Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Day 5. June 10, 2008

Day 5, June 10, 2008.

The day began at 7:00 AM with a working breakfast. Our first studio of the day was Dr. Luke Froeb, Professor of Economics. Dr. Froeb led the teams in understanding the “rational actor model,” sharing many of his experiences from the field.

Following a short break, our Associate Dean, Bill Christie, spoke to our group. He shared his experience in the ground-breaking research that exposed issues in the stock market. At 11:00 AM, I briefed the teams on the various aspects of the presentation model, storyboarding, and clarity of team roles.

After a working lunch, Professor David Furse led the teams in a Strategy Studio. Dr. Furse introduced a variety of strategic tools (Porter’s 5-Forces Model, SWOT, etc) for the teams to use in solving our clients’ business issues.

At 1:45 PM, we made our way to the corporate offices of Caterpillar Financial. After gathering in the corporate auditorium, Kent Adams – President of Caterpillar Financial – addressed the group and engaged the Accelerator teams in assisting his organization in designing a sustainability program to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle the waste (paper, plastic, aluminum, etc) out of the corporate offices. Additional members of the Caterpillar team (Alex Martin, Josef Robinson,
Jeff martin, Erin Bishop and Steve Zanolini) also addressed the group. We were provided an excellent tour of the corporate facilities and completed an hour long Q&A session. We left Caterpillar’s offices about 6:00 PM.

After a quick dinner, teams gathered to select team roles and begin the process of evaluating the data available about Caterpillar and completing a situation analysis. The last team cleared the building just after 11 PM. As I was packing up my laptop computer, I noticed the following email in my Outlook mailbox:

Dr. Burcham:

I just wanted to thank you again for this fabulous opportunity and allowing me to join the Accelerator program. The past few days have been such an adrenaline rush for me. I have enjoyed every minute of my stay here. The first project (Griffin) has definitely helped me gain some valuable experience I would never have gotten from a normal internship. I’m already thinking differently than when I arrived.

Occasionally, my colleagues look at our Accelerator schedule and asked me why I would subject myself to this schedule. This note pretty well sums it up.

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