May 21st, 2015
From Nola.com, May 21, 2015:
Loyal customers may return, but the recall is “incredibly damaging,” especially in areas where Blue Bell is still an unfamiliar name, said Janet Schwartz, an assistant professor of marketing at Tulane University’s A. B. Freeman School of Business.
Schwartz added it would take time for Blue Bell to win back the trust of ice cream sellers, especially after reports the company knew about listeria at an Oklahoma plant as far back as 2013.
Grocery stores, ice cream parlors and other distributors will need to see changes in how Blue Bell approaches food safety before they restock the brand, she said.
“People have emotional bonds to brands. Distributors don’t,” Schwartz said.
To read the article in its entirety, visit Nola.com:
May 19th, 2015
Claire Senot’s paper “Role of Bottom-up Decision Processes in Improving Care Quality: A Contingency Perspective,” co-authored with Aravind Chandrasekaren and Peter Ward, has been accepted for publication in Production and Operations Management. Senot is an assistant professor of management science at the Freeman School.
May 11th, 2015
Big data is one of the business world’s biggest buzzwords, offering organizations the promise of revolutionizing the way they generate value for customers and shareholders. Now, a new MBA concentration gives students the skills they need to help companies transform data into actionable knowledge.
Modeling and Analytics instructor Geoff Parker says employers are expressing growing interest in data analytics skills.
The Freeman School’s analytics concentration is designed to prepare students to master the use of large data sets in business, covering everything from obtaining and managing data to using powerful statistical computing applications to draw meaningful business inferences.
“There’s been quite a bit of interest among students, and we’re seeing huge interest in the employer community,” says Geoff Parker, professor of management science and developer of the concentration’s modeling and analytics course. “It’s an exciting area to be in.”
“As the world becomes increasingly computerized and everything turns into data, we need to continuously enhance the skills we teach to help students keep up,” adds Professor of Finance Russ Robins, who teaches econometrics and forecasting. “The analytics concentration gives students a very highly sought after skill set to put in their toolbox.”
Courses required for the concentration include marketing research as well as three new offerings: modeling and analytics, econometrics and forecasting, and advanced spreadsheet modeling. Topics covered include data mining, clustering, visualization, machine learning, serial correlation, forecasting, and basic time-series regression models for both stationary and nonstationary data. Students completing the concentration will also learn R, an open-source platform for statistical computing that enables users to do some remarkable things.
Ashwin Ananth (MD/MBA ’15), a student in the joint MD/MBA program, used skills he developed in the analytics courses to help improve patient outcomes at Tulane’s Head and Neck Cancer Center.
“We’d collected all this data on patients diagnosed with head and neck cancer, but I didn’t know what to do with it,” says Ananth. “Thanks to Professor Parker, we were able to analyze how long it takes patients to get through the treatment process and identify where there were bottlenecks. I wouldn’t have been able to do that without his class.”
Thomas Altman (MBA ’14) used data from Twitter to generate a heat map that tracked user reactions to last year’s NCAA men’s basketball final in real time, a project he credits with helping him to land his current job as business analyst with software company Aptify.
“The skills I learned in Geoff’s class aren’t necessarily in my job description, but they’re definitely in demand and being able to talk about them intelligently is important,” says Altman. “The fact that I’d done the project in Geoff’s class and could talk about it helped separate me from other job candidates.”
Those are the kind of testimonials Parker hopes to hear more of in the coming years, especially as more students start to combine their analytical abilities with skills in other disciplines.
“Our competitive advantage is applying analytical tools to solve problems in industries where we’ve already built expertise, such as finance, energy and entrepreneurship,” he says. “We’re going to be working very closely with the companies that hire our students to make sure we’re teaching them the right skills they need to solve the right problems.”
May 11th, 2015
From BizEd Magazine, May/June 2015:
In laying out a framework to help business schools develop innovative programs, author J.D. Schramm highlights the Freeman School’s Burkenroad Reports program.
What did the Freeman School have to be, know, and do to sustain curricular innovation at this level? The Burkenroad Reports program is institutionally distinctive (it focuses on Gulf Coast firms), demand-driven (it serves the firms and the students), and collaborative (a team works under the direction of a visionary founder). It is pedagogically sound (it provides bootcamp research training), follows an appropriate schedule (it gives students Fridays off so they can travel to the firms), and is committed to continuous improvement (through a feedback loop). Finally, the program focuses on a narrow scope of operations (it works with smaller but publicly traded firms), provides engaging content (it develops skills that have real-world relevance), and offers experimental leeway (the dean allowed Ricchiuti to give it a try). Tulane had all nine factors in place to launch an innovative program—which is now in its 22nd year.
To read the article in its entirety, visit bizedmagazine.com:
May 6th, 2015
Harish Sujan’s article “The Importance of Starting Right: The Influence of Accurate Intuition on Performance in Salesperson–Customer Interactions,” co-authored with Zachary R. Hall and Michael Ahearne, was published in the May 2015 issue of Journal of Marketing. In the article, the authors evaluate the influence of accurate judgements by salespeople about customers in face-to-face interactions and argue that salespeople who make accurate intuitive judgements improve their selling performance by enabling more appropriate initial sales strategies. Sujan is the A. B. Freeman Chair of Business and professor of marketing at the A. B. Freeman School of Business.
April 29th, 2015
From Forbes.com, April 28, 2015:
Dr. Iris Mack, a lecturer, market consultant and author of the book Energy Trading and Risk Management, opines that should natural gas be considered as a primary energy source, its pricing is affected by quantifiable exogenous variables including but not limited to weather, storage, transmission and seasonality.
