Inaugural Business Week: The Business School

Monday, October 30, 2023 to Friday, November 3, 2023
10:00 am to 1:30 pm

Join us for the inaugural Business Week hosted by The Business School at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Hundreds of students, faculty, alumni, and friends will take part in a week of events including guest speakers, socials, keynotes, lectures, moderated panels, and workshops that are designed to connect the classroom to the business world.

Business Week is an opportunity for students to engage with alumni and friends who have found success at the cross section of business and technology. 

Events and activities will be added continuously through Business Week, so stay tuned!

Click here to learn more and register for events

If you're interested in sponsoring Business Week, click this link and connect with us. To see all the ways you can sponsor Business Week, check out our Business Week Sponsorship Brochure at the bottom of this page. Thank you for your consideration!

Monday, October 30

  • Get ready to meet remarkable women driving change in STEM and business! Our event features a diverse panel of talented women at various career stages, sharing their unique journeys. From emerging professionals to seasoned experts, they'll discuss challenges, lessons, and pathways in science, tech, engineering, math, and business.
    Join us to explore their impactful stories. Whether recent graduates with a passion for innovation or mid-career professionals with fresh perspectives, their narratives will inspire all attendees.

    These women prove every journey step matters, showcasing boundless potential for women in STEM and business.
    Don't miss this chance to connect, learn, and be inspired by these extraordinary women shaping their fields. Let's celebrate their achievements and foster an inclusive environment where every woman's contribution is valued.

    This panel is a part of our OIE 3020 course "Achieving Effective Operations" taught by Professor Wally Towner. There will be a limited opportunity for some students to join us in-person and anyone can join us virtually.

  • WPI Business School Management Engineering alumni Zulean Cruz-Díaz is a leadership consultant. During her nonprofit work years, she used culture and social justice to drive her support in community engagement, advocacy, and programming work. The Texa-rican (Texan by birth, Puerto Rican by blood)  has mastered relationship building and the management of group dynamics for strong working and trusting teams. Her previous roles in past organizations was to help “re-find” the organization’s guiding star through listening sessions and customized engagement for actionable steps. Today, Zulean continues to form individuals “from scratch” with interpersonal relationship skills and management tools for strong working and trusting group dynamics.

    Join us as to hear about Zulean's journey and learn some strategies for success at the intersection of business and STEM!


    Zulean Cruz-Diaz for Business Week Speaker Series


    Locations: Atwater Kent Laboratories
  • Everyone is talking about sustainability, but who is DOING sustainability?

    Come and listen to industry and academic experts discuss why sustainability is important, how they've made sustainability a focus in their operations, how they've overcome challenges, and worked with leadership. Hear how they got started, what they've been working on lately, and what they anticipate the future holds.


    This event is part of a class so space will be limited. There will be an option for online participation.


    Locations: 60 Prescott Street (Gateway Park I)
  • The Institute of Industrial & Systems Engineers (IISE) student organization in partnership with WPI's Heebner Career Development Center is hosting a job fair/networking event!

    Companies all over the world hire WPI Business School students and they want to talk to you. Come and speak with hiring managers, alumni, and friends of WPI that work at companies to learn more about opportunities like full-time and part-time jobs, internships/co-ops, and what it's like to work there.

    Corporate Attendees:

    • Accenture
    • Affordable Interior Systems (AIS)
    • Boston Scientific (tentative)
    • GE Aerospace
    • Hypertherm
    • MIT Lincoln Laboratory
    • RTX
    • SharkNinja
    • Teradyne
    • Unibank

    We will continue adding more companies to this list as we confirm attendees.


    Flyer for Job Fair

    Locations: Rubin Campus Center

Tuesday, October 31

  • About ‘Cleansing Moments: Developing Leadership Skills for All Times’

    There is a plethora of books on leadership, but this book will give a fresh perspective on leadership. The author’s leadership mantras captured in this book, based on his popular theme 'Cleansing Moments', have proven to be a transformational experience for senior corporate professionals, policymakers and entrepreneurs who have either been coached by him or have attended his programs over the years.

