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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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

MSBA Student Success Testimonial Series: Meredith Ross

Meredith Ross, MSBA '17, will attend Medical School at Georgetown University in the fall. Read about why she chose the program and what she hopes to do with her MSBA degree.

Q: Why did you choose the MSBA Program?

I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to start medicine right away, but I want to own my own practice eventually. I believe this program will give me the business skills to set a good foundation for running my own practice.

Q: Tell us about how your interest in medical school. 

I have few reasons. My friend passed away when we were 13. She died a week before Christmas, and I made a promise to continue to fight cancer. I received her diploma, and I made it my mission to fight cancer. Medical School made a lot of sense after that.

My parents also started Children of Cherynobl, so I was able to see the medical disparity between children here and elsewhere. We also did therapeutic foster care, and the differences were astronomical.

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

I’m hoping that the skills I learned will help me when I own my own practice. Medicine is a business, and while I may not be doing the financials, I want an awareness of what is going on beyond my own field. It is a constantly changing environment, and it will be good for me to have a complete understanding of it.

I’ll also take away a lot of the math skills, in particular, the Quantitative Analysis course.

Learning to communicate effectively with your client and customer will translate well when I’m working with patients.

Q: Can you recall a favorite memory from the program?
I really enjoyed the ropes course during Orientation. The New York trip was very interesting, in particular visiting Michael Kors. New York is home to me, so I felt comfortable there while we were exploring different companies.

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Friday, May 12, 2017

MSBA Student Success Testimonial Series: Dylan Meagher

Dylan Meagher, MSBA '17, will be working for the D.C. Retirement Board. Below, Dylan details why he chose the MSBA Program and the experiences that he had over the past year.

QWhy did you choose the MSBA Program?

I choose the program because I wanted business skills to complement my liberal arts degree. I also choose the program because it gave me a chance to stay in DC, an area ripe with opportunity for jobs.

QWhat company will you be working for, and what will your title be?

I will be working for the D.C. Retirement Board, an agency of the D.C. Government. My position will be Member Services Representative.

QHow did you get interested in this type of work? 

Ms. Kelly made me aware me of the opportunity to intern at this agency and I jumped at the chance. The agency services police, fire fighters, and teachers from the District of Columbia and I thought that was a noble cause that would be motivating for me. I also welcome the challenge that comes with increasing efficiency within the agency and hope to be an active participant in thinking about how to best implement future changes.

QHow did the CUA MSBA program help prepare you for this career path?

The MSBA program greatly increased my communication and marketing skills and introduced me to skills in management, data analytics, finance, and accounting. Together, these skills have coalesced and given me a solid frame of thinking that would aid me any challenge I face during my career.

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

I really enjoyed operations management for its practical lessons. There's always a bottleneck, a part of the process that is holding up the rest of the operation. Identifying that part of the process is the first part in improving that process's efficiency. I think this will greatly aid my current position because there are a wide variety of tasks I will be doing.

Beyond that, the program has increased my confidence and that will help me in all my interactions with annuitants.

QCan you recall a favorite memory from the program?

I really enjoyed both the New York trip and the Gettysburg trip. I loved going around both places with the group. Getting to see all the business we visited in New York was a real treat and the leadership lessons we learned in Gettysburg were invaluable.
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Thursday, May 4, 2017

MSBA Student Success Testimonial Series: Greg Portner

Greg Portner, MSBA '17, accepted a job offer as a Data Integrity Specialist at Immixgroup. Below, Greg recounts why he choose the MSBA Program, and how he was able to find his career path.

Q: Why did you choose the MSBA Program?

I chose the MSBA Program because it was a Business Masters program with a foundation in Catholic Social Teaching. This combination of faith and enterprise was very attractive to me.

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

I will be working for Immixgroup as a Data Integrity Specialist.

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

Throughout the program I was able to get a feel for many different areas of business. One area that continuously stuck out to me was analytics data/finance. Working with numbers and using data to tell a story and help others to make strategic decisions gets me excited.

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

The MSBA Program helped prepare me by creating a space for me to have different real world experiences of working with numbers and data sets. The Program helped me to develop the practical skills which I will be using on a daily basis.

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

The Quantitative Analysis and Finance classes. These were my two favorite classes. My professors were engaging and knowledgeable, and the material was interesting and practical.

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

My favorite memory of the program was the Staff Ride in Gettysburg. It was so powerful to walk around the battle field and hear the stories of the men that fought there. Col. Douds did a fantastic job of connecting the battle to our lives in business.

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Friday, April 28, 2017

MSBA Student Success Testimonial Series: Maddie Fallon

Maddie Fallon, MSBA '17, has accepted a position as the Student Success Coordinator in the Office of Online Education at The Catholic University of America.

Q: Why did you choose the MSBA Program?

I chose the MSBA program for a few different reasons. I liked that the program was one year and in Washington DC. I really liked how there was a focus on using business for good, and making a difference in the world through good business practices. That was really important for me.

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

I have accepted a new position at CUA in the Office of Online Education, as Student Success Coordinator.

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

I first became interested in online education through my internship at 2U, an online education technology company; although I’ve always loved helping students and working in customer service. This position is a combination of all of those interests.

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

I learned a lot of technical skills I didn’t know before like how to present hard data and think analytically about business problems. Those skills are going to be really helpful in a new position at a growing office. They will also be helpful skills to bring to any job I have throughout my career because they are so transferable.

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

Both the hands-on experience we got in our field team studies and case study analyses we did in class really shaped our curriculum and put us in the shoes of what it’s like to work with developing businesses. As the Office of Online Education grows at Catholic, I know I can bring my experience in dealing with real business problems to help develop the office even more.

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

Any time our class got to hang out together was always really fun, especially if the professors were there outside of a classroom setting. The program itself is a lot of hard work, so it was nice to bond outside of the classroom and connect with each other on things other than school. We spend so much time with each other that our cohort has become like a family. That's probably my favorite experience from the whole program.
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