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!
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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.

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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!

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