Sunday, November 16, 2008

Fall 2008 CBPM Board Dinner

Three weeks ago the CBPM board came to Madison for two days for the annual Board Meeting. Festivities kicked off on Thursday evening with the Board Dinner at Ocean Grille. For the 1st years, it was our first chance to meet many of the board members and get to know them on a personal level. For the 2nd years, it was a great chance to reconnect and share their internship experiences with the interested board members.

I have to say that going in, I was a little nervous. I don't know if you have read through the bios of the board members, but they are very accomplished individuals, who are the leaders of many of the companies that I would love to work at. I went with the impression that I would have to put on my networking hat and work the room, but I was mistaken. When I walked in the restaurant, Tara Khoury, who is the Board Chairman, walked right up to me introduced herself and wanted to learn about my background. That put me at ease and the rest of the evening was easy. It is nice to know that the board members were as interested in me as I was in them.

If you read my quote on the website, I said that I wanted "to gain access to key industry leaders." Well, at dinner I sat next to Signe Ostby and across from Jim Neupert and Colleen Googins. Signe and I even discussed the project I am working on for Consumer Behavior and she gave some much needed advice. During dessert, the board members moved tables and I ended up next to Scott Cook and across from Cheryl Stallworth-Cooper. Scott and I discussed his recent Harvard Business Review article on user contribution and he asked my opinion. Granted, my opinion was drastically influenced by his article, but it was still nice that he asked. Either way, I definitely gained the access that I was looking for and more.

All in all, the food was tasty, the conversation invigorating, and the board members incredibly interesting. Great night.

Pictures below are from the dinner. Good for you that there are no pictures of me.

Adam Needles (2nd year) and Jim Neupert

Becky Bishop (2nd year), Laura Hufschmidt (2nd year), Tara Khoury, and Kirsten Jaeckle (2nd year)
Mark Digman (1st year), Colleen Goggins, John Oros (2nd year)

John Rotheray (2nd year), Andi Lind (1st year), Tim Cofer, Jeffrey Xie (2nd year), Katie Daggett (1st year), Jan Heide (CBPM faculty member)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Trick-or-Treating with the Big Kids

So if you haven't been to Madison then you wouldn't know that Halloween is a big deal in the city. 8-10 blocks of State Street are blocked off and a huge street party ensues. 7 bands play throughout the evening and O.A.R capped off the evening. To get into the act, the GBA (MBA student council) held its own costume party. Below are a couple of pictures of CBPMers.

Here is Katie Daggett (1st year), Jessie Miller (1st year), Brian Ward (1st year), and Corrine Bennett (1st year). If this MBA thing doesn't work out, Brian should not have a problem finding work in a Mexican restaurant. He already has the hat and coat.

Joe Worley (1st year), Brian Ward, and myself are ready to get the party going. Apparently, everybody was waiting for me to bring my maraca.

Jeff and Michelle Prager (1st year): I easily had Michelle bless me 30-40 times throughout the evening. Ironically, I think Michelle and Jeff really looked the part.
Joe and Jess Worley (she is our own little papparazzi) went as the Spartan Cheerleaders, while my fiancee Annette and I took it south of the border.

Greg Arseneau (1st year) gets the prize for going all out. He went as the Lucky the Leprechaun from the Lucky Charms box. He actually painted his socks green....while they were still on his legs. He spray painted his hat. He also wouldn't walk more than 10 feet with kicking his heels together. I think that had more to do with the paint fumes than anything else.

So the party had a minor detour and was relocated to the Surf Apartments. About 125 parties dressed to the hilt walked 8 blocks. Normally, that kind of crowd would have garnered some interest, but with the entire city dressed up so no one really noticed. I just find it funny that there is a cow in the back of the crowd. Winnie the Pooh also made an appearance, but I couldn't find a picture.

Looks like Mario (Matt Weinman, 1st year Corp. Finance) found his princess(es)--Mariah Kottke (2nd year) and Laura Hufschmidt (2nd year).

Matt Odigie (1st year) and Joe show a little man love.

