Archive for July, 2011

Northwestern Law Announces New Dean Daniel Rodriguez

After almost a year of searching, just last week, Northwestern Law school named a new Dean, Daniel Rodriguez. This comes after former Dean David E. Van Zandt ended his 15-year tenure as dean of Northwestern Law last year.  While Dean Van Zandt will definitely be missed by the students, faculty and administration at Northwestern, everyone still agrees that it’s very exciting to have the new dean.  Not only is Dean Rodriguez professionally accomplished but he’ll also bring a fresh perspective and net set of experiences to the school.

Daniel Rodriguez will take the post Jan. 1, the university said in a news release. And it sounds like everyone at Northwestern can’t wait to for him to arrive.  Northwestern Provost Daniel Linzer said “Northwestern President (Morton) Schapiro and I are extremely pleased that professor Rodriguez, who is known nationally for his legal scholarship and public law work, has accepted our offer. We are confident that his talents are well suited for leading our great law school.”

One reason everyone is excited is because the new Dean is very accomplished. Currently, he holds the Minerva House Drysdale Regents Chair in Law at the University of Texas School of Law. Rodriguez’s background is also impressive. Not only is he a graduate of Harvard Law who is published in a wide number of places, but he was also even named one of the nine transformational deans of the decade in an article by the ABA Journal. Above the Law wrote a similar article about him.

For current and incoming students at Northwestern, it will be interesting to see how things change over the next year or two. Will there be changes in the curriculum? Will the composition of the student body shift over time? Will Northwestern continue to come up with innovative programs that others schools haven’t considered yet?

It’s too early to answer all of those questions now. But it’s worth remembering that it was Dean Van Zandt was one of the early founders to the accelerated JD-MBA program at Northwestern. A program that not only caught on but that also took off. So much that schools like Yale, Wharton/Penn, Columbia and Cornell to name a few, have already followed in Northwestern’s footsteps to create programs of their own.

As a result, it looks like Rodriguez has some big shoes to fill.  But I’m sure he’ll be up to the challenge given his background, legal training, and diverse set of experiences. The only question now is, what is Rodriguez going to come up with next?

In anticipation of his arrival, just a few days ago, Northwestern Law also wrote a press release about the Dean’s appointment that it sent out to students. See below for the email that went out to the school.

Congratulations and best of luck to the new dean!


To:      Northwestern Law Community

From:  NU Provost Dan Linzer

Re:      Northwestern University Announces New Law School Dean

It is with great pleasure that President Schapiro and I announce that Daniel Rodriguez, currently the Minerva House Drysdale Regents Chair in Law at the University of Texas School of Law, has accepted our invitation to serve as Dean of Northwestern University School of Law and Harold Washington Professor, effective January 1, 2012.  He succeeds David Van Zandt, who had served as the Dean of the school from 1995 to 2010, and Kim Yuracko, who has been serving as interim dean of the School and will continue to do so until the end of the calendar year.

Professor Rodriguez, a graduate of the Harvard Law School, is a nationally prominent scholar in administrative law, local government law, and state constitutional law.  He is a leader in the application of political economy to the study of public law, and he has authored and co-authored a series of influential articles and book chapters in this vein.

Before joining the University of Texas law faculty in 2007, Rodriguez served for seven years as Dean and the Warren Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of San Diego School of Law.  While serving as Dean, he expanded the size and stature of the faculty, created interdisciplinary programs and new academic centers, and undertook the first major capital campaign for the law school.

Before becoming Dean at the USD School of Law, he was a tenured professor of law at the University of California, Berkeley (Boalt Hall School of Law).  He has been a visiting professor at the University of Southern California, Illinois, and Virginia law schools, as well as at the University of California, San Diego and the Free University of Amsterdam.  During the Spring 2011 semester, he was the Stephen & Barbara Friedman Visiting Professor of Law at Columbia Law School.

In addition to his scholarly work, Professor Rodriguez has consulted with federal, state and local agencies, has served as an expert witness, has testified before Congressional committees and legislative working groups, and has served in various professional leadership roles, including as a member of the Executive Committee of the Association of American Law Schools and the Council for the ABA Section on Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice.  He is an elected member of both the American Law Institute and the American Bar Foundation.

