Friday, December 18, 2015

Lessons Learned in the MSBA

Wondering what the annual New York Trip was like through the eyes of a student? MSBA student Victoria Lee lets us in on her experience.

Market Your Strengths

The New York trip was one of the most rewarding, tiring, and fun-filled weeks I have ever experienced. Being able to bond with my classmates and leaders in the program, confirmed that I made the right decision in continuing my studies at Catholic. Every speech and every visit to the companies shared the same sentiment. While there were several terms and concepts from class, like the marketing mix, process, the importance of social media, the biggest theme I got from all the companies was marketing yourself. Building your own brand and being marketable to different fields, was the largest marketing aspect of the trip. Every company mentioned the importance of being genuine, being inquisitive, and being a team player, are all elements vital to the different marketing industries and marketing yourself. Building on your strengths and marketing these strengths are extremely important. For example, I learned that companies like DDB and Interbrand are keen on teamwork and collaboration. Throughout my undergraduate career, Sociology was crucial on seminar type classes, as well as in the MSBA courses, teamwork is everything. These elements are crucial to working at companies like this and I definitely want to be able to advertise these strengths when I apply to jobs in the very near future.
To further the point of marketing on your strengths, it made me reflect a lot on the skills I learned from my undergraduate career, and the abundant skills we are learning from the MSBA program. The core of sociology is understanding human interaction, being able to adapt to different cultural differences, understanding people’s thought process. These skills would help me in being able to work in a team as well as if I want to have a career in marketing, I can build on these skills. The skills I learned from my undergraduate career are being amplified and magnetized in the MSBA program. In our marketing and management courses, we learn in a seminar style and have discussions that allow us to voice our opinion, while being open to other people’s opinion. We are also able to collaborate on different case studies and class project, which I learned on the trip, is vital to marketing. Teamwork is also extremely prevalent in our accounting and quantitative courses, these courses are not my strongest courses, but getting help from my classmates has been great. I learned at the different advertising companies, that even if you have an area that is not your strong suit, you can get input from your co-workers and teammates. The skills I learned from my undergraduate and graduate career, are skills I want to market when I start applying to jobs.
Marketing yourself and marketing your skills, are all lessons I learned from the New York trip and in class. The importance of being genuine and inquisitive are both prevalent in class and when we were listening to the different speaker’s speeches. Marketing was present during the entire trip.
Read More »

Thursday, December 10, 2015

How My Liberal Arts Degree is Helping Me in Graduate School: Blog Series part IV

We're back! Welcome to the latest installment of our blog series, How My Liberal Arts Degree is Helping Me in Graduate School. If you happened to miss the first few posts, you can catch up here:

Music to Management: Finding a Career from an "Impractical" Major
English, a Major of Adaptability
Studying History: Storytelling in the Office 

In this post, we welcome MSBA student Clare Fallon who received her Bachelor's degree in History with a minor in Secondary Education. In her post, she talks about how she will use the skills learned during her undergraduate career in her time with the MSBA program as a graduate student in business. Take it away, Clare!

From Classroom Manager to Business Manager

It’s 8:40 am and I am standing outside of my classroom waiting for my students to hustle up the hallway and get settled into their seats for a day filled with math, english, social studies and fun! Well, at least I tried to make learning fun. Although I am not in the teaching profession, my major and experience has taught me so much that I believe can carry over into the business world. The most important aspect that would seamlessly fit into my new found business lifestyle would be my classroom management skills. In any given class period, I would have about 25 students in my classroom. I had to make sure that my students were involved, engaged, not wasting their time, keeping up with the expectations of the classroom, and comfortable to ask questions to be able to complete their work. This article by edutopia discusses tips for fostering a positive classroom management style. While reading it, it occurred to me that these tips can be applied to business management style as well. To me, a teacher is the ultimate business manager. As a manager, you have to make sure your co-workers are engaged, not wasting their (or your) time, keeping up with the expectations of their job as well as company culture, and comfortable enough to ask you questions. Hopefully one day at 8:40 am, with help from my classroom management skills, I’ll be standing outside my office waiting for my co-workers to hustle up the elevator and get settled into their desks for a day filled with hard work, determination, and of course…fun!
Read More »

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Formula For Success

In the post below, MSBA student Eve Zhu uses knowledge she learned in her Quantitative Analysis class to come up with a "function for success". (If you've missed our previous student guest posts, read them here, here and here).

 Take it away, Eve!

What Does Success Look Like to Me?

