We had our second session of my “Marketing in Web 2.0” class this week. The class is taught by Andreas Weigend, formerly the chief scientist at Amazon.com and and a respected expert in data-driven marketing and what he calls the social data revolution.
The class is an introduction into the world of emerging social media and the use of social media and social data for marketing and business. Importantly, the class is not just a lecture, it is very much a hands-on experience: I am now on Twitter (even though I still get all the hype around it), we work with Andreas on developing improvements for important elements of the social web, and will implement a social media campaign for a cause of our choice, trying to use all the instruments discussed in class to generate buzz and engagement.
Andreas also brings in some of his friends: Experts from industry working on the forefront of social media. Pretty cool and one of the great things about going to school in the Bay Area.
In Professor Glazer’s informal talk with a bunch of students he narrated his experience working with startups and his reputation as “Business Plan Doctor”. When many of the startups whose business plans get rejected, turn to Glazer for help. He described how the typical call would go,
Founders: We heard you are the business plan doctor could you help us?
Glazer: Let me ask you something about your business plan.
You say in your plan you have a great product,
you describe the founders as smart people from Berkeley and Stanford,
in the market section you show hockey stick growth,
and in your competitor section you have three words, There is none.
Founders: (very excited that they got the right guy), Yes on all, so would you help?
Glazer: I just told you what the problem is. Your market description and competitor section do not agree. Any market that is growing at the rate you describe is going to have competitors. Saying there is none convinces the VCs that either you did not do your work or that the market isn’t really there. If you think it is indeed a new product with no competitors think about the substitutes. No one is going to believe you when you say there are no competitors. When there are no competitors there are no customers too.
Our Marketing Club Prezs hit two home runs this week. For Tuesday, they arranged a private reception with Professor Emeritus David Aaker. Professor Aaker was at Haas to do a session for the whole school, the reception was set before his school wide address and was exclusive for the due paying members of the marketing club.
David Aaker, spent an engaging hour with a small group of Marketing club members. His favorite answer for a question is, “you know I have written a book on that, have you read it”. Which is true, he has written several books which are arguably seminal works on Branding and Marketing strategy.
For the very next day the fearless leaders of the amazing Marketing club successfully convinced Professor Rashi Glazer to spend two hours of his time talk to us about a variety of marketing topics.
So for the class of 2010, if there is only one check left in your check book write it for an amount that covers both the DMEC club and the Marketing club.
During Days at Haas, a few new admits asked me whether I am currently going for any of the certificates (specializations) that Haas is offering. Unlike some other schools, Haas does not require students to declare an area of specialization, but we can chose to pursue a certificate in one of the following disciplines:
All these programs prepare students for roles in the respective industries and students can elect to enroll in one or two of these certificate programs or (like me) decide to take classes across the board to pursue a very broad education. All certificate programs offer recommended gateway classes for the spring semester and then suggest a list of electives that fulfill the requirements for a specific certificate. Of course, students enrolled in a certificate program still take the full set of core classes and can take a number of classes outside their specific program.
I am a boring person: I was a consultant before coming to Haas, I will spend my summer in consulting and plan to go back into consulting after graduation. so I felt like I would not benefit much from choosing a certificate program. Instead I am taking classes touching a number of different areas, including some that are recommended for the MOT and the Global Management certificate.
Of course, not having a defined set of classes as in a certificate program actually makes picking the right classes much more difficult. To help students deal with course selection, in addition to all the official information channels most career focused clubs offer information sessions on second year electives this week. In these sessions second year students talk about their choice of classes, recommend sets of courses for specific career choices and offer advice on which classes to take to complement career specific class offerings.
I haven’t yet finalized my list of classes for the next year (and I am still considering taking another Italian class and possibly a class at the Goldman School of Public Policy). I have come up with a short-list of classes for my fall semester though:
- Negotiations and Conflict Resolution
- Marketing for High-Tech Entrepreneurs
- Doing Business in China
- Innovation in Services and Business Models
- Corporate Innovation
- Competitive and Corporate Strategy
- Marketing Strategy
I guess I will have to scale back that list a little bit…
I’m writing this from Seattle. A week or so ago, I got an offer from Amazon.com to be a product management intern this summer, and they flew a bunch of MBAs into town for a “sell” weekend. When I got to the hotel on Thursday night (late), the guy at the front desk told me he was going to upgrade my room to a suite. Having been through a similar process as an undergrad, it felt a little bit like the kiss of death when I opened the door and immediately saw a floor-to-ceiling view of the Space Needle. But whatever…I got over it when I saw the huge bed and the gigantic bathroom.
The people at Amazon seem very cool – they’re smart, friendly, and the culture seems like it’s work-hard-play-hard. Just like business school. Each group within Amazon that has requested an intern (or a number of interns) for the summer presented to us for 30 minutes each. After the weekend is over, we will indicate our top three choices, and the MBA recruiting manager at the company will match us accordingly. Amazon has a web services side, which will attract most of the potential interns who are excited about technology. The other side of the business is the retail arm, which is the one I am more excited about. No matter where we get placed, it sounds as thought the projects we’ll be assigned to actually have meaningful implications for the company, which is awesome and also a little bit scary.
Five of us from Haas got offers from Amazon on the marketing side, and I think two or three additional people got offers for finance internships. These numbers are roughly comparable to (if not a bit higher than) the other schools who had potential interns visiting: Kellogg, MIT, Wharton, HBS, Stanford and Michigan.
I am headed to the airport in a few minutes – as is typical in Seattle at this time of year, it’s rainy and raw…hence the title of my entry (I’ve been on a Bob Dylan kick lately). I’m crossing my fingers that my flight will not be delayed too long. I have to get back for the C4C auction tonight at I-House!