Friday, October 13, 2017

½ Cup of Engineering and ½ Cup of Business: A Recipe for Success

Christine Awad, MSBA '18, joins our class as a Mechanical Engineering major from Purdue University.

"After all my undergraduate experiences, I have come to realize I have acquired numerous insights and skills that are extremely critical in the business world. First, I have learned how to problem solve using research methods and analytical tools. Knowing how to handle data and information will allow me to generate innovative ideas to produce goods and services for any organization. Second, I have learned how to communicate material effectively and efficiently. I will be able to add to an organization’s continued growth by appropriately communicating to all its stakeholders. Lastly, I have mastered the art of teamwork which is the epitome to solving business problems. I can work with individuals of all personalities to devise solutions that meet customer needs.

Image result for engineering and business

Now, I am currently focused on becoming a well-rounded professional by continuing my studies in The Catholic University of America’s Master of Science in Business Analysis program. Having technical and business focused backgrounds will surely help me tackle any challenges the technical/business world throws at me!"
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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Do I Dare Disturb the Universe? The Importance of English Majors in Business

Miguel Hernandez, MSBA '18, graduated from CUA as an English major. Below, Miguel writes about the value of his degree and how business skills can complement his studies:

When I tell people that I majored in English, the usual response I get is; "Oh! Do you want to be a teacher?" My response is always; "No, I actually want to go into business." I'm then given a bewildered look followed by an empty; "Oh, that's nice." I understand why people are confused that I chose English as my major even though I wanted to go into business, but for me, the decision was crystal clear.

What makes being an English major so great is the opportunity to see the world through different perspectives. By simply opening a book, and reading what the author has to say, I'm allowing myself to be fully engrossed in the author's thoughts, experiences, and emotions. By doing so, I'm gaining experience myself. I'm able to see the world through a different mindset, the author's mindset, and connect that to my life.

You might be asking; "where is the value in that?" In business, CEO's are faced with dilemmas all the time. Their problem-solving skills have to be top-notch in order to fully run a successful business. CEOs don't have the same solution for every problem, instead they see things through a different perspective, offer a solution that no one has thought of, or recognize an appropriate solution by someone other than himself/herself. I believe that's what makes businesses so great. The ability to adapt to any situation has become a necessary characteristic for a company to survive in any industry. English majors are trained to analyze and deconstruct situations, regardless of the environment. Yes, we are also great writers, but the ability to think critically is what makes us an intangible asset to any company.
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Monday, September 18, 2017

A Beautiful Collision: Liberal Arts Education and The Business World

Leah Sophia Szews, MSBA '18, is a Communications Intern at Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors. Below, Leah discusses the overlap of her undergraduate degree in Media Studies and business:

"The mingling of the business world and a liberal arts education is not always the happiest of marriages, but when it works, it becomes an elegant union of thoughtfulness and effectiveness.

During my undergraduate studies, I was searching for a degree that would balance the practicality of business and the creativity of a liberal arts education. This was a defining consideration point when I chose to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Media and Communications Studies at The Catholic University of America. By offering challenging courses that developed my ability to communicate effectively, write cohesively and think analytically, the major offered a valuable skill set and the balance that I sought. My internships have exercised the skill set garnered through my undergraduate degree. Whether it was partaking in the editing and content development process of a newsletter, planning, and promoting an event or managing telephone communications for an office—the skill set of communicating effectively, writing cohesively, and thinking analytically emerged as a crucial components to finding success in the office.

While a liberal arts education and the business world may seem polar opposite, I urge you to take a closer look and consider the potential of such a beautiful collision."
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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

MSBA Alumni Success Spotlight: Eve Zhu

Eve Zhu, MSBA '16, is a Client Operations Associate at Community Brand. Below, she shares her experiences of the program, and how it has helped her in her career so far.

Q: Why did you choose the MSBA Program?

It has the ability to get you ready to compete in the business world in a short period (9 months). We all know time cost is important in business. The learning curve rises quickly in these 9 months. I had a very good experience with the MSBA Program.

Q: What company do you work for, and what is your title?

Abila (now Community Brand) as a Client Operations Associate.

Q: How did you get interested in this type of work?

I work for a software company, and I started as a management intern. A lot of the initial work when I was an intern was analytics. This was similar to the work I experienced in my Field Team Study project: trouble shooting, finding gaps/issues and providing practical solutions/suggestions. I like it when people give me a mess and I provide them with a solution.

