TERRY CANNON, MBA
Terry Cannon, a typical MBA, was about to receive an MBA from a leading Business School, fueling a
desire to change the world while growing a significant saving account. Terry was debating among three
job opportunities, each of which would be a big step up the professional ladder from the associate’s job
held when working for Impressive consulting Group (ICG) prior to returning to school to get an MBA.
Terry wasn’t sure which job to take.
Terry started business school after four years of experience at Impressive Consulting Group (ICG), a
global consulting organization with practices in virtually every major city in the world. Terry worked in
the Dallas office as an associate right out of undergraduate school, with a degree in business with a
concentration in marketing. Terry had worked on a number of interesting strategic marketing projects
while at ICG. The last one, before returning to school, involved monitoring Twitter for a large client, to
make sure all mentions of the client were known to the client.
Terry was completing a standard MBA program after two years of full-time study and a summer working
for MFG Corporation, a large manufacturing company in the Midwest. The internship at MFG
Corporation involved working with the new web marketing group, which Terry chose to see just how a
company like MFG takes advantage of the Web. At the same time, Terry hoped to become more
proficient in using Web and Internet technologies. The experience at MFG’s Web marketing group,
however, only made Terry more anxious, highlighting how much more was involved in information
systems and the Web than Terry had previously thought. Terry returned to business school in the fall of
the second year wondering just how much information systems knowledge would be needed in future
jobs. Further, Terry felt that becoming a knowledgeable participant in information decisions was critical
to success in the fast-paced Internet-based business world after graduation.
Terry had three job offers as graduation closed in, and wondered just what type of information systems
knowledge was needed for each of them. All three jobs involved a competitive salary, a signing bonus,
and stock/retirement benefits, so the decision came down to the knowledge needed to be successful on
the jobs. The three jobs are summarized as follows.
Return to ICG as a consultant. This job was attractive to Terry because it meant returning to a
former employer. Terry had left in good standing and liked the company that rewarded innovation
and supported learning and growth among consultants. Terry figured a partnership was possible in
the future. As a consultant, Terry could live anywhere and travel to the client site four days a week.
The fifth day each week, Terry would be able to work at home, or if desired, in a company office.
Terry initially thought engagements in strategic marketing would be the most interesting. ICG had a
strong programming group that was brought into each engagement to do the programming and
systems analysis work. The consultant role involved understanding client concerns and assisting in
building a marketing strategy. Virtually all the projects would have some social IT compon0ent and
might involve actually building and managing communities for clients. This challenge interested
Terry, but based on the summer job experience, Terry wondered just how much technical skill
would be required of the consultants in this arena.
Join start-up InfoMicro. Several of Terry’s friends from business school were joining together to
form a new start-up company on the Web. This business plan for this company projected that
InfoMicro would be one of only two start-up in their marketplace, giving the company a good
position and great opportunity for growth. The business plan showed the company intending to go
public through an IPO as early as three years after inception, and Terry believed they could do it.
Terry would join as VP of marketing, supplementing the other three friends who would hold
president, VP of finance, and VP of operation. The friends who would be president and finance VP
were just completing a techno-MBA at Terry’s school and provide technical competence needed to
get InfoMicro on the Web. Terry would focus on developing customers and setting marketing
strategy, eventually building an organization to support that operation as necessary. Because
InfoMicro was a Web-based business and because social IT was critical to successful marketing
efforts, Terry felt a significant amount of information systems knowledge would be required of a
successful marketing executive to both understand the company’s business and to talk with
customers about how to use InfoMicro’s products.
Return to MFG Corporation. The job would be to join the marketing department as a manager
responsible for new customer development. Many of MFG Corporation’s customers were older,
established companies like MFG Corporation itself, but new customers were likely to be start-up
and up-coming companies, or highly successful younger companies were likely to be start-ups and
up-and-coming companies, or highly successful younger companies like Google or Zappos. Terry
felt that some knowledge of information systems would be necessary simply to provide innovative
interaction mechanisms such as customer Web-based communities. Terry knew that discussions
with the MFG information systems group would be necessary to build these new interfaces. How
knowledgeable must Terry be on information systems issues to hold this job?
As spring break approached, Terry knew a decision had to be made. Recruiters from all there
companies had given Terry a deadline of the end of break week, and Terry wasn’t at all sure which
job to take. All sounded interesting, and all were reasonable alternatives for Terry’s next career
1. For each position Terry is considering what types of information systems knowledge d you
think Terry would need?
2. How could Terry be a knowledgeable participant in each of the three jobs? What would it mean
to be a knowledgeable participant in each job? Give an example for each job.
3. As a marketing major and an MBA, is Terry prepared for the work world awaiting? Why or why
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