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Spring 2012  |  Volume 5 – Number 1 The Magazine for Alumni & Friends of the College of Business Administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago

Boundless Communication Demands Better Communication pg 4  I  Celebrating the CBA pg 8 Building a Better Business Association pg 12  I  Exploring American Entrepreneurship pg 14

The Magazine for Alumni & Friends of the College of Business Administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago

The Magazine for Alumni & Friends of the College of Business Administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago

The Magazine for Alumni & Friends of the College of Business Administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago


The Magazine for Alumni & Friends of the College of Business Administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago

Spring 2012

The Magazine for Alumni & Friends of the College of Business Administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago

Dear alumni and friends, Your involvement creates your network. The Magazine for Alumni & Friends of the College of Business Administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago

The economy is changing, the world is changing. Business is changing. Here at the UIC CBA Advancement Office, we are strategically addressing these changes with help from our alumni The Magazine volunteers. One of the most significant for Alumni & Friends of the College of Business Administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago changes has been the reaffirmation of the power of networking for success. Whatever business publication you refer to will report that a large percentage of jobs are found through networking contacts. And alumni contacts are some the strongest you can have. This year, under the leadership of Don Bielinski (BS ’71), we have worked to refocus the Business Advisory Council to meet the changing needs of the college and industry. Under Don’s guidance, the group continues to gain strength and will work to help the college with resource development, outreach into the business community, and branding. We are very grateful to Don and the BAC members for allowing us to be part of their extensive networks to help the college. I also want to thank Jonathan Greenspahn (MBA ’95), president of the Business Alumni Association for his and his board’s dedication in taking that important alumni group to the next level. We have had a very successful year with alumni programming with the “How Chicago Works” events, Annual Holiday Party and Commencement Celebrations. Make time in your schedule for these events and you won’t be disappointed! We continue to highlight the achievements of all our alumni. This year’s Celebrating the CBA event had a record-breaking attendance with 265 alumni and friends. We are also very excited to have another international inductee into the Alumni Leadership Academy. See the great piece on page 8 for more details. Currently, there are 1,430 alumni and friends on the LinkedIn UIC College of Business Administration Group. Take a moment and join and you will be happy that you did. Your access to fellow alumni can help you in your professional journey. In the coming year, I encourage you to get more involved and enhance your personal network. As always, if you have a personal or employment achievement or update you would like to share, please contact me at rcstack@uic.edu . Best Regards, Rachel C. Stack, CFRE Assistant Dean of Advancement 2

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Contents Boundless Communication Demands Better Communication

Faculty Spotlight: Bill Kohler. . . . . . . . . . . 4

Celebrating the CBA. . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

Building a Better Business Association

Alumni Profile. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

Dominic Blank

Exploring American Entrepreneurship. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

BIZ magazine is published for alumni and friends of the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Business Administration. Project Managers Heather Hoffman Rachel C. Stack Writer Heather Hoffman Editorial Board Nicole Askew Adrienne Field Roe Anthony Padgett

Design Creative Quadrant, Inc. Photographer Julie Jaidinger Printer Unique Printers Distributor Allstar Computer Mailing Services, Inc. If you have inquiries, feedback or comments, please send an e-mail to cbalumni@uic.edu.


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The Magazine for Alumni & Friend of the College of Bu at the University of

Message from the Dean  |  A Sunnier Outlook for Graduates

The Magazine for Alumni & Friend of the College of Bu at the University of

Dear Alumni and Friends, The winter of 2012 was a non-starter. March set record high temperatures. The trees budded weeks ahead of schedule. The restaurants busily put tables outside in anticipation of unheard-of demand to dine under the stars before the spring equinox. And our recent purchase of winter apparel will be set aside for next year. It makes you wonder whether even Mother Nature has opted for a “new normal.”

