The End of Summer Means It’s Offer Season

On September 1, 2011, in Law School, by Jeremy C Wilson

This is an interesting season for all business school and law school students across the US. When you step outside in the streets of Chicago, everything suggests that summer time is still here. Not only are people still wearing shorts, t-shirts, and dresses but others are still on vacations and on the beach. On the other hand, there’s also a lot of excitement in the air because the fall semester is also here. That means that fall classes are beginning to commence, current students are starting to think about what they want to do upon graduation, and last but not least, they are also starting to hear back about full-time offers from their summer employers.

Over the past two or so weeks, many of my law and business school classmates have been getting news from their summer employers. Some of them that work for typical employers that get back on the last day of work, which is a nice sigh of relief for those that received positive news. Others who have to wait a week or two before employers get back to them. And another group that won’t get responses anytime soon because their jobs are a tad less traditional. These firms don’t have typical recruiting cycles, so offers may not be given for a few more weeks, and perhaps maybe not for a few months.

Interestingly enough, as I was writing this entry, I recently heard back from one of my summer employers.  One of the firm Partners called me by phone and gave me the good news that the firm (and the group) wanted to extend me a position. The Partner noted that I was the only person that he was able to get live so far, which I suspect is because a lot of people are either still traveling or they are back in class these days.

In the legal world, most offers stay available until November 1, though in most cases it’s not ideal to make an employer wait so long. At big law firms, it’s possible the partners that really like you may start favoring other incoming associates that accepted offers more quickly.  At small law firms, that may not be the case, though it is likely that everyone at the firm would see that you waited, and in the legal world that typically means that you are thinking about other options, as law students do typically tend to go back to their summer employers.  The same thing could hold true at consulting firms.

On the business side, its a lot more typical to hold out on offers for a bit. However, in most cases, firms probably wouldn’t take it as personally as MBAs tend to switch jobs after the summer much more frequently. As a result, offers often extend past the November 1st deadline into December and January to allow students to partake in recruiting if they wish to.  In fact, just yesterday I spoke with a classmates that worked at a bigger company over the summer, and he said that he has until February to make a decision; and that his firm was completely understanding of him doing a second round of recruiting this year.

Whether or not you plan to go back to your summer, it feels pretty good to everyone to have an offer in hand. Not only does it relieve the stress in the current economic environment but it also means that you can start thinking more about what it is you want to do, rather than simply focusing on finding employment.  Because more important than just finding any job, is that you take the time to find one that you’re really passionate about.  Because only at that point,  will we be able to unlock your potential and achieve the utmost success in your role.

No matter which camp you fit into: Congratulations on your offers. And good luck in your continued search.


First Day of Classes … Again

On August 31, 2011, in Law School, by Jeremy C Wilson

Do you remember the last time you had a first day at school? You spent you first day touring your undergraduate university campus, buying books, and getting ready for orientation. Well what about the first day of your last year at school? The day you became a senior and you felt like you were on top of the whole world; like nothing could ever bring you down. Well, for those going to graduate school, we get to relive those moments all over again. We get one more chance at being the new kids on campus, and eventually one more chance at being the older kids on campus. And on Monday I joined my law school, business school and JD-MBA classmates as we embarked on our first day at Northwestern.

Incoming Kellogg students have long been awaiting this moment. Excited to finally have what some call a two year vacation. Thrilled not to have to go to work every single weekday morning. And pumped from heading all over the world on the Kellogg KWEST trips (CLICK HERE to see my post prior to my KWEST trip)

On the other side, Northwestern Law students have also been excited about starting law school. In large part because class, not orientation, actually started on Monday. This is finally the moment that many of them have been waiting for. Ready to prove they can excel in the classroom. Prove they have what it takes to be great lawyers and litigators. And convince the masses that they’re up to the challenge of not only getting great legal jobs, but also doing so in one of the worst economies ever.

No matter which group you belong to, classmates have been meeting up all over  Evanston and all throughout Chicago getting to know their classmates. This is especially true for those who first day comes in the final year being a student. For them, it’s the last year they won’t have to spend the great majority of their time in class but will also spend time working and meeting up with friends. So they’re excited to make the most of it.  To get to meet more of their classmates. And to help make the campus a better place.

