While finishing up her sophomore year in the Altman Program at Tulane University, Communication and Management major Molly Noonan stopped by the Altman office with some great news - she'd secured an internship writing for Conan in Los Angeles! Given that she'll be doing comedy writing all summer, we thought we'd throw down the challenge and ask her to write a bit about what she imagines her summer will be like!
Take it away, Molly...
"My name is Molly Noonan and I am a rising junior in the Altman Program. My SLA major is Communication and my Business major is Management. I want to go into comedy writing, so when it came time to do my internship search, I looked specifically for late night comedy shows and found out about summer internships with Conan! Thanks, Google!
"When it came to narrowing down what I looked for in my internship experience, I knew that I wanted to learn more about the writing process (and the production process as a whole) involved in creating a late-night show like Conan, so I pretended to keep my cool as I applied for internships that I thought I would only get in a fever-induced dream where I'm somehow lucky enough to follow in the footsteps of some of my favorite writers. Either I'm incredibly fortunate, or I'm still asleep, in which case I am much further behind in some of my classes than I previously thought.
"Applying for the internship was basically like applying for any job. I submitted a resume and cover letter via email and was then selected for a phone interview. I was asked mainly why I wanted to be a Conan intern and what I hoped to gain from the experience as a whole, during which time I did my best not to break down into a fit of excitement and terror. I think they believed that excuse about a bad connection making it sound like I was crying, because I'm headed to LA in a little over a month!
"I guess the B-school professors at Tulane are telling the truth, because networking was very helpful for me during the process of earning this internship My dad met Jimmy Pardo, who "warms up the crowd" before each show, when they were both on the road doing stand up, long before I was born. Jimmy became a close family friend, and because he believes in me and also wants to avoid awkwardness at future get-togethers, he asked that someone "keep an eye out" for my application.
"I wondered a lot about what my day-to-day life would be like if I managed to become an intern on Conan. I asked about this during my interview, and I learned that there's probably not going to be any such thing as an "average day". I'm expecting to interact with people involved in all aspects of the show's production and help with whatever they need, filling any spare time by sneakily trying to find a hiding place in which I can lodge myself when the internship is over until I annoy people enough to offer me a job in return for me no longer sleeping in the studio.
"This internship is an amazing opportunity to learn what working on a late-night comedy show is really like, as well as to create connections with people who have found the secret to having a job in what my dad likes to call "the biz". I hope to create positive relationships with everyone I work with in order to continue making progress in the industry that I hope to one day call my own!"
For more information on Molly, check out her Biobook page from her freshman year!
Thanks for sharing, Molly, and Congratulations!
The Altman Program is excited to co-sponsor, along with the Tulane School of Social Work, a lecture by Jo Cavanagh, "Social Enterprise & Frugal Innovation: Strategies for Social Change, Impact & Wellbeing from a Community-Owned Nonprofit Model in Australia." The purpose of the Altman Program's Interdisciplinary Lectures Series is to highlight the ways in which business knowledge can be applied in diverse communities and workplaces, and across academic disciplines.
Ms. Cavanagh is the CEO of Family Life, a non-profit in Australia that "assists families, children and young people, as well as making our society a better place for everyone including the most disadvantaged and vulnerable. At the heart of our enterprise is the authentic, grass-root relationships with our people, the people we help and the people of the community. Family Life is a center of research, knowledge and innovation delivering measurable social change and impact." The organization offers a number of services, including: counseling, mediation, mental health services, support and community educational services, outreach to homes, case coordination and advocacy.
Ms. Cavanagh has been at the helm of Family Life since 1996.
Three seniors in the Altman Program received an Altman Scholarly Engagement Grant to fund a research excursion to Havana, Cuba. Harley Jackson, Kaila Lopez, and Michael Swanson (all Altman Class of 2016) spent a week in the capital city studying the inner workings of the political, economic, and social environment of the Communist country.
The students utilized knowledge of their fields (with majors in Economics, Political Economy, Finance, Management, and History) to frame their study of the economic and cultural implications of burgeoning ties between the United States and Cuba. The group conducted research through interviews with Cuban academics, political players, and ordinary Cuban citizens. The majority of the trip was focused on examining the history of the informal economy and looking forward to expectations for the future.
