LA: Consumer retail outreach

October 14, 2014 by Grace Yokoi

Jana Cain and I (Grace Yokoi) spent a few days in LA over the summer meeting with companies and alumni in consumer retail. Company sizes varied: very large /public, large/private, medium-sized/growing, very small. Below are our insights.



We met with the head of HR and Facilities, who gave us a company overview. As of July, the company was 235 employees across LA, Ontario (fulfillment), and Austin (call center). Their original line was “essentials”, comprised of 17 products. They have been growing product lines (oral care, vitamins, cleaning products). In June 2012 they launched as an ecommerce/subscription business, but in April 2013 started a push into retail (Target, Costco, with limited products).

They’ve been focused on senior-level hiring to build out some of their functions. They look more for skills and functional capabilities than they do a CPG background. The interns they’ve had so far have gotten connected either through their investors, or through referrals from friends. This summer there was a Wharton intern in the operations team who focused on two things: potential expansion, and processes/procedures for sourcing materials. This intern had this locked down in February.

They are looking into expanding into a more formal recruiting program, but will still rely heavily on word-of-mouth and internal referrals. Recruitment for any new opportunities will begin in late January.



(See the latest news on them) Kara Nortman (MBA ’04) welcomed us to the Moonfrye office, showed us their products, and talked to us about the business. What was important to her in starting the company waMFLogos to work on a technology-enabled business that allowed women to do things that are most meaningful to them. They target the “party city snob”– moms who want to have high-quality parties for their children but are short on time. Their competitors are Party City, Oriental Trading, and Party Express. This meeting was important to us not only because of the potential for internships, but also because we know Kara to be an amazing mentor and manager. This was apparent in how she treats her 15 employees: she has recognized their talent and promoted them very quickly into big roles.



At Nestle we met with a recruiter to learn more about their MBA hiring. Nestle as an entity is broken out into five divisions that all recruit and operate autonomously:

  • Nestle Purina
  • nestleNestle Nutrition/Life Sciences, which includes Gerber
  • Nestle Water
  • Nestle Professional (which services restaurants and other commercial accounts)
  • Nestle USA (pretty much all of the food)

The bulk of Nestle USA’s recruiting effort is focused on internships. It has just one graduate program, in Marketing. The great news for GSB students is that Nestle has moved away from core versus non-core recruiting and now takes a more digital approach to attract talent. They post to approximately 19 school job boards as well as host webinars. Recruiting gets in full swing from November to January, with final round interviews taking place in February.

Interns are placed in one of the three US hubs – Glendale, CA, Ohio, and Oakland, CA. Internship candidates must have US Work Authorization. For full-time hiring, interested candidates should check the Nestle careers website. They are open to hiring new MBAs that did not do a CPG internship.



Roll Global is a privately-held business of POM Wonderful fame (they do a lot more than that). We started our morning by meeting with the roll globalDirector of Strategy from Roll Global’s strategy consulting group – the group in which all new MBA hires start. The  group is largely comprised of ex-consultants and is used as a pipeline to supply to talent to the other business groups in the company. Once candidates have spent roughly 2 years in  the group they can then move on to brand-based projects throughout the company.

New this year will be opportunities for MBAs in the marketing function. Interested candidates will need to have an extensive marketing background to be considered a good fit.



After a full morning of traveling back and forth across the valley, we were thrilled to meet with one of the co-founders of Beyond Meat. Founded as an 100% plant-based meat alternative, this is a truly innovative company that is growing quite rapidly. They BeyondMeat_logo_cmyk_newlaunched their branded product in 2013 and were already getting picked up by Whole Foods and Safeway as of early July 2014. Their focus continues to be exclusively on meat (no prepared foods).

They don’t have any full-time MBA hires yet, though they did have two MBA interns (gotten through networking/referrals). They are likely to begin recruiting in the spring.



TIEKS by Gavrieli

_0030_cardinal_folded_2 Although Tieks have been a bit too pricey for Jana and me, we were excited to reconnect with the founder, MBA ’08 Kfir Gavireli. We were inspired by his story of bootstrapping (to this day) his company and being very focused on the web-only fashion brand. He spoke to us of the early days and all he had to learn, as well as the challenges of manufacturing and building relationships with factories. He works with his sister and brother-in-law, and have 42 employees. He hasn’t thought it makes sense to hire on any MBAs without direct, relevant, applicable experience, but he is a wealth of knowledge on the industry and was very generous with his time. It was one of my favorite meetings.






