Park Leadership Fellows Program
Service Leadership Projects
Class of 2014 Projects
- Entrepreneurship Incubator
Fellows: Jon Ambrose
Clients: Cornell University, TC3, City of Ithaca
Jon Ambrose conducted an analysis of over 50 incubators from across the US, including privately funded organizations and those led by major universities. He also used his own experience in building a successful business to recommend key services that need to be offered in order to attract entrepreneurs to the space, and to help them become successful businesses once they arrive. These factors also coincide with job creation at small businesses, and job growth is an important outcome of the Ithaca incubator as a whole. Additionally, a three year operating budget was created to help inform what to expect after the incubator is launched and to ensure a successful operation after launch. The application to NYS was successful; funds for three years of operation were obtained, and the incubator is scheduled to open in Summer 2014.
- Johnson Marketing Association Alumni Mentoring Program
Fellow: Sabina Barbulea
Other Students: Emily Schwartz, Ross Natoli, and Rob Vicencio
Clients: Johnson CMC
Over the course of fall 2013, Sabina worked to develop the pilot program with the help of three fellow second years. The program partnered roughly twenty-second year Marketing Association members with twenty alumni. They designed and piloted group mentor sessions to occur between two students and two alumni to promote enhanced knowledge sharing, and groups had three sessions over the course of the fall and winter. In order to continue and improve the program, Sabina worked to create an additional position on the Marketing Association executive board, VP of Alumni Relations. This position is now responsible for continuing the mentor program, and is focused on finding new ways to involve and interact with marketing alumni.
- Investment Banking Immersion
Fellow: Shuman Chakrabarty
Faculty: Drew Pascarella
Historically, the investment banking immersion has not covered financial institutions (FIG) to the same degree of depth that was devoted to other topics. This was significant as most immersion participants will work in the financial services industry and could benefit from a better understanding of the firms they are joining. Moreover, Johnson sends students every year to cover financial institutions clients as part of their work. In-depth FIG training will position these students head and shoulders above their competition. To this end, Shuman set out develop a learning solution that would provide conceptual and technical training for future generations of IBI students. He developed a set of videos and excel models to teach how financial firms work, and to demonstrate how to model and value such firms. In addition, the videos include interviews with senior FIG investment bankers who provide career advice and a perspective on the industry.
- Women in Entrepreneurship Network
Fellows: Emily Forsythe
Client: Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute
This project focused on developing a network of mentors dedicated to connecting current female students with Cornell alumnae. The beneficiaries of this network are to be both current Johnson and non-Johnson students and alumnae involved in the entrepreneurship. The primary task was to develop a website and Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute agreed to partner, host, and support the website of the women entrepreneurship network. Many women alumnae were contacted about participating in this network and the response was overwhelmingly positive. The beta of the website was launched with over 50 women agreeing to mentor students. The promotion of this network was purposefully done in conjunction with the Entreprenerhsip@Cornell Celebration weekend.
- Strategic Review of Career Management Center
Fellow: Chuck Hibbs
Client: Johnson CMC
Over the past eighteen months at Johnson, Chuck engaged the CMC on improving student training, student preparation and corporate relationship management. With the approval of the dean, he launched strategic review that engaged a wide variety of stakeholders, and dug deeper into some of the issues raised, to identify and implement possible solutions. Some of the proposed changes include more clearly defining CMC responsibilities, increasing student club engagement and communication with CMC leaders, and adjusting CMC structure and roles. The project will likely be carried on next year as implementation and continuous improvement become a larger relative portion of the initiative.
- Big Red Leadership Institute
Fellows: Simeon Iheagwam
Clients: Cornell Athletics
This project focused on helping to create comprehensive leadership & character development program for Big Red Athletics that includes the following key components:
- An integrated, four-year developmental curriculum for student athletes that maximizes their personal development as a teammate and a team leader and allows them to use their competitive experience as a hands-on laboratory for honing these skills:
- An emphasis on self-awareness, self-reflection, personal & collective accountability, discipline, composure under adversity and communication
- Resources and support for coaches on a variety of topics, to include captain selection/development, team culture and team accountability
- The establishment of one common shared experience for all Cornell athletes, independent of a W-L record
In the first year of the program, Simeon supported the Executive Director in the planning implementation of the curriculum which included the following topics:
Johnson Board Fellowship
- Freshman – core values, core strengths, writing personal mission statements, self awareness in team settings, building and earning trust, and accountability
- Upperclassmen – understanding core values, mentoring, influence, listening, and communication
- Captains – setting standards and goals, motivating teammates, aligning team behind a shared goal, accountability, power and influence, conflict management, emotional intelligence, composure under adversity, and legacy
Fellows: Stella Klemperer
The focus of this project was to strengthen and grow the Johnson Board Fellowship program by developing a nonprofit leadership management course for JBF participants that would create more structure for the JBF program and provide students with a guided learning experience. Stella laid the groundwork for this course by developing a syllabus, creating a reading list, and recommending guest speakers from Cornell and the Ithaca community. She collaborated with Cornell faculty to present the course proposal to Johnson’s curriculum committee and worked with the incoming Johnson Board Fellowship directors to ensure that organizational knowledge is transferred to the incoming team.
