Saturday, December 30, 2006

I started this blog in March of 2003 as we were about to enter and invade Iraq under the false pretense that Saddam Hussein, dictator and tyrant extraordinaire, was harboring weapons of mass destruction. Today, three and a half years later, we (well, not we...our President) are claiming "justice" because yesterday evening Saddam Hussein was hanged.

Yes. Hanged. Like a Yosemite Sam cartoon. Big burly men in ski masks walked him to the gallows. They tied a noose around his neck, truly, like in a cartoon, and then stepped away. Moments later he was pronounced dead, undoubtedly with his twisted neck and limp body swinging in the air, hanging from a rope.

How is this justice? It's barbarism. Nothing else.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Hello! For many of you this is the first time you have heard from me in months, if not years! I am finally, after six months in business school, lifting my head above water for a few minutes to gasp some air! While I had a few minutes, I thought I would use the time to reach out and stay connected.

As most (if not all) of you know, I started at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business last fall. I went back to business school to gain a fundamental business education that I could use in concert with my communications background and my commitment to – and passion for – corporate social responsibility to, in short, change the American corporation as we know it. And I have to say, so far so good.

Last semester was a whirlwind! In addition to taking my core classes – Statistics, Microeconomics, Organizational Behavior, Marketing, Finance and Accounting – I also got involved in a few extracurricular activities. First and most exciting, I was elected Vice President, Community Affairs by my classmates. In that capacity I am working to help Haas students get engaged with the community so that after school and throughout the course of their careers they stay engaged and recognize community involvement as an important part of their every day lives. My job includes helping connect students with volunteer opportunities, raising money and goods for different local organizations, and fundraising from the Haas community and beyond so that we may supplement the salaries of Haas first year students who choose internships in non-profit or public sector jobs. One of the reasons I chose Haas was that the culture and the people really support and promote this kind of community engagement. It has been a thrill to make this such a core part of what I am doing here!

In addition to my student government role (that sounds so geeky!), I am also involved with two clubs on campus – Berkeley Net Impact (the student club focused on corporate social responsibility) and GSVC – the Global Social Venture Competition. For Net Impact I am a Vice President (we are big on titles here!) of Outreach. My goal is to work with some of the more traditional career clubs on campus – Marketing, Finance, Real Estate, Health Care – to educate their members about corporate social responsibility so that when they go back into the professional world they are carrying out their job functions with an understanding and awareness of socially responsible business practices. I have to say, I love that I am a member of Net Impact after so many years working with Net Impact and MBA students on behalf of Nike! Through Net Impact I have also helped organize a student-led Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) speaker series. This is a one-credit class and each week features a different topic on which invited guest speakers share their expertise and perspectives with students. This has been incredible! So far, speakers have included the representatives from HP and Intel who were part of an industry working group that created a voluntary code of conduct; Socially responsible investment experts, including SRI gurus from Piper Jaffray and Calvert; Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich (who I invited and therefore had the honor and pleasure of introducing!). Coming up we have a reporter from Fortune who covers the CSR “beat,” and a panel on CSR in the food industry, with representatives from Whole Foods, Niman Ranch, Spectrum Organics and the founder of Sharffen Berger chocolates (we are hoping they all bring samples!).

For the Global Social Venture Competition, I got involved early in the school year in helping set the strategic direction for the club, which puts on a social venture business plan competition every year. Now that we are in competition planning mode, I am working on collecting participant feedback so that we can make adjustments to the process as we go along and think about longer-term changes that can enhance the comepteition moving forward. The people involved in this club have been some of the most impressive people I have met in a long time. They are all true believers and we feed off each other’s energy and passion and it allows us to get a lot done in a short period of time!

I also started writing for the school paper, HaasWeek, which just resumed publication after a semester-long hiatus. The editors liked my first story so much, they offered me a column! Not sure I can commit to another deadline but you know me – I cannot imagine passing up the opportunity to say what I think about things for an audience!

School has also been a lot of fun socially (of course!). The people are not only incredibly smart and interesting, they are also hilarious and a ton of fun! Over winter break a group of about 12 of us went to Argentina for three weeks and it was one of the best trips I have ever taken. We are already thinking about where to go for Spring Break (as we plan our Argentina reunion dinner!)! I also convinced a group of about 20 classmates to train for a triathlon together (suckers!) - none of them have done one before! In all my spare time, I also managed to meet myself a nice young man...his name is Peter, he’s a second year and he’s European – who would have guessed?!

So I am about a month into my second semester, busier than ever and yet I am still loving it, more convinced than ever that going back to school was the right move for me. This semester I am able to take some electives and I am loving them all! One class I am taking is Business and Public Policy. The Professor is amazing – he is incredibly smart and dynamic and the material we are learning will be applicable in the real world, I am sure.

