Jon M. Huntsman School of Business

learn about the latest and greatest from the School of Business

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The End is Not the End

I can't believe it. Yesterday was the final day of "school," for the Design Thinking program. Only one week left to explore and create, or should I say, design more experiences that will shape my future. It's hard to believe that things are coming to an end. There was so much anticipation for this journey to begin and now we near the end. But I hope this is not the end. I don't believe it has to be. For me personally, I hope to make it the beginning of a new life. A life forever altered by all that has taken place the last three or so weeks.

Coming on this trip has been a sacrifice for all of us, some maybe more than others. Many left behind spouses and children with faith that what would take place here would be worth it. Me personally, I parted with my wife and my daughter, which has been something of a hardship at times. Regardless of each person's individual situations, weall left our homes, families and way of life with faith that this program would enrich our lives enough to make it all worth it. I can't speak for everyone (though I feel I possibly could), but for me, it has been worth it. The sacrifice feels to have yielded a greater, long-lasting reward.

The collaboration of the business department and the design department was a unique idea. I was curious to see how the two schools of thought would mesh. How we would learn from one another. We all seemed so different. But you know what? I think we found out we were more the same than anyone would have ever guessed. I learned so much from the business students and professors (I am a design student, by the way). Not only did we educate one another with our knowledge of our respective fields, but we taught one another more than that. Forging relationships-friendships would be a better way of saying it-I learned lessons from a perspective outside of my own. The two different brains, the left from the business and right from the design, brought together created a new way of thinking. We learned together the attributes of human centered design. Seeing and experiencing history, in person, specifically design in history, along with new and modern forms of human centered design, accelerated the learning process and made a huge impact. We learned a lot from all we saw and did, but I think we learned just as much from each other.

As I review all the events of the last few weeks, my initial feeling is that of sadness that it is so quickly coming to an end. Then I think of what will live on and feel nothing but joy. The lessons were not just for a grade, not just for USU credit-they were life lessons. They were real. I'm sure that years down the road I will recall my days here and pull inspiration and ideas from what took place in the beautiful land of Switzerland. The friendships forged here will go on. I have no doubt many of us will keep in touch for decades to come. Coming to Switzerland may have taken us away from home, family and our way of life for a time, but what I, personally, have gained during this time will be with me forever. It is not the end. It is only the beginning.

The view in Leysin:

Olympic museum:

Chillon Castle:

Castle ruins in Sion:

The Valley of Death on the way to St. Bernard Hospice/Monestary:

Cow fighting:

Yvoire, France:

Cathedral in Fribourg after a barefoot pilgrimage:

From the top of the cathedral:

Solar boat experience:

Rolex Learning Center:

Castle view in Spiez:

This is how you feel when you're in Switzerland:

The days are long, but always worth it:


The most beautiful mountains and hike in history:

Freitag store:

Me with my mustache:

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

And Finally, Geneva

Our official study program came to a close on Friday, June 25, with a trip to Geneva. Geneva is a beautiful, international city with a bustling city center and incredible museums. It is also the watch (as in time pieces) capital of the world. We had an incredible visit to a Patek Phillipe watch collection that included over 1000 historically significant time pieces, many of which were made for and owned by royalty. The artistry and craftmanship of the pieces in the collection were stunning.

At the end of the day everyone was weary but fullfilled. Field guides with the attendent assignments were completed and plans for continued travel were finalized. It's been a wonderful experience that none of us will ever forget. Thanks especially to Professor Bob Winward, our leader, mentor and guide and to Dr. Chris Fawson whose teaching sessions added so much to our experience.

-Dave Clark

Friday, June 25, 2010

Freitag Bags in Zurich

One of the most interesting business visits we've made came on Thursday, June 24, in Zurich. We went to Freitag, a company founded in 1993 by design students in Zurich who wanted to make sturdy, waterproof bags for carrying art and school supplies. They came up with the idea of making bags out of discarded tarps that are widely used in Europe of cover truck loads. After a long period of making bags for friends and friends-of-friends the demand for the product began to grow and the company now has an international sales presence. To fit with it's image of recycling otherwise outlived materials the company constructed its headquarters building in a rundown section of Zurich using old shipping containers. It was a fascinating example of design and business synergy.

