Friday, October 13, 2017

½ Cup of Engineering and ½ Cup of Business: A Recipe for Success


Christine Awad, MSBA '18, joins our class as a Mechanical Engineering major from Purdue University.

"After all my undergraduate experiences, I have come to realize I have acquired numerous insights and skills that are extremely critical in the business world. First, I have learned how to problem solve using research methods and analytical tools. Knowing how to handle data and information will allow me to generate innovative ideas to produce goods and services for any organization. Second, I have learned how to communicate material effectively and efficiently. I will be able to add to an organization’s continued growth by appropriately communicating to all its stakeholders. Lastly, I have mastered the art of teamwork which is the epitome to solving business problems. I can work with individuals of all personalities to devise solutions that meet customer needs.


Image result for engineering and business

Now, I am currently focused on becoming a well-rounded professional by continuing my studies in The Catholic University of America’s Master of Science in Business Analysis program. Having technical and business focused backgrounds will surely help me tackle any challenges the technical/business world throws at me!"
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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Do I Dare Disturb the Universe? The Importance of English Majors in Business


Miguel Hernandez, MSBA '18, graduated from CUA as an English major. Below, Miguel writes about the value of his degree and how business skills can complement his studies:

When I tell people that I majored in English, the usual response I get is; "Oh! Do you want to be a teacher?" My response is always; "No, I actually want to go into business." I'm then given a bewildered look followed by an empty; "Oh, that's nice." I understand why people are confused that I chose English as my major even though I wanted to go into business, but for me, the decision was crystal clear.

What makes being an English major so great is the opportunity to see the world through different perspectives. By simply opening a book, and reading what the author has to say, I'm allowing myself to be fully engrossed in the author's thoughts, experiences, and emotions. By doing so, I'm gaining experience myself. I'm able to see the world through a different mindset, the author's mindset, and connect that to my life.

You might be asking; "where is the value in that?" In business, CEO's are faced with dilemmas all the time. Their problem-solving skills have to be top-notch in order to fully run a successful business. CEOs don't have the same solution for every problem, instead they see things through a different perspective, offer a solution that no one has thought of, or recognize an appropriate solution by someone other than himself/herself. I believe that's what makes businesses so great. The ability to adapt to any situation has become a necessary characteristic for a company to survive in any industry. English majors are trained to analyze and deconstruct situations, regardless of the environment. Yes, we are also great writers, but the ability to think critically is what makes us an intangible asset to any company.
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Monday, September 18, 2017

A Beautiful Collision: Liberal Arts Education and The Business World

Leah Sophia Szews, MSBA '18, is a Communications Intern at Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors. Below, Leah discusses the overlap of her undergraduate degree in Media Studies and business:

"The mingling of the business world and a liberal arts education is not always the happiest of marriages, but when it works, it becomes an elegant union of thoughtfulness and effectiveness.

During my undergraduate studies, I was searching for a degree that would balance the practicality of business and the creativity of a liberal arts education. This was a defining consideration point when I chose to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Media and Communications Studies at The Catholic University of America. By offering challenging courses that developed my ability to communicate effectively, write cohesively and think analytically, the major offered a valuable skill set and the balance that I sought. My internships have exercised the skill set garnered through my undergraduate degree. Whether it was partaking in the editing and content development process of a newsletter, planning, and promoting an event or managing telephone communications for an office—the skill set of communicating effectively, writing cohesively, and thinking analytically emerged as a crucial components to finding success in the office.


While a liberal arts education and the business world may seem polar opposite, I urge you to take a closer look and consider the potential of such a beautiful collision."
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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

MSBA Alumni Success Spotlight: Eve Zhu


Eve Zhu, MSBA '16, is a Client Operations Associate at Community Brand. Below, she shares her experiences of the program, and how it has helped her in her career so far.

Q: Why did you choose the MSBA Program?

It has the ability to get you ready to compete in the business world in a short period (9 months). We all know time cost is important in business. The learning curve rises quickly in these 9 months. I had a very good experience with the MSBA Program.

Q: What company do you work for, and what is your title?

Abila (now Community Brand) as a Client Operations Associate.

Q: How did you get interested in this type of work?

I work for a software company, and I started as a management intern. A lot of the initial work when I was an intern was analytics. This was similar to the work I experienced in my Field Team Study project: trouble shooting, finding gaps/issues and providing practical solutions/suggestions. I like it when people give me a mess and I provide them with a solution.

Q: How did the CUA MSBA program help prepare you for this career path?

I was an international student and the MSBA Program really helped me understand that the business world has a different culture. It helped me to quickly adapt to work life.

Q: What from the program stands out specifically that you think helped prepare you for a career in this field?

I think the Field Team Study is one of the most important. Since I am now working in the IT field, I think data analytics, operation management, quantitative analysis, business research, accounting/finance are the courses that have been most helpful in my current job.


Q: Can you recall a favorite memory from the program?

There are too many! The Orientation, NYC trip, field team study, thirty Thursday, midterm review, etc. were all very special.

I think what makes this program great is knowing that our professors/director/career counselor are always there and willing to help at anytime.
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Monday, June 12, 2017

MSBA Student Success Testimonial Series: Mary Wiles


Mary Wiles, MSBA '17, will be working at HITT Contracting Inc. as a Pursuits Associate. Read about Mary's experience with the MSBA Program, and how it helped her know that she wanted to pursue a career in marketing.

Q: Why did you choose the MSBA Program?

