Thursday’s Headlines: MBA Students Take On Serious Work

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Corporations that once had business students do low-risk, high-rewards research on M&A and expansion prospects are now handing entire brands over to unpaid students, according to a Wall Street Journal story today.

Westinghouse Electric has used University of Pittsburgh's Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business students in 10 projects over the past six years, while at University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business corporations pay $7,500 for a semester of services of teams of four to six people, nonprofits pay $5,000 and the school does pro bono work for start-up non-profits.

The paper details two University of Texas at Austin MBA students who each spend 20 hours per week launching a marketing campaign for Yoo-hoo, the Dr. Pepper Snapple drink. The students don’t earn a dime, but the company invests hundreds of thousands of dollars in the students’ research, travel, a mentor to oversee the students and a $25,000 “sponsorship” fee to the school. Often students get hired as interns or employees. The paper writes:

The hope, says Andrew Springate, senior vice president of marketing at Dr. Pepper Snapple, is that the students will oversee the brand, "soup to nuts," for the foreseeable future. "There's no real risk, no downside at all," he says.


Other News:

Sixty-nine percent of cross-border deals are focused on emerging markets. [WSJ]

UBS’s comps plan faces shareholder outrage. [On Wall Street]

Equity deals by financial institutions reached a record in Asia. [WSJ]

The Philippines is drawing investment attention. [Businessweek]

Goldman lost at least one client because of its support of same-sex marriage. [Financial Times]

Societe Generale’s Q1 profit fell 20 percent on restructuring expenses. [DealBook]

Hartford Financial’s Q1 profit fell 81 percent. [Bloomberg]

Gary Cohn, David Solomon, J. Michael Evans and Michael Sherwood are possible new heads of Goldman. [Vanity Fair]

French presidential candidate calls for a ban on leveraged buyouts. [Financial Times]