Happy Hour for Charity!- Mercy Home for Boys and Girls

Project Description and Charity:

Our team conducted a Happy Hour for Charity event to benefit Mercy Home for Boys and Girls. Our group formed largely due to the fact that we all were interested in conducting a similar type of event. Based on our reviews of previous projects, we felt that holding a happy hour event would be fun and productive way to raise funds and spread awareness for a charity. For this event we had a $40 Wristband that included unlimited wine, beer, & appetizers for 2 hours at Liqrbox in Rivernorth. Once we figured out our venue, we then needed to pick a charity for our project. After briefly discussing a few options, we quickly decided to pick Mercy Home as our charity because one of our members already had a connection to the charity and a relationship with their volunteer coordinator. We felt that this would be a huge benefit to our project. Founded in 1887 and located at 1140 West Jackson in Chicago, Mercy Home for Boys & Girls helps youth escape poverty, abuse, and neglect.

Analysis of Success:

Our goal was to spread awareness and raise money for Mercy Home Boys and Girls. We decided to set the following goals for our project- raise $600 from our happy hour event, raise $500 from our online donation link, have at least 5 of our event guests fill out volunteer forms for Mercy, and spread awareness for the work done by Mercy. We fell a little short on our first two goals by only raising $500 and $300 respectively, but we were able to meet and exceed our other two goals by effectively spreading awareness for Mercy as well as obtaining 15 completed volunteer forms. We may have slightly overestimated our fundraising goals given the early timing of our event and the fact that our team only had four members. It was still rewarding to be able to donate these funds and volunteer forms to Mercy as well as inform them of the awareness we had spread for their cause.

Lessons Learned:

Organization:  Luckily our group was able to coordinate and plan everything without any issues, with that being said it was because we were very organized. Our team was in constant contact through texting, emails, and google docs. It was very easy to have a successful event because we had open communication.

Time: Since our event was early in the quarter it was important for us to communicate and make sure everything was done in a timely manner. Finding a venue and selecting which one we liked had to be done very fast. Everything that we did was time sensitive so it was a good way for us to learn how to manage our time and gets things done efficiently. 


  • Work effectively!
  • Make a timeline
  • Set deadlines
  • Communicate efficiently
  • Have a good time!


There’s No Flop In These Fish-Flops

Madi-18-700x466The understanding of operations management is a vast one, being constantly revisited by companies for ways of improvement and how it can be applied more efficiently to the whole team; but how can a 15-year old encompass this at such a novice level?  I’m speechless!  Through the data inflow of the customer requirements like community reinvestment and proactive volunteer support, she has maintained that consumer engagement so crucial to ensuring longevity of a product line.  She has donated more than 10,000 pairs of her Fish Flops to countless organizations that convinces her customer base that there is more to this startup than profits.  With the aid of her senior leadership team (who consists of strong people like her father and family) she was able to drive this business to the success that it has achieved now.

Through the simplicity and perseverance of Madison showing through, customers are willing to commit to that tradeoff price (a whopping $20 per pair) for the quality of the product (no holes in the sole like traditional flip-flops).  Some things that it continues to do to distinguish itself apart from its competitors is as follows: ability to invest in good materials and design processes (with a lot of help from her ole’ man that has his own t-shirt company), a strong presence in local retailers (welcome to NORDSTOM!), highly satisfied customer base, and of course innovative shoe technology (who can resist light up shoes?).

With a philanthropist idea set for the future of the company, it’s no wonder why this young entrepreneur has engaged such consumer market and future prospects, all part of her incredible strategic plan.  She can still further improve in her business based on what the world of operations management has discovered with a few recommendations.

A closer look at her strategic plan shows that a key function is to ensure that the retail face is keeping up with the quality Fish Flops wants to convey.  This can be done through product and service performance measures and working on a lean/six sigma processing. This is done by choosing suppliers overseas that can handle the cost of manufacturing the sandal, while at the same time keeping quality ensured (like making lights last longer than a week in the shoe!).  Another recommendation would be to include a key metric dashboard if they haven’t already done so; include a type of information system that can incorporate the preferences of her client base and the designs that are in most popular demand so that she can develop a leaner JIT inventory system to cut her costs down.  Also shipping can be improved and updated on her new website to include real time tracking and reports that would provide essential information for customers seeking the latest product line offerings.  She should also work to develop measurement of customer satisfaction to increase that metric.keep-calm-and-wear-fish-flops

Do you think Madison will face rejection soon, or did she find the goldmine of the shoe industry?







Is College a Scam?



We live in a country where the student debt is the second largest debt after mortgages. U.S is one of the nations where the education cost is outrageous and almost impossible to cover without taking any loans.  The cost is so high, because it is purposely set up that way. Students are being offered loan programs, which allow the schools to increase the tuition each year. The higher the tuition, the better the school’s reputation – and we all know it. According to the article the “average student loan balance for a 25-year-old is $20,326.” For most of the young adults, it takes until middle age to pay off the student loans. But is it all worth it? A huge number of students have difficulties finding a job after graduation or are being terminated after a short period of time. Bennett looked at the 3500 colleges and universities in the U.S and calculated the return on investment. The results were a bit shocking. Only 150 institutions had a positive return. The top 10 (ranked by Bennett) are listed below:


  1. Harvey Mudd College
  2. California Institute of Technology
  3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  4. Stanford University
  5. Princeton University
  6. Harvard University
  7. Dartmouth College
  8. Duke University
  9. University of Pennsylvania
  10. University of Notre Dame

Bennett said “college is worth it if you get into a top tier university like Stanford, or study an in-demand field like nuclear engineering at even a lower tier school.” Not everyone can afford to go to Stanford.

I somewhat agree with Bennett’s point of view, since the top companies only retain talent from the ivy league schools. Some organizations will not consider inviting you for an interview, if you didn’t go to a top university. I believe everyone deserves a chance, and school should not be the only factor that impacts your future. However, we live in a society where the “brand name” matters the most. Universities compete with each other by establishing a good reputation. In result, students pick the schools that will guarantee a job in the future. The vicious circle closes. In order to create some equilibrium, universities that are less expensive should implement a breakthrough improvement. As we learned in class, innovation and creative thinking is crucial. Also, such schools should use the benchmarking method. By researching the industry and following the footsteps of the successful colleges it will lead to a superior performance. It will give them a chance to become more popular, and hopefully, a positive return on investment ratio for the students. I think more students are willing to go to a more affordable college, where the future outcome is bright.

Unfortunately, this is not the case. As I mentioned before, the more you pay for your tuition the higher chances of getting a job. The question remains – is this fair?

Links where I found the article and the pictures used for this blog: