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Newsroom, OCB Alumni, OCB Commentary

Veterans Day Profile: George Lang ’76 M.B.A.

In December 1976, veteran George Lang was one of 28 students to graduate from St. Thomas’ first-ever MBA class, marking the beginning of a legacy that has grown into today’s Opus College of Business. Moving from a background in mathematics, Lang went on to transition to a longtime career in finance and real estate, start his own consulting company and most recently, join the Graduate Business Alumni Board this past September.

A lifelong resident of St. Paul, Lang says he got his start in the military in JROTC while still a student at Cretin High School (which became Cretin-Derham Hall in 1987).  He went on to study mathematics at the University of Notre Dame, where he was a member of ROTC. After his graduation in June 1964, he spent two years in the army. He was pulled into a unit at Fort Lewis in Washington, landing in military intelligence, an area in which he would spend his entire army career. A year later, when President Johnson decided to move American troops into Vietnam, Lang found himself in the company of 5,000 men of the first infantry division, who sailed over to Vietnam to prepare the way. Lang described the experience as “not like the current day military, but not like the World War II military. It was, ‘Go out and try to eliminate the enemy,’ who was very clandestine.”

Upon his return a year later, Lang had already written ahead of time to apply for and secure a job with St. Paul Fire & Marine Insurance Company, now known as the Travelers Companies. For three years He worked primarily as a computer programmer before getting into a research analyst position. Lang and a partner introduced the company to the first personal computers, as well as the first terminals, as the new technology spread to the public at the end of the 1960s. “Quickly, it appeared to me I had reached the top of where I was,” Lang said, citing that this was the time he began looking for a graduate business program that would advance his career. Continue Reading

FTMBA, Local business, Newsroom, OCB Alumni, Student Life

New Mayo Innovation Scholars Named

In the Mayo Innovation Scholars Program, a select group of Minnesota students has the chance to participate in an extraordinary internship that places it at the intersection of science, business, medicine and ethics for five months of one academic year.

Every day, Mayo inventors share ideas with the Mayo Clinic Ventures office, and the full development of these ideas a challenge. This is where the Mayo Innovation Scholars come in.  Twelve teams made up of two undergraduate science students and two business students are each led by MBA students. These team leaders were responsible for overseeing the undergraduate teams, which includes ensuring the delivery of the project requirements, setting milestone goals, providing technical assistance, communicating with all stakeholders, and assisting with the final paper and presentation delivery.

In 2013, five of the 12 teams were led by then second-year UST MBA students, including Samantha Majkowski, Daniel Kolar, Karen Satterlie, Abbey Pieper and Boubakar Jalloh. UST MBA class of 2014 students Nana Yaa Dodi, Brianne Hamm, Sheng Lee Tomar and Pleasant Radford have been named Mayo Innovation Scholars team leaders for 2014.

Read more about Mayo Innovation Scholars Program in the Fall 2013 edition of B. Magazine, just out.

EveningMBA, Newsroom, OCB Alumni

How a Psychology Major Changed his Career with an MBA

Quinten McGruder

Quinten McGruder ’04, ’07 M.A., ’11 M.B.A.

Quinten McGruder ’04, ’07 M.A., ’11 M.B.A. had never taken a business class when he entered the Evening UST MBA program. With an educational background in psychology, McGruder was counseling at a charter school by day and attending MBA classes at night in order to expand his window of professional opportunity. And though he knew a career change was likely after the program, he didn’t expect it upon graduation – it was a St. Thomas connection who helped him step into the world of marketing and into his current role as director of business operations at REAL Insight Inc. Continue Reading

Events, Newsroom, OCB Alumni

Facilities Authority Chair Says New Stadium Should Score For Downtown Minneapolis


There’s a lot to know about the plans for the new multi-purpose stadium in downtown Minneapolis.

Much information is readily available online. You can visit a website to learn, for example, that the roof of the Minnesota Vikings’ new home will be made of a strong, lightweight polymer called ethylene tetrafluoroethylene, which, fortunately, is abbreviated ETFE.

But what you can’t quite get from a website is a sense of human enthusiasm or insight, like when someone proudly says the new facility will be “the people’s stadium” or uses subtle humor to characterize the current Metrodome as “a big ice-laden blob” (honestly, though, isn’t that what we’re all thinking?). 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 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

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

Newsroom, OCB Alumni, UST MBC

Why I Stay Involved as an Alumna

ocbgbabWith an alumni community of more than 17,000, feeling the sense of connection to your graduate program can seem impossible. However, looking back at the countless hours spent in the Keffer Library and the evenings and weekend that were sacrificed to homework there is no denying that once I graduated there was no looking back as I began a new journey and became a graduate business alumna.

Over the past couple of years, I have been in conversations with others who had no idea that the University of St. Thomas offered such a wide variety of graduate programs. I would then take the opportunity to tell my story and explain my satisfaction and enjoyment in the MBC program at the Opus College of Business. Continue Reading

Newsroom, OCB Alumni

The Voice of the Graduate Business Alumni Community

ocbgbabEditor’s Note: August is Alumni month in the Opus College of Business so we figured it would be worthwhile to look into how all of the month’s events came together and who had input on them. 

Alumni are the lifeblood of any academic institution. They represent the past, present and future – sharing their experiences, demonstrating the value of the degree obtained, and helping to recruit future leaders into a program that provided them so much opportunity. At the Opus College of Business, our alumni are no different. We want them to remain interested and engaged, even after receiving their degree and walking out the doors. We want them to help represent our graduate business programs and brag about their accomplishment to whomever will listen.

One way we work to keep our alumni engaged is our Graduate Business Alumni Board, which serves as an advisory body to help plan events and outreach, as well as provide input on benefits and services for alumni. This board is representative of our alumni network in that it includes graduates of all graduate business programs, including the four UST MBA degrees, Master of Business Communication, Master of Accountancy and Master of Real Estate. Continue Reading