The Magazine for Alumni & Friend of the College of Bu at the University of

We continue to read about the restructuring of markets around the globe and are informed that what lies ahead will be quite different from what preceded us. Even as we warily scour news sources for signs of economic recovery, the signals are mixed. Although the financial markets have become quite strong over the last several months, employment growth has only marginally reduced the unemployment rate. Yet, for all the mixed signals, a better outlook for the economy seems to be taking shape. Graduates and alumni of CBA certainly hope that is the case. As we begin to move out of the Great Recession and unemployment numbers fall, our graduates will benefit from a sunnier outlook for their job prospects. Here at the CBA, we work to not only prepare our students to become successful as business leaders but more importantly, we help them get their feet on the path to a flourishing and dynamic career in business. Professor Bill Kohler helps students prepare for their careers by training them to be better communicators both in business and life; student and Fulbright scholar Dominic Blank is creating a job for himself by taking advantage of our entrepreneurship curriculum; and the Business Alumni Association is working to build a powerful network of business professionals that will be a huge resource to both students and alumni. I know that our students are on a promising path because I have seen firsthand the success a degree from the CBA can bring. You will see it as well in this issue with a great photo spread from Celebrating the CBA, an annual event at which we honor our successful alumni and generous supporters as well as recognize the future leaders of business—our CBA scholarship recipients. I hope you find the pages of BIZ informative and interesting. The college values your input and assessment of our work. So please let us know what you think, let us know what we need to do to be even better, let us know what should be strengthened and protected as well as what needs to be re-engineered and right-sized. The College of Business Administration aspires to greatness and we need everyone’s support and energy to get there. The next time you’re in the area, please stop by our offices and don’t forget to tour the renovated Douglas Hall. It’s magical! With warmest regards,

Michael A. Pagano  –  Interim Dean UIC College of Business Administration

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The Magazine for Alumni & Friends of the College of Business Administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago

Spring 2012

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The Magazine for Alumni & Friends of the College of Business Administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago

Boundless Communication Demands Better Communication The Magazine for Alumni & Friends of the College of Business Administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago

The Magazine for Alumni & Friends of the College of Business Administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago

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oday’s endless technology options have led to pervasive communication. A Blackberry on the hip, a Bluetooth in the ear and an iPad in the lap enable anyone to reach anybody else no matter the time or place. Millennials, who have grown up with these myriad options,

are accustomed to the ubiquitous chatter, but as they move from connected

college students to budding business professionals, they need to dial down the drivel and streamline their communication. “Business credibility directly corresponds with communication,” warns Bill Kohler, lecturer in managerial studies and one of four responsible for teaching CBA undergraduates the effective means of business communication. As an outside consultant, Kohler has heard his share of horror stories from business professionals. “I hear from managers who receive 600 emails a day,” he says. “For them, communication nightmares cost time and money.” 4


The Magazine for Alumni & Friend of the College of Bu at the University of

Spring 2012

The Magazine for Alumni & Friend of the College of Bu at the University of

Faculty Spotlight | Bill Kohler, lecturer, managerial studies

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The Magazine for Alumni & Friend of the College of Bu at the University of

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The Magazine for Alumni & Friends of the College of Business Administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago

Spring 2012

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The Magazine for Alumni & Friends of the College of Business Administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago

Headlines & Hashbrowns The Magazine for Alumni & Friends of the College of Business Administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago

“Much of a student’s education occurs outside of class. Casual conversations allow a student to apply what they’ve learned, and many offer different perspectives that lead to that ‘Ah ha’ moment,” says Kohler. “Casual conversations provide amazingly helpful information.” Kohler has more opportunities for casual conversations with students as a member of the Faculty-inResidence program at UIC. The program was developed to put a personal face on the faculty. The Magazine for Alumni & Friends of the College of Business Administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago

majors at UIC, not to mention a variety of ages, races and ethnicities. One of the many reasons Kohler enjoys living among the students is their vast cultural differences. Thirty-five percent of the student body is bilingual. “I tell my students that the greatest asset they have on campus is their fellow students,”

As the Faculty in Residence at Marie Robinson Hall, Kohler is well-known for his biweekly Headlines and Hashbrowns program. Every other Saturday, Kohler and his wife Sharon invite students from throughout the residence hall to join them for hashbrowns, breakfast burritos, coffee and orange juice in a residence hall lounge. Headlines and Hashbrowns program gives students the opportunity to catch up on the news of the day as well as interact with other students. “I pick up a variety of different newspapers and distribute them around the room,” explains Kohler. “It’s not a structured discussion, but helps student interact and get to know one another.” Students can also take the weekly “Gee Whiz” quiz that tests them on the week’s news events. Often 30 to 40 students show up to the breakfast, but one snowy Saturday saw crowds in excess of 75. “We almost ran out of food, but it was great to see so many students.” Kohler makes his way around the room, catching up with old faces and introducing himself to new ones. The students in the room represent many of the colleges and 6

Kohler says. “Proverbs says, ‘As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.’” He stresses the value of on-campus living lies in interacting with others and learning to understand and accept the cultural differences among people in such close quarters. He noticed that residence hall living has a great impact on many aspects of student life. Students living on campus have higher GPA and retention rates as well as higher participation at sporting events and in groups and organizations. “We’re building a community,” he explains.


