Thursday, June 28, 2012

Naples, FL start-up hires MSBA Graduate

Dan Shnaider, a native of Western Massachusetts and a graduate of the MSBA program, recently accepted a position with Leadaloft in Naples, FL.  Leadaloft is a business support website/mobile device platform connecting small companies and entrepreneurs.  Dan is joining the start up as an account rep.

Dan earned a degree in History at Ave Maria University and was always interested in the business world.  his interests include marketing, sales and operations.  While at CUA he designed and built a website to promote the Havard Leadership Institute education seminar held on campus in April, 2012.

"As an undergraduate I studied History, and learned how to think and write well.  But I had always wanted to go into business after graduation, and I lacked the skills, training and guidance to become a successful young professional.  Moreover, I stuttered my way through all my presentations. The MSBA program gave me tools I never had before, as well as countless hours of presentation practice. When I graduated, I was able to get the type of job I wanted, not just because of my understanding of business or my undergraduate education, but because of my ability to speak confidently to clients and to the local business community (in  Naples, FL).  I received a great undergraduate education and am proud of my time studying History, but I could not have been a business professional without my MSBA."
 - Dan Shnaider, MSBA Class of 2012

Professor Stewart McHie
Program Director, MSBA
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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Shift Happens

I recommend that all my students watch this video called Shift Happens.  This is version 6 and if you have time, go back to version 1 and note the differences in just 6 years.  I believe everyone needs to understand and appreciate the pace of change and technological innovation that we are experiencing.  Remember the Patent Office Director in the early 1900's that said something like, everything that can be invented has been invented.  What would he think today?

Did You Know? originally started out as a PowerPoint presentation for a faculty meeting in August 2006 at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colorado, United States. The presentation "went viral" on the Web in February 2007 and, as of June 2007, had been seen by at least 5 million online viewers. Today the old and new versions of the online presentation have been seen by at least 20 million people, not including the countless others who have seen it at conferences, workshops, training institutes, and other venues. - Published on Wikipedia May 8, 2012 by

What did you learn from watching this video?  What surprised you?  What concerned you?  Let's start a conversation.

Professor Stewart McHie
Program Director, MSBA
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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Important MSBA Information Archived on the Blog

In an effort to preserve some of the important information that was originally published on our website, it is now archived on our blog and can be easily assessed at MSBA Archives.  This site will contain past articles, student and faculty activities, and guest speaker reports from our first two years.

All future news events, student and faculty announcements, and important articles will be reported and captured on our blog.  This will allow us to be more timely in reporting significant events and information and lead to a more user friendly website where the foundation and mechanics of the Master of Science in Business Analysis program will reside. 

Please make use of this tool when seeking information about the program by perusing the topics on the blog.

Professor Stewart McHie
Program Director, MSBA
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Thursday, June 21, 2012

MSBA Student Selected for New Position at Aegis

Cole Willcox
 Cole Willcox  began an assignment with Aegis Media in New York City as an Investment Analyst.  Cole will be supporting the investment manager and director responsible for Aegis' worldwide GM account.  The groups responsibilities include measuring and reporting buying performance achieved on the General Motors account across all media in multiple countries.  The group will create monthly reports for each media outlet and for each GM division.  Aegis' goal is to reduce GM's media investment by 15% over three years through improved financial management and reporting.

Cole is a native of Radnor, PA outside of Philadelphia.  He received his BA in Sociology from the University of Virginia where he played varsity golf for the Cavaliers.  Cole developed an interest in finance while at UVA and during his year with us in the MSBA program, it became a passion.  We're pleased to see Cole start a career in the financial world.

