Wow, what an amazing response so far…glad everyone is enjoying my MBA recollections (it’s a lot of fun for me too).  If you missed it, you can find parts one and two here.  Now onto Part 3!

First Year: Third Quarter

Strategic Management

MBA courses are, by nature, often discussion based.  While I generally like this format, at times it can be unclear whether we are really on the right track or just blowing smoke.  With Professor Mary Tripsas at the helm, this was never the case.  She had no problem calling out vague or unsupported comments and really forced us to elevate our game and exploration of the topic at hand.  This challenge was energizing and is what really made the class stand out.  Other than Tripsas leaving a normally quick witted classmate speechless after calling him out for yawning in class, what do I still remember?

  • Who made that toilet? The first case we read was about Japanese luxury toilet company Toto and it’s challenge to American Standard.  To this day, I cannot use a bathroom without noting who made the toilet.  For the record mine is a Toto.
  • You can make a two by two matrix for just about anything (and it will probably help)- By the end of class we had seen so many of these that it almost seemed cliche and yet they really are a great framework for analyzing and organizing complex ideas or markets.  To demonstrate just how versatile they can be, here is one I like for Game of Thrones characters
  • Porter’s Five Forces- We were all doing an MBA and Prof Tripsas used to work for Monitor…needless to say, we got so much Michael Porter that it had to stick, if for no other reason than the amount of jokes and five forces parities we made.
  • Two-Sided Markets- Before going on to win the Business Plan Competition (spoiler alert), 5/6 of the Geck Squad did a routine presentation on Uber and two-sided markets.  We wound up getting really excited about it and putting in a lot more work than necessary but ended with a final presentation that we were really proud of and that I could probably still give today.

Continue reading “The Condensed MBA: Part 3”