What does success look like to me? I read an interesting article about success a period of time ago. The author, Geoffrey James, stated his definition of success. While a lot of people think that success should be defined as the left chart, he think a much more sensible definition of success is as the middle chart.
However, for many more people, I think success is the right chart. So the following question is what makes people rich and happy?  After thinking about this question, I found the following success metrics from Harvard Business Review.
For fun and curiosity, I tried to use regression to explain the relationship between the four categories and success. I used sixty-two business leaders’ answers online and my four roommate’s answers as the sample to run a regression model. People think these business leaders are successful, so 1 represents success and 0 represents not success. ABCD represent four categories and each item in each category represents one point.
After several tests, I got a function: Success = -0.052 + 0.156*A + 0.070*B + 0.023*C + 0.074*D and R^2=0.797. The career objective, which can represent rich, is still the most important index of success. It is really true in today’s society. In my opinion, the other three categories can represent the “happy” section in the middle chart above. Success involves both riches and happiness.
This is what success looks like to me.
Read More »

Monday, November 23, 2015

MSBA meets NYC: Recap Part 2

If you missed our first recap post, read it here!

The last few days of our trip were nothing short of incredible. We visited more amazing companies and spoke to inspiring business leaders and entrepreneurs. We hope you enjoy this second picture recap!

Our first stop Thursday morning was to Creative Drive, where Paul Price, CEO gave the class an overview of the company and culture.

After a wonderful visit at Creative Drive, we stopped for lunch in the city before heading to our next stop, Carat. We were so thankful to be addressed by Ed Gorman, EVP and Managing Director, Linda Cronin, Senior VP, and our very own MSBA alumn Winfred Amoako, Associate of Digital Activation and Planning.

Our next visit was to Jefferies. We are so thankful to them for hosting us, and especially to Peter Forlenza for leading our group session!

We finished out a packed Thursday with a relaxed dinner with Beth Warren of Creative Realities, Inc, during which she gave students an overview of the company and what they do.

Friday morning began with a visit to Madison Square Garden, where we were hosted by the always-gracious Adam Sciorsci.

Our final stop was to the office of Made by Many, hosted by Leslie Bradshaw.

All in all, it was a wonderful trip, and we want to again extend our extreme gratitude to all of the companies that hosted our group. We can't wait for next year!

Stay tuned for our next blog post, which will feature a little project we've been working on!
Read More »

Friday, November 13, 2015

Empowering Women Enrtrepreneurs at CUA

Cross-posted on Business@CUA

By Guest Blogger: Julie Larkin CUA, Student Experience Manager , MSBA Graduate, and Founder of Girl Talk.

"Julie, what are you talking about? You just started a business!" I took a minute to ponder this, and then slowly allowed the realization to sink in.

I had just finished explaining to Stew McHie, the director of the Masters of Science in Business Analysis Program at Catholic University, how I had never pictured myself in business. I detailed my experiences studying psychology and working in Campus Ministry as a student minister. Surely my vocation was counseling or something that involved directly caring for others. I never imagined that my life would have anything to do with crunching numbers all day. (Little did I know what business as a "force for good" actually meant!)

I then went on to describe to him the program that I had started during my time as a student minister, called Girl Talk. This organization began in March 2012, after some jarring experiences with my freshmen female residents involving attempted suicide, sexual assault, heartbreak, and eating disorders. I heard story after story from these women of loneliness and their struggles with self-worth. No one will ever love me. She's way prettier than I am. I can't even look in the mirror I'm so ugly. Sound familiar? It broke my heart to hear them beating themselves up and doubting their self-worth to the point of self-harm. These women believed that they were the only ones who had ever felt like that, but they needed to know that they were not alone...Enter Girl Talk.

It took a lot of late nights of planning and crafting. My friends helped me design tons of cute invitations with glitter and bows, late nights of baking, music playlists and all sorts of prep in between. We gathered all my residents together for a fun night of hanging out in the lounge, devouring Red Velvet cupcakes, and most importantly, sharing stories. I shared with them the times that I felt ugly, heartbroken, and just simply not good enough. I shared how there were so many times that I felt inadequate, that my friends had felt this way too—that everyone struggles with their self-worth in some way! I reminded them that in fact, they were each beautiful, valuable, and loved. No matter what.

At the end of the night, the girls would not let me leave until I told them when our next Girl Talk would be. They were so hungry for this message! To know that someone they looked up to struggled as well. To know they were not alone. So we got together again and we talked about body image. Then we got together again and we talked about relationships. We kept getting together to share our personal stories and continue the conversation. The next year my fellow student ministers asked me if I could help them start Girl Talk in their residence halls, and by the end of the following year, Girl Talk existed in every female residence hall on Catholic University’s campus.