    About Professor Dishan Kamdar

    Professor Dishan Kamdar is the Vice Chancellor of the FLAME University – the pioneer of liberal education in India. He took charge of this position on August 8, 2018. Prior to this, he was the Deputy Dean, Academic Programmes and Professor of Organisational Behaviour at the Indian School of Business (ISB), the top ranked global business school in India. A leading researcher, senior faculty member, executive coach to CEOs of renowned corporates and family businesses in India, and a favourite professor to all his students- Dishan handles these multifaceted roles with equal ease.

    A passionate teacher before anything else, Dishan’s biggest priority are his students and alumni. “Nothing gives me more satisfaction than to see my students and alumni succeed in their careers and in the process make their alma mater/ organisations proud”, he says. In his current role as the Vice Chancellor, he is leading FLAME 2.0 - the next phase of growth, expansion and internationalization of FLAME University designed to make it a truly world-class institution in all respects.

    At ISB, he was responsible for selecting and nurturing talent right from admissions to alumni engagement. In addition to teaching and research, he was directing Admissions and Financial Aid, Academic Services and Administration for the various PG and degree equivalent programmes, Student Engagement and Applied Learning, Career Advancement Services, Alumni Relations and the launch of new programmes.

    Executive Coach, Mentor and Teacher
    Professor Dishan Kamdar specializes in teaching Negotiation Analysis and Decision Making, to students of the various PG programmes, advanced management programmes and short duration executive education programmes at ISB. He has been awarded the ‘Professor of the Year’ seven times in the last decade by students of the PGP, PGPMAX , PGPMFAB and the PGP Pro programmes, for his hands-on teaching style and well-crafted course content. His ratings by students have been consistently amongst ISB’s top 1% of professors, many of who hail from top business schools across the world. He is a frequently sought after faculty amongst the mid to senior level industry professionals, who attend his executive education programmes. He is also a visiting faculty at The Wharton School’s executive education programmes.

    Dishan’s expertise encompasses the space of negotiations and work place behaviour. He is a personal coach to CEOs of top-notch companies and conglomerates on influence and negotiations. Through structured practical and case-based programmes, he equips leaders to manage difficult conversations and dispute situations to emerge as better agents of influence. He also trains senior executives from PSUs and the Government.

    Researcher par Excellence
    Dishan is cited as one of India’s top researchers and among the leading ones globally. He is credited with achieving this success far earlier than several others in academia. He has published papers in top-tier international journals and has been invited to present his studies at international conferences. His research interests include work related performance and extra-role behaviours which are both ‘promotive’ and ‘prohibitive’, knowledge sharing, group performance, trust, voice in the organisation, whistle blowing, creativity and leadership, work culture and more.

    Experience Summary, Achievements and Qualifications:
    Dishan Kamdar joined the ISB in 2004 and progressed into leadership roles within a short span – compared to his peer group internationally, Dishan has been amongst the youngest academicians be selected into deanship roles. He was granted an early tenure, in his fourth year, based on his research excellence and subsequently awarded a full professorship, which also makes him one of the youngest full professors in academia internationally. He is the recipient of multiple teaching awards right from his early days.

    Labeled as “the central pillar for ISB” Dishan surpassed many a milestone in teaching, research and institutional governance. Under his leadership, ISB was successful in admitting the largest ever student body, setting new benchmarks in student placements of its flagship programmes and strengthening its alumni engagement. He was instrumental in launching PGPPro, a weekend MBA equivalent programme geared toward working professionals. In addition, Dishan also played a vital role in integrating programme delivery and faculty recruitments across two campuses in line with ISB’s philosophy of ‘One School two campuses’. Prior to being the Deputy Dean, he served as the Senior Associate Dean (Programmes) for almost 8 years and during that stint, he was instrumental in leading a major curriculum revamp at the School.