Because this is such a big moment in one’s career as a student, the respective Deans will also be making appearances. At Kellogg, Dean Sally Blount will be making remarks next Wednesday at the OLC (Kellogg auditorium). I look forward to trying to attend that session. On the law school side, the new Dean Daniel Rodriguez will be making remarks today, in just a few hours (CLICK HERE for more information on him).

As part of their overall speeches we look forward to hearing about their plans for this year and their visions for the future. Likewise, I’m sure many of my classmates look forward to hearing about how Northwestern is doing in the current economic climate. Particularly on the law side, where things are still picking up from the recent recession.

But perhaps more interesting than all of that is that the talks will bring the student body together and hopefully inspire more collaboration than before. To come together during times of change and help new leaders be as successful as possible. Either way, the first few days should be fun for everyone.

And either way, all good things must eventually come to an end. And over the next few days/weeks we’ll all have to buckle down and get to work. For 1Ls classes will start picking up pretty quickly so they’ll be in the library for much of the day. For 3L/3Js, we’ll work harder to finish up our writing and other requirements we need to complete. For 1st years at Kellogg, orientation will come to an end and classes and networking sessions will soon pick up. And for 2nd years at Kellogg, recruiting happens in just a couple of weeks.

Best of luck no matter which camp you fit into. And best of luck if you’re applying this fall in hopes to be part of the group next year.


Over the past year, [former] Dean Van Zandt’s resignation as Dean of Northwestern Law School has sparked a lot of discussion regarding his achievements, his vision, and his plans for the future at The New School. And he probably deserves the attention. After all, he is the guy who not only transformed the world of law school programming, but also the one who came up with the modern JD-MBA program.  But today, new Dean Daniel Rodriguez is the one at Northwestern that’s starting to get most of the attention. And on Wednesday that attention will finally result in a visit here at Northwestern.

This Wednesday, new Northwestern Law Dean Daniel Rodriguez will finally be making an appearance at Northwestern Law.  The purpose of his visit is to address the student body in advance of becoming the full time Dean this winter.

The event is intended for the entire student body and faculty members takes place in just a few days on Wednesday, August 31, at 4 p.m. His visit will serve as a formal introduction to the Law School community where he will give a talk in Thorne Auditorium and then meet some of the students in the Atrium.

In advance of that, he recently sent a letter to the student body discussing Northwestern and his transition. See below for the letter.

To:        The Northwestern Law Community


From:    Dan Rodriguez


Re:        A Note to the Northwestern Law Community


It is with great enthusiasm, tempered with appropriate humility, that I have accepted the honor of becoming Northwestern University School of Law’s next dean, effective at the beginning of the spring semester.  Thanks are due to a great many members of this wonderful law school community, and I hope to be able to give these thanks in person over the course of the coming academic year.  More importantly, I hope to earn this trust with my hard work and good service over the course of my deanship.

I am very clear that this is a trust in every salient sense of the word.  Northwestern Law’s reputation as one of the nation’s top law schools reaches across many generations of lawyers and has been built methodically with the hard, passionate work of committed faculty and staff.  We will continue to work hard on behalf of our students and with the sense of purpose owed to our distinguished alumni who are truly a “who’s who” of the profession’s best and brightest.   I am a newcomer to this community to be sure, but one who has admired from afar what the Law School has accomplished, what it stands for, and I now recognize its potential for even greater excellence.  The celebrated Chicago architect, Daniel Burnham, advised famously to “make no little plans, for they have no magic to stir blood and probably themselves will not be realized.”  Yes, indeed this reflects my ambitions and objectives for Northwestern Law as I undertake this important post.

There will be other venues to speak more concretely about plans and policies, about opportunities and ideas, and about expectations and resources.  For now, let me share just a few thoughts by way of general framework.  First, I will work to the best of my ability, and with the integrity, honesty, and transparency befitting this leadership position to advance the Law School in all its extraordinary dimensions.  Second, the core goal around which planning and implementation will find its rightful place will be to serve the educational mission of the Law School — to provide a first-class legal education for Northwestern Law’s students and to forge opportunities for them to realize great professional success in their chosen endeavors.  And third, the Law School’s best aims will require a collaborative, inclusive process, with constant attention on my part and on the part of the Law School’s faculty and administration, to the good ideas that emerge from thoughtful, energetic members of our community working together.

