Kellogg World Alumni Magazine, Summer 2004Kellogg School of Management
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  Dean Dipak C. Jain
© Evanston Photographic
Dean Dipak C. Jain

From the Dean

Dear Kellogg School Alumni and Friends,

Kellogg is a school with many strengths. Certainly our thought leadership in the marketing arena is well known and has been respected for years, and we continue to produce discipline-defining research in that field. But it is important also to recognize other academic areas within Kellogg that boast world-class curriculums and faculty.

One such area is our Finance Department.

As you will read in this edition of Kellogg World, our strengths in finance are varied and abundant. Our faculty is filled with award-winning scholars whose research-based insights result in outstanding learning opportunities in the classroom. Indeed, by every measure, our Finance Department is one of the best.

Today, more than ever, finance plays a critical role in any organization, and firms require leaders who can excel in managing this aspect of the business. (In "A wealth of experience", you will meet a few of the Kellogg School alumni doing precisely this.) Yet even for those whose careers are concerned primarily with marketing, for instance, a grounding in finance proves invaluable for understanding the firm's overall strategy.

This is why the Kellogg School's finance curriculum provides the essential frameworks for both those students pursuing careers as finance specialists, and also for those seeking a more general corporate finance background so that they may better play leadership roles within their organizations.

In particular, our Analytical Finance major is designed to provide cutting edge technical tools for those students preparing for careers as finance specialists. One indication of the robust quality of finance education at Kellogg is the success of our students who have translated their classroom experience into excellent performances in various competitions. For instance, over the past few years, Kellogg School students have won several first-place honors in both the Cornell MBA Stock Pick Challenge and the JPMorgan Challenge. Kellogg is creating additional academic opportunities for students interested in finance. We are partnering with the American Bankruptcy Institute to develop a corporate restructuring case competition and expect the inaugural competition to take place in November.

The importance of finance is also reflected in the perspectives of recruiters who have told us that companies are increasingly seeking talented graduates who can play strong quantitative roles. We have responded to this industry need by reshaping our annual Pre-term curriculum and orientation for incoming students. By offering more flexibility with regard to academic scheduling, we have enabled students to benefit from more advanced courses — including finance — earlier in their Kellogg School careers. As a result, these students are much better positioned to compete for important summer internships. Frequently, these internships lead to rewarding employment after graduation.

Speaking of graduation, in June we once again celebrated the accomplishments of our most recent graduating classes. Our commencement ceremonies always afford us the chance to reflect back and look forward. In my remarks to the graduates, I emphasized the importance of cultivating a positive mental outlook. I believe strongly in the ability of such a mindset to carry us through difficult times, while also enabling us to achieve even more during good times. Cultivating this frame of mind demands patience and determination, but the rewards are remarkable, both for oneself and for others.

Remaining optimistic creates opportunities and inspires others to be their best. It also builds healthy communities and networks, something we at the Kellogg School always endeavor to foster for our students, alumni and friends.

We invite you to remain connected with our community, or to reconnect with us. Together, we will continue to achieve greatness by leveraging all our many talents.

Warmest personal regards,

Dipak C. Jain

Dipak C. Jain

©2002 Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University