The End of Our First Semester

After seven weeks of hard work, the cohort presented their findings on the Integrated Bottom Line projects to Alcoa and UPMC executives. We started the day at 7:00am at Alcoa’s corporate headquarters on the North Shore of Pittsburgh. As I sat in the conference room watching my classmates present, I could not help being proud of their professionalism and poise. Their interactions with everyone at Alcoa were very engaging and interesting, which made me feel less nervous for my presentation later that day at UPMC.

When we arrived at the boardroom on the 55th floor of the UPMC building, we were greeted by top executives. It was intimidating to be among such high level executives, especially since the IBL is such a controversial topic. The Alcoa executives asked a lot of questions, so we were surprised that UPMC did not. Instead, they began discussing among themselves how they could implement the new ideas we suggested. At one point, I think that they forgot my team was still at the podium presenting! The UPMC executives were very down to earth and made everyone feel comfortable and welcome. Being able to discuss our ideas with them is truly an achievement after only a short time in the sMBA program. One commonality from both presentations is that Alcoa and UPMC were very interested in learning more about the IBL. Knowing that we provided value to such large organizations is great reassurance for our hard work.

The past few months of research, analysis, and preparation yielded great results. It was very rewarding to see my fellow classmates present what they have been working on for almost an entire semester. From practicing our presentations at dress rehearsals to watching ourselves on video, all students improved their presentation skills since the mid-semester review.

When the stress of the consulting projects was over, the cohort attended the City Game, cheering on Duquesne vs. Pitt, at Consol Energy Center with sMBA alumni. Food and drinks were kindly provided by the alumni, and everyone had a great time tailgating and networking. Last week was also the cohort’s secret santa gift exchange, hosted by fellow cohort member, Morgan Funk. Both activities were a much needed break before the start of finals.

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