Monday, September 30, 2013

A Fulfilling Career Path: Finding your Passions

My last class with the MSBA students revolved around the best way to answer the tough interview questions. One of the more difficult as well as common questions we came across was,
                                  "What makes you unique?/ Why should I hire you?"
In one way or another, you will be asked this in an interview. So how can you be unique from other recent graduates or current students?

A great way to differentiate yourself from other candidates when interviewing is to explain what your passions are. If you are having trouble discovering what you are passionate about, fear not!

Below is an article/ quiz you can take to help you figure it out. Finding your passions will also help you in discovering a career path that will be most fulfilling- the ultimate goal of today's job search.

The Passion Test

Speaking of fulfillment, here is an article breaking it down for us Generation Y-ers as to why our jobs are not living up to our expectations. Below is the advice given as you continue your search for a fulfilling career.

Why Generation Y Yuppies are Unhappy
1) Stay wildly ambitious. The current world is bubbling with opportunity for an ambitious person to find flowery, fulfilling success. The specific direction may be unclear, but it'll work itself out -- just dive in somewhere.
2) Stop thinking that you're special. The fact is, right now, you're not special. You're another completely inexperienced young person who doesn't have all that much to offer yet. You can become special by working really hard for a long time.
3) Ignore everyone else. Other people's grass seeming greener is no new concept, but in today's image crafting world, other people's grass looks like a glorious meadow. The truth is that everyone else is just as indecisive, self-doubting, and frustrated as you are, and if you just do your thing, you'll never have any reason to envy others.

Marykate Kelly
Corporate Relations Manager, School of Business and Economics
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Sunday, September 15, 2013

Character in Advertising

This post is from Matt Patella, MSBA Class of 2014.  I couldn't agree more with Matt's observation.  Do have the tissues handy.

Beer companies are constantly coming out with commercials. Often times the characters are funny or sexy, rarely are the ads heartwarming. The advantage to creating a heartwarming ad that hits customers at their core is that people will remember the commercial and with the help of the Internet share the commercial. Guinness has created the most recent beer ad that you may want to watch with a box of tissues. In one minute Guinness tells the viewer a story of a group of friends who are willing to go to extremes to play basketball together. The slow song being played during a rough game of basketball indicates there can be more to this game then meets the eye. This ad is popular because it seems to be promoting more than just a beer, it is promoting strong character. The old phrase “A Guinness for Strength” has a whole new meaning now.     (you may have to paste link into your browser)

Matt Patella
MSBA Class of 2014
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Friday, September 6, 2013

MSBA Student gets job at KPMG

From Anthony Astorga
MSBA class of 2013
I am proud to announce my acceptance as a Senior Analyst with the Big 4 firm, KPMG.  My main responsibilities will be to evaluate the design and technology of controls through the business cycle and evaluate IT audit findings.

My journey to this position all started when I saw information on the MSBA program on a flyer on the CUA campus.  After reading more, I decided to take a chance and apply for a Master's program.  The day before my undergraduate graduation in 2012, I received a call from Stew McHie (MSBA Program Director) that I was accepted into the program.

You don't just get an education from the MSBA program, you get to experience real world scenarios in which you are put in the position of a business professional making important business decisions.  An example of this is the Field Team Study with Amtrak that taught me
about teamwork, perseverance, and making the client happy.  I use these skills in the office every day and working with a team is easier now than ever before.

After working with Kristen Rompf (Career Development Professor) on my resume, cover letters, and interview skills, I decided to apply to multiple companies including KPMG.  Low and behold, I received a call after graduation from a recruiter at the firm saying how much they liked my resume and how I would fit in perfectly in the firm.  Now I am starting a new career in the position I wanted with one of the best accounting firms in the world.

The MSBA program is unlike any education I have ever received and I am eternally grateful for the dedication, experience, and support that came from everyone involved in the program.

We all wish you well Anthony.

Stewart McHie
Director, MSBA Program
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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

MSBA Intern Attends Town Hall Meeting with US Senator

McHie and Obiakor examine
equipment at the EMBLOCK Company
Everistus Obiakor, MSBA Class of 2014, was invited to attend a town hall meeting of small business owners with Senator Ben Cardin, (D-MD) at Ernest Maier Inc. in Bladensburg, MD.