Q: How did the CUA MSBA program help prepare you for this career path?

I was an international student and the MSBA Program really helped me understand that the business world has a different culture. It helped me to quickly adapt to work life.

Q: What from the program stands out specifically that you think helped prepare you for a career in this field?

I think the Field Team Study is one of the most important. Since I am now working in the IT field, I think data analytics, operation management, quantitative analysis, business research, accounting/finance are the courses that have been most helpful in my current job.

Q: Can you recall a favorite memory from the program?

There are too many! The Orientation, NYC trip, field team study, thirty Thursday, midterm review, etc. were all very special.

I think what makes this program great is knowing that our professors/director/career counselor are always there and willing to help at anytime.
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Monday, June 12, 2017

MSBA Student Success Testimonial Series: Mary Wiles

Mary Wiles, MSBA '17, will be working at HITT Contracting Inc. as a Pursuits Associate. Read about Mary's experience with the MSBA Program, and how it helped her know that she wanted to pursue a career in marketing.

Q: Why did you choose the MSBA Program?

There were many deciding factors on why I choose the MSBA program.  The main factor was that I felt that the program itself offered many great resources and opportunities. At the time of my acceptance, I recently graduated from CUA and I received my B.A. in psychology. With graduation approaching, my plans for after school were not quite finalized and the MSBA program was always on the back burner.  I ultimately knew I wanted to go back to school, but not particularly sure when, or most importantly for what.  I was also not certain on what career path I wanted to take. I love psychology, but I wasn’t sure if that was the route for me.  I was lucky enough to have that summer to decide if the MSBA program was for me.  Through countless conversations with Professor McHie, my parents, and a supervisor at my internship at the time, I decided that the program would be very beneficial. The program opened a lot of windows of opportunities for me, and allowed me to explore some of strengths I was unaware of.

Q: What company will you be working for, and what will your title be?

I will be working at HITT Contracting Inc. as a Pursuits Associate. My position is a part of their marketing department at their HQ office. My main role will be managing, creating and prepping the proposals and interviews for their Atlanta office.

Q: How did you get interested in this type of work? 

This year during the program I learned a lot about my strengths and discovered new things about myself.  I’ve always been a visual learner and what you would consider a “poet.” I always knew that being analyst or someone working with numbers 24/7 was not the career path for me. During the program, I was always interested in our marketing classes and projects. My internship at Patriotic Millionaires allowed me to explore and work with their communications team. This led me to the self-discovery that I like being involved with the creative, strategic side of a business.  My current position gives me the best of both worlds of being the strategic, creative mind.

Q: How did the CUA MSBA program help prepare you for this career path?

The MSBA program allowed me to really discover what my strengths and interests were, as well as give me the confidence I need to achieve what I really wanted to do.

Q: What from the program stands out specifically that you think helped prepare you for a career in this field?

The Field Team Study really helped me prepare for my career, and any work environment in general. I was a consultant for GloveStix, which is an athleisure deodorizer product. This 5-month project taught me how to work with a team, a client, and on time management. My main role for this project was to work on the marketing portion, which reassured me this was the career I wanted to get into. Also, the GloveStix founder and president, Krista Woods, is such an inspiring individual. She was a great client to work with which really helped made my project a pleasure to work on!

Q: Can you recall a favorite memory from the program?

There are so many! From attending all of our outings and field trips, to great professors and classes, I honestly had such a great experience with the MSBA program. I especially enjoyed spending time with my classmates every day!

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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Our Masters Students Get Great Jobs. Here’s Why.

Here’s something that I am really proud of. Last year, 100% of my grad students got jobs. Great jobs. This year, before graduation a few days ago, 75% of my grads had accepted job offers at an average salary of $60k.

As undergraduates these students majored in subjects like English, History, Philosophy, Psychology and other areas in the Liberal Arts. You read it right—Liberal Arts.

The Master of Science in Business Analysis program at The Catholic University of America in Washington DC was envisioned eight years ago by two smart business educators, Dr. Andrew Abela and Dr. Brian Engelland. Year after year they witnessed talented students graduate from college with exceptional grades in liberal arts studies only to find themselves unemployed or underemployed upon graduation. They saw the potential to start these graduates on great careers and together we founded the MSBA program.

