Monday, November 28, 2005

Promote Your SCU MBA Blog

If you're taking the time to write a blog, why not help others find it?

Get your blog listed on other popular sites. Here are the places I recommend for submitting your SCU MBA blog:
  1. SCU's Business School Blogs: Click the "Contact Us" link at the bottom to add your blog.
  2. League of MBA Bloggers: Leave a comment for Russell.
  3. Dave for MBA: Send an email to Dave to be added to his list. Apparently Dave's blog listing is for current students only; my blog got dropped after I graduated.
  4. Technorati: Submit your URL on the ping page.
  5. Google: Search engine URL submission page.
  6. Yahoo!: Search engine URL submission page.
  7. MSN: Search engine URL submission page.
There are numerous other places you can submit your site, however based on the visitors to my site I think you'll be most successful submitting to the above if you have limited time.

Another way to promote your blog is to include your blog's URL in your email signature, especially when posting to SCU MBA Yahoo! Groups.

Have any other suggestions for promoting your SCU MBA blog? Please let me know by leaving a comment below.

Monday, November 21, 2005

ERes Tips

If you're taking a class that uses ERes, then here are some tips that you may find useful:
  1. Sign up for email alerts, so that every time a new document is posted by the professor, you'll be alerted. After you log into your class's ERes page, click on the "Course Info" tab. At the bottom of this page click the link to sign up for alerts. I found this feature to be especially important for Professor Tammy Madsen's IDIS 619 (capstone) course since she frequently posted new documents.
  2. Don't bother using the "Discussion Board" tab. I think hardly anyone looks at this tab. To communicate with your classmates, you'd be better off setting up a Yahoo! Group, so that any message posted to it can be delivered via email to all members. Take the initiative to pass around a piece of paper during class to collect emaill addresses, then invite everyone to a class Yahoo! Group.
  3. The ERes chat room isn't the best either. Again, you'd have better luck using messages in a Yahoo! Group.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Employment Discrimination by Name and a Proposed Remedy

The United States and France have something in common: Employment discrimination based on name alone. In both studies, resumes with equivalent qualifications were submitted for positions.

In the U.S., the study Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination found that resumes submitted with "White sounding names" are 50% more likely to receive a callback for an interview than "African-American ones".

In France, a study conducted by the Observatoire des Discriminations found that a resume with a "standard French name" produced 140 responses, while the same resume with a North African-sounding name yielded 14 responses.

The U.S. study included employers that advertised being "Equal Opportunity Employers", as well as federal contractors that are subject to affirmative action laws. These employers tended to discriminate more.

Let's not talk about issues of social justice, fairness, burning cars in France, etc. (at least not yet)--let's just talk about profits. If you're a hiring manager in the U.S. or France, it behooves you to take into consideration the above studies. If you don't, then your company will suffer because you may not be hiring the best available talent. And if you're part of a profit-seeking organization, then you're not doing your fiduciary duty for the organization!

When hiring, ask yourself, does the stack of resumes you received for a specific position reflect the diversity of qualified candidates available in the market? If not, then why not? Is there anyway you can reach out to groups that are not reflected in the pool of candidates? Note that this step of the hiring process requires you to be aware of diversity.

Once you have a diverse pool of qualified candidates, then it is the time to become blind to diversity. By blind, I don't mean free to descriminate based on race, color, gender, etc., I mean blind by not discriminating using these factors. Discriminate by asking questions which are pertinent for the position. Why be blind? Because at this point you want to pick the best person for the job.

The above process is not a panacea--some would argue that more (affirmative action, targeted hiring, etc.) or less (freedom to consider or not consider anyone for employment, cost, etc.) should be done. I don't think it's perfect myself. But it is a process that fair-minded liberals and conservatives alike should both be able to agree that the process is, if not ideal, better than the status quo of discrimination by name.

The cost of expanding a qualified pool of candidates is decreasing as free or cheap services such as LinkedIn, openBC, and Yahoo! Groups can enable the hiring manager to expand their reach to potential candidates. These services are not a panacea either, since the population of users of each service may not be as diverse as desired.

And unlike some other byproducts of business which produce private benefits but public costs (e.g. pollution), this process would produce positive byproducts in the U.S. and France. Equal opportunities for employment could certainly do much to further "the pursuit of happiness" and "Liberté, Egalité, and Fraternité".

