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BroadWeek brings together MBAs, P&G execs to explore leadership

Broad faculty and P&G presenters
Broad faculty and P&G presenters, from left: Karen Sedatole, professor of accounting and information systems; Sanjay Gupta, associate dean for MBA and professional master’s programs; Pete Wojda, associate director of supply network operation for global shave care product supply; Alan Bouchard, global process lead for product supply; and Scott McMahan, SNO operations leader for North American product supply
Students and staff at BroadWeek IV Students and staff at BroadWeek IV
Eli Broad College of Business Full-Time MBA students discuss the BroadWeek IV training content Broad MBAs discuss the training content
Pete Wojda gives the microphone to a Broad MBA student during a BroadWeek IV session Pete Wojda shares the microphone with a Broad MBA
Full-Time MBA student Phoenix Jian discusses the session content with other Eli Broad College of Business MBAs Phoenix Jian discusses the session content with other Broad MBAs
An Eli Broad College of Business Full-Time MBA student shares at BroadWeek IV An MBA student shares at BroadWeek IV

BroadWeek IV at Michigan State University’s Eli Broad College of Business, held February 26–28, took Full-Time MBA students on a deep dive into the world of leadership, with help from industry partner Procter & Gamble.

Recognized as the best company for leaders by Chief Executive magazine, P&G is known for its commitment to helping employees develop the skills they need to lead complex global businesses. The intensive hands-on content presented at BroadWeek was drawn directly from P&G’s library and presented by P&G executives and trainers, giving students exposure to ideas and concepts traditionally reserved only for P&G employees

The partnership was the brainchild of Pete Wojda (BS Chemical Engineering ’80), associate director of P&G’s supply network operation for global shave care product supply, and Sanjay Gupta, associate dean for MBA and professional master’s programs for the Broad College.

“P&G brought time, talent, and resources. Their level of commitment to our students and program was outstanding,” noted Gupta. “The ideas in the curriculum were reinforced and came to life as executives from a Fortune 100 company that is ranked at the very top for leadership, people who are living and breathing these concepts, narrated their own experiences and the importance to their own successes.”

The three-day session, which included both first- and second-year MBAs, focused on developing students’ leadership skills in strategy, personal performance (through the metaphor of the “corporate athlete” who plays to win), and influential presence. Wojda noted that he selected the leadership topics “that had the most personal impact on me, that would help the students to become effective in the field.”

As executives led sessions, they shared stories from decades of experience leading P&G and directing billions of dollars in business, reinforcing themes such as authenticity, risk taking, and being in the present.

Friday’s session, led by a professional actress, particularly focused on a model for engagement that develops the ability to connect authentically, communicate effectively, inspire action, build relationships, and thereby drive results.

“I’m not confident in public speaking,” commented Phoenix Jian (MBA Supply Chain Management ’14), “but today I got a method for how to do it. It’s a powerful tool to use for persuasion.”

Standing 6’6” tall, Jason McLean (MBA Marketing, Supply Chain ’14) is accustomed to drawing attention when he walks into a room. BroadWeek helped him transform how he sees his leadership role. “I’ve focused on holding back, being careful, so everyone else is heard,” McLean said. “But a takeaway has been to use my stature and voice to take control of a room and lead – and in that way to make sure everyone is heard.”

This is the purpose of BroadWeek – helping students to see how practice ties to the curriculum, making a direct, immediate connection with their future work, and continuing to hone practical skills in a setting of the unexpected.

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