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Dean Sanjay Gupta poses inside the atrium of the Edward J. Minskoff Pavilion at the Brand College of Business

Sanjay Gupta

  • Eli and Edythe L. Broad Dean

Letter from Dean Sanjay Gupta

The Broad College of Business is on a tremendous journey. Our sights are set on developing transformational business leaders who are prepared to navigate the dynamic landscape of the business world. As we reflect upon the past year with an eye to the future, I am eager to share with you our highlights from 2018 that demonstrate how the Broad College is driving the future of business.

Every day we work to improve our road map for success, which guides our graduates to make an extraordinary impact. We recognize that the business world is integrated and often requires expertise across disciplines. We aren’t afraid of copilots on our journey; teamwork and collaboration are always encouraged. We ensure that Broad faculty and students are given opportunities to work with other universities and with other colleges at Michigan State University. The Broad College welcomes this diversity of thought leadership.

We foster a global mindset. Our work extends around the world through notable partnerships and programmatic innovations. We engage with our 78,000 alumni, who are spread around the globe, and we welcome international students into our programs year after year. On average, about a third of each full-time MBA class for the past three years has been composed of international students, together with more than 15% of our undergraduate class. We have grown a diverse faculty and have made new appointments to expand our Education Abroad initiatives, which provide our students with a broader understanding of the international dimensions of business through immersive, hands-on experiences.

We value integrity, ethics, and inclusivity as we pursue pathways to enable success for all. The Broad College’s leadership is advanced by an entrepreneurial spirit that explores the unknown head-on. Experiential learning is fundamental to our programs and provides our students with real-world challenges in which to apply theory and classroom knowledge. We have launched new programs and courses that enable Broad Spartans to work together on business problems and gain practical skills. 

An important focus of the Broad College curriculum is to ensure that our students have the knowledge and skills to address the issues created by the fourth industrial revolution: the digital transformation of business. There are fundamental changes taking place within organizations, industry, and society based on the ubiquity of technology, causing business processes and issues to be redefined. We are actively and intentionally redesigning each of our programs and introducing new courses and initiatives aimed at tying together the individual competencies from each major to collectively address the digital transformation of business. 

Finally, we have built a cutting-edge physical space where Spartans Will transform business at MSU. After more than six years of fundraising, planning, and construction, the Edward J. Minskoff Pavilion is opening its doors to our future business leaders this fall. The Minskoff Pavilion has been designed with a single-minded focus on fostering collaboration, teamwork, and networking. I am proud to share that the Minskoff Pavilion has also been fully funded through private support and has received the single largest gift in MSU’s history. I eagerly anticipate seeing the space come to life.

The Broad College’s journey is profound and boundless; we must continuously strive for excellence. We may not always know what lies on the road ahead, but we can say with confidence that we have the knowledge, skills, and passion to make progress for a better tomorrow.

Who will make business happen? Spartans Will.

Sincerely,

Dean Gupta's signature

Sanjay Gupta
Eli and Edythe L. Broad Dean

Teeing Up Spartan Successes

What motivates students to join the Spartan family? Being a collegiate athlete in the Big Ten. Learning from world-class faculty and graduating from nationally recognized programs. Joining MSU’s vast network of successful alumni, who can be found almost anywhere in the world. For Greer Clausen (B.A. Finance ’17, B.A. Economics ’18), all three motives informed her decision. 

Greer has golfed nearly all her life, and being on the women’s golf team at MSU became a pride point for her. But she also wanted to find the right career—one that would employ her analytical and interpersonal skills. She was connected to the Broad College’s Financial Markets Institute (FMI) through MSU’s Honors College and discovered that the FMI, a select group of 30 students studying in Broad’s finance and accounting programs, could open up such a career path. 

“I was introduced to so many people who were in so many different verticals within financial services. And through talking to them, I decided that investment banking is where my interests lie,” she said. Through the FMI, Greer had immediate professional opportunities, exposure to case competitions, and active mentorship. “Once admitted to the FMI, my network exploded.”

She had support from the Broad College to succeed not only in her business career but also in her athletic endeavors. “Dean Gupta actually hosted a brunch for all the athletes within the Broad College of Business every year just to celebrate the achievements both on the field and in the classroom. It created a very close sense of community … which was incredibly refreshing,” she said.

Because Greer also wanted to explore her interest in finance on a larger scale, she minored in international business and participated in the Global Finance Education Abroad program.

