Tag Archives: business

Business Student Admits That He Has No Idea What “Innovation” Actually Means

Buzzwords “innovation” and “entrepreneurship” are heard all over the Bay Area but student David Chang, an Entrepreneurship and Innovation major, has admitted that he has no idea what the industry jargon really means.

“When I arrived in San Francisco I kept hearing other ambitious young people refer to themselves as innovators and entrepreneurs, so I followed suit. It’s been 3 years and I am still not sure what that entails but apparently it looks good on your resume,” said Chang.

buisinessmanChang switched majors during his junior year, from Business Management to Entrepreneurship and Innovation. “I haven’t seen a change academically, but I’ve been getting more job offers in the Bay Area. I highly recommend it,” he said.

However, Chang said he was very confused about what he’s studying and what job he will be performing after he graduates.

When asked what the most challenging part of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation major was, Chang answered,  “the vocabulary.”

“How do you integrate platforms? What is a C-suite and why does everybody want to be in it? Are Angel investors God’s bankers?”

DISCLAIMER: This piece was printed as part of The Foghorn’s April Fool’s Day issue on April 1st, 2014. This article is intended to be satirical.

Noise Pop Talks Business

Musicians, bloggers, tech geeks and music industry insiders gathered Saturday for another annual meet up at the Noise Pop curated Industry Noise conference at the Swedish American Hall in the Castro District. The conference featured various independent music insiders from artists, to managers and everyone in between.

This year’s conference brought keynote speaker Josh Freese, who has made himself known as one of the top recording drummers in the country, who’s collaborated on over three hundred albums over the last thirty years. Freese focused on his career in the industry, sharing stories of recording with Guns and Roses, playing in DEVO and being a dad to three young kids all while balancing his way around labels and managers.

The rest of the conference was more free form, featuring different panels where fans and insiders alike fueled the questions. The first panel I attended was titled “Never Trust Anyone Over 30” and focused on people under thirty who are already shaping the industry in their own special way. Panelists included singer Eric Frederic from the band Facing New York and his new project WALLPAPER. Justin Little, a Santa Clara graduate that used to book concerts on his campus, who works for Zeitgeist Artist Management working with bands such as Death Cab For Cutie and Grizzly Bear. Andy Miles represented the tech side of the industry speaking on how at such a young age he co-founded the website Bandize which is used by bands and managers to everything from booking tours to tracking merchandise sales all on one easy to use website. The final panelist was Ty White who after a few failed music startups landed a job at Topspin Media, a web company that helps artist hype and create a channel for artists and fans to connect.

This panel was the most informative because it was young people talking to young people who all were there trying to figure out how to exactly make it into the music business and the fate of the business. Little mentioned, “I know a lot of friends who have lost their jobs in the last year in the industry.” Between discussions the recession was brought up to which someone stated “If a company like General Motors can fail, then what’s to say Warner Bros records can’t fail, and that’s what’s exciting right now.” Although these insiders knew that the recording industry was in a wreck right now, they all seemed very excited about the future with a promise that music wouldn’t die, technology would always be changing but the way artists are managed and the way artists revenues come in would all have to change but no one knows exactly how yet.

Other panels touched on a wide array of subjects, one solely for music producers and studio work, one on how to make an indie label titled “Mogal” and an artist panel featuring Francisco Fernandez of the Furious Few, Eric Victorino of the band The Limousines and Aja Volkman of Nico Vega who were all playing the Noise Pop festival and shared stories from the road and being an artist in our economy.

The lower level of the Swedish American Hall was filled with chairs where people from labels, band managers, publicists and producers all offered short ten minute sessions with anyone looking make a connection, get some guidance and possibly a business card.

The conference seemed to become a place where fans and musicians were equals and the veil of secrecy that surrounds such a popular industry was lifted. Shortly after the conference all attendees and panelists headed to Cafe Du Nord for drinks and conversations on how although the industry is ever changing, the music will stay the same.

Business Honors Cohort One of Many Academic Programs at USF

This is the first in a series of articles featuring some of USF’s special academic programs.

Apart from the typical majors and minors that all students declare, USF has a large number of special academic programs, programs that offer benefits such as guaranteed admittance to law school, a bachelors and masters degree in five years, and even exemption from final exams in some cases.

Despite the fact that many of these programs are openly advertised or featured on USF’s website, students seem to be largely unaware of their benefits. Other programs are intentionally kept under the radar by the departments that sponsor them.

The first program to be featured in this series is the Honors Cohort Program.

The Honors Cohort Program is part of USF’s School of Business and Management and is open to business students who have achieved junior standing, completed a number of prerequisite courses and earned a 3.5 minimum GPA. Students applying for this competitive program are also required to complete an interview with a faculty member and current HCP student.

Once in the program, students take the six upper division business core classes together. These classes are only open to HCP students. Mark Dondero, a junior in the program, said he enjoys his fellow cohort students. “The class discussions are usually pretty good because everyone there wants to be there,” he said. “It’s a great resume building and networking opportunity.”

Apart from taking classes together, HCP students also go on field trips and participate in group projects and activities. This year, HCP sent a team of students to compete in a sales competition at William Paterson University in New Jersey.

HCP students do more group work than is required in regular classes in the business school, said Dondero.

