Saturday, December 17, 2011

Bank of America MBA Leadership Development Program

I recently accepted an offer from Bank of America to begin their MBA Leadership Development Program (LDP) in their Consumer and Small Business Bank (CSBB) Division. The position starts at the end of June after I graduate from Arizona State. I will start with a class of 25 or so MBA grads, five of which will be from ASU. The program is designed to train incoming MBA's in general management to develop future leaders and executives in the bank.

The LDP consists of three rotations over two years. The first rotation is a corporate project in one of their divisions (Online, Mobile, ATM, Credit Cards, Demand Deposit Accounts, etc.). The second rotation consists of a two month mini-project with the other incoming MBAs and then a six month position where you work with a market manager and supervise more than 40 branch managers. The third rotation bring you back to a new corporate project for another eight months. Once the rotations are complete you move into a new full-time position such as product management or product development.

I'm super excited about this opportunity and thankful for the ASU alumni and Career Management Center staff that made it possible to land the internship last summer and the Bank of American associates that helped make it a great experience, ultimately resulting in this job offer.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I'm Engaged!

In case you haven't heard the news, I'm engaged to the beautiful Carly Pedersen! Just two nights ago I surprised her by having signs asking her to to marry me outside of the security gate at Sky Harbor Airport as she returned from her trip to Utah. With some help from my friends Meghan, Katie, Chantal, and Dane, we set up the best marriage proposal I've ever done!

As you watch the video, the reaction on her face is priceless. One of my friends said it gave him the same kind of goosebumps as he got when they let Rudy play for Notre Dame. This was a million times better!

I'm so grateful for Carly and the love we share. She has brought me a lot of happiness and joy. She has all the qualities I've been looking for in a girl and I told her that she was even better than my "list."

I look forward to the day we will be married in the Temple for time and eternity.

I love you Carly!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Six Minutes of the Dark Night Rises in Mission Impossible 4!

My roommate let me know today that select cities with IMAX theaters showing Mission Impossible 4 will  also show the first six minutes of the new Batman film coming out next summer! I CANNOT wait!

I'm super excited for Mission Impossible anyway, especially since it is a J.J. Abrhams film. For those who are unfamiliar, J.J. produced LOST and the most recent Star Trek.

The next Batman will be epic considering the last two were phenomenal. Chris Nolan, the director is a amazing. The first two Batman films he directed were some of my favorites of all time. He also did Inception, which was a remarkable film as well.

Anyways, I can't wait for this extra bonus in MI 4!

Friday, December 2, 2011


Thanksgiving was great! Carly and I flew to Charlotte for six days and had an absolute blast with the fam. We came in the day of Thanksgiving and Carly got to know the 'Rents, as well as KC, Lauren, and Cameron. Carly happened to just get her iPhone before we left, so she got initiated well into the family culture by trying out her new toy.

We went to Grandma Wade's house for Thanksgiving dinner and went to Kerry's house for Breakfast on Saturday. Both activities were super fun and it was neat to have Carly meet my extended family.

We had a lot of free time as well to just hang out, realax, watch a few movies, and have a lot of fun.

It was a great trip and I can't wait to go to Utah to meet Carly's family for Christmas!

Monday, November 21, 2011

The PhD Project

Last week I attended the PhD Project conference in Chicago. It is a conference hosted by the KPMG Foundation that provides prospective PhD students from minority backgrounds to learn more about business doctoral programs. Since 1994, they have taken the number from only 200 business professors to over 1,000. I was happy to be invited with 300 prospective students.

We had several sessions that covered what the application process is like, the life a doctoral student, and the career path of business academia. They also had breakout sessions for each discipline. I attended both the Management/OB and Marketing panels.

This was a great opportunity to network with current Professors, Doctoral students, and prospective students. They also hosted a university fair and we got to meet with different doctoral program admins and professors.

