Fluent or Faking It?

Voices of Industry | October 20th, 2016 posted

Hugh Courtney

In the following post, D’Amore-McKim School of Business Dean Hugh Courtney talks about the importance of experiential learning in the development of effective and knowledgeable business leaders.

The other night I was helping my son with his Spanish homework and was reminded of my own Spanish-language training – six full years in elementary school, followed by four in high school and a semester in college. I never had a chance to use my Spanish much, though, until I started traveling extensively during my career as a management consultant for McKinsey & Company.

While I had always thought of myself as nearly fluent in Spanish, these trips showed that I was really just faking it. The problem wasn’t vocabulary or grammar, both of which I learned well during countless classroom drills. No, the problem was that I had very limited ability to use that vocabulary and grammar to think and communicate in real time in the context of a real business situation. That sort of functional fluency requires extensive immersion and practice in a Spanish-speaking world, and the many simulations, drills, and conversations we had in the classroom just weren’t adequate substitutes for the real thing. Read more…

Money management for the post-retirement workforce

Accounting | October 6th, 2016 posted

Timothy Gagnon

In the following post, D’Amore-McKim School of Business Assistant Academic Specialist Timothy Gagnon shares personal finance advice for those re-entering the workforce after retirement.

Q: Is it strategic to restart retirement savings with a Roth IRA/401(k)?

A: If you are going back to work for the cash flow to make ends meet, I would not recommend restarting an IRA/401(k), since cash flow is critical and your tax bracket may be low, so the tax savings may not be there. Cash outside of a retirement plan may be more practical and flexible. However, if you are going back to get out of the house or for socialization, then yes, you can restart retirement plans for the tax savings and to have more in the future. Personally, I would do the 401(k) if the company has a matching program. Read more…

Developing an innovation education ecosystem

Entrepreneurship and Innovation | September 29th, 2016 posted
Tucker Marion

Tucker Marion

In the following post, D’Amore-McKim School of Business Professor Tucker Marion outlines the school’s unique and desirable approach to teaching innovation.

Starting with the Master of Science in Innovation (MSI) program, we have worked over the last year on developing an ecosystem designed to train and develop corporate innovators. Teaching innovation, as we see it, is a continuum spanning from corporate partners and executive education needs to on-ground graduate student cohorts.

When we launched the MSI program in the fall of 2014, we focused on the right side of the continuum – the on-ground graduate program, which covers 10 courses over a year. In the fall of 2016, we entered our third class – the largest and most diverse yet. With average work experience of 12 years and backgrounds spanning from technology services to food innovation, we are excited that our vision for teaching corporate intrapreneurship and innovation is resonating with students and the marketplace. We look forward to seeing where our students take their innovation projects over the course of the next year! (Read about some of our students’ experiences here.)

Read more…

Should small businesses give discounts?

Entrepreneurship and Innovation | September 22nd, 2016 posted

Frederick G. Crane

In the following post, D’Amore-McKim School of Business Senior Academic Specialist Frederick Crane outlines the details that small business owners should consider when it comes to discounting their products or services.

Small businesses have to really do a careful analysis as to whether or not to engage in discounting, examining the targets of the discounting, the timing of the discounting, the value of the discounts, and the impact on short and long-term profitability. And, unlike large businesses, the small business has a lot less room for error as well as having less margin play.

Personally, I’m not a big fan of discounting in general for a few reasons:

Read more…

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