Northwestern Law is rightly proud of its reputation for innovation, and David Van Zandt’s able leadership during the past 15 years has created a solid foundation on which to build.  Here we make big plans; we think outside the box; and we lead the way in developing initiatives suited to this rapidly changing profession.  Such innovation requires creativity, agility, and boldness enlightened through collective engagement in a common enterprise.  My deanship will be guided by this common enterprise and I look forward to joining with all of you in these collaborative pursuits.

A last introductory thought about the coming transition:  The Law School moves ever forward, and the fall semester will be, as always, a busy and dynamic time filled with vital energy and purpose.  We are all very fortunate to have Professor Kim Yuracko serving for another semester as Interim Dean and I know I speak for the entire community in both admiring and supporting her continuing, excellent work on behalf of the Law School.  As the dean-designate, I will spend quality time during the fall semester (and, in truth, quantity time) in learning about the Law School, engaging actively with Law School constituents, and reflecting on the challenges and opportunities ahead.  I will eagerly reach out to you in the coming weeks and I encourage you, likewise, to reach out to me.  In doing so, you can help me better understand your hopes and ambitions for the Law School and thereby shape the agenda of the school in the months and years to come.  Thanks, in advance, for all your input; and thanks for the very warm welcome you already have given me and my wife, Leslie Oster.

Northwestern Law has accomplished much in its long history as one of our most prestigious — and also interesting — law schools.  Yet, I am confident that its best days lie ahead.

Very best regards,

Dan Rodriguez




In the past few weeks, I’ve highlighted a number of interesting professionals that come from top universities and MBA programs. In my last post, I wrote about a Stanford GSB alum who is working on bringing more women to Silicon Valley. Before that, I wrote about a friend of mine that recently launched a social network after his run for Congress. Well another person I know is named Leland Cheung. Leland is not only a dual degree student at MIT Sloan and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government but he is also currently seeking re-election for Cambridge City Council.

Since graduating from Stanford, Leland has had a pretty interesting career.  He’s worked at organizations such as Space Adventures and Masthead Ventures (venture capital firm). He’s worked as a fellow at the Department of Energy. And he’s worked not only with the community in Boston but also with the National Association of Asian American Professionals.

In addition to these roles, Leland also recently secured the coveted position as a member of City Council in Cambridge. And after one year in office, Leland is gearing up for his second campaign.

According to Leland’s webpage, it’s shaping up to be a busy month. He’s been holding town hall meetings around the community and talking about ways we can improve our city, working with summer interns and participating in panels at the National Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAAP) career fair.

What I find most interesting about Leland is that he is demonstrating the real power of a business degree. His education has not only allowed him to have access to top jobs and networking opportunities but also to the political landscape of Cambridge and its most important policy issues.

In my view, top MBA programs need many more people just like Leland. That understand that business school is not only about careers like consulting, banking and strategy, but also about entrepreneurship and the public sector. That you don’t have to take the traditional route to be successful. And that you don’t have to follow the masses, just because you go to a certain school.

Likewise, the JD-MBA program here at Northwestern could also use more people just like this. People who are not only considering corporate law and business jobs but those who are also considering government and entrepreneurial roles.  If you fit in that category, the program would love to hear from you.

Either way, best of luck Leland on launching your new campaign.

To learn more about Leland, see


Alley To The Valley and Women in the Start-Up Space

On August 28, 2011, in Diversity, by Jeremy C Wilson

Have you ever wondered what it takes to become the next big entrepreneur in Silicon Valley? Or creating an internet company that takes off, not only locally but also all across the US? Or what about forming a social enterprise that really does have impact and change the world?  Well if you have dreamed about doing any of this, then perhaps you’ll find this organization interesting. The organization name is Alley for the Valley.

I talk a lot on my site about some of my MBA friends in the start up and non profit spaces. Well another one of my friends is taking part in a new organization. The organization name is Alley for the Valley, and one of my friends Lauren Westbrook from Stanford GSB is currently working with the organization.

Over this past summer, Lauren has been working for a company called Alley to the Valley through Stanford GSB’s Entrepreneurial Summer program. The organization is very interesting. Not only is it an exclusive (invite-only) organization for women but it’s also making a lot of headway into the Silicon Valley start-up space.  As of today, it’s been in the NY Times, it’s getting a ton of media attention and momentum, and many of its selected members are starting to get major funding opportunities, coveted jobs, media exposure, a chance to attend conferences alongisde like Rosie Rios (U.S. treasurer), Heidi Roizen (Silicon Valley investor/expert), and Sheryl Sandberg (COO of Facebook).

