Jon M. Huntsman School of Business

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Friday, August 31, 2012

The "Center of Centers"

Architects Design Our “Center of Centers”

By far, most of the space in our new building is dedicated to new classrooms and to student spaces such as meeting rooms and lounges. We have reserved parts of one level to office space. We’re dedicating part of this office space to our “centers” – sort of a “center” of “centers” so to speak. By “center,” we are referring to things such as our newly established Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence, our Huntsman Scholar program, and programs we envision for the future such as a Center for Global Engagement and, possibly, a Covey Center for Leadership.

We want to design an office layout that will be flexible and will allow us to meet changing needs. And yet, at the same time, we want to offer distinct entrance areas for each center. Our latest plan would make it so you could come to a common reception desk for all the centers and then walk down a hallway off of which the open office areas for each of the centers will be located. Behind those open office areas will be a row of offices that will house the staff for the centers. That row of offices will not be walled off into separate sections but open to another common hallway that will connect to the open office areas. The centers will have up to four common conference rooms to share off the main hallway. (See drawing below.)

We need to be flexible because some centers might need a lot of people here on campus to function effectively and other centers might be connected to other researchers or staff around the world. They will all have different space needs and those needs will probably change as the school progresses. We’ve come up with a design that will allow them to share resources and space effectively.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Finding the Dean in Huntsman Hall Will Not be Difficult

Finding the Dean in Huntsman Hall Will Not be Difficult

The dean of the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business does not want to be tucked away in a corner where he will only see those diligent enough to find him. At least that’s one message that came through loud and clear when the staff of the dean’s office and Dean Douglas D. Anderson met with architects recently to discuss how their area would be laid out in the new Huntsman Hall.

The staff and Dean Anderson felt that the original proposal the architects presented would make it too difficult for students and others to find the dean, and moved walls and conference rooms about on paper to make sure that wouldn’t happen. The architects weren’t expecting us to approve their first design but had to give everyone a starting point that would show the number of offices and conference rooms that we had requested so that a discussion could begin on exactly where things should be located. They we very open to our ideas because they want to design an area that will meet our needs and, armed with plenty of feedback, they went back to the drawing boards to refine their proposal.

The dean’s office will actually include several offices, especially the staff and leaders who support the overall efforts of the school such as associate deans, our school business officer, and our marketing and public relations directors. It will also feature some work stations for other support staff, which often include students who contribute in major ways to the progress of the school. I thought we came up with a much better plan that used the space wisely but still kept it open, friendly, and functional.

We have gone through the same process to figure out how we will layout space for our student services and for any centers, like our Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence, we will have in the building. Stay tuned to this space for updates on those areas.

Ken Snyder

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Reasons Why I Did a Global Learning Experience

Traveling to South America has been one of the most rewarding things I have done thus far in my life. I learned more about myself, different cultures, how businesses run in other countries, and I also gained a deeper appreciation for the country I live in.

The Go Global South America Study Abroad program put on by the Huntsman School of Business was a life changing experience. One of the most surprising things for me on this trip was how truly different peoples lives are outside the United States. In America we are born with inherent rights, including but not limited to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, property rights, free speech etc. Not all of these rights are granted to citizens in other countries.

I highly recommend participating in a study abroad program, no matter where you end up going. It will add diversity and culture to an your life, and opens the door to the possibilities the world has to offer. It expands your horizons and deepens the connection between what you study in books and what happens in real life. While in Peru my group had the opportunity to work with S.E.E.D (Small Enterprise Education and Development program). On this trip, we worked in Trujillo, Peru doing due diligence on business loan proposals. It was so exciting to be able to incorporate the knowledge I’d gained from my finance, accounting, economics, and marketing classes and to use it all to come up with a viable solution.

One last thought is how grateful I am for the relationships I was able to make with the students and faculty on this trip. I learned so much from them and without this trip I would never have met them. I am so glad I went on this study abroad trip!

Julie Coleman

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Final Year of College

In just days I will be entering my final year of college. I have been going to school since I was five and cannot imagine how it will be to not go to school next fall. With this thought comes a minor panic attack. Am I ready for the work force? How do I apply for a real job? Is there anything else I can do in my senior year to prepare me?