Their findings on such topics will be presented to the Tulane academic community in April.
Altman Senior, Ethan Levy, class of 2016, has been innovating since he started his tenure at Tulane almost four years, and all of his entrepreneurship has most recently culminated in the online sharing site, FailUp, a website where students can post their ideas for various ventures and allow them to be tweaked and improved by a community of like-minded individuals. This innovation let Ethan to successfully apply to the Clinton Global Initiative University in Berkeley, California. At CGIU, he had the opportunity to hear President Bill Clinton talk about his experiences with failure, and even meet the President to discuss his speech.
Ethan had this to say about his meeting with the former President:
I was out in Berkeley to attend the CGIU (Clinton Global Initiative University) conference, where I would work on and share my "commitment to action," called FailUp. A big theme throughout the conference was failure and the importance of not being afraid of failure. Bill Clinton spoke of this, and during the "day of service," 1200+ students got to volunteer alongside the former President himself. My friend Jared and I strategically positioned ourselves to catch his attention. We spoke with him about the importance of reflecting and learning from failure for a bit, and then thanked him. Before he left, we made sure to capture a quick picture for evidence that we hung out with him. What a guy!
Dr. Edward Fischer will be visiting Tulane March 31-April 1 and will give a number of talks around campus. Dr. Fischer is Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Center for Latin American Studies (and the Institute for Coffee Studies) at Vanderbilt University. He is also the founder of Maní+, a social enterprise in Guatemala that develops and produces locally sourced complementary foods to fight malnutrition. His recent work focuses on development and well-being across cultures. He has authored or edited nine books, including Broccoli and Desire and, most recently, The Good Life: Aspiration, Dignity, and the Anthropology of Well-being. He received his PhD from Tulane in Anthropology.
Thursday, March 31 at 4 pm
100A Jones Hall, Greenleaf Conference Room
Join us for a talk in which Edward (Ted) Fischer discusses social entrepreneurship and social enterprise and the founding of the Maní+ project in Guatemala. In his talk, he will discuss the challenges and potential for social enterprise in addressing entrenched problems, such as malnutrition in Guatemala, and what it takes for social entrepreneurs to succeed.
Guatemala suffers one of the worst rates of malnutrition in the world, concentrated in the rural indigenous population. Half of all children in Guatemala under 5 are malnourished. Fischer founded Maní+, a social enterprise that has developed and now produces a locally sourced product to combat chronic malnutrition. The projects has won several international awards. Learn more about Maní+ at www.maniplus.org
Friday, April 1 at Noon
Dinwiddie 305, Middle American Research Institute (confirm w/ MARI)
German Eggs, Guatemalan Coffee, and the Anthropology of Wellbeing
Sponsored by: Middle American Research Institute
In this talk I made a simple proposition: We should understand the ends of economics, as well as politics, to be provisioning the good life as widely as possible for people as they themselves conceive it. This normative assertion, then, raises the empirical question of just what are different people's visions of the good life. And here is the rub: We may all want to live the good life, but we also differ widely on just what that entails, on what the good life might look like and the best means to get there.
Poverty is more than a lack of income, and well-being is about more than being well. In this talk I look at what constitutes well-being in radically different contexts around the world. We find that living the good life requires a certain material standard of living, but far less than one might think. Just as important are strong social relations, a sense of dignity, and commitments to a larger purpose. We may all want to be better off (according to that ever receding relative standard), but we also want to be part of something bigger than ourselves that transcends narrow self-interest.
Friday, April 1
Third Wave Coffee and Maya Farmers in Guatemala
Sponsored by TASA (contact the Dept of Anthropology)
Coffee production in Guatemala has undergone a dramatic transformation over the last twenty years. Changing tastes among northern consumers have driven new demand for high-quality "third wave" coffees that are grown at high altitudes. As a result, many of the large, lower-altitude plantations long synonymous with coffee in Guatemala have abandoned production, moving into rubber, African palm, and other crops. At least 50,000 mostly smallholding farmers in the highlands have begun growing coffee to fi ll this market niche.