Grace and I were quite impressed when we arrived at the Nastygal offices. Truly a hidden gem in a classic (read: nondescript) highrise in downtown L.A., the Nastygal offices looked and felt more like a Silicon Valley startup than an apparel manufacturer. We met with a member of Nastygal’s People and Culture (HR) team to get the inside scoop on how the company attracts and retains talent. nastygal

First and foremost, all hiring at Nastygal happens just-in-time, including internships. Internships are paid  but they’re not MBA specific and are only part-time (2-3 days per week). The team is looking into the feasibility of a more formal program that could incorporate a full-time offer at the end. On the full-time side, they do have a year long strategy externship for MBAs, which can be a good fit for an ex-consultant. Once inside the company, the People and Culture team runs the “Summer School Program”, which encourages employees to hold skills training workshops for each other.

Nastygal sources most of their hires from LinkedIn and internal referrals. They’d also be happy to accept resumes from the CMC, so if you’re interested in learning more about open opportunities, let Grace or I know!



The HR folks we met asked us many questions on how a summer internship might be structured to be valuable to MBA students. They have just started thinking this through, and want it to be a great experience for students. They talked about the company as very fast-moving, where priorities change quickly. They had 9 summer interns (not MBA) this year. Each intern worked in a specific area (supply chain, sales, marketing, ecommerce, etc) and they also all did a group project together. We look forward to seeing where they will go with regards to MBA recruiting.



We met with Megneutrogenaan Williams (GSB ‘09), who is currently a Brand Manager. Megan provided some valuable insight into Neutrogena’s recruiting. First and    foremost, the company relies heavily on their internship classes to fill their full-time hiring needs. Once on board, however, interns are not guaranteed to get a full-time offer for the same location where they did their internship.

Neutrogena recruits heavily from the diversity conferences, so it is recommended that candidates connect at one of the large fall conferences in advance of applying. The application process begins with the online application to Johnson & Johnson, indicating a location preference. The company will look outside of their intern pool for full-time roles if they have more open roles than qualified intern candidates.



sofiaWe met with our recruiter at DCPthe Disney Consumer Products corporate offices in Glendale. After touring the offices and viewing the upcoming product releases, Joel shared information about Disney’s consumer products group and their recruiting process.

Disney Consumer Products works closely with their publishing group to leverage Disney storylines into consumer products for the public. The product portfolio not only includes toys, games and apparel, but also additional books and publications as well as digital media (apps, online games, etc). MBAs hired into the Consumer Products group could work in any one of those product categories.

All of Disney’s hiring from the GSB will be handled through one central point person. This will be for all roles (corporate, studios, ABC, ESPN, etc). Full-time roles tend to be just-in-time hires. Internship recruiting will begin in late fall into winter.



barbie1 Ashley Lewis (MBA ’12) is on the global brand team for Barbie at Mattel. She loves the job as it’s a blend of creative and analytical. The global brand teams set the strategy for the product, and pricing, and think about what the line should look like. They work with the design team and engineers to create the line. Ashley got the fulltime job by networking with a friend of a friend who worked at Mattel. Mattel does not seem to have much of an on-campus presence anywhere; they buy the resume books for Anderson, Booth, Marshall, and Vanderbilt (likely because they have strong alumni representation there). Our advice would be to talk to Ashley if you are interested in Mattel.




Welcome Back, MBA2s. The CMC is Here to Support You.

September 28, 2014 by Rebecca Chopra

Welcome back, MBA2s! We hope that you had a wonderful and enriching summer.

Each of you will be returning with different questions and plans starting this fall, and the CMC stands ready to support you no matter your career path.  If you feel torn, ambivalent or stuck, need help thinking through the big questions, or just need to bounce ideas off someone, sign up for an appointment with one of our advisors.

It’s been a busy summer for the CMC.  We had an opportunity to offer career education programming for MBA1s during the academic adjustment period. The initiative is called  “Career Design” and integrates elements of design thinking into the career management process.