These immersive programs and valuable networking opportunities allowed Greer to quickly bridge her studies to the working world. She connected with Broad alumni and landed an internship at William Blair, a premier global boutique with expertise in investment banking, investment management, and private wealth management. Today, she works full-time as an investment banking analyst in the Consumer and Retail group.

MSU Alumnus and FMI Scholar Greer Clausen smiles
The MSU community is not just about ‘How can I find my next job?’ It’s ‘How can I build a relationship with somebody that will last a lifetime and will help both me and them succeed as Spartans?’
Greer Clausen
B.A. Finance ’17, Minor International Business ’17, B.A. Economics ’18

Now, one year into her career, Greer is finding out how her time at MSU set her on a course for success. Her biggest takeaways: Teamwork is everything, and research has a huge role in business. 

“As soon as I got on the job, even during my internship, I realized that the real business world is all based on teams …. Working with different personalities while I was at the Broad College really helped me prepare for working with different personalities now in my current career and in the future,” she said. 

Research has surprised her as a critical part of her work. While at MSU, Greer embarked on a professorial assistantship that served as her introduction to doing research. She said this assistantship helped her learn “how to find and use resources in the most effective way.” 

In her role at William Blair, she conducts research frequently to better understand different industry trends and dynamics, all to inform how the firm can best achieve great outcomes for its clients.

“There are so many passionate professors at Michigan State who really push you outside of your comfort zone and push you to learn new material,” she said. From dedicated professors and faculty to financial scholarships to alumni relationships, Greer has felt the Spartan community supporting her every step of her journey.

Now she strives to contribute to the community as a Spartan alumna. “Everybody has been in the student’s position before and has always had somebody to look up to who helped them pursue their career,” Greer said. She actively engages with current Broad Spartans through FMI’s annual alumni event and hopes to serve as a link to the business world, teeing up more Spartan successes.

“The community is not just about ‘How can I find my next job?’ … it’s ‘How can I build a relationship with somebody that will last a lifetime and will help both me and them succeed as Spartans?’” she said. Greer is committed to making an impact on the future of business by applying her knowledge and skills in her career and by supporting the community that helped shape her path forward.

GROWING OUR AREAS OF EXPERTISE 

Stephen Schiestel, faculty member in the Department of Finance, has led the development and launch of the Financial Planning and Wealth Management Program, geared toward undergraduate finance majors. Students who complete all six courses in the program will satisfy the education requirement needed to be eligible to sit for the Certified Financial Planner exam upon graduation. 

With a $2.5 million contribution from Plante Moran and a $500,000 gift from the Charles Schwab Foundation, the program will have the funding support for a professor of practice and a dedicated space in the Minskoff Pavilion. 

LINKING STUDENTS WITH ALUMNI 

Amy Wisner, faculty member in the Department of Marketing, created the Wisdom Project to directly connect more than 1,300 students with alumni each year, encouraging action-based learning and interaction. 

RISING THROUGH THE RANKS 

Broad alumnae are paving the way and leading the future of business: 

Carey Martin (B.A. Human Resource Management ’98, M.S. Labor Relations and Human Resources ’99) is now the Chief Human Resources Officer at Whirlpool Corporation, responsible for 92,000 employees across 70 manufacturing and technology research centers. 

Deirdre O’Brien (B.A. Operations Management ’88) is now the Senior Vice President of Retail + People at Apple, managing employee relations for 70,000 employees and leading global retail strategy. She has been with Apple for 30 years and counting. 

Linda Hubbard (B.A. Accounting ’82), President and COO of Carhartt, gave the Broad College’s commencement address in May. She is the first woman and non-family member to be named president of Carhartt and serves on the Broad College’s Advisory Board. 

Bridging Local Impact and Global Mindset

In the business world, innovation and productivity are everyday terms. We recognize how innovation brings new ideas forward and fosters progress and how productivity ensures that we use resources effectively to achieve results. But how can we fuse innovation and productivity to advance business even further? Perhaps the adventure begins with inclusion. 

Sriram Narayanan, Kesseler Family Endowed Faculty Fellow and professor of supply chain management, believes that inclusion should “make it effortless for organizations to work very well together.” 

He has spent the past several years alongside numerous professors, MBA students, and nonprofit organizations in seeking answers to the question of how inclusion relates to productivity and innovation for the supply chain industry. 

Part of Sriram’s journey has included a partnership with Peckham, Inc., a pioneering Lansing-based nonprofit organization, as a case study for inclusion in the apparel manufacturing industry. Peckham is known for embracing collaboration and providing job training opportunities for people with significant disabilities or barriers to employment.

