B-School Bulletin: Profs Weigh In On Cambridge Analytica

B-School Bulletin: Profs Weigh In On Cambridge Analytica
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Alexander Nix, CEO of Cambridge Analytica, speaking at Web Summit 2017 in Lisbon. Nix and Cambridge Analytica have come under controversy for unethical data mining and usage of as many as 50 million Facebook users

News from NYU Stern School of Business

“After five days of near-silence from on the Cambridge Analytica scandal that harvested data from millions of Facebook users, Mark Zuckerberg set out on an apology tour by sitting down for interviews with a number of news organizations last week including Wired, The New York Times and CNN.

“Beginning in 2014, Cambridge Analytica used data captured from over 270,000 Facebook users through a personality quiz. Data was then accessed from friends lists, ultimately amassing information from over 50 million profiles.

“Christopher Wylie, a former employee at Cambridge Analytica who left the company in 2014, blew the whistle on the unethical data usage earlier this month. The information gathered — including status updates, likes, location and sometimes even private messages — was sold to several political campaigns in 2016, including that of President Donald Trump.”

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A Penn Grad’s Company — With Ties To Trump — Is Under Fire For Allegedly Cheating Investors

News from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania

“An Indian real estate investment company co-founded by a Penn graduate and School of Engineering and Applied Science board member Anurag Bhargava has been accused of defrauding foreign investors of at least $147 million, according to The Washington Post.

“IREO, which the 1989 Wharton and Engineering graduate co-founded, has allegedly ‘illegally (siphoned) off’ close to $150 million of invested money. IREO was founded in 2004 to attract foreign investment in the Indian real estate market, and has become one of the most successful real estate private equity firms in India.
“A criminal complaint — filed by ‘two global investment companies based in New York and London that have invested nearly $300 million’ in IREO — named Bhargava as a perpetrator of ‘large-scale fraud.’”
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Carola Frydman’s detailed, hands-on research approach is a hallmark of her scholarship. Photo by Eileen Molony

A Big Thinker With An Eye For Detail

News from Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management

“Carola Frydman spends most days in a library, poring over public records and other documents as she excavates the world’s economic past. A well-regarded authority on financial history, especially of large firms and public corporations, the Kellogg School of Management finance professor relies on archival research for insight into the social and market conditions that have led to today’s economic climate.

“That research could lead to a comprehensive understanding of how corporations have evolved and shaped the modern American economy, as well as how financial markets and institutions can create sustainable long-term growth.”

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The Truth About Gender Stereotypes

News from INSEAD

“Negative stereotypes are intertwined with bias in organisations. Even when they aren’t openly expressed, stereotypes can disadvantage members of under-represented groups on several levels: recruitment, demands on time, resource allocation, evaluation, retention and promotion. In addition to the usual pressure to succeed, these employees are sometimes acutely aware of being judged on the basis of stereotypes. The ensuing psychological burden, combined with the above-mentioned disadvantages, can increase their likelihood of underperformance, thus ‘proving’ the stereotype was correct. Bias gets stacked upon bias.

“For women, the issue is complicated by documented gender differences. (How accurate they are and whether those differences are due more to nature or nurture is another matter.) For example, some evidence shows that women are more risk-averse than men. Even in the studies that show this, however, there are many men who are more risk-averse than the average woman and many women who are less risk-averse than the average man. Yet people generally see women and men as categorically different. Why does this matter and what can we do?”

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Eric Johnson

Kelley’s Eric Johnson Discusses New Prebys Career Services Center

News from Indiana University Kelley School of Business

“Since Kelley’s graduate and undergraduate career offices moved into the new Conrad Prebys Career Services Center in January, I’ve been asked dozens of times what I think about the new building. My answer surprises many.

“‘It’s very nice,’ I tell them, ‘as a building. But as a statement, it’s one of the most important buildings on any campus in the world today.

“Hyperbole? I think not. It’s true that the new Prebys center provides the Kelley School of Business with sorely needed upgrades in its career services spaces, all of which will help our teams better support our students.”

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How To Pitch Your Startup To A Venture Capitalist

News from The Wharton School

“Before the first meeting with a potential investor, the entrepreneur should be able to sharply define the company’s business model and have the right team in place. That means doing the required homework and answering important questions: Is this a lifestyle business? Is it a cash-producing business? What’s the short-term vision? What’s the long-term goal? Could the business be worth $1 billion someday?