Ernest Maier CEO Brendan Quinn invited Everistus and Program Director Stewart McHie to join the plant tour and sit in on a frank discussion with Senator Cardin about the financial plight of the small business owner.  Health care requirements, taxes and bureaucratic red tape were all discussed as interfering with the growth and success of small
Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD)
businesses. The Senator defended the Obama Health Care Plan and promised to look into the lack of information reaching the business owners.  He acknowledged that small businesses are the job creators of the future.

Everistus will intern with Mr. Quinn and be involved with both his domestic business and business interests in Angola.  Assistant Dean Phil Brach who introduced Mr. Quinn to the MSBA program also attended the event.

Stewart McHie
Director, Master of Science in Business Analysis
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Monday, September 2, 2013

Greed, Profit and Public Opinion

This thoughtful commentary was written by Brian Engelland, PhD, Associate Dean and Professor of Marketing at the Catholic University School of Business and Economics.  We invite your 

Corporate greed certainly played a large role in the housing market crash. But to say that all corporations are greedy is a gross mischaracterization. Yet that seems to be what many people believe.

The general public exhibits a pronounced misunderstanding of the profit-motive that is part of corporate DNA.  I often hear complaints that big companies only care about making money, and by their nature, don’t care about employees, customers or the needs of society at large. This misconception is reinforced by news reporting that focuses on corporate greed rather than the good that businesses do.  

Some media outlets project the attitude that profit is a four-letter word and when profits increase, it must mean that customers, employees or the general public is getting the shaft. A sampling of recent news headlines reveals the following examples: “Energy Suppliers Pocket Biggest Profit Margins in Two Years as Households Suffer,”  “Banks Cut Services to Maintain Profits,” and “Cash Grab by Big Business.” 

This anti-profit attitude fails to consider the fact that failing businesses don’t create new products and services, don’t hire new employees and don’t create economic well-being.  Only profitable businesses do. So when businesses post improved profitability, it is not a bad thing, it’s a good thing.

Many sources like to quote Milton Friedman who is credited with saying, “The one and only obligation of business is to maximize profits.” This statement makes for a memorable sound bite, but it is equivalent to saying that the only obligation of a human person is to breath air. Sure, profits are necessary for business survival just as breathing is necessary for human survival.  But profits or breathing is not the only obligation.

Humans exist to accomplish a whole host of strongly-held objectives, including working, forming loving relationships, raising families, and learning. Similarly, businesses seek to accomplish many objectives, including the creation of high quality products, the service of customers, and fair treatment of employees. Granted, profitability is needed or the firm will not survive for long.  But profit is more of a score-keeping discipline than a driving force.

Pope John Paul II said it well: ““Profit is a regulator of the life of a business, but it is not the only one; other human and moral factors must also be considered which, in the long run, are at least equally important for the life of a business.” John Paul II, Centesimus Annus, 35.
Businesses serve an important and irreplaceable role in this world.  According to the Pontifical Council of Justice and Peace document, The Vocation of the Business Leader: A Reflection, business is a noble calling to participate in God’s ongoing creation.  Businesses create products and perform services that individuals or government bodies are ill-equipped to provide. These products and services make the challenges of life (transportation, education, housing, food, and healthcare) easier to bear.
Business leaders I know run their organizations so as to balance the needs and desires of multiple stakeholders, including consumers, employees, suppliers, and the community in which the business is located. Their daily concerns involve product quality, new product innovation, employee training, and supplier partnerships, to name a few. Those businesses that achieve success in these areas achieve consistent profitability. But there is an important chain of causality here. Profits arise not because they are the over-riding goal. Rather, profits arise because of a focus on all of the individual, people-related elements of running a business that involves customers, employees, suppliers and community.
Putting people first tends to yield a prosperity dividend that enables the business to continue. Pope Leo XIII wrote “[W]hen Christian morals are completely observed, they yield of themselves a certain measure of prosperity to material existence.”— Leo XIII, Rerum Novarum, 42.
When an individual or business operates according to Christian principles, there is a certain order that follows and a degree of success is achieved in this world. The key is person-centeredness. When we reduce the content of business to performance metrics like profits, we miss the soul of business life: people.
Businesses exist to serve people with products, services, jobs, and the necessities of life. When businesses do well in accomplishing those objectives, they are rewarded with prosperity to material existence.  In other words, investors earn a return on their investment. That return is called profit.
News media have a moral obligation for truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality, fairness and public accountability.  Their over-emphasis on profit in business creates the potential for misleading the public.  So come on, news media, get with it!  If the public had a better understanding of the profit motive, we would all be better off.

Brian Engelland, PhD
Associate Dean
Catholic University School of Business and Economics
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