“There we are focused on how inclusion of individuals with disabilities on the factory floor impacts productivity and how we can create a workforce that has a diverse range of ability on factory floors,” Sriram explained. Much of this research was supported by the Peckham Foundation and was completed in partnership with colleagues at the MSU College of Engineering.

Broad MBA students have been an integral part of the partnership and have supported excursions to the Peckham factory floor by collecting and analyzing data. “We teach them theory, but they need to watch these theories in action and be able to understand how they need to modify theories and work,” he said.

Through this partnership, Sriram has discovered what makes Peckham a truly unique case study: its ability and willingness to identify and value its employees’ strengths, which allow all employees to make quality contributions to the organization. Sriram described this process as assessing person–job fit. Essentially, Peckham has used inclusion as a business innovation to increase productivity. And it’s working.

Professor in Supply Chain Management Sriram Narayanan teaches in a classroom inside the Edward J. Minskoff Pavilion
Broad has really opened my eyes to a whole new dimension around supply chain and how we can think about supply chain as an integrated entity.
Sriram Narayanan
Kesseler Family Endowed Faculty Fellow, Professor of Supply Chain Management

Inclusion is not limited to Lansing, nor is it limited to people with disabilities in the workforce. According to Sriram, inclusion has become a global topic—countries and businesses are increasingly becoming aware of inclusion and its varying facets. Sriram and his colleagues at MSU have found themselves bridging this local work in Lansing to places like Bangladesh and India, where new laws are being formed around the notion of improved work environments for all. 

This year, Sriram extended his work as the international chair for the 12th Annual Indian Subcontinent Region of Decision Sciences Institute conference, helping to organize a panel session covering health, financial, and disability inclusion in India as well as aspects of climate change. 

Sriram also values inclusion as an important part of teaching. He serves as the academic director for the S. P. Jain Institute of Management and Research Post-Graduate Diploma in Management program, which brings MBA students from India to the Broad College for a three-week supply chain immersion experience. “We educate them on how companies here tend to think about innovation, sustainability, and broadly inclusion and how we can make more data-centric decisions with respect to these,” he said.

“Broad has really opened my eyes to a whole new dimension around supply chain and how we can think about supply chain as an integrated entity,” Sriram said. And his path continues forward. Sriram, with colleagues at MSU School of Planning, Design, and Construction and the Prem Jain Memorial Trust, India, has partnered with scholars at Lady Irwin College, at the University of Delhi, and the School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi, to organize the first South Asian Conference on Sustainability in the Textile and Apparel Industry. This conference is to be held in India in March 2020. It will be partially funded by MSU’s Asian Studies Center and will showcase participation from partners in the Bangladesh apparel industry.

Sriram has been able to not only pursue impactful research, teaching, and service but also dive deeply into Broad’s philosophy of community engagement. Aside from applying his work on a global scale, he has learned how to become an effective teacher by connecting with others at MSU. He has welcomed opportunities for personal growth, constructive criticism, and valuable mentorship. “I would say that the Broad College has played a big part in making me a more complete academic,” he said.

Looking toward the future, Sriram envisions Broad’s community engagement working on a larger scale. He believes there is synergy around the theme of inclusion that allows for collaboration to happen globally. Sriram is passionate about continuing his journey forward to expand the global platform for inclusion and improve the future of business.

YIELDING RESULTS AND RECOGNITION

Three Broad faculty have received 2019 AT&T Awards from MSU Information Technology for their flipped classroom teaching approach, where learning happens online and hands-on experiences happen in the classroom. AT&T funds these annual awards to recognize and encourage best practices in the use of technology to enhance teaching and learning.

Michael Thibideau—1st place, Best Technology Enhanced Course: Supply Chain Cost Management, SCM 479

Yemisi Bolumole—1st place, Best Blended Course: Logistics and Transportation Management, SCM 373

Aubrey Wigner—Honorable Mention, Technology Enhancement Award: Business Model Creation & Prototyping for Entrepreneurs, BUS 170

GOING FOR GREEN POWER

The Broad College’s Center for Railway Research and Education held its inaugural session on Railway Motive Power and Alternative Propulsion to explore alternative fuels and emission reduction for the railway industry.

SHOWING PRIDE IN BUSINESS

Spearheaded by two Broad students, Spartan Pride is the first organization focused on inclusivity and representation for LGBTQ+ students in the Broad College.

