MBA – Opus Magnum
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MBA

Ethics, FTMBA, Newsroom, OCB Commentary

The Value Proposition

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After recently attending an executive coaching session in which our second-year full-time MBA students were asked to create a value chart in order of priority for family, work, community and self, the emphasis placed on “values” got me thinking.  While a large proportion of the current professional population has been affected in some way by the arduous job market, how important are values to job seekers?

At a MBA Career Services and Employers Alliance student-lead panel, full-time MBA students  from St. Thomas and the U of M cited various items they consider prior to accepting a job offer.  Of those, professional advancement, opportunity to learn and be challenged as well as sharing the same values rated much higher than a competitive salary. There are a few things any job seeker should think about before accepting a position (or even applying for one). Continue Reading

FTMBA, Newsroom, Student Life

UST MBA/JD Profile: Max Shapiro

20120828_Shapiro_Max_01Instead of focusing on making his voice heard, Max Shapiro already aspires to something loftier: to be the voice for those that go unheard. Shapiro is in his second year of St. Thomas’ dual degree JD/MBA program, a joint venture between the School of Law and Opus College of Business that will ultimately supply him with degrees in both law and business.

While working toward his bachelor’s degree in leadership and management at St. Thomas, Shapiro felt torn between law school and business school. An information session he attended his junior year for the School of Law’s newly-launched Tommie Law Early Admission Program, an opportunity that exempts students from taking the LSAT and compresses a would-be five years of study into four, ended up winning him over. He later decided to add the MBA to make room for more opportunity. Shapiro has already completed the exclusively-law first year of the program and is working through the exclusively-business second year; years three and four are hybrids of both disciplines, meaning Shapiro will be switching between the two schools next year.

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Health Care MBA, Newsroom

Health Care UST MBA Profile: Wade Blomgren

img_blomgren_wadeWhat does it take to be a leader in health care? For Wade Blomgren, regional business manager at Roche Diagnostics, the answer lies in the ability to collaborate across all facets of the healthcare system. “In health care, there is no one right answer. At a high level, you need to understand the big picture, then find the right people to help figure out the options and get the job done. The key is collaboration – finding others who complement what you do and don’t do well.”

The collaborative environment is what drew Blomgren to the Health Care UST MBA program at St. Thomas for his continuing development. In the midst of a successful career in sales and customer service following 13 years as an army officer, he recognized that he needed to better understand the “big picture” of business and health care to be effective in the new stage of his career as a regional business manager. What better way to gain this understanding than by immersing himself in a program of health care leaders that represent the full spectrum of the industry and range from individual contributors to presidents? “The cohort structure of this program truly allows us to learn from each other and challenges us all to think differently about how to tackle the problems and opportunities facing the industry.”
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FTMBA, Newsroom, Student Life

Full-time UST MBA Profile: Joelle Purvis-Allen Profile

img_purvis-allen-joelleAs an entrepreneur, a seasoned marketing professional and a mother, Joelle Purvis-Allen has her plate full as a first-year Full-time UST MBA student. Participating in the National Black MBA Competition as the lone first-year, she has jumped right in since the beginning of the program. In the thick of final projects, papers and final exam preparations, she took a break over lunch to share her background and aspirations.

Purvis-Allen was a marketing manager for Nolan Company—now part of WinWholesale Company—and helped changed the company’s focus from wholesale to retail, hosting trade shows and other events to increase consumer engagement and sales of higher end, luxury items. Her love of event planning began there, and eventually she started her own business, Allen Events, providing event services for weddings, corporations and group travel. It is through working an event for one of her clients that she learned about the Full-time UST MBA program and its Outreach Scholarships.

“I love events,” Purvis-Allen says with a smile. With leadership lessons learned from her professional mentors Ken King (former VP of marketing at Noland) and Mark Smith (VP and regional manager at Noland), she led a successful business and hopes to continue after she finishes her MBA. “I really want to break into the global events scene and reinvent the event planning business,” she adds, “and I thought getting an MBA at St. Thomas would help me to look at this business from multiple perspectives.”

Though she has a passion for the corporate event marketing and planning world, it is not her ultimate goal. She wants to start a nonprofit event planning organization that takes at-risk youth and teaches them the event planning business. She believes there is a lot that the event planning process can teach them and it can reinforce and incorporate what they learn at school—from simple math skills to problem solving skills to interpersonal skills. The nonprofit would provide the kids with event planning jobs and the profits would go to supporting their education, given they maintain certain academic standing. When asked about the reasons behind this plan, she stated simply—“I just combined my passion for service with my passion for event planning. I want to leave a legacy.”


EveningMBA, FTMBA, Newsroom

Evening MBA: I Feel Good About Pursuing This MBA

Not sure about what you’ve gotten yourself into with this MBA thing? You’re not alone. KJ Brooke is a veteran of the southern California hospitality business and is in her last year of an MBA program. People she talks to are often skeptical about her pursuit of an MBA, she says in an excellent essay for The Billfold, giving her looks “of bewilderment and awe, with a little bit of pity thrown in.”