    Prior to ISB, Dishan taught Organizational Behavior at the National University of Singapore (NUS). He started his career as an entrepreneur in 1998 as the owner of a trading firm. He grew interested in the theory behind motivation, leadership and negotiation skills, and subsequently pursued his Masters in Science degree and specialized in organizational behavior. Over the years, his skills in negotiations and decision making have helped him grow his business to achieve an annual turnover of over US$ 65 million. Dishan holds a PhD from the National University of Singapore, 2004, MSc (Management), National University of Singapore, 2001 and BBA (Hons), National University of Singapore, 1999.



    Dr. Dishan Kamdar Business Week Poster

  • Learn, connect, and indulge - it's all happening at the Business Development Lab (BDL) Introduction.

    Join us for:
    LinkedIn Headshots - Capture professional photos for your LinkedIn.

    Profile Review - Get an Expert review of your LinkedIn profile.

    Free Merchandise & Snacks - Get exclusive BDL swag and giveaways.



    Business Week Poster


  • As machine learning models become more integrated into clinical care, how can we update them without violating user expectations? We proposed a new rank-based compatibility measure and loss function to develop clinical AI that better aligns with physician mental models. High rank-based compatibility is not guaranteed but can be achieved through optimization, our approach yields updated models that better meet user expectations, promoting clinician-model team performance.


    Dr. Erkin Ötleş is a distinguished Medical Scientist Training Program Fellow at the University of Michigan, specializing in the nexus of AI and medicine. With a robust background in health IT, particularly during his impactful tenure at Epic, he has significantly advanced AI integration into electronic medical records. Erkin’s dedication extends beyond research; he is actively shaping the future of healthcare with his work at the forefront of clinical informatics and AI-driven solutions. He holds a Master's of Engineering from the University of Wisconsin and aspires to further blend clinical practice with technological innovation post his MD-PhD training.


    Dr. Erkin Otles

    Dr. Erkin Otles Presentation


  • Joining Associate Professor of Marketing Purvi Shah, Professor Nitin Sanghavi will be discussing Artificial Intelligence and Omnichannel Distribution Strategy. Omnichannel, new technologies and building a profitable business model. It will describe the journey of omnichannel so far, examine current opportunities and challenges, emerging new technologies including AI and its impact on omnichannel-now and and future, and harnessing all this to build a profitable business model going forward.



    Artificial Intelligence and Omnichannel Distribution Strategy

    Event Advertisement of Dr. Nitin Sanghavi's Session


Wednesday, November 01

  • WPI Business School MBA alumni and author Dave Coughlin wants to help you plan your escape!

    Dave's book, "Entry Level Escape: Your Blueprint for Raises, Bonuses, and Promotions" is a prescriptive nonfiction book aimed at helping readers progress faster in their chosen profession by giving them the tools and skills to level up and advance in three categories: Primary Skills, Complementary Skills, and Impact. 

    While this content applies to many careers, it's especially powerful for people with technical backgrounds making their foray into corporate careers.

    Join us to hear about Dave's journey, his book, and learn some strategies to take your next professional steps and ESCAPE THE ENTRY LEVEL make your own ENTRY LEVEL ESCAPE!


    Speaker Series guest and alumni Dave Coughlin

    Locations: Atwater Kent Laboratories
  • Nitin Agrawal knows what it's like to move to a different country to pursue an education and a career. Now he's helping international students navigate what can be challenging and often times complicated.

    Come and learn about some job search strategies for international students that you can use today!

    About Interstride:

    It all started when co-founders, Christian Eder and Nitin Agrawal moved to the United States to pursue their higher education. Throughout the course of their graduate program at UC Berkeley, they formed a close friendship and discovered they had similar experiences transitioning to the US.

    From career to immigration, like most international students, both of them had to overcome many obstacles in their student journey. A determination to alleviate some of these difficulties and hurdles for other international students led to the idea of Interstride over a dinner with Berkeley friends in 2017.




