Haslam Students Learn Economics in German Context

MercedesPlantEight Haslam College of Business students learned how culture and politics affect economics during a study abroad program in Germany this summer. The session included two advanced courses related to Haslam’s full-time MBA curriculum and was led by faculty members Bill Neilson, Marianne Wanamaker and Georg Schaur.

“The students are spending the month in Freiburg, where they are living in dorms,” Neilson said. “All of them have European flat-mates.” These living conditions are intended to give students a broader perspective on German life and culture.

Clay Daniel, a rising junior studying supply chain management and business analytics, found the accommodations reflect his impressions of German culture in general.

“Until you truly get to know a person, there is a very formal boundary between you,” Daniel said. “If conversations happen, that’s cool, but there doesn’t seem to be any drive to start those conversations. On the other hand, the conversations I have had with the people I live with have been very kind.”

Understanding this reticence was particularly important when students interviewed Germans on the street as part of an economic experiment. “We had to go out into town and present random people with a choice that measured their willingness to take risks,” Daniel said. “I thought that it was a great opportunity. I also learned that I like this branch of economics more so than others.”

Students gained perspective on international business by visiting Mercedes-Benz in Stuttgart, Germany, and the pharmaceutical company Novartis in Basel, Switzerland. The European Union Parliament and FutureCamp Climate, an emissions trading business, provided comparisons to political issues in the United States.

Posted in 2015 | Tagged , , , ,

Smith Named Head of Haslam College of Business’s Department of Management

Anne D. Smith

Anne D. Smith

Knoxville—Anne D. Smith has been named head of the Department of Management at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Haslam College of Business. She succeeds Terry Leap, who served as head of the department for four and a half years.

Smith has been with Haslam since 2001, teaching across all levels—undergraduate, masters, doctoral and executive. She has won numerous teaching awards, both at Haslam and in her previous posts at the University of New Mexico and McGill University in Montreal, Canada.

Annette L. Ranft, senior associate dean for academic affairs and Reagan Professor of Business, said that Smith’s tenure bodes well for the future of the department.

“Anne has served as a long term faculty leader in the department of management with a strong track record of academic excellence through both her scholarship and teaching,” Ranft said. “We are fortunate to have Anne to lead the department in its efforts to continue to strengthen academic programs and thought leadership in the Haslam College of Business.”

Smith has published more than 20 papers in academic journals. Her research utilizes qualitative methods to study strategy, process in medium-sized organizations, and top management teams. She pioneered the use of photography in field research with her former organizations and strategy doctoral student Josh Ray. She also is currently the associate editor of Organizational Methods Journal and the incoming chair of the Strategizing Activities and Practices Interest Group in the Academy of Management.

“I have a mantra which reflects a bit of how I manage — boring is good,” Smith said. “That does not mean boring in the classroom but moving forward without drama. It applies to me anticipating and heading off potential problems and being prepared and clear.”

Posted in 2015, News

Haslam Human Resource Student Organization Recognized as Outstanding

15_SHRMOfficersThe Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) recognized its affiliate at the
University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Haslam College of Business with an Outstanding Student Chapter Award.

This is the fourth year Haslam’s SHRM chapter has been recognized as outstanding by its parent organization. Haslam students share the accolade with only nine other chapters out of 600 member schools worldwide.

The award recognizes achievement during the 2014-15 school year. It is based on the activities and projects chapters undertake to encourage professional development and support the human resource industry.

Haslam’s chapter highlighted its LinkedIn photo booth as an exemplary project for the award. Advisor Debbie Mackey said the endeavor identified a common human resource problem and provided a simple solution.

“Students need a professional LinkedIn profile picture before applying for jobs,” Mackey said. “The chapter pilot tested [the booth] at an etiquette dinner and then took close to 300 pictures for free at a career fair, emailing them to students.”

Other activities conducted by the chapter included weekly speakers on human resource issues, a health care panel and an employment conference in the field of law.

Chapter officers Kenan Smith, Tyler Lampley, Brittney Parker, Carlee Pritchard and Lauren Troutman attended the national SHRM conference in Las Vegas, where they accepted the Outstanding Student Chapter Award in front of 18,000 human resource professionals. They also received the regional case competition award, which the chapter won in April.

Posted in 2015 | Tagged ,

Business Across the Pond Gives Haslam Students a New Perspective

Crescent_BathAssociate professor Russell Crook and assistant professor Larry Fauver led a group of 18 students on a mini-term in London, England, this summer, demonstrating the differences between the business world in Europe and the United States.

“We chose London because it is a key financial center and because of its rich history,” Crook said. “It helps students learn that other ways of doing business work quite well.”

Samuel Stevenson, a rising senior in finance, was surprised by the pace of London’s business world.

“I feel like business culture in the U.S. puts more of an emphasis on dedicating one’s life to his/her work or job,” he said. Stevenson also noted that the tax environment for corporations was more appealing in England. “If I am looking to start a business, I would much rather pay 21 percent [corporate tax rate] than 35 percent.”

During their two weeks in England, students visited cultural sites such as Stonehenge and the Roman Baths complex, spoke with local business professionals and toured the London Metals Exchange, Google, CNBC, Bloomberg and The Guardian.

Supply chain management junior Samuel Liggett said that he had no knowledge of some of these businesses before the trip. “Now I know about how they are run, what they do as corporations and how they operate in a global context,” said Liggett. “I know that I will become a more internationally savvy businessman because of it.”

