Institute for Business in the Global Context

Where the World of Business Meets the World

Category: alumni

MIB Alumna Kelly Liu (F’16) Quoted in CNET

Another day, another MIB working at the intersection of business and world affairs! Kelly Liu, supply chain manager at Dell and a 2016 MIB grad, was quoted in CNET on the fight to stop child labor abuses in Congolese cobalt mines. Check out the story!

That sentiment was shared by Kelly Liu, a supply chain manager at Dell. She said her company has been working closely with Huayou Cobalt and conducted a survey with its suppliers and shared its template with other companies as well.

“We recognize this is a complex issue, and this is probably going to be marathon and not a sprint in order to create positive change,” she said.

Read the full article in CNET

 

After the Wall Street crash of 2008, Fabian Olarte (MIB ’11) found himself seeking a new career path. He decided there was no better place to do so than at The Fletcher School, and is grateful for the warm, helpful community he found at the school: “A lot of people helped me get my job and helped me advance in my career, and I’m doing the same for them.”

Student Research: IBGC Meets “BBGC”: Belgian Brewing in a Global Context

As the calendar turns summer and another class leaves Fletcher, we reflect on some of the fascinating research we’ve supported from students in the past. In this post, MIB ’16 graduate Ali Edelstein travels to Belgium to study its brewing industry.


This week, I realized Belgium is not the same country I lived and worked in two years ago. Its quirky citizens and hidden, lively bars have become more exposed to worldly cares and issues. Belgian companies are being acquired by international competitors; family brewers are innovating to stay relevant among microbrewers; and ISIS is launching a full assault on the country. The Institute for Business in the Global Context gave me a travel grant to support my research around the middle topic, so I traveled to Belgium, not expecting to experience the latter.

The author with Fletcher alum Mark Baker, Diageo’s Director of Global Trade & Regulatory Affairs

I arrived in Brussels on Monday morning and went directly to the European quarter for a meeting with Mark Baker, Fletcher alum and Diageo’s Director of Global Trade & Regulatory Affairs. True to Fletcher spirit, the topics we discussed ranged from the company’s work with local agricultural cooperatives in Africa to its involvement in a recent WTO case.  Mark played an instrumental role in helping me build industry knowledge and secure contacts for my capstone, “Strategic Alliances for Bourbon Barrel Beer: A European Market Opportunity Analysis”.

Tuesday morning came and as I headed to the train station to travel to the Amsterdam office of Diageo’s peer — Brown-Forman’s — I received news of multiple explosions in Brussels. Suicide bombers had initiated explosions in the airport and at Maelbeek metro station. I caught the last train out of the country before they shut down transportation, and while I had a productive meeting at Brown-Forman reviewing the details of my capstone’s proposal, I couldn’t get my favorite city off my mind.

What happened? Were my friends OK? How many people were killed? How could this happen? Would Brussels ever be the same?

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What’s in a name?
by Imad Ahmed (MIB 2011)

Disputes over the Indus waters divide the Republic of India and Pakistan. There is talk of talks in Lahore this month between the countries’ representatives. Recognising shared historical identity stemming from the river could bring people of the two nations closer, and facilitate smoother discussions in the long term.

Read the full piece in Pakistan Today

Online Retailers: Leading in Innovation, but Lagging in Corporate Responsibility?

Online retailers and brands are making beautiful, unique products more available than ever, and both consumers and investors have flocked to show their support. But are we holding them to the same standards that we’ve come to demand of industry-leading brick and mortar retailers?

Warby Parker store in downtown Boston

Warby Parker store in downtown Boston

In 2015, U.S. retail sales were $2.9 billion, and online retail made up just over 9% of that, at $271 million. While that may look like a small part of a large market, just five years prior, online retail was only 5% of total U.S. retail sales value. By 2020, Euromonitor International projects that online retail sales will nearly double, up to 15% of total U.S. retail sales. Notable growth in the online retail category is projected for every region in the world, which means it deserves the same consumer and investor scrutiny as the rest of the industry.

Through media attention, consumer boycotts, and shareholder resolutions, many established retailers and brands have realized that human rights and environmental abuses in international supply chains are bad for business. As a result, most apparel companies with strong brand recognition have since undertaken corporate responsibility or sustainability strategies as a matter of course.

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Fletcher alumnus Justin Ettinger (MIB 13) joins Dean Stavridis to discuss his current role as a senior manager in corporate strategy at Under Armour, Inc., in addition to why he chose Fletcher, his capstone project for Converse and his move to the West Coast to work for Gap Inc.