We encourage each of you to:

  • Spend a few minutes filling out your Dashboard online profile. Recruiters use this to find candidates and we will be using the information you give us to source new relationships with hundreds of organizations.
  • Check out our newly revamped MyGSB CMC pages: We also have a broad range of content, education, and perspectives available.
  • Save the Date!: The CNN for MBA2s will be on October 1st. And then OCR starts on Oct 20th.
  • Employment Data on the Class of 2014 will become available in mid-October.

You are not going through your job search alone.  The CMC is here to support you every step of the way.  We look forward to working with you this year!

The CMC’s Policies Regarding Full Time Offers 2014-15

September 24, 2014 by Becky Charvat

On behalf of the Career Management Center team, I want to say we hope you had a fantastic summer and are excited to be back on campus. We, at the CMC, are certainly glad you’re back!

At this point, you have likely been having conversations with previous employers, summer employers, or potential new employers about full time job opportunities. It’s important to remember that communication and positioning with the employer are key and that the CMC can help coach you through any challenging situation. 

For your reference, ALL organizations who recruit GSB students are bound by the CMC’s Recruiter Conduct Policies. This means that regardless of the channel through which you found your job (On Campus Recruiting, Networking, Head Hunter, etc), the company(ies) from which you receive an offer must adhere to GSB recruiting policies. This includes offer consideration deadlines and incentives or changes in offer terms.  This year the offer consideration deadlines for MBA2′s are:

  • December 5, 2014 – MBA2 Offer Consideration Deadline for Pre-existing student/employer relationships (summer interns, pre-MBA employer)
  • January 9, 2015 – MBA2 Offer Consideration Deadline for fall recruiting and non pre-existing relationships

The policies regarding incentives, start dates, and changes in offer terms are:

  • An initial job offer containing incentives such as base signing bonus, cash bonuses, performance bonuses, and tuition reimbursement must remain open in its entirety until the offer consideration deadline. Changes in initial offer terms including start date, job location, job function, and base salary are considered violations of the recruiting policies.
  • If you request a different office location or  materially different job function (ie: role change and/or drastically different responsibilities) and the company accommodates this request, this is considered a rebound offer; defined as when the original offer is for one office/location/role/function, but a secondary offer is made for an alternate office/location/role/function, most common with Consulting firms or Banks, particularly as far as location is concerned.
  • If you request, and as a result a company makes, a rebound offer, this is considered a little differently than the way standard offers are considered per the GSB policy. Any firm offering a rebound offer must allow students to have 3 weeks from the written (rebound) offer date to consider that offer, but as long as the company leaves the original offer out until at least Dec 5, 2014, they are not in violation of our offer policy.

If you’re getting pressure from an organization to accept an offer I recommend the following steps:

  1. Be honest with yourself – do you really want this offer/job? If not, decline the offer. Employers are balancing many factors and don’t appreciate being strung along.  Declining an offer can be done in way that leaves doors open for you. Click here for more information.
  2. Ask for time to consider the offer. Be appreciative and succinct in your communication. Thank the employer for the offer, tell them it’s a big decision, and you will need some time to consider.
  3. Remind the employer of the GSB policies.  There are times when employers are unaware of the deadlines or confuse them with other schools. As a FYI, Wharton’s offer consideration deadline for offers made during OCR or from a new employer is 12/1/2014 and Harvard’s is 12/5/2014.
  4. Ask the CMC to get involved. As the Director of Employer Relations & Recruiting, I manage any employer policy violations.  I will confront employers with policy violations only with a student’s permission. In no way do I want to intrude on an employer-student relationship. I can be vague with an organization (meaning I don’t mention any student names) and lightly remind them of our policies, or I can be direct and warn them of their infraction.  I appreciate hearing about employers who pressure a student to accept an offer. This allows me to better coach employers and students.

Now that you’re back on campus and embarking on your second year at the GSB, again, know that the entire CMC staff is here to support you throughout your career search. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have questions about offer consideration, potential employer policy violations, or just want to chat about career related topics in general.

We look forward to hearing about your summer adventures!


CMC Summer Debrief Advising and Resume Review Days

September 22, 2014 by Rebecca Chopra

Welcome Back! CMC Summer Debrief Advising (MBA2s)

If your summer internship experiences have left you with more questions than answers, the CMC is offering opportunities to focus on debriefing your summer. Over a 60-minute meeting we will facilitate reflection and takeaways, and help you figure out the next best steps in your job search.