In a related post on my LinkedIn blog, I propose how job candidates can reduce discrimination by name against them.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Mutual Funds Monthly: Yale Manager Blasts Industry

Anyone catch the article "Mutual Funds Monthly: Yale Manager Blasts Industry" in the Wall Street Journal on September 6?

Mr. [David] Swensen's fame comes from his oversight of Yale University's
$15 billion endowment fund, which, since he was hired 20 years ago, has returned
an average of 16% a year, far outpacing the market and other funds run for
universities.

[...]

So while Yale relies on actively managed portfolios, Mr.
Swensen says individuals should just stick to index funds, especially those run
by not-for-profit companies.


Sounds like Dr. Meir Statman, SCU's often-quoted index fund promoter, and Mr. Swensen would get along fine with regards to advice for individual investors. Mr. Swensen has some interesting twists in advice apart from the usual advice from those who promote index funds. He doesn't like the Russell 2000 and promotes more international exposure than is usually advised.

Check out the full text of the article--I assume as an MBA student or graduate you have access to WSJ.com. Since the article is copyrighted, I'd rather not post the complete article.

Monday, September 12, 2005

MBA Not Too Impressive to CIOs

Apparently my MBA degree won't impress many CIOs, at least the ones surveyed by Robert Half Technology. A survey of 1,400 CIOs found that only 1% of CIOs would consider an MBA to be the extra edge to pick a candidate between two candidates with similar skills. Instead, industry-specific experience was sited as the most important differentiator.

So the lesson for me here is to not expect my MBA degree to carry a huge amount of weight when applying for IT management positions. I'll have to make sure that my whole package is competitive.

I have no regrets about getting an MBA. Even if CIOs don't think it's a key differentiator, I'm sure that the knowledge and contacts I've gained from the MBA program will help me to perform my current and future jobs better, which in turn will lead to more opportunities.

For an article about the survey, see Industry insiders have the edge

Sunday, September 11, 2005

"Seven Guitars" by Playwright August Wilson at SCU

Seven Guitars will be playing at Santa Clara University's Louis B. Mayer Theater on September 16, 18, 22-24, 2005. After seeing August Wilson's The Piano Lesson at the San Jose Repertory Theatre, I knew I wanted to see more plays by this playwright. So I'm looking forward to seeing this production at SCU.

For showtime and ticket information, see SCU's Special Events page.

Here's a podcast interview with the SCU producers, including a story about August Wilson delivering his own piano lesson at a late night afterparty.

Brief biography of August Wilson.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Finding Contacts at a Company or Organization

For SCU MBA students and alumni, here are recommended steps for finding contacts at a company, whether they are needed for an MBA project, employment, new ventures, or anything else.

First, you'll need to build your network to gain access to contacts:
  1. Sign up with LinkedIn, the premier professional networking service.
  2. Join the Santa Clara University Life Long Network Yahoo! Group.
  3. Join the Santa Clara University Life Long Network's LinkedIn Group by clicking the LinkedIn Group link on the home page of the SCU LLN's Yahoo! Group.
  4. Follow the LinkedIn Tips to expand your reach within the LinkedIn network, so that you may find and contact a larger set of contacts.
  5. Join any other appropriate SCU MBA-related networks.
  6. For alumni: Register and fill in your profiles for the Santa Clara University Online Community and the Alumni Association inCircle Networking Community .

Once you've done the above, you're ready to start searching for contacts:

  1. Search LinkedIn.
  2. For alumni, search inCircle and the online community.
  3. Post a message to an appropriate SCU MBA-related network.

If you have any suggestions for improvements to the above processes, please let me know by posting a comment below.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Vintage Santa Clara XXII

Vintage Santa Clara XXII, the 22nd Annual Food and Wine Festival produced by the Santa Clara University Alumni Association, takes place on Sunday, September 11. Tickets are only $35 if purchased before August 31. I haven't been to this particular event, but if it's anything like Spartafest at San Jose State University used to be, it will be a lot of fun and a good bargain.

At Spartafest, the price of the ticket, which I think was $25, would buy you entrance to the event, a small plate, a wine glass, and unlimited samples of food and drink. Food and wine vendors set up tents offering various high quality samples. It all made for a gluttonous good time. I came when it opened for lunch, hung around, then had an early dinner.

I think my strategy will be the same for Vintage Santa Clara XXII: Come when the gates open at 1:30 p.m., then have an early dinner before the event closes down at 5:00 p.m.