There were many deciding factors on why I choose the MSBA program.  The main factor was that I felt that the program itself offered many great resources and opportunities. At the time of my acceptance, I recently graduated from CUA and I received my B.A. in psychology. With graduation approaching, my plans for after school were not quite finalized and the MSBA program was always on the back burner.  I ultimately knew I wanted to go back to school, but not particularly sure when, or most importantly for what.  I was also not certain on what career path I wanted to take. I love psychology, but I wasn’t sure if that was the route for me.  I was lucky enough to have that summer to decide if the MSBA program was for me.  Through countless conversations with Professor McHie, my parents, and a supervisor at my internship at the time, I decided that the program would be very beneficial. The program opened a lot of windows of opportunities for me, and allowed me to explore some of strengths I was unaware of.

Q: What company will you be working for, and what will your title be?

I will be working at HITT Contracting Inc. as a Pursuits Associate. My position is a part of their marketing department at their HQ office. My main role will be managing, creating and prepping the proposals and interviews for their Atlanta office.

Q: How did you get interested in this type of work? 

This year during the program I learned a lot about my strengths and discovered new things about myself.  I’ve always been a visual learner and what you would consider a “poet.” I always knew that being analyst or someone working with numbers 24/7 was not the career path for me. During the program, I was always interested in our marketing classes and projects. My internship at Patriotic Millionaires allowed me to explore and work with their communications team. This led me to the self-discovery that I like being involved with the creative, strategic side of a business.  My current position gives me the best of both worlds of being the strategic, creative mind.

Q: How did the CUA MSBA program help prepare you for this career path?

The MSBA program allowed me to really discover what my strengths and interests were, as well as give me the confidence I need to achieve what I really wanted to do.

Q: What from the program stands out specifically that you think helped prepare you for a career in this field?

The Field Team Study really helped me prepare for my career, and any work environment in general. I was a consultant for GloveStix, which is an athleisure deodorizer product. This 5-month project taught me how to work with a team, a client, and on time management. My main role for this project was to work on the marketing portion, which reassured me this was the career I wanted to get into. Also, the GloveStix founder and president, Krista Woods, is such an inspiring individual. She was a great client to work with which really helped made my project a pleasure to work on!

Q: Can you recall a favorite memory from the program?

There are so many! From attending all of our outings and field trips, to great professors and classes, I honestly had such a great experience with the MSBA program. I especially enjoyed spending time with my classmates every day!

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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Our Masters Students Get Great Jobs. Here’s Why.

Here’s something that I am really proud of. Last year, 100% of my grad students got jobs. Great jobs. This year, before graduation a few days ago, 75% of my grads had accepted job offers at an average salary of $60k.

As undergraduates these students majored in subjects like English, History, Philosophy, Psychology and other areas in the Liberal Arts. You read it right—Liberal Arts.

The Master of Science in Business Analysis program at The Catholic University of America in Washington DC was envisioned eight years ago by two smart business educators, Dr. Andrew Abela and Dr. Brian Engelland. Year after year they witnessed talented students graduate from college with exceptional grades in liberal arts studies only to find themselves unemployed or underemployed upon graduation. They saw the potential to start these graduates on great careers and together we founded the MSBA program.

I had just completed a 35-year career with ExxonMobil helping to build that Company’s fuel products division into the largest brand in the world. I suppose I know a thing or 2 about brand building. The 3 of us tasked ourselves with teaching students how to build their “personal brands” as they embark on their careers. In a nutshell, we designed a program to teach “Business” to the “Non-Business” person.


Our mission was to design the MSBA for liberal arts majors who struggle to find jobs where they can grow and earn a just wage. By adding our intense two semesters of practical business education and experience to their resume, our graduates are able to compete for any job and literally double their earning potential.

How do we enjoy these results year after year? We focus on four key areas to ensure our students are ready to win that all-important first job:


  1. Stand Out from the Crowd. Nearly everyone looks alike on paper. Take something to the interview that sets you apart. In our students’ case it’s the final client deliverable from our graduates’ real world capstone project. In your case it might be a marketing final project or a work product from your internship. Demonstrate not just knowledge but that you can put it to practical use.
  2. Exhibit a Professional Demeanor. You’ve heard the expression you can dress him up but you can’t take him out. Not so with our students. We model and practice professional business behavior throughout the program; in class, with clients, in our networking engagements. Our graduates are work ready and employers have confirmed this.
  3. Know the Culture. When you target a Company for employment, study their public website. Know the culture of the Company. Look for chatrooms of employees and public lists and ratings. Study the backgrounds of the key players, especially those who will interview you. What do you have in common? Schools, degrees, hometowns, sports interests? We are all an open book today; find the connection that makes you more personable and memorable.
  4. Demonstrate Confidence. Above all, have the confidence they you can compete for any job. Exude the knowledge, the skills, the attitude and the professional presence to fit into any kind of organization.

For me, the rewards of taking a 35-year career from business to academia are tremendous and it is a gift that keeps on giving. The email that says “I nailed that interview”, followed closely by the excited call, “I got the job”, is a gift to be sure. And the graduate who climbs the ladder in their career and continues to credit the MSBA program with their success is a never-ending reward.

We still have openings for the class of 2018. It’s a 9-month master's degree. For priority consideration for the program, contact our admission official, William Conlon, at conlon@cua.edu. If you know someone who can benefit from these tips, take a second to like and share this post. I would also appreciate your thoughts and comments below.

Stewart McHie is the Program Director of the Master of Science in Business Analysis at The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. To find out more about the program visit msba.cua.edu.



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Thursday, June 1, 2017

Field Team Study Focus: The More than Money Podcast


As students of the MSBA program at The Catholic University of America's Busch School of Business and economics, we were tasked with seeking out a client for our field team study. Our mission was to find a client and adapt our news skills in business analysis in order to make a positive impact in our clients business. 