In this talk, I propose a multidimensional approach to development and well-being. I show how smallholding Guatemalan producers' desires for a better future orient their engagement with this new market. Most of these small producers live in very modest circumstances with limited resources and opportunities. Yet, as they describe it, coffee represents an opportunity in a context of few opportunities, an imperfect means to a marginally better life.
Please join the Altman Program and the Tulane University Department of Political Science for the following talk by Joseph Sassoon, "Anatomy of Authoritarianism in the Arab Republics." Dr. Sassoon is the Sheikh Sabah Al Salem Al Sabah Chair at the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University. He received his PhD from St. Antony's College, Oxford. and has written extensively about the Arab World. The courses he's taught at Georgetown span Political Economy of the Arab World; Modern Politics and History of Iraq and Egypt; Politics and Economics of Authoritarianism and Refugees in the Arab World. His last book, Saddam Hussein's Ba'h Party: Inside an Authoritarian Regime won the British-Kuwait Prize for the best book on the Middle East in 2013. He was also chosen as a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars for the 2014-15 academic year.
The talk will be held Tuesday, April 19 from 4:00-5:30 in the LBC Room 201.
Altman Sophomores Sara Scott & Andrew Landsiedel, along with their teammates from the A.B. Freeman School of Business, were mightily disappointed when the PriceWaterhouseCooper Case Challenge was cancelled last month due to Snowzilla, the incredible blizzard that stopped business in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region for almost a week. But, when the opportunity arose to submit their performance via YouTube, the team jumped at the chance. And good thing they did, because they won the competition! They were recently featured on the A.B. Freeman blog due to their performance!
The Altman Program is happy to co-present a talk by German Councilman Florian Kubsch from the state of Augsburg on Monday, February 1 at 4 PM in the Qatar Ballroom. This talk, "Europe, Neoliberalism and the Refugee Crisis: Notes from Germany," co-presented by the Tulane Department of Political Science, will explore the causes and outcomes of the ongoing refugee crisis in Europe. A more detailed description follows:
The refugee crisis in Europe is leading to a Renaissance of both public spirit and racism across the continent. Pro- and anti-immigrant protestors are hitting the streets; and people are founding both integration and vigilance committees. Meanwhile, politicians vacillate between "welcoming refugees" and "closing the borders". This talk will center on why this divide has emerged and where it came from. The story starts in the 1980s, when Europe turned toward neoliberalism, causing widening inequality within its societies and among its states. Especially in Germany, Europe's biggest economy and the country with the most inhabitants, neoliberal politics changed the idea of a unified Europe in the post-war period. Decades in the making, cutbacks in social budgets left many Europeans disillusioned. In this setting, millions of refugees came and public institutions, weakened by neoliberal policies, were overstrained. The purpose of this talk is to explain that Europeans are indeed suffering, but not because of refugees. They are victims of neoliberalism. In our meeting we will talk about what information about the refugee crisis is real and what is made up. We will also discuss what is necessary to overcome neoliberal inequality, to strengthen European public spirit, and re-focus Europe on its project of post-war unity.