Back to Mr. Business. I finished explaining this whole history of Girl Talk, and then Professor McHie gave me a huge smile, and shared this little secret with me—I had inadvertently created a business without even realizing it! My passion for these women in helping them recognize their self-worth had fueled the flame for an organization that had the potential to reach women far and wide beyond my expectations! I may not have been looking to make a profit necessarily, but I still needed to understand the essential business principles of management, marketing, finance, and accounting in order for Girl Talk to grow and succeed. So how would I help women? 

Girl Talk Launch Party Invite
I went to Business School! After an accelerated nine-month program, I received my masters of science in business analysis (MSBA). I not only learned these invaluable, practical skills that complemented and enhanced my background of psychology and ministry, I found that I actually really enjoyed them. Business was a natural fit for me because it involved working with people, building relationships, and thinking creatively to solve problems. I am so grateful for that eye-opening conversation I had with Stew McHie. Thanks to him, I now have a business degree, am working in the School of Business and Economics as the Student Experience Manager, and am launchied my 501c3 non-profit, Girl Talk on November 13th . 

So many women will now have the opportunity to recognize their self-worth and become their best selves, thanks to this discovery of business as my vocation

I guess business really can be a force for good.

Read More »

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Annual MSBA meets NYC Trip: Recap Part 1

The MSBA program's annual week-long trip to New York City is one of the experiences that sets it apart.

The class of 2016 boarded a train at DC's Union Station and headed for New York to visit companies in a variety of industries and broaden our students awareness of the kinds of industries and opportunities that are available to them. 

Each company and speaker was incredibly gracious in sharing their time, personal experiences, backgrounds and career paths with the students. They provided valuable insight and advice to our students on searching for jobs.

In Part 1 of our recap, you can see pictures of our visits to DDB, Interbrand, Tiffany & Co. and Fox Business News. You'll also read more about the networking event held at Public House.

An annual tradition - a beer at the Blarney Rock Pub across the street from the Hotel Penn upon arrival to NYC!

Day 1 - our morning brief before visiting DDB. The Student Planning Committee organized and led these meetings each morning before the day's activities.

Program Director Stew McHie preps the students

On our way to DDB!

We spent our first day at DDB Worldwide, where MSBA alumn Patrick Six led the day's activities. We had the privilege (and last minute surprise!) of hearing from DDB Worldwide chairman Keith Reinhard. Mr. Reinhard spent time sharing stories with the class and giving them advice on pursuing their careers.

An important part of our annual trip is the networking reception, held this year at Public House.  Over 50 MSBA alumni, CUA alums, company hosts, and friends and colleagues that live in the city were in attendace and shared their experiences with some of the students that are interested in seeking work in NYC. 

MSBA students with Tiffany & Co.'s Michael Connolly
Stew McHie with MSBA alumn Winfred Amoako

Day 2 began bright and early at Interbrand. Pictured here are a few students with the MSBA Program Director Stew McHie and Director of Career Development Marykate Kelly.

At Interbrand, students had the opportunity to work on a case-study for. Students split up into separate groups, came up with a strategy and presented it at the end of our visit.

MSBA student Adriana Del Castillo leads her group in brainstorming

MSBA student Alex Hetzel presents his team's solution

Alissa Norris did a great job summarizing her team's strategy!

Stop number two was Tiffany & Company! And it wasn't just the girls who were excited! We heard from Vice President - Treasurer Michael Connolly, a CUA alumn, and Bernadette Hitt, the Group Director of Merchandising for the Americas, who was also a CUA alumna.

Michael Connolly, a CUA alumn and Vice President - Treasurer for Tiffany &Co.

Our last stop of the day was a Fox Business News. As always, Josh Bellis gave us an amazing overview of what working at FBN entails, and gave a grand tour of the place! Always a highlight of the trip, speaking with Gerri Willis of Fox Business Network, pictured below.

We ended day 2 with a fun-filled evening and another annual tradition - bowling in Times Square!
Stay tuned for Part 2 of the trip, coming later this week!

Read More »

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Blog Series Part III: How My Liberal Arts Degree is Helping Me in Graduate Business School

Part 3 of our blog series "How My Liberal Arts Degree is Helping Me in Graduate Business School" is written by CUA MSBA student Alexander Ruhling. (In case you missed them, read more about non-business majors turning to a business career in Part1 and Part 2 of the series).

Alex, who received his Bachelor of Arts in Music, writes about how his degree helped him become the dedicated worker he is today.

And now, calling to the stage, Alex Ruhling!

Music to Management: Finding a Career from an "Impractical" Major

Q: How many music majors have been asked what they want to do with their majors?
A: How many Popes have been Catholic? It's truly that simple.
I remember the first few times I told people I was going to major in music, and my immediate answer to their immediate question. "Ahh... well... ummm.... I'm not sure! I mean... I have plenty of time..." etc. etc.