But Brooke feels she’s made the right choice, which she defends with intelligence and wit in the article. Sure, she has little time for a social life, is buried with homework and puts up with resentment from her current co-workers; but when she’s done, she says, she’ll have a big bundle of new advantages, including increased self-confidence, comfort with numbers and  better earnings potential. And  if nothing else, she’s confident that she’ll never be caught flat-footed “by any ridiculous question thrown my way from a witty student or cocky boss.”

Read the full essay.

FTMBA, Newsroom, Student Life

UST Launch Week and The State Fair: Our take on the great Minnesota get-together

statefairThe Minnesota State Fair started last week and for us that will mark 12 years since St. Thomas first hosted a booth at the fair.  UST volunteers welcome visitors and answer questions about St. Thomas.  Passers-by range from prospective and current students, parents, alumni—and some people stop by just for the free purple bags.

After all, you’ll need that purple bag to carry your stuff while you try the camel burgers, tongue tacos and nachos on a stick.    This year Fair-goers can also explore the Boy Scouts Adventure Summit, bring the kids to a “Great Big Sandbox,” and check out seven new attractions on the Mighty Midway–while navigating more than 320 acres of land in search of that perfect pronto pup.  What a great way to spend some time at the end of August…which gets me back to our own “great Minnesota get-together”—Full-time MBA Launch! Continue Reading

EveningMBA, Newsroom

Evening UST MBA Program Pioneers Change – Again

As director of the Evening UST MBA Program and a proud 2009 alumnus, I know firsthand the challenges of completing a rigorous graduate program while balancing a full-time job with other family and personal responsibilities. My wife and I both earned M.B.A.s while working full-time, and our weeknights were often filled by our two kids’ school activities, soccer games and dance practices. I know many of our classroom peers had similar situations and demanding jobs requiring frequent travel and evening work. How could we fit in our MBA study?

For current and prospective UST MBA students facing such schedule challenges, I am excited about the new blended learning options we’ve been developing. UST MBA blended courses will offer the same high-quality, engaging and rigorous learning experience we’ve always offered, but will provide schedule flexibility by leveraging innovative instructional technologies to complement less frequent classroom meetings. Students enrolled in blended courses will only physically attend five, four-hour classroom meetings during the term, but must have ready access to a computer with high- speed Internet services for online interactions with their instructor and classmates during the time between in-person meetings.
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FTMBA, Newsroom, OCB Alumni, Student Life

Student Profile: Annelise Larson

May 19, 2012 will be a momentous day for Annelise Larson and her classmates. That will be the day when they walk across the stage in the new Anderson Athletic and Recreation Complex, receive their diplomas and start a new stage of life. For Larson, it will mean chasing a dream job in organizational development and change management freshly equipped with her UST MBA.

Larson, originally from Oakdale, Minnesota, developed a taste for leadership development and coaching while an undergraduate at Taylor University in Indiana. There she enjoyed studying human resources and holding the office of chief of staff for the student body. In that role, she was tasked with coaching the other board members in effectively organizing themselves and accomplishing their goals.

Upon graduation, Larson worked for three different companies over seven years, gaining a remarkable breadth of understanding of HR functions. The third of these, just prior to returning to school, was a position with EMPO Corporation, an HR consulting firm in the Twin Cities. Upon walking in the door at EPMO, Larson was assigned two disgruntled clients on the verge of cancelling their services. Undeterred, Larson brought her experience to bear. With careful listening, outstanding service, and a lot of diligence, she appeased the clients and retained their business with EMPO.

Despite her success, Larson found herself craving broader business understanding, and decided it was time to go back to school. The UST MBA programs, with their openness to student input and reliance on student leadership, were a perfect fit for her, and she set out for a Full-time UST MBA. Between her first and second year, Larson landed an internship with Recon Robotics, and is now anxious to begin her post-MBA career with Tennant Company in Minneapolis.

A person experienced in creating positive change, Annelise Larson will be an asset to any organization for whom she works.  Her work ethic, intellect, and newly refined business acumen will take her anywhere she wants to go. We look forward to following her journey. Good luck Annelise and all our UST MBA 2012 graduates!

Admissions, Admissions, EveningMBA, FTMBA, Newsroom

Open New Doors (with an MBA)

Having trouble opening new career doors? Consider the ways an MBA can help. (We had a great post this spring titled “Why You Should Get Your MBA.”) The upcoming UST MBA Forum, featuring The Princeton Review, helps MBA candidates prepare for the GMAT and learn more about opportunities to open new doors in their careers and personal lives.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtbrehCzPB4

With a few weeks of winter still left ahead of us, it may seem like the fall 2012 semester lies far in the future.  However, now is the time to begin working on your application if you’d like to enroll in one of the Opus College of Business graduate programs this fall.  Continue Reading

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.