We are very excited about the appointment of Professor Rodriguez as Dean of the Law School.  Please join me in congratulating him and welcoming him to Northwestern University.  Please also join me in thanking Interim Dean Kim Yuracko for her outstanding service, and the search committee, and particularly chair Shari Seidman Diamond, for the committee’s excellent work.

Emanuel Pleitez Helps Launch the Loft Institute Social Network

I have been fortunate to get to know some incredible professionals from the Stanford and JD-MBA networks, and I’ve talked about a few of them on the site before.  Well another one of them is good friend, and up-and-coming political organizer Emanuel Pleitez.  Emanuel is one of the few people I know that has thrived both in business and also in the public sector.  Since graduating from Stanford, Emanuel has not only spent time firms like Goldman and McKinsey but he has also worked with a number of community organizations. Recently, he even teamed up with the Hispanic Heritage Institute to launch social network, named the Loft Institute.

So you’re probably wondering, what is the Loft Institute?  Well a number of themes emerge.  It’s a network of hispanic professionals. A database of job and networking opportunities. And more broadly a way to bring fast track professionals together. The name Loft means “Latinos on the Fast Track.” And the mission of Loft is to reestablish the American workforce as a global competitor by investing in the youngest and fastest growing segment of the population – the Latino community.

Emanuel has some lofty goals for Loft. He’s using it to create leadership summits in big cities around the country. As a way to get Latino leaders in the same place at the same time. And as a venue to get young professionals and students from around the country to network with each other. In fact, Loft even came out with a new list of Loft Fellows to help do that just days ago.

Fortunately, it sounds like these goals are not far-fetched, as Loft has long been making an impact, even before the launch of the new website. Over the last six years LOFT Institute has had member all over the country. they work in government and private sector firms, as well as in Fortune 500 companies. They also in industries including engineering & technology, healthcare, retail, sales, business, finance, construction management, public service, public policy, and entertainment.

In addition to going to the Loft website Emanuel also maintains a blog and a Twitter Account, where he actively write updates about Loft. Likewise, in the future, you’ll probably also be able to find more information about Loft here on my website, as I’ll be helping as a new media advisor to the site.

In sum, if you’re have an idea that you think can change the world, be proactive and go for it. And even if you have a job that demands most of your time, figure out how to do it anyways. Because the best business leaders know, that its not just about doing well but it’s also about doing good. And that life is not only about making money and negotiating deals, but it’s also about helping others along the way.  And in the end, leaders will do whatever they can to make that happen.

Best of luck with Loft Emanuel.

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011 Careers, Diversity, Leadership No Comments

Cape Shore Foundation’s Race to Support the Environment

Hey Everyone, hope all of you are doing well.  As you know, I often like to spread the word, not only about things happening in business school but also about social enterprises that are changing the world. Sometimes world reknowned organizations that you’ve all heard about but other times about up and coming organizations that are having a big impact on their local community. Well, one of those local organizations in Boston is The Capeshore Foundation and my JD-MBA classmate Jon Wakelin is one of the Directors. As such, I thought I’d use my site to spread the word about the upcoming event.

Cape Shore Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that was founded in 2007 by a group of friends from Maine. Because they feel fortunate to have grown up in that environment, they wanted to use this nonprofit to help future generations have the same opportunity.  Well, one way they raise money is by having a 5k race every August in Boston. This year, that race is being held on Saturday, August 20, 2011 @ 9:00 AM in Artesani Park (1234 Soldiers Field Road Brighton, MA), and I highly recommend that any readers in New England consider attending.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the race

CLICK HERE to learn more about the organization

And see below for an email that went out to past participants

Friends and Supporters-

If you’re receiving this e-mail, you have supported CSF in the past, whether it be through our Annual 5-K or one of our community cleanup events.  We truly thank you for your support, as you have helped us raise nearly $10,000 for local land trusts.  With your help we hope to increase our annual giving, and this year we have selected the Androscoggin Land Trust as the recipient of race proceeds.