Interestingly, there was another conference going on at the same time at the same hotel. The Mid-West Fur Fest. There were like 100 guys dressed up in full body animal costumes. Loved it!

I'm considering working for a few years and then going back to school. There were many people in that scenario and it was good to hear their stories.

I really enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about PhD programs and meet others with similar interests. The best part was all the free food!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Peter Bishop is Back!

They finally brought back Peter Bishop! In the last episode of Fringe, Peter Bishop returned and he explained more of his story and appears to have insight on why no one remembers him. In this time line, the Observer never saved Peter from drowning in the Lake. But for some reason, the Observer has decided not to erase him completely. He was stuck in some parallel dimension or something until he was released by one of Dr. Bishop's failed experiments.

It will be interesting to see how he will get everyone to remember him. I'm sure Walter will find a way at some point  once he gets motivated.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Interview with Dean Mittelstaedt

I had the opportunity two weeks ago to sit with the Dean of the W.P. Carey Business School, Robert Mittelstaedt. In that interview I had the opportunity to learn more about his background, his accomplishments with the school, and his vision for its future.

Before we got into details about the school he learned about my background and gave me some career advice. He said to starte with what you are interested in, but not to plan too far in advance. He cited his own experience of going to Wharton for his MBA and not planning on getting into academia, but eventually found himself as a VP in Wharton's administration, which lead him to ASU.

One of the key issues he expressed for W.P. Carey graduates was to understand that technical skills will only get you your first job and that leadership skills will enable you to grow in a company.

He also said that after our formal education ends that we should be still reading the Wall Street Journal everyday, as well as other business publications.

In terms of the school, he was pleased with the trajectory the school is going with receiving funds from W.P. Carey, the McCords, and gaining high rankings with only a few years of existence. Out of 10,000 business schools in the world, only 1,000 are accredited by the AACSB, and only 500 of those are in the U.S.

He also spoke highly of the faculty and felt they were just as qualified as the Wharton professors. Our Supply Chain emphasis is ranked number three in the nation by U.S. & World Report. The management department is highly ranked in research and we spoke about Prof. Sinha, my New Product Development professor, who is highly regarded in his field.

It was a great interview to learn more about career management and the school's history and future. I'm glad to be part of it!

Monday, October 31, 2011

New McCord Hall ASU MBA Building Ground Breaking

Last Saturday was the groundbreaking for the new McCord Hall building for the W.P. Carey School of Business graduate students. Dean Robert Mittelstaedt spoke opened the ceremony by speaking about the school's rapid rise in the rankings with only fifty years of existence compared to others with longer history. He also spoke about the investment of W.P. Carey of $50 Million to the school in 2002.

The school recognized that they were the only one in the top 30 that had not built a new building in the last 20 years. $17 Million was generated completely from donations from the community and alumni. No state funds were used to finance this project, showing the strength the school has to garner such a large amount to improve its facilities.

ASU President Michael Crow also spoke about what the new building meant and how much of an influence the business school was making through access, excellence, and impact.

After the speakers, a few of the school leaders and donors went to the site and started digging with the shiniest shovels I've ever seen. It was almost a shame to get them dirty! Carly and I actually got to do some shoveling too.

It was a pretty fun and historic event. Too bad I won't be there when it's done!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tri Four Done!

I just finished the most hard core trimester ever in the MBA program! I took Managerial Accounting, Supply Chain Management, and New Product Development, all of which were super quant heavy courses. I think my mind is about to explode from all that math!

Managerial Accounting and SCM were both case based and provided a lot of insights in to actual operations at companies like P&G, ZARA, Whole Foods, etc.

New Product Development was by far my favorite. We covered conjoin analysis, customer preference and perception mapping, and pricing/bundling. It was pretty intense, but I loved the material and the tools it provided to know how to launch a new product in the market. We learned how giants like P&G, AMEX, and the like prepare to launch products.