In Cole's words:  "The MSBA program allowed me to mature both personally and professionally.  Within the first few weeks of the program, I began to approach every situation with a business mindset.  Coming from a liberal arts background, I was given the opportunity to finely tune my business skills. This program is unique because it offers more than most one-year masters programs.  There is a great balance between practical knowledge and personal well-being.  I cannot thank the professors enough for genuinely caring about us and our futures."  - Cole Willcox, MSBA Class of 2012  

Professor Stewart McHie
Program Director, MSBA
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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Press Release: Graduates Begin Careers

The Master of Science in Business Analysis program at Catholic University recently received national press coverage for it's innovative approach to preparing college graduates to enter the work force.  The one year program, located in Washington DC, is a financially attractive alternative to two year graduate programs and provides a practical approach to gaining the necessary business knowledge needed to compete in today's tough marketplace. 

To see descriptions of students and jobs and what the MSBA program meant to them, visit the JOBS tab of this blog.

Professor Stewart McHie
Program Director, MSBA
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Monday, June 18, 2012

Penton Media Hires Second MSBA Grad

2012 MSBA Grad Jethro Higgins

Jethro Higgins, a native of Eugene, Oregon, is working at Penton Marketing Services as a media analyst.  Jethro follows in the footsteps of 2011 MSBA grad Lauren Keates who also began her career at Penton.  In addition, we congratulate Jethro and his wife on the recent birth of a son!  Certainly a busy time in his life.  

Jethro earned his degree in Religious Studies at the University of Oregon while also serving as full time Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry at St. Mary Catholic Church.  He is a talented musician having grown up in a musical family but decided that a professional career in music was not the right path for him.  Taking some business courses as an undergrad and working at an IT help desk led Jethro toward a business career and the MSBA program.  

Jethro will be part of the elistening team at Penton Marketing Services.  In his role he will be responsible for tracking brand sentiment within the social media landscape and develops recommendations for clients. 

Speaking of the MSBA experience, Jethro says, "For me the MSBA was a chance to increase my value to prospective employers.  In the next decade, I plan to enter the Church as a deacon, and I want to educate myself in these matters to bring a better sense of business awareness to parish offices.  Through the MSBA program I developed professional skills that will help me keep the Church fiscally responsible and develop and grow our ministry.  The MSBA program gave me a deep look into how the different roles within a corporation work together to further the organization's goals.  The Church should be no different and I look forward to applying the things I have learned in the MSBA program, and my future work experience into improving the business functions of the Church."  Jethro Higgins - MSBA Class of 2012

Professor Stewart McHie
Program Director, MSBA

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Sunday, June 17, 2012

MSBA Grad added to Congressional Staff

MSBA Grad Brian Muhlbach
Brian Muhlbach, a recent graduate of the Master of Science in Business Analysis program at Catholic University, accepted a position as Staff Assistant in the office of Nebraska Congressman Jeff Fortenberry.  In his position as Staff Assistant, Brian will manage the front office, oversee constituent mail services and handling of all constituent requests.  Brian served as an intern in Congressman Fortenberry's office while attending the MSBA program and in his new position will be training and managing the office interns.  

Born and raised in the central Nebraska town of Ravenna, Brian received an undergraduate degree in Advertising and Public Relations from the University of Nebraska.  While at Nebraska, Brian participated in several capstone projects and campaigns and developed a passion for advertising and marketing.  He worked for the Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth Families and Schools to develop their annual report, newsletters and other collateral communications.  

Brian is similarly interested in politics and lobbying and benefited from the experience to intern in Congressman Fortenberry's office where he assisted in constituent communications and planning and prepared the Congressman's year end report and other digital communications pieces.   

Referring to his current position, Brian says; "In this posting it is critical to be detail oriented, able to multi task, perform under pressure, and work within deadlines.  All of these traits are cornerstones of the MSBA program.  From day one of the program, the students learn how to hone these skills.  THe program also teaches you how to navigate in a professional environment and how to stand out in your position."  -- Brian Muhlbach, MSBA Class of 2012 

Professor Stewart McHie
Program Director, MSBA
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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Congratulations Lauren Keates

2011 Grad Lauren Keates
Lauren Keates, one of the MSBA programs first graduates, recently moved to a Senior Analyst position at SixIntel, a market research firm that specializes in turning raw data into valuable insights for marketers and sales teams.  Lauren, a New York native, received her undergraduate degree from The Fashion Institute of New York and someday hopes to design and market a line of fashion clothing and accessories.

