Going behind-the-scenes with Ecuador’s national airline

For International Business Strategy Lab class, I was part of the TAME airline team. TAME is Ecuador’s national airline.

Our team of four consisted of three second-year students and one first-year student who came from diverse backgrounds ranging from engineering to consulting and banking. We all wanted to work on the TAME airline project because of our personal fascination with the airline industry and our desire to know how an airline operates.

Our project was to evaluate and consider a launch of a new route for TAME from Quito, Ecuador (UIO) to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, and our main client was ProEcuador, the Ecuador government agency whose objective is to facilitate and grow trading activities between the United States and Ecuador.

Class project leads to 10,000 new jobs in Ecuador

Two years ago, Kellogg introduced a new experiential learning class focused on international business strategy development. I am interested in international development, and I wondered what working on a real consulting project was like, so this class provided an opportunity for me to do both.

One year later, Jasmine Lipford, Andrew Tibbetts, Emi Yokoshima and I found out the implementation of our strategy from class resulted in 10,000 new jobs and the biggest stevia growing project in Ecuador.

Amazon’s Udaan problem | MBA Learnings

We recently looked at why Amazon’s first physical bookstore in Seattle made sense.

The central theme was that different products are suited to different kinds of retail channels. As you might imagine, shipping individual cartons of milk or toilet paper isn’t cost effective as the delivery costs likely outstrip the cost of the good.

Additionally, it is easy for stores to carry excess milk or toilet paper as these goods are cheap. However, when the good becomes niche and expensive (e.g. diamonds), delivery becomes cheaper, and it then makes a ton of sense to centralize warehouses as carrying inventory in store is a very expensive proposition.

So, as retailers get larger, it becomes essential to adopt a “hybrid” or “omni-channel” approach to supplying goods to customers. It is the only way to stay competitive.

When we then consider an emerging market like India, retailers like Amazon are faced with additional problems.

Why Amazon’s first physical bookstore was smart, and inevitable | MBA Learnings

Amazon opened its first bookstore in Seattle earlier this week. This led to a many interesting questions in the media: Has Amazon taken a step backward by jumping back into traditional retail? Didn’t Amazon start an online store to improve on the traditional bookstore model?

To understand this, let’s begin by taking a walk down memory lane and look at Jeff Bezos’ initial rationale for starting an online bookstore.

3 productivity principles | MBA Learnings

Some of my highest impact learnings as a graduate student have been around productivity. One of my professors in the first couple of weeks described getting your MBA as a two-year course in decision making and trade-offs. I couldn’t agree more. I’ve written about what my process has looked like. And today, I thought I’d attempt to pull out three productivity principles that have become apparent to me in the past year.

My One-Year transformational experience

Going back to school in my 30s wasn’t something I originally planned.

I studied business as an undergraduate and switched into an enjoyable consulting career after earning my master’s degree in industrial and labor relations. Yet my dad always told me that “your education is something that can never be taken away from you.” After some reflection on his advice and some prodding from a partner at my firm, I decided an MBA would be a great addition to my resume.

Given my education and experience, I only considered accelerated one-year programs. Kellogg’s 1Y program clearly emerged as the program for me thanks to my interactions with students and alums and my experience at Day at Kellogg (DAK).

As a 1Y, I recognized that time would be precious, and I wanted to ensure I maximized my time in Evanston. After giving some thought to how I would use my time in school, I landed upon a few guidelines to help shape my experience:

The 11 takeaways from my Kellogg experience

Tomorrow I will officially transition from being an MBA Candidate to an MBA Graduate of Kellogg’s Class of 2015. Over the last few weeks, as the journey started approaching its goal, a few of us had conversations about what our key takeaways were.

What are the things we learned that would stay with us for years to come?

An MBA gives you technical skills and core subject matter knowledge, but some lessons stand out. As I thought about my own learnings, a few things came to mind and I thought it was worth it to share them with current and prospective students.

How sports brands are innovating fan experiences

The 2015 Sports Business Conference took place at the Allen Center on April 18. This year’s theme revolved around Redefining Growth in Sports through the lens of fan innovation.

How are leagues, teams, networks and other sports organizations keeping fans and sponsors engaged within and outside of the stadium?

How do these companies scale effectively, efficiently and creatively?

These were some of the key questions surrounding the half-day conference.