Alumni Visit – Jan. 26, 2019

Ziad Lajnef visited the School of Management to talk about his experiences working in the internal audits industry. He graduated from UM-Flint in 2002 with a BBA in Accounting with a Finance concentration. Shortly after, Lajnef went on to complete his MBA in 2003. During his undergrad at UM-Flint, he participated in a study abroad trip to Russia and visited the GM plant in Togliatti and the GM headquarters in Moscow. He is currently the Internal Audit Director for General Motors and oversees annual risk assessment and execution of the audit plan for North and South America. Lajef opened his presentation by giving advice to current students by encouraging them to reach out to their professor for their guidance. Lajnef said “Students at UM-Flint have a unique advantage. At a bigger school, you don’t have as much contact with your professors. Here you have direct access to ask professor about whatever you want. Use them to guide you for what you want to do in the future. Use their experience to your advantage to get the most out of your education.”

In his presentation, The Foundational Pillars for Establishing Trust with Internal Audit Customers, Lajnef elaborated on three principles of internal audits. First was to deeply consider strategies to use. Second principle is to think about the talent and diversity of the team. Lastly focused on the outlook on short-term and long-term for tactical planning and processing. Later in his presentation, Lajnef spoke about the importance of analyzing data and knowing the market you are in. His advice was to, “Become date savvy. The more you’re involved and knowledgeable in the market, the better off you’ll be.”

If you’re interested in learning more about Lajnef’s past experiences as a chef or his journey into the business world, he was featured in the fall 2018 SOM Business Magazine as the alumni spotlight! Click the link and go to page 9 to read more: https://go.umflint.edu/BusinessMagazine2018

If you’re interested in being an alumni speaker or volunteering for our upcoming events, please email Anna Swartz at annas@umflint.edu to find how you can give back to the UM-Flint community!

The 2016 Economic Forum

 

The 2016 Economic Forum was hosted by The Rotary Club of Flint & the University of Michigan-Flint School of Management on December 9th, 2016. The event took place in the Northbank Ballroom in Downtown Flint, Michigan.

FEATURED SPEAKERS:

Steve Chenenko, MBA
Chief Risk Officer, Nationwide Bank

Yener Kandogan, Ph.D
Associate Dean & Professor of International Business, UM-Flint School of Management

Christopher Douglas, Ph.D
Associate Professor & Department Chair, UM-Flint Department of Economics

 

How International Trade and Investment Impacts Market Concentration

Yener Kandogan, Ph.D.
Associate Dean and Professor of International Business
(Article by Kim Laux)

 

While international trade and investment play critical roles within specific companies, their effects can be much greater—in some cases affecting entire markets.

In his article, “The effect of foreign trade and investment liberalization on spatial concentration of economic activity,” accepted for publication in the International Business Review (November 2013), Yener Kandogan, Ph.D., associate dean and professor of international business for the School of Management, examines data from 168 countries to examine the impact of globalization (and other factors) on economic activity.

“Countries have long been liberalizing their international trade and investment; some globally under the World Trade Organization, while some took the economic integration deeper regionally,” said Kandogan.

“After writing a previous article on the shifts in economic center of gravity towards Asia, I was curious whether these integration efforts would lead to mega cities. For example, China has been benefiting greatly from globalization and economic development, and we observe such very large cities being built in very short periods of time. I wondered if this was caused by globalization only and what factors would cause such high concentrations of economic activity.”

As part of his study, Kandogan studied the varying responses of countries to foreign trade and direct investment liberalization on spatial concentration of their economic activity by considering moderating factors such as market size and level of economic development. His conclusions were based on data from 168 countries over the past 30 years.

“What I found is that international liberalization alone (the process of globalization) does not necessarily cause economic agglomeration or the the development of mega cities. Other factors, such as the size of a market and its level of economic development, also play significant roles,” he said. “The results suggested that less developed countries with small markets tend to have more concentrated economic centers, and that globalization leads to more concentration for developed and smaller countries.”

One of the key lessons businesses can learn from Kandogan’s work is the value of location and how specific factors are changing markets geographically.

“Location decisions are one of the most important decisions for multinationals as it affects their efficiency, production costs, competitiveness, access to markets, key resources and strategic assets,” Kandogan explained. “Some of these factors are associated with agglomeration of economic activity, and revealed that multinationals prefer existing centers of economic activity as their operation center for more developed and smaller countries.”

 

SOM Students Win Oakland University International Case Competition

Congratulations to UM-Flint School of Management students, Todd Ackerman, Alex Benda, George Joubran, and Logan McGrady, for winning the first ever Oakland University International Case Competition!

In February, the Oakland University School of Business invited teams of top undergraduate students from more than 200 highly respected international academic institutions to take part in their International Case Competition (OUICC). Aimed at building and practicing teamwork and leadership skills, the competition consisted of three elimination rounds of judged case presentations, with prizes and awards going to the three finalists.

In the initial round, all participating teams were required to submit a video presentation and case summary to the OUICC judging panel by email. From all the first round submissions, only 12 teams were selected to advance to the next stage of competition. In round two, the teams delivered their presentations via interactive live feeds, and were required to defend their strategies and arguments during Q&A sessions with the OUICC panel of judges.

Then with only twelve hours between rounds two and three to make improvements based on Q&A feedback, the top three teams made their best case in the third round. In the end, the School of Management student team’s presentation won the day and took home the first place award.

Congratulations again to our outstanding students – Todd Ackerman, Alex Benda, George Joubran, and Logan McGrady!