June 30th, 2004


.Wharton | Days 7-8, Classes

This was an easy weekend, compared to the boot-camp session. We only had one 3-hour lecture for each class: Management, Econ, and Accounting, and this time I came better prepared.

In the beginning of the class my group was to present a skit based on that day's case. The case was about Karen Leary (another Harvard Business School/HBS favorite), a branch manager at a Merrill Lynch (my former employer) brokerage office, struggling to find common language with her new Taiwanese subordinate, Ted Chung. Our task was to show the problem she was facing and offer a possible resolution. It was amazing how just a few well-known theatrical tricks made our presentation lively and entertaining. The class was laughing and each of us had a few classmates and the professor come up afterwards to praise our skit. What did we do? We had a PowerPoint announcing the scenes and actors, instead of having a narrator. The title slide had white Rocky punching a black boxer. I was acting as Karen and instead of having a conversation with Ted directly, I was talking on the phone to a management consultant, explaining the situation, and receiving his advice on changing my strategy with Ted. In the next scene, I gave my jacket to one of our Indian guys and he was now acting as Karen, underscoring her transformation after the conversation. Ted, seeing the "new" Karen, asked: "Karen, is that you? You look different." - "Thanks, Ted, you look great, too." replied "Karen." The class cheered. At the end we also offered an alternate ending, without the consultant's intervention, with me, the "old" Karen, pointing the finger and saying "You are fired" to Ted, Donald Trump style. That was so much fun!

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