Navigating Ethics, Technology, and Business

Smart technology, social media, and artificial intelligence are now mainstays in today’s world. We endlessly scroll through social media feeds to gather the latest news and trends. We ask our devices to show us reviews of new restaurants or movies online. We map the quickest commute or chart courses to new destinations. All the information we could want is almost instantly available and seamlessly gathered by complex digital systems. As Anjana Susarla, associate professor of accounting and information systems, explains, “Technology platforms have essentially become public utilities where we depend on them for our daily lives.” 

Anjana has spent the past several years exploring the crossroads of technology, data science, and business at the Broad College. “We really have to merge business with technology. We have to create a transformational vision for merging business with technology and data science.”

Her journey began with an interest in simply understanding how information spreads on social media. The freedom of content creation sparked her excitement: the lack of barriers to entry, how anyone can create content for an audience of millions around the world, and how posts can become viral through the power of social influence and social connections.

“Whether you want to call it data or information, we are generating a lot of what we would call ‘digital traces.’ Everything we do is digitized, and we are generating massive quantities of it,” Anjana said.

Over time, Anjana has found herself heading down a path toward understanding why users often engage with content that is misleading or untrue. She has spent the past year delving into social media regulation, AI, and the impact of big data for the healthcare industry.

“We use this method called ‘deep learning’ to quantify the extent of medical misinformation. We actually find that the most popular content on platforms such as YouTube can be quite misleading if you are a medical practitioner,” she said. Anjana has found that fake news and misinformation spread swiftly and can engage our emotions much more strongly than truthful reporting. Digital platforms are also designed with algorithms to automatically recommend content that reflects certain biases, which can affect which content gets the most traction.

Associate Professor in Accounting and Information Systems Anjana Susarla poses in the Minskoff Pavilion at MSU
We have to create a transformational vision for merging business with technology and data science.
Anjana Susarla
Associate Professor, Accounting and Information Systems

How can these platforms be policed to better control the accuracy of the content being shared? What are the implications for regulators and policy makers? And what are the implications for technology companies seeking to make a profit? These are the fundamental questions driving Anjana’s research forward. 

Today’s business world is experiencing an impressive digital transformation in which rapidly evolving technology is being widely applied to meet our needs and solve our problems. As Anjana has found, “so many decisions are made by algorithms, we’ve essentially ceded a lot of decision-making capability to AI.” 

She points out that we place a tremendous amount of “algorithmic trust” in these digital platforms, perhaps even more than we trust our governments and the people elected to represent us. As these technologies become more pervasive, we can expect to see more unintended behaviors or unintended consequences. 

What does this mean for the future of business? How can future business leaders build ethics and accuracy into tomorrow’s technology? The key, according to Anjana, is awareness.

“I hope to make future business leaders aware of what goes on inside this kind of ‘black box,’ and so, make them better equipped to work with the algorithms,” she said.

Anjana’s efforts are often a collaboration across disciplines at MSU, a practice that is encouraged here at the Broad College. She teams up with other colleges, such as Engineering and Law, “because some of these newer issues are all so complex and require a kind of interdisciplinary thinking.” She finds herself with tremendous opportunities to apply her work and her students’ work more broadly, to study the bigger picture.

Anjana teaches in the Master’s in Business Analytics program and places an emphasis on experiential learning—learning by doing. She partners with companies that have real-world challenges and mentors her students to apply cutting-edge research methods in a live business context. “We train students to have both the technical as well as the business skills required for them to be business data scientists in the workplace,” she said.

She believes that tomorrow’s business leaders will have to anticipate concerns and take action before they arise, before lawmakers understand them, and potentially before technology companies even acknowledge the concerns are there. Through curriculum development, teaching methods, and research, Anjana equips her students with the tools and skills needed to navigate the ever-changing digital landscape of tomorrow.

Anjana nurtures and guides tomorrow’s business leaders to truly understand how ethics, technology, and business can intersect to make successful business happen.

EXPLORING RESPONSIBLE AI 

Manoj Saxena (MBA ’91) is doing his part to ensure that AI is a force for good in tomorrow’s business. As the executive chairman of CognitiveScale and co-founder of the Saxena Family Foundation, he gifted the Broad College $1 million to establish the Omura–Saxena Endowed Professorship to permanently support a faculty position in Responsible AI. 

The professorship is named for Glenn Omura, a mentor to Saxena and former Associate Dean for MBA and Professional Master’s Programs.

CHARTING A NEW COURSE 

The Broad College is the first business college in Michigan to launch a course in blockchain. 

