Faculty Spotlight: Atakan Arica
Atakan Arica joined the Business Leader Faculty™ of Lake Forest Graduate School of Management (LFGSM) in 2013. He is the Managing Director of Arica International Corporation, a strategic management and consulting company, established in 2008. With extensive experience in international business, Atakan has established channels in emerging markets for manufacturing and the healthcare product sector in Europe and the Middle East.
Prior to founding his own boutique consulting company, Atakan was President and Owner of Breadsmith of Chicago, a wholesale distribution bakery of artisan bread products. Here, Atakan shares his perspective on the curriculum and the competitive advantage LFGSM offers its MBA students and graduates.
Why did you choose to become a faculty member at Lake Forest Graduate School of Management?
“My MBA was a life changing experience, and I have spent a lot of time evaluating the business models and programs of other MBA providers. Chicagoland, as you know, is very competitive and there are many options. But what I liked about Lake Forest Graduate School of Management was that the students were being taught by faculty who were still actively involved in business leadership.
“When I researched some of the faculty, I found practicing professionals who were bringing their day-to-day experience into the classroom as business owners, or as executives managing strategy and operations for corporations.”
Atakan added, “At this point in my career, teaching is a hobby and one that I enjoy tremendously. I want to be in an environment where I can offer value, and I find that in my service and mentorship to my MBA students.”
What courses do you teach at Lake Forest Graduate School of Management?
“One of the courses I teach is the 5220 Leading Organizational Change. Leading corporations and teams through the adverse climate of change – whether that is restructuring, downsizing or managing growth and expansion – is an essential, competitive skill. Change can be uncomfortable procedurally or culturally, and managing it successfully requires public relations skills, diplomacy, strategy and exceptional communication skills through all internal and external channels.
“The 5220 Leading Organizational Change course presents real world scenarios and challenges for students to apply not only critical thinking and strategy, but also their individual leadership capabilities. Globally, businesses are experiencing transitions as a result of rapid economic changes; this course prepares students with effective leadership methods to navigate business problems and to measure change.
“The 5160 Global Business and Cultural Diversity course is full of very engaged conversations and discussions. The course goes beyond teaching tolerance and equity in the workplace, and moves into supply-chain management, global operations, cultural ethics and risk management. Knowing how to protect a corporation from vulnerability when conducting business around the world, students learn about the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the UK Bribery Act and leading business growth by navigating through national security concerns and international compliance laws.”
What is the overall impression and feedback you receive from students who are beginning their MBA at Lake Forest?
“We get feedback after students have been enrolled for four weeks in our curriculum. The feedback from students is enthusiastic and they emphasize the importance of the ‘real time’ value of what they are being taught at Lake Forest. They know it is something more lucrative than theory.
“Students comment that they appreciate the immediate practical application of what they learn in class. They can take it into their business environment the next day and start solving real problems with tools they have learned at Lake Forest. The material is that current and relevant.”
Students, faculty and alumni from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management can connect with Atakan Arica on LinkedIn.