I had just completed a 35-year career with ExxonMobil helping to build that Company’s fuel products division into the largest brand in the world. I suppose I know a thing or 2 about brand building. The 3 of us tasked ourselves with teaching students how to build their “personal brands” as they embark on their careers. In a nutshell, we designed a program to teach “Business” to the “Non-Business” person.

Our mission was to design the MSBA for liberal arts majors who struggle to find jobs where they can grow and earn a just wage. By adding our intense two semesters of practical business education and experience to their resume, our graduates are able to compete for any job and literally double their earning potential.

How do we enjoy these results year after year? We focus on four key areas to ensure our students are ready to win that all-important first job:

  1. Stand Out from the Crowd. Nearly everyone looks alike on paper. Take something to the interview that sets you apart. In our students’ case it’s the final client deliverable from our graduates’ real world capstone project. In your case it might be a marketing final project or a work product from your internship. Demonstrate not just knowledge but that you can put it to practical use.
  2. Exhibit a Professional Demeanor. You’ve heard the expression you can dress him up but you can’t take him out. Not so with our students. We model and practice professional business behavior throughout the program; in class, with clients, in our networking engagements. Our graduates are work ready and employers have confirmed this.
  3. Know the Culture. When you target a Company for employment, study their public website. Know the culture of the Company. Look for chatrooms of employees and public lists and ratings. Study the backgrounds of the key players, especially those who will interview you. What do you have in common? Schools, degrees, hometowns, sports interests? We are all an open book today; find the connection that makes you more personable and memorable.
  4. Demonstrate Confidence. Above all, have the confidence they you can compete for any job. Exude the knowledge, the skills, the attitude and the professional presence to fit into any kind of organization.

For me, the rewards of taking a 35-year career from business to academia are tremendous and it is a gift that keeps on giving. The email that says “I nailed that interview”, followed closely by the excited call, “I got the job”, is a gift to be sure. And the graduate who climbs the ladder in their career and continues to credit the MSBA program with their success is a never-ending reward.

We still have openings for the class of 2018. It’s a 9-month master's degree. For priority consideration for the program, contact our admission official, William Conlon, at If you know someone who can benefit from these tips, take a second to like and share this post. I would also appreciate your thoughts and comments below.

Stewart McHie is the Program Director of the Master of Science in Business Analysis at The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. To find out more about the program visit

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Thursday, June 1, 2017

Field Team Study Focus: The More than Money Podcast

As students of the MSBA program at The Catholic University of America's Busch School of Business and economics, we were tasked with seeking out a client for our field team study. Our mission was to find a client and adapt our news skills in business analysis in order to make a positive impact in our clients business. 

More than Money is a podcast series created out of the belief that there are ways to do business and give back more than just a profit. Its mission is very much aligned with the Catholic University business school

Our client and More than Money’s host, Dawn Carpenter, was a successful investment banker for 25 years. While standing in an elevator on her way to work, Carpenter had an epiphany that there was more to work than the wealth it generates. Inspired to share her passion and knowledge, Carpenter envisioned More than Money: a space to discuss how business can both generate a profit and be socially responsible and to hear from business people who are fulfilling this mission. 

She needed help with marketing the podcast series, which is where my team and I helped. While we never worked together before, we quickly adapted to each other’s schedules, efficiently designated the workload, and continually discussed our findings together.

At its simplest level, our job was straightforward: find a way to attract Carpenter’s target audience of millennial business undergraduates. As the writers of More than Money’s social media pages until its launch, we had two questions to answer:

1. What do we write for social media posts, and 2. When and how often do we post?

We conducted focus groups with millennial business undergraduates to learn their perception of the series and what language resonates with them most. In addition, we searched online to find numerous sources discussing best practices for businesses using social media. The steps we took to create More than Money’s brand became the foundation for our ultimate deliverable: a welcoming presence to attract listenership.

More than Money launched May 1, 2017 and continues to garner incredible reception. The podcast holds a five-star rating on iTunes, and within 22 days of launching and has 2,067 downloads to-date. To put that in perspective, the average podcast achieves 141 downloads in the first 30 days. Podcasts in the top 10% achieve 3,400 downloads in the first 30 days—a number we are projected to reach.

This project provided my team and I with an invaluable learning experience. Just as importantly, we helped our client achieve her goals for a project so close to her heart. I can testify that her genuine passion for creating a better world for everyone is contagious.

If you would like to learn more about More than Money, you can join the conversation on: • • Facebook page - More than Money • Twitter- @ThePodcastMTM

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