Date: Monday, February 1, 2016
Time: 4:00 PM
Building: Lavin-Bernick Center (LBC)212 (Qatar Ballroom)
On Friday, January 15, Dr. Jonathan Ong visited Tulane to give a talk entitled, "Digital Humanitarianism and the Corrosion of the Compassion Protocol: Obstacles to Voice, Listening and Healing in Post-Disaster Philippines." Dr. Ong is Lecturer of Media and Communication at the University of Leicester and author of The Poverty of Television: The Mediation of Suffering in Class-Divided Philippines, out in 2015 from Anthem Press. Dr. Ong uses ethnography to engage with contemporary debates about media ethics and humanitarianism, disasters and development. The abstract for his talk is below:
Digital technologies have been invested with great optimism for enabling "people-centered humanitarian action" and creating new ways for disaster-affected communities "to organize and respond to their own problems" (World Disasters Report 2013). This technological vision was put to the test in the Typhoon Haiyan response, where humanitarian agencies invested more into being "accountable to affected people" than in any other emergency and set up a suite of feedback mechanisms for people to communicate their appeals. Despite lofty promises of "humanitarian technologies" however, this talk suggests that actual achievements have been modest, as there was little evidence of substantive corrections to interventions and new programs strategically developed based on community feedback. Drawing from two ethnographic research projects funded by UK's DFID ("Obliged to Be Grateful") and the ESRC ("Humanitarian Technologies Project"), this paper critically reflects on how digital technologies have transformed the compassion protocol of humanitarian practice. In this context, technological feedback mechanisms elicit responses that are decontextualized and de-emotionalized, creating new "voice-denying rationalities" (Couldry 2010) that inhibit disaster-affected people's cunning, ruse, and high-emotion appeals for aid. I argue that this technologization of humanitarian intervention results in new efficiencies that often lead to individualistic and utilitarian responses to listening and healing in the disaster zone. Nevertheless, the talk recognizes the creative uses of technologies for coping and healing by disaster-affected people. Using examples of disaster memes on Facebook and disaster dating on Grindr, I demonstrate the significance of media in reaffirming relationships after rupture.
Dr. Ong's visit was co-sponsored by the Altman Program, the Department of Communication and Forum Tulane.
Walking around Tulane University, one would be hard-pressed to find a student who doesn't have a smartphone with more than a few mobile applications, better known simply as "apps," that they consider to be vital! Altman Senior Daniel Goldbaum is working hard to add one more to the cache of apps that students can't get by without. During his sophomore year at Tulane, a friend of his, who grew up bargain hunting at estate sales, came to Daniel with an idea for an app that helps people learn about sales and specials through word of mouth. Over the course of the next two years, while tackling school work and studying abroad, Daniel and his team worked to bring their idea, which would come to be called BragOn, to life.
Daniel and his team have experienced some ups and downs over the past two years as they have worked diligently to develop BragOn. After raising capital in order to hire a developer group in India to build the app's interface, they have had some challenging times communicating with their team overseas. One of the main hardships is simply the time difference. In order to communicate with the developers in India, Daniel and the team have to stay up pretty late in order to Skype when it's the beginning of the workday on the other side of the world. Other times, work schedules get interrupted when there are holidays, power outages or even protests.
But, Daniel knows how to go with the flow. Having worked on the project for two years now, he knows the importance of taking his time to make sure everything is right before launch. In the meantime, the BragOn team is taking advantage of another useful app – Slack – that allows them to share documents and messages with different groups from their phone, computer or tablet. Ultimately, Tulane and the Altman Program have been great incubators for the BragOn Team as they prepare to launch this January. Check back with Altman for updates on how to share Mardi Gras specials once BragOn is available this spring!
Congratulations are in order to two Altman's, Sara Scott and Andrew Landsiedel, whose team is advancing to the National Competition in Price Waterhouse Cooper's 2015 Challenge Case Competition! According to PWC, the purpose of the challenge is "to increase students' exposure to professional services and the world of public accounting." Advancing to the finals allows these students to work with members of the PWC workforce, gaining hands-on experience and valuable insight into the PWC world!
Along with three other teammates from Tulane, Sara and Andrew will travel to Washington, D.C. this January to compete against the three other teams that won out of over 750 entrants in the Accounting Category! Their accounting professor, Christine Smith, says it best: "Given the level of competition, this was a tremendous accomplishment for our young team who demonstrated an enormous amount of dedication, commitment and hard work! I could not be more proud of each and every one of them!" Congrats, Sara & Andrew!
The students were featured in Tulane's New Wave last week!
Taking advice from Thomas A. Edison, the inventor of the light bulb, Altman senior Ethan Levy is finding promise in failure. As Edison said, "I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that won't work." Levy, a member of the Altman inaugural cohort who is graduating in May with a BA in Political Economy and a BSM in Management, started working on FailUp during his freshman year on campus. Like most entrepreneurs and inventors, Levy recognized the importance of creating a positive space where students can collaboratively brainstorm ideas that may not be quite ready for execution. FailUp allows these ideas to be tweaked and improved by a community of like-minded individuals in order to successfully jump start student ventures!
