In the last weeks of 2018 I received an email. “Would you like to attend the Executive in Residence breakfast in the new building in January?” Great timing, I thought, just last week I asked Paul to reach out to Hofstra to find out what was going on with the EIR program.
EIR…it’s the acronym for the Executive in Residence title with Zarb School of Business at Hofstra, which Paul and I both proudly hold. And when we were first appointed EIRs we were really, really proud and were heavily involved not only in the EIR program, but also guest lecturing to the graduate students, helping to develop a “boot camp” style internship program, hosting DOZENS of fresh faces in our internship program here at Slightly Mad headquarters and consulting for a professor or two for their marketing classes’ syllabi.
So when we received this invitation, we made it a point to attend. And we’re both very pleased that we did. It was my first contact with Acting Dean of the Frank G. Zarb School of Business, Dr. Janet Lenaghan. In truth I may have met her once or twice when she was Vice Dean, but having spent about two hours with her yesterday – hearing her talk about Zarb’s high rankings by U.S. News & World Report, The Princeton Review, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, and Forbes; Zarb’s online MBA program (ranked #17 in the nation by The Princeton Review!); the new CO-OP programs; the new partnerships and initiatives and, of course, the new building - I liked her immediately and got a real sense that she is a breath of fresh air for Zarb - sweeping into her new role, in the new building, in the new year.
All is seeming right and good!
I could go on an on about the AMAZING rankings and the CO-OP programs, but what I really want to talk about today is the new building. We are excited about the new Center for Entrepreneurship startup incubator (something we definitely plan on being more involved with in the coming months!) and I’m loving the new Executive in Residence digs (so much better than the cement block office in Weller Hall, TBH.)
But there’s another gem inside this building that is giving Paul and I goosebumps – “The Comprehensive Behavioral Science (market research) Lab."
During Dr. Lenaghan’s tour of the building, we were lucky enough to catch Dr. Mathur, who showed us around the lab and gave us a very excited explanation of the cool state-of-the-art gadgets and gizmos he and his students will be using. They’ll be able to do things like altering the environment in which subjects take polls or interact with digital media by changing the lighting and climate in the room. With the state-of-the-art interactive recording devices located at every station they will be able to track and record every eye movement, every facial expression in minute detail (emphasis on the “ute”).
Dr. Lenaghan spoke about the huge amounts of data that these devices will amass as an opportunity to introduce Data Management to students in all areas of study, recognizing the rising importance of data in all verticals. In today’s competitive business environment these budding professionals will be learning, first hand, how to harness data sources in meaningful ways. I admire Dr. Lenaghan’s intent to impart to these young professionals the value that data presents for them and the power it has to influence decisions in an organization.
Those of you who know Paul Levine (partner and chief strategic officer here at Slightly Mad), may not know much about his background in research. As partner, general manager and client services director at Mad Dogs & Englishmen (a world-renowned, award-winning strategic and creative boutique) Paul developed a proprietary research methodology which we use here at Slightly Mad to great success.
He also launched a national research study and worked with the Res Media Group to form "Agent X," whose mission was to research the sensibilities of emerging artists, directors, musicians and technologists. Coining the phrase "Emerging Culture Revealed" Paul captured their unique ability to identify and leverage emerging trends on behalf of brands in the areas of music, art, fashion, lifestyles and film through their various media platforms.
AND in the world of urban culture, Paul formed a content partnership with the Scratch Music Group (parent company of the Scratch DJ Academy) to develop a cutting edge research product offering. By doing a deep dive research study into the minds of celebrity and professional DJs – whose fingers are squarely on the pulse of urban culture – Paul developed a cultural trend report called the Scratch Monitor, a quarterly research report designed to tap into a collective of leading DJs whose choices affect culture daily. The Scratch Monitor provided fresh insights into the minds and emotions of the ever-changing faces of urban culture. His initial client was PepsiCo, among other Fortune 500 clients.
Slightly Mad is eager to learn more about the goings on at the Comprehensive Behavioral Science (market research) Lab at Zarb and maybe even have a go at some of those gizmos and gadgets soon, as we re-energize our EIR activities in the new year!