It was a super challenging trimester, but definitely worth it! Only two more to go!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA) Conference

Last week, another ASU MBA friend and I attended the National Black MBA Association Conference in Atlanta, GA. First off, I know what your thinking. Your thinking, last time I checked, Josh is Native American. But don't you worry, it is open to all MBAs of every background!

They had over 400 companies at the career fair and 15,000 attendees. It was an exciting opportunity to meet with several Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) firms and speak with their Assistant Brand Managers (ABM). Brand Management is the field I'm interested in which includes supervising all the supply chain, finances, promotions, and, pricing of a brand or product like Clorox or Tide.

Each company has a booth you can approach and try to arrange on site interviews with. I interviewed with Henkel (Dial soap) and Kimberly Clark (Kleenex). Hoping to hear back soon from those companies for an on site interview.

The companies also host parties in the evening to give you opportunities to network with the associates representing the firm. I was invited to Kimberly Clark's party (which included a comedian named Kimberly Clark) and to Johnson and Johnson's huge jazz concert party.

While I still have an offer with Bank of America, I'm using my offer period to explore opportunities in another industry and hopefully land some offers!

The conference was a success and I'm looking forward to this week's National Society for Hispanic MBA's conference in Anaheim, CA.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

New iPhone 4S

Apple introduced the iPhone 4S today at their special event. Honesty, I'm a bit underwhlemed by it. Absolutely no external design changes whatsoever. We waited an extra three months for this? Oh, well, there are some cool new internal features though. It has and A5 chip making it two times faster, an eight mega pixel camera (which is pretty legit), and dual band capability (CDMA and GSM) that does make it truly a world phone.

They also introduced a cool voice application called Siri that acts as a personal assistant and completes commands, kind of like Jarvis on Iron Man. One friend said it would be cool to say "iPhone, make me a sandwich." Someday.

Friday, September 30, 2011

LDS General Conference This Weekend!

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is hosting the 181st Semiannual General Conference in Salt Lake City, UT this weekend. It begins Saturday morning at 9 am (AZ time) with a couple two hour sessions on Saturday (and an additional one for men) and it continues on Sunday. All general sessions are broadcasted world wide at various chapel, tv stations, and the internet.

All 14 Million plus members of the Church, as well as the general public, will have the opportunity to hear from Prophets and Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ. Their messages contain guidance and direction for all people and provide clear doctrines about the Savior.

It is a great blessing to have living Prophets speak to us who receive direct revelation from the Lord. I have a witness that what these mean speak about is true and really is scripture for our day. As you listen to their words, you invite the Spirit of the Lord into your life and receive personal messages for your benefit.

I invite you to watch and learn from the Lord this weekend.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

FRINGE Season 4 Premier

I was super excited about the season premier of FRINGE last night. I would say it's definitely my favorite tv series out right now. Pretty much anything produced by JJ Abrams is going to be legit. After all, LOST really was a landmark series and no one can deny JJ is the master of suspense.

At the end of the last season of FRINGE, Peter Bishop merged two alternate universes together into one central location at the Statue of Liberty (long story). In short, the recurring story of the series is the existence of an alternate universe and the possibility of one of them destroying the other was pretty real until the end of last season. Geeky, I know, but I love it.

Anyways, after Peter merged the worlds, he was erased from time by the Observers (people who oversee both worlds). In the first episode of this season, we see glimpses of him, but only in short instances. All of the other main characters have no memory of him, except Walter (his father) sees images of him.

So the big mystery is where is Peter Bishop? That will be the big story line of the course of the season. I'm very interested to see how this plays out.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Goal

Just finished listening to "The Goal" by Eliyahu Goldratt. It was required "reading" for my Supply Chain Management class. It is a teaching tool about managing operations cleverly disguised as a novel. The story is about a plant manager named Alex Rogo who is faced with a problem of his plant being closed in three months if he doesn't improve performance. The reader is taken through Alex's journey of discovering that previous measurements of performance were not sufficient to accomplish their goals. In fact, they determined the goal was not to push products out of their warehouse, but to make money. In this case that was done through increasing net profit, ROI, and cash flow. At the plant level that goal translated into increasing throughput, while reducing inventory and operating expense.