Blockchain Foundations and Applications (MGT 491) is now offered as an elective in the minor in entrepreneurship and innovation. 

#1 MASTER’S IN MARKETING RESEARCH

SOURCE: EDUNIVERSAL

The M.S. in Marketing Research (MSMR) program makes modern data-science techniques accessible by refining complicated concepts into easily digestible lessons balanced with real-world marketing applications.

With leadership from Richard Spreng, associate professor of marketing and MSMR academic director, Jessica Richards, MSMR program director, and Michael Brereton, founding advisory board chair, the program has reached its #1 status.

EXTENDING OUR REACH 

The Broad College has partnered with Bisk Education, Inc., to deliver executive education programs in supply chain management and business analytics in the United Arab Emirates through the University of Dubai.

Building the Future of Business

As the Broad College begins its next chapter, the Edward J. Minskoff Pavilion will modernize and enhance the experience that each student will have. This 100,000-square-foot state-of-the-art building features technology-enabled flexible classrooms and learning spaces to create an innovative community for Broad Spartans. 

The Minskoff Pavilion, a $62 million project, has been fully funded through private donations and support from more than 1,400 Broad College alumni and friends. The single largest gift in MSU’s 164-year history—$30 million—was made by Edward J. Minskoff, a Spartan alumnus and MSU’s 2013 Philanthropist of the Year.

The Minskoff Pavilion has been designed and constructed with a single-minded focus on community, collaboration, and networking. The Broad College will be positioned at the forefront of technology, connectivity, and sustainability and will provide our community with the resources it needs to thrive beyond the classroom. The Broad College will cultivate transformational business leaders who will make business happen.

Portrait of Edward J. Minskoff

ABOUT EDWARD J. MINSKOFF

Edward J. Minskoff is a Spartan alumnus with an unshakable bond to MSU. Minskoff received his B.A. in Economics in 1962 and has been showing his financial support for the university since 1964.

As the founder and president of Edward J. Minskoff Equities, Inc., Minskoff has forged a successful career path in real estate investment and development. He received an honorary doctorate in business from the Broad College in 2009. He is also a member of the President’s Campaign Cabinet.

Minskoff has shown unwavering support for MSU in many ways, including his naming and funding of the Julie and Edward J. Minskoff Gallery in the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, the Biomedical Physical Sciences Building’s largest laboratory, and now, through MSU’s single largest gift of $30 million for the Edward J. Minskoff Pavilion at the Broad College.

Rerouting the Business World with Research

What’s so bad about faking a smile? It seems harmless, and it’s simple enough to temporarily put on an expression and an emotion we’re not genuinely feeling. Some situations even require us to maintain a fake expression. Workers in any customer-facing service position, for instance, are expected to act cheerful and upbeat, regardless of what they may be truly feeling. 

However, Brent Scott, Frederick S. Addy Endowed Distinguished Professor of Management, explains, “Surface acting, or faking it, has all sorts of nasty side effects on people doing that behavior. For example, it’s associated with emotional exhaustion.” When people fake positive emotions at work, they can become less satisfied with their jobs and are more likely to consider quitting. 

Brent is motivated to explore this world of emotional regulation because of his own firsthand experience with it. “I was that person who had to paste on a happy face even though I wasn’t really feeling it on the inside,” he said. While working in customer service, Brent found himself putting a great deal of effort into displaying the required positive emotions.

Today, he is on a journey to uncover how emotions can have serious implications for businesses and employees. He has found that people faking it can often get caught in the “slippery slope” effect—they are already being inauthentic, displaying fake positive emotions, and they end up giving themselves a moral license to continue to act inauthentically and often behave unethically.

What do unethical employees mean for business? They hurt productivity by slacking off, they tarnish reputations by falsifying records, and they cause disruptions in the workforce by lying to supervisors and managers.

Brent has also explored what happens when people fake a negative emotion. This year, he was part of a research team that followed managers’ emotional displays over several weeks. Surprisingly, they found that when managers faked negative displays, “they were more satisfied with their jobs and less exhausted as a result of that. So, things completely flipped,” he said.

How do businesses make sense of these findings and navigate emotions in the workplace in a beneficial and constructive way? Brent is on a mission to continuously apply his research findings to the real world, and he discovers pathways of connection all the time.

Professor in Management Brent Scott smiles inside the Broad College of Business
It’s really important to bridge the gap between research and teaching by bringing contemporary research findings into the classroom.
Brent Scott
Frederick S. Addy Endowed Distinguished Professor of Management

Brent is often able to witness his research in action right here at the Broad College. “There are all sorts of instances where the research I do plays a direct role, or I can see its direct implications in my day-to-day activities here at Broad,” he said. “I work with coworkers. I have a boss. I manage doctoral students. And I see the exact same things that people in the real world see.” 