Alas, Spartafest is no more. For some reason, the San Jose State University alumni association decided to focus on producing other alumni events. I'm glad Santa Clara University's Vintage Santa Clara is still running.

I hope to see other SCU MBA alumni I know at the event, and am looking forward to meeting other alumni. (Really, it's not all about filling my gut!) With the event taking place in Mission Gardens in September, it should be a very nice day.

Information about Vintage Santa Clara XXII.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

The Financial Cost of an MBA

An MBA can be a significant financial investment for many. The price tag for an MBA should be calculated by estimating the actual amount of money to be invested as well as opportunity costs.

Whether a student enters a full-time or a part-time program has financial ramifications.

If you get an MBA through a full-time program, you give up the income that could have been potentially made in a full-time job. However, full-time MBA students usually expect to obtain a substantially higher income upon graduation. Before deciding upon a full-time program, you could use a net present value analysis to compare the discounted cash flows of not going to school full-time vs. going to school full time. Of course, such an analysis is tricky, given that future income flows and the appropriate discount rate would be estimates.

If you earn an MBA through a part-time program, then you don't have to give up a full-time job. But there are other opportunity costs. One is the potential opportunity cost of earning a higher income faster by graduating sooner from a full-time program. Another potential opportunity cost is that of not being able to make as strong of connections with fellow students. In a full-time program, it is more likely that you'll be able to develop deeper relationships with your classmates. These relations could lead to future deal or career opportunities.

Many employers offer tuition reimbursement as a benefit. I personally benefited from my employer paying the majority of my tuition, book, lab, and registration costs. I was reimbursed 100% for every "A" grade, and 90% for every "B" grade (regardless of plusses or minuses). If I had gotten any "C" grades, I would have gotten 70% reimbursed. In the end, I paid less than $1,000 of the more than $40,000 in total costs, thanks to my employer's employee education program.

If you can get your employer to pay for your tuition, then this can skew a financial analysis to make a part-time program look much more desireable than a full-time program. However, some employers will allow an employee to go to school full-time, provided they sign a contract to come back or else face a financial penalty. Also, some employers require that students sign a contract stating that they will work for the company a certain number of years after graduating or else face a financial penalty. This could dissuade a recent graduate from jumping to a new, higher paying job if the penalties for doing so are stiff enough.

Some programs make the decision to go full-time or part-time easy by only offering one program or the other. For schools that only advertise part-time programs, you may want to check to see if there is a full-time option by loading up on classes geared towards part-timers. A sizeable minority of students at Santa Clara University take this option, loading up on night and weekend classes.

Of course, future income will be partially dependent upon the program from which you graduate. A graduate of Stanford will most likely garner more opportunities for higher income than a graduate of a relatively obscure school. Most MBA programs post data regarding the average salary for thier graduates. Of course, this information should only be used as a very rough guide, since your results may vary.

These are just some of the things to look for when considering the costs of an MBA. Of course there are many other financial factors, and there are many non-financial factors which can and should influence your decision-making process.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Joint JD/MBA Degrees a Bad Idea?

The Vault has an interesting article about joint JD/MBA degrees. In it, the value of having both degrees is questioned: Does the added investment required to get the second degree result in a satisfactory return on investment?

Getting a joint degree most likely requires a full-time commitment that will not be reimbursed by an employer, so a student most likely will need to decide if the additional education is worth making the additional personal investment.

The article notes that not only may a second degree not be beneficial, it may even be detrimental to a job search, because potential employers may percieve as dual degree holders as not being sure about which field they desire to pursue.

Santa Clara University offers a dual JD/MBA degree from its Leavey School of Business and School of Law. In my five years at SCU, I never was on a team with anyone pursuing a dual degree, so I don't think it is that common for students to go for that option. So for a particular postion that could use both JD and MBA skills, having the dual degree could be a major and rare edge. Just how common these types of positions are is the important question.

Here's the article in Vault: Ask Anna: Are Two Degrees Better Than One?

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

SCU MBA Graduation Commencement Map

If you're a Santa Clara University MBA student, here's a map you might find useful with some editing.


(Click image for a closer view.)

This is a map that I shared with those whom I invited to my graduation commencement on June 10, 2005.

All you need to do is to save this image to your hard drive, then edit it using any image editing program.

Microsoft Paint, which is included with every Windows computer, will do the job. You can usally find Microsoft Paint by navigating the Start menu: Programs/Accessories/Paint

Monday, July 25, 2005

SCU MBA Professor Feedback

Considering what classes to take, and want the inside scoop on class workload, professor's reaching style, and more?