The truth is, I still really don't know what I want to do with the big piece of paper somewhere back home that says "Bachelor of Arts in Music" on it. I'm not Dmitri Hvorostovsky or Anna Netrebko or any other of these big name opera singers that had a God-given voice far beyond their years and could walk onto international stages in their early 20's. I'm just an average 20-year-old trying, as they say, to "make it," singing gigs here and there for measly amounts of money, knowing full well that I cannot possibly make a living like this. The question, then, becomes: is it worth it to pour thousands of dollars, hours, and brain cells into a degree that lands me out of college seemingly no better off than where I was when I started?

The answer is: yes. Undeniably yes.

How many other majors force students to sit in a 6 by 6 room and push themselves to new physical and intellectual limits for hours in front of a mirror, a score, and a piano, only for a glimpse of "progress?" We have no textbooks, no documents, no case studies. All we bring is a feeble memory of whatever our voice teacher said the last time we met for an hour of confusing vocal boot camp, a backpack full of music by dead Italians and Germans, and a frustratingly limited understanding of the beautiful delicacies of the human voice. We sit in the practice room, we make horrible noises, we get frustrated, we throw our sheet music across the room in a monochromatic maelstrom, and then after an hour we finally find the single sweet moment we have been dreaming about. And then, it's back to the grind again.

That right there is more than enough of a reason to embrace the undergraduate music life. In business, we hear about the baseball analogy of management. If a hitter gets an official hit only one time and royally screws up another three, he's doing pretty well. If for every success he only blows it twice, he's at the top of his game. My voice teacher tells my frustrated perfectionist self that if his students retain a measly 1% of what they learn each week, they are golden. A manager will face difficult decisions daily, even hourly. How many bad decisions will he make? Probably most of them.

Even Hank Aaron, Bryn Terfel, and Jack Welch have had to toil brutal hours in the face of almost certain failure. But they all learned that the work and the frustration and the disappointment makes that one home run, that one high A, and that one lucrative venture all the sweeter, all the more joyous, and-most importantly- all the more powerful reminder of doing all for the glory of God.
So maybe that piece of paper with the big "B.A. in Music" on it doesn't say "B.A. in Specific Skills Required for Fantastic and Immediate Job Security."

Instead, it says: "Hire me. Because I may not be an expert in articulating financial statements or putting together an Excel spreadsheet, but as sure as hell as you're reading my resume right now, I know how to work. I know how to fight impossible odds for impossible hours and push myself for that one sweet moment of success. So hire me. Because when that moment comes again and again, you'll be glad you did."
Read More »

Thursday, October 22, 2015

"How My Liberal Arts Degree is Helping Me in Graduate Business School" Series, Part 2

Welcome to part two of our blog series "How My Liberal Arts Degree is Helping Me in Graduate Business School". In today's post, CUA MSBA student Dave Gogats let's us in on how majoring in English has helped him adapt to the business world. Take it away, Dave!
English, a Major of Adaptability 
by David Gogats

“How’s the job at Starbucks?” and “When’s your book coming out?” are two questions every English major loves to hear. Every one of us who has gone through four years of Shakespeare and Dickens knows the routine and how to combat people’s opinions of our seemingly useless degree. The statistics are usually on their side too. As an Atlantic article earlier this summer pointed out, as parents’ incomes increased, the practicality of their children’s majors went down, with English topping the list of uselessness.(

No English major I’ve talked to has ever regretted his or her path though. They’ve gone into varying careers where every skill we have learned through undergrad has been used. One English major I met was a biology textbook editor at one time and now considers herself a “mini expert” in stomach diseases. The literature aspect of an English degree was just a means to an end by doing something we love. Through the many sleepless nights of researching Renaissance poetry that no one wants to read, except apparently my professor, to then writing about it has given me skills that I would not get from any other major. Although it is probably true that I may never find someone who has read what I have read during undergrad, it’s not about what I’ve read or written but that I know how to do it now. It’s not about researching, reading, analyzing, and writing it’s about how to do those well, even if you don’t like the subject.

When looking at the skills an English degree gives you, it seems that it might be more useful than it appears. Another article, from U.S. News, quotes a student who found that “his undergraduate major in political science at University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill ‘unequivocally’ did not help prepare him for law school” rather it was his “minor in English, which required him to read ‘voluminous amounts of literature,’ that had better prepared him for the intense reading requirements of studying law. (

As we fight to keep our English degrees useful and relevant it turns out that it might not be that hard. Now that I’m a business student, I find that my four years spent reading Hemingway and Hawthorne have better prepared me than I had originally thought. Whether it’s a reading a textbook on Quantitative Analysis or writing a business memo, being an English major comes with many skill sets, one of its most useful being adaptability and being able to change up how I use my skills learned from undergrad.

