New Deputy Dean Appointed
David C. Schmittlein, the Ira A. Lipman Professor and chairperson of the Marketing Department, has been named Wharton’s deputy dean. In his new post, Schmittlein will become the school’s chief academic officer. He succeeds Patrick T. Harker, who held the deputy dean position until being appointed Wharton’s dean on February 8.
“David Schmittlein is a distinguished scholar and has been instrumental in helping to advance numerous initiatives within the school,” says Harker. “I am pleased to make this appointment, and I look forward to working closely with Dave and all of our faculty colleagues in moving the school forward.”
A faculty member since 1980, Schmittlein has held several leadership positions at Wharton including chairperson of the Marketing Department since 1994, and vice dean and director of Wharton’s Doctoral Programs from 1993 to 1995. He was co-director at the Center for Marketing Strategy Research from 1982 to 1985, and has held visiting appointments at the University of Tokyo and Washington University.
Schmittlein has been a key force in several important curricular initiatives including the recent adoption of the “Managing Electronic Commerce” major at the MBA level. He has also been honored with a Wharton Undergraduate Excellence in Teaching Award. A prolific scholar, Schmittlein is currently involved in research projects focused on customer purchase patterns, assessing future sales potential, direct marketing, and analyzing new product success in Japan and the U.S. He earned PhD and master’s degrees from Columbia University, as well as an AB from Brown University.
Schmittlein has consulted with firms such as American Express, American Home Products, AT&T, Ford Motor Company, Gianni Versace S.p.A, Lockheed Martin, Pfizer, Revlon and Quaker Oats Co., and the Oakland Raiders, regarding marketing research methods, models for marketing decisions, advertising, new product development, market segmentation, and direct marketing.
Course Gives Direct Access to Jeremy Siegel
Is the market overvalued? What’s the Fed likely to do next? How will the markets react? Wharton professor Jeremy Siegel answers these and other questions in a new Wharton Direct course, “The Market Update with Jeremy Siegel: Understanding Economic Issues and Financial Markets.” The course, which runs May 8 to June 6, is delivered via the Internet and features five weekly live class sessions with Siegel, as well as eight hours of on-demand video lectures, including slides and references.
The class highlights Siegel’s live, up-to-the-minute analysis of what’s happening in the financial markets and how current economic trends will affect short- and long-term performance. Participants pose questions directly to Siegel and the course web site will host weekly “office hours” and a discussion group. Siegel, author of the book, Stocks for the Long Run, is internationally known for his stock market expertise.
Wharton Freshman is Nation’s Top AP Scholar
Wharton freshman Diana Hong is the top Advanced Placement (AP) scholar in the nation. Hong, who graduated from North Hollywood High School in California and had a perfect SAT score, said it was the prestigious Huntsman Program in International Studies & Business that made her choose Wharton. Only 40 students were accepted of the 700 nationwide who applied to the Huntsman program, a joint undergraduate program between Wharton and Penn’s School of Arts and Sciences.
To earn the top Advanced Placement slot, Hong scored a four or higher on 20 AP exams. By comparison, to become one of the nation’s estimated 1,400 AP scholars, students must score at least a four on a minimum of eight AP exams. Administered by the College Board, AP tests are given in a variety of subjects. “I was relieved,” says Hong of her number-one rank. “It was a goal I set at the beginning of the year.”
As a high school student, Hong found herself equally interested in languages and business, so had “resigned myself that I would probably go to a liberal arts college and major in economics.” But after hearing about Wharton’s Huntsman IS&B program, she knew it was perfect for her. Hong hopes to work in investment banking after she graduates and has a particular interest in Latin America.
The self-assured native Californian, while grumbling about returning from winter break to record cold temperatures, says she “loves the Penn campus, its beautiful architecture and the city of Philadelphia, which is so steeped in history.”
Wharton Faculty Win National Awards
The motion picture industry, social security reform and effective negotiation were among several faculty research projects to garner national awards recently. Selected awards include:
Professor Jehoshua Eliashberg, the Sebestian S. Kresge Professor of Marketing and professor of operations and information management, was awarded the Carol and Bruce Mallen Prize for Published Scholarly Writing in Motion Picture Industry Studies by the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival. Eliashberg’s research looks at emerging technologies and supply chain trends in the entertainment industry, among other issues.
