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Events, Newsroom, OCB Alumni

August Marks First-Ever OCB Alumni Month

University of St. Thomas Photo.

University of St. Thomas Photo by Thomas Whisenand.

As we look at our growing graduate business alumni network, which now numbers more than 17,000, we understand the importance of offering a wide range of events and opportunities to reach and engage this diverse audience. We want our alumni to continue to find value in all that the Opus College of Business has to offer, even after classes have wrapped up and diplomas are in hand.

The Opus College of Business Alumni Month was created to do just that – provide opportunities for critical thinking while also encouraging life-long learning, facilitating socialization and networking, renewing a sense of pride in completing a graduate business degree, and serving as a reminder that the Opus College of Business can be part of whatever the future might hold for each graduate.

With half of summer now behind us, it’s time to start thinking about how to make the most of our remaining warm weather. Alumni Month offers a variety of events – including family-friendly outings at Lake Harriet and a summer social along the shores of Lake Minnetonka, as well as speaker events featuring our much-loved faculty – at least a few could fit into any busy summer schedule.

Upcoming Deadlines

  • July 19 – Register for student & alumni Twins outing on Friday, Aug. 16
  • Aug. 1 – Register for graduate business alumni boat cruise on Thursday, Aug. 8
Career Services, Events, Newsroom

Lessons from the C-Suite


How do you decide when to stay, and when to go? Make a note in your personal almanac – on Wednesday night last week, the secrets of a successful career were revealed at the corner of 10th St. and Lasalle Ave. Lessons from the C-Suite featured high profile, successful executives with a total of more than 100 years of experience. The conversation, ably facilitated by management consultant Bill Wells, president of W. Wells & Associates and a successful corporate leader in his own right, was lively.

All of the evening’s presenters had deep corporate experience providing foundations for their perspective, but their current roles spanned the range from management consultant (Wells) to non-profit leader (Linda Keane, CEO of Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valley), to business owner and Chief Executive Kim Vappie (Menttium Corporation), to professional association (Jesse Tyson, Interim President and CEO of the National Black MBA Association). The panel was rounded out by Anton Vincent, president of a $2 billion division of General Mills. So, what did they all have to say? Continue Reading

Events, Health Care MBA, Newsroom, OCB Commentary

11 innovative ideas for creating a healthy workplace

healthyemployersLast month, the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal held its fourth annual awards ceremony to recognize the 22 companies who scored the highest on its 2013 Healthiest Employers assessment.  These employers share a commitment to improving the overall well-being of their employees including physical, mental, social, and financial health.  They believe that a healthy workplace will not only create a happier, healthier workforce, but has the potential to enhance recruitment and retention, increase teamwork and collaboration, reduce absences, and curb spiraling health care costs.

So what are these healthy workplaces doing?  In addition to mainstay programs such as smoking cessation, on-site fitness classes and flu-shot clinics, innovative initiatives include: Continue Reading

Centers, Events, Newsroom

How to Manage a Workforce with Many Identities

In the early days of diversity, the work focused on race and gender. Then it broadened and  became more complex. Laws change, attitudes are continually evolving and the newest generation in the workforce does not want to be put in a box of one race, ethnicity or group.

Each person is an individual and may or may not hold the traditional values associated with his or her primary culture. How does a manager create an inclusive environment given the evolving multiple dimensions of diversity?  On Tuesday, June 18 Wednesday, July 17, Mary-Frances Winters, president and founder of The Winters Group, will lead a Diversity Insights session that will provide tips for managing the complexities and paradoxes of individual identities: Continue Reading

Centers, Ethics, Events, FTMBA, Newsroom, Student Life

UST Business Teams Take Top Honors at National Business Ethics Case Competition

2013-05-10 10.27.01Graduate and undergraduate teams from the Opus College of Business each took home top honors at the Intercollegiate Business Ethics Case Competition (IBECC) in San Diego, California this month.

Each team selected a business ethics topic and described both the problem and a proposed solution before a panel of judges made up of practicing ethics and compliance professionals.

The UST MBA team, including Joseph Grodahl, Jay Rajararatnam, Kasey Grams and Sean Higgins, won first place in its division for the 30-minute full presentation, “Violent Video Games: Ethical Implications of an Acquisition.” The team also took first prize in the 90-second competition and was division runner-up in the 10-minute competition. The undergraduate team won first place in its division for the 90-second competition on the topic “Using Child Labor to Source Cocoa.” Team members were Alex Bearson, Veronica Flamo and Gabe Monson.

“Our two teams continued to demonstrate the powerful capability of our students to identify and solve ethical challenges in the marketplace,” said Christopher P. Puto, Ph.D., Dean and Opus Distinguished Chair of the Opus College of Business.