For student feedback about professors, there are a number of resources available on four Yahoo! Groups. You'll need to join each group to see the professor reviews within the group's database and messages.

After registering for these groups, you'll find on the homepage of each group a link labeled "Database". Click on this link to view a list of tables, among which is a professor feedback table.

In these Yahoo! Groups, most likely many emails have already been written about a professor in question. To search all of the previous messages sent within a Yahoo! Group, click on the "Messages" link on the home page of a particular group. On the "Messages" page find the field labeled "Search", then fill in the last name of a professor and click "Go" to receive a list of all messages posted about that professor. You may want to refine your query by entering both the professor name and the class number (e.g. "Fox 551" for Dr. Karen Fox's MKTG 551 class).

The SCU MBA office also posts composite student feedback from end of quarter surveys. This information is only available from the campus network's intranet. This means that you can't look up the information over the Internet; you'll have to check the reviews at school by plugging your computer into a network jack or logging into one of the computer labs on campus.

For the capstone course, IDIS 619, please see SCU MBA Capstone Course (IDIS 619) Advice where you'll find my take on the class, as well as instructions for finding useful information at http://www.scucapstone.com

Rate My Professors is another resource for professor reviews.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

SCU MBA Capstone Course (IDIS 619) Advice

If you will be taking the capstone course IDIS 619 in the near future, you may find of interest the following conversation I had with an SCU MBA student on the SantaClaraMBA Yahoo! Group, in which I respond to questions about my experiences in taking the class:

> 1. How was the course workload (Madsen Vs. Palmer Vs. Leidecker)?

I just took the class with Professor Madsen. The workload is manageable as long as you keep up with the assignments. Hopefully you won't have any personal or work crises to disrupt your coursework; otherwise it's difficult to catch up.

> 2. Assuming that you are working full time, is it advisable to take
> Capstone by itself or is it manageable to take another course along
> with it?

I recommend taking Capstone by itself, since it is a lot of work. The workload was heavy and intense, but doable. I only took Capstone, but some of my classmates took multiple classes, and not only survived, but did very well. Not to say that it wasn't stressful on them.

> 3. Learning from what all core courses was used for the
> Capstone paper?

I believe MGMT 503 and MKTG 553 are definitely used. What else? I think what's most important is to know what is expected but NOT reviewed very deeply: financial analysis. Make sure you have at least one financial guru in your group who has taken some financial electives and/or uses financial analysis at work. Two gurus are better, so that if one makes a mistake, the other might catch it. Without financial gurus, you may find yourself spending a lot of time digging through your old textbooks and notes (if you still have them) trying to remember how to do all of those calculations. I suppose MGMT 503 knowledge could be leveraged for talking about the management within an organization and organizational structure. While I learned about Porter's Five Forces model in MKTG 553 and other classes, Professor Madsen goes much deeper into the advanced usage of the tool than any other class I took. Don't worry about reviewing it; she'll spend plenty of time teaching you the way that she wants you to use it. Be sure to ask questions. For example, it can get a little confusing remembering if a score of 1 is a good or bad thing for a company (you'll see what I mean when you go through it).

> 4. What all electives do you recommend should be taken
> prior to taking capstone?

As mentioned above, hopefully at least one or two people in your group have some financial electives under their belt so that they haven't forgotten as much as others may have about financial analysis. Otherwise, I think it's best to have a diverse group. So take any electives, and try to get in a group in which everyone hasn't taken the same electives as you. I can tell you that some of my Information Systems electives did not come into use at all in this class. But I don't regret taking them, as they were useful classes. I wouldn't recommend picking electives to prepare for Capstone. Just pick a smart, diverse group with a strong work ethic and you'll do very well! (Maybe easier said than done?)

> 5. How was your team forming process & experience?

Short, but useful. We all met as a group for the first time at the end of the quarter party right before the class started, and had one dinner meeting after that. Those two meetings were sufficient for us. I had Professor Heineke for Econ 401 the quarter previous to Capstone, which required my complete focus, so I wasn't even thinking about Capstone once I was on a team. Heineke was keeping me plenty busy before Capstone, and I have no regrets that we didn't meet earlier. Capstone is tough, but it's all doable within a quarter.

>6. Did you use scucapstone.com or yahoogroups for the project?