As I was asking myself these questions, I found a great article on, a website dedicated to empowering job-seekers. On this site they gave a few suggestions I found incredibly helpful and comforting. Here some of my favorites.

1. Start your job search early. My first impression of this advice was that I have nine months to find a job, why start now? The article advised that your senior year flies by, and it's always best to prepare ahead of time instead of scrambling to get things done at the very end. “We can almost guarantee that the earlier you start, the more job-search success you'll have,” the site stated.

2. Gain work experience. This takes sacrifice. I experienced the battle of taking the internship that barely pays the bills, versus working the part-time job to have a little extra. The article emphasizes that “it's especially vital to gain experience at this point if you've neglected to obtain any before your senior year,” and once you have the experience to “then articulate the key transferable skills you acquired.”

3. Consider developing a job-search portfolio. I had not really thought about this, but rather than just mentioning amazing projects or articles you’ve done, consider compiling your projects and job-search documents into a career portfolio.

4. Use all available job-search resources. This article mentioned again and again how important networking can be. It also advised to make a list of employers you wish to work for and go directly to those companies' career centers and search available openings. And while it’s good to post your resume on sites such as or, the old-fashioned method in which you send targeted cover letters and resumes to a select group of employers can be very beneficial.

5. Follow up all leads. Once you have submitted a resume and application, the process has just started. “Following-up with employers shows your continued interest in the position and the organization,” the article reads.

This article gave me great insight on what I can be to prepare today. I hope these words of advice will help you and me both, receive our dream job in nine months. Good luck seniors.

Klydi Heywood

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

How Much Will that Light Bulb Cost?

How much will that light bulb cost?

You might have a better understanding of what we are going through as we prepare to start construction if you have ever worked with architects to design a dream home within the parameters of a limited budget.

Armed with a schematic design that gets much more detailed as we go along, our contractors are getting much more specific about what it will cost. Since we have a limited budget, we are always looking for ways to save money without impacting the functionality or the beauty of the building.

Fortunately, our contractors and architects are helping us find things we could do that will keep our costs down. I’ll give you two examples from a list of proposals they have shared with us. The designs call for wood paneling on the walls throughout the building. If we cut back on that feature, keeping the nice paneling in the common areas like the student lounges and hallways, we can save thousands of dollars.

Another example is glass. We’re planning on a building that has tremendous views of the valley. We want maximize those views by using large sheets of glass on the exterior of the building. If we purchase smaller sheets of glass and use more studs, we will save thousands of dollars without impacting the view much. These are the types of discussions we are having at this point. We’re trying to get the most value we can for every penny that is invested in the building.

We are still doing some fund-raising to help get us to our goal. The truth is, however, that no matter how much money we have, we’ll still be crunching the numbers and reworking the designs to get the very most building we can get for the buck. It’s all part of the process.

The next step will be to create the construction design, and that’s the document that will include all the nuts and bolts, all the lights and the door knobs, the bathrooms and custodial closets, and, yes, even the specs for the size of the glass and the amount of wood paneling that will materialize in Huntsman Hall. When you explore the possibilities for a new building as we have been doing, you take little for granted because you know that everything you see moved the bottom line on the costs up or down.

Ken Snyder

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Ten Horrific and Significant Business Mistakes to Avoid

Ten horrific and significant business mistakes to avoid

As I returned to my hometown last weekend, I realized how much I learned while growing up there. I remembered by successes but also my failures. Some of the most beneficial life lessons I learned were through mistakes, and I often find myself preaching to others to not make the mistakes I made to save them the trouble.

Allen Hall, contributor for Forbes and successful businessman, wrote an article for the Standard Examiner on the top 10 biggest mistakes a business person can make. I found these mistakes great information and would like to share them with you.

The first mistake was dishonesty. This characteristic is all around us in the news today. Being dishonest will get us nowhere fast.

The second is a corrupt culture. “Organizations that mistreat employees and abuse customers are ripe for failure,” Hall stated. Having beneficial relationships can improve a business faster than anything else. Be careful as a leader to not get too arrogant or greedy for these are the first signs of corruption.