Brent interprets the connection between research and the real world as a two-way street. Just as his academic interests were driven by his own industry experience, he can reroute his research findings back into a real-world application. He then relays this practice to his students. 

“It’s really important to bridge the gap between research and teaching by bringing contemporary research findings into the classroom,” he said. Brent steers students to ask where information comes from, question information that may seem like common sense, and, of course, think critically to analyze problems and create well-rounded solutions.

As the director of the doctoral program in management, Brent is always eager to see where his students will make an impact. He says that the Ph.D. in Management is “yet another way that you find Spartans almost everywhere. They’re not just in business, they’re in academia as well. And they are in some of the best schools in the country, including our own.” Brent strives to continue the Broad College’s reputation of producing excellent students who go on to transform business in a multitude of ways.

A key success factor for Brent has been the collaborative spirit of the Broad College. “It’s a very supportive, communal environment,” he said. Broad faculty celebrate successes together and team up to tackle today’s toughest research questions, rather than competing. “We have the same values, and so as a result, I think, as a unit, we’re able to accomplish quite a bit.”

Collaboration is also happening between the Broad College and its alumni. Brent participated in the inaugural BroadX event, a take on TEDx, and was able to directly connect with an alumnus using an emotional intelligence scale to hire executive employees. This meaningful conversation serves as one small example of how Brent continues to draw connections between his research and the business world.

Going forward, Brent hopes to study the full range of emotions and how they have an impact on fairness and ethics in the workplace. He says that “we need a deeper conversation about both the advantages and disadvantages of each type of emotion because the workplace is an arena for emotional expressions of all types.” His collaborations and conversations with faculty, students, alumni, and stakeholders accelerate his journey of informing the future of business and bridging research with the real world.

EXPANDING OUR PROGRAMS 

The Broad College has created a Master of Science in Healthcare Management program that provides students with the business acumen to be successful in the healthcare industry. This effort has been spearheaded by Michael Rip, founding director of the M.S. in Healthcare Management program and assistant professor in the Department of Management. 

The M.S. in Healthcare Management program provides what’s missing in the healthcare industry—a comprehensive understanding of the business side of healthcare. 

ILLUMINATING OUR ACADEMIC RESEARCH 

BroadX bridges the gap between faculty and professional business alumni. At its March debut in Houston, Broad faculty were tasked with explaining their research to alumni in 10 minutes or less. 

Future BroadX events will serve as a channel to illuminate Broad’s thought leadership and forge deeper connections with our alumni in the business world.

CLIMBING TOWARD EFFECTIVENESS 

Nicholas Hays, assistant professor in the Department of Management, produced research demonstrating how hierarchies can be effective if employees at all levels feel valued and respected and are given the opportunity to share their perspectives. 

Questing For Innovation

Inspiration is everywhere. Sometimes, in order to see it, we must stop to ask questions, be curious, and wonder. For MiRan Kim, associate professor in The School of Hospitality Business, inspiration blossomed from her daily work surroundings in Korea. She spent several years as a marketer for international luxury hotels and constantly found herself pondering service, satisfaction, and loyalty. 

“I couldn’t stop thinking about how I can make my customers happy,” she recalled. In the world of hospitality business, service is everything. Whether customers are ordering a drink at a local bar or checking into a five-star resort, they have expectations for the kind of service they will receive. 

As MiRan explained, “customers have more opportunities to interact with the products, services, or even service providers” in the hospitality industry. It is crucial for businesses to make intentional efforts toward understanding customer needs and how to provide unique and excellent customer service.

Logically, better service leads to higher satisfaction, and higher satisfaction leads to greater customer loyalty. MiRan recognized satisfaction and loyalty as fundamental for success in the industry; she knew that she needed to please her customers and keep them coming back for more. But her mind kept wandering, and she wondered if there was an innovative way to make this happen.

MiRan considers service innovation vital for business survival. She compared it to a car’s engine; service innovation is the driving force behind a business’s competitive advantage. MiRan’s inspiration and curiosity to discover more about service innovation led her to chase a concept called customer delight.

While customer satisfaction is about meeting expectations, customer delight extends beyond expectations. MiRan said that customer delight “occurs when customers have an unexpected experience by the products or services.”