Our team used scucapstone.com and found it to be useful. It has a few quirks and a little bit of a learning curve, but overall was very useful. It was nice not having to worry about file attachment size limits or total storagelimits.

> 7. Would it be possible to share your Capstone papers
> with the group? If yes, please upload your papers @
> http://tinyurl.com/cxdcn

I'll have to check with my group. Also, I don't know if I advise looking at Capstone papers far in advance. Just know that it will be a lot of work, and that the professor (at least Madsen) will give you a sample of what is considered a good paper. As I've mentioned above, the class is all doable within a quarter. I think people could be overstressing themselves getting too prepared for the class. I'm glad I had Heineke the quarter before to keep me focused on the class in front of me. Otherwise, I might have been preparing for Capstone a quarter in advance (due to the verbal and email scare stories I've heard and read before), and would have gained little if any benefit. If everyone starts preparing a quarter in advance, then those wanting an edge for the Belotti award might start preparing two quarters in advance. Next thing you know, people will be researching Capstone companies before they submit their application for the MBA program! (OK, I exaggerate. Maybe) I humbly suggest for the health of everyone involved that the madness be nipped in the bud. Starting work on the Capstone class in the break before the Capstone quarter is reasonable (required for Madsen since an assignment is due the first day of class), but don't go overboard by not giving your previous quarter's classes your full attention because you're worrying about and working on preparing for Capstone (One exception: It is a good idea to find a team far in advance, maybe a quarter or two at least).

> Any other tips or advice would be very useful.

Check out scucapstone.com for a lot more Capstone advice. In the public forums, there is a thread called "General Discussion". Click on it to open it. The "sticky" thread at the top of the list is called "Capstone Recommendations". Click on it to read some more advice. Remember that everything posted as advice is advice and not the gospel truth that applies to and is best for everyone; your mileage may vary. Check out the other public forums on scucapstone.com for other useful information. And check out professor reviews within the database sections of a number of SCU MBA Yahoo!Groups (such as the Life Long Network, Women In Business, and the FinanceConnection), as well as on SCU's internal web site. For a list of SCU MBA Yahoo! Groups, see http://www.rickupton.com/scu-mba-msis-networks.htm Good luck!

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Venture Capital

If you're interested in venture capital and would like to discuss the topic with others, here are some resources you may find of interest.

While I am not interested in venture capital at this time, I know many of my fellow SCU MBA alumni are and thought they might find these resources useful.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Vault College & Graduate School Survey

For those looking to attend any university or work for any employer, you may want to check Vault to see if the service has any information of interest to you.

For those who are already in school or are alumni of a school, fill in the Vault College & Graduate School Survey for a chance to win a $250 prize for the month's best entry, and to share with potential future students what your opinion of the university is.

You can fill out a Vault Employer Survey to have a chance at another $250.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Seth Levine's Networking 101

To reach your goals, whatever they may be, a planned and thoughful networking process can be very efficient and effective. Seth Levine, a venture capitalist, outlines a process for networking which I found to be very insightful. Please see the post LinkedIn Only a Tool for within the Larger Networking Process on my LinkedIn blog for more information...

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Recommendations for Men's Suits, Ties, and Shoes

Recently on three email lists with most members in the San Jose/Santa Clara, California area, I asked the following:

Does anyone have recommendations for where to buy suits, ties, and shoes
that look professional and sharp without being trendy (i.e. will not look dated
in a year)?

I'd like to buy some suits, ties, and shoes that would be appropriate for business meetings, interviews, public events for non-profit organizations, weddings, etc.

Currently I'm a Senior Applications Manager. Knowing that the old saying is that one should dress for the next level, for me that means I should dress like a Director.

Any advice would be appreciated. The business suits, ties, and shoes I have now are from the early '90's, and are looking a bit ragged and dated!

Here is a summary of the responses to my request. Thanks to everyone who responded from the email lists (Naglee Park neighborhood, SCU Life LongNetwork, and Bay Area MBA).

After receiving the responses, I went to Brooks Brothers, Nordstroms, Men's Warehouse, Florsheim, and Johnston & Murphy's for shoes. None of the shoes compared in comfort to the shoes I tried on at Johnston& Murphy's, so I picked up a pair of shoes there. While expensive, I'm told they last a long time, and can be refurbished by the factory to near new condition when needed.

My dad got me a graduation gift certificate for a suit at Men'sWearhouse so I picked up a suit and a couple of shirts and ties in time for my graduation ceremony. I still need to go shopping for more suits, shirts, and ties, and will make good use ofthe recommendations below while shopping.