Sessions will be offered for MBA2s primarily during the weeks of 9/15, 9/22, and 9/29. Sign-up via the dashboard (select CMC Events tab, then Advising Appointments) for a “CLV 1:1 Coaching” session. When you meet with the advisor, mention that you wish to debrief your summer.

MBA2 Resume Reviews on 9/30 & 10/1

Some recruiting activities get started in the next couple weeks. The first Resume Drop Deadline for OCR Week 1 is quickly approaching on 10/3 at 8am. On Campus Interviews start on October 20th, 2014.

>> Before you drop your resume sign up for a resume review appointment with an advisor to get feedback on your resume.

To Sign-Up: Go to MyGSB -> My Career Dashboard -> CMC Events -> Advising Appts -> Resume Review

We are here to support you through the process.  Sign up for a 1-on-1 meeting with an advisor to get feedback on how best to position yourself for your target role.

Questions? Check My Career Dashboard for advising appointments, recruiting companies, deadlines, and job descriptions.

Mobile app for My Career Dashboard

September 11, 2014 by Vic Menon

Mobile apps

Now you can access My Career Dashboard from any mobile device! Our new mobile app lets you:

  • Manage OCR
  • Make advising appointments
  • Search and apply to jobs listed on the job board
  • Reserve space at career workshops & events
  • View your career calendar
This is a new feature we are piloting so initially it is available to MBA2s only. We plan to make it available to MBA1 and MSx students. Because it is a pilot, we appreciate your feedback!
»  Instructions for mobile app

Submit Your Resume – MBA2 Resume Database

July 25, 2014 by Charlotte Carter

Each year over 150 employers use the Resume Database to target students for off-campus and on-campus recruiting events and interviews. You can begin uploading your resume to the Class of 2015 Resume Database on Tuesday, August 5th. The deadline to submit your resume is Monday, August 18th at 9am AM PDT. You can add your resume or make changes after you submit it, but after the deadline employers may have already accessed the resume database and therefore may miss your resume or changes you may have made. So be sure to submit by the deadline!

If you wish to be included in the Resume Database, log into My Career Dashboard. Then follow these steps:

  1. Select the menu under Account >> Resume Manager
  2. Click on the “Upload New” button
  3. Upload your updated resume (Word doc or PDF accepted, use the GSB template as a reference)
  4. Preview your resume
  5. Mark your resume as active by selecting the yellow star icon, the star indicates your default resume
  6. In the Profile section of the Dashboard, answer ‘Yes’ in the section labeled Permission – Employer Resume Database

Need resume guidance?

If you have any questions, please email Charlotte Carter.

115 Venture-Backed Private Companies with Corp Dev. Groups (CB Insights)

June 20, 2014 by Rebecca Chopra

corpdevGreat list of companies for MBAs interested in small high growth private companies.

CB Insights writes:

Corporate development or M&A isn’t limited to the Fortune 500 anymore. Increasingly, private startup companies are using corporate development teams to source, manage and close M&A deals.

From tech to life sciences to clean energy, here are some companies signaling they might be looking at inorganic growth.


See the full list:
115 Venture-Backed Private Companies With Corporate Development / M&A Groups

The CMC is Here to Support You after Graduation

June 1, 2014 by Rebecca Chopra

request_helpWe know that many of you are taking your time to find the right job, and may be wondering about what support you will receive from the CMC once you graduate.

Please rest assured that we are here over the summer and beyond, and will support you post-graduation with full student privileges until you secure your first job after the GSB.

  • Career Advising: We will give you our full support. You can continue to make in-person or over-the-phone appointments with the CMC advisors. To make an advising appointment, feel free to contact the advisor(s) who have been supporting you in your job search. In addition, we will assign every student who is job-searching a CMC liaison during the summer who will follow-up with you.
  • GSB Alumni Job Board: All MBA2s will continue to have access to second year jobs for 120 days following graduation. At that time, your status converts to alumni status and you will need to access the job board using your alumni username and password. You will have access to alumni jobs. However, many of the jobs available for MBA2s are available for alumni as well. Under a reciprocal partnership agreement you can also sign up to view postings from Harvard, Kellogg, and INSEAD for a small fee.
  • GSB Alumni Directory: As a GSB alum, don’t forget the directory as a networking tool.
  • Library Access: As an alum, you can access seven online databases for research. During the summer months, the library will close at 5 PM. To access the Library after hours, you can request on of a limited number of  keycards with a $20 deposit by filling out this form  by Friday, 6/20. Your student ID will be deactivated immediately after graduation.
  • Alumni Career ServicesPlease remember that the CMC is a lifelong resource to help you navigate your career.  To learn more, click here.

