MSC students were honored to have distinguished guest visitors from Korea: Philos Ko, Chairman of Philos Technologies and Executive Director Megan JS. Ko, PLS Tech Korea, Philos C&S, Philos Sports International.
An award-winning and highly regarded business leader and mentor, Chairman Ko provided his management philosophy in a special lunchtime lecture, highlighting lessons learned as he built Philos Technologies into a global enterprise. Chairman Ko portrayed the hardships he endured as an immigrant businessman relocating his family to the United States and then back to Korea. He credits a positive outlook, hard work and faith in God for sustaining his family through good times and bad as they strove to realize their dreams.
Chairman Ko challenged Northwestern students to abolish corruption and build collaborative marketplaces in which companies and consumers support each other’s success. He strongly believes that businesses realize their greatest potential when everyone has an equal opportunity for prosperity.
Chairman Ko also offered this advice:
Give recognition when others succeed
Be positive, proactive and determined to realizes your dreams
Expand your horizons, moving out of your comfort zone
Be generous, kind and humble
Continually dream of changing (the world and yourself)
Executive Director Megan Ko is also an entrepreneur, developing a gourmet coffee business. MSC students were treated to her new “Red Megan” coffee drinks before and after the lecture.
Philos Technologies generously provided students with company souvenirs. However, the real treasure was the visit itself. Philos and Megan Ko are an inspiration for business leaders at all stages of their careers. Chairman Ko’s advice was invaluable.
Our thanks go out to fellow MSC international student Tony Lee Young who arranged this unique event through the Korean Student Association. Young embodies Chairman Ko’s philosophy of lending his talents and network connections to help create opportunities for all. In addition to the lecture, Young arranged for Northwestern student and YouTube sensation Jun Sung Ahn to perform “I dreamed a dream” and “Rolling in the Deep” on violin. He was wildly popular with the MSC group.
Samuel Ko, Chairman Ko’s son and President of Philos Technologies, was selected by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) as the 2009 Illinois State Business Person of the Year. President Obama has also recognized the company as a growth leader. Philos Technologies is annually listed on the Fortune Global 500.
Lee captured the day’s special events in a YouTube photo album.
So often in my life I have been working towards the next big thing. I become so fixated and bogged down on what’s next and working towards the steps to get there, that I often lose sight of my life in the moment. As much as this mindset has pushed me to pursue so many of the things I have hoped to accomplish, it has also stifled me. Let me explain.
You see, I’m a planner and someone who enjoys lists. In fact, I love lists. I get very excited when I can cross something off my list even if it as simple as “buy floss”. Yes, I’m that kind of person. I love feeling like I’m getting things done and I’m on top of my game. However, I’ve ruled much of my existence by this mindset. I started to wonder why I was always in such a hurry or constantly stressed about what I was going to do next.
This is why when I started this program, I put aside that notion of “hurry up” to the next big thing. Instead, I want to enjoy the moment–right here, right now. This MSC program is such a gift and it is going by way too fast. With just a couple months left, I’m relishing every second because on August 3rd I will walk across the stage and I don’t want to even remotely question if I did everything I hoped to do during the program.
My advice to future MSC’ers is to soak up every possible opportunity and experience in the program. It is a time to be cherished. You’ll think that you have so much time when you first start, but then before you even realize it, you’ll have a couple months left and wonder how you can hit the pause button to slow it down.
Come August 3rd, MSC students will not be receiving degrees from Northwestern University.
We will have earned them.
Although the Program is relatively short, it is not easy. In fact, its speed is one of the most significant challenges as we strive to glean everything we can from our courses while juggling work and family commitments. The workload is intense. Professors’ expectations are high. The opportunities are endless, but our time here is not.
Come August 3rd, we will not be walking away with an elite piece of paper to hang on our wall. We will have earned an unparalleled set of career and potentially life changing experiences and cherished friendships that we will carry with us forever.
Have you ever wondered what is the answer to the following question: What is the world’s population divided by the number of females in Brazil?
In less than 10 seconds, WolframAlpha provided an answer of 69.6.
Per the website, WolframAlpha ‘introduces a fundamentally new way to get knowledge and answers–not by searching the web, but by doing dynamic computations based on a vast collection of built-in data, algorithms, and methods. ‘
Other basic functionality of the site you might find useful, weather forecast, nutritional information, math equations, periodic table, etc., but WolframAlpha’s dominates as the one place to access an extensive amount of information across a number of different disciplines/fields.
An oddity of the schedule had us registering for summer session classes as soon as the spring term started. The enrollment in my elective classes has been 15, 22 and 6 through the first three terms. Spring term I was worried about the 6 person class being too small and not having enough diversity and class participation to enrich the experience – happy to say that was incorrect. Currently the class I’m registered in for summer has 43 enrollees. I am worried that the class is too big and that this will restrict the participation and learning experience. With the shorter summer term – likely cannot afford to switch classes after week one so I will need to determine if I want to switch in the next several weeks.
One of the benefits of this program is the large core class and the smaller elective class format. Seems a bit off that some classes can be expanded and some cannot but I understand these decisions are based on the curriculum and the professors. While many students may have to settle for their second or third choice of electives, some are lucky enough to get their first choices every time. If you do not get in for your first choice during normal registration – it never hurts to ask if the class will be expanded. There have been no ‘bad’ choices for me, but some enter the program feeling that if they do not get their four specific first choice classes, that they are losing out. If you keep an open mind, I think you will find that each of the classes has something to offer to each of us. All of the classes are learning opportunities and we should make the most of those.
While 43 students is smaller than the ~80 in the core class, it is still a large group. So far the electives have been made richer by the experiences and participation of the class. Will 43 of us actually be able to actively participate? The class will need to determine that….time will tell if I will be one of those to evaluate it.
