Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Navigating the Business World with a Music Degree: A Journey of Discovery

Kayleigh Johnson, MSBA '18, is a Music Education major from Penn State University. Kayleigh joined the program after taking some business courses and developing an interest in furthering her understanding of the field:

When I was in fourth grade, I wanted to be like Squidward from Spongebob Squarepants. At the time, I thought he played the clarinet beautifully, and it was my hope to one day play the clarinet just like him. Luckily, I accomplished this goal pretty early on in my musical career, as Squidward was not particularly good at the clarinet. However, it did ignite a musical passion in me. From the time I was in fourth grade through college, I was heavily involved in music by participating in marching band, concert band, fife and drum corp., quintets, and many other ensembles.                                                                                                     
By the time I reached my senior year of high school, I knew I wanted to pursue Music Education at Penn State University. I spent the next four years of college studying Music Theory, Music History, Sight-singing, various methodology courses, and teaching practicums.

After I graduated with my Bachelors of Music Education, I decided to not seek a career in music. Instead, I became a Solutions Specialist at Verizon Wireless. While I was employed at Verizon I took a few business courses, which prompted me to apply to, and ultimately attend, the Catholic University of America’s Masters of Business Analysis program.

There are many parallels that can be drawn between the music world and the business world. One of the main, and most important, lessons that I learned is how to effectively manage my time. In both my undergraduate and professional work experience, I have had to meet strict deadlines, plan large scale projects, and shuffle between many tasks. I’ve learned to efficiently and effectively prioritize my tasks, coordinate schedules, and plan ahead.

Another important skill that I acquired from my undergraduate degree is strong leadership. Overseeing a large group of ten year olds all playing loud instruments is no small feat. I have learned to employ a strong and commanding presence when needed, and present with confidence.

Even though I decided not to pursue a position as a music educator, the skills that I gained in my undergraduate career will be invaluable to me as I embark on my business journey.
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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

What I Wish I Knew 10 Years Ago

Julio Herrera, MSBA '18, is a Politics major from The Catholic University of America. Julio joined the MSBA Program to complement his undergraduate degree with some business skills and figure out what career path he wants to take:

My favorite course in the MSBA program is Accounting and Financial Analysis. It is not because I love numbers and crunching math equations, but because it has been the most useful method of thinking to use. The ability to calculate whether something is worth an investment is critical throughout life. The material I am learning and will learn would've been helpful to me 10 years ago when I was helping my family with property management. Being able to find out expenses and what the return on investment for something is essential. Learning how to dissect a financial statements from Fortune 500 companies shows how much wasteful spending there is. If these large companies can afford to waste millions of dollars and still have successful operations, imagine the possibilities of being fiscally conservative with personal finances at a young age would do?

Image result for rocky philly steps

Being able to make critical choices is crucial and it molds us into the people we aspire to become. I have personally struggled with finances throughout my life. Growing up in a small industrial city, nothing was ever handed to me or my family. Both my parents were working over-time just to get by. They moved to this country with nothing in their pockets yet made the choices in which they knew investments were going to pay off. What Accounting and Financial Analysis is teaching me is how to make sure I make the proper investments and so I am reassured to make it profitable and worthwhile. It has given me the insight to take a step back and analyze my situation and what I can do to improve myself.
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Monday, November 27, 2017

Teaching the Philosophy of Business

Dennis Treanor, MSBA '18, is an Education Studies major from The Catholic University of America. Dennis joined because of his love of learning and desire to find his career path:

Being an Education Studies, major at Catholic University, gave me the freedom to take classes in different subjects, more than a regular teaching major would. I was able to explore business, psychology, sociology, and many more. Diversifying my curriculum allowed me to apply certain ideas from these courses and adapt them to my “teaching philosophy.” This philosophy is my personal beliefs about teaching, learning, and the motivation of students. We are all students of some type, whether that is teaching someone to write a paragraph or teaching someone how to analyze a task analysis process.

As we continue to grow as students, we grow as teachers because it is our duty to pass down what we have learned to younger generations to help them come up with their own new ideas and thoughts. Learning is a concept that is constantly in motion because we are living in a world that is changing every day. That is why it is so important to teach others about finding their own teaching philosophy and what they believe is important to them when it comes to learning. This will lead to people motivating others to learn.

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My favorite teacher always had this quote in his classroom, “The teacher is the one who gets the most out of the lessons, and the true teacher is the learner.”
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Business Needs Professional Problem Solvers

Wilfred Thomas, MSBA '18, is a Liberal Arts major from The Thomas More College of Liberal Arts. Fred is a problem solver who wants to apply his skills in business:

What are you going to do with a liberal arts degree? This is the question I heard constantly post-undergrad. After a couple years out of school and working full-time, I realized my focus on philosophy was time well spent. The liberal arts provide a well-rounded education but most importantly taught me how to think. To study philosophy is to ask in-depth questions, critically think, and ultimately problem solve. Business is essentially problem-solving and so the two go hand-in-hand.

