The Companies That Inspire Business Majors

Southern Methodist University’s Neha Husein

Disney: “One company I have admired since childhood is The Walt Disney Company. As a child growing up, Disney was so heavily linked with my dreams and imagination. I think the movies it produced, products it created, and parks it opened all helped to create this magic for so many of my friends throughout multiple stages in my life. When I was in high school, our national cheerleading competition was held at the Disney parks and I remember thinking how genius it was of Disney to create the facilities and capabilities to host these types of things. It was a sure way to have hundreds of thousands of secured guests in the month of February for years to come. Now, I admire Disney not only for these reasons but for the incredible CSR reputation and relevance that it has maintained to create and keep, even in a world where it seems large corporations are always the bad guys. Disney appeals to people of all ages and backgrounds and has proven to be a ‘class act’ of a corporation throughout time.”
Caitlin Cavanaugh, University of Miami

Everlane: “I admire Everlane as a company. Their “radical transparency-centered” business model and ethical sourcing challenge the current fast-fashion practices. Everlane communicates where their clothes are made, who is making them, and exactly how much they’re marking-up their pieces in order to challenge the present state of the retail industry.”
Neha Husein, Southern Methodist University (Cox)

Fenty Beauty: “I admire Fenty Beauty by Rihanna because it provides makeup for all skin tones, a task that no other makeup company has successfully done. The promise of inclusion for people of all shades is inspiring because it shows that you can have a positive impact and also do well financially. The makeup industry is a $532 billion industry that has typically not been inclusive of people of darker shades, but Rihanna has changed that. She has sent a strong signal to other makeup brands that it is worth the investment to be inclusive.”
Parbs Anant, New York University (Stern)

Golden State Warriors: “I admire the Golden State Warriors a ton (even though I am a die-hard Knicks fan). Watching an organization build itself up from being close to the bottom to become the most dominant basketball juggernaut of all time while keeping high levels of chemistry and organizational focus is beyond impressive.”
Isaiah Cyprien, Boston College (Carroll)

Georgia Tech’s Shane Phillipps

LinkedIn: “On my first visit to the company I overheard someone say, “Here, we believe talent is evenly distributed across the world, but opportunity is not – and that is what we are here to fix.” As I met more people in the company, I found that not only was everyone incredibly sharp, but they were all united by this idea of creating economic opportunity for others. Of all the companies I’ve worked for, I’ve never come across such a mission-driven company like LinkedIn.”
Zane Homsi, University of Virginia (Darden)

Mastercard: “In Nigeria, Mastercard has demonstrated that doing good and doing well are not mutually exclusive. The card company entered the Nigerian market in 2013 through a partnership with the government to create debit accounts for all citizens. Before this partnership, the country faced two problems. First, the government used cash to disburse benefits to citizens. The system facilitated both corruption and theft as it was easy to steal identities. This hinted at the second problem. Many Nigerian citizens did not have an official document to prove who they were. Mastercard solved both of these problems by providing Nigerians with a debit card that allowed them to receive government benefits on a secure account and that doubled as an identity card. The card company entered the Nigerian market with a different mentality than that of shareholder value: “How do we do well by doing good?”
Andres Gomez-Perry, New York University (Stern)

Netflix: “I think Netflix is a perfect example of a company that has not only completely disrupted an industry but taken the necessary steps to maintain its competitive edge. After bringing the idea of video streaming to the media industry, Netflix also looked toward creating original content to further capture market share. Finally, Netflix was the first platform to begin introducing entire seasons at once, which lead to the 21st Century craze known as “binge-watching.” In that sense, Netflix single-handedly changed what it means to watch television more millions of people in the world.”
Shane Phillipps, Georgia Tech (Scheller)

“I most admire Netflix, the company that successfully conducted one of the greatest corporate strategy shifts in recent history. Under the leadership of Reed Hastings, Netflix overcame several structural changes to its value proposition and embraced technological advancements to ultimately dethrone the industry incumbent, Blockbuster. Netflix’s actions disrupted the traditional cable monopoly and effectively revolutionized global media consumption.”
Samuel Jacobson, Southern Methodist University (Cox)

“Netflix is a company that successfully adapted to the changes in technology and pivoted its business model into the new arena of streaming. Since entering the streaming space, Netflix has become a leader. Netflix has succeeded in producing Golden Globe, Emmy Award, and Academy Award-winning content.”
Hayley Gorman, Fordham University (Gabelli)

University of Minnesota’s Lucas Bagno

Patagonia: “As someone who loves the outdoors, I really admire Patagonia for their demonstrated commitment to preserving and restoring the world around us. Patagonia donated the $10 million dollars they received from federal tax cuts to grassroots activists and programs as part of the 1% for the Planet Alliance. Patagonia embodies what it means to be a socially responsible company. Plus, they make great clothes.”
Max Pivonka, Elon University

Pixar: “The power of storytelling allows us to feel validated in this life and shows that no person is trekking through life on their own. Hence, Pixar is a company I admire. Its animations give audiences the chance to step out of their own reality and to share laughter, tears, anger, heartache, and hope with another character. Those few minutes of a feature film, short, or movie captures a feeling that we have simply forgotten – or have yet to experience. The ability to perceive mundane moments so preciously and to touch viewers’ hearts through their animations is the power of Pixar, and something I truly respect.”
Katherine Cui, Boston University (Questrom)

Sequoia Capital: “This leading Silicon Valley venture capital firm has played a fundamental role in funding and mentoring the leaders of some of the most disruptive technology companies in the last fifty years, including Apple, Google, PayPal, and others. Their push for technological change and support of entrepreneurship has shaped the world we have today. I deeply believe that technology will play an even bigger part in bringing change to the world in the years to come. Firms like Sequoia are fundamental in sustaining these changes, which affect the lives of millions (and sometimes billions) of people.”
Lucas Bagno, University of Minnesota (Carlson)

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