Project One gives first-year MBAs boardroom experience
First-year MBA student Katherine Zollinger had a professional experience that some MBAs don’t get an opportunity to encounter until after they graduate.
Because of her participation in Fisher Professional Services (FPS) Project One, Zollinger came face-to-face with executives from Oracle in a boardroom presentation at the end of fall quarter. She was among more than 100 MBA students who participated in the orientation project for FPS.
Teams of first-year MBA students were assigned one of three consulting projects for software giant Oracle, a founding member of the Center for Business Performance Management. Second-year MBAs served as project managers.
The three projects included: an evaluation of requirements and trends in sustainability reporting; an evaluation of business analytics (dashboards, scorecards and other metrics) and the value they can provide to companies; and finding new markets for an Oracle software product called Crystal Ball.
Zollinger was on the winning team for the Crystal Ball project with Anthony Cayce, Ick Don Choe, David Clark-Joseph and Hao Wang. “It was intimidating, but it was a good experience,” Zollinger said. “When I get back out into the work world, I would have to do it eventually.”
The team presented to Oracle a plan on how to vertically integrate the software product to market it to a specific industry. The team chose to target the financial sector as a way to apply the software to a new market. The team had to be creative in obtaining information and learning about the product, Zollinger said.
“One of the things we did was talk a lot to Oracle’s customer service representatives for Crystal Ball to help us better understand the product so we could come up with a plan,” she recalled.
One of the important things that the experience provided Zollinger was a better understanding of her long-term goals. “It made me think about where I want to focus in my career. I think I have narrowed down the areas I’m interested in. It also taught me what I needed to work on,” she said.
The other winning teams were:
Sustainability Reporting Trends & Requirements
Brian Michael Blewitt
Robert J. Cary
Defining the Value of Business Analytics
Phuong Viet Bui