We’ve read things that are boring as can be, but as dull as it is, we can turn it into something. English majors everywhere can rejoice when reading and editing textbooks or speech writing that at least they’re not about Renaissance poetry (at least I do anyway).

Read More »

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Studying History: Storytelling in the Office

In the first post of our blogging series by MSBA students about how their undergraduate majors are serving them in graduate business school, Joe Fiocco talks about the value of having a Bachelor's in History.

History looks like Dungeons and Dragons to people who don't enjoy it: a collection of lingo you have to memorize and regurgitate. What most don't realize is that a background in history has tangible benefits for a career in business though. Just ask Carly Fiorina or Martha Stewart.
I don't like stating my position without evidence, analysis, or context. Reading primary source documents and arguing my interpretation cultivates an attention to detail and the ability to track changes in behavior and trends over time. In a business context, employers desire employees who can detect nuance and analyze figures beyond what numbers express. A background in history lets an employee weave different factors of the environment together into a clear narrative, whether it’s assessing new technology, scoping out the competition, or organizing a marketing survey.
Studying history facilitates communication, for writing and presentation demonstrates understanding of the source material. The business climate places a premium on condensing information for those purposes. History majors understand the importance of a logical assembly and argumentation of the facts. That’s why businesses would seek out a history student to draft and prepare reports, memos, speeches, or presentations. In my new program and my internship, I intend to showcase my talents to the fullest.

Read More »

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Why Businesses Prefer A Liberal Arts Education

A lot has been written about the powerful combination of a liberal arts and business education, including this article from CNBC.   While these articles are compelling, I find the even more compelling arguments come from the students themselves.  

Recently our Master of Science in Business Analysis students were asked to write a linked in blog post about how their liberal arts undergraduate degree would help them succeed in the business world.  I was optimistic they had given this some thought.  But I was amazed at the depth of thought and the practical applications they saw in their undergrad degrees in history, english, philosophy, music, engineering and more.  

I count myself among the skeptics when we started this program.  Now, 6 years and 120 students later, I can honestly and empiracally say the intersection of liberal arts and the business world is a formula for individual and business success.  We will publish some of these thoughtful articles in the coming days.

Stewart McHie, Director- MSBA 
Read More »

Monday, September 28, 2015

Writing for Business

"It is vitally important to me to be able to help others in their discovery, learning and fulfillment by blending practical, real-world experiences with the academic, as students prepare for the workplace and for life."

– Robert Powers

MSBA professor Bob Powers will teach “Writing for Business” this fall. Professor Powers has developed a course that addresses critical writing and presentation skills and exposes students to practical applications that enhance their writing by using common workplace documents. In his course, Professor Powers will teach students how to live up to employers’ expectations of possessing not only robust verbal communication skills but also the ability to put those communication skills to use in writing. Throughout the duration of the course, students will learn to transition from academic to business writing, write a variety of business communications, prepare the various types of documents required in business writing, master business document presentation, enhance collaborative group communication, and make effective business presentations to individuals and groups. After completing this course, students will have gained an appreciation for the importance of effective communication in business. They will significantly improve their ability to effectively write a variety of business communications and learn the ethical dimensions of business writing.

Read More »

Monday, September 21, 2015

MSBA graduate has job at U.S. Department of the Interior

Ryan Browne, class of 2012, began working for the U.S. Department of the Interior in 2011 as an intern during his time in the MSBA program with the understanding that if he met certain criteria he would be offered a full time job upon graduation. Following his graduation in 2012, Ryan transitioned to full time employee with the official title of Budget Analyst. Since then, his roles and responsibilities have changed and he has received a promotion every year since 2011. During his first year he worked mainly on process improvements and integrating systems. As he continued in the budget systems role he was also tasked with more financial analysis and other reporting functions.

In the spring of 2013, Ryan started working on the Payments in Lieu of Taxes program (PILT) as an assistant to the manager. He helped to administer the program from within by completing projects that included sending letters to congress and attending briefings on Capitol Hill. In November of that same year, Ryan was given the opportunity to become the manager of the PILT program. Although he declined the offer, he agreed to manage the program until they found someone else and became the official program manager of PILT at the age of 23. Says Ryan, “It was a daunting task because the program is highly visible”. Ryan successfully administered the program in 2014 and 2015, issuing payments to approximately 1,900 counties timely and in accordance with statutory requirements.

Ryan’s current position in the front office of the secretary has given him access to many high-level executives. He has had the opportunity to brief Senior leadership on important issues and congressional staffers to familiarize them with the background and complexity of the PILT program.

