Archive for June, 2009

Michael Jackson and the economy

I’m sure everyone has heard of what happened to MJ by now. I first heard the news on the radio while driving home from my summer job in downtown Phoenix. At first, I didn’t think much of it. I figured that Michael probably had a personal doctor and a local police department that would resolve things pretty quickly . I was completely shocked to get home just minutes before the LA Times pronounced him dead.

Like a lot of the world I’ve been watching the news and surfing the internet about MJ non-stop for the last two days. But what really caught my attention was what I heard about the sheer number of people that were doing the exact same thing. In fact, CNN recently pronounced this the biggest internet event in history, far bigger than Barack Obama’s Inauguration on November 4.

At first, the last fact was surprising as the Obama story is historically a more significant event, perhaps the most significant in history. What’s especially astonishing about this fact is that a very large number of people even stayed home on November 4th just to stay online and watch the inauguration, whereas on Thursday, nobody stayed home because the event was so unexpected.

The economic impact of this is undeniable. First, I know quite a few people who left work early to catch coverage of the story, even in this economy where workers should be staying late to ensure they are as productive as possible. Right away business lost productivity and money.

Also so many people online have flooded to relevant articles, looked for TV and radio stations covering the story, and doing everything they could to get copies of old records and movies. I’m guilty of the internet, radio, and TV surfing. The competitive impact is that other businesses have been forced to follow suit and maintain all-day coverage, even if they didn’t want too, because too many consumers wanted coverage. It’s simple supply and demand.

It’s also interesting to see that some of the biggest and most respected companies had problems with their online sites due to the Internet traffic. To list just a few of the incidents Twitter temporarily crashed, Wikipedia overloaded, AIM went down for 45 minutes, and Facebook had a bit of trouble uploading video. I suspect that many media stores probably had long lines, had slow internet speed, and spent a lot of time on the phone answering questions about MJ items rather than making sales.

What’s also interesting is the clear trend that is demonstrated. Most notably, it demonstrates the uptick in social media, and although social media is already prominent in most of our lives, it will mostly likely continue to increase for years to come. More people will continue to use these websites, stream coverage online, and use their mobiles networks to stay connected. Mobile companies likely made out best in the short term as they made immediate profits from millions of calls and text messages during the event. Additionally, I-Tunes also had their best day in years in terms of revenue and hits to the website.

Just like companies were forced to cover of MJ, I think that companies and people will feel the pressure to accept and increase their usage of social media to be a central part of their daily lives. While the casual internet user can get by just fine now, I think this event ultimately shows us that significant usage of social and online media is inevitable. Our society is rapidly changing, that’s why CNN and other businesses have already become power users. The only question is, when will the volume seen on Thursday become the norm.

When alive, Michael’s social and economic impact can’t be disputed. Looks like the same is true even in his death.

Here is the CNN article about the mass internet overload:


Saturday, June 27th, 2009 Uncategorized 2 Comments

Kellogg names new interim dean

What’s up everyone! I noticed that yesterday Kellogg named a new Interim Dean. Dean Jain will definitely be missed by the students, they really love him at Kellogg. I don’t know if this change is reflective of anything happening at Kellogg. What I do know is that Deans often decide to change things up after the 10 year mark, and Dean Jain was getting ready for his 9th year. I had the fortune of meeting Interim Dean Chopra at DAK this spring. He was both brilliant and really cool. From the limited amount I know about him, he’s definitely deserving of the role.

What I find particularly interesting is that Kellogg hired another Indian executive for the role. Personally, I am very interested in how Indians fit into the whole B-school process. They definitely apply in some of the biggest numbers, bring a lot of the highest grades and scores, and are definitely some of the brightest people I met in the application process. They also seem to represent a lot of professor positions at many of the good schools.

I am interested to see who Kellogg decides to go with for the full-time role and if he or she will also be Indian. If so, that may say something about Kellogg’s leadership strategy. Perhaps it’s also just a coincidence. Unfortunately, Dean Chopra is only up for a one year term, so he won’t be around in 2010 when I start at Kellogg.


Wednesday, June 24th, 2009 Business School No Comments

MBA in this economy

Is it a good time to get an MBA? Can you ride out the recession during school or will you graduate with 6-figure debt and no job? This is the question many b-school applicants and admits have been asking all year long. In fact, after chatting with hundreds of admits since January, I found a good number who turned down schools they preferred to attend to go to schools that offered more scholarship money. This is especially for minority admits who received Consortium Fellowships this year—for those who don’t know, a Consortium Fellowship is a full or half tuition stipend that certain schools have decided to award to minority applicants in order to attract them to their schools–as well as other select scholarships. Furthremore, others have decided to keep working through the summer to save up money for school.

