Kellogg on Growth: Student Leadership Q&A (Part II)
In Part II of our Kellogg on Growth Student Leadership Q&A, Max Meyers ’17 shares his experience as the student lead for “Scaling Operations: Tools and Tactics”, working with Professor Michael Mazzeo to provide attendees with a tactical view of how leading companies are executing against growth targets in their markets.
Why did you decide to join the Kellogg on Growth student leadership team?
Max: To echo Dean Blount, I think there’s a lot that’s changing, and that we need leaders – “thought leaders” specifically – to help thoughtfully navigate this new reality. I’ve been a part of several conferences (from SxSW to summits for government execs) and feel like Kellogg has the potential to really offer a strong platform that brings together multiple perspective in this conversation – and wanted to be a part of that.
As a student leader, what speakers and/or aspects were important for you to incorporate into this year’s forum?
Max: I really wanted to bring the kind of speakers to campus that students wanted to connect with – who brought credibility and whose experience resonated with our future interests. That meant looking for recognized companies and leaders with different industry perspectives – we had a healthcare company named to INC 500’s fastest-growing, financial services, and CPG. And then trying to find a format brings the stories to life – we experimented with several in the session.
Which panel resonated most with you and why?
Max: Well, I got to hand-pick the speakers for the Scaling Operations session – so of course I love their stories and Professor Mazzeo’s insights! But more broadly, I really enjoyed the Wednesday morning (Day 2) plenary. What Leigh Morgan said really resonated – to solve tough societal problems, we need cognitive diversity (diverse perspectives and experiences) and to work across traditional sector or organizational boundaries. Coupling her impact focus with Brian Lee’s challenge was especially powerful: “If you believe in something, go do it. Don’t wait for funding, get as much data as you can, but do it.”
What was the most challenging part of helping plan for Kellogg on Growth? How did you learn from this experience?
Max: Students are a pretty unique audience – and a really important one – which has made this a really different experience than other conferences I’ve been a part of. It’s hard to make an interactive format when you can’t anticipate the perspectives that audience members bring (especially for session with 200+ attendees). Navigating this challenge helped me continue to learn both the importance of pushing for what you think is critical (format), while reminding me how helpful institutional perspectives are – faculty and staff leads had some great intuitions about what worked based on last year’s experience!
What’s been the most rewarding part of being on the Kellogg on Growth student leadership team? What opportunities have been the most impactful?
Max: Getting to help shape the evolution of Kellogg on Growth has been pretty rewarding. It’s only the second year for the forum, and it’s fun to both be asked for inputs and ideas – and for them to be used and come to life!
What advice would you offer to 1Y students interested in joining the student leadership team for KOG next year?
Max: I think it’s important to think about what impact you can make in one year – and in that sense, Kellogg on Growth is a great leadership opportunity since it’s something you can absolutely shape in the course of your year. In fact, 1Y’s have a particular advantage and opportunity for leadership and influence over the summer as everyone else focuses on internships.
What industry are you thinking of working in after graduation? If you already have been hired, where are you working?
Max: I’ll be heading back to Deloitte Consulting in Washington, D.C., where I work in our public sector practice.
Did you miss Part I in the series? Read the Q&A featuring Tiffany Smith ’17 here.