Big Red Adventures
Fellows: Mallory Martino
The Big Red Adventures (BRadventures) program was created with the intention of enhancing the community at Johnson by offering international pre-orientation trips for the incoming two-year MBA class. Many other top business school programs offer incoming students an opportunity to travel with their classmates prior to the start of classes in the fall. These trips provide a tremendous opportunity to build relationships, create class bonds and experience a new culture. Working with the Office of Student Services, Johnson is partnering with a third party vendor, WorldStrides, to run pre-orientation trips. For the inaugural year, Johnson is sending a group of incoming students on a 7-day trip to Costa Rica. In subsequent years, the plan is to offer additional WorldStrides trips, as well as trips run by NOLS, a third party vendor specializing in outdoor leadership. Mallory’s hope is that BRadventures becomes a flagship part of the Johnson experience and strengthens ties to Johnson and within the Johnson community.
Johnson Annual Class Giving Campaign
Fellow: Julia Matsudaira
Client: Johnson Annual Giving Campaign
To help Johnson strengthen its ability to effectively and efficiently engage graduating MBAs in fundraising for the School and developing more engaged alumni, this project aimed to institutionalize key fundraising program elements for AA&D and Class Agents to use in years to come:
- Create electronic Class Campaign Handbook, including recommended project timeline, training materials, event descriptions, communications templates, etc.
- Track best practices and lessons learned, to provide the incoming class with timely advice from the class directly prior to their graduation year
- Create system for collecting feedback on individual students to help AA&D and Alumni Class Agents provide more informed, targeted engagement post-graduation
- Provide recommendation for key moments in the MBA program to cultivate a culture of giving
Starting in Fall 2013, as the 2014 Class Agent, Julia recruited 23 fellow classmates from the residential MBA class to join the Class Giving Campaign Committee. Each committee member was responsible for personal, individualized outreach to a set list of classmates as well as participating on a sub-committee dedicated to helping shape the Campaign strategy, training, communications, recognition, and institutionalization. Progress to date includes:
MacCormick Secure Center – Fatherhood Initiative
- 12% Class Participation (38 gifts received) – 13% to goal
- $8,411 raised ($221 average gift) – 28% to goal
- 16 recurring gifts – 11% to goal
Fellows: Chad Fifield, John-Michael Gooden, Wesley Hunt, Channi Singh, Chidozie Ugwumba
Clients: NY State Office of Child and Family Services – MacCormick Secure Center
Johnson Diverse Supplier Initiative
A team of four Fellows continued the 5 year partnership with the New York State Office of Children and Family Services to provide a positive male influence and expand opportunities for the young men at the MacCormick Youth Detention Center in Brooktondale, NY. These youth are detainees in a maximum security institution and while some are already fathers, many will be responsible for fathering children at some point after their release. The program is focused on providing mentorship, support, and educational opportunities through activities focusing on fatherhood, work, and life skills. The MacCormick Secure Center looks forward to continuing the partnership for many years to come.
Fellow: Dave Mueller
Clients: Johnson Business Office
As part of Cornell’s Diverse Supplier Initiative to attract and encourage campus-wide spending with diverse (minority-, woman-, or veteran-owned) businesses, Dave worked to establish a program that partners Johnson School students with the University’s diverse suppliers who are in need of strategic advice to grow and strengthen their businesses. Dave successfully launched five projects in the Fall of 2013 (expected completion Spring 2014). Four of those projects are led by BRConsulting student-teams and one by a 2012 Johnson Alum. Preliminary feedback from supplier-clients is overwhelmingly positive and CPS is budgeting for 4-5 additional projects in FY 2015. Responsibility for JDSP and the CPS relationship is being transitioned to incoming BRConsulting Directors.
