Where's Nate?

living large in the four-oh-eight. wicked large.


heading for third.

MAP is getting exciting now. We're about halfway through the project and our data is beginning to make sense. We present at Cisco HQ in exactly three weeks.

But all is not rosy in MAP-land. Witness today's email from the higher-ups at Ross:

For most teams, the next couple weeks are the hardest part of MAP. You may have found you dislike some members of your team. You may feel like you’re drowning in data – or that you’ll never get any data. It may seem like your faculty advisors and your sponsor want completely different deliverables. The end is both coming too quickly and too far off to think about. If everything is working well for your team, consider yourselves fortunate. All of this is normal. Stay focused on your project’s objectives, start planning now for your final deliverables, and keep on pushing forward.

Good advice. Now, can someone tell me where the answers are?


why you bother.

It's been a year since I got my acceptance call from Michigan, which means it's been 51 weeks since I spent a considerable amount of time trying to answer the question: "Why bother getting an MBA?" Things have come full circle. Tonight, I've been making welcome calls to accepted students, answering common questions, and offering some worthless insights.

The first question I got during recruiting season was "Why did you leave Apple?" It's a fair question, really. And it reminds me of when my colleague Paul asked me if anyone told me I was "crazy."

"Which part?" I replied. "The part about moving 2500 miles away from my wife and dog? The part about leaving the hottest company on the planet? Or the part about leaving sunny California to live in ass-cold Michigan?"

I guess it was crazy. But worth it.

Of course, it's also been hell on wheels. But I see the world differently now. My Cisco project has made me realize that not everything is a Marketing problem (but almost everything is). I now have a strong set of tools to solve problems. And it's only going to grow during my electives next year.

So to all of my future colleagues who just got accepted to Ross. Jump in. You won't regret it.


vitamin c.

oranges in the bucket, lemons in the bag.

At the end of spring break (two weeks ago), Paige and I enjoyed our annual orange picking ritual. While it wasn't as good a harvest as last year, the picture above shows about half of the output. Not too shabby.


we're number 65.

photo courtesy yahoo! sports.

Went to a great game tonight. Our squad beat Miami 71-65 in the NIT to advance to the baby Final Four at MSG next week. So even though we're not in the Dance and even though this team underachieved after a fast start, it's good to still be hooping it up. Go Blue!


cheer boys cheer.

My alma mater beat St. Norbert to win the D-III national hockey championship. It's the third in a row for the Panthers and the eighth national title since 1995, my freshman year. That's a ridiculous run in any sport at any level.

OK, Panthers. Time to move up to D-I.

hello, procrastination.

Who needs TV? If you're a March Madness fan, you don't. That's because CBS Sportsline is providing free live streams of every NCAA Tourney game. So you can watch from the comfort of your...ummm...cubicle. And if the higher ups get nosy and start to walk around this office, just hit the "Boss Button." Brilliant.

Procrastination will never be the same.


warping young minds.

I've been selected by the Office of Career Development (chuckle, "OCD") to be a Career Counselor for the 2006-07 academic year. What does that mean? Not sure, exactly. Something about reviewing resumes, conducting mock interviews, and using my one-year deep knowledge of MBA recruiting to convince more MBA1s to go into High Tech and leave the Michigan CPG comfort zone. Or something like that.

I'm actually psyched about it. This will be a great way for me to give back and to help students who are looking to crack into Silicon Valley from 2500 miles away. I'll be sure to share my strategy in a blog to follow. Suffice it to say, the off-campus search process is a tricky one. But I'm happy I took advantage of the opportunities I had to chat with tech companies that came to Ann Arbor in January and February.


of charters and scopes.

We're ten days into MAP and it's been a wild ride so far. We met with Cisco, our sponsor, last week to get a sense of our project and deliverables due at the end of April. Then the team got together to write up a Team Charter (how to work together without killing each other), Letter of Engagement (list of promises to the sponsor), and other projects.

