Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Real Leadership in the 21st Century focus of KeyBank Global Leaders Forum

Real Leadership in the 21st Century is the theme of the 2016 KeyBank Global Leaders Forum, presented by The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation (COBI), which will be held on Thursday, March 17, at Savage Arena on the main campus of The University of Toledo.  The morning-long program is free, but seating is limited and registration is required.

The keynote speaker will be global engagement authority Jim Haudan, CEO of Root, Inc., which is located in Sylvania, Ohio and has been recognized nationally as a Great Place to Work, who will discuss “The Power of Engagement.” Haudan is also the author of the bestselling book, The Art of Engagement: Bridging the Gap Between People and Possibilities.

Also presenting at the event will be Jim Hoffman, President, KeyBank; Dr. Sharon Gaber, President, The University of Toledo; Dr. Clint Longenecker, UT Distinguished University Professor; and Marc Lautenbach, President and CEO, Pitney Bowes, Inc.

Jim Haudan

Jim Hoffman

Marc Lautenbach

UT President Sharon Gaber

Dr. Clint Longenecker

“The KeyBank Global Leaders Forum provides a wonderful opportunity for our regional business owners and leaders to hear from difference-making leaders such as Jim Haudan, Marc Lautenbach, Dr. Longenecker and President Gaber,” Hoffman said.  “It is part of our vision at KeyBank to help our community, and our businesses, thrive.”

“The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation is extremely pleased to again partner with KeyBank to present another Global Leaders Forum,” notes COBI Dean Gary Insch.  “Holding the event in UT’s Savage Arena assures that hundreds of area professionals, as well as many UT students, will have an outstanding opportunity to learn, network and benefit from the presentations and discussions at this unique event. “

Longenecker said, “As leaders are attempting to deal with the challenges of this turbulent economic environment, this event is a great way to discover new ideas for becoming a better leader and creating competitive advantage with people. We invite them to come, be ready to learn and be in a better position to make 2016 a great year.”

KeyBank and COBI presented the first Global Leaders Forum in 2008, which featured former Secretary of the U.S. Treasury Department John Snow, and the second event in 2013. The Global Leadership Forum was created to provide an environment for regional business leaders to talk about contemporary issues, discuss cutting-edge leadership practices and explore trends.

Convenient parking is available, and a continental breakfast will be served. To register for this free forum, go to utoledo.edu/business/keybankforum.

UT College of Business and Innovation offers Export Success program to area businesses to help them enter new markets

The University of Toledo’s College of Business and Innovation (COBI) is again partnering with United Parcel Service (UPS) and the U.S. Commercial Service to provide area small and medium-sized businesses access to experts who will help their company enter new markets through the Export Success program.

Beginning in April, 2016, Export Success participants meet monthly for nine months in specialized sessions covering relevant topics based on an understanding of current members’ needs. The program then helps companies develop plans to improve their business’ supply chain, identify talent, understand export financing, and develop market entry strategies.

“Businesses today function on an international platform,” noted COBI Dean Gary Insch. “Facilitating existing or new exporters to enter foreign markets benefits all of Northwest Ohio.”

“Companies often recognize that expanding to international markets is something they should do. We make it easier for them to do this, because we have the experts who will show them how to proceed. Furthermore, we provide them with all the criteria for success, whether they have a manufactured product or intellectual property.”

“Export Success not only assists companies that are planning to conduct international business, but it also works with businesses already doing business globally who are looking for ways to expand their international presence, ” noted Debbe Skutch, Director of UT’s Center for Family & Privately-Held Business and Export Success Program Coordinator. “Furthermore, Export Success not only provides information, but actually matches local manufacturing companies with foreign markets."

Chad Gottschalk, Bionix Development Corporation, said “Export Success provided a great learning experience and fantastic networking opportunities for myself and other members within our organization. It is always great to be a part of something where different members of a community bring collective thinking to the table. Every session provided a wealth of knowledge that helped me bring new ideas back to the office and apply them to my day-to-day activities.”

Export Success participants also have access to the International Trade Assistance Center (ITAC), which provides free export assistance services to small- and medium-sized businesses. Services include market research; an examination of their culture, finances and resources to make sure they are ready to export; locating sources of funding, such as a loan or grant; export compliance education; cultural and language assistance; export documentation; and logistics.

Other features and benefits of Export Success include access to ancillary educational programs offered by UT COBI - - such as the Schmidt School of Professional Sales and the Center for Family and Privately-Held Business - - and site visits to area companies that have already achieved a level of success in global entrepreneurship.

A limited number of grant and funding opportunities are available. For more information, you can download a registration form at utoledo.edu/business/exportsuccess, or call the UT COBI Center for Family and Privately-Held Business at 419.530.2068.

COBI professor spends semester teaching American students in Costa Rica

UT College of Business and Innovation Marketing Department Professor Ainsworth Bailey taught three courses in the fall, 2015 semester: One was his class for those in COBI’s MBA program (which he conducted online) and two courses were those he taught in Costa Rica.