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Spring 2012

Kohler uses authentic stories to show students good written communication is more than an abstract classroom concept. His BA 200 class, a requirement for all CBA undergrads, uses individual and team projects to illustrate the basics of business writing. From drafting a memo to penning a proposal, Kohler leads his students through the general theories of audience, purpose, economy and style. Building upon this core set of concepts, he helps his students understand the value of good communication and overcome some habits of this highly connected generation. “Today, students have to develop certain skills: how to refuse requests politely; how to deliver bad news. Relationships are bank accounts, with many deposits and withdrawals,” Kohler explains. He uses this metaphor to help students recognize that communication styles change depending on relationship. Communication between students demands a different style than between student and professor. Later, the employer/employee relationship will mimic the latter.

Today, students have to develop certain skills: how to refuse requests politely; how to deliver bad news. Relationships are bank accounts, with many deposits and withdrawals. “I ask them to think of the professor as the client,” he says. “I tell them to grow that relationship through careful word choice, because business relies on relationship building.” As a “client,” he grades his students holistically: Would I hire you? Did you communicate appropriately? Kohler is teaching toward job success, so he challenges students to transfer classroom lessons into real life. He pushes students to develop an elevator speech and coaches them on answering interview questions. “The average answer should be 20 to 120 seconds, no more,” he advises. “Responses should be split into 30 second components: past, strengths, future goals. I tell students to address what’s not on the resume and to think of themselves as resources.” A slightly unexpected bit of advice, Kohler advises students to keep a blog and guide prospective employers to it. He believes well-written blogs can be a good interview tool, because people are more expressive in their writing than when speaking. This kind of social media can be helpful in letting an employer know you better.

The Magazine for Alumni & Friend of the College of Bu at the University of

While Kohler acknowledges that social media can stymie productivity, he doesn’t believe it has become a complete detriment to business communication. Its trend toward more informal communication style has led to a word-of-mouth society that demands clear messaging.

The Magazine for Alumni & Friend of the College of Bu at the University of

“Critical thinking has been challenged by the instant nature of social media, but it pushes you to get to the substance,” he says. “You have to make every word count. There has to be clarity in word choice.”

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Now that networking plays such a critical role in landing a job, verbal communication and casual conversation are extremely important functions of business communication. “Poor communication can lead to broken relationships, so I advise my students to establish trust, and strengthen personal credibility.” It’s not always possible to overhaul someone’s communication skills in one semester, but Kohler has a team of coaches who help students outside of class. “It’s been busy, I had a line of students outside my door,” says Sue Nelson, a BA 200 writing coach who will be teaching the class in fall 2012. Nelson and veteran BA 200 lecturers Jie Wang and Tony Corte join Kohler in a focused effort to improve student writing in the CBA. Better writing leads to higher GPAs. Kohler knows that learning these fundamentals early on can help students raise their GPA, which is why he advises students to take the class early on in their college career. “You become a better writer by reading more,” he says. For students who want to continue to improve their writing, Kohler also teaches BA 300, persuasive writing in business. “This was an important class for me, because I believe in expanding the writing curriculum,” he says. “At the CBA, we need to make sure business students can express themselves clearly in the written word.”

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The Magazine for Alumni & Friends of the College of Business Administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago

Spring 2012

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The Magazine for Alumni & Friends of the College of Business Administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago

Celebrating the CBA The Magazine for Alumni & Friends of the College of Business Administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago

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The Magazine for Alumni & Friends of the College of Business Administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago

3 1. Chancellor Paula Allen-Meares greets alumni and friends at Celebrating the CBA. 2. J. Bradley Sargent is inducted into the 2012 Alumni Leadership Academy by Interim Dean Michael Pagano. 3. Axel Strotbek, 2012 ALA inductee, gives his acceptance speech via video since he could not make in person due to commitments in Germany. 4. Student scholarship recipients and donors network and meet during the reception. 5. Vivek Mullick, MBA ’08, is recognized for his achievements and inducted into the ALA at Celebrating the CBA.