I am also taking Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), taught by Professor Kellie McElhaney (studying with Kellie was a significant reason I chose to come to Haas) – an incredible class in which we get actual CSR consulting projects to work on all semester long. My client is Yahoo! and the project is awesome! We are working closely with Yahoo!’s CSR manager to benchmark CSR best practices in the Internet industry, research socially responsible investment criteria and develop other tools and materials the company can use as it develops and implements its corporate social responsibility strategy. It’s been amazing to have the opportunity to take the skills I already had, supplement them with what we are learning in class and then apply them, real time, to our client’s needs.

My third elective is called International Business Development. This class, to which I applied and was one of 64 applicants accepted out of a pool of 120, puts us into four-person student teams and we are each assigned an overseas client for whom we will be working. We will spend the semester researching and developing materials for our clients and then, in late May, we will travel to our client sites to finalize and present our deliverables. My team is working on developing a business plan for a planned ecotourism resort on Easter Island. That’s right...EASTER ISLAND! I am going to the island of those strange statues! You have to admit, that’s a little bit insane! I am really excited about it (of course!). Business school has opened up the world to me in ways I never would have expected and I feel so lucky that I am able to take advantage of all it has to offer!

Now the search for the summer job is on! Can you believe it? I feel like I just left work! But this is how it goes here in business school. In fact, many of my classmates already have jobs lined up for the summer! I am just getting started, but because what I want to do follows a less traditional path, the process will be a bit slower and a bit more challenging. I am hoping to get a job this summer working with a large corporation on developing and/or implementing some aspect of a CSR strategy (preferably in the Bay Area, though I am open to going somewhere else). So what does that look like? Well, it can look like a number of things, including the following:
Helping develop a CSR report – more and more companies are doing these now and with my communications background, this would be an ideal assignment for me!
Working with the investor relations department of a company trying to compile information and answer questionnaires from socially responsible investment research analysts and fund managers
Researching and analyzing best practices to help guide a company in the development of its CSR strategy and/or programs

Most large companies have MBA summer internship programs, though the internships are usually in finance, marketing or product management. This means I am going to have to network and cold call to find my summer job! So do not be surprised if you hear from me in the coming weeks seeking your assistance or advice in helping me land my summer gig. I sent my most recent resume for you, just so you can have it at your fingertips in case that job-that’s-perfect-for-Marcy comes across your desk! In the meantime, if you have any suggestions about people to call who may be looking for someone like me for the summer (or who I can convince really needs someone like me for the summer!), please let me know!

Well, it’s back to the books for me! I hear things slow down in the second year and I really hope they do; in fact, I am counting on it! I hope you are all well and I hope to be in better, more consistent touch. Drop me a line to let me know how you are and if you will be out this way soon!

Marcy Scott Lynn
Berkeley MBA Candidate, 2006
Haas School of Business

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Packing packing packing. What a pain in the ass. I am nearing the wire at this, I am at the wire. I move on Thursday morning (courtesy of the Quest brothers) and, it being Tuesday, I would say I am right on the edge here. Things have been great since getting back from New York. It is gorgeous here in San Francisco but for some reason, that trip home to NYC has really made me open my eyes and my heart to the possibility that I may live somewhere else when these two years at school are up. The last week since I have come home have been interesting and, on some level, instructive. It's amazing how certain moments in your life offer an opportunity to see who is know what I mean?

I am worried about my mom. Unemployment has got to be scary for a woman in her 50s. There is a part of me that thinks this is something I need to take care of. I can just picture the TV Movie of the Week, based on a true story of course, about the young woman who was facing a summer of travel and two years in graduate school (for which she had saved a lot of money) and she throws it all to the side to take care of her financially ailing family! I feel like I "should" give my mother the money I have saved for my education and take out more loans...or even just go back to work...put school on hold. But she hasn't asked me to do that. And unless and until she does, I am not going to offer. Does that make me selfish? I don't know...maybe it does. But I can't help it. I have worked so hard to get to where I am. It was tough to save all that money. And I want to do this next step. I am scared, sure, but I want it...I am ready for the challenge. And, if all goes well, I will have enough financial security after it's all over to help make sure my family always ends up on its feet. Anyway, it made for a stressful and distracting weekend.

So tomorrow is my last day of moving activities before the actual move takes place on Thursday. Then it's down to LA and then off to Europe...Should be fun. I am really excited to be going with Meredith. Plus it will be fun to see and stay with Keith. He is a good guy and he's tons of fun. So that will be nice.

It's weird to be moving AGAIN after just moving 2 years ago...and even more weird is knowing that I will again be moving in 2 years. It definitely inspires me to get rid of more of my shit than I might otherwise dispose of, you know?

Okay, well, I am feeling a little too tipsy to write much more. Ben took me out to dinner tonite and we shared a bottle of wine and, well, that's what wine does.

So I sign off again.

Friday, June 18, 2004

Just back from a week in New York City. I do love it there! My trip this time was like an episode straight out of "This is Your Life." I saw and connected with old friends from as early as kindergarten; friends from junior high school; friends from high school; friends from college; friends from my time living in Washington, DC; friends from my early San Francisco days; friends from the more recent San Francisco days...I even saw people I am about to go to school with - friends from the future, you may say. It was an awesome time - great laughs, great food, great the greatest city in the world.