Here is the advice I received:
*******************************
Eli Thomas at Santana provides expert service, though their prices can be high.
*******************************
Nordstrom's is usually a good bet!
*******************************
Burlington coat factory at the Great Mall in Milpitas has really good stuff that's classic and never goes outta style..try em.
*******************************
Brooks Brothers is a safe bet.
*******************************
I would recommend visiting the Mens Warehouse located at Winchester and Stevens Creek Blvd. They have a nice selection of suits, shirts, and ties that complement each other very nicely. The sales staff (I think his name was Rick) was very helpful in putting together a combination for me that could be interchanged and varied. I walkedout with about 10 different "outfits" even though I only purchased 2 suits, 4 or 5 shirts and about 4 ties. The pricing was pretty reasonable for everything I got.
*******************************
i would also recommend Macy's when they have their sales with buy oneget one half off. Go to the one in stanford shopping center and the staff will help you shop around for outfits also. Valley Fair one ithink you have to ask for assistance, but they are more than willing once you ask.
*******************************
Hi Rick - as someone who interviews a lot of execs and attends many public non-profit events, I'd recommend Men's Wearhouse, a navy suit with a jacket that can double as a blazer when paired with grey or tan slacks. Many interviews nowadays are in business casual, even at the exec level. With 3 pieces, you could do a first interview in the suit, and then use the jacket with a more casual look for subsequent interviews, if that matches the company culture. Men's Wearhouse does lifetime alterations for free (I think), which is nice. Otherwise you could try Brook's Brothers at the Stanford Mall, which is where I took my husband for outfitting for the same purposes. Good luck!
*******************************
Go with your partner and make it a day-long event.
Find the *best* dressed, older salesguy you can find, and have him select the stuff that will fit your body shape and job requirements.
*******************************
I highly recommend Eli's at Santana Row for suits. I wear suits almost every day of the week and expect them to not only stay in style, but last. I suggest making an appointment with Eli Jr. and give him your sizes in advance. His service is superb. You might think their prices are high, but cheap suits wear out fast and need to be replaced sooner. It's worth buying quality. Shirts are less expensive and can be replaced a lot sooner.But, I would look to other shops for ties and shirts. They tend to be a bit pricey at Eli's. You can find some good quality ties at Macy's if you find a salesperson with good knowledge. I've been searching for years for the best shoes - but I have bad feet. So I'm no help in that department. Price would be no matter to me if they looked goodand did not hurt at the end of the day. BTW - I have bought some decent suits at Macy's and Nordstorm's on sale, but I usually have to have them adjusted by better tailors. So, this is a cheaper alternative if you have a good tailor. Hope this info helps.
*******************************
Oh my god, have you ever hit upon a subject that is near and dear to my heart. Clothes make the man! I wrote an essay for you:
I would suggest Nordstrom. They're just about to have a big sale, too. They're helpful without being pushy, and seem to be much more knowledgeable than someone you might find at Macys. However, I've found thatMacys Men's at Stanford is much better than at Valley Fair. Just tell the salesperson exactly what you said below, along with your budget, and you should be able to find something. And not to sound ageist, but don't go with a sales rep who's in his/her teens.
My suggestion would be to buy a nice suit in navy or black, and then a sportcoat or two (depending upon how many dressy events you plan to attend) in navy or possibly a dark houndstooth or other smallish and subtle pattern. A sport coat (no tie; you can pull it off with a dressier, coordinated polo shirt underneath, particularly if you're going for the high-tech sales rep look) looks great at work, particularly if you're doing the "dress for the job you want" thing.
For shoes, again I'd say Nordstrom but there are also various other shops in Valley Fair. You'll need black for more formal business (and weddings), but you can do brown with a sport coat, I think, and choose leather soles, not crepe or rubber. You'll have to spend a decent chunk of change for a nice pair, probably $250+, but if you take care of them (Nordstrom has a shoeshine guy right next to men'sshoes; I think it's $3/pair) they last for a longtime, and people really do notice nice shoes. Or maybe it's just me who notices nice shoes and I'm actually really shallow? No white socks.
Ties you can pick up wherever. Nordstrom has a nice selection but they tend to be on the expensive side. Macys is fine. Bring the shirts you're most likely to wear; that way you can be sure everything coordinates. A small geometric pattern (no whales or anything cutesy) is always nice, and they must be silk. A solid color also looks quite nice in a heavier fabric. No polyester.
O.k., over and out. Hope you made it all the way through...
*******************************
I had bought a suit for ~$650 from Banana Republic. Compared to Men's Wearhouse for comparable quality, I found Banana Republic's was better priced.
*******************************
Men's Warehouse provides discounts for Santa Clara [University] students (or at least did when I last purchased a suit there)...
*******************************
Go to Brooks Brothers. They are having a huge sale this week at Santana Row, 40% off, their stuff is always in style and very professional.
*******************************
I think Moshers ( a Mens clothing store) located on the Paseo de San Antonio in the Fairmont Hotel (don't let that scare you, his prices are very good) does a terrific job and he will be very helpful on the "what to wear how to tie it" service of a professional clothier for many years. If he doesn't have what you want in stock he orders it…and is a local owned San Jose business to boot…Good Luck,