Third on the list is terrible money management. Even if your business idea has the potential of great success, if you cannot manage money, you will be brought to your knees. “Company management often has not developed a financial plan that considers three scenarios: conservative, expected and extraordinary performance, and what to do financially with each situation,” Hall said.

The fourth is pathetic revenues. “No firm can grow or prosper without planned revenue attainment. If there are insufficient paying customers, both current and potential, to sustain an enterprise in the short and long term, economic viability is questionable,” Hall said.

The fifth mistake we can make is thinking that our customers are not relevant. If we do not pay attention to those who keep us in business, then we will be out of business. This might also block innovative ideas and all improvement.

Along with that is the sixth mistake of dreadful customer service and support. We can all think of at least one place we’ve been where the customer service was less than tolerable. “Leaders who over-promise and under-deliver will watch a steady stream of unhappy customers head for the door, while also telling their friends to shop elsewhere,” Hall said.

The seventh is customer concentration. Companies that engage with one very large customer are at high risk. “I have seen several companies declare bankruptcy when the big buyer selected another vendor or pursued another strategic direction,” Hall said.

The eighth is that of no vision and no strategy. Setting and achieving goals is to some, the best way to reach the impossible. “When leaders do not understand why the company exists, or have a clear and knowledgeable view of what it can become and how to achieve that, the organization will not survive,” Hall said.

The ninth mistake is no priorities and no processes. Simply, “firms that fail don’t have key objectives,” Hall said. If we are not held to a responsibility, it is easier to slack or to do meaningless activities.

The final mistake is that of wrong workers. Hiring the wrong people can kill an organization. “If they are incompetent, tasks won’t be accomplished. If they don’t fit an exceptional company culture, they will be disruptive and negative. If they are dishonest, they will steal and lie. If they are not happy, they will abuse customers and fellow employees,” Hall said.

For every negative mistake we make to ruin a business, there are hundreds of positive ways to make our businesses succeed. I hope we can learn from the mistakes of others.

Klydi Heywood

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Importance of Branding

The Importance of Branding

Many people frequently misuse the term “brand” by interchanging it with advertising, marketing, naming or a design. These improper applications have caused much confusion as to what branding is and how it works.   As such, “brand” has become a bit of a buzzword. But, what does it really mean and how does it work? Where did all start and how can it create value? To benefit from the effects of branding, a common understanding of “brand” must first be established.

Invented by P&G
Procter & Gamble invented the business strategy of “Brand Management.” Brand management focused attention on product specialization and differentiation instead of business function. By distinguishing the qualities of each brand from all other P&G brands, each would avoid competing with one another by targeting different consumer markets with a different set of benefits. This was especially important in product categories that the company manufactured several competing brands, like laundry detergent.
Over the years, P&G and the companies that embraced the brand management concept became extremely successful.  The most successful brands—those that lead their category and produced the highest ROI—used what they termed the Unique Selling Proposition or “USP.” 
The concept of “USP” has three guiding principles:
  • The proposition must be clearly stated to the consumer: “Buy this product, and you will get this specific benefit.”
  • The proposition itself must be unique. It must express a specific benefit that competitors do not, will not, or cannot offer.
  • The proposition must be strong enough to pull new customers to the product.
Brand Positioning
In the late 60’s and early 70’s, the concept of “brand” began to take on new meaning, including the larger concept of image and values. Al Ries and Jack Trout captured this evolution in their Harvard Business Review article and later authored a book by the same title: POSITIONING: The battle for your mind. Their concept stated that it was not product superiority that mattered, but rather consumers’ perception of a given brand that paved the road to success. This concept was dubbed “brand positioning” and to this day it remains the standard for developing successful brands.
In practice: A brand is an experience living at the intersection of promise and expectation. Here’s how it works. A company expresses its brand as a promise, both overt and implied. That promise lives in consumers’ hearts and minds as an expectation. When brand promise and consumers’ expectations reflect one another, the brand holds tremendous value for both parties. 

