- (Left to Right) Onyeka Enwerem, Vice President and Director of Finance; Yoyo Wu, President of WiL; Kanupriya Verma, Director of Marketing
If you are a fan of the Black Eye Peas or Will.I.am, please don’t be disappointed that I am not highlighting your musical idol or think I made a typo. That being said, I am glad to introduce to you the WiL in GSM: the Women in Leadership Club.
WiL club is one of the smallest clubs operated through the Associated Students of Management (ASM), but also one of the clubs with the longest reach. Why? Because our goal is to effect and enhance the experience of every woman and everyone who works or will someday work with a woman. Our mission is to serve UC Davis Daytime MBA students and alumni through professional and social activities geared towards the development of future women business leaders.
WiL club is active in organizing activities to bring in benefits to future women business leaders. For example, we have a tradition of great activities like the annual “Mock-Tails with the Dean” during every fall quarter, providing an opportunity to all students to communicate with Dean Currall face-to-face. We also work to sponsor students to attend the annual Women in Leadership Conference in Haas, UC Berkeley. Lastly, we innovate new activities such as “Speed Mentoring”, inspired by Speed Dating, which connects second-year and first-year students in one-on-one mentoring sessions sharing interview skills and lessons.
This year’s board of WiL club comes from very diverse backgrounds. I, Yoyo, am the WiL President. I am a Chinese student with 5-years of auditing experience and the proud mother with a 15-month little girl. I realize the subtle balance women in business have to maintain as they have more social identities to handle, that was why I decided to lead the WiL club and try to help women leaders find out the balance to ensure success both in career and family life. Onyeka, our Vice President and Director of Finance, is from Nigeria where she worked as an engineer. She is very versatile, just to name some of her many talents: dancing, photo-shopping, and engineering. Kanu, our Director of Marketing, is from India and was also a mechanical engineer before she came to GSM. She plans to pursue marketing, using her instincts and skills to help WiL club with innovation and new ideas.
In our nearest upcoming event, WiL club will introduce some successful business women leaders to GSM students, sharing stories of their successes and failures. Then, WiL club will co-host another guest speaker event with Entrepreneurship and Innovation Society club. Looking forward to those exciting and inspiring events in May!
Whew! I just finished the first week of my internship at Agilent Technologies. What a great experience so far. Before coming to school, I worked for a small commercial real estate investment firm with 12 employees. Now I am interning at a multi-national, publicly traded company with thousands of employees across the world. What a difference a year makes.
This summer I will be producing a pricing model to be used in one of Agilent’s high-growth divisions. The division generates $100 million a year in profit across four profit centers. Currently, each division prices one-off, custom deals on an ad-hoc basis. So my goal is to create a single, standardized pricing model to be used across all four businesses. The goal is prevent the analysts from re-inventing the wheel each time a deal comes up. Like I learned in Corporate Finance… does it have a positive Net Present Value (NPV), does it have a reasonable Internal Rate of Return (IRR), etc.
So, what in the crazy world of MBA speak did I just describe? Essentially, I will be creating a tool for management to easily decide whether or not a project is worth the investment for Agilent.
Although it’s only been a week, it amazes me how all the theory and concepts I learned in the classroom are immediately applicable to my internship. Organizational behavior taught us how to work in teams, recognize the different cultures within organizations and how to navigate around them. On my first day on the job, I was assigned as the team-lead on my project this summer where I will be working closely with members from marketing, legal and operations to survey current methods in deal valuations. I won’t actually be meeting my team in person because they are spread out across the world from New Jersey to Malaysia and the Netherlands. wow!
I remember our final assignment in Management Accounting was learning about the the concept of transfer pricing within an organization. How do you incentive and motivate a manager to maximize profits for their division but not at the expense of profits for the company as a whole? This is one challenge I will face this summer as I will need to create a pricing model that captures this data. This will ensure that a particular deal generates profits for both the division AND the company.
This internship will also be a great opportunity to network and meet other MBA’s at Agilent to learn about their career paths and how best to position myself in this economy. Also, as a testament to the strength of the UC Davis network, many UC Davis alums at Agilent have already welcomed me in the first week. There’s been a steady stream of fellow Aggies introducing themselves to me. Don’t they know I have to work! Just kidding. I’ve already set up individual coffee/lunch meetings with them over the next couple of weeks. It’s great to know that I can rely on them as a resource during my internship this summer. I know I will need all the help I can get!
My project swings into full gear this week and I’m really looking forward to it. It’s weird not having to “work” on the weekends. No papers, no studying or homework assignments due. This is a nice change of pace.
I don’t have any other plans this summer other than a few mini-trips here and there. Next weekend, I’m planning to meet a few of my classmates for a barbeque and a hike which should be a nice mini-reunion (I know, I know, I just saw them a few weeks ago!). Once Labor day arrives, I will be done with my internship. I have a few weeks to relax before school starts. I will be in Davis welcoming the first year newbies at orientation. It should be a lot of fun. Matt, the Director of Orientation, has been working hard the whole year to plan everything. He has a lot of great activities lined up. I can’t believe MY business school orientation was only 9 months ago. Now I’m going to be a second year MBA student! Time flies… Have a great summer everyone!