*******************************
I am not sure what your price range is, but my husband had a similar dilema when he started his new job. He needed a good suit and then several shirts and ties and slacks that he could wear every day. He now shops almost exclusively at Nordstroms for his suits and ties. The trick is to wait for the men's half yearly sale, which I believe happens in July or August. My husband goes once a year, stocks up and never has to face the dreaded shopping experience for another year. If you can hold off for a few months, that is what I would recommend. You get some really nice clothes for much reduced prices.
*******************************
Nordstrom's has pretty nice business attire. Some of their stuff is a bit trendy, but they also have a good selection of classic, timeless stuff.
If you check them out, a good friend of mine works there in Men's Suits. His name is David Khoung. Let him know that Yu-Chen sent you and he'll take care of you. He's an excellent guy and will help you pick out something appropriate. If you'd like, let me know, and I can also put you directly in touch with him or have him contact you.
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I buy my suits from Patrick James. The nearest location is Palo Alto. www.patrickjames.com
They have a range of prices and styles. If you tell the salesmen your budget and style preference, they'll set you up nicely. The store caters to classic styles.
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Men's Wearhouse has it all. My husband would rather have bamboo shoots under his fingernails than shop and he had a great experience. He went to the one on Stevens CreekBlvd. near Valley Fair mall. Service is wonderful and selection is excellent.
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I recommend The Men's Wearhouse. I took my husband Tom to the one in Mountain View several years ago for a suit to wear to a wedding, and he has since worn it to several weddings, funerals, and social events.The salesman there (a gentleman in his 50's) was knowledgeable and made great recommendations. Tom also ended up with a couple shirts and ties, belt, tweed sports jacket, and sweater. (I should mention thatTom doesn't like wearing socks or shoes in the summertime, let alone suits and dress shoes.) I can't remember if they carry shoes but would expect them to give you a good recommendation if they don't. I'd like to think our experience wasn't an anomaly and that you'd get the same service from any store in the chain. You can find locations on thewebsite: www.menswearhouse.com
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Try Brooks Brothers (Stanford Mall and Santana Row (I think)).Their suits are good quality, they will help you put together outfits, do tailoring and stuff like that. I try to get my husband to buy things there all of the time... but he's a casual guy.
Some good advice for longevity of style: as for the suits just stay with the basics and standards, colors like black, navy, a simple pinstripe for example. Go wild with the ties and shirts, as they can be changed, but the suits can't.
To look sharp but still stay casual, pair some khaki pants with a navy blue blazer and white shirt-- a classic look.
You should also avoid double-breasted suits. They are so trendy and icky! Stick with the classic 2 or 3 button jackets and flat-front pants. These are the most flattering (a matter of personal opinion).
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Nice to hear form you. Congratulations on your graduation. As part of my job, I am expected to buy business clothing every now and then. The best place I have found is the men's section in Valley Fair mall.It has got a huge variety and selection across a very large price range. Probably you already know this. Good luck and stay in touch. Thanks.
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Even though the commercials are annoying, Mens Wearhouse does do a really good job. They usually lay out everything for you with several ideas. Plus, once you tailor it there, they will always fix or adjust it. They press your suit for free also.
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My husband shops at Nordstrom. They have a wide variety of brands and prices. They even carry their own label with is pretty good qualityand reasonable in price. He has had many items from them for years.They also have a half-yearly sale where you can save a lot of money. If you call them, or stop by, they will tell you when that sale is.
Another option is the Nordstrom Rack in Westgate Mall. He finds a lot of deals there for high end brands. He is a director and the cloths he finds there seem to be just fine. Of course, he doesn't do ties but I think all of his suits have come from Nordstroms. Right now, for his company, he sticks to dress slacks or khaki style with dressshirts. And Nordstrom and N. Rack have served him well.
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Eli Thomas at Santana Row is the best in the area. Not cheap, but very good stuff and they'll give you all kinds of help. Ask for Jim or Bart; they have great style sense.
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For suits, Mens Wearhouse. Great selection - and a lot of traditional styles. Not trendy at all. Macy's has a great selection of ties. And I'd try Florsheim and Johnson & Murphy at Valley Fair for shoes. Warning: dress shoes are expensive.
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Eli Thomas has wonderful suits, but they are spendy at least upfront. It's a full service place, so years later, you can still get tailoring for free . Get two good suit pants and jackets there to mixand match. Then spend much less at Macy's or even the men's wearhouse for the accessories, the shirts, belts and ties. These days ties are anything goes so get what you like. jerry Garcia ties are a favorite of mine. Check they are 100% silk and hand stitched in the back. Shirts, also a wide variety of colors. White always a staple,but check your office to see if tangerine, blue, sage, or even red are ok. Chances are they're fine. Just make sure the ties you like coordinate with the shirts you like. Shoes, Allen Edmonds. Great style and last forever. Nordstrom has them usually. Macy's shoes, Jeff complains about them regularly. For grey or black or navy blue pants, get black shoes. For tan, brown, khaki, olive, dark brown shoes. Socks always match the pants. belts match the shoes. Unless you are Michael jackson.
Also don't be afraid to pair the suit and pants jackets with separate pants etc. A black jacket over tan khakis looks great, Get the separates at a cheaper store than Eli Thomas, however.
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Saturday, July 16, 2005

