Jon M. Huntsman School of Business

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Monday, September 15, 2014

Fall 2014 New Business Student Orientation Recap

This year’s new Huntsman student orientation began with Associate Dean, Dave Patel, giving his five words for success: initiative, excellence, integrity, investment and ownership. He asked the students to always be able to answer the question, “What do you want?”

Director of Undergraduate Programs, Ruth Harrison, then began with her analogy of someone being asked to build a house, unbeknownst to them that one day they would live in it. She compared this to the students’ education. She directed students to the new Huntsman School Road Map to Graduation. Many students noticed that this new outline looked less like a checklist and more of a tool box of suggestions for success.

This year’s business senator, Scott Laneri, concluded by telling the students to do at least three things this year. He challenged them to first go on a Career Exploration Trip. He explained that whether the students choose a local or national trip, this experience would help them find the passion they are looking for in business. He then challenged to meet a professor. And finally, he challenged them to join a club. With so many clubs and organizations offered by the Huntsman School, getting involved will only propel one’s career forward.

Best of luck new Huntsman Students. We know you’ll make us proud.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Six Must-Haves of a New Business Building

In the current edition of BizEd Magazine, the main trade journal for business schools, there is an article entitled What to Build When You’re Building. In this article, the magazine identifies six must-have elements of new business school buildings. I thought I might report on how well we do with those six must-haves:
Technology Lab

1) A variety of (classroom) floor plans. Check! We have both flat and tiered classrooms, with two different sizes of tiered classrooms, and three different sizes of flat classrooms.

2) Room to experiment. Check! With a Finance Lab, two additional computer technology labs, a research-focused Behavior Lab, and an Innovation Lab in our new Clark Center for Entrepreneurship, we have labs.

3) Spaces large and small. Check! We have the wonderful event space as our largest, new space. We have 21 new student project team rooms, and five new conference rooms, for small space. In between, we have three student lounge areas, the courtyard, the terrace, the cafeteria, and other great spaces to meet and work.

4) Top-tier technology. Check! Our architects put together a wonderful rendering of our technology lab which shows what our lab should look like. Plus, all of our classrooms will be outfitted with the latest and greatest proven technologies. No, we are not on the bleeding edge, but, yes, we are on the leading edge.

5) Green grandeur. Check! This is all about LEED. Frankly, we have to be – it’s state law. And we’re building a state-owned building.

Aeriel view of the courtyard
6) Tailor-made features. Check! Each region, campus and building space might have special characteristics which can be expressed through a high-quality business building. As I read this section, two things came to mind: (1) The wonderful views we will have of the south end of Cache Valley from the new event space. This will be high-value, “beach-front” property. And, (2) I thought of our courtyard. By fire code, we have to have 24 feet of separation between the two buildings. We are turning 24 feet of separation into a great asset. Tailor-made!

All in all, based on the BizEd criteria, we’ve nailed it.

Ken Snyder

Monday, September 8, 2014

Go Global: Asia 2014

Sarah at the Great Wall of China
 By Sarah Keating

Participating in the Go Global: Asia 2014 trip was one of the smartest decisions I have made during my collegiate career. Originally I wanted to go to Asia to learn more about big economic powers like China and South Korea, as well as developing economic nations like Vietnam. However, once I left Asia I had not only learned international economics but I also had experienced Asian culture and learned so much about myself as a student and as a person. This international experience helped me improve as a businesswoman, as a traveler and as a productive citizen as a whole.

While traveling I learned that having a global perspective is such an important principle when working with different countries. I had the opportunity to attend a private business dinner with three other students, and I was astounded by the courtesy and genuine friendship displayed by our Chinese host. I realized the power of adventure and the benefits of escaping the tourist mentality while traveling. With the help of our wonderful professors, I was encouraged to get out of my comfort zone and have conversations with dozens of people from countless backgrounds, allowing me to get a well-rounded vision of Asia. Most importantly I realized the importance of utilizing every moment and seizing every opportunity. Since returning from Asia, I’ve been more proactive about making every hour of every day a learning and growing experience. I would absolutely recommend this experience to anyone looking for a challenging, enlightening experience in international studies.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

They’re Taking Away My View (For a Little While)

View from Ken Snyder's office
After spending most of the long, hot summer in a classroom, six weeks ago I moved into my new office. My new office is on the west side of the Eccles Business Building, with a wonderful view of the construction site, and also a nice view of the quad.

Over the past six weeks, I’ve watched as the construction crew put up the support pillars and support walls for Level 3 of the new building. In just the last two weeks, the construction crew has laid the beams and metal framework for Level 4. And the concrete floor slab will be poured for Level 4 later this week. I know what comes after that:pillars and support walls.

It’s great to see the progress of the new building, but I have to admit, I have some mixed emotions about the progress. I will lose my view of the beautiful trees on the quad. As I whine to myself, I have to keep telling myself – Patience! When we have the new building, the views will be even better. For example, I can’t wait for our first event on the terrace (see my July 28, 2012 blog). I'll be counting down the days.