    International Student Job Search Strategies

    International Student Job Search Strategies Flyer

    Locations: Fuller Laboratories
  • Come and hear stories about how cognitive biases and cultural issues cause complex projects to fail. There will be some amusing examples from Laz' own experiences, and he also will draw from recent relevant headlines.



    Business Week Poster

    Business Week Event

Thursday, November 02

  • Colleen Hayes wants to sell you a robot! 

    Colleen has been a marketing professional in some of the biggest tech companies in the world for over 25 years. Come and enjoy her session, Standing out and Breaking In: Successful Robotics and Tech Go-to-Market Strategies and learn about her journey, her successes, challenges she has faced, and how she's going to sell you a robot!


    Colleen Hayes for Business Week Speaker Series

    Locations: Atwater Kent Laboratories
  • The Keynote

    Almost all senior executives say that improving their company's innovative performance is one of their most critical imperatives. We understand this issue because in hundreds of workshops with global companies we have found that less than 25% of their “most important” initiatives would be successful if completed. They decide that; we just provide a missing framework for them to decide.  Unfortunately, most innovation methodologies are either ineffective or do not fully respect the genius and humanity of their teams. 

    Come and join an exciting event where we will explore accelerating the learning and value creation process by using AI-Tutors with world-leading value creation methodology.

    New AI tools are helping teams rapidly understand core value creation concepts, creating new insights, mitigating risks, and rapidly and cost-effectively creating value propositions for new, proposed innovations.

    About the Keynote Speaker

    Dr. Curtis Carlson is recognized as a pioneer in developing value creation practices that profoundly improve an enterprise’s innovative performance. He was formerly CEO of SRI International in Silicon Valley from 1998 to 2014. During this time, SRI's revenue tripled, and SRI became recognized as one of the world's most productive innovation enterprises, having helped create Siri, HDTV, Intuitive Surgical, and other world-changing innovations. 

    He started his career at RCA and then GE before joining SRI. He is currently Distinguished Executive in Residence at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. 

    With William Wilmot he wrote the book "Innovation: The Five Disciplines for Creating what Customers Want," which was selected by BusinessWeek as a Top-10 Business Book. It describes the innovation principles he learned that significantly improve innovative output.

    He has helped create over two dozen new companies and his teams have won two Emmys, including one for HDTV. He is a member of the National Academy of Inventors and has advised ministers and prime ministers around the world on innovation practices and innovation policy. He was a member of President Obama's National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship.


    Dr Curt Carlson Business Week Keynote


    Locations: Fuller Laboratories

Friday, November 03

  • WPI Executive VP/CFO Michael Horan is an accomplished financial and business operations professional in higher education and industry, and oversees the university’s financial, physical, and technological resources. His previous role was vice president for finance, CFO, and treasurer at Illinois Institute of Technology. He oversees a team responsible for accounting, finance, financial planning and analysis, operations, campus facilities and planning, campus police, and information technology at WPI. He also serves as the university’s chief investment officer.

    Come and learn how he uses financial data to inform decisions.


    Business Week Event

    Business Week Event

  • John DeMasi is a wealth of knowledge and real-world, practical experience as a seasoned sales and engineering professional developing and leading high-performance teams. He has a diversified background including Information Technology, Sales Engineering and Manufacturing, Defense and Oil Exploration. With a sales, engineering and process-oriented background, he takes pride in understanding and solving business problems.

    Come and hear John’s stories of solving real-world challenges across industries.


    John DeMasi Event Flyer

    John DeMasi Event Flyer

    Locations: Washburn Shops
  • This discussion will explore the synergy between blockchain
    technology and open source software development, specifically
    within the Hyperledger Ecosystem. We'll explore the impact of
    blockchains in supply chains, highlighting both the advantages like
    enhanced transparency and security, as well as potential
    challenges such as governance, business model considerations,
    and interoperability. Through real-world examples like GSBN,
    TradeLens, Circulor and IBM Food Trust, we'll demonstrate
    practical applications and conclude with insights into future
    directions in this domain.


    Business Week Poster

    Business Week Event

Registration Deadline


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