FailUp officially launched on September 17, 2015. Users can sign up on the FailUp website and get started pitching new ideas or giving feedback on active ideas on the site. Check out the New Wave article on Ethan to get a closer look at how he came to launch this awesome idea!
The Altman Program hosted Tulane's Career Specialists Ed Pittman, Byron Kantrow and Julie Hauber, on the Uptown Campus on Wednesday, October 21st as part of Altman's Career Development Series for Altman Scholars. One of the major goals of the Altman program is to prepare our scholars for careers in today's interconnected global workforce. In order to get a head start, we brought in experts to teach students how to leverage various social media tools, even as freshmen, to begin developing a meaningful network. Given that over half of LinkedIn users are outside of the United States, the website is a great tool for Altman Scholars who are interested in an international career.
Ed Pittman, a Career Advisor in Tulane's Career Center, focused on LinkedIn as a great tool for networking. But, he cautioned, LinkedIn is not about the quantity of connections, but about the quality. He urged students to remember that, LinkedIn is not about amassing a lot of connections, it's about building and maintaining authentic mutually beneficial relationships." Additionally, he advised us that research suggests that 80% of all jobs obtained by college graduates today were obtained through networking.
This session was available to all Altman cohorts that were on campus. Altman freshmen and sophomores focused on building their online presence and network, by making meaningful connections in person and on the web. With this network, our underclassmen can make more precise internship matches as they progress through their college career while also developing relationships with likeminded colleagues and classmates. Altman seniors were privy to a session geared towards their ongoing job searches as they work towards graduation in May. Everyone received helpful guidance on how to make their LinkedIn profiles stand out and truly reflect their skill sets and interests.
Each year, Altman Scholars attend various events on campus and reflect, drawing connections between these scholarly presentations and the Altman curriculum. Altman Senior, Nate Benjamin, recently attended Dr. Ilan Tojerow's talk, "Reading, Writing, Arithmetic...and Religions?" This event was co-sponsored by the Altman Program and the Tulane Department of Jewish Studies.
Dr. Tojerow presented his fascinating study on the correlation between religion and level of education. Dr. Tojerow pointed out at the beginning of his talk that education has been clearly shown to correlate with economic development around the globe, and therefore he wanted to see the effect of religion on education and, indirectly, economic development.
Analyzed en masse, it seemed clear that certain religions had a positive or negative relation to education; Judaism, Protestantism, and no religious affiliation all had positive correlations, whereas Islam had a negative correlation. But Dr. Tojerow then broke the data down by religion and country. This breakdown showed that for each religion, 50-60% of the countries showed no significant relationship. In each country, religion ultimately affected the populace differently. Therefore, Dr. Tojerow's results study revealed that each religion has cases of positive, negative, and no correlation.
Lastly, Dr. Tojerow showed a number of factors that change how religion affects education. Of these, being a minority was the most impactful; if a religious group also coincided with being a minority, this blocked the usual effect of religion on education.
Overall, Dr. Tojerow's talk was fascinating to me. While religions are global phenomena, they have differing effects and traditions throughout the world. The data from his study demonstrated the nuanced and complex differences between societies.
Altman students strive to understand the connections between cultural traditions and the global economy. Dr. Tojerow's talk provided a great example of the ways in which culture can effect a nation's economy!
Sophomore Scholar John McGuire '18 also went from the Altman study abroad program in Costa Rica this summer an internship at City Eventions and City Outdoor, advertising companies in New York City. Read below to learn about John's awesome experiences:
This summer, I worked at City Outdoor and City Eventions, two sister companies under City USA The Media Group. City Outdoor specializes in outdoor advertising, such as billboards, wildpostings, and other outdoor advertising platforms. City Outdoor was looking to expand their reach to new markets across the country, rather than just the major metropolitan areas that they already serve. Working with the City Outdoor sales team, I helped strategize ways to reach out to potential clients who already spend money in outdoor advertising in order to build up City Outdoor's domestic clientele. On top of this, I attended weekly sales meetings, and handled the many administrative aspects behind many sales. City Eventions is an experiential marketing agency that organizes events and promotions in public places (public parks, stadiums, arenas, venues, etc.) across America. At City Eventions, I created PowerPoint presentations with past and potential event locations through which clients could browse while choosing a location for their event.