Professor Olivia S. Mitchell, the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans Professor of Insurance and Risk Management, won the TIAA-CREF fourth annual Paul A. Samuelson Award for Outstanding Scholarly Writing on Lifelong Financial Security for a co-authored paper called “Social Security Money’s Worth.” The paper found that the costs and risks of reforming Social Security are obscured or understated in proposals from virtually all points on the political and economic spectrum. TIAA-CREF is the largest pension system in the world.
Professor G. Richard Shell, chairperson of the legal studies department, was awarded the book prize of the CPR Award for Excellence in Alternative Dispute Resolution for his 1999 book Bargaining for Advantage: Negotiation Strategies for Reasonable People. Shell’s book was Wharton’s first on the subject of negotiation, which has become one of the school’s most popular electives in both the MBA and undergraduate curricula.
George Day Book Offers New Insights
A new book by Wharton professor George Day provides up-to-date information on sources of competitive advantage and outlines the Internet’s influence on the way companies operate and connect to customers.
The Market Driven Organization: Understanding, Attracting, and Keeping Valu-able Customers (Free Press) is a companion to Day’s 1990 book, Market Driven Strategy. The book focuses on how technology allows companies to better understand their markets and form stronger relationships with their most valuable customers. It also explains what makes an organization effective in the face of rapidly changing customer expectations and unpredictable competitive realities.
Day provides in-depth examples from companies such as IBM and Wal-Mart, which use management innovations and information technology to continuously stay ahead of competitors. Day is Wharton’s Geoffrey T. Boisi Professor of Marketing and Director of the Huntsman Center for Global Competition and Innovation.
A Freshman’s Tumultuous Path to Wharton
Four years ago, Wharton freshman Dario Kosarac had no idea how his life would evolve. Fifteen and scared for his future, he was living in his hometown of Sarajevo, which had been virtually destroyed by three years of war between Croats, Serbs and Bosnian Muslims.
“I was in high school and faced being drafted into the army, which I definitely didn’t want to happen,” says Kosarac, who lived at home with his mother and older sister, a teacher.
Kosarac and his friends would seek out English-speaking people in the main squares of Sarajevo, hoping that the more English they knew, the better chance they would have of getting out of Bosnia.
And one day in the spring of 1995, Kosarac and his friends met some people from England and the U.S. who claimed they were relief workers who might be able to get Kosarac and his friends to America as students. They exchanged addresses and, with that, raised Kosarac’s hopes that he could leave his war-ravaged home. “I wrote a lot of letters that summer to them, but I never heard back. I went back to school without much hope,” he says.
But one Wednesday he returned to school – the date, Oct. 25, 1995, is firmly etched in his mind – and there was a letter from one of the people he met. It said that if he could be in Zagreb, the capital of neighboring Croatia, by Friday, he could come to America, be placed with a family, and complete high school there.
“This would be a difficult thing even if you were living in Philadelphia and going to New York, to complete such arrangements,” says Kosarac. “But this was Bosnia. Crossing borders was seemingly impossible. I had no passport, no Croatian visa.
“But when you are faced with something like that, I don’t know, you just forget the odds and figure out a way to do it,” says Kosarac.
Though he was able to obtain a passport in a day, Kosarac couldn’t get a visa to enter Croatia. But even that seemed a moot point, because nearly no one could get across the Sarajevo Airport to the road to Croatia. The airport had effectively been closed, a no man’s land surrounded by snipers, most from the invading Serbian army. Kosarac, a Catholic of Croatian ancestry, may not have been an official enemy of that army, but he would still have to prove to border guards that he deserved to cross disputed territory.
Fortunately, his priest had a plan. He lent Kosarac his collared vestment shirt so he could pose as a seminary student in a humanitarian caravan of food and supplies crossing the airport and into the safer territory by Mount Igman on the other side.
Miraculously, the plan worked, but he was still many miles away from Zagreb on a war-torn road, with little money and no Croatian visa. The driver of the truck he was on noticed that a bus ahead of them was going direct to Zagreb. Kosarac flagged it down and convinced the bus driver to let him on. He did more convincing of border guards and soldiers at checkpoints along the way and arrived in Zagreb on Friday morning.
Even that wasn’t enough. He would still need to get a visa to travel to America by that afternoon or would lose his chance to be placed with a family. After hours of talking, negotiating, and faxing documents, Kosarac was finally given the go ahead.
He slept for a couple of hours, then was on a plane to Germany. By Sunday, he was in Virginia Beach, Virginia – and two military pilots had volunteered to be his host family. “By Wednesday, I was attending my first day in an American high school. From Wednesday with virtually no hope to the next Wednesday with a future – what a week,” he says.