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The Magazine for Alumni & Friend of the College of Bu at the University of

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The Magazine for Alumni & Friend of the College of Bu at the University of

On March 6, 2012 alumni, students and donors gathered to recognize the accomplishments of the college at “Celebrating the CBA.” This year, five alumni were inducted into the Alumni Leadership Academy, 5

The Magazine for Alumni & Friend of the College of Bu at the University of

Najeem Dayisi, MBA ’04, Vivek Mullick, MBA ’08, J. Bradley Sargent, BS ’99, Edward Schrank, BS ’07, MBA ’09 and Axel Strotbek, MBA ’91. The CBA also recognized Larry Holleran with the appreciation award; Jonathan Greenspahn, MBA ’95, with the University of Illinois Alumni Association Alumni Loyalty Award; Motorola Solutions Foundation with the CBA’s Community Award; and Finance Professor Mary Brown with the Faculty Award.

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6 6. Business Alumni Association members Chris Kearney, BS ’09; Scott Garney, MBA ’95, Nick Symon, BS ’10; Jonathan Greenspahn, MBA ’95; Aksh Gupta, BS ’07; and James Connelly, BS ’03, gather at Celebrating the CBA. 7. Najeemdeen Dayisi, MBA 2004, is inducted into the 2012 Alumni Leadership Academy. 8. Jennifer Haywood is honored as the 2012-2013 Marie Nesbitt Promise Prize recipient.

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The Magazine for Alumni & Friends of the College of Business Administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago

Spring 2012

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The Magazine for Alumni & Friends of the College of Business Administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago

The Magazine for Alumni & Friends of the College of Business Administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago

The Magazine for Alumni & Friends of the College of Business Administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago

Interim Dean Michael Pagano congratulates Santino Casas on his scholarship as Diego Casas looks on.

Former Dean Ralph Westfall and Mary Clark, Assistant Dean of Liautaud Graduate School of Business, catch up during the reception.

Professor Bob Chirinko catches up with Scott Garney, Business Alumni Association committee member.

Anita Ivanova thanks RSMcGladrey representatives, Saied Alirad and Dan Persico, for their generous scholarship.

(Left to Right), Professor Emeritus Gib Bassett, Professor Bob Liden, Professor Sandy Wayne, Kathleen Holleran, Associate Professor Mark Shanley, and Appreciation Award Winner Larry Holleran, gather to celebrate Larry’s honor for his dedication to the CBA.

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Spring 2012

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The Magazine for Alumni & Friend of the College of Bu at the University of

The Magazine for Alumni & Friend of the College of Bu at the University of

J. Fred McLimore Memorial Scholarship donor, Shirley Roy, talks with student scholar Djordje Savic over dinner.

Finance Professor Mary Brown accepts the CBA Faculty Award.

Current undergraduate student Alfonzo Howard speaks about how his scholarship has made a huge impact on his CBA experience.

Edward Schrank, 2012 Alumni Leadership Academy inductee, thanks the Liautaud Graduate School of Business for their support while he was a student.

Business Alumni Association President Jonathan Greenspahn is honored with the University of Illinois Alumni Association Loyalty Award for his loyalty and dedication to the college and the BAA.

UIC’s Associate Chancellor for Alumni Relations Arlene Norsym congratulates scholarship recipients at the reception.

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The Magazine for Alumni & Friends of the College of Business Administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago

Spring 2012

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Building a Better Business Association The Magazine for Alumni & Friends of the College of Business Administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago

The Magazine for Alumni & Friends of the College of Business Administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago

O

ver the past five years, the Business Alumni Association has significantly changed and is growing into an organization that is truly representative of the alumni of the College of Business Administration. With a pool of successful and talented individuals some 33,000 strong, the CBA alumni association has the opportunity to be a networking powerhouse for both alumni and students. But pulling the organization from its dormant past was truly a study in corporate strategy. Much like the acquisition of a failed company, taking on the presidency of the BAA was no easy task. Jim Connelly, BS ’03, knew it would take time, effort and a strong team to lead the turnaround of the organization. So to begin, he took a small shortcut. “I ripped up the charter,” he says. “The first thing we did was tear it down and start all over again.” He and his small

