One of the most rewarding experiences of my time at the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management has been the opportunity to be a Big Red Microenterprise (BRM) coach. Following her appointment as BRM manager, Trisha Chang, One-year MBA ’16, suggested that I would make a great business coach. I was excited about the opportunity to add value to a local firm and help individuals achieve their goals. I successfully completed the interview process, was accepted to the program, and spent the fall semester enduring the rigorous and highly informative workshops preparing us to become exceptional coaches.
L to R: Jim, Ziquan, Kwasi, and a NY Business Plan Competition Judge
Towards the end of the fall semester, all newly-trained coaches were introduced to their assigned clients and organizations to learn more about one another and develop work plans for the spring semester. I was partnered with TravelSee, a start-up analytic firm focused on providing actionable recommendations based on synthesized data (software as a service) to museums and other cultural institutions to improve marketing and operational efficiency. I worked closely with fellow Cornellian Jim Li, COO, and Kwasi Agyemang, CEO and Founder, and student of SUNY Oneonta - Cooperstown Graduate Program. Both are passionate about TravelSee and their passion is contagious.
Following our initial introduction, I understood their goals and we spent the spring semester working on leadership, pitching and presentation styles, organizational structure, pricing strategies, human resource development, marketing, and product development to help them achieve their goals. I was fortunate to celebrate many milestones with TravelSee, including signing their first paying client and witnessing a 1st Place win at the New York Business Plan Competition.
I had a tremendous amount of support from the BRM managers in particular, Harsh Mogili, Two-year MBA ’16, who served as my direct manager. He understood my style early on and was accommodating of my numerous text messages at all hours of the day and night.
TravelSee has tremendous growth opportunities. The plan is to continue to work with company leaders in an advisory capacity post-BRM. Who knows? This just might turn out to be my first board appointment!