Four years later, Kosarac is ready to face a different kind of future in Bosnia. “They need a good economic structure and hopefully I can influence that,” he says. “But I’m not on a mission to save Bosnia at all costs. I hope I can at least make things good for my family.”
Virtual Community for Alums Launched
Looking for a former classmate and don’t know where to begin? Interested in chat-ting with old Wharton friends online? The Wharton Alumni Virtual Experience (WAVE), officially launched in February, now offers these and numerous other services to Wharton’s 73,000 alumni.
Alumni can update their contact information, look for friends and colleagues in an online directory, and search for alumni by industry, class year or location, all in a password- protected site. WAVE also features a message board and chat room to keep alumni in touch with fellow Wharton grads. Alumni can explore the worldwide club network, register for regional and student conferences, pursue career management information, read the Wharton Alumni Magazine and Knowledge@Wharton online and link to other resources. Visit the site at wave.wharton.upenn.edu.
Internet Fever at the Follies
The plot: Four innocent but Internet-savvy prospective students come to Wharton Welcome Weekend. They all land in the same mini-cohort only to discover, amazingly enough, they all want to start a dot- com. Worried that attending Wharton might delay their Internet riches, the group talks about launching sporkvan.com, a flatware delivery service for corporate cafeterias.
The prospective students then discuss their idea with Big Bob Alig, Wharton director of admissions and financial aid, but unfortunately are overheard by a spy planted by Alig’s arch-nemesis, Ms. Beelzebub (a venture capitalist from the firm Kleiner Perkins Beelzebub, also known as the “dot-com devil”). Informed of the goings-on, Beelzebub seizes on this chance to take on her long-time nemesis and begins her mission: to tempt the prospective students to the dark side – e-commerce – with a very well-secured offer of first-round funding.
In the scenes that follow, Alig struggles to prevail against Beelzebub’s tactics, which include taking the prospective students on a “hell trek” to expose them to the harried lifestyles of investment banking, consulting, and finally, Silicon Valley, where “Net Fever, Net Fever” is in full swing.
In the end, though, Alig uses sad story of Abby, Wharton drop-out and founder of Chopstickvan.com, to reveal the horrors of starting a dot-com without the benefit of advanced corporate finance and second-year marketing research classes. The students are convinced – and decide to come to Wharton.
This year’s Follies, aptly titled “The VC Who Loved Me: A Dotcomedy,” was put on by a team of more than 100 MBA students and included tunes from television shows Gilligan’s Island and Laverne & Shirley and musicals Grease and a Chorus Line.
Here’s a sample, titled “Net Fever” and sung to the tune of “Night Fever” by the Bee Gees.
Dollar, yen or pound
There is money all around
If your business plan is
You can fund it
VC’s don’t really care
’bout nice suits or
polyester’s what we wear
And we’re money
Venture capital funding
We search every day
Controlling our minds and
We have revenue models
With no profits at all!
It’s Internet Fever, Net Fever
We’ve been workin’ all night
Internet Fever, Net Fever
Gonna launch a website
Here I am
Prayin’ for this startup
We need money so we
Internet Fever, Net Fever
We’ve been workin’ all night
(Feels like forever baby,
don’t you know)
Internet Fever, Net Fever
Gonna launch a website
(Make so much money baby,
don’t you know)
When our bank account’s
low We need cash and we can’t
Give us just enough to make
the next payroll
We got options on our mind
To investors we are talkin’
We’re gonna take it public
But keep control
New sources of funding
We find every day
Financing our Mercedes
Awaiting the moment
When the timing is right
Here I am
Prayin’ for this market
As we watch the ticker fly by
Our market cap
Reaches sky high!
Students and Alums Pack Northern California Career Fair
More than 300 MBA students and several hundred alumni recently converged near San Francisco to hear about career opportunities at Apple, Excite@home, Intel, Microsoft and 50 other firms at the Wharton Club of Northern California’s Fourth Career Fair and Reception. Silicon Valley loomed large at the event, a venue for recruiting, being recruited and reuniting with classmates and friends. “This event is a great platform for Wharton to expand its presence in Silicon Valley and creates better opportunities for many smaller employers to meet Wharton graduates,” says Wharton alumni affairs director Marti Harrington, WG’76.