My friend Lauren is helping to handpicking some new members, and and reached out to me to help spread the word. As such, I wanted to post here to send out information on the group. It’s great seeing my friends use business school to not only improve their own careers but also to engage in entrepreneurial ventures and work toward changing the world.

Click here to learn more about the organization. See below for the official invitation that I received. And drop me a line if you’re interesting in hearing more.



Attend a Kellogg MBA Information Session on September 6, 2011

On August 17, 2011, in Careers, by Jeremy C Wilson

The Fall season is one of my favorite times of the year.  Not only because schools starts back up again but also because the MBA admissions cycle is in full swing. That means students will become visiting campus, sitting in on the classes, and contacting current students looking for a golden ticket to gain admissions into top MBA programs all over the country. Well, in addition to that, a lot of programs also hold information sessions across the country. And one of them happens to be put on by the Kellogg School of Management in early September.

At long last, the admission seasons is finally ramping up again. As such, I wanted to write a quick post to inform you about an upcoming Information Session in Chicago.  Since Chicago is a hub for people that apply to the Kellogg School, I thought I would pass along the official invitation for the event, which is put on by the Kellogg admissions team. I suspect that many of my readers might be interested in attending.

The event will be the first of two events that are held in Chicago. This one will be held on September 6, 2011 and the second will be held on a date which is still to be determined.

In general, these events are always a lot of fun. Not only are they are a great chance to mingle with lots of potential business school students, some who may even end up at Kellogg but also a great chance to meet admissions officers and learn more about the school.

See below for a snapshot of the invitation for the event.



MBA Internship Final Presentations

On August 15, 2011, in Job Opportunities, by Jeremy C Wilson

Thousands of MBAs finished their first year of business school in this past spring and went off into the workforce to start their summer internships. Some of them went into consulting. Others into banking and finance. And another group went to marketing, operations, general  management and a variety of other positions. But no matter which industry people went into, most of them do have one thing in common. At the end of the summer, you have to make a final presentation to some level of managers regarding the work you did for the summer.

If anecdotal evidence isn’t good enough for you, then I’d suggest taking a look at Facebook immediately. See what all your MBA friends are saying about work.  I did just that this morning and saw a pretty wide variety of messages.

In one case I saw a message that said “Today I have to present my final presentation. Wish me luck.” In another example, a status message said “Working late hours to finish my presentation to my client.”  Even this morning, one of my classmates and friends working at Pepsi for the summer left a message on her wall “final presentation today!! wish me luck!”  Even at 9:49am she had 7 “likes” (including me) and 13 “comments”.  A number of comments say “Good luck.” Others say “knock em dead.” And one even says, “You will amaze them with your brilliance, I am sure :).”

So why so many responses to such a simple message? That’s a good question. It’s because most MBAs, especially those at top schools undergo the exact same experience. They have to present what they worked on at the end of the summer. And those final two weeks can be pretty difficult, depending on the employer, industry, and manager you are working with because in a lot of cases not only are the expectations high but the pressure people put on themselves is also high.

During that time, students often work harder to tie up loose ends. Put in more time to fine tune all the details. And spend more time prepping to deliver a compelling presentation to senior management. All with one goal in mind – to get an offer.

In addition to getting an offer, many students also hope to refine their presentation skills, prove they can add value to an employer (even in two months), and even just make a good impression. After all, you never know if you’ll run into some of your summer co-workers again.

Either way, no matter what the reason is, if you just finished your first year of business school and find yourself with an MBA summer job, there’s a pretty big chance you’ll be doing exactly the same thing.

In sum, for those that just finished their presentations in the last week; congratulations.  For those finishing up this week; best of luck wrapping up.   And for those entering school now waiting until summer 2012 for their summer internship experience; get ready. Your time will come next sumer.


Applicant Question: How is Your Time At Vedder Price Going?

On August 11, 2011, in Law School, by Jeremy C Wilson

Everyone in business school and in law school hears this question a lot.  How did your summer go? Did you like the work you did? How did you like the firm and the people there? Do you want to go back? It’s what a first year asks a second year at Kellogg. And what a second years asks a third year in law school. Well, in a recent question from one of my readers, I was asked how things are going at my law firm (Vedder Price) this summer. See below for the question; and below that for my response.