-Dave Clark

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Spectacular Swiss Alps

Travel to the villages of Murren and Gimmelwald on Wednesday, June 23, allowed us to experience some of the most famous peaks of the Swiss Alps. The day was stunningly beautiful with clear blue skies and unobstructed views of the Eiger, Monk and Jungfrau and virtually countless other snowcapped pinnacles. "Breathtaking, stunning, overpowering and spectacular" were some of the oft repeated adjectives, which everyone agreed were inadequate for describing the majesty of what we were looking at. We were also treated to the amazing beauty of the boundless wildflowers that covered the hillsides around the villages. Everyone was given the opportunity to sit and contemplate "life-design" as discussed by Dr. Fawson before we descended by cable car to the valley floor.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Class Discussion

Last night we had Dr. Peterson lead the class discussion. I personally thought the discussion was awesome. I really liked how she put us into groups to discuss what we would want people to say about us when we die. Our epitaph. It really put into perspective what I'm trying to accomplish in business and in life. The GWGC students in the class made so many insightful comments that made me re-think and re-shape my contribution statement. The classroom component of GWGC is my favorite part of this whole experience. I feel like we are all there because we want to be, and we really enjoy the principles presented.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Modern Architecture and Furniture at Vitra

Swiss Architecture
Swiss Architecture

On Tuesday, June 22, we made the complicated but rewarding trek via Basel to the Vitra furniture design studios and factory in southern Germany. We toured the buildings on the grounds of this unique business site, all of which were conceived by different, internationally renowned architects, and then visited the showrooms filled with fantastic reductionist furniture pieces for home and office.

Monday, June 21, 2010

A Relatively Great Day in Bern


Monday's travels took us to Bern where we saw the Swiss center of government, a beautiful natural history museum and the birthplace of Einstein's groundbreaking contributions to physics. In 1905 Albert Einstein was working as a patent examiner in Bern and before the year was out he published papers on what became known as the "special theory of relativity", the photoelectric effect, "Brownian motion" of molecules and the notion of the equivalence of mass and energy as expressed by the famous equation E=mc2. His ability to explain the principles of puzzling quantitative observations through thought experiments is a monumental testament to the power of design thinking.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Ode to Chocolate

I love chocolate. Not only do I love chocolate, I have a slightly unhealthy relationship with it. Chocolate has been by my side and added to my sides through many different scenarios: breakups, baby showers, basketball games, bachelorette parties, bad days, birthdays, and blue sky days. Callier Chocolate Factory in Broc is Mecca for chocoholics like myself. Several of us ate a light dinner the night before and a very light breakfast that morning to prepare our stomachs for as much chocolate as we could possibly inhale.

The presentation when we first arrived felt very Disney-esque to me. We walked through rooms telling the tale of chocolate from the time of Quetzalcoatl to the modern Callier Nestle phenomenon. I kept expecting Briar Patch characters from Disney's Splash Mountain to pop out at any given moment (I'm still on the lookout for Br'er Rabbit, even now).

Walking out of the last room, we found ourselves faced with cocoa beans, hazelnuts, almonds, and peanuts by the kilo. After wandering, we found the chocolate production line where they were producing chocolate logs about the size of Kit Kats. At the end of the line, we were able to sample some fresh pieces.

Then we found heaven. Real, true, eternal, blissful heaven: the sampling room. There were platters and platters of every flavor of chocolate Callier produces. Milk, dark, white. Nuts, cremes, truffles. Each platter had a sign above it so that we could adequately decide how to spend our entire college students' budgets on Swiss chocolaty goodness in the gift shop. They had entire cabinets full of candy. The samples were endless.

Swiss Chocolate
I think I lasted seven minutes.

Anyone that says that too much of a good thing is wonderful is absolutely lying. Even the most delectable, delicious flavors of chocolate turned into ipecac in my mouth. I threw up the white flag and headed to the gift shop to by a kilogram of chocolate for people at home. Why they would want such vile tasting, fattening poison is beyond me.

I wasn't the only one that bought the expensive death sentence. The grand total our group spent on chocolate hovered somewhere around 1024 CHF.

