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Business Today

  •  Raymond Yu - Advisory Board Merit Scholar

    Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013 4:00 PM

    Raymond Yu, recipient of the Andrew & Joyce Miller Advisory Board Merit Scholarship recently joined the Leavey School of Business to earn his MBA. He is currently working full-time as a manager in the NPI (New Product Introduction) organization at Intuitive Surgical, a Sunnyvale based $15 Billion global leader in the rapidly emerging field of robotic-assisted minimally invasive surgery.

    We talked to him about his experiences with the Leavey School of Business so far:
    Why did you decide to go back to school?
    I went back to school primarily to advance my skills in leading innovative organizations.  Intuitive Surgical is a fast paced extremely innovative company, the global leader in the rapidly emerging field of robotic-assisted minimally invasive surgery.  Although having strong technical skills and some management skills learned on the job, I felt I needed more formal training.  I found myself rapidly facing new challenges as a manager, lacking the luxury of time to learn from my own mistakes.  I felt an MBA would accelerate my professional growth by leveraging the experiences of others.  I respect a great number of leaders at my company all whom have advanced degrees in management so going back to school made sense.
    Why did you choose SCU?
    I specifically chose LSB for several reasons; the student body, alignment of values, curriculum, flexibility and convenience.  Consisting of working Silicon Valley professionals like myself, the student body at LSB face similar management challenges.  Santa Clara's philosophy of educating the whole person; educating for competence, conscience, and compassion is also in alignment with my values.  I believe in giving back to the community and that technology should be used for the greater good.  The curriculum, particularly the concentration "Leading Innovative Organizations" is very much aligned with my professional goals.  Flexibility of the evening MBA program and convenience of the campus being only minutes from work allows me to continue working full-time and immediately apply the skills learned in class.  
    What do you hope the Leavey School of Business will do for you?
    I am hoping the skills I learn and the network I build through LSB will advance my skills in leading innovative organizations.  Throughout my career I have always been passionate about innovation and developing technology. That passion has led me along the path from engineer to managing and leading teams through the challenges of new product introduction.  Building upon a foundation of broad work experience and leadership skills an MBA would augment my technical acumen with management perspective.
    What do you think of your experiences here so far?
    I have been very happy so far with the instructors, courses and the relevancy of course material.  The instructors are not only knowledgeable about their subjects but bring a practicality and wisdom from real industry experience, some serving as VPs and CFOs at local Silicon Valley companies.  I have also met a diverse group of professionals from various industries through the program.  It has been refreshing to hear their perspectives and differing viewpoints. Overall, although challenging to balance working full time and school, the experience has been rewarding and well worth the effort.
  •  Mission Sustainable Challenge

    Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013 11:09 AM

    Engage in the spirituality of sustainability. Participate in a daily action and reflection challenge throughout the month of October. Read, act, and contemplate on your own, or attend events and reflect with friends and other campus community members.

    The new Mission Sustainable Challenge is a great opportunity for SCU's students, faculty and staff to practice behavior change around issues related to sustainability.  The Challenge was developed through the leadership of Julia Claire Landry in SCU's Campus Ministry along with the Center for Sustainability and a cadre of committed faculty and staff who recognize that the way forward to a more wholesome, more sustainable future is based upon collective behavior change.  Extending the type of collective action called for in the Challenge beyond SCU's immediate community would require additional support.  A recent research study facilitated by Guardian Sustainable Business, Business in the Community, and ComRes provides quantitative evidence for the commonly held insight that individuals need business, and government, to inspire and ease this shift into sustainable behavior.  The 2013 Sustainable Behavior Change Marketplace Survey Report represents the responses from 328 organizations, two-thirds of which were private companies, from a wide range of industries.  (It's also noteworthy that over half of the individuals serving as their organization's respondent were at Director level or above.)  Ninety-seven percent of the respondents indicated that they believe organizations should try to influence the behaviors of their employees, customers, and suppliers, and 94% of those surveyed believe sustainable behavior change is important to help their organization improve its impact on society and achieve long-term success.  The private sector is seen (55%) as the most responsible for making it easier for people to act and change their behavior and, in fact, 75% of the organizations surveyed have developed or currently are developing a program to enact behavior change in their employees and other stakeholders.

    So, why is the private sector interested in sustainable behavior change?  Well, private industry reports being concerned about economic uncertainty (91%), attracting and retaining a skilled workforce (90%), energy security (88%), and the speed of technological change (88%).  The top five factors driving the private sector to actively influence behavior changes are: 1. building stronger relationships with customers and other stakeholders (44%); 2. gaining a competitive advantage over their competitors (38%); 3. creating sustainable local communities and markets (38%); 4. showing leadership (29%); and 5. cutting resource costs (26%).  Communication was overwhelmingly identified (77%) as the most employed strategy for enacting behavior change and there was a dearth of creative approaches when other strategies were requested.  This indicates that this is an area ripe for innovation.  Serving as barriers to organizations for pursuing sustainable behavioral change strategies is a lack of senior staff buy-in (42%), a lack of funding (35%), and a lack of skills or knowledge in their employees (34%).  Only 26% cited that a lack of a business case for action was an actual barrier.  Again, this indicates an opportunity for young professionals to immediately add value to their organizations by offering the missing skills and knowledge and communicating an influential message to the senior staff who need convincing.
    If you would like to participate, click here to get started, or visit the Mission Sustainable homepage for more information.  
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