Monthly Archives

August 2010

Centers, Local business, Newsroom

St. Thomas creates Minnesota Real Estate Hall of Fame

Real-Estate-Supply-and-DemandAs chronicled in detail by a wide variety of news media, the real estate industry has suffered through a difficult period in recent years.  However, there are many examples of successful real estate professionals in the local area who have led innovative projects and maintained high ethical standards despite the challenges inherent in real estate.  Last week  The Shenehon Center for Real Estate announced the creation of the Minnesota Real Estate Hall of Fame to honor those leaders who have made substantial contributions to the local community. Continue Reading

Career Services, leadership, Local business, Media, Newsroom, OCB Alumni

Top Women in Finance: Call for Nominations

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Finance & Commerce, Minnesota’s only “independent daily newspaper dedicated to business reporting,” is accepting nominations for its Top Women in Finance award until August 23. 

While female enrollment in MBA programs has increased over the past several years, women are still a distinct minority in finance-related fields.  A recent article in Harvard Magazine cited a University of Chicago survey showing that only 8 percent of respondents working in venture capital were women, while women comprised about 15 percent of respondents working in investment banking. Continue Reading

Admissions, Newsroom

“Hey” is for horses

hayWorking in admissions gives me the opportunity to have frequent contact with interested parties and applicants to the Full-time MBA program.  Recently, I’ve noticed a shift in tone when it comes to email messages from those with questions.  Overall, there seems to be a lax feeling with many emails to the point that I’ve received notes that use simply “Hey” for their salutation.  This gives me reason for reflection. 

If you look in Webster’s dictionary, you’ll discover that the word “hey” is defined as “an interjection used especially to call attention or to express interrogation, surprise, or exultation.”  Traditionally, “hey” was solely an exclamation.  Sometimes it expressed delight, sometimes a warning.  These days we find it used for emphasis, as a greeting, or as a short version of “how are you?”   It is a close cousin to the informal salutation “hi,” which it seems to be replacing in many situations.   Continue Reading

Jargon Genesis, Newsroom

Jargon Genesis: Benchmark

surveyorsHave you ever benchmarked your product against competitors to determine your place in the market? Have you stopped to think where “benchmark” came from? Well, you have surveyors to thank for this week’s business jargon!

The Online Etymology Dictionary states that the literal use of “benchmark” dates back to 1838, and the figurative use from 1884, but there are no sources for those dates. Despite the uncertainty around the dates, the original use of the term is fairly certain.

In the 19th century, surveyors, seeking to measure the earth, determine property boundaries, etc.,  would first choose a point of known elevation. They would often mark this point by cutting into a lasting material, like stone, as shown in the accompanying photo. This would act as a reference point for measuring the elevation of an area. Continue Reading

Admissions, EveningMBA, FTMBA, Newsroom, Student Life

How to improve your academic preparation for the MBA

statisticsWith the start of the new academic year less than a month away, I thought this blog post from mba.com was very timely.  Incoming MBA students often ask our admissions and student life team about how they can prepare for the MBA classroom experience.

There’s no one “right way” to prepare for MBA classes, but becoming familiar with quantitative business concepts is very important.  Many of our incoming MBA students complete an online course called MBA Math, which provides students with a thorough introduction to key areas in statistics, finance, accounting, economics, and Excel.  As noted in the blog post referenced above, there are many other useful online tools and study guides that can help you prepare for the rigors of the MBA core curriculum.

The bottom line–the more preparation you do before setting foot in the classroom, the smoother your transition back into academic life will be.  You’ll be much more comfortable and confident in your classes if you spend some time preparing academically over the summer.

EveningMBA, FTMBA, Health Care MBA, Newsroom, UST MBC

Alternatives to the traditional MBA degree

mbaHaving worked with MBA programs for almost a decade, I have seen time and again how useful an MBA education can be for students with various educational backgrounds, professional experiences, and career goals.  However, an MBA isn’t necessarily the right graduate degree for everyone.  I’ve met with many prospective students over the years who would be better served by pursuing a specialized master’s degree in business.  A recent article posted on investopedia.com highlights some of the things to think about when deciding between an MBA and  a specialized master’s degree.

While the Opus College of Business is well-known for its Evening MBA and Full-time MBA programs, there are several other graduate options designed for students with specific career interests.  Continue Reading

Media, Newsroom, UST MBC

Want to expand your marketing network? Join us for the Alphabet Bash!

ABash_logo_2010AMA, IABC, MDMA, MIMA?  If you’re not familiar with these acronyms, don’t worry–you can learn all about them at the 2010 Alphabet Bash.  Members of Minnesota’s top professional organizations in the areas of marketing, advertising, and communication will gather this Thursday, August 12, for an evening of networking in downtown Minneapolis. 

The Alphabet Bash is sponsored by the Master of Business Communication program in the Opus College of Business.  Registration is open to the public.  Whether you’re already working in the marketing/ advertising/ communication fields or hope to make a career change into one of those areas, the Alphabet Bash can provide you with great opportunities to connect with industry professionals.

Jargon Genesis, Newsroom

Jargon Genesis: Jump on the Bandwagon

It seems fitting that politicians would adopt a technique and its related jargon that was initially used by circus performers. I’ve often felt like I was at a circus when watching a political debate. But I digress from my phrase of the week, “jump on the bandwagon!”

image006Renowned showman Phineas T. Barnum wrote an autobiography, astutely titled, The Life of P.T. Barnum, Written by Himself, 1855. Wasn’t it nice of him to include the date in the title? That way I don’t have to reference it.

In this work, Mr. Barnum wrote, “At Vicksburg we sold all our land conveyances excepting four horses and the ‘band wagon’.”

This band wagon was highly decorated and paraded through town to attract the attention of the locals and draw them to the circus. About the time Mr. Barnum was writing his book, politicians started using band wagons when campaigning for office. Continue Reading

Ethics, EveningMBA, FTMBA, Newsroom, Student Life

UST Students Headed to Intercollegiate Business Ethics Case Competition

On September 23, 2010, the winners of the spring CEBC Ethics Case Competition will represent the University of St. Thomas as one of five teams invited to compete in the Intercollegiate Business Ethics Case Competition (IBECC) at the upcoming 2010 ECOA Annual Ethics and Compliance Conference (AECC) September 22-24 in Anaheim, California.

The Second Annual CEBC Ethics Case Competition focused on “Social Media, Free Speech and the Ethical Corporation” and was hosted by the Center for Ethical Business Cultures (CEBC), the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business and UnitedHealth Group. The competition provided graduate students in the University of St. Thomas Full-time UST MBA program an opportunity to compete and be evaluated on their ability analyze a complex business issue, uncover the legal and ethical challenges associated with the topic and develop a policy recommendation on the use of social media. Continue Reading

Career Services, leadership, Newsroom

Trying to get a lot done? Take a break.

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The way most of us work isn’t working. Study after study has shown that companies are experiencing a crisis in employee engagement. A 2007 Towers Perrin survey of nearly 90,000 employees worldwide, for instance, found that only 21% felt fully engaged at work and nearly 40% were disenchanted or disengaged.

Tony Schwartz, president and CEO of The Energy Project and author of The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working was recently interviewed on HBR’s Ideacast. He is also the author of the HBR article The Productivity Paradox: How Sony Pictures Gets More Out of People by Demanding Less.

In the podcast Schwartz discussed some counter-intuitive ideas about productivity. Specifically, he explained that like our normal sleep cycles at night, our body cycles throughout the day and it is important to recognize those cycles in order to be productive at work. What does that mean? Continue Reading