Consumers use brand as an identification tool
Without brands, the marketplace would be overwhelming. Imagine a world without brands: You’re out of ketchup. You run to your local store where you are met by a wall of red bottles with simply the word “ketchup.” Without brands there would be no signals to illustrate the differences between the vast array of choices other than size and price. No name, no unique package, nothing! So which one do you choose, why and how?
You can quickly see how making a purchase becomes an ordeal and making a repurchase of a product you liked would be next to impossible. However, we live in a world where consumers have a system for differentiating products and services as well as tracking their experiences. Brands provide a method of classification, differentiation and identification that allow you, as the consumer, to simplify your ketchup buying decisions. 

Branding is managing customer expectations
Branding is not about getting people to choose your offering over the competitions. It is the act of managing consumers’ expectations so as to condition your target audience to see your offering as the only answer to a specific need.
By defining a realistic and manageable promise of what the brand owner will deliver and what consumers can expect of the brand, branding has become the backbone of modern business strategy. “Brand” drives consumer purchase decisions and affects nearly every functional area of a business. With product offerings converging into sameness, companies are viewing “brand” as the only avenue of differentiation.
Branding defines market position (brand strategy) and, through a series of signals, articulates that position as promise (brand positioning). When strategy and positioning work as one, brands obtain sustainable and favorable market positions. This has shifted the task of brand building and management to the primary business strategy.
Excerpt from Eric Schulz’s new book “The Smart Marketer’s Toolbox” now available on
Eric D. Schulz

Friday, August 3, 2012

The Best Show in Town?

The Best Show in Town?

The other day I discovered a faculty member with her grandkids peering through the fence in front of the George S. Eccles Business Building and I asked her why she brought her grandchildren to campus to watch construction work.

She looked at me like I was missing the obvious and said, “Because it’s the best show in town.”

Students stop to look at the Huntsman Hall construction. (From left to right: Nicole Jaggi, Ashok Atmakur, and Thimma Reddy Kalua)

We have a lot of things we want to accomplish with this new building but we have never thought that providing entertainment to the masses would be one of them. I was also surprised that, when compared to the all the things going on in Logan, someone would consider construction work as the best show in town. Our own Natalee Champlin has found so much to do in Logan that she has launched her own business and website called “” On her website today, I see that she has listed nearly a dozen events going on and that’s in addition to the productions being put on by the Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre, that draws people from near and far.

I know Steve Eaton has not been too keen on all the activities going on in front of the business building. That’s because his office is in the basement and as they pounded and pounded to break the concrete and to move massive amounts of dirt and rock right next to his office wall, the noise has startled him enough to send him running to a different cave more than once. He said he felt he was about to be the next casualty in a “Transformer” movie where giant robots angrily stomp toward each other as they rush to battle.

I guess if we are providing some entertainment to a few people during the hot days of August, that’s a good thing. I have to admit, I have stopped myself to watch the work underway. There’s something fascinating about seeing new construction unfold, especially when it promises progress and something lasting about to be created. Maybe it is the best show in town. It’s nice that with this construction can also provide entertainment.

Ken Snyder

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Lessons Learned South of the Border

Traveling with the Huntsman School of Business to South America was one of the best experiences of my life. Here are a few things I learned from my trip.

First, we are extremely fortunate to live here in the United States. We really take for granted the many freedoms and opportunities we enjoy here the States. From being able to start and run your own business, to drinking water for free at restaurants, we really have many opportunities offered to us that are not available to others.

Second, education is more than reading out of text books, it's applying knowledge to real life situations. While in Peru we worked with the Small Enterprise Education and Development program (SEED) to issue micro loans to start up companies. This required me to apply knowledge I had learned from economic, accounting, finance, and marketing classes. It was extremely satisfying to be able to take concepts taught from my professors and apply it to this project in order to help someone else’s business succeed. It helped me connect the dots between learning and doing, something I believe we as students sometimes forget to do.

Finally, I was reminded just how important it is to build relationships with those around you. I got to know some really great students and faculty while on our trip and learned a lot from them. I’ve forged a bond with them that wouldn’t have been possible without this trip.

I would recommend that every student at Utah State University look for opportunities to get out of the box and try something new and different. By so doing you can develop talents and abilities that you thought you never had. This trip really pushed me to become something better, and I’m glad I did it.
Parker Brower in Rio De Janeiro