Friday, February 11, 2011

Meet the Executive Event a Big Success -- What a Day!

Today, we hosted Mr. Marc Schneider, the Group President of Dress Furnishings at Phillips Van Heusen (PVH), as part of our "Meet the Executive" initiative. The announcement even made the UMass Amherst homepage.

Mr. Schneider, who is an alum of our School of Management, was simply fantastic.

Some tips from Mr. Schneider's lecture and a fabulous Q&A that followed are below:

You should go for a career and not for a "job." He spoke about how he began his career at Macy's and benefited from its outstanding training program.

What creates success? -- preparation, clarity of objectives, and putting the work in! Do not be outworked!

Those who succeed aren't necessarily smarter -- whatever profession you select, you must be good at it. The successful ones are the ones who have worked the hardest. Make sure that you do your homework.

In business, you must know finance, marketing, logistics, and organizational behavior.

You need a toolbox of capabilities. I create value, he said -- I set the strategy and create the roadmap. I set the structure and populate it with great people. I give them the space to succeed and encourage them to execute with distinction.

One needs to focus on the end results and to build a good team and to collaborate.

I want my employees to be charged up and to love coming to work. Employees must be engaged. (Now, wouldn't the world be a better place if all bosses were like this?!)

Mr. Schneider also emphasized the importance of mentoring and looking at the longer view.

He regaled us with his travels as part of his work and he always combines work and pleasure when he travels.

He was asked about the greatest obstacles that he has faced, about the relative importance of face time vs. electronic communication (he is on 24/7 and loves it that way), and about whether he is always learning (indeed, he is, and sometimes will go to the library for a couple of hours to just reflect and think).

And, yes, he was even at the Super Bowl game last weekend in Dallas (PVH works with the NFL) and was also there at various festivities since his company had corporate seats. He highlighted how football players have to work really hard to make it to the NFL and those who make it to the Hall of Fame are those who have worked the hardest.

His near-term travels will take him to LA, where he regularly checks out a manufacturing plant, to Reno, to Milan, and then to China. He was in Istanbul last summer.

It was fascinating to hear him speak on the global supply chain of his fashion products and to hear about the role of information technology (he even reworked this aspect of the business). His decisions as to where to outsource and the associated risk in the world that we live in today he analyzes very thoroughly because they will affect many. He even mentioned how the events in Egypt are affecting the delivery of some of his company's products! And we all know what happened in Egypt today!

What came through is his energy, his love of his career, his curiosity about the world around him, and his willingness to advise and mentor our students.

The lunch at the University Club at UMass Amherst was not only delicious but the conversations continued and were so warm and entertaining.

Thank you, Mr. Marc Schneider, for a visit we will all remember and, think, he could have just stayed in Manhattan with this being Fashion Week!

Thank you also for noting the great education that you received in our school -- and he is now responsible for a business valued at an amount with a 1 followed by a lot of zeros!

You can find more photos from this and our UMass Amherst INFORMS Student Chapter activities on the chapter homepage, which also has links to Facebook and Twitter.