Monday, August 27, 2012

Welcome MSBA Class of 2013

Welcome Class of 2013
 I'm pleased to welcome the Class of 2013 to campus begin our year long journey together.  As with our first two classes, this is a diverse group representing 9 different undergraduate universities, ten different undergraduate majors, and 3 different countries.  Our students range from schools in California, Oklahoma, Illinois, Florida, North Carolina and the DC area and represent a wide array of experiences, backgrounds and cultures. This will indeed be an exciting year and I'm looking forward to learning from these students.

Chris, Caroline, Adaobi and Tracey
enjoy the fare at Colonel Brooks
 We have a tradition of beginning our journey with orientation activities prior to classes commencing.  Because our students study as a cohort, it is important to establish trust and a sense of teamwork early on.  We started with a Meet and Greet at the venerable Colonel Brooks Tavern last Tuesday.  A sad note; Colonel Brooks is closing in September to make way for new facilities to serve the CUA community.  Progress is good but sometimes it causes sad farewells! 

Students prepare for their
first challenge
Bright and early the next morning we traveled to Darnestown, Maryland to spend the day with Eriq Powers at Go-Adventures.  This is our third year with Eriq and he did his usual great job.   The students shared information about their backgrounds, their reasons for being in the program, and at the end of the day, what the experience meant to them.  We worked on teambuilding, developing trust, leadership and communications.  By the end of the day, we discovered we had a highly functioning team ready to tackle this rigorous one year graduate program.

Adaobi leads Chris across an obstacle
This exercise teaches students the value of trust as they are led blind folded through the woods and across obstacles.  Only non verbal communications are allowed!  Many students are initially uncomfortable with this evolution as they are used to leading rather than following.  This teaches the important skill of learning to depend on teammates.  As one student astutely pointed out, "you have to be a good follower in order to be a good leader". 

This is probably what construction
on the Alaska pipeline looked like
Next came the problem solving and communication evolution.  Students were given limited resources to build three pipelines on a 10 degree pitched hillside to deliver a marble to a central location.  They first had to decide whether to work together and share resources and institutional knowledge or compete with each other.  They correctly decided to work as a team toward the common goal.  However, after initial good communications and sharing to gather the resources, the "doing" took over and they set about the work as separate teams without proper leadership and planning.  Halfway through the alloted time and realizing they were behind, they called a timeout to correct the problem.  While only one team successfully delivered the marble to the central storage facility, the impact of lessons learned was clear and a second attempt would no doubt have proved successful.  

Tracey explains her teams solution
as Caroline, Winfred and Anthony look on
Our final orientation exercise took place on campus where expectations and procedures were clearly defined.  The MSBA program adopted a Professional Code of Conduct last year that spells out our expectations for attendance, dress standards and classroom participation.  The program models business behaviors and we seek to practice these behaviors down to the smallest detail.  Borrowing on a popular sports metaphor, "you play like you practice", we intend students to adopt these behaviors as second nature.  During this session we introduced and practiced a case study discussion which the students will use throughout the program.  This affords them an opportunity to not only hone their critical thinking skills but also their communications skills as demonstrated here.

Enjoy more pictures of our orientation activities soon on our facebook page, Catholic University MSBA Program and stay tuned throughout the year as these students learn and accomplish great things.

Stewart McHie
Director, Master of Science in Business Analysis

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Friday, August 17, 2012

Pat Six hired by DDB Worldwide in New York City

Pat Six
2012 MSBA Graduate Pat Six recently accepted a position as Assistant Account Executive at DDB, a subsidiary of the Omnicom Group in New York City.  As a AAE, Pat will be assisting with new initiatives on the loyalty side of the ExxonMobil Fuels Marketing account working with Jenalisa Trevino (Sr. AE) and Andy Garafalo (Management Supervisor). He will also be assisting with briefs, budgets, coordination with internal teams and clients.
DDB won the EM Fuels Marketing business in 2000 following the 1999 merger of Exxon and Mobil. 

Pat is a native of Rochester, New York and attended Thomas Aquinas College in Southern California where he received a double major in Philosophy and Theology.  After spending two years working for his alma mater as an Admissions counselor and recruiter, Pat returned East to earn his graduate degree at Catholic University.  While at Catholic, Pat interned in the marketing department at NetApp in Vienna, Va.

In Pat's own words...

"Besides the valuable business education I received in the regular classwork, the MSBA program was particularly beneficial to me in three ways:

1) Team assignments, including a client project in Team Field Study class, challenged me to develop my communication and organization skills and exposed me to the challenges of managing team and client relationships on a project.

2) An abundance of guest speakers and company visits gave me a first-hand look at a diversity of career options within business and helped me to narrow down my own career interests.

3) Working an internship while in the program gave me invaluable real world experience in a corporate environment and, perhaps more importantly, showed me how much I was capable of doing all at once. 