That afternoon in Gruyeres, food options were a little limited for a budget conscious college student like me. I had a chocolate crepe.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Gruyeres - Modern Chocolate and Medieval Times




Saturday's adventures began with a visit to the Callier chocolate factory. After a multimedia presentation of the history of chocolate in Switzerland and a view of some of the equipment at the factory we landed in a tasting room with trays of dozens of Callier chocolate products. Willy Wonka would have been envious! It's amazing how quickly one can sample enough chocolates to reach the point of indiscretion!

Then we spent the remainder of the day in the village of Gruyeres and its castle. Our time included museum tours and interactions with the medieval actors roaming the castle gounds and rooms. There was music, dancing, food, demonstrations, art, incredible history and scenery - another fantastic day of learning.

-Dave Clark

Friday, June 18, 2010

Spiez and Oberhoffen


Castles and Lake Thun were the theme of Friday's outing. At Spiez we toured the castle owned for centuries by the Bubenburgs, which, naturally, was full of incredible history. Then it was off to a boat for a trip across the lake to Oberhoffen, another beautiful castle. Another boat ride took us to the city of Thun and from there the train carried us back to Aigle and the short trip up the mountain to Leysin.

-Dave Clark

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Lausanne, part Deux



Another day in Lausanne on June 17 gave us a chance to learn about a Swiss firm's development of solar powered boats, which included a ride in one of the boats on Lake Geneva, and a trip to the campus of the Ecole Ploytechnique Federale de Lausanne for a visit to the Rolex Learning Center, an ultramodern study and library facility designed to promote interdisciplinary interaction and creativity. But the highlight of the day was a visit to the Lausanne Cathedral for a private tour and performance by the cathedral's head organist, Jean-Christophe Geiser. Dr. Geiser led us into the loft of the cathedral for a behind-the-scenes look at the organ's pipes and then he treated the group to four pieces that demonstrated the organ's unique capabilities. He also explained the process that was pursued to conceive the instrument, design its appearance and functions and to install it. Everyone responded warmly to this marvelous experience.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Goetheanum



On Monday we traveled to Dornach, a city in northwestern Switzerland, for a visit to a unique site occupied by a building called the Goetheanum. It was constructed in the mid-1920's based on the vision of a man named Rudolf Steiner who founded a movement dubbed Anthroposophy. Anthroposophical thought attempts to encourage each individual human being to nurture the soul and the mind by learning, self discovery and connecting with spiritual realms. The Goetheanum (which honors the great German philosopher Johann Wolfgang von Goethe) is constructed from cement with interesting lines, scoops and spatial relationships intended to stimulate contemplative thought. The windows appear dull gray from the building's grounds but display brilliant colors from the inside as light penetrates the stained plate that lies behind the outer layer. We toured the building and learned about Steiner's philosophies from our young guides. We returned late in the evening to Leysin to feed our bodies after a day of feeding our minds.

-Dave Clark

Saturday, June 12, 2010




On Friday, June 11, we took a train to the city of Lucerne in central Switzerland. At Lucern we toured the Culture and Congress Hall (a beautiful, modern facility with an incredible concert hall and an art gallery) and then had free time to wander the old city and the paths around Lake Lucerne.

-Dave Clark

The Ascetic Life at St. Bernard's Monastery

Students in Switzerland




On Tuesday, June 8, our group took a train to Martigny and then boarded a bus for the mountains. At a point about 5 kilometers below the St. Bernard pass we got out and walked along the trail used by the Romans to come from Italy into the Rhone Valley and from thence into central Europe. About 2 kilometers below the pass we put on snow shoes and climbed the rest of the way to the St. Bernard Monastery on the glacier.

We stayed at the monastery for two nights where we attended classes taught by Dr. Chris Fawson, attended a mass in the monastery chapel and performed a service project. For the service project we were recruited to assemble the kennels that hold the St. Bernard dogs who inhabit the monastery for the summer. The dogs are kept in the valley for the winter because the weather is too harsh at the pass (the rescue dogs of old who carried casks of brandy to stranded travelers were of tougher stock than the modern, pampered pooches who come to the monastery strictly for the sake of the tourists). The kennel project went well in spite of the fact that we were working in gale force winds, dense fog and misting rain for five hours. By the time we were finished everyone was soaked and chilled to the bone. It was hard work but the students did a fantastic job. The monks invited us to come back next year!