In my personal opinion, I suspect that MBAs at top schools have little to worry about in terms of landing a job–even more true for JD-MBAs. While students will certainly come out with a lot of debt, their skills and marketability will be at a premium a couple of years from now in a better economy. Fortunately, despite the current economy, the majority of my MBA admit friends have not gotten laid off from their jobs. Also, a lot of my friends at b-school have done pretty well in summer recruiting. I have friends getting hired by all the big companies, banks and consulting firms for the summer. All signs point to good things for those who work hard for the next couple of years.

My current JD-MBA classmates are doing really impressive things. While its usually a 50%/50% split of those who go into business and law after graduation, more 2nd years are taking the law firm route this summer and are working at law firms. While the breakdown is a bit exaggerated due to the economy, it is usually weighted toward law since not doing a legal internship precludes you from getting a law job after graduation. Of the JD-MBAs working in business this summer, they are working in consulting and banking/finance. With options like these, I stand by my earlier comment and am not worried at all about the “odd” economic times.


Monday, June 22nd, 2009 Business School No Comments

Post-work summer activities and fun

Fortunately, getting into school is typically a security blanket for keeping your job. Most of my friends have been coasting at work ever since February. I’ve gotten more IMs and facebook messages than ever. Because most of these admits are already on the way out of work, it wouldn’t make much sense to layoff a skilled employee, lose productivity and pay severance to an employee who was going to leave anyways. To me, it seems like a pretty bad investment, not to mention bad PR at the business school where the employee will be attending.

I was one of the lucky ones. For the last two years I had been working for a consulting firm, Watson Wyatt. We have a lot of pretty big clients at Watson Wyatt, but we were a middle market firm and often couldn’t compete with the top tier firms. Unfortunately, when the economy sent south last fall, many of our clients started reducing budgets, and so did my company. For my company headcount was really important so it was one of the first ways they thought to cut costs. After I had gotten into school in December, I was lucky enough to get on the radar for layoff and severance pretty immediately. I was not originally so keen on the idea, thinking that I wanted to work through the end of the summer to save up for school. But a firm partner and all of my friends convinced me that staying stopping work was the best case scenario. After a few weeks of behind-the-scenes chaos, I ultimately spent my last day in the office in early March.

Turned out, stopping work in March was one of the best things that could have ever happened to me. Since March, I spent quite a bit of time with family and friends and traveling around the US. I’ve been to NYC twice, Chicago three times, Arizona, California, and Denver. I also have a coule of really fun trips planned for July. This summer, I’m also doing a pre-JD/MBA summer clerkship at the Attorney General’s Office. Such internships are generally reserved first and second year law students, but I sent out my resume and did a little networking.

My internship is great because I get really cool exposure at the top government agency, I’ve met a lot of really cool people there, and my hours are really flexible. I spent my first couple weeks in the Community Services division. In this division, we help serve the community by responding to consumer complaints about local business and similar issues. In reality, it felt a lot like a customer service job. After networking a bit in the office, I eventually made my way to the executive office, where we handle all issues directly for the Attorney General, including setting up and participating in meetings, scheduling his interviews and call, and doing all things press related. It’s been a lot of fun, and lots of important people come through. Just last week we had a meeting with Obama’s new Border Czar and his team from the Department of Homeland Security. It was a really busy day but the meeting went really well. It will definitely be a great job to chat aboutduring law school recruiting this fall.

Despite liking the AG’s office, I’m already trying to plan my exit so I can take full advantage of the rest of the summer, I’m already planning 3 or 4 trips up for July, and I’ll be making a short trip to NYC at the end of June. My trip in June is for Bain’s Pre-MBA Diversity Session on June 30th. I am excited about it, becuase I am pretty serious about the management consulting field, and it will be a good way to see a lot of friends hopefully. I’ll be sure to write about the session next week.


Sunday, June 21st, 2009 Uncategorized No Comments

Why Kellogg

Hey everyone, hope you’re doing well.  I recently got an email from someone interested in applying to the JD-MBA program. She sent a couple of questions, including “Why Northwestern (Kellogg?) That’s always a pretty tough question, but I’ll  take a stab at answering the question below.



So when I tell people I’m headed to Northwestern’s JD-MBA program, I usually get three different responses: (i) Congratulations! (ii) Why Kellogg/Northwestern? and (iii) Why a JD and an MBA?

What I’ve learned about going through this process and answering these questions is that choosing a business school is no easy feat. The are a number of top programs out there that will help you accomplish your career goals. I had the good fortune of being part of Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT) as an applicant. MLT focuses on the business school application process and specifically helped me determine my priorities for choosing a school. As part of the program, I spent a lot of time visiting campuses, interacting with current students, reflecting on my personal goals, writing strong essays, and going to admitted student weekends. I strongly suggest that any graduate school applicant go through the same due diligence.