His foreign teaching experience developed through his approved participation in the University Study Abroad Consortium (USAC), which has provided university students and faculty with quality study abroad programs for over 30 years. The students, from different universities across the United States, receive college credit while benefitting from learning in a different country/culture.

Bailey applied to teach International Business and Management, and Cross Cultural Consumer Behavior, both of which were approved by the USAC.  “They usually don’t offer business courses in the Costa Rica programs, but the USAC approved both courses I proposed,” he said.

“The courses were taught at the National University of Costa Rica (UNA), which is located in Heredia, a short bus rise from San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica.   I had five students in the Cross Cultural Consumer Behavior class and four students in the International Business course.”

“I am interested in Latin American culture, consumer behavior in both the US and Costa Rica, and teaching in an environment where people can relate to what you were talking about,” he said.

Dr. Ainsworth Bailey on the Swinging Bridge in Costa Rica
“The experience was also good for my personal growth and development, as I like to talk about different areas of the world and draw on my own experience while teaching marketing classes here at UT. For example, in Costa Rica, Wal-Mart had big product demonstrations going on in their stores, and you see vehicles going around neighborhoods blaring announcements, neither of which you often see here in the US.  From a marketing communications perspective, this is very interesting to me.”

“I was born in Jamaica, and Costa Rica reminds me of that.  Culture shapes how we communicate, and how goods and services are disseminated,” Bailey said.

“I also started  a study on the use of social media among young Costa Ricans, a study that is still in the data collection stage. Interestingly, in Costa Rica, young people use Dropbox (a large file sharing service) as a social media outlet as well.”

Bailey explained that he was in Costa Rica in the summer of 2013 as a student, and while he is conversational in Spanish, he wants to be able to teach in Spanish.

“USAC encourages you to get involved in activities in the communities and campuses where you are,” he said.  “Apart from working on the social media project with a faculty member in the business school at UNA, I also conducted a two-hour seminar for an MBA class there, in Spanish, on the use of celebrities as product endorsers.”

“Outside of class I took some trips: I had been to Costa Rica before, and it is a beautiful country, with its flora, fauna, geography, waterfalls and beaches.  I took classes in Latin American culture and conversational Spanish, and my students and I all played soccer together. I also took the opportunity while there to visit Panama and Nicaragua.”

“The students in Heredia were all very good ambassadors for the US, and I enjoyed interacting with them,” Bailey said.  “I come back to Toledo and come back to wind chills in the minus zero range. Now that I am back, I like being back; I have my office, my friends and family members,” he said. “But I would definitely go back to Costa Rica. I just loved being there; I never feel afraid… and the climate certainly helps! I enjoyed walking to school and dressing very differently from my normal teaching attire.”

COBI student from South Korea staying in USA “to do more” as he takes Chicago accounting position

Seulgi Her had already attended high school in Watertown, South Dakota - - far from his home in South Korea - - before selecting The University of Toledo for his college work, which he began in 2009. After his freshman year, however, he returned to South Korea.

Seulgi Her
“During my freshman year I was basically shy, and spent my time with a few friends,” Her said.
But the United States beckoned him again, and he returned to UT in 2012 to resume his college work, double majoring in accounting and information systems in the College of Business and Innovation.

“I liked to record numbers, I always tracked my budget, and I like computers, so this seemed like a very good double major,” he said.

“My parents wanted me to have a broad experience,” Her said about attending college in the US. “I looked at about 10 different colleges in the United States, but a lot of the other colleges did not offer scholarships, but UT was great and offered me a lot of scholarships. I checked UT out on the website and I really liked the aerial view of the campus.   When I came here for a visit, I thought it was pretty cool.”

‘I enjoy sports, so when I returned to UT, I started to play intermural basketball and soccer on campus with friends,” Her said. “I became active in Beta Alpha Psi (the UT Chapter of the national accounting fraternity), and also re-organized UT’s Korean Student Association, getting about 40 people involved with it, teaching people about the country and its culture.”

“I also learned how to get a job,” Her laughed.  “I did an internship last summer at Mobius, North America in Detroit in their finance department.  Working with COBI’s Business Career Programs office, I learned how to search for a job. I graduated in December, 2015, and in January I started at GK Medical Management in Chicago where I am an accounting specialist.”

"Her's experience suggest that students  from other countries also have enough chances for internship and employment opportunities. The key is active engagement with the larger world, including UT's student organizations, involving those within your reach and enriching lives of others in need. At the right time you reap what you sow." said Dr. Paul Hong, faculty mentor and professor of information operations and technology management.

“If someone was considering the University of Toledo College of Business, I would tell them that UT has a lot of good professors who challenged me,” Her said. “They did not only present what was in the textbooks, but they discussed real life challenges.”

Her said he plans to stay in the United States and build his career “where I can do a lot more.” He stated that he also wants to pursue his MBA sometime in the future and eventually return to South Korea to share what he has learned through his own experiences at UT COBI and in the United States.