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team of BAA members started rewriting the bylaws and forming committees. With an organizational structure in place, Connelly next set out to build relationships. He spent the first six to nine months of his term going out and meeting people, trying to recruit passionate people who were motivated to make change. “I was looking for


The Magazine for Alumni & Friend of the College of Bu at the University of

Spring 2012

The Magazine for Alumni & Friend of the College of Bu at the University of

Alumni Profile | Business Alumni Association people who wanted more than something to put on their resume,” he says. After shaking many hands, his put together a core group of 8 to 12 people to head and grow the committees. Connelly recruited David Henkes, MBA ’96, who would be the next person to step into the role of president. While Connelly had focused on building the organizational structure, David moved onto strengthening that structure to ensure it could weather change of leadership. “I know alums are always busy, so we wanted to give them an established organization to come into,” he says. He also wanted to build events that alumni would be interested in attending. He developed the How Chicago Works event, which showcases a local Chicago business. The event has featured tours of Wrigley Field, Half Acre Brewing, WTTW and the Chicago Center for Green Technology. “Building branded events is an important tool to keeping alumni engaged,” says Henkes. “How Chicago Works is a good way to bring people together and identify important businesses in the city, plus it is a good blend of professional and fun event.”

Greenspahn has consistently grown attendance at events like the BAA Graduation Party, inviting new graduates to immediately form a connection with the alumni association. “I had a large gap from when I graduated to when I reconnected with the CBA,” explains Jonathan. “We want to make sure we don’t lose these new graduates, but that they immediately become active alumni.”

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Each president has built upon what the other one has made and the momentum looks to continue on in the future. Soon a new president will take the reins of the organization with new goals in mind.

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“We have the largest alumni base in the city of Chicago. We need to utilize that for each other,” says Greenspahn. The BAA is now looking for alumni to become an active part of student life. Alumni can be the greatest resource these students have. The mentoring program has become a great asset for students, and the BAA looks to expand those kinds of connection through alumni resume reviews, career workshops and inside looks at local companies. “There are plenty of alums who want to be connected, but were lacking a way to do that,” says Henkes. “This is a good network to be in, and we are working to expand the opportunities for involvement.” Connelly, Henkes and Greenspahn recognize that the BAA is an evolving organization, but they know it will grow into something wonderful. As they continue to recruit dedicated board members, gather more alumni to reconnect at events, and diversify the opportunities for engagement, they hope to see the Business Alumni Association grow into an organization that truly represents and utilizes the high caliber of its members.

As Henkes worked on expanding attendance numbers and providing interesting, fun events, he also continued to recruit new members to the board. His recruit Jonathan Greenspahn, MBA ’95, became the next board president. Over the past two years, Greenspahn worked to build new events, increase attendance and diversify the offerings to engage varied constituents. “The BAA is made up of alumni with different experiences—undergraduates and graduate students, accounting majors and finance majors, recent alum and alum from many years ago—we are trying to build programs that suit each of their needs,” explains Greenspahn.

Jonathan Greenspahn, Jim Connelly and David Henkes discuss their roles in reshaping the new Business Alumni Association.

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Exploring American Entrepreneurship The Magazine for Alumni & Friends of the College of Business Administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago

The Magazine for Alumni & Friends of the College of Business Administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago

The Magazine for Alumni & Friends of the College of Business Administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago

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ccording to a recent international survey by accountancy firm Mazars, 78 percent of German entrepreneurs believe they would be better off launching their company abroad, with the United Kingdom and the United States being the most attractive locations. For MBA candidate and German Fulbright Scholar Dominic Blank, the U.S. reputation for entrepreneurship pulled him in as well and brought him to the Liautaud Graduate School of Business. Blank is at UIC as part of the German-American Fulbright Program, the largest and most varied of the Fulbright programs worldwide. He is a part of the defining division of the program, the student exchange. “The purpose of the student program is an exchange scholarship—more of an exchange of ideas—but also the opportunity to get a master’s,” explains Blank. “I received a year of funding, and that was extended to two so that I could finish my MBA.” During his short tenure in Chicago, he has worked to get a complete perspective on entrepreneurship, knowing that he will likely return to Germany after graduation. The Fulbright program requires a home residency as its fulfillment. “Basically, 14


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Student Profile | Dominic Blank, Fulbright Scholar, MBA ’12

