Dustin Cornwell – Opus Magnum
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Dustin Cornwell

Career Services, Ethics, Media, Newsroom, OCB Commentary

Resolve to be “flawsome” in 2012

Today is January 2, and hopefully most of you have not given up on your resolutions for the new year already.  One of the mistakes that many people make is that they look at resolutions as an “all-or-nothing” proposition.  The thought process goes something like this:  “Well, I said I’d be on time for work every day this year, and I got to work 10 minutes late today, so I’m just going to give up on my resolution for the rest of the year.”  Making one mistake doesn’t mean that all is lost.  Admitting your mistake and vowing to do better in the future is a much better course of action.

A recent article in Forbes looked at this from a corporate marketing/public relations perspective.  Domino’s Pizza endured some terrible PR a couple of years ago.  Rather than trying to cover up or talk away the severity of the issue, the company decided to face it head-on–and won quite a bit of respect in the process.  As the article notes, “Despite the best intentions in presentation, no brand, company or representative is perfect. How imperfect moments are handled can make the difference between a small situation or reputation capital vaporized in short order.”

So as you make decisions that affect your company as well as your personal “brand” in 2012, do your best to avoid pitfalls and scandals.  But when the inevitable misstep occurs, remember to be “flawsome”–be authentic, admit your mistake, and chart a course to remedy the situation.  That’s a New Year’s resolution we all have a chance of keeping!

Admissions, FTMBA, Newsroom

Could you be the first Opus Scholar?

The Full-time UST MBA program recently announced an exciting new scholarship initiative for fall 2012 applicants.  Twelve full-tuition scholarships will be awarded to top candidates, and several additional half-tuition scholarships will also be awarded. 

Candidates for the Opus Scholars program are asked to submit their applications by February 1.  Competitive applicants will have several years of professional work experience, strong academic potential (as evidenced by their undergraduate GPA and GMAT scores), demonstrated leadership abilities, and effective written and oral communication skills.  Finalists for the Opus Scholars program will be invited to campus in March for a full day of interviews and activities with faculty, students, and staff from the admissions, student life, and career services offices.

img350_ftmba-viewbookFall 2012 will mark the 10th entering class for the Full-time UST MBA, and it will undoubtedly be one of the best incoming classes we’ve enrolled.  If you’d like to be considered for the Opus Scholars program, please contact the Full-time UST MBA admissions team at ustmba@stthomas.edu or 651-962-8800. 

If you’d like to refer a friend, colleague, or relative you think would be a great candidate for Opus Scholars consideration, let us know here!

Admissions, EveningMBA, FTMBA, Newsroom

QS World MBA Tour visits Minneapolis on Friday

For more than a decade, the QS World MBA Tour has organized MBA fairs in major cities on every inhabited continent in the world.  While New York, London, Shanghai, and Buenos Aires have long been part of the tour, this is the first year that the World MBA Tour has come to Minneapolis.

On Friday, October 28, prospective MBA students are invited to meet with top MBA programs from around the world at the Hyatt Regency on Nicollet Mall.  Representatives from the Full-time UST MBA and Evening UST MBA programs will be available to answer your questions, and all participants will have the opportunity to attend panels and information sessions about the MBA application process.

Click here to learn more about the event and register online.  We hope to see you at the fair on Friday night!

QS World MBA Tour


Career Services, EveningMBA, FTMBA, Newsroom, OCB Alumni

Internships and networking go hand-in-hand

The Financial Times recently reported on the results of a Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC) survey, which showed that MBA graduates who completed an internship during their studies were significantly more likely to find a job than their classmates who did not have an internship.  The study also noted that in some industries, such as consulting, about 70 percent of interns were hired on for full-time positions after graduation.

The Graduate Business Career Services team at UST assists current MBA students and alumni with job and internship searches.  The team not only provides one-on-one career coaching but also organizes a variety of workshops and networking events that help you make professional connections.  These connections can be critical as you search for your next internship or full-time position. 

