Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Leaders Molded in Battle: Lessons from Gettysburg

Leaders Molded in Battle: Lessons from Gettysburg
by Sean Wilson

This past weekend, students from the MSBA Class of 2015 were given the opportunity to attend a field trip to Gettysburg, PA.  Guided by Col. Doug Doud, professional tour guide and marine, the group enjoyed a full day of history, intense stories of war heroes, and lessons on leadership and strategy.  Col. Doud was a phenomenal guide who was able to build suspense and convey moving accounts of the events that took place over the three-day long fight at Gettysburg.  Further, he related the actions taken by military leaders and their decisions to those that CEOs and business leaders in companies face every day.  

"Given the detailed and in-depth account of the battlefield and a look into the minds of the leaders there, we suspended what we know about the outcome and were able to debate the actions that we felt should have been taken."   

Col. Doud was incredibly knowledgeable and was able to provide enough insight into the atmosphere and various personalities on the battlefield allowing us to make more accurate recommendations concerning what we would have done.  

On many occasions Col. Doud related what happened on the battlefield and took our analysis of the situation and applied it to what we see and will see in businesses in our careers.  One example in particular was the reference to a toxic leader on the battlefield for the Confederates.  He asked us how we handle toxic leaders in business and what the confederate leadership should have done with this toxic leader at such a critical point in the battle. We learned that there are a number of ways to handle toxic leadership and that the solution to every problem won’t always be clear and straightforward.  Col. Doud also challenged us to aspire to be great leaders and to work hard in our careers.  He emphasized the importance of mentorship and always taking opportunities to learn.  Col. Doud elaborated on being able to act, to take risk, even if all the necessary information isn’t readily available.  He contextualized it by quoting Colin Powell who said, “if I wait to have 70% of the information necessary to make a decision, I’ve waited too long.”  Often in our careers we will be faced with decisions that carry significant consequences, if we are hesitant and afraid to take risks we could miss out on an opportunity and hinder our future success.  He concluded with some final words of wisdom, at the place where Abraham Lincoln gave his Gettysburg address, challenging us to not only work hard to be successful, but to aspire to be great leaders and people for those around us.  This experience and his lessons are ones that I will never forget and always look back fondly on, even though my sunburn really hurts…

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Liberal Arts Not Obstacle for Catholic Students Seeking Business Careers, Experts Argue

Liberal Arts Not Obstacle for Catholic Students Seeking Business Careers, Experts Argue

