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Academy Spotlight: Finance Academy Lunch and Learns

Tippie alum Tanner Scott ('11) shared his experiences at Syngenta with students during a March 26, 2013 Lunch and Learn

by A.J. Honore, 2013 MBA Candidate

Full-time MBA students on the Finance track have the opportunity to interact and network with recent MBA alumni of the program through Tippie's Lunch and Learn program. Cathy Zaharis, Finance Academy Business Director, decided to start this new activity to bring better understanding of the roles available to academy students as well as to inform them of the skills they should be cultivating while in the program.

Small groups of students bring in a bag lunch on a weekly basis and get the opportunity to hear from a recent alum, typically via teleconference. The group's small size promotes more intimacy and good interaction, as anyone who has ever been on a conference call with a large group of people can attest. This format also provides for good use of alumni time as they are chatting with several interested students at once versus one at a time. The students can then follow up individually as they see fit.

Alumni are given a list of questions to address at the beginning of the call, including topics like job titles, duration of time spent in the role, functions of their job, a “day in the life,” technical and behavioral skills relevant to the position, past experiences or attributes that have allowed them to succeed in the role, likes and dislikes about their jobs, and a bit of advice to students who would like to be in their shoes in the future. Finally, there is a free-form question and answer.

Thus far, current students have had the opportunity to speak with Jared Marks (’11), Siva Kamesh (‘11), and Rob Rossiter (‘12), all with Ford, as well as Deepak Rohida (‘12) of HP and Tanner Scott ('11) of Syngenta.

Second-year MBA candidate Ryan Jennings had the following to say about this new opportunity: “I attended a Finance Lunch & Learn with three Tippie MBA alumni now working at Ford.  I am interested in manufacturing finance, so it was great to hear their experience and ask a couple questions that I was particularly curious about. The event was a conference call, so it was casual and a very productive way to spend lunch!” Ryan also stated that this was a great way to network with alumni in the field and that the Lunch and Learn encouraged marvelous future opportunities to connect with those graduates in specific positions or companies of interest.

Future calls will take place April 2nd with Monty Gupta ('10) of Capital One, April 9th with Zac McQuistan ('07) of Microsoft, and April 23d with Jayme Reynolds ('11) of Accenture.

If you are interested in participating in a future Finance Lunch & Learn, please contact Cathy Zaharis. Thanks to Tippie alumni for their involvement this semester!