 In her current position, Lauren works as member of SixIntel’s service team responsible for online data gathering and interpretation in order to provide clients with insights they can act on. She also works as a liaison for clients and the product development team, in order to further enhance the Saas platform.

Upon graduation from the MSBA program, Lauren worked as a Senior Media Coordinator for Penton Marketing Services, the digital arm of Penton Media, the largest independently owned B2B publisher in the U.S.  During her tenure with Penton, she led and conducted market research that shaped online marketing campaigns for over 15 brands.  She worked in a broad range of markets spanning from the sports and game industry to the legal and financial sector. On a routine basis, she consulted clients on social media and search engine optimization best practices.  Furthermore, she worked in direct support of Penton’s own online marketing initiatives.

"The MSBA Program provided me with the analytic skill set and problem solving mentality needed to land a job in today’s competitive work force.  The public speaking skills and client management best practices were invaluable.   I learned how to communicate effectively with a client in a way that makes them take action and really understand the value in the service I provide.  That is one of the most important aspects of consulting and learning it in a classroom environment gave me a competitive advantage once I entered the workforce.” 
- Lauren Keates, MSBA Class of 2011
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Sunday, June 10, 2012

Faculty Profile - Dr. Brian Engelland

Dr. Brian Engelland
This is the first in a series of faculty profiles that serve the Master of Science in Business Analysis program.

Dr. Brian Engelland, Professor of Marketing, joined the faculty in 2010 from Mississippi State University where he served as Chairman of the Marketing Department.  He brings considerable academic and professional experience to the department at Catholic University.  Dr. Engellands' research focuses on issues in marketing management, measurement, and education. He has authored over sixty refereed publications and four books, won multiple teaching awards and been named as a fellow of the Marketing Management Association.

Prior to becoming an academic, Brian was a product development executive and served in a series of leadership positions at two Fortune 500 corporations. Engelland holds a bachelor's degree from Purdue University, an MBA from the University of Cincinnati, and a doctorate from Southern Illinois University.  He and his wife Barbara are enthusiastic supporters of Catholic education.  Their son is a CUA graduate and now professor of philosophy at a Catholic seminary, one daughter is a Catholic grade school teacher, and another daughter is a Carmelite cloistered nun. Professor Engelland is a Fourth Degree Knight of Columbus, and a Knight Commander in the Equestrian Order of The Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. 

I sat down with Professor Engelland to learn more about the man behind the robes.

SM:  What did you want to be when you grew up?
BE:   I was extremely excited about rockets and space travel. I wanted to become an aeronautical engineer and design space ships so that people could travel to all the planets.
SM:  Hmm, me too.  Didn’t work out so well for either of us!

SM:  What was your first job out of college?
BE:   Industrial engineer at the Cincinnati plastics plant for Formica Corporation. I was responsible for introducing cost-savings ideas into the manufacturing process, and consequently, I had to master manufacturing processes and cost-accounting procedures. The company liked what I did and promoted me to financial analyst.
SM:  Engineer to analyst?  Are you sure that was a promotion?

SM:  What was your worst job growing up?
BE:  Coremaker's helper for the Abex Foundry in Elyria, Ohio. I had this job after my freshman year at Purdue. My job was to unload the core ovens, mix core sand, and keep the coremakers happy. It was hot and back-breaking work, and taught me that working with your mind is a better way to make a living than working with your back.

SM:  What’s your favorite restaurant in D.C.?
BE:   Legal Seafood - it has the freshest fish on the East Coast.
SM:   We need to get you out more!

SM:  What made you realize you wanted to go into business?
BE:   My grandfather and father were business entrepreneurs. My grandfather invented the gas conversion burner enabling a coal furnace to be converted to natural gas. My father then created a national business that manufactured and installed these devices. Business seemed to be in my blood.

Professor Engelland at Play
SM:  What do you do in your free time?
BE:   I visit my children and grandchildren, attend their athletic events and other performances, and tell them funny stories.
SM:  You do have some really good stories!

