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Newsroom, OCB Commentary, UST MBC

Clients, connections and creativity

KarwoskiIt’s not only the agency world that has clients – if you’re in a marketing communications function within a company, you have internal clients, and that’s a good mentality to have when it comes to producing great work.

A big part of doing great work is making meaningful connections. Connecting with your clients, whether internal or external, to make certain you’re asking the right questions and solving the right problem/challenge.

Great creative work is always rooted in great strategy, which begins with solving the right problem/challenge. The classic example being the railroad industry approaching strategy from a perspective of being in the railroad business, not grasping that they were in fact really in the transportation business. Continue Reading

EveningMBA, Newsroom, OCB Alumni, OCB Commentary, UST MBC

Margaret Murphy ’00 M.B.A. on Clients, Creative and Connections

Admissions Transfer Student Portraits

Evening UST MBA alumna Margaret Murphy, president of OLSON and its subsidiary 1to1, understands the importance of these three C’s of her business. We’ve taken some excerpts from her interview with B. Magazine in Fall 2011 to share here. 

“Our objective is to build and activate brand communities from the masses down to the one-to-one level for our clients,” stated Murphy, reinforcing the company mantra “Connection is all that counts.” The goal is then to tailor the interactions and communications to benefit the consumer, such as offering timely information and special offers most relevant and valued by each individual, which in turn drives business for the client.

“I get a lot of energy from ‘solutioning’ around our clients in a creative way,” remarks Murphy, “whether that’s actual design or just how we creatively solve a client’s problem.” Great creative design and clever messaging will always be a core part of advertising and marketing, but to strategically build and execute a campaign across several channels and platforms simultaneously (print, PR, online, mobile, etc.) requires a “line-blurring agency” according to Murphy. Continue Reading

Career Services, Newsroom, OCB Commentary

Advanced Degree Advance Career


How Can My MBC or MBA degree help me move up?Graduation

You know your graduate degree is helping you to think and act in a new way on the job.  You see business challenges and opportunities from multiple perspectives and understand how different parts of your organization work together (or not) to get things done.  As you know, your new degree is not an automatic ticket to success.  But it sure can help you transform your professional brand, i.e., how you are perceived at your work.

How do you demonstrate your value?  Here are three suggestions.  First, you have to get your work done, on time, in a quality manner, and where people you worked with want to work with you again.  No question about that.  But you’d be surprised how many people really don’t know what is expected and, as a result, consistently miss the mark and/or forget the “people” side of the equation. Continue Reading

Career Services, Newsroom, OCB Alumni

The Engineer MBA – Q&A with John McCall

John McCall ’78 M.B.A. has an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering and went to work for 3M and later for Ecolab, as a chemical engineer, before coming to St. Thomas to pursue an M.B.A. He returned to St. Thomas in 2009 in his current role as associate dean and CFO of the Opus College of Business. We sat down with McCall to learn more about why he decided to earn an M.B.A. and what the degree has done for him.

JEM2What led you to pursue your M.B.A.?

I felt that I needed additional business education to do a better job of managing my projects and communicating with different team members of my work. I enrolled in the UST MBA in 1975 and received my degree in 1978.

Often there were project teams that had people from a lot of different disciplines including marketing, finance, accounting, and sales. I didn’t know the lexicon; I didn’t have a basic business education. So, that was my first interest. As I progressed I was given the opportunity of managing engineering groups, so I wanted to enhance my leadership skills and my knowledge in that area. My particular interest was in finance. I was interested in the financial impact of my projects and why they were important for my company.

Where did your MBA take you after you completed your degree? Continue Reading

FTMBA, Newsroom, Student Life

From Bio to Business and Theory to Practice


The classrooms in Schulze Hall at the Opus College of Business, where Full-time UST MBA  students spend countless hours each week learning, collaborating, analyzing, and problem solving, are outfitted with high-backed, black, executive chairs.  I have never taken particular note of these chairs, but to first-year UST MBA student Lindsay Young, Ph.D., they represent much more than a functional place to sit during class.

Young is an inaugural fellow of the Applied Business Training program administered by the BioBusiness Alliance of Minnesota, and enrolled in the Full-time MBA program to complement her extensive research in nutrition, biochemistry, and cancer prevention with practical business knowledge. From her unique perspective and years spent in a science-focused classroom, the executive chairs in OCB classrooms embody the professionalism UST faculty and administrators display and expect from students, advance the curriculum’s applied and team-based approach to addressing business concepts and issues, and reinforce the overall brand of the University of St. Thomas.  How do you get all of that from a chair?  Read on… Continue Reading

Newsroom, OCB Commentary

Beginning the road to the top…with a STEM background

front-book-300x300[1]In recent years, among technology startups it became quite well known that the top person many times had an engineering or technology background. In fact, Fox Business reported on a recent survey by Silicon Valley Bank:

While it is true, startups need people to work in all aspects of the business, the survey shows that startups around the country are looking for candidates with strong science, technology, engineering and math [STEM] skills. Of the survey respondents, 17% say they were looking for management, marketing, sales, operations and other non-technical skills compared to 40% who want job seekers with more technical experience.

