Thursday, June 26, 2008

Day 21. June 26, 2008

Day 21. June 26, 2008

The day began with breakfast and an AM Studio with Professor Clark. The content was focused on reading the customer and understanding both spoken and unspoken messages. Cues from the past 2 days in Louisville were used as examples of “understanding the client”.

Following the AM session, the Accelerator teams worked on their Gresham Smith deliverables for tomorrow – we’ll be presenting those at 8:15 AM.

Over lunch, our participants had the opportunity to hear from professionals within the accounting profession – and how the business of professional accounting consulting works. While the students were in Averbuch, our team set up the Law School auditorium for presentations to American Airlines.

Three individuals from the American Airlines team were here to do the final judging of the project: Rob Brittan, Advisor to the Chairman; Jim Butler, Director, SME Strategy for American Airlines, and Chris Koller, Manager within the SME segment.

Our teams had been challenged by this team about 10 days ago to determine how American Airlines can position itself as the leading carrier for travelers from small- to medium-sized enterprises (defined as companies with annual revenue of $1 million - $100 million). Many companies, including American, understand the potential of this segment, often abbreviated SME.

At 1:30 PM, the team competition began. Each team had 10 minutes to present their recommendations to American Airlines for consideration. After their final voting, American Airlines selected Team 7 as the overall winner. Team 1 ranked second and Team 4 ranked third.

Members of the winning team include: Adam Albright, John Del Piero, Lindsey Drake, Chris Harris, Alison Morris, Paige Parkey, Anna Rogers, Jeff Rosage, Chris Skene, Neal Watterson, and Jennifer Wu.

The best “story board” part of the competition was won by Team 4. Team 3 ranked second and Team 7 ranked third. For the research phase of the competition, Team 3 ranked first, Team 1 ranked second, and Team 7 ranked third.

Teams also voted on their MVP (most valuable player) for this round of competition. MVPs were: Yizhen Dong, Miles Maddox, Liz Palma, Tim Johnson, Nicholas Chavez, Amy Brown, Jessica Decker, Jordan Sanderson, Alison Crawford, Lindsey Drake, Austin Reid and Ann Parker Hammond.

Following the American Airlines feedback, our Accelerator teams attended a teaching studio with Professor Froeb who shared insights into risk transfer. The evening was spent on polishing up the last details of presentations to Gresham Smith & Partners. It was another very long evening. The last group left the building well after midnight. Tomorrow is our single busiest day: Business Breakfast, Client Presentation and Career Day all rolled in one. It will be incredible.

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