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MBA Fellows

The Center for Global Leadership invites current MBA students to interact with our center as part of their learning experience at Tuck. MBA fellows participate in research, help plan the CEO Speaker Series, and host visitors. Interested students should contact the center for more information.

Cherie Gonzalez T'03
Cherie Gonzales and Fidel Ramos Cherie hosted our CEO Speaker Series guest, Fidel Ramos, former president of the Philippines. A week prior to the president's visit, Cherie briefed her classmates on the cultural, political, and business climate in the Philippines at an international student panel. While President Ramos was in Hanover, Cherie was his student host, escorting Ramos and his guests from one event to another, introducing him to her fellow students, and hosting a select group of students for dinner the same evening. Cherie also conducted a radio interview with Ramos that was broadcast on RadioTuck, a student-run venture.

"Perhaps of all the participants, I have the most to share in terms of my experience with President Ramos. I never imagined that a former head-of-state, who has been through a lot of successes and who had overcome significant challenges in his career, would be so friendly and down-to-earth. When I first met him at the airport I really didn't know how to act—should I be formal, should I speak in Tagalog or English to him, how should I address him—I was asking myself all these questions.

"But as I spent more time with him throughout the day, I got more comfortable. At the end of the night, I was totally myself. I talked to him the way I would talk to an old friend, and it seemed OK for me to do that. I also suddenly felt the Filipino in me come out, and it was such a strange but comfortable feeling to be like that amid international students. I guess that's one of the things I enjoyed most about him."

Gautam Bellur T'03
Gautam Bellur and Russ Lewis Gautam Bellur and Cathy Kim, both T'03s, played a critical role in Russ Lewis' appearance in the CEO Speaker Series in September, 2001. Mr. Lewis is the CEO of The New York Times Company. One of the topics addressed was the nature of the public interest/private profit balance in journalism. To spice up the conversation, a mini-debate was held early in Mr. Lewis' session, with Gautam and Cathy speaking to opposite sides of the issue, and Mr. Lewis' offering his own insights. Gautam and Cathy prepared for the event with small teams of their classmates. Here is how Gautam remembers the event.

"The debate teams were self-selected. Those who wanted to take a more balanced pro-business stance worked with Cathy Kim and those who wanted a newspaper to be all about journalism and a public service joined the other side. Several of us got to interact with Russ before the debate and talked about how September 11 had affected his work and the work of all the reporters at the NYT. The question was how to maintain objectivity in reporting in the face of a terror attack on your nation. It was nice of my teammates to allow me to represent them in the debate. As someone extremely interested in journalism, I was so excited that my teammates HAD to let me go up!

"Russ took us through the inner workings of a newspaper and how a firm wall is created between business and content. It's amazing that such codependent entities could act so independently.

"What we as a student body learnt that day was that there are vastly different leadership models out there. And that there is a place for self-styled leaders like Russ who use their sense of humor and perspective to guide their decisions. And in a crisis like the one we experienced on 9/11, it's leaders like Russ who come to the fore and make themselves heard.

"Russ himself was fantastic. He was down-to-earth, honest, self-effacing, and humorous. We were on first-name terms within a couple of minutes. He was interested in hearing all our perspectives on the Chinese Wall in journalism. It was a conversation, not a Q&A session.

"There was a time not long ago when I wanted to be a reporter or columnist and, at the same time, run the newspaper as well. Russ had done both and I'd gotten to spend the major part of the day talking to him. I don't think it gets better than that."

David VanderSchee T'02

As an independent study project during the spring term of his second year, Dave interviewed Brian Stowell, president of Crown Point Cabinetry in Claremont, N.H., and his staff to learn about their organization and changes in their performance measurement structure. Dave researched and wrote a case study and teaching note, and produced a short video to augment class discussion.

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"The most rewarding part of the work was the interaction with a successful business leader who incorporated unique employee incentives to capture production enhancements. Seeing this management approach succeed in a real business setting helped solidify many of the teachings learned in my coursework at Tuck.

"It was refreshing to see theory in practice and the opportunity to get an inside look at a company's operation was invaluable. It was also gratifying to know that not only did this work enhance my understanding of the MBA curriculum but it will be used to further the understanding of future students of business. The center provided the direction and resources needed to enhance my Tuck learning experience."

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