When customers are delighted, they are engaged on a psychological level, which creates an emotional bond between the customer and the product, service, or service provider. They experience a pleasant surprise that registers strongly in their hearts and resonates in their minds. As MiRan put it, paraphrasing a familiar quotation, “People may forget what you do or say, but they will never forget how you have made them feel.”

The School of Hospitality Business Associate Professor MiRan Kim poses in the Minskoff Pavilion
It is my mission to make sure my students really understand this concept of customer delight to be the future leaders in the industry.
MiRan Kim
Associate Professor, The School of Hospitality Business

Customer delight is being studied by many researchers and has been found to be a strong indicator for customer loyalty, repurchase intent, and positive word of mouth. How can businesses pursue customer delight and strategically surprise customers? How can we anticipate customer needs and expectations so that we can deliver service that goes beyond those expectations? MiRan is working to unlock answers to these questions and more. 

MiRan first came to the Broad College as a student pursuing her master’s degree. She was welcomed with immense encouragement and motivation from faculty and fellow students. “Within the Broad College and The School of Hospitality Business, I have been privileged to experience a spirit of support and inspiration and collegiality,” she said. 

On her journey from industry professional to student to associate professor, MiRan has strengthened her expertise and thought leadership. Her research has been published in numerous international hospitality business journals and industry magazines. She often presents her work at conferences and partners with other universities, both nationally and internationally. She capitalizes on her industry experience by collaborating with global hotel companies to apply her academic findings and stay current with industry dynamics. 

MiRan explained that the collaborative approach championed at the Broad College helps to enhance its reputation and recognition; she is happy to be a team player and grateful to be here. “I’m committed to contribute myself, to continue that culture and that support, and then even make it better,” she said.

How does she deliver on her commitment to further Broad’s culture of teamwork and collaboration? Through her students.

MiRan takes pride in mentoring students and guiding them on research projects. Many of them have been awarded Broad College research scholarship opportunities, and she enjoys watching these students dig into the fun side of research while learning along the way. Her students also present their findings at MSU’s undergraduate research forum, which makes MiRan incredibly proud.

As MiRan considers the future of the hospitality industry, she sees customer delight as something that will require daily attention. “We need to train our hearts by doing small, delightful things for others, as we train our body every day to build muscles,” she said. To improve customer delight practices, MiRan believes that people and businesses must regularly devote time, energy, and resources to see results.

Specifically, she pointed out that tomorrow’s business leaders will need to consider delight not only for their external customers but also for internal customers—employees. She teaches her students to invest in employees as the front line when interacting with customers and consider employees the delivery method for customer delight.

MiRan has followed her inspiration and curiosity for service innovation on a course that now lets her transform the future of business.

ALIGNING WITH AMAZING ALUMNI 

Rohit Khattar (B.A. Hotel and Restaurant Management ’85) was featured as the keynote speaker for the MSU Executive Forum held in India. Khattar is the founder and chairman of Old World Hospitality, Ltd., India’s largest live entertainment company, and the founder of Indian Accent, ranked as one of the 50 best restaurants in the world.

SOARING TO SUCCESS 

For the seventh consecutive year, an MSU student has been awarded the Statler Foundation Scholarship of Excellence. Maeve Geary, a senior hospitality business student and 2018–2019 president for MSU’s Club Management Association of America chapter, has been honored with this national scholarship.

ENHANCING OUR IN-HOUSE EXPERTISE 

Jim Anhut (MBA ’85) has been appointed as the director of the Real Estate Investment Management minor. His industry experience in real estate investment will provide the REIM minor with the proper support, in-house expertise, and leadership it needs to strengthen and flourish. 

Yearning to Make a Difference

Perseverance and passion define Broad Spartans. Through Broad’s diverse programs and dedicated faculty, students acquire knowledge and skills that complement their passion to advance the future of business. Malik Amir Mix (B.A. Marketing ’19) exemplifies what it means to be a Broad Spartan. 

Malik Amir came to MSU as a first-generation college student, a decision he described as “a test of journey and willpower.” Despite intimidation and self-doubt, Malik Amir was determined to accelerate forward by developing a network of people who could support and inspire him. This network ended up shaping his journey. 

“I didn’t plan on being a business student at all,” he said. He originally planned to study chemistry, but he changed course when many of his peers participated in the Summer Business Institute, hosted by Multicultural Business Programs. In this week-long residential learning experience, incoming freshmen make connections with MSU faculty and corporate professionals. He decided to shift his path and pursue a marketing degree in the business college—a move that expanded his support system and helped him feel confident as a new Spartan.