Hi Jeremy:

You said you were employed at a law firm. How is that going? Are you working for the litigation department or the corporate side? What is your area of specialization? Would you mind describing a typical day as a summer associate?





Hi (name),

Thanks for reading and for your question about Vedder Price.

Overall, my experience so far with Vedder Price has been quite good.  As a bit of background information, I was lucky enough to get a job there as a first year law student, which was especially nice last year during the middle of the economic downturn.  So this is actually my second summer at the firm.

During the last summer, I worked across many of the practice areas. I worked with the corporate group and investment services group, and I also worked  with the litigation and employment groups.  Within those groups, the assignments always varied, where I worked on mergers and acquisitions deals, construction litigation cases, non-profit litigation memos, executive compensation negotiations, and employment law disputes.  I really enjoyed my time there and appreciated to opportunity not only to get a wide range of legal experiences but also to do so during my first summer.

This summer, my experience with the Firm has been a lot more focused, but still very positive overall. It started at the beginning of the summer, when I was attending all the social events and getting to know people, even when I was still working at my first employer, a management consulting firm. The firm had dinners, happy hours, baseball games and WhirlyBall just to name a few activities.This really confirmed how much I liked Vedder Price.

Just this week, I officially started back up at the firm, and I joined the firm’s Corporate group. Specifically, I am working with the Finance and Transactions team, which is headed up by the firm CEO and President, Mr. Michael Nemeroff. Ironically, I will be meeting up with tomorrow afternoon to talk more about the group; it will be good to chat with him more about the firm and how things are looking for the future.

In general, the Finance and Transactions group is split up into two parts: Mergers & Acquisitions and Financing.

The Mergers and acquisitions group works on every aspect of corporate strategy, dealing with the buying, selling, dividing and combining of different companies and similar entities. Most M&A transactions touch on a variety of specialty legal practice areas, including intellectual property, employee benefits, executive compensation, taxation, antitrust law, environmental, real estate and estate and financial planning.

The Financing and Secured Transactions attorneys represent borrowers, lenders, and mezzanine financiers in a broad array of transactions.  Lending clients, including commercial finance companies, banks, trustees, credit providers and other institutional lenders, receive the benefit of Vedder Price’s experience in structuring asset-based, general commercial and cash-flow loan transactions, loan restructurings and equipment leasing transactions.

In general, most new F&T lawyers at Vedder Price start off working both with the M&A group and the financing group. Then after spending about a year working across the groups, they tend to choose one path or the other depending on their interest, work flow, and partners they tend to work with.  I suspect I’ll be taking the same approach during my time.

This past week, I’ve spent a bit more time on the M&A side, helping with contract reviews and due diligence.  But since I’m only at the firm for a few weeks, it’s hard to see the full deal. Further, I’ve spent equally as much time meeting folks at the firm as I have working on projects.  So far, it’s been great, and I look forward to seeing how the rest of the time here goes. And when I do, I’ll be sure to update on everything.

Stay tuned to hear how the rest of the summer goes.


Planning Our KWEST Trip to Ecuador

On August 7, 2011, in Business School, by Jeremy C Wilson

I’ve alluded to it a lot the past couple of weeks already, but recently, I’ve been doing a lot of planning for my upcoming trip to Ecuador.  Because I got to know one of the travel guides early in the the school year last year, I have taken the lead on a lot of the planning on the trip this year. And boy has it taken quite a bit of time. Fortunately at this point, the itinerary is just about set, and all of us are very excited to leave for the trip in two weeks from today.

At long last, we’re finally only two weeks away from embarking on our trip to Ecuador.  But getting here hasn’t necessarily been easy. In fact, this summer has been and will continue to be busy planning. Because not only did I have school and work this summer,but I also had to help finalize plans for the trip.

Just today we had a 90 minute planning call. On the call, we walked through the details of our itinerary for every single day. We came up with questions for our tour guide.  We thought about the pre-party we’ll have the night before we leave. And we brainstormed games and ice breakers to play not only during the pre=party but also for each day on the trip.