CSF 5-K: This year’s 5-K will be held on Saturday, August 20 at 10:00 AM at the Artesani Park in Brighton, along the Charles River.  Here are some details

  • Register for the 5-K here, or visit our website at  (Note:  We’ve left for greener pastures!)
  • Great prizes for the top 3 finishers (men and women) in all age groups (10 pairs of Reebok Shoes, Whole Foods gift certificates, pint glasses, and more)
  • All registrants will get a free t-shirt!

Thank you for your support and we hope to see you all on Saturday August 20th!

The CSF Team

Cape Shore Foundation


Saturday, July 23rd, 2011 Business School 1 Comment

Compass Summit Assembles Thinkers To Address World’s Vital Challenges

Every now and then I like to write posts about nonprofits and other game changing organizations that are doing really interesting things. Organizations that not only take on the biggest issues of our day but also organizations that bring diverse people together to work on the biggest issues of the future. Well one of those organizations is Compass. And just recently, I learned that they are putting on this year’s Compass Summit, a conference that discusses “what’s possible, what’s ahead, and what matters.”

The Compass Summit is a conference of big ideas, driven by conversations.  The organization is asking our partners as well as participants to expand their peripheral vision of other fields and to look over the horizon to consider what matters most and where the world should be heading. The conference will run from Oct 23-26,2011, at The Terranea Resort, right outside of Los Angeles.

My college friend Sophia Larroque is helping to organize this event.  As such, I figured I’d pass along the word to those readers here on my site. Below is an email I received directly from her about the summit

Compass is a gathering of accomplished and inventive people aimed at  tackling urgent large-scale challenges facing our institutions and companies: climate change, mass urbanization, capital shortages, technological dislocation and much more.

Former Fortune editors Brent Schlender and Peter Petre are joined by Scientific American editor-in-chief Mariette DiChristina and her staff to producing Compass, and many of the ideas explored at the conference will be reflected in autumn issues of the magazine. With the help of advisers and sponsors including McKinsey & Co., SWIFT (the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication), Intel, and the World Business Council on Sustainable Development, we are crafting a program to engage topics as diverse as:

  • The impact of invention on job creation & training
  • Must have” adjustments needed to cope with climate change and environmental degradation
  • Te next great ‘multipliers’ of productivity after Moore’s Law
  • The future of money
  • The shifting dynamics of networks on governments and institutions
  • The future of jobs in a chaotic economic and geo-political environment
Compass will consist of presentations, onstage interviews, structured conversations and debates. There will be a generous amount of time for Q&A and discussion.
Mission: Compass celebrates the notion that humanity can invent its way out of the messes it has helped create. This idea also implies a social dimension that reaches beyond the rugged individualism usually associated with inventors and entrepreneurs.
CLICK HERE to learn more about Compass
CLICK HERE to learn more about the Conference
Wednesday, July 20th, 2011 Diversity, Leadership No Comments

Choosing Classes at Kellogg and Northwestern Law School

Since the first day we stepped foot in Chicago, we all realized that we had a more limited schedule with classes that were curved, some that were required, and others where we could only be at Kellogg or the law school. Well this year things are changing just a bit. Not only do we get to pick every one of our elective classes but we also get to split our time between Kellogg and the law school. But despite being happy to finally have choices, for some, this is proving to be a daunting task given all the moving parts in the process.

With our final year in the JD-MBA program on the horizon, it’s finally time to bid for classes. We just started getting emails from Kellogg and from the law school over the past week or two. And as of now, we don’t have much time left before we have to start making some decision! Bids for Kellogg are due next Wednesday, just a few days from now. And law school bids are due in about two weeks. As such, a number  of JD-MBAs are spending a few hours thinking about classes this weekend.  Deciding which classes we want, planning our classes to align the schedules of both schools, and thinking about what classes they want to take before we are done with the program.