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you have to go back to Germany and give back to your country for two years,” he says. When he leaves, Blank may have some unfinished business with a few of the projects he started, but he is excited about the opportunity to strengthen Germany’s entrepreneurship scene with the experiences he has gathered in Chicago. Helping to accelerate startup companies or assisting people in launching their own businesses are two of the possibilities Blank is weighing when he returns to Germany. “The entrepreneurship scene in Germany is both different and the same as the U.S.,” he explains. “Like the U.S., it makes up a large part of the GDP in Germany, but the German mentality is different. They are more focused on innovation at the corporate level,” says Blank who worked at Siemens before coming to UIC. “Germans tend to seek security. Coming out of university, it is more secure to join the corporate world, but in the U.S. people are more willing to reinvent themselves.” Working as a graduate assistant at the CBA’s Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies, Blank saw firsthand the American desire to reinvent oneself. “I saw people in their 40s and 50s who wanted to start over or change jobs or fields,” he recalls. “Americans are more willing to try and fail.” At IES, Blank had the opportunity to work with clients, current or aspiring small business owners, and coordinate the Entrepreneurial Student Teams program. He saw up close the challenges that entrepreneurs face and it only fueled his desire to be one himself. He found plenty of opportunities to put that passion to use as an MBA student, starting with student organizations, where he immediately took on a leadership role with the MBAA. One of his first priorities was launching some new programs. The first was Innovation Incubator, which he started with fellow MBA candidate Thomas Riordan. Innovation Incubator is an interdisciplinary undertaking that seeks to connect budding entrepreneurs with talent and resources across the UIC campus. It saw great success in its first year, and Blank and Riordan have already transferred leadership to a new team, so that its growth will continue with a new crop of students. Blank also launched the Liautaud Peer Mentoring program, which is the first of its kind at the graduate school. The program matches second-year students to first-year students to guide them as to what classes to take and what student organizations will most benefit them and their career path. “I wish I had had this

my first year,” says Blank. “It eases your way into grad school and helps creates ties among students.”

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While injecting his entrepreneurial spirit into student clubs, Blank also got the opportunity to launch his own real technology business, NovoView Diagnostics, as part of the Technology Ventures course. The technology Blank and his teammates chose is called EyeFlow, a patent-pending technology developed by UIC researcher Mahnaz Shahidi, PhD, Morton F. Goldberg Professor in Ophthalmology. Blank and his team used Technology Ventures to create NovoView as an early-stage medical device company focused on safely and effectively assessing the risk for ischemic stroke. After success at the CBA’s own Concept2Venture Business Plan Competition, where Blank and his teammates Michele Lynn Shah and Joseph Sheahan, took home First Place in the Graduate Competition as well as Best Elevator Speech, they moved on to wins in competitions across the country, including invitations to compete at the Rice Business Plan and the Venture Labs Competitions (formerly Moot Corp). It is the success of NovoView that has Blank digging his heels at the thought of returning to his home country. “I will likely extend my stay for another 18 months to raise seed-funding for NovoView and pass it off to a more experienced, seasoned leadership team,” he says. “We have gained some traction on these competitions, which are a good way to get yourself out there and show people that you credible and talented with a great investment opportunity at hand.” Blank has hopes that entrepreneurship can move forward in Germany, especially with people like himself who have the passion, drive, and now—a little insight into that “entrepreneurial mindset.” He packed his two years at UIC full of entrepreneurial activities and he plans to put this experience to good use once he returns to Germany. “I would like to start a company over there. That is why I came to the U.S. I wanted to do it, live entrepreneurship and go through the entire process. What separates many people from being an entrepreneur and not being one is one thing only: getting off the couch and make the first step,” Blank says. “When I applied to UIC, I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur. Due to differences in mentality it’s tougher starting a company in Germany, but if I went back, that is something I would like to change.” 15


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Spring 2012  |  Volume 5 – Number 1 The Magazine for Alumni & Friends of the College of Business Administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago

The UIC College of Business Administration creates new knowledge, business, value and leaders for Chicago and the world beyond.

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Professors Nitish Sinha, J. Christopher Westland, Tom Bothen and Sid Bhattacharya were honored at the Liautaud Faculty Appreciation Luncheon. Each year, current Liautaud students vote for their favorite professors in each program.

To help us better communicate with you, please send your preferred contact information (postal address, phone numbers and e-mail address) to Rachel C. Stack at rcstack@uic.edu or call (312) 413-3050.

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