Regional Alumni Forums Showcase Latest Trends
Success stories of the Asian financial crisis and foreign exchange risk management are among the topics to be addressed at this year’s Asian and Latin American Regional Alumni Forums. Held on June 9 and 10th at the Peninsula Manila Hotel in Manila, this year’s Asian forum will address e-commerce, corporate transparency and other topics. Speakers will include Peter Yip, WG’76 president and CEO of Chinadotcom Corp. and Manuel V. Pangilinan, WG’68 president and CEO of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company. His Excellency Joseph Ejercito Estrada, president of the Republic of the Philippines, is an invited speaker. The Latin American forum, held on June 22 and 23 in Buenos Aires at the Sheraton Hotel and Park Tower, will focus on regional integration, currency and foreign exchange risk management and other topics. Roberto Civita, W’57, chairman and chief executive officer of Abril S.A., will deliver the keynote speech.
Wharton/SMU Team for Stock Options Conference
Stock options motivate executives to increase corporate performance, thus boosting stock prices, Wharton professor David Larcker told attendees of a one-day conference held recently by Wharton and Singapore Management University (SMU). Citing Internet and other high-tech firms’ large stock option grants and their corresponding soaring stock valuations, Larcker predicted stock options will become increasingly popular.
Larcker, who has conducted studies demonstrating the link between performance and stock options, was the keynote speaker at the conference at Singapore Management University, where Wharton interim associate dean Janice R. Bellace serves as president. Singapore’s minister for health and second minister for finance, Lim Hng Kiang, also spoke to conference attendees about the importance of stock options in a knowledge-based economy.
Irina Yuen, WG’96: Expanding CBSMarketWatch.com’s Reach and Revenue
After two years in a traditional corporate environment as an associate at A.T. Kearney Inc., Irina Yuen got the itch to make a change.
Today, Yuen, WG’96, seems to have found her niche in her current post as senior director of business development for San Francisco-based CBS MarketWatch.com, a leading on-line financial site offering breaking news, analysis and market data for professional and individual investors.
“I have this need to create and lead that comes with an entrepreneurial environment, and I only learned that about myself through experience,” she says. Yuen, 30, who joined MarketWatch.com in late 1998, manages MarketWatch’s business development group, focusing on distribution, e-commerce and strategic investment activities. Since joining MarketWatch, Yuen has negotiated and executed partnership deals with key companies including AOL, Excite, Alta Vista, Earthlink and E*Trade, relationships that significantly increased MarketWatch’s reach and revenue. During her brief tenure, CBS MarketWatch.com moved from fourth to first in the Media Metrix rankings, which measure Internet audience usage.
Yuen likens her role at MarketWatch to a stint as a summer trader in 1995. “You have to make very calculated decisions very quickly – not minutes or seconds, but that’s the way it feels sometimes. There are a million things going on, and there’s so much information that you have to absorb and digest.”
She enjoys this edge – the ability and necessity to move quickly that comes with working amid the white-water rush of the on-line media business. Financial news and information, Yuen points out, is an extremely competitive, saturated market. “Literally, things are announced on a daily basis that fundamentally shift the competitive landscape. You have to be acutely aware of what’s going on. We have to be on our toes.” MarketWatch.com’s challenge, Yuen says, is to create a “distinct voice” amid the din and continue to roll out applications that foster customer loyalty.
Yuen first attended Penn as an undergraduate, earning a degree in international relations in 1990. After graduation, she lived in Europe, then returned for a position as a dealer for The Toyo Trust & Banking Co. in New York. At Toyo, she jointly managed a multi-currency portfolio and wrote daily and weekly market reports and interest rate forecasts, among other duties. She returned to Penn in 1994 to pursue dual degrees: an MBA and an MA from The Joseph H. Lauder Institute of Management and International Studies.
But despite her long hours and focused career path, Yuen has a distinct alter ego with interests in volunteer work and the arts. Along with physical pursuits such as hiking, skiing, and running, she is passionate about the theater and has studied at a fine arts conservatory, focusing on acting. Her leadership leanings are also apparent in her non-professional pursuits: while in New York during the early part of her career, she co-founded a non-profit organization called Minds Matter of NYC, Inc. that helped inner-city youth gain admission to competitive academic summer programs and, eventually, college. Yuen managed all aspects of the non-profit, which under her leadership grew to 30 students, 110 volunteers and $40,000 funding. Her only regret about moving to the Bay Area: the hectic pace of her professional life has meant very little time for similar community outreach. “It’s very important to me; I’m working to try to recapture the balance again,” she says.
As for the future, Yuen says she’ll continue to follow her instincts.”The most important thing for me is to have fun and to continue learning.”