One class I’m considering is Entrepreneurial Law. On one hand, it’s one of the more popular and interesting classes at the law school.  On the other, it will probably cost me a fair amount of points. I also plan to take Negotiations and at some point this year Executive Compensation law, given my background on the topic and expertise of my law firm, Vedder Price.

Another class I’m considering is entirely new to Kellogg called Social Dynamics and Networks.  Just last year, the class was introduced by my MORS Professor (Uzzi) and it looks like it’s shaping up to be really interesting. And who could think of going through Kellogg without at least considering the class Managerial Leadership, by Harry Kraemer, executive partner at Madison Dearborn and former CEO of Baxter.

In general, most students hope to get a good academic experience but also want to have a bit more fun this year. After two grueling years of curved classes, struggling to learn new concepts, and tirelessly searching for summer jobs, some Js really want to focus on taking courses they want. Not just those that put them in the right place professionally.

Sounds exciting, right? Well, not too fast. Like most things, there are also some challenges.  The process of picking classes where the time works at both schools, where you have enough bid points, and where you end up content, not only with the class material but also the workload and professors is not always easy.  Similarly, some of might also have to think about recruiting now, which happens at both schools in August and September.

But either way, it’s a fun time to be in the program. And it will be interesting to see how things play out for us over time. So stay tuned to hear what happens! And best of luck to everyone that has to choose classes.


Saturday, July 16th, 2011 Business School, Law School 2 Comments

BeatTheGMAT and Team Up on New Admissions Product

As you know, I spent a lot of time on my site writing about MBA admissions. Well rather than discussing topics that are on my mind today, I figured I’d devote this entry to promote two other organizations that give information and advice about the MBA application process. Recently, the BeatTheGMAT teamed up with to launch a new product which looks like it’s going to be a hit with a lot of applicants. I also think it has the potential to be a great product, as I recently had a chance to do a review last weekend before the product came out.

Just a few days ago, BTG asked me to do a product review of their new MBA admissions tool – a class that is entirely online and that walks the user step by step through every part of the admissions process. BeatTheGMAT has been growing exponentially over the past year, and it sounds like they plan to continue to do just that with this new product. Here below is a short summary of my initial impressions.

The good: The BTG and Clear Admit class does something that no admissions service has done before – they bring together admissions advice with the internet, allowing people to tailor the experience and leverage online to accommodate their busy lives.  They bring in graduates of top MBA programs and admissions teams to take you step by step through the application steps. And they tackle topics that are not only the ones most people are thinking about in the application process but also some you wouldn’t initially consider.

The bad: Admittedly, the online experience may not be for everyone. Some may prefer a real classroom experience, where you can change the direction of the class and go through Q&A as needed. Some people may simply find the internet to be distracting. And others may want to go through the experience/to a class with a group of people rather than by themselves.

More: Online social networks and classes are generally expected to be the wave of the future. This online network allows you to the service when you have free time. You can start watching classes as soon or as late in the process as you would lie to. You can watch and rewatch parts as needed depending on your level of understanding. You can take more notes on your computer as you watch to make sure you capture what’s being said. In addition to that, you can also access the material any time, A slides and outlines are downloadable and printable.

Another main benefit is the fact that the class has multiple instructors. While most other classes provide you with one main instructor, here you get to learn from three different experts, all with unique insights and  experiences in the admissions world. And together, they’ll tackle topics like how to research and select MBA programs, how to write your admissions essays, how to find letters of recommendations, how to market yourself in applications, and much much more.

If you do decide that an online class is for you, then Navigating the MBA Admissions Process might be a good option. The price is not cheap, but $249 is less than you might spend on some other types of MBA courses. You’ll just have to decide what works for you.

To learn more about the product CLICK HERE

And to learn via YouTube CLICK HERE

Friday, July 15th, 2011 Admissions, Business School 2 Comments

Apply to Work in Venture Capital as a 2012 Springworks Scholar

Venture capital has long been most of the most alluring industries in America.  Not only are the payouts high and the work satisfying but you also get to work with some of the most innovative clients on the planet.  So people spend months, sometimes years, looking for ways to break into the industry. Some network with every firm they can possibly get in touch with. And others submit applications year after year hoping for that one shot. Well, as of this year, another way you can break into the industry is by participating in the Springworks Scholars program.