Another student in the program, Michelle “My” Nguyen, said she is very happy to be a part of the cohort. “It feels like a big family whenever we have class together,” she said.
Enrollment in HCP ranges from 18-24 students depending on the number of qualified applicants the program receives.

USF, America Seek Answers to Financial Crisis

Students squeezed in with reporters and TV news cameras to hear a panel of economists explain how the U.S. economy reached its current financial state, with many banks teetering on the edge of collapse and the economy flirting with recession amidst a liquidity crunch, falling housing prices and extreme investor pessimism. 

The USF Economics Department hosted the panel, comprised of professors from their department as well as the School of Business, who presented their views on the need for a bailout package and how different political actions might impact today’s faltering economy. 

The discussion could not have been more timely given last Monday’s congressional rejection of a comprehensive $700 billion bailout proposal. That proposal had been hastily constructed, but was backed by the White House and many Democrats and Republicans in a failed bipartisan effort in the House of Representatives. 

The bill has since passed and was signed by President Bush last week. 

The panelists largely supported the bailout effort, and Professor Hartmut Fischer said, “If [members of Congress] don’t act, we will have a recession by Christmas.” Fischer later said that he meant the statement as a call to action, not a literal prediction. He was referring to the difficulty retailers will have in borrowing money to load up on merchandise ahead of the holiday shopping rush, as they normally do. 

The four panelists explained how the financial crisis stemmed from low interest rates and relaxed lending standards that caused a boom in the housing market. This eventually lead banks to falter because they are highly tied to the mortgage market, which includes substantial exposure to sub-prime and alt-a mortgage-backed securities – assets that have come under high risk of default by borrowers in recent months.

The professors discussed the need for a bailout package and expressed their support of Federal Reserve Bank President Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. They noted that while the political process has failed to rescue the country, there are still tools available to Paulson and Bernanke, including lowering interest rates and other more creative solutions. 

Professor Jacques Artus said a large component of the crisis is that mortgage-backed securities are being valued by the market at a level below their true price because investors have been too afraid to widely trade them in recent months. The process of “marking to market,” or accounting for an asset based on the value it trades at in the marketplace causes a huge problem when that market evaporates. “This is the difference between bankruptcy and liquid capitol,” Artus said. 

The panel concluded by taking questions from the audience. One of the questions from a concerned student was about how the financial crisis will affect student loans. Artus said he did not believe that current loans would be affected at all, but noted tighter credit markets might make getting additional student loans more difficult. Changing interest rates will also affect the amount of money borrowers have to pay back. 

Sophomore international business student Katrina Oropel said that she enjoyed the panel’s discussion. “It clarified a lot of questions and misconceptions that I’ve had,” she said. 

“This is the kind of thing you learn about -but it’s really happening now,” said junior Tiffany Gresham, who attended the discussion in hopes of gaining some insight into the security of her finances. “After banks started being bought I was scared, I wondered if I should take my money out. I wanted to know if [the bailout] would affect my financial position.”

Gresham, like many students who attended the lecture, hoped to gain a better understanding of the financial crisis that is being hailed the worst since the Great Depression, and that will certainly be a defining moment in the economic history of this generation.

Author Advocates Green Business

On Monday, Sept. 29, the University of San Francisco hosted a book signing and business lecture by Tim Sanders, Yahoo’s Chief Strategy Officer, New York Times best-selling author, and the most in demand keynote business speaker on the lecture circuit, in Maier Hall.  

Sanders’ new book, “Saving the World at Work: What Companies and Individuals Can do to Go Beyond Making a Profit to Making a Difference,” is his latest in a series of business books and other informational tools on running and maintaining a successful business. The book covers a variety of topics from sustainability, to going green, to fair trade.  According to Sanders, the main point of the book is that businesses can make a difference while making a dollar.  

“The business world is changing from a take/waste to a leave/grow mentality,” said Sanders.  He explained that companies are now more heavily judged by customers and potential employees based upon their impact on the community and the larger environment.  

Sanders laid out the top three qualities that people use to judge a company. The first is how they treat their employees.  “We are emotionally attached to this quality because we ourselves are all workers,” he said. The second is the impact that the company has on the local community, since that is where the majority of the company’s employees come from, and they want to know that their company is on the side of their families and neighbors.  The third, which is quickly rising due to social awareness about global warming, is environmental friendliness.

So what exactly is a green company?  The term is used in the business world to mean to grow and expand your company.  According to Sanders, green is a goal that is always being strived for and never reached because it is always growing.  The four means of achieving green are reducing, reusing, recycling and replacing.

Sanders discussed the quality revolution that is now widespread.  “People now ask of companies why should I work for you, buy from you, and invest in you?” he said.  

According to Sanders, environmentally aware companies can hire an equally qualified person at 11% less than a company that does not put emphasis on environmental awareness because MBA’s know that the aware company will last longer.  Companies that do not have a positive community impact don’t last any more.  

Regressive economics doesn’t work anymore.  Being less bad for the environment than the competing company is not enough because successful business have figured out that helping the environment and community will help make money.   “90-day box thinking will kill you in the long run,” he said.  

Sanders ended with a community development key to making a dollar while making a difference.  “When you find an interest of the community and combine that with a capability of your company and help that community, you are creating a cash machine.”  

To learn more about Sanders’ business model, visit his website at www.timsanders.com or www.savingtheworld.net.