Author: Analisa Ortiz

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About Analisa Ortiz

I currently serve as an Academic and Student Services Advisor for Olin Undergraduate Programs. In this role I advise students pursing their Bachelors of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) degrees, as well as advise student organizations, manage marketing efforts, and co-coordinate leadership development for undergraduate students. In my free time I enjoy spending time with family and friends, traveling, and reading.


Guest blogger, Victor Yaw, is a sophomore double majoring in Economics and Strategy, and Art History and Archaeology. Victor reports on his Marketing 450F course that focuses on the Luxury Goods industry. Students in the course visited a number of luxury goods companies over Spring Break in New York City with Professor Martin Sneider.

As we sat in one of the meeting rooms of Bain’s New York office, I could not help but get distracted by the sweeping views of downtown Manhattan, home to many of the companies that we visited (photo above). I quickly drew my attention back before anyone noticed, examining Mr. Jannuzzi’s presentation on the global luxury retail industry’s current growth.

Following much of the same narrative we heard from J Crew’s Mickey Drexler during our visit at J.Crew and Madewell, the “Merchant Prince,” and the news of Sears closing its stores, Mr. Jannuzzi explained the changing landscape of luxury retail with the rise of the millennial and challenge of e-commerce.

Kiton

Students and Prof. Sneider pose with host, Massimo Bizzocchi, the chairman of Kiton at the company’s flagship store in New York.

However, our visit to Kiton painted a different picture of the landscape. It seemed to me that Massimo Bizzocchi, the chairman of Kiton, levitated effortlessly above the commercial woes of the industry.

During our tour of the flagship store, he shared his near-obsession with fabric selection and tailoring history, explaining – with every bit of Italian flare – the painstaking process of handcrafting a Kiton jacket. While his clothing was exhibited on dark beige mannequins that appeared to have tanned over a summer in Naples, Massimo himself was the truest manifestation of Kiton’s DNA. His personal charm captured the Italian allure of the brand, while his sartorial prowess amplified its mystique.

We also visited Canada Goose, Bergdorf Goodman, Cartier, Brunello Cucinelli, Burberry, Coach, and Bloomingdale’s during our week in New York City.

Posing with Rexy in Coach's newest flagship store in NYC.

Posing with Rexy in Coach’s newest flagship store in NYC.

Even though it is amazing to learn about the retail industry during a time when its landscape is undergoing a rapid transformation, the real experiences that I will remember will be the face-to-face interactions with people working in those companies, as well as the encounters with both their tangible and intangible products.

 

It is one thing to learn about brands in class, but another to feel the fabrics, touch the leather, and experience it with all five senses. While their prices may be exorbitant, luxury goods seem to inexplicably capture the minds of many people. Thus, it is unsurprising that this industry has been, and will continue to evolve, shaped by those enamored by its enigma.

Skyline

Enjoying some down time throughout the week.

If you are thinking of going on this trip, I would give it a 10/10 recommendation.

“I’m attracted to beautiful things, yet at the same time I am actually very aware, in some sense, of their lack of value and that the most important things in life are your connections with other people” – Tom Ford




Last week, 71 Olin students participated in the annual European Study Tour in Brussels, Belgium. This academic study tour, offered annually, is designed to develop research, analysis and presentation skills in an experiential format and serves as a comprehensive introduction to the European Union and European markets.

Prior to arriving in Belgium, each student visited a pre-assigned EU member country. During the visit, students met with government and business experts to research their country’s attitudes about a specific issue such as increasing EU membership or the Euro financial crisis. The research trips allowed students to prepare for a mock parliament exercise. The experience gave students an intense introduction to challenges facing the European Union.

While in Belgium, students were hosted by EU offices and delegations throughout the city, including the Turkish delegation, the Croatian Ambassador and delegation to the EU, and the European Commission, among others.

Guest Blogger: Liz Shabani, Associate Director of Global Programs & Advising in the Olin Undergraduate Programs Office.

 




Nina Gerson is a senior studying Finance with a minor in Latin American Studies. Today, she’s a guest blogger sharing her experience on a recent trip to Omaha.

A group of twenty Olin Business School students had the chance to take a trip to Omaha, Nebraska and meet with Warren Buffett, one of the most legendary investors of all time and the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway.

The trip began with visits to two of Berkshire Hathaway’s subsidiaries, Nebraska Furniture Mart and Borsheims Fine Jewelry. As we listened to the subsidiaries’ management speak about their partnership with Berkshire Hathaway, we were able to glean insight into Mr. Buffett’s leadership style and his ability to build an empire.

We had the opportunity to have lunch and a Q&A session with Mr. Buffett, and all questions were fair game. With refreshingly witty anecdotes and impressive knowledge, Mr. Buffett commented on the pressing issues of today, from nuclear weapons to income inequality.

Mr. Buffett did not shy away from reflecting on his personal life. He emphasized the importance of family and true friendship, saying, “You don’t feel bad about your life if you feel good about your family.”

He had an outstanding ability to simplify his investing strategies, so that his advice was practical and accessible, while still being profound and cutting-edge. Mr. Buffett opined, “People make the game hard because it is so easy.” He spoke about the importance of investing where you are knowledgeable and being brave when the market disagrees, particularly in tough times.

Although many of us may had already read his books and heard stories of his successes, we all appreciated hearing this wise man speak about his life and his outlook for our generation. A key takeaway for me was witnessing Warren Buffett’s humbleness and sincerity, even when speaking about himself and his success.

I have no doubt that this unforgettable experience will have an enduring impact on all who were present that day on the future perspectives of both their business and personal lives.

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The culmination of the first semester the Management 150A course is a public poster session. It’s a grownup show and tell of projects that student teams have worked on throughout the semester. Each group has invented a hypothetical product and worked on multiple aspects of bringing that product to market. Their final poster presentations sum up their products and business plans. The showcase, featuring posters on easels, lines the stairway on each floor of the Atrium in Knight Hall.

mgt-150a-poster-presentation-2016-2

Student teams pitch their products at the poster session.

Each class session featured a faculty member guest lecturing on their areas of expertise, including entrepreneurship, marketing, strategy, economics, accounting, operations and supply chain management, finance, and leadership. The students were able to incorporate what they learned into the development of their product, including how to manufacture the product and selecting the target market.

The panel of faculty, staff, and alumni judges, including Dean Taylor, determined the three winners of the poster presentation. The winners of the fall 2016 MGT 150A poster presentation are:

Team 6: REMask (sleep tracking mask)
Brenton Graham, Chris Rockwell, Anika Vij, Cameron White

Team 25: Quick Tap (a medical alert bracelet)
Warren Engel, Matthew Giles, Maleit Hooper, Rachel Lopez, Haley Myers

Team 27: VitaMine (a subscription vitamin delivery service)
John Almeida, Claire Chen, Jonathan Kroot, Jelani Mcghee-Anderson

Congratulations to all the winners and participants on showcasing what you learned this semester in MGT 150A!

 




December 5, 2016 was a day for celebrating at Olin. After news broke that Olin’s Undergraduate Program was ranked #1 by Poets & Quants, the students, faculty, and staff were invited to gather in the Piper Hallway in Simon Hall.

To celebrate, the Undergrad Office and the Marketing & Communications department had assembled an amazing array of goodies with only a few days’ notice.  The celebration included pretzels in the shape of a 1, St. Louis’ famous Ted Drewes frozen custard, pizza, and cupcakes. Students also enjoyed takeaways, including t-shirts, water bottles, and selfies at the photo booth.

One of my favorite things about Olin is the sense of community we foster, and Monday’s celebration showcased just that.

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