Saturday, May 10, 2008

Sunshine in Ithaca

For the third year in a row, the College of Human Ecology has offered a class, Leadership in Nonprofit Environments (HE 407), taught this year by Joanne Florino, executive director of the Triad Foundation, and Diane Shafer, a board member of the United Way of Tompkins County. The course is designed to teach students about philanthropy and partners with the Sunshine Lady Foundation (founded by Doris Buffett, sister of investor Warren Buffett), which provides $10,000 for the students to allocate, and the United Way of Tompkins County, which manages the grant program. To date, the class has funneled $30,000 to the Ithaca community.

eClips had the opportunity to speak with Doris Buffett in the past. During her talk, she discussed her responsibilities as a philanthropist and a good citizen and discussed the impact of her foundation.

To read more about this initiaitve, read the following Cornell Chronicle article

Friday, May 09, 2008

eClips Asia Summer Project

Professor Deborah Streeter, Jamie Kalousdian and eClips Asia student representatives had a meeting this Wednesday during which we finalized the eClips Asia Summer Project. Students of eClips Asia team, including Chi Fan Johnson Cheng, Amanda Mingsze Chan and me are planning to visit top chief executive officers and business leaders in Wuhan, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong in June and July of 2008 in order to interview them on the subject of business practices and ethics in China.

Part of our funding for the project will come from a 2008 Robert S. Hatfield Award that we just received for our “eClips Asia Summer Project Proposal”. Receipt of a Hatfield grant gave us a lot of encouragement and we are certain that we will successfully accomplish the goal of conducting high-quality interviews of entrepreneurs and business leaders in China and thus enrich the eClips Asia video learning materials. The content will be transcribed, translated and subtitled for viewing/listening in both English and Chinese and will be uploaded to Cornell’s eClips Collection this Fall.

We are very confident that our experience, network, and expertise of China will enable us to gather advice on business practices in China. We believe that the summer project will not only enhance the learning experiences of the eClips Asia team, but also enable us to acquire valuable educational content for eClips users around the world.

eClips already has a very rich collection of thoughts on conducting business in China. I highly recommend watching Kevin McGovern's clips since he share valuable information from his experiences of doing business with the Chinese.

I will be updating the blog with thoughts from our trip to China this summer. I hope you will be able to see through my eyes and learn more about business practices in China.

By Rui Zhang

Friday, May 02, 2008

Challenge of Maintaining Work-Life Balance While A Student Entrepreneur

Today is the last day of classes for this semester at Cornell, and I, like most of my classmates, am really happy that this semester is almost over. Looking ahead, I still have three final reports due next week and three final exams coming. The thoughts of finals and the gloomy weather in Ithaca were really depressing and I just want to get them over with so that I can embrace the summer break with open arms.

Talking about stress in life, student entrepreneurs may have more reasons to complain than me about their packed schedules since they are running a business while juggling their academic work. It is extremely challenging to do well in school and manage a successful business while also trying to find time to enjoy life. For that reason, I always like to ask how they are maintaining work-life balance during my interviews with student entrepreneurs here at Cornell.

During my recent interview with Matt Dacey, an MBA student who is running an online custom grocery business, Dacey shared that it is very important to party once in a while, to get enough sleep, to set aside specific times for leisure.

Joseph Duva shared similar thoughts to those expressed by Dacey. Duva is a Cornell undergraduate student and founder and president of His company is an auction website where homeowners and licensed contractors connect through a real-time online biding process. Like Dacey, he also schedules social downtime into his calendar and states that if you effectively manage your time, you will be amazed at what you can get done. Per Duva, "If you love what you do or you love just business in general, you'll find a way to manage your time."

Interested in hearing more about student entrepreneurs and how their achieve balance between work, school and personal life? Check out the eClips topic on Balancing Academic Life and a Startup

By Rui Zhang

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Comments from Indra Nooyi

"You cannot create a persona for yourself with work that's different than the person that left the house." - Indra Nooyi, CEO PepsiCo

Indra Nooyi is the chairman and chief executive officer of PepsiCo, the world's fourth-largest food and beverage company. Prior to being named CEO on August 14, 2006, she had been serving as PepsiCo's president and CFO.

In a partnership with not-for-profit organization Catalyst, eClips was allowed to record Nooyi's keynote address from the 2008 Catalyst Awards Conference held at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City.

In addition to speaking about women in executive roles and the challenges of balancing work and family, she also shared candid thoughts about the impact of faith on her decisions as an executive and the importance of being the same authentic person whether at work or home.

Access the video below to hear her comments about the importance of bringing your "whole self" to work...

Click here to access more clips from Nooyi's keynote in eClips.