In fact, the top priority still seems to be engineers, software and product developers and science oriented workers.

The technology startup isn’t for everyone.  In addition, many times the individual who possesses the genius to lead the successful startup runs into problems and is pushed out once the company gets to a certain size and complexity. Even Steve Jobs didn’t make it the first time. For these and other reasons, many graduates with technical degrees should still consider beginning their careers, if possible, working for one of the more established companies. In these companies they will gain the basic disciplines which are not always present in the entrepreneurial startup. It also looks like we may be in for a rebirth of manufacturing which will require the recruiting of technical talent.

A lot of my experience was working for or consulting to manufacturing driven and financial services companies. In manufacturing  companies the key operations people usually came up to through science and engineering.   On the other hand, in the financial services world, technology and mathematics were great spawning grounds for many of the best middle managers. The reasons made a lot of sense. In manufacturing the keys to success are efficiency, productivity, cost management and quality. This not only requires strong management skills but also bottom line focus, attention to detail and technical expertise.

Continue Reading

Newsroom, OCB Commentary

Is There any Privacy in the Era of Top-Secret Surveillance?

Debating Government Surveillance: Privacy v. National SecurityOct. 3, 5 to 7 p.m.

The School of Law is bringing internationally known experts in the fields of privacy and national security to debate privacy v. national security. The even will take place at Schulze Hall inside the Opus College of Business. Don Shelby, former WCCO television news anchor and radio personality, will serve as moderator.

Learn More and Register»

fb-privacyIf you have nothing to hide…then why are you so upset if Facebook shares some information about you with the government? A little trade-off of privacy for safety can’t really hurt that much, right?

And in any event, what you share on Facebook is essentially public information, so why raise a fuss now that the government wants a look too (after your classmates, employers and corporate America already had theirs)? Yet, despite such arguments and claims many people still feel uneasy or outright outraged about the recent reports that Facebook and Google might have discussed access to user data with the NSA or already given access when ordered to do so under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

Why is privacy that important to many of us even though we put more and more information about ourselves out there for others to see?  Continue Reading

accountancy, Newsroom, OCB Alumni

Profile – Sarah Smith M.S.A. ’13

img-Sarah-SmithHailing from Grand Forks, North Dakota, Sarah Smith ’12 B.A., ’13 M.S.A., had wanted to get out of the Midwest for several years. So, completing the Master of Science degree in Accountancy program at the Opus College of Business this summer and taking a job in Seattle, Smith is finally achieving her dream. It was her experience in the accountancy program that helped her reach it.

Considering the 150 credit hours needed to obtain CPA certification, Smith saw completing the M.S.A. program and getting a master’s degree as an added perk on top of having to pay for the credits either way. For Smith, there was also no overlooking a paid internship–a component that’s sometimes part of masters programs, but not always built-in like at St. Thomas. “Lots of the time you’re expected to go find them yourself and here you’re guaranteed an internship,” Smith says. “With those other programs, if you don’t find one, you don’t get one.” Continue Reading

Events, Newsroom, OCB Alumni

Alumni Month Comes to a Close

Alumni Twins Outing

Opus College of Business Visits Target Field, Friday, Aug. 16.

With the first-ever Opus College of Business Alumni Month  now coming to a close, I hope you found time to take part in an event or two. As a graduate business alumnus, I understand that your time is valuable and it’s hard to fit networking and other events into your schedule when school previously took up so much of your time. The goal of Alumni Month was to provide a broad selection of event offerings to appeal to our large and diverse alumni network.

The monthly Open 4 Business Happy Hour, annual alumni boat cruise and student/alumni Twins outing provided an opportunity to catch up with your classmates, network and make new connections. The faculty roundtable brought together alumni and students to connect and reconnect with much-loved professors, as well as participate in an engaging discussion around industry trends and hot topics. Continue Reading

EveningMBA, Events, Newsroom

Surly Intersections Event Double-fisted Business Practice with Theory

Omar Ansari, left, founder of Surly Brewing Company, talks with Alec Johnson, right, OCB entrepreneurship professor, in Schulze Hall Auditorium on August 14, 2013, at the Intersections of Entrepreneurship discussion. Photo by Mark Brown.

Omar Ansari, left, founder of Surly Brewing Company, talks with Alec Johnson, right, OCB entrepreneurship professor, in Schulze Hall Auditorium on August 14, 2013, at the Intersections of Entrepreneurship discussion. Photo by Mark Brown.

Serial entrepreneur John Osher, whose SpinBrush sold to Crest for $425 million, said “I don’t look for what’s on the shelf. I look for what’s not on the shelf.”

When Omar Ansari visited Minnesota liquor store shelves prior to 2006, he found very little craft beer. Fueled by a passion to “make beer for people who don’t know they wanted it”, he retooled his family’s abrasives factory into a brewery and spearheaded a bill to allow on-site pint sales at breweries.

Ansari, founder of Surly Brewing Co., teamed up with Opus College Prof. Alec Johnson Aug. 14 for an “Intersections” that double-fisted business practice with its theory. Continue Reading