Wow, what a quarter! It’s so amazing to look back on this past fall and how much has happened: moving to Seattle, MASSM “boot-camp” at Camp Casey with our first boardroom, getting new teams and diving right in to our Industry Analysis project- along with quizzes, case study reports, informational interviews, and so much more!
Within the MASSM curriculum, each quarter focuses on one main project. Last summer, our teams worked on one case study, learning how to develop a case report and understanding the fundamentals of business. This last fall, each team was assigned an industry to analyze, along with a local Seattle company within that industry to research and create a (potential) recommendation for the future.
While the other team in my cohort was assigned to the logistics industry, my group, Team L.E.W. (League of Extraordinary Women), was assigned the hospital industry, specifically with Swedish Medical Center, a group of Seattle-area hospitals. At first, we were daunted with the thought of how vast this industry is and how little we knew, realizing we had a great deal of work ahead of us. Thankfully, we were assigned two coaches to help us along the way!
Michael L., founder of a Puget Sound-area medical device company, and Ken R., a healthcare consultant for a Seattle firm, were great resources and encouragement for our team throughout the entire quarter. The six of us met throughout the quarter downtown on the 27th floor of an office building, in conference rooms looking out over the Puget Sound! It was beautiful…and we felt so professional!
Along with our regular homework (I’ll get to that a little later), each week one section of our IA (Industry Analysis) was drafted so we could receive feedback from our professors and coaches. We researched many aspects of the hospital industry and Swedish: customer demographics, competitors, the economy, political and legal issues, technology, sustainability and responsibility issues, collaborators, and much more. We then assessed Swedish for the company’s performance and abilities, created a SWOT table (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats), examined the business model, and developed a strategic response for the future of the hospital group. After weeks of researching, writing, and editing, we submitted a thirty-nine-page document (references and appendices included) and presented to a boardroom of professionals, including an administrator from Swedish! It was crazy-awesome experience, and I know I speak for my team when I say that we are really proud of the final product. Thank you to our fabulous coaches, Mike and Ken, and to our professors for guiding us along the way!
While working away on our IA project, we also had regular assignments and case reports each week (sometimes we even had two a week!). Some of my personal favorites include: a company providing technology and educational services for farmers in rural India, a building materials company dealing with asbestos lawsuit(s), an athletic clothing retailer working to implement CSR (corporate social responsibility), just to name a few. For each of cases, our group would create a SWOT table, figure out the central issue and determine the direction of what the company should do to resolve the main issue.
I’ll be totally honest; this quarter was tough. It was challenging; it was tiring; it pushed me to grow and stretch myself mentally, emotionally, relationally, and academically. Last year’s cohort wasn’t lying when they told us that Fall Quarter would be difficult!
With a new quarter just beginning, I am thankful for what the last four months have taught me, and look forward to what this winter has to offer…bring it on, Social Venture Plan Competition!
UP NEXT: Study Abroad to China & India, aka CHINDIA!!