Freeman Ding's Blog

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August 19th, 2009

Cohort names: Gold, Blue, Oski, and Axe

As a Berkeley MBA tradition, we have four cohorts every year: Gold, Blue, Oski, and Axe.

Gold and Blue are named by the California Golden Bears which is the nickname used for 27 varsity athletic programs of the University of California, Berkeley, and the official campus alma mater for UC Berkeley is “All Hail Blue and Gold“. Oski is the official mascot of the UC Berkeley. Axe is named from the trophy awarded to the winner of the annual Big Game, college football rivalry between the University of California, Berkeley and Stanford University.

I am in Cohort Axe!  So we are the Axe that cleft Stanford Tree.  🙂

Cal

Stanford_Tree

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August 18th, 2009

First Dive into Case Method

We all know case method is a teaching method widely used in business schools.  In this Orientation week, I have gone through two sessions of case method.

One is the “Introduction to Case Method” in day one, August 17th Monday.  The case is a Market Entry Strategy problem for Dolby Laboratories.

The second case session is today Tuesday’s Company Workshops.   Actually HP, Adobe, Deloitte, LucasArts, Abbott, Chevron, and Del Monte each has a workshop today with us.   I attended the Adobe session.  A Director from Adobe discussed a real case with us today:  Suppose you are an Adobe Product Manager, you are trying to evaluate alternative monetization models other than traditional perpetual license pricing model.

We discussed different alternative monetization models such as:

  • Subscription
  • Free (actually tiers like basic edition for free, but charge with standard or advanced edition)
  • Advertising, like many share-ware, or GMail.
  • Utility.  End users only pay for what they consume, but you need some monitoring or measurement tools.

It is an interesting and valuable session.  I learned a lot from the Adobe director and my smart fellow classmates.

August 17th, 2009

Intel CEO, guest speaker today

Wow, today August 17th is the Day One of my Haas MBA Orientation week, and I never expect that we could have Mr. Paul Otellini, President and CEO of Intel, also Haas MBA 1974, as the guest speaker today!

Intel_CEO

Paul’s speech is simply great.

Great.

What a day!  Stay tuned.  This is just the first day of Orientation week.  🙂

(Daniel, my deal Haas classmate, thank you for the photo.)

August 17th, 2009

Dean Lyons Leadership speech

As I mentioned in last post, today Monday August 17th is the Day One of the whole Orientation Week to our Berkeley Haas MBA 2011, the new first-year MBA students.

Our Dean, Rich Lyons, gave a great speech on Leadership.   If I remembered correctly, Dean Lyons mentioned a model originally from “What leaders really do” by John Kotter, HBR May 1990, 9 pages.  It said leadership is about three aspects:

Direction-setter, Alignment builder, and Motivator.

And they can be categorized as Strategic Leadership, Operational Leadership, and People Leadership.

Yeah, sounds a little bit academic, but a good way and framework to think about leadership.

Dean’s speech also covered other Haas characteristic/culture such as “Place, People, Culture”, “Confidence without attitude”, “Influence without authority” etc.

August 17th, 2009

Doing an MBA is like shopping in a grocery

Today Monday August 17th is the Day One of the whole Orientation Week to our Berkeley Haas MBA 2011 as new first-year MBA students.

Liz Rockett, the second year MBA student, and the President of Haas MBA Association (the student government organization for the full time MBA program) made a wonderful welcome speech.  She mentioned an interesting metaphor that “Doing an MBA is like shopping in a grocery”.

(Disclaimer:  below are not the exact words from Liz, but rather my own understanding, so it is open to correction).

Doing an MBA is like shopping in a grocery.

I just have a very general feeling that what I want to buy at the grocery.  For example, maybe some sweet fruits, but definitely not too sour, but I really have no idea that it should be apple or orange or something else.  So I just look around in the grocery, and maybe sample something that looks like tasteful.  And I am not alone, actually there are many friends who are shopping together with me.  Some of them have tried that kind of orange, and they told me it is actually nasty, oh my god, then I want to try something else…

Translated to MBA words:

I just have a very general feeling that what I want to do after MBA.  For example, maybe consulting, but definitely not that investment banking, but I really have no idea that it should be  the firm A or firm B or something else.  So I just look around in the business school, and maybe in the summer intern I try something that looks nice.  And I am not alone, actually there are many first and second year MBA students who are “exploring” together with me.  Some of them have tried that kind of job, and they told me it is actually nasty, oh my god, then I want to try something else…

At least for me, this is an interesting metaphor.  🙂

Update on Aug 24, 2009:

Liz, thank you so much for sharing that portion of your speech to me as a new post “Intentions & Conversations“.