CMC Student Engagement
Fellows: Keriann Murphy, Emily Walsh
Clients: Johnson CMC
Under the guidance of the Director of the CMC Keriann and Emily conducted a study that involved thirty-minute interviews with each Associate Director of the CMC as well as 2nd year MBA students currently recruiting for full-time positions. Their findings, along with work completed by another group of Johnson students, has helped inform a strategic project for the CMC that includes six buckets of work: Improving feedback, training & development, internal communication, external communication, 2nd year career programming, and corporate outreach. As a final deliverable for this project, they will be producing a revised student body survey to increase the quantity of data and feedback being delivered to the CMC as well as Johnson’s first comprehensive employment report for the 2013 graduating class. This report will be used as a template for an annual job report to be issued by the CMC.
Business Mentorship at Alpha Kappa Psi Business Fraternity
Fellows: Andreas Nydal, Kristin Grimm
The nation's first professional business fraternity, AKPsi, is now the largest Business Fraternity in the world. The Cornell Chapter has students that study in numerous different majors, and are involved in dozens of organizations on campus. This project focused in pairing up members from AKPsi with Park Fellows, so that the Fellows can mentor on items related to business, career, and education. AKPsi members have been seeking ways to collect more real-life information related to pursuing highly sought after careers (particularly in finance), and obtaining MBA’s from top business schools. To date, Andreas and Kristin Lynn Grimm have surveyed client need and drafted a high-level curriculum. A full draft for the pilot program will be in place by the end of the semester
Johnson – Innovation through Space Re-design
Fellows: Deborah Phillips
Clients: Johnson Marketing
This project focused on the question “How can our space better reflect who Johnson is and be both an extension and a facilitator of our brand?” The project has two components: (1) short term was to assist quick win improvements to Sage Hall with a very modest budget; and (2) long term to create frameworks and a blueprint for incorporating Cornell MBA’s core values and strengths into its physical Ithaca presence. The project included the following:
- Meeting with designers and design thinkers, visiting corporate buildings that embody their brand particularly well, visual and space theory research;
- Collaborating with Human Ecology masters student Michelle Beatty, who conducted thesis research on Johnson students’ space usage and needs;
- Participated in visioning and design process with architects developing near-term solutions for priority spaces within Sage Hall;
- Collected current students’ perspectives on ideal space experience and usage (this is ongoing).
This project will result in both a written report and a slide deck with recommendations for near- and long-term approaches to achieving the goals of embodying the Johnson brand, fostering innovation and collaboration through design, and revealing the work and spirit of our program.
Johnson – JPALS
Fellows: Natoshia Spruill
Clients: Johnson Admissions
Johnson Personalized Admissions Links or JPALS is a program designed to strengthen the ties among alumni, current students, and admitted students. The program allows admitted students to experience the value of becoming a member of the Johnson and Cornell community through instant Cornell connections by connecting newly admitted students with both a current student or two, and an alum. The scope of this project was to revamp the current system by (1) streamlining the process to assign alums and current students to admitted students, (2) incorporating a tracking system so Admissions can track who received/opened their JPALS email, (3) making the sign up process easier for alums and current students, and (4) more accurate matching between alumni, current students, and admitted students. We proposed a series of recommendations to Admissions and the IT department based on the goals of the Admissions department and feedback from current students. This new system will allow IT to implement our proposed changes for improving JPALS and making the process easier for all parties involved (Alumni, Current Students, and Admitted Students). This is a very large undertaking, so the community won’t reap the benefits of the new and improved JPALS until after the new application system is up and running in time for Fall 2014.
One Year MBA Ithaca Integration Study
Fellows: Marcus Welles
Clients: Johnson Admissions
Given the accelerated schedule of the One-Year MBA program and separate core curriculum experience, challenges persist in integrating the One-Year students into social and extracurricular activities shared with their classmates in the Two-Year program. Inspired by informal conversations with current One-Year students, the project scope was aimed at collecting insights and creative ideas from students that could be used to address integration issues between the two residential MBA programs in Ithaca. Although many perspectives have been previously voiced on this topic through various channels, this current effort focuses on aggregating data from a critical mass of students that can be used to develop actionable plans to more fully integrate the two residential MBA programs in Ithaca. Initial interviews have been completed and data collection is in process. Survey results and final recommendations will be presented to Johnson faculty and administration in May 2014.