In addition to all of that, we also thought about the packing list we got from our tour guide. We discussed which backpacks we might buy for the trip. How much we planned to spend on all of our items. And also how soon we needed to buy everything given we’re leaving in two weeks.

But even after our 90 minute call, there are still a lot of things we still need to figure out. Later this week, we’ll set up another conference call with the travel planner. And after that, we’ll probably have another phone call later in the week to talk about more of the details.

Why so much planning you ask? Because in the end, these trips are enormously important at Kellogg. It’s the way that 20 students are first introduced to the Kellogg family. And more importantly a way to showcase the teamwork orientation at Kellogg. To help them travel with an interesting group of classmates who they’ve never met before. To give them activities and mixers to meet their classmates. And to facilitate discussions with everyone that don’t focus on work but instead on all the other things that make them unique.

It will definitely be interesting to see who ends up on my trip. Stay tuned to hear more about our trip to KWEST Ecuador.


2011 Summer Update

On August 6, 2011, in Consulting, by Jeremy C Wilson

Two years into the JD-MBA program, we’ve all finally come to realize how busy things keep being. In our first years we were 1Ls, which in most cases speaks for itself.  The following summer we had full time course loads in addition to many other activities. In my case, I had that and a full-time job at a law firm. In our second year, we were all first year students again but this time at Kellogg, where things were faster and more competitive than ever before. And this summer, most of us looked forward to having more free time. Except in my case, I decided to split my time at two jobs, launch a new website/company, and take a class at all at the same time. And as a result, the busy-ness has not stopped.

At long last, the JD-MBA program is two years in and our last summer is coming to an end. I spent the first half of my summer working at a consulting firm. Fortunately, my project was local which was nice because I got to come home every day. On the other hand, it also meant I had more time to work more hours and it also meant my commute was longer since I still live in Evanston and not downtown Chicago. Either way, this past week was my last week at the firm, so I look forward to starting my law firm gig in just a few days.

However, there is still one thing standing in between me and my time at the law firm, and that is a final exam I have on Monday.  The exam is for my class Administrative Law, a Constitutional Law class that not only requires a lot of reading but also a lot of writing, at least for the final exam. I’m looking at old practice exams now and it looks like I still have quite a bit of studying to do before the Final Exam on Monday. The exam takes place from 6pm to 9pm, just about one hour after I finish my first day at the law firm.

I am also working a lot this weekend on the website/ company that I am launching. At the moment, I’m in the process of looking for web developers for the site. Someone who not only build the site but also help maintain it in the short run in case I need updates or fixes. It’s taking a surprisingly long time to go through all the emails and figure out who the right person is to help out.

In addition to that, I also have to start shopping for items I’ll need for my KWEST trip. As I’ve mentioned here before, we’ll all be headed to Ecuador in just a couple of weeks, and I’ll need a large array of outdoor apparel, including boots, shirts, backpacks and toiletries.

And finally, I also have to choose classes for next year, a process which is much harder than it sounds. I have to balance my units at the law school with those at Kellogg. I have to be sure I satisfy all my law school requirements – Perspectives class, Professional Skills class, Ethics class, etc. I also have to think about how much to bid for my legal classes and pick teams for my Kellogg classes. A lot more complicated than I thought it would be.

As you might suspect, it sounds like this week is going to be hectic and that August in general is going to be a crazy month just like it was last summer. But either way, I can’t complain. Because just when August ends, things pick up even more. Not only does law school start, but then KWEST happens. Then recruiting also picks up. And then Kellogg classes begin.  It will be interesting to see how everything plays out over the upcoming weeks.

But perhaps more interesting is the fact that we’re all pretty far along the way now in the JD-MBA program. I can’t wait to see where all my classmates end up. I look forward to sharing more about it in the upcoming months. Stay tuned!


Northwestern Law Announces New Dean Daniel Rodriguez

On July 31, 2011, in Law School, by Jeremy C Wilson

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.


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.


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



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

Choosing Classes at Kellogg and Northwestern Law School

On July 16, 2011, in Law School, by Jeremy C Wilson

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.



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


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.



Leadership: How To Start A Movement

On July 9, 2011, in Leadership, by Jeremy C Wilson

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.






The Leader Who Had No Title

On July 7, 2011, in Leadership, by Jeremy C Wilson

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.




Deep Dive

On July 4, 2011, in Consulting, by Jeremy C Wilson

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.

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