As the world stirs and shakes off the cobwebs of the past two years, it seemed appropriate that this Brief’s theme should be about what’s new and what’s next. We look at three opportunities brightening the business landscape, the alumni seizing them, and their advice for anyone who wishes to follow in their footsteps.
Heidi Yu, MBA ’12, founded SocialBook, a VC-backed SaaS platform that connects enterprises with social influencers. In Why the Influencer is Here to Stay, she explains why being a social media influencer is a real job nowadays and how the creator economy is set to disrupt the future of marketing.
Robb Monkman, MBA ’08, is a serial investor and entrepreneur involved in different ventures. One of them, Charge Up USA, is an electric vehicle (EV) charging startup headquartered in Alabama and offering services in 10 cities across the US. In All Pumped Up for EV Charging, he elaborates on how projected EV adoption offers enormous potential for the nascent EV charging market.
Connor Bridgeman, Marketing ’17, is a brand manager at Bay Area-based Humble Games, owning the go-to-market strategies for their game portfolio. In Exploding During Lockdown, Gaming is Now for Everyone, he talks about how the pandemic fueled the growth of gaming and how it’s poised to become the next social connector.
While looking forward, we also look back, specifically at a gifted teacher, David Arnesen, whose untimely passing last December left all of us saddened by the loss of an outstanding colleague, mentor, and friend.
In an interview with The Spectator in October 1991, David, then the newly appointed International Business program chairman, said his goal was to spend the next 30 years teaching. He jested, ‘They’ll have to rebuild Pigott Hall around me, I guess.’
His influence may be more lasting than the building that housed his classes, judging by the outpouring of tributes. We join his students, past and present, in remembering a teacher who, in his nearly 40 years at Albers, opened minds, inspired souls, and in his own unique way, went forth and set the world on fire.
Joseph M. Phillips
Dean, Albers School of Business and Economics