Tulane University Jewish Studies Speaker's Series and the Altman Program in International Business will co-sponsor a talk given by Dr. Ilan D. Tojerow, Assistant Professor at the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management (SBS-EM) at the Universite Libre de Bruxelles (ULB). Dr. Tojerow's talk, "Reading, Writing, Arithmetic...and Religions?: Measuring the country-specific aspect of religions on education" will take place on Wednesday, October 14 at 11 AM in the Jewish Studies Conference Room at 7031 Freret on the Uptown campus.
Summer Scholars: Caroline Blatt
Sophomore Scholar Caroline Blatt '18 went from the Altman study abroad program in Costa Rica this summer straight to a ten-week internship at Dodge & Cox, an investment management firm in San Francisco. She tells us about her amazing experience below:
This past summer I was very fortunate to intern at Dodge & Cox, a highly-regarded value investment manager. As part of my 10-week Operations internship, I was placed in the Treasury Department. I had the opportunity to support critical fund accounting initiatives. My main project was the publication of Semi-Annual Reports for the six Dodge & Cox U.S. mutual funds, whose assets total $200 billion. This work included the calculation and compilation of constituent data, interfacing with Dodge & Cox’s Treasury, Communications, and Legal departments, and external financial printers for document drafting through to printing and SEC filing. I was also involved in the preparation and analysis of second quarter ordinary income dividend distributions from the U.S. Funds as well as the filing of all 2014 federal, state, and foreign tax returns for the Funds, which included preparing review comments for the public accounting firm. I proofed Semi-Annual Reports for Dodge & Cox’s non-U.S. UCITS funds, and performed special income allocations for senior management and Dodge & Cox Inc.’s seed investments in those Funds. Finally, I was responsible for completion of Errors and Omissions/Directors and Officers (E&O/D&O) and Fidelity Bond insurance applications, including over 120 exhibits, pitch books for underwriters, and U.S. Funds’ Board of Trustee’s materials. Outside of my regular projects, I participated, along with the 12 other interns, in a six-week valuation course taught by the Director of Research at Dodge & Cox. We also had the opportunity to attend Bloomberg Intern Training Seminars and sit in on various research and policy committee meetings. It was an amazing experience to not only participate in real-world financial and accounting projects, but also to work with a fascinating and driven group of interns and Dodge & Cox employees.
Caroline, on the left, working hard with her fellow interns in their office overlooking San Francisco Bay.
The Altman Experience: Rising Sophomore Study Abroad
As rising Altman freshmen were preparing to begin their Tulane and Altman careers, rising juniors were busily preparing for study abroad, and our first cohort of seniors was preparing to return to New Orleans for their final year on campus, our rising sophomores left New Orleans after exams and went to the CIAPA campus in San José, Costa Rica. On this intensive study abroad program, students completed two courses and the first tier of their public service. The students completed interviews with local experts on Globalization, Human Rights and other topics in order to produce podcasts for Enlaces Américas, a podcast series hosted by Tulane's Stone Center for Latin American Studies. The Altman podcasts are now available on Tulane's Enlaces Soundcloud page.
Jeffrey Altman in Visit to Tulane Campus
"Spend your time wisely and use your youth to learn and experience as much as possible," said Jeffrey Altman during the gathering with Altman Scholars in Spring 2014. This and other pieces of advice came Altman, benefactor of Altman Program. He also listened to what the Scholars had to say about their place and progress in the program. Read about the visit in this article from Tulane Magazine.
New Program Aims to Produce Global Scholars
This fall, Tulane University launched a new interdisciplinary program aimed at preparing students to take on the challenges of an increasingly interconnected world. It combines business savvy with global thinking say professors of practice Myke Yest and Casey Love, who co-direct the program. Read more >>>
The Altman Program: $8.3 Million Gift Funds New Dual Degree
Read news from previous years in our Altman News Archive!
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