School and Study Tips

You may find useful some school tips I've assembled on a blog. By following these tips throughout graduate school, I was able to graduate with honors. By not following many of these tips as an undergraduate...well let's just say I pulled down the average undergraduate GPA for SCU MBA students, and am extremely thankful the university gave me a chance to prove that I could succeed in the program.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

MBA Application Essay Review Service

When I applied to Santa Clara University's MBA program back in 2000, I used an online essay review service to provide feedback on my draft essays. The service was offered by MyEssay.com, which no longers appears to be in business. This is too bad because I thought the feedback provided by MyEssay.com was very useful. The service was provided in what I thought was an ethical manner: I wasn't told what to write, just what areas were weak. The price at the time, if I remember correctly, was $99 per essay review. I thought that the investment was worth the price, since I thought that the quality of my essays could have made or broken my chances of being accepted into the MBA program. Unfortunately, MyEssay.com appears to no longer exist (unless the site is temporarily down as I write this). However, I'm sure there are other similar services available. I would advise any MBA applicant to consider an essay review service.

League of MBA Bloggers

Right now, my personal blog is listed on the League of MBA Bloggers blog, listed under Santa Clara University. I'm the second entry listed for SCU, next to my friend the prolific blogger Kaleem Aziz. I'm going to submit a request to change the League's blog page to point to this blog instead of my personal blog.

I don't think I'll ever generate nearly as many entries as Kaleem, but I plan to share MBA-related content on occasion. If you're an MBA student or alumni and you maintain a blog that contains MBA related issues, you may want to submit your site to the League blog.

Graduated from Santa Clara University's MBA Program

On June 10, 2005, I graduated from Santa Clara University's MBA program. I graduated after five years of study, focusing on four concentrations: information systems, e-commerce, managing technology and innovation, and operations. Through hard work, collaboration with classmates, teachings from professors, and support from family and friends, I was able to make it through the program and graduate with honors, earning an invitation to join Beta Gamma Sigma. Graduate school was certainly a different experience than my undergraduate experience. I had a great time as an undergraduate and learned a lot, but I didn't have the knowledge and discipline that I had as a graduate student. I had to to learn the hard way how to succeed in school. I thoroughly enjoyed my studies at SCU, and look forward to staying in touch with both professors and classmates at various alumni events. For anyone considering an MBA program, I highly recommend Santa Clara University's program.

New Blog from New Graduate of Santa Clara University's MBA Program

I've created this blog to share information relevant to MBA students and alumni. Some postings on this blog were previously posted on my personal blog, and have been moved here to consolidate posts about MBA-related subjects.