Enterprise Experience: Ventures

Monday, November 6, 2017

I am a career accelerator in my MBA journey, I have done B2B marketing in my past work experience and would be doing the same post my graduation. However, like most marketing specialists I didn't join Brand Enterprise but rather selected Ventures. Why did I do so? Enterprises at Carlson to me are mini-organizations or rather playing fields that give you an opportunity to experiment and practice business problems in a laboratory setting. They are like real-world simulations, where you have a real business with a real problem but the one thing that is different is ‘risk’. We work on projects more like consultants but try addressing the problem as if we owned the business. Basically, our stakes are low (just the grades) but the learning of thinking through a situation by putting yourself in a business leader’s shoe is invaluable.

Priyanka Lamba Nadgiri's Headshot

This very reason made me select Ventures Enterprise, which teaches you to have an entrepreneurial mindset. Marketing to me has many facets, it almost incorporates all sides of business: the 5Cs and 4Ps, but one part that I wanted to understand in marketing was owning a business, a product or a P&L. My experience at Ventures is teaching me how an entrepreneur owning a small business must think like a marketer and how marketers in large organizations must think like entrepreneurs.

My first project started by working with a large organization into an adhesive industry in the US and their problem was ‘clearing inventory of a failed product’. Such problems are very relevant in the real business world, where products fail and inventories have to be cleared from financial books and warehouses. This project gave me an opportunity to think through factors both internal and external to businesses. Internally thinking operational competencies, additional investment for modification, tax benefits to write-off inventory versus externally thinking about discount strategies, cannibalization, sales channels, and product positioning. Suddenly an inventory issue in warehouse became a marketing challenge and that’s where the whole learning is about when one thinks like an entrepreneur.

Team Selfie

Mandatory team selfie prior to final presentation

Additionally, the projects are executed by working in teams and this is the most interesting and challenging part of the experience. One not just learns to solve the problem but also learns how to take the team together towards solving the problem. Ultimately it’s about going with a set of recommendations that the entire team backs up and is ready to defend when presenting to the client. For me, my team experience was even more enriching because my teammates were multinational and it taught me to think through diverse perspectives. I would finally conclude that if the MBA journey is about converting yourself from raw gold to a jewel, then Enterprise experience is that final polish that makes the jewel sparkle!

Team Selfie in Front of H.B. Fuller

Team selfie after a successful presentation