Ken Snyder

Thursday, August 28, 2014

A Saturday Morning Excursion

Last Saturday I had to come in to work. I needed to make sure all of the classrooms in the Eccles School of Business were ready for Monday morning classes. I also had to interview candidates for a few open positions in the business building and needed to participate in our MBA Orientation that was still going on. So I came into work early – even earlier than I needed to.

On a whim I decided to take a little excursion. One of the fences around the construction yard wasn’t locked, so I snuck in there (don’t tell Sean or he’ll kill me!). I spent the next 45 minutes walking through the shell of the new building. I was struck by two things:

1) The immense size of the building. It is mammoth. It is spacious. It is awesome.

2) How easy it is becoming to envision everything. I have the advantage of seeing all the architectural renderings along the way, so I spent my time applying those renderings to the new building. I stood at the front of many of the classrooms and envisioned what it would be like to teach in it. I pretended to walk through and buy something in the cafeteria. I sat down in the courtyard and thought, “what a great place to sit down and drink hot chocolate.” I watched a student team work on a project in one of the student project team rooms. And so on…

All in all, it was a wonderful Saturday morning excursion. And the building really is coming together!

Ken Snyder

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Resiliency for Entrepreneurs and Careerists

By Scott Hammond, Clinical Professor, Huntsman School of Business

Dr. Scott Hammond
Resilience is a choice. Almost every case we studied of people who survived being lost in the wilderness said they “decided" to survive. Even an eight-year-old boy lost overnight at 11,000 feet said, “I knew I wanted to live.”

The same is true for entrepreneurs and careerists who face what are seemingly insurmountable challenges. They make a choice. They say to themselves, “I want to get through this. I will do what it takes to survive until I can find a way to thrive.”

Of course making the choice to be resilient does not guarantee a positive outcome, but it does have two interesting effects on individuals in “survival” situations.

First, they report envisioning the ideal future. A good example of this is the famous canyoneering climber Aaron Rawlston who cut off his arm with his pocket knife when he was trapped in a narrow canyon. His story can be seen in the documentary “126 Hours.” Rawlston reports that while in a space between sleep and hallucination he saw his unborn son running towards him. He saw himself holding the young boy and laughing. He remembers a vivid sense of joy as he held his child. When he awoke he realized again his predicament, and also that he had no son, no wife and no future. But he did have a vision of the ideal that motivated him to action. Rarely do we realize the ideal in our lives, but visualizing the ideal creates hope and hope motivates resilience.

When an entrepreneur feels like their business is hitting a brick wall, impossible to see through and discouraging to look around, they must stick to the vision of the ever-promising future. Go back to the roots of why the business was started. And for the careerist, remember your dreams. Envision yourself working with the people who will get you to the top. Envision yourself accepting the promotion and how that will feel.

Second, making the decision to be resilient helps us see our situation differently. In my book Lessons of the Lost: Finding Hope and Resilience in Work: Life, and the Wilderness, I tell the story of Victoria Grover who was lost in the wilderness for five days with a broken leg. Victoria, who is a hero of mine, broke her leg at the base of a dry waterfall, 100 yards from water. She was in a place where she could not see or be seen, nor could she get to the needed water. Unable to climb up and over the rocks with her broken leg, she wondered what to do. “There has to be a way,” she told herself. Then she reported to me that she saw herself backwards, as if in a mirror. Backwards. Yes. Backwards. “I can turn around and go backwards over the rocks.” It took her 12 hours, but she got to water and warmth. The “backward” thinking saved her life.

Our creativity is sometimes the only differentiator we may have. As a careerist always look for the next best way to move ahead, stand out or do something that has never been done before in your field. Entrepreneurs have it in their blood to be different. Don’t be afraid to take the well-calculated risk. “Backward” thinking has made many entrepreneurs successful, such as Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, or Billy Beane, general manager for the Oakland Athletics.

There are tragic tales in the wilderness of strong people who chose not to be resilient – who gave up. Four in five business startups fail. But four in five are not bad ideas that will not work in the market. Some portion of those failures come because the entrepreneur or careerist was not resilient enough. When it seems like your arm is caught in a rock or that resources are out of reach, remember to envision your dreams and don’t be afraid to go where no one has before.

Dr. Hammond’s work on resiliency was recently quoted in Fast Company.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Stairway to Heaven – Or At Least to the 4th Floor

Huntsman Hall NW Stairway
Over the last few weeks, the stairways at the NW and SE corners of Huntsman Hall have started going up. Up until now the contractors have gone from one level to another by using ladders. It had me worried that we would have to use ladders in the new building as well.

Normally contractors build stairways at the same time they build walls and pout floor slabs. In our case we’re doing things backward due to some design issues with the stairways. We were able to get the design issues resolved, and now the stairways are catching up to the rest of the building.

These stairways will be glass-enclosed. That means that people on the outside will be able to see the people on the stairs, and that the people on the stairs will see the people outside – and also have nice view of the mountains or the quad – depending on the stairway.

They’re not quite ready for us to use yet, but I am looking forward to my first climb in a few days. It may not be sublime as the Jimmy Page (or Randy California, depending on whom you believe) stairway to heaven, and it may not actually take me to heaven, but at least it will take me to the new 4th floor.

Ken Snyder