SM:  What is your favorite sport and why?
BE:   My high school athletic aspirations in baseball, track, tennis and basketball all ended in injury. By senior year, I found a new sport - athletic trainer for our basketball team. I was able to participate in all the action without the potential for injury. Also, no one ever criticized me for missing a shot! Subsequently, I've enjoyed water skiing, snow skiing, volleyball and softball and all spectator sports, but now I'm partial to whatever sport my grandkids are playing.

SM:  Why is the MSBA program important to you?
BE:  The program is designed to prepare outstanding students for ethical business leadership. The way we've designed the program, the care we've taken in developing the courses, and the attention we've placed in selecting the faculty and students, all make the MSBA program superior to other business programs out there. The MSBA is the real deal!

Professor Engelland at Work
SM:  And Dr. Engelland is the real deal!  The MSBA program is really fortunate to have an educator with his real world experience, outstanding academic credentials and commanding presence in the classroom.  Our faculty is one of the things that sets the MSBA program apart.

Note:  Dr. Engelland will be teaching a week long course titled Catolic Social Teaching applied to Business at the Catholic Institute of Business and Technology in Accra, Ghana in July.

Professor Stewart McHie
Program Director, MSBA

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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Dulles Motorcars Promotes MSBA Grad

Nadia Saghafi
Nadia Saghafi, a recent graduate of the Master of Science in Business Analysis program was recently promoted to Finance Manager at her company, Dulles Motorcars.  Nadia is currently in Chicago to complete her training and will be one of the youngest bank representatives within her industry.  

Ms. Saghafi is a Northern Virginia native with strong family ties to Iran to which she travels frequently.  She earned a degree in Psychology and a minor in Philosophy from Catholic University prior to continuing her studies in the MSBA program.  Nadia joined Koons Automotive Group, an automotive retailer with over 30 franchises, prior to taking on the role of Internet director at Dulles Motorcars.  She continued to intern there, managing the company's internet site, while earning her graduate degree.  While working at Dulles Motor Works, Nadia was named one of the top 30 under 30 businesswomen in Loudoun County.

Nadia would someday like to enter the consulting world with a focus on international affairs and corporate relations.  Speaking about the MSBA program, Nadia said, "I could not thank my professors and the program enough for doing such an excellent job in developing and preparing me for the professional world." - Nadia Saghafi
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Monday, June 4, 2012

Worth The Risk

Neil and Anna Watson
I have always been fascinated by how people react to news.  Oftentimes, we expect one response but end up with something much different.  For instance, when I tell people I am moving to DC for grad school, the congratulations and well wishes I first hoped for are in actuality spaced few and far between what I have come to accept as the typical response: “Why would you do that?”

In all honesty, it’s a fair question.  I have a very comfortable life here in sunny San Diego: a nice condo by the beach, a beautiful wife with our first child on the way, a great job with a fantastic company, family and friends nearby…  I live a life that many only dream of.
I don’t tell you this to brag, but merely to illustrate how fair of a question it is: Why would I risk giving up such an ideal life to go through the hassle of finding a new job and moving to a new place far from friends and family where there are things like “snow” and “humidity” all just for school?  What they don’t understand is that I’m not risking it all for just any graduate program, but for this graduate program.

For me, the driving factor in attending the MSBA program is the opportunity to receive a top-tier business education rooted in Catholic social teachings.  It is the synergy that results from the opportunity to learn a discipline I enjoy while focusing my efforts in service to society.  In how many other b-schools would you find terms like “profit” and “ROI” intertwined with “human dignity” and “common good”?  Here they are not only intertwined, but harmonized in a way that excites me and challenges me to practice business differently.

And though I believe this program has strong potential to deliver a great ROI, the truth is that an MSBA might not lead to fame and fortune.  However, I do believe its ROI lies in much more than this.  Unlike any other b-school, this program will lead to something much greater: a life fulfilled by practicing business in service to society.