The details are not as important as the fact this manager questioned some fundamental assumptions of how to deal with their objectives and what they should be.

Also, interlaced in this management story is a bunch of family drama! Rogo and his wife get into a rough part of their relationship as a result of his intense work schedule. It definitely keeps the story interesting! Don't worry, it all works out in the end, in case you were wondering.

If you ever want a good book on learning about business and operations (and maybe relationships, lol), this is certainly an entertaining way to do it!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Fashion Revamp

So Chantal took me on a trip today to redo my whole closet. Chantal has good taste and has been helping several other my friends with their fashion tips. It started earlier this week when I was tricked into going shopping with her, Meghan, and Lauren. After a while in Anthropologie, we went to J. Crew. I jokingly asked them to help me find some clothes to help me look more hip. But then we did and I got some sweaters then went to H&M to complete the outfit with some jeans and shirts. So then I decided I needed to get more of her opinion so we checked out Urban Outfitters and tried a few combinations. So if clothes make the man, then maybe I'm on my way...

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Never Forget

This morning is the 10th anniversary of the September 11th attacks in NYC. You can almost sense the nation's pause as we remember the 2,753 people that died that day after such a horrific act. President Obama and former President Bush both attended a memorial service this morning at ground zero. Obama read a scripture that I believe is appropriate from Psalms 46:1  "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."

Pres. Monson of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints wrote a letter to the Washington Post stating, “If there is a spiritual lesson to be learned from our experience of that fateful day,” he says, “it may be that we owe to God the same faithfulness that He gives to us. . . . We too should be with Him in every season.”

We must never forget the people who lost their lives that day, but we must also never forget the Lord and His presence in our lives.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Running (Outdoor vs. Treadmill)

Supposedly running outside is better for you because it is higher impact, you propel yourself, and you get a variety in terms of elevation and scenery. I do feel like my body worked harder after a run outside vs. one after the treadmill. I love the freedom of outdoor running and the change of scenery it provides. However, there are some limitations.

Treadmill running is more convenient. You don't have to leave the comfort of a gym or your home, the climate is controlled (nice thing during the hot AZ summer months), and you can have entertainment like reading or TV while you run. But does your body get the same results from doing a treadmill as opposed to outdoor running?

In any case, I found my love for running about five years ago when I moved to Arizona. It has really benefited my lifestyle after losing 114lbs! It is also a great way to process your thoughts and just get away from all the business in your life. In fact, it can even be fun! I've run three relay races and they are a blast. Someday, I may even do a marathon!

Have fun running!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

“I’m a Mormon” Campaign

The Church recently launched the "I'm a Mormon" campaign in NYC, in a state where the Church has seen a staggering 75% growth in the last eleven years. In the campaign you will see the faces of everyday people advertised as members of the Church. The ads direct you to, which has more than 30,000 profiles of members of the Church. When this site was relaunched in 2010, the idea was to give the general public exposure to the lives of it's members. I personally think it was a genius idea to help the world get a view of real people, not just the organization. As you read some of these profiles, you get a sense of how the Church has impacted their lives. Each has a different story, but all have a testimony of Jesus Christ.

If you are unfamiliar with the Church, definitely check out the site and see what Mormons are all about. You may even find the profile of a familiar face! “I’m a Mormon” Effort Launches in New York City

Friday, August 26, 2011

New Mat Kearney Album

Since downloading Spotify, I've been able to listen to any song, anytime, in any order I like, for free! Best free music product out there right now compared to Pandora, Groove Shark, and the like.

Mat Kearny's new album is featured on Spotify and I've listened to the whole album like five thousand times. I love it! Hey Mama, Count On Me, and Sooner or Later are great, but my favorite is Chasing the Light. I'm so impressed at how the whole album is full of pretty great songs, not something that happens often.

