of Business has helped me tremendously. Numbers don’t lie.”
Working with his sibling has been “awesome,” said Dennis, the older of the two brothers. “We have many common goals. That’s not to say we haven’t had a few fights. We have. But we’ll always make up and shake hands.”
When asked if there are any celebrities or famous persons he would like to share a frozen yogurt with, Bok is quick to answer.
“I would love to sit down and have a cup of FroyoWorld with President Obama, and talk to him about anything other than politics. That would be nice,” he said.
“We have had a few Boston Celtics and New England Patriots players as patrons in our stores, as well as Miss USA 2012 [Olivia Culpo]. I hope one day Ray Allen casually strolls into a store while I’m there. He’s probably my favorite UConn alumnus of all time!”
The UConn Chapter of Net Impact and the Honors in Business Association are co-sponsoring an informational program titled, “Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Sustainability in Business,” at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 21 at the Dodd Center’s Konover Auditorium.
The panel discussion will be of great interest to students who envision merging their careers with their passion for social improvement. Continue Reading
UConn Today – Former UConn men’s soccer student-athlete Tony Rizza ’87 (BUS) has pledged a total of $8 million to transform the soccer complex and build a brand new state-of-the-art soccer stadium on the Storrs campus.
(5/8/2014) – The 12th Annual Real Estate Awards Banquet was held at the South Campus Ballroom on Thursday, May 1. The special occasion recognized outstanding students, alumni, and scholarship recipients.
The following alumni and students were recognized for their achievements:
Lifetime Achievement Award: Daniel Ferraina, Ferraina Companies
Distinguished Alumni: Michael Riccio, CB-Richard Ellis Capital Markets
Alumni of the Year: Bradford Wainman, Simon Konover Development Corp.
Early Career Alumni: Kelsey Rath, Talcott Realty Investors, LLC
Organizational Partner: Greater New Haven Association of Realtors
Students of the Year: Frances (Frankie) Gibbons and Andrew Kelly
Other student award recipients included: Nicolas Chapman, Tyler Cormier, Julia Dumaine, Andrew Harney, Scott Howard, M. Connor Lyman, Matthew McCandless, Cole McQuilken, Johncarlo Morales, Benjamin Napoli, Bridget O’Malley, Laura O’Malley, Ryan Powers, Peter Rodriguez, Colby Schaefer, Austin Smyth, Melissa Touger, Kristine Victor, and Hui Zhang.
Storrs, Conn. (5/20/2014) – Paul Borochin, assistant professor of finance at UConn School of Business, together with finance professor Joseph Golec, propose an event study method using stock and option prices to account for the degree of investor anticipation to more accurately measure the full value effect of an event.
Finance researchers and practitioners both use the event study method to measure whether the announcement of new information has a statistically significant effect on a firm’s stock market value. Paul Borochin and Joseph Golec, professors of finance at the University of Connecticut, recently proposed a method that uses stock and option prices to account for the degree of investor anticipation of an event to therefore more accurately measure the full value effect of that event.
“The purpose of our study is to introduce a general method of estimating the degree of investor anticipation applicable to all significant events that affect firms with traded options,” says Borochin. “We apply this more general method to estimate probabilities to a complex event: U.S. House of Representatives passage of the healthcare reform law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA). We also examine a related event with different potential for investor anticipation: the subsequent 2012 Supreme Court ruling on PPACA constitutionality, which was potentially a greater surprise due to the Court’s higher opacity.”
Borochin and Golec essentially interpret the financial market as a betting market. “…we get the same information from options prices that we could obtain from looking at the Intrade [or other betting market] website,” says Borochin.
“Indeed, one reason that we select PPACA passage to illustrate our method is that it also had event securities traded on Intrade, the leading prediction market at the time,” he says. “We compare the Intrade-generated probabilities for the 2010 and 2012 events to those we generate from options and stock prices as a robustness check. Our financial market-generated probabilities have two advantages over prediction market-generated probabilities: (1) they are derived from assets with much larger dollar volumes of trades,1 and (2), they can be estimated for any event that impacts companies with traded stock options.”
Borochin and Golec believe that their method could be useful for ex ante as well as ex post public policy analysis, citing legislation that often contains offsetting provisions negotiated among different political factions—in this case, the PPACA fee (tax) on brand name pharmaceutical sales.
They measure the effects ex post, but the method could be used for ex ante analysis by government or industry officials. “For example, Congress could publicly release a bill and a vote date. Based on the option market reaction to the vote announcement, both government and industry officials could determine investors’ estimates of the net effect of the bill’s provisions,” says Borochin.
“Our method could also be used to better estimate public or private damages associated with an event,” he adds. “The Securities and Exchange Commission often estimates damages from corporate fraud and the Federal Trade Commission estimates damages from illegal business practices. As long as some of the firms involved have traded stock and options, our method can give a more accurate estimate of total damages.”
Many event studies do not adjust for the fact that their events are partly anticipated, and in many cases, the degree of anticipation is difficult to measure. For the PPACA House vote event Borochin and Golec consider, the adjustment triples the measured effect of the event on the market value of the affected firms.
“We believe that [our method] is likely to be more precise than alternative methods such as using public data on firm-specific attributes to estimate event probabilities, or using event securities from relatively small prediction markets, because our method employs high-volume assets whose prices may partly reflect nonpublic information. For an event with substantial public information available (House passage), we find our probability estimate and that of a prediction market are quite close. But for an event with little public information (Supreme Court constitutionality), the estimates differ considerably,” said Borochin.
The working paper, “Using Options to Measure the Full Value-Effect of an Event: Application to the Healthcare Reform Act,” can be downloaded here.
1The daily value of PPACA contracts on Intrade averaged about $90,000 around the 2010 House vote event, while the average daily dollar value of stock ($277 million) and notional value of options ($397 million) traded for each company in our model totaled $674 million. The daily Intrade value was $35,000 during the 2012 Supreme Court event, while the average dollar stock and notional options trade value was $640 million.
Figure 1 –
The model-generated probability of PPACA passage compared to the Intrade-generated probability.
This figure plots the model-generated probability of PPACA passage by the U.S. House of Representatives, which is the probability implied by the stock and options prices of six hospital firms and six insurance firms. The Intrade-generated probability of PPACA passage is the price of an event security traded on the Intrade prediction market. Probabilities are shown for three weeks of trading before the event, the event day (March 22, 2010), and the day following the event.