More than Money is a podcast series created out of the belief that there are ways to do business and give back more than just a profit. Its mission is very much aligned with the Catholic University business school

Our client and More than Money’s host, Dawn Carpenter, was a successful investment banker for 25 years. While standing in an elevator on her way to work, Carpenter had an epiphany that there was more to work than the wealth it generates. Inspired to share her passion and knowledge, Carpenter envisioned More than Money: a space to discuss how business can both generate a profit and be socially responsible and to hear from business people who are fulfilling this mission. 

She needed help with marketing the podcast series, which is where my team and I helped. While we never worked together before, we quickly adapted to each other’s schedules, efficiently designated the workload, and continually discussed our findings together.

At its simplest level, our job was straightforward: find a way to attract Carpenter’s target audience of millennial business undergraduates. As the writers of More than Money’s social media pages until its launch, we had two questions to answer:

1. What do we write for social media posts, and 2. When and how often do we post?

We conducted focus groups with millennial business undergraduates to learn their perception of the series and what language resonates with them most. In addition, we searched online to find numerous sources discussing best practices for businesses using social media. The steps we took to create More than Money’s brand became the foundation for our ultimate deliverable: a welcoming presence to attract listenership.


More than Money launched May 1, 2017 and continues to garner incredible reception. The podcast holds a five-star rating on iTunes, and within 22 days of launching and has 2,067 downloads to-date. To put that in perspective, the average podcast achieves 141 downloads in the first 30 days. Podcasts in the top 10% achieve 3,400 downloads in the first 30 days—a number we are projected to reach.

This project provided my team and I with an invaluable learning experience. Just as importantly, we helped our client achieve her goals for a project so close to her heart. I can testify that her genuine passion for creating a better world for everyone is contagious.

If you would like to learn more about More than Money, you can join the conversation on: • http://morethanmoney-podcast.com/ • Facebook page - More than Money • Twitter- @ThePodcastMTM

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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

MSBA Student Success Testimonial Series: Meredith Ross

Meredith Ross, MSBA '17, will attend Medical School at Georgetown University in the fall. Read about why she chose the program and what she hopes to do with her MSBA degree.

Q: Why did you choose the MSBA Program?

I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to start medicine right away, but I want to own my own practice eventually. I believe this program will give me the business skills to set a good foundation for running my own practice.

Q: Tell us about how your interest in medical school. 

I have few reasons. My friend passed away when we were 13. She died a week before Christmas, and I made a promise to continue to fight cancer. I received her diploma, and I made it my mission to fight cancer. Medical School made a lot of sense after that.

My parents also started Children of Cherynobl, so I was able to see the medical disparity between children here and elsewhere. We also did therapeutic foster care, and the differences were astronomical.

Q: How did the CUA MSBA program help prepare you for this career path?

I’m hoping that the skills I learned will help me when I own my own practice. Medicine is a business, and while I may not be doing the financials, I want an awareness of what is going on beyond my own field. It is a constantly changing environment, and it will be good for me to have a complete understanding of it.

I’ll also take away a lot of the math skills, in particular, the Quantitative Analysis course.

Learning to communicate effectively with your client and customer will translate well when I’m working with patients.


Q: Can you recall a favorite memory from the program?
I really enjoyed the ropes course during Orientation. The New York trip was very interesting, in particular visiting Michael Kors. New York is home to me, so I felt comfortable there while we were exploring different companies.

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Friday, May 12, 2017

MSBA Student Success Testimonial Series: Dylan Meagher

Dylan Meagher, MSBA '17, will be working for the D.C. Retirement Board. Below, Dylan details why he chose the MSBA Program and the experiences that he had over the past year.

QWhy did you choose the MSBA Program?

I choose the program because I wanted business skills to complement my liberal arts degree. I also choose the program because it gave me a chance to stay in DC, an area ripe with opportunity for jobs.

QWhat company will you be working for, and what will your title be?

I will be working for the D.C. Retirement Board, an agency of the D.C. Government. My position will be Member Services Representative.

QHow did you get interested in this type of work? 

Ms. Kelly made me aware me of the opportunity to intern at this agency and I jumped at the chance. The agency services police, fire fighters, and teachers from the District of Columbia and I thought that was a noble cause that would be motivating for me. I also welcome the challenge that comes with increasing efficiency within the agency and hope to be an active participant in thinking about how to best implement future changes.

QHow did the CUA MSBA program help prepare you for this career path?

The MSBA program greatly increased my communication and marketing skills and introduced me to skills in management, data analytics, finance, and accounting. Together, these skills have coalesced and given me a solid frame of thinking that would aid me any challenge I face during my career.

QWhat from the program stands out specifically that you think helped prepare you for a career in this field?

I really enjoyed operations management for its practical lessons. There's always a bottleneck, a part of the process that is holding up the rest of the operation. Identifying that part of the process is the first part in improving that process's efficiency. I think this will greatly aid my current position because there are a wide variety of tasks I will be doing.

Beyond that, the program has increased my confidence and that will help me in all my interactions with annuitants.


QCan you recall a favorite memory from the program?

I really enjoyed both the New York trip and the Gettysburg trip. I loved going around both places with the group. Getting to see all the business we visited in New York was a real treat and the leadership lessons we learned in Gettysburg were invaluable.
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Thursday, May 4, 2017

MSBA Student Success Testimonial Series: Greg Portner

Greg Portner, MSBA '17, accepted a job offer as a Data Integrity Specialist at Immixgroup. Below, Greg recounts why he choose the MSBA Program, and how he was able to find his career path.


Q: Why did you choose the MSBA Program?

I chose the MSBA Program because it was a Business Masters program with a foundation in Catholic Social Teaching. This combination of faith and enterprise was very attractive to me.