I was first introduced to Mat a couple years ago with Nothing Left to Lose. I thought it was an interesting sound, but wasn't enthralled. But when I heard Closer to Love on his Pandora station I was sold! That song in particular was pretty popular on both secular and Christian stations.

So, basically what I'm trying to say is you need to do two things right now:
  1. Download Spotify
  2. Listen to the new Mat Kearney album

Thursday, August 25, 2011

New Product Development

I'm excited about my New Product Development class this trimester. It is one of the key courses professional marketers take in b-school. The class covers how to identify current issues in the marketplace using not surveys, but one on one interviews with consumers, then innovating using deduction. Consumers won't tell you directly what would be a good idea for a new product, you have to figure it out on your own with data. Henry Ford said "If I'd asked my customers what they wanted, they'd have said a faster horse", meaning customers don't always know what is best. Of course many of us have benefited from the development of his product. Apple doesn't do much surveying for that very reason and that is part of they they are so successful with the iPad, because they are good at creating artificial needs.

We will use a little calculus (which frankly I'm a little scared about because I'm terrible at it!) to interpret perceptual maps of customers's views of different products and their attributes. Using that data, companies can gain marketshare by creating products that fill certain needs. 

Part of the class is also learning how to forecast sales for a product that hasn't been sold yet or has a short history. A marketing professor by the name of Bass consulted RCA when color TV's were an emerging product. He predicted that in two years from the time they had him come on board that color tv sales would flatten. RCA disregard that information and invested a lot in production capacity because they thought there was virtually no limit to the future sales of their units. Turned out Bass was right and RCA lost a lot of money on that division.

I'm excited about this course and hope I can pick up a few things to know how to bring successful new products to market.

Sunday, August 21, 2011


Our ward temple trip was yesterday and we had over 30 people in attendance. It really is a blessing to have a temple in such close proximity. Going to the temple gives you the peace and strength. You can literally feel the presence of the Lord while standing in the walls of His holy house. The temple is sacred and set a part place. It provides protection and purpose through the ordinances and covenants offered therein. We learn the purpose of life and our relationship to our Heavenly Father.

Basically, the temple is super legit!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Chrome vs. Firefox?

No More Google Toolbar Support For Firefox
So I'm debating between Chrome and Firefox. It seems that in terms of speed and stability, Chrome is the leader. However, Firefox seems to have a few more features, like tab candy and app tabs. PDF viewing and syncing are integrated into both, although, I think the FF version is a little more complicated. Chrome's ability to reamin stable with multiple tabs open simultaneously is apparently slightly better than FF. Chrome does not have the added feature of HTTP pipeline, which actually gives Chrome more speed. Also, Chrome's combined address bar and search bar is really intuitive and convenient, especially with Google instant integration.

Full screen on FF has the ability to show or hide the nav bar, but Chrome hides it by default (until your cursor is in the area).

These are just a few examples. It seems Chrome is better overall, but that is based on only a few points.

What are the other key bencharks that should be compared to these browsers?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

My New MacBook Air

So I sold my old MacBook Pro and upgraded to the recently released MacBook Air and it is super legit! When the first MacBook Airs were released in 2008, they were pretty groundbreaking in terms of their size and weight. Just under three pounds and only 0.11" thick at its thinnest point. While these puppies were aesthetically pleasing, the processors inside were very slow. Their first major update last year beefed up the horsepower and they began to become more like real computers, but not quite there yet. Apple then recently released the newest versions with the new Intel Dual Core i5 and i7's. Those chips are from last years MacBook Pro's, so now the Airs are on par with being a fully functional laptop. Plus they introduced the backlight keyboard for the first time on the Airs (trust me that was huge).

I've been very pleased with it's performance and my mind has been blown (figuratively, not literally as a friend of mine would say) by how light it really is. It will be a great companion for my last year of b-school. Here's to Apple for developing another breakthrough product!