Most of the time, when I take a vacation or head out of town for any reason, it usually offers opportunities for reflection and self understanding, and this trip was no different. I think my biggest understanding after this trip is that there is nothing like old friends. Don't get me wrong, new friends are great...but it's like the song says, "Make new friends but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold." Once in a while I definitely make new friends that automatically feel like old friends, for whatever reason. And eventually, new friends can become old friends, over time of course. But there is something to be said for friendships that develop when we are young and vulnerable and for those friendships to evolve and for connection to continue into adulthood. This trip offered me a demonstration of the power of old friends - from the Howard Beach kids (none of whom I am in regular touch with but some of whom I could definitely see becoming adult friends with) to the Humanities crew (a group of friends that allow me to laugh my ass off no matter what paths our lives take and no matter how many years pass between our seeing each other) to the BU buds to the political/DC dudes to the early SF crew.

I guess this trip also taught me that newer friendships, no matter how deep they may feel, are more fragile than the older ones. It makes definition they haven't withstood the tests of time. But it's funny how now, at age 31, my "newer" friendships seem less able to weather the storms than the older friendships, which weathered storms during times when, as younger people, we were more vulnerable and less worldly. Maybe that's the lesson of this...that vulnerability is the path to deep connection. Hm...I knew that but...I guess this is another way to reinforce that.

Monday, June 07, 2004

It's been so long since I have written in this thing! To tell the truth, I am not even sure why I am writing this point, I feel pretty certain that nobody reads this anyway. But yesterday I had a day that made me want to write about it.

Yesterday I did the Escape from Alcatraz triathlon here in San Francisco...and I had the thought yesterday that I had last year, which was, "there is no reason to do any other triathlon." Except, of course, Ironman. What a fun event. The distances are relatively short (1.5 mile swim, 18 mile bike, 8 mile run) and therefore entirely manageable. So training didn't run my life for the last was just a part of my life. And then race day was a gift from God. In fact, as I looked out over the San Francisco bay from the San Francisco Belle (the boat we took out to Alcatraz island to start the race) I thought, "God gave us today as a gift." And for the rest of the day (well, the next three and a half hours, anyway) I kept that in mind. In fact, at one point as I was running down to Baker Beach and chatting with Natan, a fellow racer, I said, "Look at this day God has given us," and he looked up and then he said, "Thank you for reminding me to look. I somehow forgot to take a look around at this amazing day."

I loved this race last year (my first time doing it) when the weather was freezing and the water was scarily naturally I loved every single second of it this year, when it was a shining, sunny day and the water was not only calm, it was moving in my favor. I swear I was smiling the entire time. I cannot wait to see pictures of it. I only wish some family was here to enjoy it, too. I know how much they all loved watching it last year and this year it was such a glorious day that they would have really had a blast.


Ronald Reagan died. I know it's a big deal because he really was one of the most popular presidents America has ever had. And it's sad,'s sad when anyone dies (no less sad is the fact that Buzzie's grandma died today). And I do feel for Nancy, as she has been taking such care of him these last years and has managed to do so with grace and class (neither of which she got much credit for having while she was First Lady). I do feel for her and the rest of the family.

I am not looking forward to the next week, as the American media shoves Ronald Reagan down our throats - and not the real Ronald Reagan and his real legacy of trickle down economics, the Iran Contra affair, Star Wars, etc. They even did it with Nixon when he died. Given the fact that the Republican Party has tried to rewrite Ronald Reagan's true history and impact on this country (the fact that they attempted to take FDR off of the nickel and replace him with Ronald Reagan proves this point), the sad death of this American leader will instead become pathetic election year fodder for ghwb and his henchmen who will try to say that the current pResident is like a latter day Reagan. Ugh.

Looking forward to my summer of leisure and travel...really looking forward to the PS 207's going to be INSANE seeing everyone after all this time. Other than Stephen Markman, Joe Macri, Rob Sena and Julianne Kowalski, I haven't seen any of these people since about 1986 when we graduated from Junior High's going to be HILARIOUS. I think on some level it will also be cathartic for me...many of these people, especially the girls, have (without their knowledge, I am sure) had a major impact on my life - and not necessarily good. Going and seeing some of them as a 31 year old woman who is happy and successful and whose life is heading in a good direction will, I think, shut down some of the residual feelings I have about they way they treated me. Not that I feel like I have something to prove. It's more like I want to see them and, as I look into their eyes, I want to know that they never got the better of me, hard as they tried.

Monday, March 22, 2004

My computer crashed and they installed a new operating my DSL won't work. Between that, a hectic work schedule, and trying to figure out the next step in my life, I think the blog goes on hold for a while.

It's been exactly a year since I started this thing...I started in response to the Iraq war that was developed, produced and directed by the media-savvy manipulators in the Bush administration. Now it's been a year since that war started and sadly, things there did not turn out well.

So, I am going to take some time to figure out my own path, and then I can come back to the important business of telling the world my opinions about the path our country and our planet should be pursuing!

Au revoir!

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Two for two...

UC Berkeley! WAHOO!