Let Me Tell You About Vanderbilt

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Let me tell you about Vanderbilt.

M. Eric Johnson Ralph Owen Dean and Bruce D. Henderson Professor of Strategy Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management

We provide world-class busi ness I am passionate about this school. In everything we do, we pursue a level of excellence worthy of global recognition. At the same time, we cultivate another distinct competitive advantage by focusing on individual needs. Our size and focus allow us to interact with students, alumni and recruiters as individuals so that we can better understand and help achieve each person’s goals. We are intensely and proudly competitive with the best. But we also shape leaders who understand that collaboration is essential in today’s connected economy. And we develop businesspeople who can lead and manage change, drawing not only on what they learn here about business but also on what we help them learn about themselves. The kind of people we attract to our community makes Vanderbilt distinctive. On the following pages, I’ll introduce you to a few of them.

350 28 In any given year, the number of students we enroll across all of our one- and two-year degree programs.

On average, the number of students enrolled in an electives class.


The number of professional executive coaches we retain to work with our students as part of our signature Leadership Development Program.

education on a per s onal scale.


We measure our success against three strategic goals. Career success and impact of our graduates.

Recognition of our faculty for thought leadership.

Programs that are highly regarded by our peers, the business community and members of the Vanderbilt community.

By any measure, Bob Whaley is exceptional. And yet typical of our faculty. Known to many as “the father of the VIX,” Bob Whaley is a derivatives expert and financial innovator who is shaping the way that Wall Street works today. In addition to inventing the VIX (the CBOE Volatility Index, commonly known as the fear index), Bob has worked with other scholars and market executives—many are Vanderbilt alumni and former students—to develop the BuyWrite Monthly Index (BXM) and the Nasdaq Market Volatility Index (VXN). Bob is also known throughout the Owen community as the proprietor of Whaley’s Tavern, a custom-built 1,500-square foot Irish pub that occupies the lower level of his home. Bob brings both wisdom and thoughtfulness to his role as bartender as well as to the classroom, where students can learn from a world-class professor who knows them by name. As with all Owen faculty, Bob’s door is open to students for assistance and advice and he remains available to them long after graduation.

Robert W h a l e y

Valere Blair Potter Professor of Management (Finance) Director, Financial Markets Research Center Chairman, Vanderbilt MS Finance Advisory Board


K e n t Vanderbilt MBA | 1999 Vanderbilt MDiv | 2001 President and General Manager 3M Drug Delivery Systems Division

Cindy Kent wanted to be a leader with broader impact, not just a busi ness leader. So she came here. When Cindy Kent was being assessed as a candidate for her employer’s executive development program, she was told that her “empathy component” (as well as her cognitive and critical thinking skills) were off the charts—and that pursuing both an MBA and a divinity degree would make her a better leader, not just a better business leader. Her bosses were right. And Vanderbilt was the right choice for Cindy, who describes our school as “a nurturing environment where I could learn and thrive.” Looking back, she says she is proudest that her success “was never about leaving casualties in my wake” and that she has invested heavily in unleashing the leadership potential in others. Her rapid rise at Eli Lilly, Medtronic and now 3M came as no surprise to us. She’s just the kind of person attracted to a school that insists it is possible to be fiercely competitive without being cutthroat.


B o d a r t

Vanderbilt MBA | 1988 Managing Director, Chanel (Brazil)

We attract people who embrace new challenges. Guy Bodart is one of them. Before he came to Vanderbilt in 1986, Guy Bodart had, among other jobs, waited tables in New York, driven a cab and sold bathroom towels at Bloomingdale’s. He says he would never trade those experiences for anything; they taught him “to be relentless and to bounce back.” Persistence, hard work and a willingness to move beyond one’s comfort zone are qualities you’ll find in abundance among our students (in no small part because we seek people with those attributes). So it was no surprise to us that Guy, who grew up in Belgium and Switzerland, put his abilities and knowledge to work at Chanel, despite no prior consumer or luxury brand experience. Now, as chief executive of Chanel in Brazil, he’s helping the company succeed in one of the most challenging emerging markets in the world.

Our school is small. Our reach and impact are not. Vanderbilt isn’t both world-class and personal in scale by coincidence. I believe it is because we follow an individualized approach that our school competes at a global level. That approach enables us to impart knowledge as well as refine each person’s executive skills through teaching, mentoring, coaching and encouraging them to take on leadership roles while they are here. When you talk to our alumni and our students (as well as the companies that recruit them), you can appreciate why they believe Vanderbilt is a distinctly empowering environment for future business leaders. I became a believer after I began my academic career here in 1991— so much so that I jumped at the opportunity to return to lead this school in 2013.

I invite you to learn more about our people, our programs and our impact at owen.vanderbilt.edu. And if I can ever be of service to you, please contact me personally at eric.johnson@owen.vanderbilt.edu.

M. Eric Johnson Ralph Owen Dean and Bruce D. Henderson Professor of Strategy Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management

Our Promis e

To students: Here is a place where you will be challenged to achieve your potential, find support as you shape your future, discover lifelong friends and mentors, and open doors to new possibilities. To faculty and staff: Here is a place where you can engage, think, reach, teach, influence people, and transform the world around you. To business: Here is a place where you will find the men and women who have the skills, the drive, and the determination to move your organization forward. To alumni: Here is a place that you can call home, build business relationships, and inspire those who follow to reach even higher.

Read more about our mission, values and strategic plan at owen.vanderbilt.edu/strategy

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