Ready to start focusing on your career search?  Come to tonight’s career skills session, which helps you understand how to explain the significance of your UST MBA experience to employers.  Put your networking skills to use tomorrow morning at the Master’s Connection, part of a regular series of breakfast networking events sponsored by Graduate Business Career Services.

Students and alumni looking for internships or jobs should remember to check Career Link on a regular basis, as postings are updated daily.  Log in to ensure that your profile and resume are up-to-date so that you’ll be ready to apply for new opportunities!

Career Services, FTMBA, Media, Newsroom, OCB Commentary

“What I wish I’d known”–advice from MBA grads

As they say, hindsight is always 20/20. So as our MBA students prepare to start classes just three short weeks from now, I thought that they (and anyone else considering pursuing an MBA in the future) could benefit from some words of wisdom from those who have completed their degree.

Business Week recently asked its social media fans, “What advice do you wish you’d been given when you were first starting your MBA program?” Three of the replies I found most insightful were:

“Don’t do what others think you should do, or what everyone else is doing. Decide what you want and hustle to get it.”

“Realize that a MBA provides you with a great, technical foundation to build success upon, but not THE key to success. Be prepared to learn just as much, if not more, after graduation and upon beginning your career.”

“Advice for starting out: Smile, be nice, be open – you never know who will be your next business partner, mentor, or best friend!”

Other responses ran the gamut from warning students to be prepared for math-heavy core courses, to encouraging students to figure out their career goals before arriving on campus. You can read many more of the Facebook and Twitter responses to Business Week’s question here.

Media, Newsroom, OCB Commentary

Happy 20th anniversary to the World Wide Web

For business professionals, information technology has become so ubiquitous that we take it for granted.  It’s hard to imagine getting through the day without using e-mail, browsing websites, making online purchases, or connecting with friends and colleagues via social media.  Yet just 20 years ago, office technology was very, very different.

courtesy of World Wide Web Consortium

courtesy of World Wide Web Consortium

E-mail existed in 1991, but very few people outside of universities used it.  Before e-mail attachments, fax machines were the way to go when you needed to send a document to someone outside your office quickly.  If you needed to buy a plane ticket for a business trip, you looked under “Airlines” in a thick printed directory called the Yellow Pages–and picked up the phone to call the airline to book a flight.

I’m sure none of us realized on August 6, 1991 that a monumental event had just taken place–the first page on the World Wide Web had been created.  As you can see in this Time Magazine article, the first page consisted only of text and hyperlinks–no photos, no ads, no buttons to tweet or “like” the page.  You’ll also notice that the World Wide Web was abbreviated “W3” instead of the “WWW” we have become accustomed to today.

Within 5 years of the launch of the Web, the first popular browser (Netscape Navigator) had been loaded onto almost everyone’s home and work computer, and within 10 years the first internet bubble had risen to its heady heights and then crashed spectacularly.  There’s no doubt that the Web is here to stay…but it will be interesting to see where the next 20 years take us.  Happy birthday, W3!

Admissions, FTMBA, Newsroom, OCB Commentary, social media

The $37,000 haiku tweet

Application tweet
Showed his creativity
Earned a scholarship

There are many parts to an MBA application, but one of the most time-consuming is writing the essay.  At UST (as at many universities), we suggest word limits for each essay—in most cases 500 or 750 words.  But the Tippie School at the University of Iowa recently held a contest that limited applicants to 140 characters—one Twitter message.

The winner of the Tippie School’s contest was selected based on the creativity he showed in combining one of the world’s oldest forms of poetry (the haiku) with a new form of social media.  I summarized the Business Week story in a haiku of my own at the top of this blog post for those readers who don’t have time to read the entire article.

What do you think about tweeting your graduate school application essays?  As an admissions director, I have always said there is value in keeping essays short and sweet, but this takes it to a whole new level.  While the UST MBA doesn’t have immediate plans to institute a Twitter-based application process, I’ll leave you with an example of what a good UST Twitter haiku might look like.  Feel free to contribute your own in the comments section!