And the opportunity to learn that is worth risking almost anything – let alone a comfortable life in San Diego.

Neil Watson
MSBA Candidate
Class of 2013
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Sunday, June 3, 2012

Sales is Not a Four Letter Word

Yes, technically it's a five letter word but it is often associated with other 4 letter words that won't be mentioned in this (or any other of my posts).  I find that business students become enamored with jobs with titles that include marketing and management and finance.  In fact most business schools offer degrees in those disciplines and hardly a word is mentioned about sales.

Well, I'm here to defend this honorable professional and caution college graduates NOT to  shy away from beginning their business career in sales.  Consider these statistics from the University Sales Education Foundation: more than 50% of college graduates enter a career in sales and there is a significant increase in demand for sales professionals due to the aging workforce and smaller population.  At the same time, the art and science of sales is becoming more complex and increasingly global. 
Technology advancements, product complexity and the growing education and sophistication of buyers have given rise to increasingly complex selling environments.  Emerging economies, the insatiable search for growth, globalization of corporations and other factors make sales an increasingly global endeavor.  To perform amidst this growing complexity, today’s corporations desire a more knowledgeable and educated sales professional with critical thinking and analytical skills taught. - Pat McGlynn, The Advisory Board

If you think about the root of any business, it is about satisfying needs of customers.  Whether you're selling jet engines or nuclear power plant designs for GE or food products for a grocery wholesaler, sales professionals must first understand their customers, their competition, their product line and often be involved in complex negotiations to find a solution to a specific customers needs.  Most sales are not routine as no two customers, and their needs, are alike. 

Many companies start their new employees in a sales position for a reason.  How can you design a marketing program if you don't understand your customers?  How can you develop financing options if you don't understand your customers?  How can you manage an enterprise that depends on customer revenue and loyalty if you don't understand your customers?  You see a pattern developing here?

I was fortunate to serve the ExxonMobil Fuels Marketing Company as their Global Brand Manager for the last 10 years of my career.  Brand management I picked up through working with wonderful mentors like the late Peter Kim and Jane Cavalier of BrightMark Consulting.  But my knowledge of the business came from my early years as a sales representative calling on service stations.  This was followed by increasing responsibility in roles of Sales Supervisor, Area Sales Manager, Retail Sales Manager for Esso Australia and Retail and Commercial Sales Manager for Esso Europe/Africa Services.  If you lined up all my business cards, most had the word "SALES" in the job title. 

My advice to our MSBA students, and through our career development efforts, is to look at sales as an honorable profession and the best way to learn your business from the ground up.  You want to be the Marketing Manager or the Finance Manager or the Business Development Manager, then know your customers.  That is the most assured route to success. 

I'd love to hear your success stories!

Professor Stewart McHie
Program Director, MSBA

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Friday, June 1, 2012

Does business contribute to spiritual well-being?

Professor Brian Engelland
In recent years, business leaders have been roundly criticized for their greed, shady dealing and corruption. As a result, students have tended to avoid business and choose majors in traditional subjects in the liberal arts because conventional wisdom implies that these fields can help overcome injustice and make the world a better place. However, business leadership skills really are necessary in order to effect lasting and beneficial change.

A new document released in March by the Pontifical Council on Justice and Peace bears this out. The thirty-page reflection is called The Vocation of the Business Leader, and it suggests “When businesses and market economies function properly and focus on serving the common good, they contribute greatly to the material and even the spiritual well-being of society.” In effect, the document acknowledges that business doesn’t just fill bellies or make money; properly practiced, it also cultivates virtue.

The document goes on to say that the vocation of the business leader is a genuine human and Christian calling. Business people have a special role to play in the unfolding of creation – they not only provide goods and services and constantly improve them, but they also help shape organizations and society, and improve human flourishing.

As The Vocation of the Business Leader gains wider readership, get ready for an influx of new graduate business students. Business is a noble calling which assists in the unfolding of creation. Even our spiritual well-being is at stake!

Doctor Brian Engelland
Professor of Marketing

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