“Jenny Lefcourt, a general partner at Freestyle Capital, shared the story of an entrepreneur who ‘bootstrapped’ his idea for months because he wanted to make sure the demand for it was real before he went in search of investors. Once he was satisfied that his idea was solid, he figured out how much he needed and whom to approach for capital.

“’There are probably 300 different seed funds, so understanding which one is right for you is the homework you’ll start to do by hearing about reputation, by looking on their website, seeing their portfolio,’ Lefcourt said. ‘If there’s something (in their portfolio of investments that’s) directly competitive, you don’t want to pitch them. However, if there’s something that’s similar, and you think, “Wow, they’ll really get it,” then that is someone you want to pitch. So that’s the type of homework you want to begin to do before you even enter into their office.’”

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Professors Shyam Sunder and Matthew Spiegel sign the documents to create a new student-run investment fund. From left, Sunder; Alexander Banker, a director at the Yale Investment Office; David Weber ’18 and Victor Zhu ’18 of the Investment Management Club; and Spiegel.

New Student-Managed Investment Fund To Provide Hands-On Experience

News from Yale SOM

“This spring, students enrolled in the Yale School of Management’s Security Analysis course will step into the role of portfolio managers for the school’s new student-run investment fund.

“Leaders of the Investment Management Club worked with faculty and Yale SOM’s International Center for Finance to create the student-run fund, which has been established by the school with an initial investment of $500,000.

Taught by Professors Matthew Spiegel and Shyam Sunder, Yale SOM’s long-standing Security Analysis course will now be offered in a two-semester sequence, thanks to the addition of the new fund. ‘This is an exciting opportunity for the students to acquire the tools to become star buy-side finance professionals,’ Spiegel says. ‘Students will acquire tools that should help them throughout their careers.’”

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Laura Tyson speaks at MIT

AI Is Rapidly Changing The Types And Location Of The Best-Paying Jobs

News from MIT Sloan School of Management & UC-Berkeley Haas School of Business

“Artificial intelligence and automation are not likely to cause vast unemployment, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be concerned about the impact on jobs.

“’I’m not worried about technological unemployment,’ said Laura Tyson, a prominent economist at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. ‘But I am worried about the quality of jobs created and the location where they are created.’

“Speaking this week at EmTech Digital, an annual AI conference organized by MIT Technology Review, Tyson suggested we look the effects of increasing automation over the last 30 years. What we know, says Tyson, is that automation has taken away many routine jobs.”

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KPMG Selects 135 Individuals For Master Of Accounting With Data And Analytics Program

News from KPMG

“Eagle Scouts, Beta Alpha Psi presidents, athletes, multi-linguists, and business owners make up the incoming class of the KPMG Master of Accounting with Data and Analytics Program.

“KPMG LLP, the U.S. audit, tax and advisory firm, developed this first-of-its-kind and award-winning program to prepare accounting students for the digital marketplace. The 135 participants in the program’s second class each will receive full tuition funding, an internship on a KPMG audit or tax team, and a full-time position upon graduation with KPMG through an advanced entry program.

“’We’re matching new technologies to audit professionals who must be future-ready and know how to use these new tools effectively,’ said Frank Casal, KPMG Vice Chair – Audit. ‘These talented individuals have a thirst for learning and critical thinking skills, exactly the characteristics needed in this environment of tremendous change and disruption and to deliver high quality audits.’”

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Elizabeth Bieler

Incorporating Humanity Into A Systems Mindset

News from MIT Sloan

“Elizabeth Bieler would like to complete her two-year MIT master’s degree program in one year, and she probably will — while also a dedicated volunteer and officer in the Air National Guard. In manners both public and personal, Bieler seems drawn to service.

“Normally completed in 18 months to two years, Bieler’s master’s program, Systems Design and Management (SDM), is administered jointly between the MIT Sloan School of Management and the MIT School of Engineering. Bieler was attracted to its unique interdisciplinary perspective: SDM prepares its students to apply ‘systems’ thinking to both engineering and management. Essentially, it encourages viewing a system that has many subsystems (say, a hospital or an airplane) holistically, with attention to how altering a subsystem may impact the integrity of any other subsystem. When unexpected qualities arise from the combinations of such subsystems, they are referred to as ’emergent characteristics.’

“Bieler’s own life similarly involves the coordination of many seemingly distinct roles: Since starting college, she has managed being a full-time student, a working civilian, a part-time officer in the Air National Guard, and a dedicated volunteer not only in STEM education initiatives, but at a veteran’s hospice — often all at once. Partly thanks to her military background, she does not struggle with procrastination.”

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