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MBA Vocabulary 3

MBA Vocabulary 3



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MBA Vocabulary
for international students -- Draft of November 11th , 1999

Note: This alphabetized list is a work in progress. It contains all sorts of expressions, from formal to slang, gathered from all kinds of speakers, from Dean Sullivan to students to businesspeople. Thanks to Ernesto Oechler, MBA '00, for reviewing, organizing, and editing this version.Please e-mail

comments, corrections, and ideas top a t og l esby@ u n c. ed u.Thanks to the University of North
Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Kenan-Flagler Business School for making this list possible. \u00a9
Patrick Oglesby 1999. Free distribution among UNC students and staff is authorized.
110 percent
Absolutely. "He gives 110 percent." -- He is committed to this
project; he does more than what is required.

A particular television news magazine or nonfiction show that can be
seen on one network one night a week. "I was watching 20-20 last
night and I heard that short term memory loss is a problem for baby
boomers [people born just after world war II]." Note: the title comes
from 20-20 vision \u2013 the ability to see from 20 feet what a normal
person can see from 20 feet.


Around the clock, without closing. "We maintain a 24/7 presence in
that area."
"I'm available 24/7 for anything you might need."


(Four point oh) \u2013 perfect grades (A is the best grade; A = 4, B = 3, C
= 2, etc.). "If you went to an inner city high school and got a 4.0
GPA, you'd probably get downgraded to a 2.5 [by employers who
don\u2019t think your school is good]."

501(c)(3) organizationA charity, payments to which reduce taxable income. "Part of the
price goes to a 501(c)(3), so the buyer can deduct that part."

Find (verb). "We look at people in their late 20's. They know it's
time to take the posters off the wall. They'd like to buy art, but they
don't know how to access it. They don't want to go to the Holiday
Inn by the Airport and buy sofa size art on Sunday afternoon."
Explanation: (1) College students and recent college grads usually
don't own art -- they put cheap posters on their walls. (2) Traveling
vendors offer cheap, big paintings at "flea markets" at spots like
Holiday Inns. These paintings will not gain value over the years.
Mr. Hale's company sponsors ways for young people to buy real art,
which is original and which might be appreciated by local artists.

(Noun) \u2013 something that\u2019s not essential. "[Working with students:]
it's not an add-on; it's not on the periphery for us." Bob Sullivan
Affirmative action
Policy of choosing people for jobs or schools on the basis of race or
gender. "There is a backlash against affirmative action and quotas."

Roland West, an African-American speaker, used the term as
equivalent to Black people. For many people, either term is
acceptable. "The whole beach was populated by African-


The fact (or analytical step) that causes the student to say "Ah-ha! Now I understand." "The capacity need is the ah-ha of the case.\u201d Also means yes.

Air time

Speaking in class so the professor will notice you. "Students
compete for air time." "Ask yourself, \u2018is this a story that I want to
use my air time in class to tell?\u2019"

Also known as. "Slovakia - AKA Slovak Republic - is in Eastern

Former students; former participants in a program that is not a
school. "After 9 years we have the alumni coming back to tell the
new scholars about their experience".


Overly careful or meticulous [from Freudian psychology]. "What if
you have shaken hands with people and then want to use your hands
for your roll? That [thinking you might have germs from others'
hands that would make you sick] is a little anal." [The possibility of
getting sick seems so remote that you seem to be too cautious.]

Analysis paralysis

Inability to act that is caused by excessive thinking. "Let's take the
standard deviation of the page numbers and see if that helps us get
an answer [an exaggerated example of analysis paralysis, an
approach that tries to get an answer too directly from data and that
leads to no answer at all]."

Anne Frank

A Jewish girl who perished in the Nazi Holocaust (persecution and
killing of Jews) in Holland, but whose diaries are famous. "Exploris
will have an exhibit about Anne Frank."

Areas of opportunity
Concerns or problems. "We've done surveys to identify areas of
opportunity in student life."
As of

Beginning with (a point in time) and continuing, "As of July 1, 1999,
your visa will be invalid." (Your visa will expire at the end of June
30, 1999.)


Building material used in earlier times that have proved harmful and
that property owners in the USA spend huge amounts of money to
eliminate. "After we left Carroll Hall, it took seven months to get the
asbestos out. We must have been breathing that stuff for years."

At risk youth

Children who are in danger of not getting a basic education. "We
give our employees time off from work so they can tutor at risk

At this point
Now. "I\u2019m going to turn the stage over to professor dean at this

Automatic teller machine. Here, just an unthinking source of cash. "We were initially viewed [by nonprofits] as a ATM; people came along and we gave them money."

Attack a problem

Work to solve a problem. "The financial data might be totally
useless in helping you decide where the problem lies and how to
attack it."

Back and forth
A discussion in class where speakers disagree and debate. "There\u2019ll
be a back and forth."
Back up to

Figure out what you need by analysis. "[By asking yourself the right questions] you can back up to - here are the numbers I need to get to that spot -"

Reaction. "There is a backlash against affirmative action and

A Protestant Christian denomination that forbids drinking alcohol.
"You're not going to take a bottle of wine to someone's house if they
are Baptist."

Be a player

Be a recognized force in a market or field. "We need to be a world player. We need to recognize that diversity is opportunity. We are in the process of becoming a very important world player."

Be about

(Doing something) \u2013 have (something) as a goal. "[Talking about
interdisciplinary work:] we are about doing that today." Dean

Be involved

Be active or be sexually active (with). "I wanted to say I've been involved with Kenan-Flagler in just about every possible way, but then I thought about our President in Washington and I decided I didn't want to be that inclusive."

Beating a dead horse
Repeating a discussion needlessly. "We\u2019ve already decided that
issue. Don\u2019t talk about it any more: you\u2019re beating a dead horse."
Person who holds your rope while you're on a rock wall climbing.
"We need belayers. We can train you this afternoon."
Bells and whistles
Extra things that cost money and that are not included in the

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