When I look back at how much I accomplished in those two semesters and at how I was often doing so many things all at the same time, I feel confident that I am well prepared to tackle anything that my career will throw at me!" - Pat Six, MSBA class of 2012

Stewart McHie
Program Director, MSBA
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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Congratulations Meredith Kirsch at Advisory Board

MSBA Grad Meredith Kirsch

Meredith Kirsch, a 2011 graduate of the MSBA program, was recently promoted to Associate Director for New Business Development at The Advisory Board in Washington DC.  Meredith began her career with The Advisory Board shortly after graduation as a Marketing Associate within the Talent Development group.

The Advisory Board Company is a global research, consulting, and technology firm partnering with 125,000 leaders in 3,200 organizations across health care and higher education.
Through an innovative membership model, the company collaborates with executives and their teams to elevate performance and solve their most pressing challenges.  The Advisory Board provides strategic guidance, actionable insights, web-based software solutions, and comprehensive implementation and management services.
The company is guided by the spirit of generosity, serving members beyond expectation and with honest appreciation in every encounter. 
Meredith serves as Associate Director for New Business Development within the Talent Development arm of the firm. Playing a pivotal role in supporting the firm’s growth, Meredith develops and executes strategic plans that result in the successful sale of Advisory Board memberships. She fosters relationships with hospital executives to understand the issues they are hoping to solve and offer the appropriate solutions.  Through conducting consultative one on one onsite presentations at member and prospect institutions, Meredith seeks to educate on the Advisory Board’s Talent Development offerings.
When asked how the MSBA program prepared her for success in the business world, Meredith cites the diverse learning opportunities she had inside and outside the classroom. 

"In addition to classroom learning, we participated in a year-long internship. I worked at St. John's College High School and the San Miguel School in Washington, DC, serving a role in their development departments. The internship provided the opportunity to interact with professionals and gain hands-on experience in a business setting. We also took part in a semester long Field Team Study.  My experience working with Microsoft in Reston, VA allowed me to apply my classroom learning to an assignment that had real value to the technology industry. Both experiences brought to life the theories and practices discussed in class."  - Meredith Kirsch, MSBA class of 2011

Stewart McHie
Program Director, MSBA

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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Faculty Profile - Dr. Andrew Abela

Dr. Andrew Abela
Dr. Andrew Abela is the Chairman of the Department of Business & Economics, and Associate Professor of Marketing.

His research centers on the integrity of the marketing process, including marketing ethics, Catholic Social Teaching, and internal communication, and has been published in several academic journals, including the Journal of Marketing, the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, and the Journal of Business Ethics. He is a regular contributor to the Legatus Magazine “Ethics Matters” column, and is currently working on a Catechism for Business. Dr. Abela is also the Chairman of the Ethics Committee of the American Marketing Association, and was the recipient of the 2009 Novak Award, a $10,000 prize given by the Acton Institute for “significant contributions to the study of the relationship between religion and    
                                          economic liberty.”

Dr. Abela consults to several major corporations on marketing and internal communications issues. Recent clients include ExxonMobil, Microsoft, Burger King, HJ Heinz, eBay, and Kimberly-Clark. Prior to his academic career, he spent several years in industry, as the Managing Director of the Marketing Leadership Council, a management consultant with McKinsey & Co., and a brand manager at Procter & Gamble.

Dr.Abela has an MBA from the Institute for Management and Development (IMD) in Switzerland, and a Ph.D. in Marketing and Ethics from the Darden Business School at the University of Virginia.  He and his wife Kathleen have been married for thirteen years.  They have six children and live in Great Falls, Virginia.  Dr. Abela was born and raised on the island of Malta and is a citizen of the United States. 

CUA in Rome

      Dr. Abela recently led a contingent of CUA students that  
      studied in Rome during the spring semester.



      Below is an insight into the driving force behind business excellence and education at Catholic University. 

SM: What was your first job out of college?
AA: Brand Assistant in the Advertising Department at Procter & Gamble in Canada.   
       My brand was Secret women's deodorant...
SM: That must have been a great learning experience!

SM:  What did you want to be when you grew up?
AA:  At age 10 I read C. Northcote Parkinson's book Parkinson's Law, and decided 
        that management sounded like fun and so I wanted to grow up to be a business
        (It was only several years later that I realized that the book was a spoof.)
SM: It is?

SM:  What’s your favorite restaurant in D.C.?
AA:  Restaurant Nora, America's first certified organic restaurant. And the food is 
        outstandingly good.
SM: As we experienced recently!  Thanks you for the nice evening Dr. Abela.

Dr. Abela and son Dominic
SM: What do you do in your free time?
AA: Free time? With a department to run, courses to teach,  consulting clients to work with, and six children to raise, I'm not aware of any. But I do get to spend a few 
hours sailing on the Chesapeake every now and then...

SM: What is your favorite sport and why?
AA: Sailing. Because it is absorbing and peaceful at the same time. In terms of spectator sports I enjoy watching soccer and baseball. In my free time...
SM: Bring the kids to a Nats game with our MSBA class
                                                        this fall.

SM: What was your worst job growing up?
AA: I can't honestly think of any. I've been blessed in that I've enjoyed all the jobs I 
      had while in high school and college (accounting clerk, computer programmer, 
      salesman) and that each job I've had since I've enjoyed more than the one I had
      before (which is why I changed jobs each time).

