the ship of state
Kellogg alums are putting their business education to work
in the political arena
Dave Schulz's management skills came into play the day in
1981 when Chicago Mayor Jane Byrne marched into his office,
patronage chief in tow.
mayor looked the 6-foot-3-inch Schulz right in the eye. "I'd
like to know where my projects are," she asked Schulz,
who had just authored the city's first $500 million capital
then a deputy public works director, took a moment to compose
himself. "Mayor," he replied, "give me 48 hours,
and I'll tell you." Two days later, the 1974 alum strode
into the mayor's office and plunked a thick stack of papers
onto her desk. "What's this?" asked Byrne.
printouts from the first computerized project tracking system
for the city of Chicago," replied Schulz, who had spent
a feverish two days creating the system.
point on, Schulz was Byrne's point man for getting big projects
done -- completing the El line to O'Hare Airport, for example,
or overseeing one of the largest street reconstructions programs
in city history. He went on to become budget director for
Chicago Mayor Harold Washington, and later was elected to
the top post in Milwaukee County in Wisconsin.
all due respect to the widget-makers of the world, there's
no more challenging job than running a public enterprise,"
says Schulz, who stepped away from the political fray in 1992
to head Northwestern's Infrastructure Technology Institute.
"The Kellogg education puts you in a position to understand
that complexity, and brings you some very important tools
to help manage it."
|© Nathan Mandell
Dorothy Coyle '01 is director of tourism for the city
grads pursue business endeavors after graduation. After all,
that's what an MBA equips one for -- to lead and grow successful
organizations. An energetic minority of alumni, however, say
the political arena is the perfect place to fulfill their
is high-profile and fast-paced, and I think it needs people
with the type of knowledge a Kellogg degree provides,"
says Dorothy Coyle, a 2001 graduate of The Managers' Program.
"There's so much potential to make an impact, and so
much work that needs to be accomplished."
should know. As director of tourism for the city of Chicago,
she oversees a department of more than 50 people seeking to
establish the city as a must-see travel destination. Last
year, Chicago welcomed more than 30 million visitors, and
her job is to make sure that number continues to grow.
broad mandate creates great opportunities for people like
Coyle, who rose to the top of the department after beginning
in media relations 11 years ago. "You have a lot of opportunity
to make significant contributions," she observes.
grad brought her Kellogg education to bear directly on the
city's tourism issues through her group projects, which became
a boon for addressing questions the daily hustle-and-bustle
left little time to solve. One project took a sweeping look
at the city's ability to handle motor coach tourism. The many
buses coming into Chicago were bringing thousands of visitors
and untold dollars into the city, but no one had a clear handle
on the scope of the industry or how to capitalize on it.
grew clearer as the result of a Kellogg market research study
Coyle and her classmates performed. For the first time, the
group established how many visitors the buses were bringing
to the city, the challenges they faced, and how to improve
As a result,
the city is now able to take action on issues such as tour-bus
parking. "Many agencies need to coordinate their efforts
to address this market, and establishing the economic impact
makes it a real priority for people," Coyle says. "It
was a guessing-game before the study. The numbers gave us
an accurate picture of what was happening so that we could
make better decisions."
courtesy of North Dakota REC/RTC
John Hoeven '81, governor of North Dakota
most prominent political alum is probably John Hoeven '81,
who was elected governor of North Dakota in November. Hoeven,
a banker before becoming governor, points to his Kellogg training
in finance and accounting as key to his business and political
success. "That understanding of business and numbers
is vitally important in government -- especially in the executive
branch, where you are working with agencies and budgets,"
he says. "That's a critical part of the job, as well
as being able to work with people."
top goal as governor is to create more economic activity and
better-paying jobs in North Dakota. To accomplish that, his
business education will prove vital. "I believe that
business is about building relationships," he says. "Quality
government also means a good customer-service orientation."
value guided Hoeven during the state's last legislative session,
when he spearheaded the consolidation of numerous state offices
into one Commerce Department. "Our resources were fragmented,"
he says. "People were chasing all over trying to get
things done. This way, we will reduce the red tape, and that
will enable us to give better customer service to our citizens."
Kellogg a prime place for nurturing political talent? The
school's culture, which emphasizes teamwork and contributions
to the greater good, self-selects for those inclined to lead,
says Professor Don Haider, director of Kellogg's program in
lot of people come here with political talents that we nurture,
refine, direct, and add further value to," Haider says.
"We've been able to reach out and attract people with
those kinds of qualities."
the school is replete with political role models. Dean Emeritus
Donald Jacobs served on the staffs of several U.S. banking
committees before assuming the helm of the school in 1975.
Haider himself spent many years in top positions in the U.S.
and municipal governments after joining the school's faculty
in 1973, including a stint as budget director and chief financial
officer for the city of Chicago. Professor Walter Scott has
served in the federal Office of Management and Budget. Haider
and fellow Public/Nonprofit faculty member Anne Cohn Donnelly
have served as White House fellows, as have several alumni.
the school may claim the next governor of Illinois on its
faculty: Public Management Professor Michael Bakalis is an
announced Democratic candidate for the 2002 race. Numerous
other political figures have taught and lectured at the school,
including former presidential candidates Jack Kemp and Jesse
in the Global Initiatives in Management program regularly
meet with top-ranking officials in the countries they visit.
And many Kellogg courses explore the impact of business on
government, and vice versa.
service is something everyone should consider at some point
in their lives," Haider says. "It adds immeasurably
to your skill set. You have multiple constituents, unsolvable
problems, extraordinarily high expectations, and you're asked
to do the impossible in a very short amount of time. You're
relating to people who often have not been hired for their
main skills, but for other qualities. On top of that, you
have to succumb to the electorate every two to four years.
are skills you don't get in the corporate world. You can take
them back into your business life, and they will help you
understand the stakeholders and the increasing complexity
of the business world."
Coyle has certainly found that to be the case.
Kellogg degree is really marketable to any type of job. The
important thing is how you use it," she says. "I
know I am a better manager now because I have the tools needed
in today's dynamic and complex marketplace."