Although Ryan’s undergraduate degree was in mathematics and actuarial science, and he never envisioned himself in a policy analysis position, he has come to enjoy his role in the U.S. Department of the Interior. This year he is training someone to take over his position as manager of the PILT program and is being judged not only on administering the program and making payments on time but also how well the incoming manager transitions. Ryan hopes to get back into the type of work he was doing before becoming the interim manager for PILT, which includes quarterly financial reporting and congressional district reporting. He hopes to work with the appropriations liaison to answer congressional inquiries on current budget issues, assist with the department budget submissions, and work on the actual budget process to see where budget meets policy and how legislative decisions from congress impact budget.

When asked how the MSBA Program helped prepare him for this career, here is what Ryan had to say:

“In my interview for the MSBA Program, Professor McHie asked what I was passionate about. At the time, all I was worried about was getting a job and making money. When I thought about it, it really was my appreciation for wildlife restoration and conservation (I grew up surrounded by a wildlife sanctuary). That was my answer to him at the time and I didn’t realize I’d be working months later at a department that handles natural resources policy. I was unhappy at first because I was not challenged in my job as an intern, but after graduation I got a lot more responsibility and management realized what I was capable of.

The past 2 years have really been a lot of problem solving for me. I’m handed a situation and have no guidance on how to fix it or succeed, but I have to figure it out. The MSBA provided a lot of real-life problem solving and there was a lot of discussion about how you would solve a problem if it arose. It all came together for me while working with Smart Insights group in our Field Team Study. That ended up being similar to the position I’m in now in that it required problem solving skills, focusing on a topic I was unfamiliar with, Human Resources. It was overwhelming and we didn’t know if we could be successful. Through persistence and by using and immediately applying tools we learned in the first semester, it turned out to be the best experience I could have asked for. Also the amount of criticism we received in the program was immensely helpful. There was never a time when the professor said “perfect job”. This instilled in us the idea that you can constantly improve. Even when you’re an executive, you can constantly improve upon your skills.

The MSBA is unique in the amount they challenge you in oral presentation skills. For my first project for the Department of the Interior, I remember putting together a webpage online. All of the work that I put into it wouldn’t have meant anything if I couldn’t sell it. I had to provide a recommendation and present final solution. Being able to communicate that and justify it at such a young age projected me into the position I’m in now and is the reason why I’ve been given more responsibilities and opportunities to present publicly.”
Read More »

Friday, September 4, 2015

MSBA Orientation Demonstrates Proper Business Meeting Decorum

This video, played at our 2015 MSBA Orientation, demonstrates proper business meeting decorum.

MSBA Code of Conduct from Jamilah Johnson on Vimeo.

A special thanks to the CUA students and MSBA alumni who appeared in the video, and current MSBA student Jamilah Johnson, who shot the footage.
Read More »