Monday, June 7, 2010

A Day in Sion



Sion is a city in the Rhone Valley established first by the Romans over 2000 years ago. It's a beautiful old city over-looked by a basillica and the ruins of a castle from the early middle ages. From the point of the cliff where the castle stands you have an unobstructed view of the Rhone Valley, which was carved by an ancient glacier. The glacier also created the basin where Lake Geneva is now located and the Rhone River feeds the lake today. Over the centuries countless armies have traveled north-south routes through the Rhone Valley including such military luminaries as Hannibal (with his elephants) and Napoleon. The hillsides of the valley are covered with vineyards on terraces that were started by the Romans and expanded by the Catholic monks who controlled the wine industry for the church. The pictures included with this post are of the Rhone Valley, the vineyards and the castle.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Olympic Museum and Chillon Castle


In Lusanne we visited the Olympic museum, which had some unique and interesting exhibits including a number of items from our own Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Games. Then we went to Chillon Castle on Lake Geneva. The castle has stood at the entrance to the Rhone Valley since about 1300 and has a great history. This evening we had a magnificent thunder and lightning storm in Leysin and it rained for over an hour.

-Dave Clark

Saturday, June 5, 2010

In Leysin, Switzerland!

A scene of the Switzerland Mountains
Planes, trains and automobiles. After arriving via Delta Airlines in Paris I took a series of trains to a town called Aigle on the north end of Lake Geneva. At Aigle I was met by Dominique, the proprietor of the Au Bel Air Hotel, who drove me the rest of the way to Leysin. Leysin is in the mountains (the "Pre-Alps") on the north side of the Rhone River Valley. It's a ski village with spectacular views of the mountains, beautiful Swiss chalets everywhere and cows on every hillside with bells that can be heard ringing with a sound something akin to wind chimes wherever you go. It's a remarkable and lovey place.Switzerland
I spent the first day here (Saturday) becoming familiar with the village, watching a local youth soccor match and hiking. Dominique invited me to join him, his wife and his hotel staff for lunch, which was served on the terrace and was wonderful. The students then arrived in the late afternoon and we all had dinner together. Tomorrow the study experience begins in earnest!
While the students are staying at the Au Bel Air Hotel (pictured above) I'm staying at a Bed and Breakfast not far from there called the Ermina. The first picture in this post shows a view of the mountains from one of the streets in the village and the last picture is the view from the balcony of my room.

-Dave Clark

Be Proactive...

Great Work Great Career

Hey guys.... my only thought about this week, and actually a comment I almost made in class last Tuesday, is that I think it's important that we remember the Habit #1- Be Proactive! It would be fine and dandy to just sit down and watch the videos and feel all good about ourselves but that would just be self help that goes away the second the videos are over. This program is all about getting out there and job "HUNTING"... until we get the one we want right?! Just remember that. 


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Getting Ready to Go!

The flag of Switzerland
Orientations are over. Presentations are past. Travel begins tomorrow! On Thursday June 3, 2010 the journey to Leysin, Switzerland starts and the Design Thinking experience is officially underway. Here's wishing us all "bon voyage"!

-Dave Clark

Starting Off!

Great Work Great Career Banner Image
Welcome all members of the first ever Great Work, Great Career Learning Group! 

Thank you to everyone that applied to the program and to everyone who has taken time to get this program going. We had amazing applicants and have had such wonderful help and assistance through the whole process to start up. 

Our class has now all begun to explore the online learning community and have officially met together in class for the first time! 

This week we're learning how to get the work you want. Even as college students right out of school, we can get a foot in the door in the field and/or organization we want, if we leverage our valuable experiences and access to the right resources. As Dr. Covey teaches, change is inevitable. We live in an ever-changing, fast-paced world... but this cannot slow us down! The economy nor the broader world we live in will stop changing. We must be prepared to enter the whitewater world. Trusting in our unique strengths and abilities to creatively problem solve, we can make a significant contribution in the organization we want.

Take some time this week to go through the modules and gather your thoughts--I'm looking forward to our dicussion next week!