This year popular and outspoken billionaire, Mark Cuban, spoke highly of liberal arts degrees. In a recent interview about the labor market he said that there will be a greater demand “for liberal arts majors...because when the data is all being spit out for you, options are being spit out for you, you need a different perspective in order to have a different view of the data." Specifically, the study of philosophy in the Liberal arts involves the study of human nature. This requires deep reflection and invites students to think critically. This practice in critical thought has helped me become a more effective problem solver and allows me to think outside the box, freely, and without restraints. Liberal arts students are “free thinkers” and “are the students who have the active minds, who are asking the big questions.” An employee's ability to think well is vital to a thriving business. Technical skill is emboldened by critical thought and together helps make a more well-rounded business professional.

These critical thinking skills are used often. In tutoring kids, I find ways to make the academic materials come to life when the traditional methods fail, it could be something as simple as bringing in props that aid the student that make the difference. Even in grad school, I look for a broad range of solutions to problems that arise, this is done when figuring out ways to solve the "bottleneck", the hold up in a process, in the several case studies for my operation managements course. Both being able to tailor teaching methods to your audience and being able to make operations in a business run at its optimum level are invaluable. So now when someone asks a liberal arts student what he or she is going to do with his or her degree? They should answer “problem solve."

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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Why a Food Scientist Chose Business

Edward Orzechowski joins the program as a Food Science major from the University of Delaware. Below, he shares his thoughts on why he chose to complement his degree with business skills:

"I am often asked why I didn’t pursue higher education more closely related to my field. Sure, getting a more advanced degree in Food Science or Public Health / Policy would have added specialization into a particular area of food science. I, however, wanted to broaden and diversify my skill set rather than refine and narrow my skills. Walking out of undergrad, I had the technical skills to work in a lab, but I didn’t know how to bring my skills into the boardroom where big decisions are made.

One simple fact changed my perspective on what next education I would pursue: anywhere I work, no matter if it is a large corporation, a non-profit, a government agency, or a start-up, will be run as a business at its core. Most scientists don’t know how to read an income statement or how to properly manage employees when entering the workforce. This means that when it comes time to use those skills, either, they don’t have them, or they don’t know how to use them successfully. Learning those skills now, in a controlled environment, allows for growth when risk is low. When is it better for the health of your career to fail? Just in an operations management simulation or group project, or when you first advise your management team to make decisions that have financial implications? In the time that peers will be learning business principles on the fly, you can then be focusing on solving the problem at hand.

Business skills are not only a means of personal growth and knowledge. In some parts of the industry, there are instances of disconnect between the sides of science and business. Take when a food company develops new products. Some companies will have their marketing team come up with what new products they think will do well and then task their food scientists to make it work. Other companies will have their new product development scientists come up with novel products, then task their marketing team to make it work. Now imagine having the skills to bridge that gap and the usefulness it lends.

Image taken from the Institute of Food Technologists website

When meeting someone I respect professionally, I always ask about the steps they took to get where they are because no two people have the same path to success. Looking at different perspectives and the lessons people learned along the way helps you take calculated risks on your own path. Be open to different paths and you will find success in the end. When I find myself doubting the path I chose, I remember the helpful advice I received from a mentor: 'an object in motion stays in motion.'"
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Monday, October 23, 2017

Measuring Success: The American Dream

Erin Cavalier, MSBA '18, joined the program as a Politics major with the understanding that "a degree in politics has a very important and permanent place in the business world." Below, she writes about how success and the American Dream are connected:

"Success. Most people strive to be successful, but few know what it looks like.

In the United States, success is measured by one’s ability to achieve the “American Dream.” The notion dates back to the country’s founding and the Declaration of Independence. Simply put, the American Dream is life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is the ability to build a successful life through hard work and individual initiative.

Every generation has a different perspective on how exactly to achieve success and now, and as a millennial, we are building our own version.

My parent’s version of the American Dream includes happiness, home ownership, debt-free living, and a comfortable retirement. While all of this plays a large part in what success means to me, I believe there is more to it. Success to me is the ability to travel and explore the world’s cultures. Success to me is the understanding and execution of a healthy work-life balance.

Satirical Social life comic; Less is more, Evolution of the American Dream, 60-90s

Success is unique to each person and it varies among and within generations.

Although the parameters of the American Dream change over time, the fact that is used as tool to measure success does not."
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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.

If you're interested in investing 9-months of your time to discover your career, we have a place for you. For priority consideration for the program, contact our admission official, William Conlon, at 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

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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: • • 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.

: 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 career. 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.

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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