COBI HR students provide interview training for UT Residence Life professionals

Residence Life at The University of Toledo provides outstanding opportunities as they actively recruit high-energy, enthusiastic individuals to work as "live-In" professionals. When the Residence Life office sought assistance in preparing these RA’s for interviewing the next residence professionals, they turned to the on-campus HR experts in the College of Business and Innovation.

“Residence Life originally approached me to be the trainer,” explained Dr. Jenell Witmer, associate professor of management, whose area of specialty includes human resources, “but I proposed that our students actually conduct the training. They have the knowledge, the talent, and it was a great opportunity for them to really apply themselves, which is what the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is all about! Plus, training on a peer, student-to-student level always leads to great results!”

“Rachel M. Gosselin is the president of the UT SHRM Chapter and and Hala Abou-Dahech is the vice president. They are great leaders and were eager to step up and volunteer for these events!” Witmer said.

Rachel Gosselin, left, and Hala Abou-Dahech
“I thoroughly enjoyed this experience,” Gosselin said.  “I thought that it was a great learning experience not just for the RA's but for Hala and myself. The best part of the sessions was the involvement and response that we received from the RA's; they were engaged and asked good questions, and some of them said that it was beneficial and they enjoyed it, which was very rewarding.”

“I believe that we helped the RA’s to understand the gravity of conducting an interview and the impact that their actions have on the entire process. I believe that the information and pointers that we gave will not only help them with their jobs as Resident Advisors, but will help them in the future when they enter the professional world. The content was designed in a way that they have take-aways from the side of the interviewer as well as the interviewee.”

“The best part was having the opportunity to conduct a training I could possibly really have to do as an HR professional in the future,” Abou-Dahech said.  “A lot of what we learn in our classes is more theoretical since we are still students, but opportunities set up by our professors like this give us that real-world application. I felt like an actual HR professional working in training and development and teaching employees in my company about the ‘do's and don'ts’ in conducting interviews.”

“I think our lesson will help the RA’s avoid legal pitfalls as interviewers,” she continued. “It also taught them the best ways to structure an interview, from taking detailed notes to formulating behavior-based questions. Some RA's even applied the knowledge to their own lives and discussed times when they were the interviewee and were asked inappropriate or illegal questions. I know the RA's walked away with a lot of knowledge for both their current positions on campus and their future professional lives.”

Gosselin said, “This was helpful from a career standpoint because it gave me a chance to practice my public speaking, as well as the facilitation of a learning or training session, which is something that will be very prevalent in my chosen profession. The content that we covered are things that we learn in our HR classes, but Hala and I were each able to also pull from our internship opportunities where we learned these things first hand. This was very rewarding because we were able to utilize our ‘book learning’ as well as our ‘practical learning’ and see how the two overlap and support each other.”

Abou-Dahech added, “Any experience where I can practice my presentation skills is very beneficial. However more importantly, any opportunity I get to apply the knowledge I am receiving in my classes is the most beneficial. In fact, most of the presentation I could base on what I learned in my Legal Issues in HR course with Dr. Post and my general HR course with Dr. Wittmer.”

“This was the first opportunity of its kind,” Witmer said, “but, after speaking to Residence Life about the results and outcomes of the training, I know they will be looking to build on these types of events in the future! This is a great example of how our SHRM students are applying their expertise and passion to help improve the UT community!”

COBI class uses nonprofit organization to give back this holiday season

By Lindsay Mahaney

The season of giving was found in The University of Toledo’s classrooms.

Two UT Principles of Financial Accounting classes had the opportunity to use the nonprofit organization Kiva to give to those in need and learn about finance while they did it.

Kiva offers funds to underprivileged people through microcredit loans — a very small amount of money usually lent to people in disadvantaged or impoverished situations, explained Kathleen Fitzpatrick, associate professor of accounting and instructor for the accounting classes.

Fitzpatrick, who has been lending to people on the site for five years, said that the organization offered her 35 free credits valued at $25 apiece to use in her classes for educational purposes. After teaching students about the nonprofit organization and the necessity of microcredit loans in impoverished countries, student groups used the credits to donate to any cause they wanted on the site.

“They don’t have what we have in the way of normal access to loans,” Fitzpatrick said. “There are no banks; they aren’t accessible to the non-rich in that country, so there’s no other option for them to borrow money. You’re making a real tangible difference in the lives of people who have nothing.”

The organization has thousands of profiles from people around the world with various businesses or causes that they’re trying to raise money for. The site allows lenders to give as little as $25 to the person or group of their choosing.

“I found the Kiva donation to be an excellent way to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday,” said Jacob Beakas, a second-year chemical engineering major in Fitzpatrick’s class. “Personally, our group provided funding to a man who was installing a well for drinking water in his village. Hopefully, our simple actions here at UT can provide a means to acquiring much needed clean water in his village.”

The University of Toledo also has a team on the site, which Fitzpatrick is a part of. Anyone is welcome to join, she said.

For more information, visit kiva.org.