Q: What company will you be working for, and what will your title be?

I will be working for Immixgroup as a Data Integrity Specialist.

Q: How did you get interested in this type of work? 

Throughout the program I was able to get a feel for many different areas of business. One area that continuously stuck out to me was analytics data/finance. Working with numbers and using data to tell a story and help others to make strategic decisions gets me excited.

Q: How did the CUA MSBA program help prepare you for this career path?

The MSBA Program helped prepare me by creating a space for me to have different real world experiences of working with numbers and data sets. The Program helped me to develop the practical skills which I will be using on a daily basis.

Q: What from the program stands out specifically that you think helped prepare you for a career in this field?

The Quantitative Analysis and Finance classes. These were my two favorite classes. My professors were engaging and knowledgeable, and the material was interesting and practical.


Q: Can you recall a favorite memory from the program?

My favorite memory of the program was the Staff Ride in Gettysburg. It was so powerful to walk around the battle field and hear the stories of the men that fought there. Col. Douds did a fantastic job of connecting the battle to our lives in business.

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Friday, April 28, 2017

MSBA Student Success Testimonial Series: Maddie Fallon

Maddie Fallon, MSBA '17, has accepted a position as the Student Success Coordinator in the Office of Online Education at The Catholic University of America.

Q: Why did you choose the MSBA Program?

I chose the MSBA program for a few different reasons. I liked that the program was one year and in Washington DC. I really liked how there was a focus on using business for good, and making a difference in the world through good business practices. That was really important for me.

Q: What company will you be working for, and what will your title be?

I have accepted a new position at CUA in the Office of Online Education, as Student Success Coordinator.

Q: How did you get interested in this type of work?

I first became interested in online education through my internship at 2U, an online education technology company; although I’ve always loved helping students and working in customer service. This position is a combination of all of those interests.

Q: How did the CUA MSBA program help prepare you for this career path?

I learned a lot of technical skills I didn’t know before like how to present hard data and think analytically about business problems. Those skills are going to be really helpful in a new position at a growing office. They will also be helpful skills to bring to any job I have throughout my career because they are so transferable.

Q: What from the program stands out specifically that you think helped prepare you for a career in this field?

Both the hands-on experience we got in our field team studies and case study analyses we did in class really shaped our curriculum and put us in the shoes of what it’s like to work with developing businesses. As the Office of Online Education grows at Catholic, I know I can bring my experience in dealing with real business problems to help develop the office even more.

Q: Can you recall a favorite memory from the program?

Any time our class got to hang out together was always really fun, especially if the professors were there outside of a classroom setting. The program itself is a lot of hard work, so it was nice to bond outside of the classroom and connect with each other on things other than school. We spend so much time with each other that our cohort has become like a family. That's probably my favorite experience from the whole program.
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Friday, April 21, 2017

MSBA Student Success Testimonial Series: Luke Bader


Luke Bader, MSBA '17 has accepted a job offer as a Community Manager for the FAIR Institute at RiskLens. Below, Luke answers some questions about his time with the program and how it helped prepare him for his career path.


Q: Why did you choose the MSBA Program?
I chose the MSBA Program because I knew that it was going to provide me with an amazing education, allow me to connect with so many smart, talented, good people, and offer me a time for personal growth and development. I was confident in my decision because I trust CUA and I admire and respect the professors and staff that work so hard to make the program great.

Q: What company will you be working for, and what will your title be?
I will be working at RiskLens, a cyber security and risk analysis company. I will specifically be the Community Manager for the FAIR Institute which is the premier organization for industry experts to join and share ideas with one another. In addition, I will be working with the public and private sectors to encourage companies to continue to increase their cyber security standards.

Q: How did you get interested in this type of work?
I’m very excited for this position because I am going to be doing multifaceted work. I will have responsibilities in marketing, management, and government relations. RiskLens and the FAIR Institute are both growing and have a lot of opportunity in the future so I am really happy to be able to use my skills to help it grow more.

Q: How did the CUA MSBA program help prepare you for this career path?
The MSBA program has given me so much confidence in myself and my knowledge. This program highlights the most important insights of a business curriculum and does a wonderful job of instilling those into the students. I know for certain that I am graduating with real life skills that I can use in my career.

Q: What from the program stands out specifically that you think helped prepare you for a career in this field?
One of the greatest strengths of the program are the professors. They are all experienced, professional, and caring people who only want the students to succeed and to be happy. Each of my professors has made a lasting impact me that I will use throughout the rest of my life. They have prepared me well and I thank them for their leadership in the MSBA program

Q: Can you recall a favorite memory from the program?

For my Capstone Field Team Study project, I was put on a team that was aimed to be a consultant for Ristorante i Ricchi, a traditional Tuscan Italian restaurant in D.C. Some of my favorite memories have been working with my team and the professors on how to best increase the awareness of the restaurant and help them communicate better with the Millennial generation. Additionally, the perks are that we have been eating really well with some delicious pastas!  
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Thursday, April 20, 2017

MSBA Student Success Testimonial Series: Billy Goodyear


Billy Goodyear, MSBA '17, will be returning to work as an Action Officer at the Pentagon. He will be working on Ballistic Missile Defense Policy for OPNAV.

Q: Why did you choose the MSBA Program?  

The one year program in addition to the DC location were great selling points.  I also really liked that the professors weren’t pure academics.  They were individuals who had work experience and were very successful in their particular fields. They were able to convey real world information about being successful and what works.

Q: What will you be doing after graduation, and what will your title be?  

I will be going back to the Pentagon to work on Ballistic Missile Defense Policy for OPNAV.  My title will be Action Officer.

Q: How did you get interested in this type of work? 