Catholic students with a background in the liberal arts are well-suited to lead successful careers in business, even as they continue to live out their faith, two prominent educators told The Cardinal Newman Society in interviews this week.
Sometimes Catholic students who have immersed themselves in the truth, beauty and goodness of the liberal arts can discount business as a career, or even look down on the practical realities of the private sector. But they might be mistaken on both accounts, educators say.
Catholics can live out their vocations in the world of business “by applying the principles of solidarity, subsidiarity and respect for human dignity to their everyday decision making,” Stewart McHie, director of the Master of Science of Business Analysis (MSBA) program at The Catholic University of America (CUA) in Washington, D.C., told the Newman Society.
Dr. Andrew Abela, dean of the School of Business at CUA and an expert in business ethics, concurs that Catholic values are directly applicable to a career in business. “All of business, including accounting and finance, is properly understood to be oriented to serving the human person, whether that person be customer, employee, supplier, investor or neighbor,” he said.
Recent reports indicate that business leaders think the liberal arts is a great background for the industry. This is good news for students attending the faithful Catholic colleges recommended by The Newman Guide, many of which challenge students with a rigorous liberal arts curriculum rooted in the Catholic tradition.
In order to help liberal arts students determine whether a career in business might be right for them, the Newman Society and CUA are co-hosting a “Catholic Business Career Discernment Day” on May 11 in Washington, D.C. To learn more or register, visit the event page here.
Liberal arts students should be interested in careers in business because, as Dr. Abela said, “senior business leaders I speak to repeatedly tell me that given the fast-changing nature of today’s global economy, it is essential that anyone aspiring to a career in business have a solid grounding in the liberal arts.”
He noted that the liberal arts enables students who go into business to “understand the larger social, historical, philosophical and even theological contexts that businesses operate within.”
Edgar Bronfman, former CEO of the Seagram Company Ltd., encourages students to get a liberal arts degree. He wrote for Inside Higher Ed, “In all the people who have worked for me over the years the ones who stood out the most were the people who were able to see beyond the facts and figures before them and understand what they mean in a larger context.”
"If someone's studied literature, they know people and have insight into themselves and customers," said Michael Fromm, CEO of Fromm Electric, in an interview with CNBC. "I find people that have a liberal arts background have a broader view of the world and will go farther in business."
Additionally, CNBC reported that in a survey of 320 CEOs, “74 percent said they would recommend a 21st-century liberal education in order to create a more dynamic worker.” Additionally, 95 percent “said they look for college graduates who can think clearly and solve problems and be able to translate their ideas with good oral and communication skills.”
At the undergraduate level, there has been a growing interest and movement towards integrating liberal arts disciplines into academic business curricula. Bloomberg reports that in March 2013 more than 35 business schools convened for the second time to “discuss ways to make progress toward making liberal arts education central to the business school experience.”
While the liberal arts may be in demand, it is not always easy for Catholic students to comprehend how they can transition into the world of business upon graduation. A popular choice for many students who earn their undergraduate degrees in the liberal arts is to continue their education in a specific field in graduate school.
For those wanting to enter business, CUA’s MSBA program may be an attractive option. The MSBA program is geared specifically to students with a background in the liberal arts to help them learn the tools and disciplines that will lead to success in business.
McHie told the Newman Society that the MSBA program emphasizes “the perspectives from Catholic social teaching so that when making decisions business people will consider the effects of their decisions on all constituencies; employees, customers, the communities in which they operate.” Since “the world is moving and changing so fast today, students need to have a broad perspective of the world, cultures and experiences,” he said.
While the study of ethics may be segmented off into a separate course in many business schools, CUA’s program integrates ethical considerations into all coursework, McHie explained.
“Ethics is not so much a subject as a mindset. It is being cognizant of the consequences of your decisions and actions,” he said. “It applies to all areas of business, not just accounting and finance. So we ensure these discussions are integrated into every subject area.”
“We want to emphasize the role of commerce is not to simply maximize profits at the sake of everything else,” McHie continued. “Don't get me wrong, money is important and vital to helping improve the human condition. How profits are earned and how deployed is what we want our students to appreciate.”
Catholics can live out their vocations in the world of business because “commerce is intended to serve society and when conducted ethically and fairly is a necessary force to improve the lives of everyone,” McHie said.
“The Second Vatican Council taught that the division between our faith and how we live our everyday lives is one of the most serious problems of our age,” Abela told the Newman Society. “If one is a faithful Catholic, one must live that way even in business.”
“Catholic teaching provides deep insights into the nature, dignity, and destiny of the human person; these insights are highly relevant to all of business,” he said.
The Catholic University of America is recommended in The Newman Guide for its strong Catholic identity. To read more about CUA’s business school or to sign up for the “Catholic Business Career Discernment Day,” visit the University’s website.
Other Catholic universities recommended in The Newman Guide that have either undergraduate or graduate business programs include Aquinas College (Tenn.), Ave Maria University (Fla.), Belmont Abbey College (N.C.), Benedictine College (Kan.), DeSales University (Pa.), Franciscan University of Steubenville (Ohio), John Paul the Great Catholic University (Calif.), Mount St. Mary’s University (Md.), St. Gregory’s University (Okla.), University of Dallas, University of Mary (N.D.), University of St. Thomas (Tex.), and Walsh University (Ohio).
Catholic Education Daily is an online publication of The Cardinal Newman Society. Click here for email updates and free online membership with The Cardinal Newman Society.

Article originally published here.
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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

MSBA graduate at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation

Former MSBA student Melissa Guay is now a permanent employee at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. Since her graduation in 2014, Melissa been a temporary employee for the Chamber, working on marketing for their events team. Ms. Guay rolled over into a permanent Chamber employee in a new position in February.

She currently serves as an associate manager at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, a nonprofit affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, where she maintain financial and legal records and works closely with the Foundation's events team. She still work closely with the events team (managing registration, providing support for the program managers for each event) but  also manages the financial requests, processes legal contracts, and works on the budget for the entire Foundation.

Congratulations, Melissa!

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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

MSBA grad has new position at CEB

2014 MSBA graduate Logan Scott has started a new position as an account management associate for CEB (formerly corporate executive board).  We spoke to Logan last week about his new position and here's what he had to say:

Logan Scott, MSBA class of 2014
The experience has been really educational, challenging, and overall really great. To be honest I see myself staying with the organization for a while.  I am part of a sales and service development program - SSPD for short. I am on the service and account management (not sales) side.  I have a lot of interactions with members, which is CEB language for clients. Since we are a board, we consider our clients to be members, as they renew their membership on an annual basis. We make phone calls, send emails and do a lot of things members might need such as research required resources and tools and things of that nature to help them do their projects.

I work solely in the legal practice. For example I may interact with a general counsel at American Express or a chief compliance office for Williams Sonoma. In working with them I am learning about legal, risk, and compliance. I'm working with really intelligent, nice people, and it's refreshing to be in an environment where I am able to work with people like that. It’s the core of who these people are. The services we provide our clients we can't do without research and product teams.

We also asked Logan how he thought the MSBA program prepared him for a job in his field.
Having an internship in the spring and a full time workload plus the field team study forces you to prioritize things and to really manage your time wisely. Some people are better naturally but we all have to work at it. Just because you earn another degree doesn’t mean you can manage time better which is something you need having a full time position. My experience in the MSBA program helped me learn to manage my time effectively. Transferring that lesson into the role I have now has been so helpful. I have been able to meet each deadline I've been given. Going through such a rigorous program helped prepare me. I can do my job well because of this program.
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