Monday, August 31, 2015

You Don’t Need to Know How to Code to Make it in Silicon Valley

You Don’t Need to Know How to Code to Make it in Silicon Valley

August 25, 2015

This month’s Forbes cover story calls attention to the contributions and growing need for liberal arts majors in tech, an industry widely regarded for its engineering talent. The author of the story, George Anders, wrote, “The more that audacious coders dream of changing the world, the more they need to fill their companies with social alchemists who can connect with customers—and make progress seem pleasant.”
With this in mind, we looked at LinkedIn data to understand the prevalence of these “social alchemists” with liberal arts degrees joining the tech workforce. We defined “liberal arts” as the humanities, social sciences, natural/physical sciences, and theoretical math.
As our data shows, liberal arts grads are joining the tech workforce more rapidly than technical grads. Between 2010 and 2013, the growth of liberal arts majors entering the technology industry from undergrad outpaced that of computer science and engineering majors by 10%. Internet or software companies are especially popular—38% of all recent liberal arts grads in tech currently work in this space.
Given these growing trends, we looked into the data and uncovered three insights that can help liberal arts grads understand where their expertise fits within the technology industry.
Liberal arts majors take on a wide range of roles
These days you find liberal arts grads all across the technology industry. While sales and marketing still make up the majority of liberal arts degree holders in tech, the third most popular role for recent liberal arts grads is within software development. These results reveal that the philosophy behind liberal arts, which encourages diversity of skills and flexible critical thinking, transfers to the workplace in various forms.
Top 10 list by % of all liberal arts grads in tech in these specific roles
Pedigree matters out of college, but it won’t make or break your tech career
Where you went to college plays a part in whether your liberal arts degree lands you a job in tech.
On average, about 10% of all recent liberal arts grads go into tech directly from undergrad; but for students graduating from the top 20 schools in America—the average is 14%.
However, you don’t need to attend an Ivy League school to make your liberal arts degree work for you in the long run. When we broke down the percent of recent liberal arts grads currently in tech by top 20, top 100 (those not included in the top 20), and non-top 100 schools, we found that the difference between each tier is about 1% or less.
Prior work experience gives you a better chance of making it in tech
Having full-time work experience gives liberal arts grads a better shot of finding a tech job, irrespective of industry. An earlier Economic Graph analysis shows that half of the top 10 industries hiring outside of their industry are tech-related.
Compared to liberal arts majors directly from college, the average percent of liberal arts grads going into tech after having just one other job is already 4% higher. While we still see slight difference with pedigree, the overall picture is brighter for all liberal arts majors with experience.
In our modern work economy, people have more opportunities and resources to get the job they want; what matters the most is what people do to get those jobs. With LinkedIn you can gain new skills, search for and apply to jobs and make new connections.
As we continue to build the Economic Graph, we will be keeping a close eye on education and job trends as they signal the changing nature of careers. Knowing the connections between our education and job opportunities can help us understand the choices we make in our own careers.
Methodological Details: The results of this analysis represent only LinkedIn data. As such, how members choose to use this site can influence our results, as well as our accessibility to data. These variances were not accounted for in the analysis.
When we refer to “recent grads”, we mean liberal arts majors that graduated between 2010 and 2013 and do not have graduate degrees or technical double majors. When considering schools, the top 20 schools included the top 20 national universities from U.S. News as well as the top 20 liberal arts colleges. The top 100 schools included the other 80 national universities at the top, as well as the remainder of the top 50 liberal arts colleges. All other schools were considered “non-top 100”. Majors considered liberal arts were in the humanities, natural and physical sciences, social sciences, and theoretical mathematics. Please note that because we looked at all schools in the U.S., there will naturally be more non-top 100 schools represented when we look at overall data, i.e. the 10% of all recent liberal arts grads going into tech is similar to the 10% of all recent liberal arts grads from a non-top 100 school that go into tech.
The job type, i.e. salesperson, is dependent on how LinkedIn categorizes the role. A “job” is also anything the member chooses to include as a position on their profile. The members that make up this data graduated between 2010 and 2013 from a U.S. school, and we assumed June to be the graduation date of that year (unless otherwise noted). Members without education data were excluded from the analysis.
Jobs considered tech included internet, computer software, computer hardware, biotechnology, online media, e-learning, computer games, consumer electronics, computer and network security, information technology & services, nanotechnology, wireless, and medical devices.
(Photo credit: Jared from the HBO series Silicon Valley. In it, he’s a Vassar College grad with a B.A. in Economics and the Head of Business Development at Pied Piper.)
Read More »

Thursday, August 20, 2015

College doesn't prepare students for full-time jobs—internships do

College doesn't prepare students for full-time jobs—internships do

The number one problem I see in academia today is students coming out of college unprepared for the workplace.

