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Managing Creativity the Pixar Way


The iconic lamp and ball of Pixar Animation Studios

Ryan Neal graduated from the Crosby MBA program in May 2014. He works in the St. Louis area as a project specialist with Immunophotonics. His new year’s resolution was to read and review one management book every week.

This post was originally published by Neal on LinkedIn.

I was really excited to read this week’s book Creativity, Inc. by Pixar President Ed Catmull. My favorite movie is Wall-E, a Pixar production released in 2008.

I don’t know what it is about that robot. Perhaps it is his quiet suffering, his love for Eve, or his earnestness. Whatever it is, I relate to Wall-E as if he were a real human character. That’s a huge accomplishment. Thousands of hours went into illustrating Wall-E’s eyes and his wheels and animating the way he moves and perfecting his storyline, not to mention financing, marketing, and developing the technology.

For Wall-E to come to life, every part of the company must be working toward the same goal. (more…)

Public Speaking Tips for MBA Students and Professionals

students see professionals' public speaking skills during seminar

Guest speaker Michael Kennedy addresses MBA students during professional development seminar.

Krissy Tripp is in her first year at the Crosby MBA program. Her concentration is marketing analytics. She graduated from the Missouri School of Journalism in 2011 with a degree in Strategic Communication. She was recognized as one of the best presenters at the Trulaske College of Business’ annual case competition.

Unlike the general population, MBA students don’t tend to fear public speaking. In fact, I think the biggest problem they have with public speaking is overconfidence in their abilities to wing it.

Why wouldn’t we be confident?

It’s not as if business presentations are known for ‘wow’-ing crowds.

When the bar for presentations is mumbling about a bullet-point-filled PowerPoint presentation, excelling seems simple.

Great presentations are more than that.

Potluck Caps Off International Week

  • Students and staff shared dishes from their home countries.

Students in the Crosby MBA program shared dishes from their home countries during this semester’s International Week Potluck.

Plates were piled high with cornbread casserole, various curries over rice, lo meins, and even chicken feet. Still, students had room for bowls of Kyle Swartz’s chili and Ben Frederking’s s’mores bars, both of which were voted among the best of the event’s offerings.

The potluck typically occurs on the Friday of International Week. The event also featured a photo contest, with one of Olivia Harrison’s photos from her time abroad taking the prize.

Students also make presentations about their home countries and get together off campus for activities like bowling, roller skating, and more.

Click here to learn more about the Crosby MBA program.

Teaching Finance Has Defined My MBA


Adam lectures during his last semester as a graduate instructor.

Adam Bixler will graduate from the Crosby MBA program in May 2015 with a concentration in finance. He is from Chesterfield, Missouri, and graduated from MU in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in finance. He is a Level II CFA Candidate and has accepted a position with Edward Jones in St. Louis in its leadership training rotational program. He is an Eagle Scout, and his hobbies include swimming and playing golf.

As I near the end of my 18-year, kindergarten-to-MBA educational experience, I want to take a moment and reflect on a chance opportunity that fundamentally defined this final chapter: Teaching.

When I applied to the Crosby MBA program, I was informed of a special opportunity for students with strong financial backgrounds: working as a graduate instructor of either Personal Finance 1000 or Corporate Finance 2000. My initial reaction was, “Absolutely not!” The thought of teaching undergraduate students seemed like an overwhelming amount of work and a responsibility for which I did not feel equipped. As graduate school became an increasing reality, however, I revisited the offer.

I signed up for the challenge and made one of the best decisions I can recall.


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