Read more about the competition in the UST Business Newsroom »

Centers, Entrepreneurship, Events, Newsroom, OCB Alumni

Fulfilling the Entrepreneurial Dream

May is Small Business Month, and entrepreneurs everywhere face uphill battles with funding, the economy, hiring and affordability in the effort to get their businesses off the ground. The website NerdWallet sifted through the factors that matter to small business owners to determine which cities are the best for those hoping to start a business and Minneapolis made the national top 10.

It is no surprise though, as evidenced by many of the entrepreneurial ventures launched here at St. Thomas or hiring our graduates. Several successful small businesses were honored last week at the 24th Annual Entrepreneur Awards Ceremony. Nearly 200 guests gathered to recognize those who foster and model the spirit of entrepreneurship each day.

During the awards portion of the evening, Dean Christopher Puto and Father Dennis Dease honored two individuals and a small business for their entrepreneurial thinking and commitment to giving back.

Dan Carr

The Entrepreneur Alumnus of the Year award went to Dan Carr, ’82, CEO of The Collaborative. With more than 25 years working with Minnesota entrepreneurs, he credits his UST education for much of his success. Carr also noted that 90 percent of job creation comes from small companies, further reinforcing the role and impact of all entrepreneurs.

Continue Reading

Centers, Ethics, Events, Newsroom

2013 Minnesota Business Ethics Award to Honor Minnesota Companies

Minnesota business and professional leaders will come together tomorrow to honor finalists and recipients for the 14th annual Minnesota Business Ethics Award (MBEA).

The finalists are:

  • Small-size category: Cresa Minneapolis/St. Paul;  Douglas Scientific; and  Latuff Brothers Auto Body
  • Mid-size category: Affinity Federal Credit Union;  Mintahoe Catering and Events; and  Premier Disability Services LLC
  • Large-size category: Cummins Power Generation; and St. Francis Regional Medical Center

The awards celebrate Minnesota businesses that exemplify and promote ethical conduct in the workplace, the marketplace and the community. Keynote speaker for the awards lunch will be Gregg Steinhafel, chairman and CEO of Target Corporation.

Learn more in the UST Newsroom.

EveningMBA, Events, Executive MBA, Faculty, FTMBA, Health Care MBA, leadership, Newsroom, Student Life

Leadership in Action: Moving up the Career Ladder

robert-barnett[1]How does one successfully navigate the process of moving from an individual contributor or team member to a first-time manager and leader? Which leadership characteristics and competencies promote positive and authentic leadership and which practices or attitudes can detract from an individual’s leadership potential? Moreover, how does one learn or develop leadership capabilities?

Last month, I had the pleasure of attending the first National Association of Asian MBAs (NAAMBA) event hosted on the University of St. Thomas Minneapolis campus in the Opus College of Business Schulze Auditorium. The event focused on topic that resonated with all attendees, is consistently on the minds of business professionals, and is interwoven throughout the UST MBA program (and many other MBA programs’) curriculum: leadership.

To spark the discussion, NAAMBA-Twin Cities invited Robert C. Barnett, adjunct faculty member in UST’s Organizational Learning and Development department and principal and senior fellow in management consulting at Robert Barnett Consulting, LLC and MDA Leadership Consulting, to share his extensive research and findings about leadership. Continue Reading

Centers, Events, leadership, Newsroom

Highlights of the 2013 Multicultural Forum

mcf25The Multicultural Forum was held April 10-11, at the Minneapolis Convention Center with a spring snowstorm adding another dimension to the conference, especially for out-of-state visitors from warmer climes.

The Forum celebrated its 25th anniversary, culminating with a name change to The Forum on Workplace Inclusion.  This new moniker reflects societal changes and a refocusing of the Forum’s agenda. Inclusion leads to engagement, innovation, productivity, and employee retention.  Does your workplace value these variables?  If not, what is the cost of not including, valuing, and listening to “others”?   Considering business’ focus on financial outcomes—follow the money.  Organizations and businesses are recognizing the economic benefit to the bottom line when they value and practice inclusion.

I was able to attend a variety of sessions.  Highlights: Continue Reading

EveningMBA, Events, Newsroom

Master’s Pub Recap -or- Rick Kupchella is Exceedingly Charming


As a native Minnesotan, I have watched local news my entire life and have always been dedicated to KARE 11. I happen to be also very easily star-struck, and since news anchors are like local celebrities to me, they make me slightly nervous and excited. So when Rick Kupchella, a 20-year veteran of investigative broadcasting on KARE 11 news, spoke at Master’s Pub last Friday night, I thought to myself, be cool, Alex. He is a businessman with interesting things to say. But I quickly became very distracted and wrote notes such as, “quite handsome,” “surprisingly tall,” and over and over, “very charming.” I will get to what exactly Rick talked about in a second, but I think it needs to be said that Rick Kupchella is an extremely charming, approachable, and down to earth speaker. Now that I have that out there, I can move on to what he actually came to discuss.

IMG_2369 Continue Reading