Springworks is a San-Francisco based non-profit focused on increasing diversity in the venture community. Just recently, the firm has launched a scholars program for incoming MBA students to give them access to the venture community.  Founded by Kellogg alum, Jorge Calderon, this program looks to be a groundbreaking opportunity.

As I mentioned in a recent post about the Morgan Stanley Insights program (CLICK HERE to read that post) I love these programs that seek to improve the diversity in the labor force. They provide students and young professionals with access to new channels and resources. They give opportunities to people who might otherwise not have a chance. And they give hope that we can all pursue the American dream.

But there’s only one catch. You have to finish the application right away, as it is due in just a few days on July 15. See below for a blurb on the program and for the link to the application:

Our first initiative, the Scholars program, is designed to identify, develop & support ‘under-targeted’ (currently defined as minority or female) business school students interested in either venture capital management or start-up management.  This two-year program is intended to augment the resources provided to students at their respective universities with additional coaching, mentorship, peer support, curriculum and experiential learning.

For the online application, click here.

For the summary PDF, click here.


Tuesday, July 12th, 2011 Business School, Careers, Diversity 1 Comment

Leadership: How To Start A Movement

Leadership is one of the topics I write about most here on my website. How leadership is not only something that’s important but also that it can come in many forms. In one example of this, I recently found a video from TedTalks named “How to start a movement.”  The idea of this video is to show that being a leader means starting something that attracts attention, gets a few followers, and eventually hits a tipping point. That process isn’t easy, but in just three minutes, this video shows you exactly how that phenomenon plays out.

I’ll also note that I stumbled across another blog that listed the same video. I don’t know the writer but she has some interesting content on her site, so thought I might add the link HERE in case any of my readers are interested. The blog is written Erica Dhawan who is in the MBA/MPA program at MIT/Harvard in Boston.

Without further ado, see below for the video.





Saturday, July 9th, 2011 Leadership 3 Comments

The Leader Who Had No Title

I wrote this post to put up one of my favorite short video clips online. The name of the video is the Leader Who Had No Title. It comes from the website of Robin Sharma the leadership guru who not only create short videos but also writes books about leadership. One reason I like this video is because it’s pretty inspiring. In today’s business world, most people do what they can to get ahead, get promoted, make more money and get a better title. But this video reminds us that those things aren’t as important as impact. And that you don’t need a title to make a difference.



Thursday, July 7th, 2011 Leadership 5 Comments

Deep Dive

Ever heard of the terms “bucket,” “scope”, “T-shirt size” and “baseball cards”?  These are all words that are not only used in the consulting industry but often overused.  Incoming consultants are expected to learn them quickly. Even summer MBA consultants are expected to pick them up right away when having discussions with project teams. That’s definitely been my experience this summer, and one term that has specifically stuck out is the phrase “deep dive.”

One word that I’ve heard of a lot this summer is the term “deep dive.” Doing a “deep dive” means doing an in-depth exploration of a particular topic. Sometimes it’s learning more about the specific industry your client is in. Other times it’s learning about a particular function or business model that you don’t know much about. And sometimes it’s learning about a really technical topic.

Learning about all of these can be pretty challenging on their own. It’s even more challenging to do deep dives in more than one, such as a new industry and a new function. From experience this summer, I am actually working in all three areas. Not only am I working in an industry I don’t have experience in but I’m also working in a new functional area and it’s a topic that enormously technical. So in some ways, it’s a really really deep dive.

As a result, I’ve spent a lot of time reading up on the industry and its issues. Writing and rewriting slides where I didn’t have enough technical understanding. Sitting in on meetings and phone calls trying to figure out exactly how everything works at the company.

In some ways it’s fun to learn and in other ways it’s frustrating. But in some ways that’s the life of a consultant. Always learning. Often changing industries and functions, some of which you enjoy and others that you may not. And working through new business models.

In sum, consulting is filled with deep dives.