Our Practicum requirement is to attend four out of six Saturday sessions. Even though it is challenging to carve two full days out of my schedule for classes on Practicum weeks, I plan to make them all.
So far, the extra effort has been more than worth it.
When reviewing the practicum topics, I chose to audit the second practicum, “Doing Business in Poor Communities,” rather than take it for credit since I assumed it would be of least relevance to me. Wrong. Professors Kolsky and Gaonkar gave a compelling overview of the informal economy and its importance in creating employment and viable marketplaces in developing countries. They also provided tools to help us become catalysts within our organizations for creating pathways out of urban poverty.
My fifth practicum was another surprise. Titled “Organizational Design,” in our course schedule, it was actually about the discipline of effective innovation. Matt Locsin, an innovation and strategy consultant at Doblin, led us through case studies highlighting ten types of innovation. He illustrated how having a disciplined process is more critical than creativity in creating breakthrough new products and solving complex business or societal challenges.
Our final practicum is on Saturday. Since I’ve already met the credit requirement, I could choose to spend the day at home. It would be a luxury after a full day of classes on Friday. However, there will be plenty of Saturdays “off” after graduation. This is the only year I get to be in the MSC Program. I’m thrilled to be able to make the most of it.
As promised, I am writing to share about my experience with the International Media Seminar at American University of Paris with Northwestern’s EPICS department. Let me just say that it was incroyable! Time was spent (enjoying crepes, patisseries, espresso) visiting some of France’s largest international organizations and hearing various speakers discuss the global sphere of media, journalism and marketing.
Sabrina (me) at the Publicis rooftop deck. It was beautiful!
Two of my favorite visits included: Publicis, one of the largest communication and advertising agencies in the world and hearing from renowned photo editor for Life Magazine, John Morris. The visit to Publicis gave me an inside look into the advertising industry and the evolution of campaigns. At the end of the visit we were escorted up to their beautiful roof top deck that overlooked Champs-Élysées and the Arc de Triomphe.
John Morris talking about photography and media in his Parisian home.
The visit with John Morris felt much more personal–like visiting an old friend. We were invited to his Parisian home where we sat in his cozy living room as he showed us countless photographs on slides—some famous and some from his private collection, which included a rather interesting one of Ernest Hemingway. John Morris is the type of man you could sit and drink tea and talk with for hours. He is an incredibly knowledgeable man with an astounding array of life experience.
This trip was more than a learning opportunity; it was an expérience. It allowed me to immerse myself in French culture and gain international perspective in media and journalism. Not only that, but I enjoyed more croissants than I can count, walked the jaw dropping halls of Versailles, viewed beautiful art at the Louvre, and “shopped” (admired then walked away because it was way too expensive) at Le Bon Marche!
I am so glad I went on this trip and that Northwestern offers this opportunity to students.
If you would like to read in more detail about the IMS day-to-day activities, please visit: http://comm.soc.northwestern.edu/epics-blog/tag/ims/
As it turns out, activities that engage you with people outside of your normal circle are great places to network. I will be perfectly honest when I say that I don’t have as much time this year as I have in the past. Because of my commitment to my family, work and school things such as my hobbies have taken a back seat (if even allowed on this train) so for months I have been debating whether or not to participate in the community garden this year.
It was a forgone conclusion that I simply did not have enough time . . . and then I had the great fortune to see Sheryl Sandberg speak about “leaning in” and the benefit of having a strong and diverse network. In the core class we also talked about the benefits of having a divers network and in my elective (Understanding and Leveraging Networks) we talked about . . . . having a strong and diverse network.
Okay, I get it.
But the interesting thing that has come to my attention (from all of the above mentioned angles) is that the type of network ties that say, help you transition from one career to another, are not the ones that you have with your close friends. The network ties that help you find a job are the ones that you have with more casual acquaintances, like a friend of a friend, or the person in your Pilates class or the people that you garden with. In the four years that I have been a member of this garden I have helped new gardeners and swapped tips with some of the “experts” but I have never really thought about my professional life and if maybe someone could help ME grow and not just my veggies.
I attended my fourth and final practicum last weekend. The advertised topic was “Organizational Design” but the actual content was more focused around innovation. Professor Locsin did an excellent job of engaging the group and providing us some good tools and processes to use for innovation efforts. The seminar was a nice compliment to Professor Leonardi’s core class and even some of the same examples were discussed (though not in a boring, repetitive way).
The biggest gain from the seminar was the tools and methodologies that were presented. Hopefully we will be able to get copies of the documents used for our tool kits. Instead of just studying cases, we were able to attempt to do real wood practical implementations. The exercise was done very well considering the time constraints that we had and I think it gave everyone a chance to experience innovative problem solving.
Officially two-thirds complete with the program. After class and practicum this weekend there are 11 more sessions to go (we started with 40). It has gotten harder and harder as we have gone along. A strong motivating factor in forging ahead is that the end is always really in sight. If the program was 18 months or two years or three years, I think I would become a drop-out. The pressure and stress that have been added to my life as a result of participating in this program is enormous. I commend those folks who have been able to manage to make this work when they work, go to school and also have children to provide for. Not sure I could have done it when my kids were young. The adrenaline that helped to carry me through the first and at least most of the second term is gone. Now it is only a distant memory as I struggle to find the energy to complete assignments and attend classes. I am not a quitter and I will persevere but I find myself looking for incentives and motivators along the way (a new MSC coffee cup was nice). As the clock ticks and the program winds down, getting closer and closer to August 2/3 should increase the motivation and perhaps the adrenaline too. I could certainly use it!