Ethical leaders
Who are globally minded
Choose our MBA

EveningMBA, leadership, Local business, Media, Newsroom, OCB Alumni, social media

Local firm evolves from “Mad Men” roots to cutting-edge PR

Earlier this week, the Star Tribune profiled top public relations firm Padilla Speer Beardsley, led by Lynn Casey, a UST Evening MBA alumna and this year’s Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal Women in Business Career Achievement honoree.Padilla Speer Beardsley

The Star Tribune article featured interviews with several of the firm’s first employees in the 1960s, and it’s clear there was a bit of a “Mad Men” vibe during that decade.  While the multi-million dollar firm is now led by a woman, there were only three female employees in 1969–an office manager, a receptionist, and a “gopher.”  Public relations consisted mainly of press releases and publicity stunts to draw attention to businesses.

More than 40 years later, Padilla Speer Beardsley has expanded into advertising and operates a successful New York office in addition to its Minneapolis headquarters.   Client services range from crisis management to managing intellectual property challenges, and social media plays a major role alongside more traditional public relations channels.

So the next time you’re watching an episode of “Mad Men” and wonder what might have become of Don Draper and his colleagues in the 21st century, look no further than the riverfront headquarters of Minneapolis’ top public relations firm.

FTMBA, Newsroom, Student Life

MBA Lesson #1: Time Management

As the Program Director for the Full-time UST MBA program, one of my key responsibilities during the summer is communicating with incoming students about how to prepare for their first semester.  While many students quit their jobs a few weeks before the program starts to enjoy some well-deserved vacation time, their summer is not entirely devoted to leisure.  Like students at most full-time MBA programs around the world, incoming students at UST have many pre-assignments to take care of before starting the program in September.

credit:  Google images

credit: Google images

We have created a website for incoming students to help them keep track of their pre-MBA tasks, which range from writing a 300-word autobiography, to meeting with their career coach and academic advisor, to completing online surveys and academic readings.  Students without an undergraduate background in business also complete a self-paced online course that introduces basic concepts in economics, accounting, statistics, and finance.

Summer assignments give our incoming students a preview of the variety of activities they’ll need to juggle once they start the program.  I really enjoyed this recent article from Business Week, which highlights the wide variety of demands on MBA students’ time, especially during the first semester of the program.  The academic workload of MBA programs  is significant, but students who want to maximize the benefits of their MBA experience also have to make time for student activities, their career search, and networking events.  While the example of the MBA student studying for his accounting exam in the delivery room while his wife was in labor is somewhat extreme, it’s fair to say that all MBA students have to become skilled at managing their time effectively.

To all of our incoming MBA students this fall:  welcome!  And be sure to use your time during the next few weeks prior to the start of classes wisely.

FTMBA, Media, Newsroom, OCB Commentary

China adds 15 companies to the Fortune Global 500

roundtableI’m in Asia this week, representing the UST MBA at The MBA Tour Roundtable workshops, events that enable MBA admissions representatives to meet with small groups of 6 to 10 prospective students.  Unlike a typical “trade show” style MBA fair, where students go from table to table to pick up brochures, the roundtable format enables students to have in-depth discussions with each participating school.  This benefits both the school and the student, as school representatives can fully explain program offerings, while students have the opportunity to ask questions and find out which schools might be a good fit for their interests.

At my first stop in Shanghai on Friday, I took a look at the Shanghai Daily newspaper left at my hotel room door in the morning.  The front page headline announced, “Chinese companies set Fortune 500 list record.”  China now accounts for 69 of the top 500 global companies by revenue, second only to the US with 133 and just ahead of Japan, which has 68.  The article notes that the US set a record with 197 companies in the top 500 in 2002, but that the number of American companies has dropped each year since then. Continue Reading