For your reference, CLICK HERE for a list of other words that are used in consulting.

Monday, July 4th, 2011 Business School, Careers, Consulting No Comments

McCormick Scholars Program and Northwestern

Hey Everyone,  I hope you are having a good summer and fourth of July weekend. My summer has been busy. That’s because summer is in full swing, so business and law students are working hard at their summer jobs. That means that we’re getting up early everyday, making long commutes into the city from Evanston, and working long hours to meet deadlines, and perform well. Sounds like an enormous task, right? I think so too. But despite that, I’m also working on another project.  As the 2012 McCormick Scholar, I’m also working on a pretty large media project that I just kicked off this summer.

Just a few weeks ago, I found out that I was selected by the McCormick Foundation as 2012 scholar. The McCormick foundation was program was established to educate a new generation of leaders in the media industry and continue the foundation’s support for journalism at Northwestern. The website says that the awards “bring to almost $32 million the amount the foundation has awarded to these programs in the 50 years since the foundation was created in 1955” and that “twenty full-tuition merit scholarships will be awarded over the next ten years to business students and they will be awarded based on leadership potential and commitment to a career in the news media.”

To be considered, I had to submit a pretty extensive application this past spring. The application mirrored an MBA application, and included submitting things like a resume, data sheet, essays, and recommendations. I personally spent a good part of my time crafting the essays, partially because I really wanted to win but also because the essays were related to things I was really interested in. The challenging part was that the application deadline fell right in the middle of the on-campus interview season at Kellogg, so it took a lot of effort to work on both. But all the work was worth it in the end when I found out that I had been selected.

In addition to the money and prestige of the program, the best part of the scholarship is that it offers funding for a media project I’m working on.  I spent a lot of time refining my idea, formulating a plan, and figuring out who else to get involved. Over the course of a few weeks, I’ve refined some of the details and found other similar initiatives to see what made those successful. For now the project is in stealth mode, but once it’s up and running I will plan to share more about this project.

Either way, thanks to the McCormick Foundation for the funding. Thanks to Kellogg School of Management and The Medill School of Journalism for the opportunity. And thanks to the faculty and former scholars for selecting me. I appreciate your support and look forward to being part of the community.

Stay tuned for more details about the project. And be sure to apply to the program, if you come to Northwestern and media is something that your interested in pursuing.

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Saturday, July 2nd, 2011 Business School, Careers, Diversity 2 Comments

When Do People Come Up With Ideas for Companies?

I’ve often wondered about that moment when the light bulb goes off for entrepreneurs. The minute when they first come up with their “big idea” that they thought could make them millions. The second they feel so compelled to take the “leap of faith” that they have no other choice but to do it. That instant when they realize they have an idea that just might change the world. Not surprisingly, those moments are quite different for everyone.  As a result, I wanted to take a few minutes to brainstorm a list of times when people come up with ideas for companies.

Below is  list of times when you might possibly come up with an idea for your next company.

  1. When you spot something on the job that doesn’t work well and come up with find a way to fix it
  2. You find something that frustrates you, that’s hard to use, and that could be better. So you make it better
  3. When you’re laying down at night and can’t sleep, so you dream about your company
  4. When you don’t have a job and have extra time, so you figure out how to start a company
  5. In business school you see your classmates coming up wit ideas, so you come up with a similar one
  6. Before business school so you can use the next two years to successfully launch a company at graduation
  7. When they are tired of the corporate world so spend every night thinking about ideas so they can escape it
  8. As an entrepeneur-in-residence at a VC firm, in business school, or any other organization
  9. When you are painting, drawing, or doing anything else that lets your mind wander and be creative
  10. When you set aside an hour of brainstorming time every day and one day everything comes together
  11. Bouncing ideas around with friends or colleagues who are also in the entrepreneurship community
  12. After spending years in an industry and getting a sense for the future
  13. Technology changes and creates new opportunities for innovation in your field
  14. During economic booms when people have more money to spend, so you create a place for them to spend it
Friday, July 1st, 2011 Business School, Careers No Comments

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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.


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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.
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