I ultimately chose to attend Kellogg’s JD-MBA program. Accepting a place at Kellogg was not a hard decision given it’s top ranking and premier resources. However, turning down other top schools was a bit more difficult. Upon reflection, there are a couple of specific reasons that helped me realize that Kellogg was the best fit for me.

Teamwork. Having worked on a variety of project teams as a consultant, I’ve learned the distinct advantage of having a high-performing team. Kellogg pioneered the concept of teamwork in b-school. From being a student-driven culture, to rotating study groups, to a lopsided amount of team-based coursework, Kellogg and Northwestern law will best allow me to hone my teamwork skills.

Classmates: Students at Northwestern are slightly older and amongst the most collegial, fun loving students at any school. This is true at both Kellogg and Northwestern Law, and I look forward to a really fun three years. I also think this adds a more mature and experienced dynamic to the classroom. Will be pretty interesting learning from interesting and experienced classmates.

General Management. Kellogg also has a world-class general management curriculum, and tends to do a lot of things really well. With a background that’s pretty generalist in nature, including consulting, I do think that getting a general management background is a good idea, and for me it is the best way to go.

Marketing Orientation. Unlike many Kellogg students, I don’t specifically plan to go into marketing after graduation. But I do believe that marketing/ sales is one of the most important functions in business. As such, Kellogg’s strong marketing curriculum–from the world-renowned marketing curriculum to its annual marketing competition–will be a good fit for me.

Leadership Development. I believe that running a company is as much about good leadership as it is about analysis and processes. I’ve had the fortunate experience of having worked with one or two really good leaders in addition to a lot of really bad ones, and personally think that it’s important to show strong leadership in business. Kellogg offers things like a 360 leadership assessment, a culture based on feedback, a great MORS major (and leadership minor), and countless ways to lead/organize as a part of the student body.

Negotiation Coursework. I am really interested academically in negotiations. Law school is generally a great way to get this exposure, and Northwestern Law is one of the best with the topic. Northwestern Law is also known for its practical coursework and its clinics, including a negotiations clinic. Kellogg also has a great negotiations curriculum. They have some of the best professors in the field who have written some of the best books in the field. At Kellogg, you can even get a minor in negotiations.

Consulting. I have a background in consulting and am thinking about the management consulting field post-graduation. Kellogg is one of the best at sending students into the field. They even have the “Analytical Consulting” major specifically designed to enter the field.

JD-MBA Program. I will talk more about the specifics of the dual program going forward, but attaining both the JD and the MBA was probably the biggest factor in my school decision, as my long-term professional interests have ties to both law and business, e.g. startups, politics and social change. In my opinion, Northwestern far and away has the best and most integrated JD-MBA program and it certainly has the oldest JD-MBA “program”.

At Northwestern, I know I can gain the skills and experiences to achieve my professional goals. I look forward to starting at Northwestern this fall.

Tags: , ,

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009 Business School No Comments

Starting a blog

This fall I will be starting at Northwestern in the JD-MBA program. I’m really excited about starting the program, so I’ve decided to write a blog about my academic and professional experiences, about the fun I have with my classmates, and about my thoughts and reflections along the way. I envision the blog serving four purposes but also plan to let it evolve over time:

1. It will be a good way to keep my friends and family updated on how things are going while I am busy at school. Going to both law school and business school is definitely going to be tough.

2. It will be a good way to journal what’s going to be an incredible three year journey in Chicago, with a great group of classmates from both schools.

3. It will be a good way to discuss the JD-MBA program at Northwestern. Although it’s undoubtedly one of the world’s top academic programs, a lot of graduate school applicants don’t know about the integrated program, and thus never have the chance to to apply. Hopefully this blog will help market the program and answer questions anyone has about it. Please email me with questions.

4. It will be a good way to connect with business/law school applicants and other professionals who seek career advice or are headed down a similar career path.

My next few posts will be a bit more about me and the JD-MBA program. Feel free to post comments or email as you read along the way.


Monday, June 15th, 2009 Uncategorized No Comments

Join the conversation

Join the conversation



Jeremy C Wilson is a JD-MBA alumni using his site to share information on education, the social enterprise revolution, entrepreneurship, and doing things differently. Feel free to send along questions or comments as you read.


Share your education story

Share your education story

Thank you Chicago for the nomination

Thank you Chicago for the nomination

Apply to Join MLT

Apply to Join MLT

Apply to Join NLC

Apply to Join NLC

Learn about the JD-MBA program

Learn about the JD-MBA program

Please Vote

Register To Vote

Twitter Feed


The contents of this blog are mine personally and do not reflect the views or position of Kellogg, Northwestern Law, the JD-MBA program, or any firm that I work for. I only offer my own perspective on all issues.
June 2009
    Jul »
Get Adobe Flash player