I became interested in this work while I was stationed on the USS LAKE ERIE in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.  While on board, I was the Fire Control Officer and served an integral role on the ship for planning and execution of ballistic missile defense missions.

Q: How did the CUA MSBA program help prepare you for this career path?

It has helped prepare me because even in the world of the military, understanding money and the proper management of money are critical to success.  I will be using what I have learned about civilian lead businesses to help the Navy better understand the civilian side of defense acquisitions and better serve our taxpayers.

Q: What from the program stands out specifically that you think helped prepare you for a career in this field?  

The accounting and financial management classes go hand in hand with each other and have helped me better understand the lingo of those fields and how business and corporation really operate and account for their money.


Q: Can you recall a favorite memory from the program?  

My favorite memories from the program are the relationships and networks built with the other students.  Each of us is our own unique individual and experiencing the learning and execution of the program alongside these other great people helped increase the experience and learning for all of us.


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MSBA Student Success Testimonial Series: Jeff Swierzbinski

Jeff Swierzbinski, MSBA '17 has accepted a job offer from Trion Group in Philadelphia, PA. Below, Jeff answers some questions about his time with the program and how it prepared him for his future career.

Q
: Why did you choose the MSBA Program?

When I decided to transition out of the United States Army I began to look at business schools and I realized that you can study business anywhere. You can study business at large universities and community colleges. The MSBA program at CUA was the only place where I could learn to fully integrate my Catholic faith with business.

Q: What company will you be working for, and what will your title be?

I will be working for Trion Group and I will be the Operations Project Manager.

Q: How did you get interested in this type of work?

After being an Army Officer, I had substantial leadership experience. Project management became a natural interest for me because it combines my leadership experience with my business education.

Q: How did the CUA MSBA program help prepare you for this career path? 

As a whole, the MSBA Program teaches you to analyze complex problems by breaking them down into digestible pieces. We also took a class called Operations and Technology Management where we spent a lot of time learning about and creating process diagrams which is a major component of my new position.

Q: What from the program stands out specifically that you think helped prepare you for a career in this field?

Part of my job is going to be to create buy-in when I implement new processes and procedures. I think learning the Extreme Presentation method during the MSBA Program is going to incredibly valuable because it will give me a medium to succinctly deliver a large volume of data which by its very nature, is very persuasive.


Q: Can you recall a favorite memory from the program?

My favorite memory is working with all of my classmates at a DC soup kitchen two days before Thanksgiving. I think we all got more out of it than the people we were serving because it was a reminder of how fortunate we are and it allowed us to help others in a concrete way.

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Monday, April 17, 2017

MSBA Student Success Testimonial Series: Michael Bush


Q: Why did you choose the MSBA Program?

I chose the MSBA program because it fit with my goals and was one year long (which was all I could afford).  I was a philosophy major in undergrad. This Master's fit perfectly with what I was looking for: having a career and not just working a job.

Q: What company will you be working for, and what will your title be?

I am working for Wexler Consulting Group, a consulting company in Alexandria, VA.

Q: What work will you be doing in this position?

I was offered a job which is extremely flexible and dynamic. Working at a startup is basically building a company, and I’ll be working with three other people and a part time development and sales team. Part of my role includes client relations, admin, marketing, sales, and anything other duties that help a company run and become successful. I am given broad latitude on responsibilities and can undertake most any projects that could benefit our company.  Since it is only three of us as the core of the team, I have the ability to do things and have input on our direction and business strategy at the highest level, But going out and executing on our business plan is what makes my position the most fun, especially because we have no road map and I am more or less free to choose the path I think best.

Q: How did the CUA MSBA program help prepare you for this career path?

The MSBA program helped prepare me for my current position by honing my business skills and getting me acclimated to the different terms, processes and attitudes by which business runs today. Also, helping me to gain a better sense of what business actually is, its different fields and where I fit in with my skills and personality was extremely valuable and something I would have found hard to get anywhere else.  On top of that, the professors are extremely experienced and I truly felt that they would help me with anything I needed to advance in my career.

Q: What from the program stands out specifically that you think helped prepare you for a career in this field?

We learn so many different things in the MSBA program that are going into how a small business runs that it is hard to quantify what is most helpful/pertinent in my current position.  Taking a course on entrepreneurship has helped with this, but also finance, marketing and operations management..

Q: Can you recall a favorite memory from the program?

A favorite memory of mine was when we went to New York during election week and got to see all the different marketing companies on Madison Ave and take tours of Morgan Stanley.  I thought this was a great experience and something I never would have done anywhere else.  It was very busy but well worth it.  And having our own CUA open bar networking events (especially at the Capital Grille) was icing on the cake.
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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

MSBA Student Success Testimonial Series: Chris Fontaine


Q: Why did you choose the MSBA Program?

During my senior year of college when I was looking for jobs, I found myself gravitating towards positions that were much more business-oriented than my undergraduate degree had been, and I felt like this program was a perfect crash course to help me make my way into that world.

Q: What company will you be working for, and what will your title be?

District Dogs: Supervisor

Jacob Hensley started District Dogs in 2014 after leaving a finance career to pursue his passion for
dogs. Within 3 years, his one-man dog walking operation has grown into a company with 12 staff members and over 300 clients in 8 neighborhoods of DC, and as of November 2016, a dog daycare and boarding facility.

After working with more than 50 clients as a dog walker, I'm now a supervisor at the new District Dogs daycare facility. I oversee a small staff of dog attendants and manage daycare and boarding operations.

Q: How did you get interested in this type of work? 

I adopted my dog Brody the summer before starting the program. Having him was a huge factor in my choice to work with dogs. There's no shortage of pet service companies in DC, and I picked District Dogs after realizing that it was the one company that really stood out as the kind of people I would want taking care of my own dog.