With CUA Prsident John Garvey
SM: Why is the MSBA program important to you?
AA: I am a big fan of liberal arts education and I think that
      business desperately needs the wisdom of the liberal 

      I realized long ago that most businesses are not   
      visionary enough to recognize the value in such an
      education. The MSBA provides the springboard to 
      launch liberal arts students into a successful
      business career.

Dr. Abela IS the visionary behind the MSBA program 
and many more important innovations to come at Catholic University.  
Keep tuned to this space as we reveal those over the coming months.

Stewart McHie
Program Director, MSBA
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Friday, August 3, 2012

Toward Achieving a “Just” Distribution of Wealth

By: Dr. Brian Engelland
A spirited political debate is taking shape around the world.  The issue is whether wealth redistribution or wealth creation should be the more important consideration driving national policies.  One side maintains that those at the upper end of the income distribution should be taxed more heavily so that governments may increase social services to those less well off. The other side argues that tax rates should be flattened so that the economy grows and more wealth is created.  

The Catholic Church tries to distance herself from political debate, but she does provide good guidance based upon the teachings of Christ and the integration of faith and reason.  The Church has long advocated a “just” distribution of the world’s wealth.  But what does she mean by this? 
A document released in March by the Pontifical Council of Justice and Peace, and signed by His Eminence Cardinal Peter Turkson, provides a very good explanation.  But before we go to the particulars, we first need to review the Church’s teachings on three key related concepts: the universal destination of goods, the fair wage, and the right to private property.  After we have these concepts firmly in mind, we can more fully understand what the Church means by a “just” distribution of wealth.
The universal destination of material goods is the principle that all creation is ultimately God’s and, therefore, belongs to all God’s creatures.  The world’s wealth is intended to be developed to benefit everyone—rich and poor, powerful and weak, now and in the future—so it follows that all resources are conferred with a social mortgage: those who are given wealth must do something good with it.  As demonstrated in the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30), those who are given more are expected to do more with what they’ve been given.

A fair wage is the amount needed to support a thrifty and upright worker and his family, plus enough extra so that the worker can save and acquire property of his own.  Human labor tends to be undervalued for what it can produce, and negotiations between employer and employee tend to be uneven.  Accordingly, the Church expects every employer to pay a fair wage, and assigns the responsibility for ensuring fair wages jointly between employers and the state. 
Private property is the result of worker savings and provides a buffer against difficult times.  The Church regards private property ownership as necessary to undergird an individual’s personal freedom and dignity – the freedom to choose and act in a way consistent with God’s calling.  It is an error to say that private property is necessary simply because it gives you something to live on. Rather, private property is necessary for control and responsibility, and that’s where freedom and dignity arise.
And private property does something else: it makes charitable acts possible.  Without private property ownership, one has nothing material to give. But with private property, an individual can make a decision in love to give to another something of value.  This provides teeth to what is called the preferential option for the poor, a special primacy in the application of Christian charity directed at those whose living conditions interfere with their proper growth and development (Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church).  The exercise of charity is a personal responsibility.
Now let’s return to the issue of what the Church really means by a “just” distribution of wealth.  The Peace and Justice Document I mentioned earlier is called The Vocation of Business Leaders and provides the following advice: Creators of wealth, the document says, “must find ways to make a just distribution of this wealth to employees (following the principle of the right to a just wage), customers (just prices), owners (just returns), suppliers (just prices), and the community (through just tax rates).” 
The Church recognizes that we’re not dealing with a “zero-sum” game. Wealth must be created before it can be distributed, and wealth is created when those with an entrepreneurial spirit direct their energy, talent and resources to create the goods and services that people need.  They become the faithful servant that takes the five that is given them, invests it, and produces five more.  Society needs many more of these productive servants.  But just producing more is not sufficient in God’s eyes. One must also do something good with the wealth created so that one “pays off” its social mortgage.   
How does someone do this? First, by paying fair wages so that employees can take care of family obligations and at the same time accumulate wealth that can be distributed. This creates a multiplicative effect in which everyone excels. The size of the pie and the size of each slice become larger!  Second, by operating in a just fashion, respecting the legitimate interests of all stakeholders and rewarding each according to their contribution.  Finally, by freely giving property, in charity, so as to assist those who need help.   
A government’s legitimate role is to maintain a predictable and just economic system, provide a safety net for those in dire trouble, and collect a just amount in taxes to pay for it all. But unfortunately, many governments around the world institute laws and regulations that drive down wages, set high marginal tax rates that effectively discourage economic development, or make it difficult for small businesses to begin and thrive.  Governments also err by providing services in a way that creates dependency instead of freedom, downplays the important role of private property and diminishes charitable contributions. These approaches are directly opposed to what the Church regards as a “just” distribution of wealth.
Rather, government can facilitate a just distribution of wealth by using their taxing authority to promote the payment of fair wages, improving economic development, facilitating the ownership of productive private property, and increasing the exercise of personal charity.  All of these actions help individuals live out their calling.

Brian T. Engelland
Professor of Marketing
The Catholic University of America
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