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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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accountancy, Newsroom, OCB Alumni

Student Profile: Kyle Dahl ’13 M.S.A.

img_Kyle_DahlFor Kyle Dahl, graduating this summer from the 11-month Master of Science degree in Accountancy program at the Opus College of Business, the experience has been at times intense, but always full of opportunity.

Dahl embraces all aspects of the integrated curriculum, especially the small class size of 22; he considers this optimal for growing a network base of other young professionals within his profession. Perhaps the hallmark of the UST MSA program is the three-month paid internship at a company students are matched with through site visits, interviews and with assistance from their director. The first UST MSA student to intern at Cargill, Dahl worked at Cargill Salt in the accounting and finance department, primarily handling issues with the business unit’s trade promotional accounting. Continue Reading

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.”


Career Services, EveningMBA, Newsroom

Evening UST MBA Profile: Vince Schultz

Vince Schultz tutors UST undergraduate and graduate students in accounting and finance. He never misses a Saturday Badger football game at UW-Madison, and he and his wife are preparing to welcome their first baby this summer. He is also an Evening UST MBA student.

Vince grew up in Plymouth, MN before attending UW-Madison where he earned a bachelor’s degree in economics. Upon graduation, during a career exploration phase, Vince worked at Spectrum Brands in Madison (Rayovac batteries, Repel insect repellent) in account management and sales. By the time Vince and his girlfriend (now wife) moved to Washington, D.C. a few years later for her medical studies, Vince was clear on two points of passion in his professional pursuits – finance and accounting. Continue Reading

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!

Entrepreneurship, EveningMBA, Newsroom

Student Profile: Emily Pearl

Emily Pearl grew up in Vadnais Heights, Minn., the youngest of four children. She remembers a particular childhood game she and her siblings would play which was called “Bigger or Better.” This game consisted of finding a starting object, usually a rock. With the rock in tow, they would knock on the neighbors’ doors and seek to upgrade their object to something bigger or better. After numerous trades, the game generally ended with the ultimate prize, a can of soda. Soda was a treat not allowed in Emily’s home. It is possible this early childhood development in sales and negotiation led to what has been an exciting career for Emily so far. Continue Reading

EveningMBA, Newsroom

The Boy who got Stock for Christmas

Jeff Turrittin was admitted to the Evening UST MBA program for spring semester 2012. He was quickly identified as an outstanding candidate with excellent academic credentials, professional experience and a life story of perseverance through difficult circumstances.

Growing up in Plymouth, Minnesota, in the 1990s, Jeff remembers biking to the local store and buying baseball cards. But a more formative memory from his childhood is watching his mother pour over the business section of the newspaper, calculating rates of return and predicting growth on various stocks. As a 10-year-old, he was “so enthralled” by what his mother had taught him that he requested stock for Christmas. That holiday season, he became the proud owner of three shares of General Mills stock, which, he happily reports, are still dividend reinvesting. Continue Reading

EveningMBA, FTMBA, Media, Newsroom

Have you audited your social media presence recently?

social-mediaMost young professionals today have a presence in one or more social media, including Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, and blogs.  When used appropriately, these media can be assets to your career and educational advancement.  However, inappropriate photos or information can just as easily have negative impacts.

Fortune recently ran an article examining the social media pitfalls that MBA applicants may face.  I was somewhat surprised to learn that some applicants are willing to pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars to an admissions consulting company that will include a social media audit as part of its consulting package.  MBA applicants (and everyone else, for that matter) can effectively manage their online presence by being careful about what they post online, and periodically checking to make sure others have not posted disparaging, inaccurate, or embarrassing information or photos about them. Continue Reading

Career Services, Entrepreneurship, EveningMBA, Newsroom, Study Abroad

Student Profile: Matthew Bruch

Four generations of Bruch men: Myles, Matt, Ron, and Sawyer (the baby).

Four generations of Bruch men:Myles, Matt, Ron, and Sawyer (the baby).

What seemed like a normal, Midwestern upbringing to Matthew Bruch, in hindsight, was an exceptionally fortunate childhood, born of multiple generations of hard work and increasing educational attainment. Matt is in his second year of the Evening UST MBA Program and was identified early on as an excellent student and a person of great drive and character. When asked about his early life, he described it thus.

“Born in Milwaukee and raised in Oshkosh Wisconsin, I grew up in a typical middle-class Midwestern family.  At the time, I thought nothing peculiar of the way I was raised, but I now see that my parents were extraordinary people.  They fostered in me an enthusiasm for knowledge and learning.  Whenever my father repaired something he made sure I helped him.  I assisted my mother in the garden and in the kitchen.  Both of them would tell me about their work and show me what they do.”

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