You may decide to take a break from your current job search during the remaining weeks before graduation and plan to resume your efforts during the summer. Please do not hesitate to meet with us to draft a plan on how to re-start after graduation.

We are here to support you.  Come see us, and if you have other ideas on how we can best support you, please let us know.

Investor, GSB Grad joins CMC as New Career Advisor

April 16, 2014 by Tom Sabel

Hello everyone, it’s good to be back! My name is Tom Sabel and I have the good fortune to be returning to the GSB as a Career Advisor. My goal in returning is simple: to help students and alums create meaningful, productive careers and lives. Easily said, perhaps difficult to achieve, but why not aim high? There has to be a good use for all this gray hair I’ve accumulated.

A little about my career

Since leaving the GSB my career has centered on investment management and strategy consulting. I consider my four years of consulting “post-graduate” work; it was an efficient way to study a lot of different industries and refine analytical frameworks. Those frameworks became essential in my primary career: investment management. I spent over 20 years investing in public and private enterprises as a partner at King and Associates. We were a small shop on Sand Hill, and I was lucky to work with other experienced and smart GSB grads. We ran a focused portfolio of companies in technology, media, healthcare, financial services and retail. I often told friends it was the perfect job for me – I got paid to read and think about the world. Of course there was that pesky requirement to make money for the investors, and we did well on that score.

In 2010 (after we had made our investors whole from the 2008/9 decline), I decided it was time to give back. Initially I advised local companies and nonprofits on an ad-hoc basis. More formally, in conjunction with Santa Clara University, I mentored social entrepreneurs and developed new investment vehicles for impact investors. It was a great opportunity to apply my investment expertise to an important new area.

What can I do for you?

As an ex consultant I can’t help but think in terms of matrices. On the skill axis I can help with career strategy, personal positioning, knowing your audience, and negotiation. On the industry axis I have deep expertise in the investment area, fairly good knowledge of consulting, and broad exposure to a wide variety of technology or technology-based industries through my investment focus. I’d like to think that together we can define career goals, develop tactics and address any job search issues.

A few personal notes

I was born and raised in Pittsburgh. As a kid I used to bike to Pirates games, but of course the only sport that really matters in Pittsburgh is football, and so in the fall I bleed a little Steeler black and gold. I thought I would become an economist, but there was too much math, so I followed the yellow brick road out to Stanford. I have spent most of my career in the Bay Area and count my business school classmates as some of my closest friends. My wife Jill is a professor in the Stanford Medical School and she keeps me humble by being way smarter than I am.

I am incredibly excited to be back and look forward to working with everyone at the GSB!


If You Want a Favor, Ask and Ask Again

March 24, 2014 by Rebecca Chopra


Our CMC  team spends lots of time encouraging MBAs to grow their professional relationships. We call it networking. If you are currently conducting a job search, you are probably already reaching out to others to get help.

It is easy to think of this process as transactional – but if you want to be successful – you need to think in the long term. During all parts of your job search, you’ll want to reach out to alumni, connections, friends, and colleagues for advice, insights and information. A strong network of professionals will help you in your next career transitions as well.

This process can seem daunting. Asking for help can be hard. 

Keep this in mind: Most people expect that the likelihood of having the other person agree to meet or speak to be very low. The research done by Stanford GSB Professor Flynn points to much higher rates of “yes” to requests for help than people ever expect.

Think about broadening your pool of those that you ask for help! 

Professor Flynn presents about his team’s research on asking for help saying that they concluded:

Out in the real world, these divergent thought processes create a kind of paradox: “Help seekers may be the least likely to ask for help from those people who in fact are the most likely to help them.” And over time, that means we tend to go back to the same small pool of people who’ve helped us in the past. This can happen in organizations, Newark points out, where those who say yes early on during their tenure get lots of requests in the future. That leads group members to an unfortunate tendency to overburden the same set of helpers while underutilizing other group members, who, this research suggests, might say yes if you try them again.

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