Liggett noted that his opportunities to explore the city independently also were pivotal to his experience. “I ventured out on my own to see the Tower of London and Winston Churchill’s bunker and spent hours one afternoon just wandering aimlessly through Camden Market,” he said.

Fauver said London was a broadening experience in and of itself for many of his students. “The cultural and business aspect is key but the time in London allows students to interact with so many diverse individuals,” he said. “It’s amazing to see the confidence they gain from the trip.”

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NABA Selects Haslam Group for Chapter of the Year

NABA AwardsThe student chapter of the National Association of Black Accountants at the Haslam College of Business received a Chapter of the Year award from its parent organization in June.

The award was presented during the NABA National Convention and Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada, and was accepted by faculty advisor Randy V. Bradley, assistant professor of information systems and supply chain management, as well as four Haslam students: Gabrielle Yates (president-elect), Ashleigh Williams (vice president-elect), Cherish Hughes (outgoing membership development chair) and doctoral student Michelle Harding.

Yates credits the award to the chapter’s efforts to increase the value of membership. “We offered more networking opportunities with professionals from various business disciplines and backgrounds, providing access to resources needed to succeed both academically and professionally, as well as ensuring our members were well connected and aware of all opportunities offered on campus,” she said.

The award recognizes chapters that best highlight achievement and effectiveness. Membership recruitment and development, adequate documentation and reporting, planning and evaluation and the programs the chapter conducts or participates in throughout the year are all included in the criteria of the award.

Advisor Randy V. Bradley also served as the keynote speaker at the Scholar’s Luncheon during the convention. He credited the students for their success this year, as well as the chapter’s partners. “This is a tremendous accomplishment that is indicative of the hard work and dedication of our students,” Bradley said. “The national recognition signified by this award would not have been possible without the support of the many Haslam alums and corporate partners that helped create the foundation upon which our current students executed their vision.”

Posted in 2015

Haslam Students Market New Products in Spain During Summer Session

Undergrads in Barcelona Cathedral

Haslam Students at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela

Thirteen Haslam students joined a group from the University of South Carolina for an international marketing course in Barcelona, Spain, during the summer mini-term. Kelly Hewett, assistant professor of marketing at the Haslam College of Business, lead the course.

During their time in Spain, students visited Camp Nou (where the FC Barcelona soccer team plays), Sagrda Familia cathedral and Roca International, the world’s largest producer of bathroom fixtures. Their primary assignment was to create a marketing launch plan for a product not currently available in Spain.

Aubrey Pike, a rising senior with a minor in business, said her team planned to introduce the Swiffer Wet Jet.

“Here they use traditional mops,” Pike said. “While I am sure the mop works just fine, a Swiffer is more sanitary, convenient and eco friendly.” Pike noted that preserving the environment is a priority in Spanish culture. She believed the Swiffer also was a good alternative to traditional mops because of space restrictions in Spanish homes.

Seth Carter’s group chose a product that is still new to the United States. “It’s a monthly service for pet owners who live in the city called Fresh Patch,” said the senior marketing and supply chain major. “Essentially it gives pets a patch to do their business.” Carter explained that his group thought of the product when they noticed how many Spanish people were dog owners in contrast to how few parks and green spaces exist in Barcelona.

The students’ attention to their surroundings and assimilation of experiences to inform their product launches was exactly what Hewett and the USC advisors had in mind.

“They are leveraging what they learn about the culture, economic environment, political environment and overall business environment in Spain to create their marketing plans,” Hewett said.

Hewett chose Spain for the trip because she believes it is a unique business setting that provides a challenge to students. “[Spain] emerged from a fascist dictatorship less than 40 years ago and is establishing a very young democracy,” Hewett said. “Also, since joining the EU it has experienced extreme fluctuations, from growing to equal Germany and France in terms of economic performance to now enduring one of the worst economic crises of any country in the world.”





Posted in 2015

Taking Class in Ireland helps Haslam Students Understand FDI

P1000723Six seniors took their final class as Haslam College of Business students in Dublin, Ireland, this summer as part of a study abroad program focusing on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). The class was taught by associate professor of management Russell Crook, who chose Ireland for its unique standing in the European Union.

“Ireland is the only English speaking country on the Euro,” Crook said. “Given this, lots of firms from within the EU take their first international step into Ireland because it is very similar to the United States. They take this knowledge, and then try to move to the U.S.”

Students followed the same business strategy with a project called “Coming Soon to Knoxville.” They used frameworks learned in class to identify international franchises that might be profitable in the Knoxville market, studying the specific industry, franchisor’s track record, start-up fees and ongoing royalties.

Valencia Jennings, a human resource major, found that studying the Irish business environment was actually a self-reflective exercise. “I learned many things about myself that I don’t believe I would have discovered had I taken this class back in Knoxville,” she said, noting that Irish professionals are more conservative in their dress, but more liberal in their timeframes and demeanor.

Students visited Galway, the Dublin Chamber of Commerce, a social media monitoring firm called Olytico, Kendlebell and the Industrial Development Authority (IDA), which attracts FDI to Ireland.

“The visit to the IDA really helped the students understand what government institutions can do to create a favorable environment for FDI,” Crook said. Ireland’s success in attracting FDI investment from more than 1,000 companies made the IDA visit an educational highlight of the trip.

Ken Finnegan of the IDA explained to Haslam students that Ireland’s appeal goes beyond a low corporate tax rate and stable economic environment, however. “I provided them with Ireland’s unique selling points and value proposition from an investment perspective but also put some of our other great national resources in there too — the beautiful scenery and fun activities here,” he said.


Posted in 2015