District Dogs seemed to be both professional and genuinely caring, so I was thrilled to join their team. I picked up my side job as a dog walker with DD after taking time off from the program in spring of 2016. What I thought would be a short stint has turned into a career! I had walked dogs in Mt. Pleasant, Adams Morgan, and Logan Circle for the company and really come to love our clients and staff. When Jacob asked me to join the management team for the dog daycare he was opening, it was a no brainer. As sad as I was to leave my group of daily walking clients, I now have nearly 100 dogs that I get to see all the time and I have much more in-person interaction with owners, which I was missing as a dog walker.

Q: How did the CUA MSBA program help prepare you for this career path?

The most valuable asset that the MSBA program has given me is my confidence in my ability to navigate the business world. Before starting the program, I felt intimidated by the MSBA curriculum, which included courses like Accounting and Quantitative Analysis. I was unsure not only about how I would perform in these classes, but I was also worried that I would hate them. I was a Theology major in undergrad and had always dreaded anything to do with math. I had decided I just wasn't good at it. The emphasis on practical application to business problems that our classes had put any difficult concepts we covered into clear context, and I ended up doing really well in both classes! It may seem small, but my ability to succeed in those areas really helped me challenge any other limits I had set on myself.

Q: What from the program stands out specifically that you think helped prepare you for a career in this field?

I feel much more confident about the value I bring to my company with an MSBA degree. Our Technology and Operations Management course was especially useful as we were getting a new facility off the ground and managing the speed of our success. Putting together a Daily Activity Log for staff to use every day to mark lunches, reminders, and client notes was a huge help to streamline our internal communication. This process was an improvement that our work in class empowered me to make.

Although working full time at District Dogs while being a full time MSBA student this semester has been challenging, I feel like I have gotten so much more out of courses since everything we've covered over these past few months has been directly applicable to my current position. I use skills I learned in Data Analytics, Managing the Enterprise, and Technology and Operations Management every day at work.

Q: Can you recall a favorite memory from the program?

I love looking back on the class discussions we'd have in Managing the Enterprise. It was so fun to see how much more opinionated we all became as the semester went on, and to see people's thoughts evolve as the whole class contributed to our analysis.
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Monday, April 10, 2017

MSBA Student Success Testimonial Series: Carlos Alvarez


Carlos Alvarez, MSBA '17 has accepted a job offer at HITT Contracting. Below, Carlos answers some questions about his experience with the program and how it prepared him for his new career path.

Q: Why did you choose the MSBA Program?

I chose the MSBA program because even though Catholic University gave me a great liberal arts education, I did not feel like I had the hard skills to add value to a team. MSBA offered a one-year solution to my problem and I am glad that I applied to the program and have not looked back since day one.

Q: What company will you be working for, and what will your title be?

I will be working with HITT Contracting based in Falls Church, VA.  I will be reporting directly to Brett Hitt the owner of the company as an Executive Business Partner.

Q: How did you get interested in this type of work?

I found HITT on the Washington Post’s list of best places to work in the area. They were listed as number one. I checked their career’s page with not too much optimism but when I found this job listing I knew that it would be my first full-time job before submitting my application.

Q: How did the CUA MSBA program help prepare you for this career path?

The program helped by teaching me the hard analytical skills that employers seek in order to make an immediate impact upon arrival. This program also allowed for me learn critical thinking skills specifically targeted at business, such as how to analyze a problem, find a solution, and implement it; in other words from beginning to end.

Q: What from the program stands out specifically that you think helped prepare you for a career in this field?

Teamwork. Teamwork. Teamwork. MSBA’s multiple projects in various fields taught me how to lead and how to be part of a team. Companies are more likely to hire somebody who they have to teach but is an able member of a team rather than a genius who can’t work in a team.

Q: Can you recall a favorite memory from the program?

During the first meeting with my Field Team Study client, I was hit with the realization that this project was real. I was no longer simulating or using case study examples. I was the real life example and my actions could lead to potential millions in revenue increase or decrease for this company.
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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The Value of the MSBA: From a Parent's Perspective

"Two down and one to go!", my husband and I commented to each other on a fine, sunny day in April, 2013. We would soon be the parents of a pair of college graduates! What an accomplishment! Fellow moms and dads, you know the feeling. Thus, you can imagine our surprise when our son approached us over Easter break that year to tell us that he had applied to the MSBA program at The Catholic University of America.

I have to admit that our son was quite the salesman. He had already taken the GRE’s, calculated the tuition cost, quoted the impressive statistics of previous MSBA classes, established a graduation ETA, and quipped that, most importantly, the course material had truly piqued his interest. One more year, one year more, were we on board? My, time flies, right? Of course we were on board! The particulars for the MSBA program at Catholic U were most impressive, and our son would attain a Master’s Degree and become even more marketable in one more year! Sign him up.

The stage was set, and he entered the MSBA program in August of 2013 with his undergraduate degree of Politics in hand. My husband and I were amazed at how quickly the students were immersed and versed in business analytics. The days were long as our son shared his schedule: an internship in the A.M. hours to noon, classes until 6 P.M., and homework/research/group meetings into the late hours of the evening. These hours actually rivaled a day in the life of a parent…impressive! Quite honestly, though, our family noticed that our son was broadening his horizons and becoming more resolute about his career path. The annual trip to New York City solidified friendships, business contacts, and a renewed respect for Professor Stewart McHie, Program Director.