“Electric energy is a secondary energy source. It has to be generated from the conversion of other primary energy products – such as, oil, natural gas, coal, wind, nuclear, solar, hydro, etc. Hence, the price of electric power is affected by the prices and availability of these primary energy sources,” she adds.
Factoring in the supply chain, we’d be looking at numerous market participants including brokers, power exchanges, system operators, dealers, traders, transmission operators, distribution operators, power producers and more – highlighting the challenges a carte blanche price freeze would face.
“The only way I think Miliband can fulfill his campaign promise is via government subsidies. However, that means the taxpayers will end up paying in the end,” Mack says.
To read the article in its entirety, visit Forbes.com:
April 28th, 2015
Emily Rosenzweig’s paper “When Knowledge Knows No Bounds: Self-perceived Expertise Predicts Claims of Impossible Knowledge” has been accepted for publication in Psychological Science. The paper was co-authored with Stav Atir, PhD candidate at Cornell University, and David A. Dunning, professor of psychology at Cornell. Rosenzweig is an assistant professor of marketing at Tulane University’s A. B. Freeman School of Business.
April 28th, 2015
Two students at the A. B. Freeman School of Business have been named Tulane University’s 2015 Scholar-Athletes of the Year.
Brandon Schmidt, left, and Jackie Wegner received Tulane’s 2015 Scholar-Athlete of the Year Awards. (Photo courtesy Tulane Athletics.)
Jackie Wegner, a junior finance major from Clearwater, Florida, received the female Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award and Brandon Schmidt, a senior finance major from Lafayette, Louisiana, was named male Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
The university bestows the awards each year to honor the male and female student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average after a minimum of five semesters. The awards were presented Sunday night (April 26) at Tulane’s annual All-Sports Athletics Banquet in the Lavin-Bernick Center.
Wegner, a member of the sand volleyball team, has a GPA of 3.987 and has been a member of the Tulane Scholar Athlete Program since 2012. This season, Wegner and teammate Tea Juric posted a 27-6 record and became the first sand volleyball team in Tulane history to qualify for back-to-back trips to the national championships.
Schmidt, a linebacker on the football team, earned his second consecutive Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award with a perfect 4.0 GPA. He played in six games for the Green Wave in 2014, seeing action primarily on special teams and logging one tackle.
The ceremony also honored Tulane’s American Athletic Conference Scholar-Athletes of the Year. Schmidt earned the male Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award while swimming and diving’s Claire Schelske, a senior finance major from Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, earned the female award. Schelske earned a 3.979 GPA while serving as president of the Tulane Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. She participated in 10 meets in 2015, competing in the 100 free, the 100 breast, the 200 breast and the 500 free events as well as being part of three relay teams.
“Participating in intercollegiate athletics requires extraordinary dedication and hard work, but to achieve the level of academic success that these student-athletes have achieved is nothing short of remarkable,” said Freeman School Dean Ira Solomon. “They represent the best of student athletics, and I couldn’t be more proud to have them as students here at the Freeman School.”
April 21st, 2015
MBA teams Washington University in St. Louis, the University of North Carolina and Tulane University took home the top prizes at the A. B. Freeman School of Business’ 19th annual Rolanette and Berdon Lawrence Finance Case Competition.
An MBA team from the Freeman School earned third-place honors in this year’s competition. Pictured with sponsors Rolanette and Berdon Lawrence, center, are, left to right, Nguyen Hai Ho, Sophia Brown, David Dowty and Rodolfo San Martin.
The competition, which took place at the Freeman School on Friday (April 17), tests the valuation and financial analysis skills of students in a challenging, time-sensitive environment. Student teams are tasked with analyzing a real-world finance case and then presenting their recommendations to a panel of finance professional charged with selecting the top presentations.
Washington University took home this year’s grand prize of $7,000, University of North Carolina earned second place and a prize of $5,000, and host Tulane University took home the third-place prize of $3,000. Also participating in this year’s competition were Rice University, University of South Carolina, University of Texas – Dallas and Vanderbilt University.
“I’m more impressed every year by the caliber, consistency and excellence of the presentations,” said competition judge Casey Herman (BSM ’86). “As a partner at PwC, I hope a few of you are coming to work for us, because we need you. You guys were great.”
“It’s tough to judge because you all are so talented and frequently the margins are very close,” added competition judge Joe Agular (A&S ’81, MBA ’88), partner with Johnson Rice & Co. in New Orleans. “Hopefully, you all learned something valuable and take something away from the experience.”
Also serving as a judge this year was Chris Conoscenti (MBA/JD ’01), managing director with Credit Suisse in Houston.
The Finance Case Competition began in 1997 and has been sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence since 1998. Berdon Lawrence (BBA ’64, MBA ’65) is the founder of Hollywood Marine and former chairman of Kirby Corp., an operator of inland tank barges headquartered in Houston. Kirby purchased Hollywood Marine in 1999. Lawrence is also a former member of the Business School Council and a former member of the Board of Tulane.
“I owe a lot to my Tulane education,” Lawrence told attendees at the awards presentation. “I don’t think I could have built my company over the years had I not had a good business education here at the Freeman School, so this is a way for me to give something back.”
Lawrence left this year’s participants with some words of advice.
“Two things: Work real hard and be honest,” he said. “If you do that, you’re going to be successful.”