The Leadership Insider network is an online community where the most thoughtful and influential people in business contribute answers to timely questions about careers and leadership. Today’s answer to the question “How can you turn an internship into a full-time job?” is by Ryan Smith, CEO and founder of Qualtrics.
Most people don’t know what they want to be when they grow up. Heck, I don’t even know what I want to be when I grow up. Frankly, I never set out to start a tech company or change the way people gather data. While the other kids were playing baseball, I for sure wasn’t sitting inside building customer feedback programs. Internship programs, when implemented correctly, can solve a variety of workplace issues and offer mutually beneficial outcomes for students, employees and employers. Here’s why:
Universities aren’t doing enough to prepare students
The number one problem I see in academia today is that students are coming out unprepared for the workplace. In other words, they lack on the job training. Universities teach students how to think, but they don’t provide real world experience, so people leave school unprepared for the workplace. It’s the equivalent of having a pilot graduate from flight school without ever having flown a plane. That’s why I believe everyone should graduate from school with the equivalent of 3,000 flight hours so they know how to tackle challenging projects. We interview a lot of students for internships. We don’t spend much time reviewing what classes the applicant took, rather we focus on digging into previous internships they had, how they performed, and what they learned.
Internships help determine what you like
A lot of people I know have held three to five jobs in their first 10 years out of college. Why so many? Because they accept jobs that seem like a good fit, only to find out they don’t actually enjoy it or they lack the skills to perform. Frankly, they just aren’t calibrated. Internships allow people to get calibrated quickly, and test out the waters when the stakes are fairly low. Go ahead try something new — you may find that it’s a really good fit, or you may discover that you hate it. Either way, you’ll have a much easier time deciding what interests you. That way, when it comes time to find a full-time job, you’ll have a better idea of what you’re looking for and how you can contribute. Without exposure to a variety of industries and professional roles, you may flounder through the first decade of your career trying to find the right fit.
Internships let you date before you get married
Accepting a job is a big deal. It’s a decision that impacts your career, income, family, geography, and in large part, your happiness. Too many people make job commitments without understanding what they’re getting into. Internships are like a trial run; they let you experience the company culture, managers, and growth opportunities without formally committing to a job. You’d never marry someone before dating them first, right? Well, the same principle applies to jobs, so take the time to “date around” and figure out what you really want.
Here’s a perfect example. A few summers back we had a Stanford business student join our team as an intern. He was full of fresh ideas and had an attitude that fit perfectly with the Qualtrics culture. Plus, he worked incredibly hard. We knew we wanted him to come on full-time once he finished school, but I figured it would be hard with Silicon Valley companies competing for his attention as well. But after graduation, he accepted a job at Qualtrics and moved to Utah. And he’ll be the first to tell you that it was his internship that gave him confidence in our organization and exposed him to the growth potential he was looking for. If we hadn’t dated first, we would have never gotten married.
Internships are like first-round draft picks
While internships are great for the growth and development of the interns themselves, they’re even better for the growth of the company. Anyone who has tried to scale a business knows hiring is a top priority, but there’s also plenty of risk associated with bringing on new people. Even the best organizations fail to hire the right people. Internships decrease these odds and guarantee high-quality hires that allow you to scale your business.
A few years ago, we were desperate to grow our engineering team, but we were struggling to hire people fast enough. Instead, we brought on 16 engineering interns to help us get the work done. This decision turned out to be one of the best recruiting moves we have ever made. Our interns had the chance to take on challenging projects and develop their skills, and we were able to see what each of them could actually do before we committed to hiring them. In the end, we hired 12 of the 16, and in doing so, sourced better hires in a shorter amount of time than we could have done through traditional recruiting. That cohort of interns are now some of our most talented engineers and have been instrumental in taking Qualtrics to the next level.
Read More »

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Fox Panelist Defends Planned Parenthood

By Jack Yoest

Bruce Japsen claims access to Planned Parenthood is necessary in ‘Forbes on Fox’ discussion about defunding. Watch the short video clip.

Bruce Japsen, a Forbes contributor who writes about health care, defended the continued federal funding of Planned Parenthood’s 700 health centers. He said that people calling for defunding were essentially saying if patients “like their [Planned Parenthood] health center, they can’t keep it.”
Japsen made that defense during a debate over Planned Parenthood defunding on “Forbes on FOX” on Aug. 8. His position was in the minority, with several others guests saying the group should lose federal funding.
Later in the broadcast he also refused to address the “picking apart of human bodies” by arguing there is a health care “access” problem for low-income people and strongly implied Planned Parenthood is the solution for education on “whether to have a child or not” and for “outpatient services” like pap smears.
“Isn’t that a good thing,” Japsen asked. His claims echoed the talking points of Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards who has been on defense as undercover videos surfaced about the abortion-provider.
The notion government subsidies must continue, they claim, because women depend on them as a last-line of healthcare defense is one of Richards’ claims: “Planned Parenthood is their only doctor…”
In defending Planned Parenthood, Japsen overlooked some important statistics...
Be sure to follow Your Business Professor on Twitter @JackYoest
Read More »

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

What Is The Manager's Most Valuable Task?

By Jack Yoest train wreck
Nothing. Doing nothing.
Your Business Professor was advising a CEO after a train wreck caused by his team.
It was a case study on how to derail a project on each of the four parts of management. Usually crashing one part of management is enough. I marveled at the thoroughness of the wreckage.
“What happened?” I asked. You can count on complicated questions from consultants who have no clue.
“Time,” said the CEO, his head down. “I wish that I took 10 minutes — just 10 minutes to think about it and — if I just took some time to give the problem some real thought — then I could have provided some direction …”
The boss was taking all the blame. As he should.
It started with an incomplete arrangement (plan), using the wrong people (organize) who were distracted with other responsibilities (lead). There were no milestones, no deadlines and no managerial oversight (control).
He is not alone.
The U.S. armed services has codified this ultimate responsibility in the Army Command Policy manual. “Commanders are responsible for everything their command does or fails to do,” according to Army Regulation AR 600-20 (PDF) on page 6.
I looked around the CEO’s immense corner office. Walls of glass on two sides. “You know,” I said, “you spent a lot of money on these floor-to-ceiling windows.”
The CEO gives me a tired look. I get that a lot.
“Maybe,” I said, “You should work less and take more time looking out into infinity …”
Read the entire article here.
And be sure to follow Your Business Professor on Twitter.
Read More »