This week we're off and running on industry and competitive analysis. Everybody on the squad is cranking it up and we haven't had any meltdowns. Yet. More updates coming soon.


scaring the crap out of the undergrads.

As recruiting season for MBA1s and MBA2s comes to a close, some of my more ambitious colleagues have declared this month as "Moustache March." The Ross Burt Reynolds Club is sponsoring the first annual facial hair growing contest, featuring three divisions (Neanderthal, Normal, and Pre-Pubescent) and a litany of rules and regulations.

The outcome? A Ross male population that looks more like a police academy than a group of the future business leaders of America. Yours truly is in the weak sauce division, as it would take me approximately six months to grow anything that could be loosely defined as a caterpillar. To see photo documentation and other contest guidelines click here. Then hide the women and children.


write anywhere.

Google continued it's march toward world domination by acquiring Writely, a truly bitchin' online documentation app. If nothing else, Google makes excellent acquisitions (see Keyhole...aka Google Earth). If you want to read more about Writely's perspective on the plan, read this. Then go to writely.com and take the app for a test drive.


asking permission.

I'm a huge fan of Seth Godin. And if you've never read Purple Cow or Free Prize Inside or Unleashing the Ideavirus you have to watch this video. Apparently, this is from a presentation Godin recently gave at the Googleplex. I guarantee it's worth thirty minutes of your time.

thanks, google video.

Marketers beware. The secret is out: we're all liars.


welcome to evergreen terrace.

I'm not sure what's scarier, that those wacky Brits had time to do the Simpsons opening credits in live action? Or that I had the time to find it online and share it with all of you. Enjoy.

thank you, clipaday.com via google video.

pull it together.

Today is day one of MAP. We all heard the same message this morning from the Associate Dean. Be prepared. Be flexible. And communicate. We meet our faculty advisor this afternoon and then meet with our sponsor from Cisco tomorrow. I won't be writing about the details of the Cisco project here, but I will keep the loyal wheresnate readership updated on the human interest components of MAP.

While my MAP travels will take me to Chicago and (hopefully) San Jose, I have classmates that are gearing up to head all over the globe: Bangalore, Hong Kong, Moscow, Prague, somewhere in the middle of Ireland. It's a bit intimidating to think that in the next six to seven weeks, we will bring concrete recommendations to the table. Cool.


hail to the bloggers valiant.

It's mildly annoying that I found out about this not through my current university, but through the Chronicle of Higher Education:

Michigan is offering free blogs to students, faculty, and staff. The university says its blog-hosting service, mBlog, isn't just a gimmick meant to amuse undergrads: Campus archivists will hand-pick blogs that may have historical value and archive their contents.

So this is pretty cool, as long as the blogs can be used for collaborative academic and extracurricular projects. And what if professors started accepting blog entries as assignments? While I doubt the B-school will plug into this movement right away, it could be a welcome distraction from next year's construction. Or an Accounting lecture.


sorry to disturb your dinner.

I guess I'm in a newly formed club at Ross. (Anyone who has received undergrad marketing surveys every twenty minutes during the spring term should have a slight appreciation for this.)

Dear RSB Community,

Please join me in congratulating the following newly elected officers of the Ross Business School Survey Club (RBSSC) Executive Board for the 2006-2007 academic year:

RBSSC President: Phil Guerci
Director of Strongly Agreeing: Andrew Burk

VP of Comment Interpretation: Efram Lebovits
VP of Apologizing for Spam: Sandeep Patel
VP of MKT 613 Relations: Nate Johnson
VP of BBA Survey Clean-up: Rod Taylor
VP of Unnecessary Officers: Samridhi Ganeriwalla
VP of Corporate Brown-Nosing: Ollie Lee
Survey Monkey Black Belt: Dave Good

Also, please take 2 minutes to complete this survey, to help the new officers determine how RBSSC can better serve the Ross community. Thanks!