It became evident that the MSBA program had been the perfect choice for our son. The program bridged the gap between that all-important, yet somewhat uncertain, first year out of college and a master’s degree. So then, who are you, and what did you do with our son? The confidence gained was priceless. He was employed within three months of graduation! My husband and I feel that the goals of the MSBA program can best be summed up in the words of Benjamin Franklin, “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” What parent can ask for more?

Name withheld to protect the guilty!




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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Why I Chose the MSBA Program & How It Is Helping Me in My Career Path

Have you ever wondered what the MSBA program is all about? Are you a prospective MSBA candidate?

If you are a current senior or recent college graduate wondering if the MSBA program is right for you or how it can help enhance your undergraduate degree, keep reading! Current MSBA student Margaux Arieta answers some questions prospective students might be wondering and sheds light on how the program helped prepare her for her career path.


Q: Why did you choose the MSBA Program?
I chose the MSBA program because I felt that it would be a great place to grow into the businessperson I want to be. I was confident that I would be be adding value to my Bachelor’s Degree, rather than disregarding the subject I spent 4 years studying. I really feel the MSBA program has been very complimentary to my Psychology degree!

Q: What company will you be working for, and what will your title be?
I am going to be a Management Analyst at REI Systems, which is a private Government technology solutions provider located in Virginia. They are ranked 7th among large businesses on the Washington Post’s 150 Top Workplaces of 2016 in the D.C. metro area.
https://www.reisystems.com

Q: How did you get interested in this type of work?
I consider myself to be an analytical person. I like thinking about things in terms of numbers and finding solutions to problems based on numbers. I was drawn to roles where I would be able to use those quantifying analytical skills along with strategic analytical skills developed from classes such as Managing the Enterprise. My role as a Management Analyst will require both of these skill sets.

Q: How did the CUA MSBA program help prepare you for this career path?
The CUA MSBA program takes a dual approach to Business Analysis that really prepared me for the role of a Management Analyst. We take classes such as Quantitative Analysis and Data Analytics that are all about numbers and data, but we also take courses such as Managing the Enterprise and Technology and Operations that take a strategic approach to business analysis. The blend of being able to understand what the numbers mean while also being able to strategize and tell a story about the numbers is the perfect combination.

Q: What from the program stands out specifically that you think helped prepare you for a career in this field?
Specifically, the case methods used in Managing the Enterprise and Quantitative Analysis really prepared me for a career in Management Analysis. The case method is used to analyze specific management problems and the class discussion really helps to simulate how to go about analyzing tough management situations.

Q: Can you recall a favorite memory from the program?
The New York Trip was one of the best parts of the program for me. I loved being able to bond with all my classmates outside of the classroom and really get to know them all as more than just other students. We also got to spend a lot of time with Prof. McHie and Ms. Kelly in a more relaxed environment!



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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Vlog: MSBA Etiquette Dinner

You may remember our recap post about the MSBA Etiquette Dinner. Now's your chance to take an inside look and see what the night was like!



MSBA students have access to opportunities like this and many more. Our unique program and small cohort size enable us to provide the students with one-of-a-kind resources and unique experiences.

It's easy to apply - just click here! Or for more information about the program, email Bill Conlon, MSBA Graduate recruiter.
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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The Super Bowl: Where the Stars Come Out to Play

The Super Bowl: Where the Stars Come Out to Play

by Stewart McHie


On Comet, on Cupid, on Donner and Blitzen! On Brady and Edelman, Ryan! Jones! – stop kevtshing! Sure they were great and provided (if you stayed past Lady Gaga) an exciting finish to the game. But let's get serious. The real stars were between the action, not between the sidelines.


Let's talk Super Bowl commercials.


The reason the game itself actually exists (my #alternativefact).

All in all? A pretty underwhelming crop of ads this year. We missed Doritos, but still talked about them as much as if they’d actually had a commercial. And you know you already bought a bag (or three) the week before anyway, so it's not like they missed a sales opportunity.

One thing that was evident among the ho-hum was the all-star cast of big names who appeared in the commercials this year.

Whether you like the players or their politics, there is no denying they cashed in BIG. The winning New England Patriots earned $107,000 for their three hours of work (well, about a dozen minutes of actual game time), but the pop-culture stars that came out to play earned a whole lot more. Do you think McCarthy went down with the tree for a paltry hundred grand?

Most ad meters rated the eco-friendly Melissa McCarty ad the most entertaining. Production values were high and it was a pretty expensive commercial, even before McCarthy's fee. Who among us believes she really drives a, uhm - what was she advertising? Oh yea, a Kia. Uh huh, that's what she drives. Puts her money where her mouth is to be sure.


Peter Fonda and Easy Rider (google it, millennials), Timberlake, Walken, Beiber, Newton, Bradshaw (in skivvies! Always a treat.), Lady G herself - you could have mistakenly thought you were at the Golden Globes.

Other than that, the tone of Super Bowl LI commercials was pretty safe and unremarkable. Maybe fear of a presidential tweet affected the climate, "Worst commercial ever, we have to start winning at commercials". There were numerous references to the very current issue of immigration, some real, some imagined. Was Budweiser's story of German immigrant Adolphus Busch aimed at the issue, or was it a good American success story which is in keeping with the brand and theme of this Belgian-owned (oops) company? Considering production started last May, probably the latter.

Much ado about lumber.


The most talked about spot was 84 Lumber's story about the Mexican mother and daughter seeking a better life in America but confronting an insurmountable wall. Yet the story ended online, not with the wall, but rather a door in the wall, constructed, of course, with 84 lumber, and reminiscent of a Trump campaign quote about the metaphorical door to allow good and deserving people entry to the country. At least that is the story according to President and Owner Maggie Hardy Magerko, who voted for Trump.

Regardless of what you want to believe, you now know what 84 Lumber is and most of you had no clue before the Golden Globes - I mean the Super Bowl.