Meet the Robinsons: Shannon (1st year) and her husband Paul were ready in case a game broke out. Paul was able to participate in his first American halloween as he is from England. Needless to say, it was an experience for him.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Halloween is fun for kids of all ages. Below are a couple of pictures of trick-or-treaters within the CBPM family.

Here are the Roses: Greg (1st year), Heidi (Greg's wife, which should be self-explanatory), Jackson (2 1/2 years), and Bennett (4 months). Let me know if you find Greg and Heidi. Jackson was apparently pulled right out of Mary Poppins and Bennett is fitting right in with the Wisconsin culture.

Here is Chrissy and Terry Goins' (2nd year) one-year-old son Adam. Last year he was courteous enough to wait to arrive between the Accounting and Finance midterms. Now, he is climbing walls in Madison, but and will soon be scaling walls all across Racine.

Here are the Teutings: Sarah (C0-Director of CBPM) and her husband Jon (both dressed as cowboys) with their three kids, Kate (3 years old) was a monkey, Sam (1 year old) was a dragon/dinosaur you pick, and Meg (1 year old as well) was a ladybug. Meg took my constume idea. I do have a question about the leopard piping on Sarah's chaps.

Here is another picture of the Teuting kids. I love the expression on Sam's (he's the dinosaur) face. That is the same face I gave to Sarah after she handed me back my resume the first time. It is somewhere between "you have to be kidding me" and "now what do I do."

Dear Blog,

I am a horrible friend. I have ignored you for the past 10 days as life became a little overwhelming. With an unbelievable Data midterm (dual part let me tell you), a marketing case write up, a finance case write up, and Consumer Behavior Midterm all due over a 10 day period coupled with my first away game (off-site interview in St. Louis) I have not had time to write.

I just emailed in my Consumer midterm and am finishing up a team meeting so daylight (this is theoretical as it is raining currently) is ahead. On the plus side, I didn't have to wear ear muffs to class today and only stepped in one puddle so things are looking up.

So Blog, I promise to write more often and give you the attention you deserve. Well at least until the next wave comes in three weeks. Happy Wednesday!


Saturday, November 01, 2008

Happy Babies....Happy Moms

That seemed to be the theme of our Applied Learning on Friday with Kimberly-Clark. Deb Bauer, Huggies Global Director of Brand Development (very serious title, I know), took us through KC's new strategy for Huggies Supreme Natural Fit. This was very interesting when you consider that she runs the Huggies Brand Team that was recently named Brandweek's 2008 Marketers of the Year. She gave us the opportunity to divide up into small teams and debate the same questions to Huggies faced earlier this year.

Five out of six team adpoted the "Happy Babies=Happy Moms" message, but came up with different tactical approaches to delivering the message. KC chose to incorporate humor in their message, which Deb said was a huge break from KC's traditional approach to diaper marketing. Check out the "Brick Baby" spot on Youtube. I also recommend the Inside the Diaper. This was a viral video Huggies put together to uncover the "real story" behind their Geyser ad. Brian Ward almost died he was laughing so hard at the video.

Key takeway: Don't be afraid to challenge convention. The Huggies team took a big risk breaking away from its traditional advertising and 1) putting Moms in the ads and 2) using humor to talk about a sensitive issue. If they had not done this, Pampers would have continued to take share in the Super Premium category.

Changing topics: So I was walking home after the Applied Learning (it was Halloween mind you) and I heard this guy yelling "You will never catch me." Naturally, I turned around as this is not something you hear every day and saw a guy dressed as the Joker (Heath Ledger style) on a scooter coming down the street. I chuckled to myself and kept walking.

Thirty seconds later, I hear a guy yelling "Come back. You will never get away." Another guy was yelling, "Bam. Zah. Crash. Boom." Who was it? The Caped Crusaders. Two guys dressed as Batman and Robin were chasing the Joker on their scooters. Maybe I am the only one that thought this was funny, but it definitely made what was a beautiful Friday that much better. Try to picture it and you will laugh to yourself.