Malik Amir’s network provided a key advantage for success at the Broad College. Whether he was teaming up with peers, seeking guidance from faculty and advisors, or being pushed by mentors, he felt motivated and encouraged. “Broad breeds a type of brilliance that’s not like any other place that you talk about.”

He often talked with other Broad students about applying their learning in a purposeful and tangible way, and he didn’t want to wait for graduation to make a difference. In his junior year, Malik Amir founded Our Young Leaders Foundation, a nonprofit working to “cultivate the youth in urban communities by encouraging high scholastic achievement and community involvement,” according to the foundation’s website.

Malik Amir’s grandparents, who employed creativity and a strong work ethic to create change for their community in Detroit, were his inspiration in creating the foundation. He is following in their footsteps, applying his knowledge, skills, and passion to pursue a real impact.

In recognition of his entrepreneurial spirit, Malik Amir was chosen as a Forbes 2018 30 Under 30 Scholar. The Forbes Under 30 Summit elevated his network to exhilarating new heights as he connected with business leaders from around the world and explored inventive ideas. He described the summit as a “battleground for entrepreneurs.”

MSU and Broad College of Business Marketing alumnus Malik Amir Mix poses inside an auditorium in Detroit, MI
Broad breeds a type of brilliance that’s not like any other place that you talk about.
Malik Amir Mix
B.A. Marketing ’19

Malik Amir was also chosen to represent MSU students on the 2018 Homecoming Court, proudly walking for the Broad College in the MSU Homecoming Parade, where he made connections with Broad alumni. The experience showed him that he was being cheered on by an immense support system, he said. 

He values alumni as an important part of his network today. Malik Amir appreciates small interactions and organic conversations that can lead to bigger actions and even donations to his nonprofit. “You can truly feel that passion of being a Broad Spartan as you continue to do things, because you know you have this basis of support,” he said. 

Malik Amir has blazed a trail as a Broad Spartan, and he plans to keep that momentum going as he joins the working world, in a full-time position with Whirlpool Corporation while balancing the needs of his nonprofit.

Our Young Leaders Foundation began as a mentorship program for high schoolers and has expanded already, he explained. The organization has raised money for student scholarships, conducted a “Purpose Tour” to share its motto of “purpose fuels passion and passion fuels purpose,” and gained business partnerships. The foundation is evolving and constantly exceeding Malik Amir’s expectations.

“My goal is to truly invest myself 100% with my time, my efforts, my energy, my passion for learning, and then apply what I’m learning [at Whirlpool] to a funnel into my nonprofit,” he said.

His vision for the foundation is to provide full-ride scholarships for all students who graduate from Detroit high schools so that he can give back to his hometown. Malik Amir credits the city for giving him his hustle: “It gave me character, it gave me drive, and it gave me passion.” Detroit is continuously building and teeming with creative energy, two qualities that he strives to put into action every day.

Malik Amir’s drive to make a difference furthers his inspirational journey to become a transformational business leader and illustrates what it means to be a Broad Spartan.

TOP 25 UNDERGRADUATE ENTREPRENEURSHIP PROGRAM 

SOURCE: PRINCETON REVIEW 

The Princeton Review listed MSU in its top 25 undergraduate entrepreneurship programs in the nation, reinforcing MSU’s position as an entrepreneurial hub and a leading institution for innovation. Launched in 2016, the entrepreneurship and innovation minor has become one of the fastest growing minors in MSU’s history, with nearly 600 students currently enrolled.

EMPOWERING SPARTANS TO DRESS FOR SUCCESS 

Hannah Ahluwalia (B.A. Accounting ’19) has partnered with the Women in Business Students’ Association and the Russell Palmer Career Management Center to create the Empowerment Closet: a way for students to borrow professional clothes for interviews, networking events, and more.

NURTURING NEW PARTNERSHIPS 

The Broad College collaborated with buildOn, a youth service nonprofit organization founded by Jim Ziolkowski (B.A. Financial Administration ’89), to connect 86 MBA students with Detroit high school students for a weekend-long immersive learning and volunteer opportunity. In this partnership, the first of its kind for Broad MBAs, the roles were reversed: high school students mentored Broad MBA students, providing a tangible experience of Detroit beyond the walls of big business.

ACHIEVING A BROADER IMPACT 

The Broad Student Senate received the MSU Student Organization Achievement Award 2018–2019 for its leadership in community service and emphasis on impacting the broader Spartan community, beyond its 40 members in the Broad College.