Movie trailers galore, befitting the Golden Globes, I mean SUPER BOWL, (oops, I did it again) and must-see TV for the gamers.

Note to advertisers; babies, puppies and Clydesdales are a lot cheaper than Timberlake, McCarthy and Bieber. Well, maybe not Clydesdales. I hope they earn more oats than the Beib.

Next year, can we please just have fun? Girls and boys “just want to have fun". I nominate Cyndi Lauper for the half time show. Hope she's not afraid of heights.








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Friday, February 3, 2017

Student Testimonial: Inside the Life of an MSBA Student


During my first semester in the MSBA program, the biggest challenge I faced was in Quantitative Methods. During my time as an undergraduate politics student, I ensured that I avoided math classes as much as possible. Throughout high school and college, I always struggled with math and decided to focus on my writing and analytical skills with a Politics degree. Entering the MSBA program, I was ready for a new challenge.

I distinctly remember my feelings on the first day of classes. I was nervous that I would struggle in Quant. I started wondering if I had made a mistake entering the program and wondered if I would even be able to pass the class. These fears were instantly quelled upon meeting our professor, Harvey Seegers.

Professor Seegers explained to us that in his experience teaching the class there are two types of students: “Quant Jocks” and “Poets”. As you could guess, I’m a “Poet.” At our first class meeting, I was struggling to keep up with the lecture. While most students were trying to grasp the concepts, I was struggling to even follow the mathematical nomenclature. I needed help if I was going to succeed.

I approached Professor Seegers and explained to him how I was feeling. He told me to come to his office on Tuesday. At his office, Professor Seegers broke down the lesson, answered questions, and exercised patience with my ignorance of the subject. This meeting became a weekly occurrence throughout the semester. The results speak for themself. I earned a B in the class, something that I never thought would be possible.


Quantitative Methods greatly challenged me and required that I work hard to succeed. Despite the challenge, the course material was fascinating and will be useful in any career someone might choose. I was able to overcome the great challenge of being a Poet in a math class. This success would not have been possible without the support of Professor Seegers and all of the MSBA Programs staff. I’m excited to take on the challenges of next semester with my new skills gained from Quantitative Methods and all our classes!

Post by Connor Clancy
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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Mind Your Peas and Carrots: Annual MSBA Etiquette Dinner Recap

As is our tradition, we started off the Spring semester with our annual MSBA Etiquette Dinner, lead by Associate Director of CUA Career Services Kathryn Marshall.

The evening began with passed appetizers, drinks, and a demonstration of proper networking reception etiquette. Students learned some tricks of the trade such as how to balance a plate of appetizers while holding a drink. 

Students enjoyed passed appetizers and networking at the beginning of the evening.

Holding a plate of appetizers as well as a beverage can be tricky, unless you know the proper way to hold them.



Students were then guided through a delicious seven-course dinner by Kathryn, who directed the students on everything from which (of the 3 - yikes!) forks to use for which course, to what topics are taboo during a lunch or dinner interview. 

The amount of silverware pictured here was a bit daunting, but by the end of the evening, students knew exactly which utensils to use for which course, and what to do with them after they were finished eating.

Eating foods like pasta can be tricky, but students learned the proper way to eat without making a mess!

Lemon sorbet was served in between the salad and main entree to clear the palette. 
The Etiquette Dinner is such a valuable evening for students not only because they learn how to eat tricky foods such as spaghetti or cherry tomatoes and know which silverware to use for what course, but because they leave at the end of the evening knowing how to handle a business lunch or dinner, or an interview in a dining setting.

Kathryn Marshall explaining how to decide what to order during a lunch or dinner interview
Ending the evening with a champagne toast!



"Good manners never go out of style, so whether you are preparing for the job interview, cultivating client relationships, or developing your networking base as part of a dining experience; proper etiquette is essential."  - Kathryn Marshall, Associate Director of Career Services, The Catholic University of America. 

As always, we would like to thank CUA Career Services and especially Kathryn Marshall, for organizing one of our favorite events. We would also like to thank Aramark Cardinal Catering for the delicious food and impeccable service.


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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The MSBA: Making Business Approachable for Non-Business Majors




Maria Notarianni, MSBA '17, shares her views on how the MSBA degree makes business approach for those with little to no business background.

I recently graduated from Catholic University with a degree in Media and Communication Studies. While the degree suggests a concentration in the media, it would be an injustice to the major to say that it encapsulates only the media. The biggest lessons I learned from the Media and Communication Studies Department are:
  • To understand someone, you must understand their ideologies.
  • Syntactic and paradigmatic choices say as much as the thought itself.

The Master of Science and Business Analysis program is so wonderful because they naturally complement your undergraduate degree with practical business skills. The program closely works with students to help us understand our own interests and realize them in our careers. The program also does an exceptional job making business approachable for those with non-business degrees. They firmly believe that everyone has an aptitude to learn the curriculum, and that by helping each other, we will all benefit. The program has taught me a lot, but two of the most important lessons are:
  • Teamwork is the cornerstone to success.
  • Skills can always be learned, but the right attitude is required immediately.

While the curriculum differs, the two programs work together well. My team and I have recently started our field team study project, and I believe that there are a few skills my programs have taught me. The key to our success will be having:
  • Good communication
  •  Empathy 
  • An open mind

What these skills amount to is an understanding of my teammates—both those I am working with and for. By taking the time to understand each other, we will all be able to highlight both our own strengths and each others. Just as important, we will be able to understand precisely what our mission is by understanding our client and her values. The field team study introduces new experiences for my teammates and I, but our backgrounds have given us the skills to confidently work on and create value for our project.

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