Author: Alexander Sadowski

Passed Over for a Promotion? Stuck in a Job Rut? Speaker to Discuss How MBA Can ‘Catapult’ Career

MBA SlingshotThe UConn chapter of the National Association of Women MBAs is sponsoring a program titled, “Using Business School to Catapult Your Career,” at 6 p.m. Sept. 30 at the UConn School of Business’ Graduate Learning Center, 100 Constitution Plaza, Hartford.

Guest speaker is Nicole Lindsay ’96, an award-winning author of “The MBA Slingshot for Women,” director of leadership and development at the ZOOM Foundation, and founder of

Lindsay describes herself as a “fanatical advocate” of MBA and graduate-management education. In her career, she has supported more than 1,000 pre-MBA and MBA students, mainly women and minorities, in their application process and subsequent careers. She said the application process can be overwhelming. Fourteen years after completing her business degree, Lindsay said she is still discouraged that the number of women and minorities in MBA programs has not significantly increased.

The keynote presentation and question and answer session will be at 6 p.m., followed by a networking program at 7 p.m. For additional information or to register, please contact Amanda Spada at or call (860) 486-5498.

Lindsay earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from UConn, her law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law and her MBA from the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business.

She began her career in corporate- and community development- finance before becoming associate director of admissions and student affairs at the Yale School of Management, where she oversaw minority and women admissions and diversity student affairs. She later worked at Goldman Sachs, managing MBA recruiting initiatives at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, and other prominent business programs. She later worked at Management Leadership for Tomorrow, in various roles including director of the MBA Prep program and as vice president of talent development. She then served as the founding executive director of New York Needs You (NYNY) and now is the director of leadership development for a family foundation in Connecticut.

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School of Business Welcomes 14 New Faculty Members for Fall 2014

The UConn School of Business has welcomed 14 new faculty members to its ranks this fall. “It was a very competitive year,” said Dean John A. Elliott. “We were able to hire a diverse group of women and men, including experienced faculty members and newer Ph.D. graduates. We have some senior educators, and some junior; all are excellent.”

View new faculty profiles here.

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Real Estate Program Ranks in Top 10 Nationwide

US News 2015In keeping with a long-held tradition, the Center for Real Estate and Urban Economic Studies at the University of Connecticut has been recognized as one of the Top 10 programs in the nation by U.S. News and World Report.

The real estate program was listed as number 9 in the nation in the “2015 Best Colleges” report. It has been in the Top 10 for more than 15 years, said Director John Glascock.

“We have a very good team of professors and it has been that way for decades,” he said. Current faculty includes John Clapp, Ph.D., a professor of finance and real estate, who is considered one of the top researchers in his field worldwide. In addition, Professor John Harding, Ph.D., has more than 20 years of industry experience in financial services, including working as senior vice president of planning and research at both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The real estate program boasts full job placement in top corporate real estate firms in Hartford, Boston and New York, Glascock said. With active alumni in firms including JP Morgan, Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers, TIAA-CREF and UBS Global Real Estate, to name a few, the opportunities for internships and networking are many, he said.

UConn real estate students are particularly hard-working, Glascock noted. In national competitions, judges have remarked about the UConn students’ willingness to put in extra hours, as well as their ability to uncover detailed data errors that students from other colleges missed, he said.

In addition to its student training, the Center provides services to Connecticut’s real estate professionals and to the Department of Consumer Protection.

In the same publication, UConn’s undergraduate business program ranked 31 among public universities nationally, and 51 overall.

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New Undergraduate Center at UConn School of Business Centralizes Student Services

Undergraduate Center UConn School of BusinessThe School of Business has established a new Undergraduate Center, combining important student services into one central location. The Center, which was formed over the summer, is located in Suite 248, and will now house the Office of Undergraduate Advising, the Undergraduate Career Development Office, the Office of Diversity Initiatives and the Business Writing Center.

“I’m very excited because this will provide efficient, one-stop shopping for our undergraduates,” said Larry Gramling, associate dean for undergraduate programs. “It will be extremely convenient for students, and provide even greater opportunity for the professional staff to collaborate.”

The new center is designed to offer support that is completely dedicated to the undergraduate students’ professional needs. The Center takes advantage of space formerly occupied by the Full-time MBA program, which has since relocated to Constitution Plaza in downtown Hartford.

Brandy Nelson, who had formerly served as an academic advisor, is now the director of the Office of Undergraduate Advising (formerly known as the Undergraduate Programs Office) and the program can be reached at (860) 486-2315. Kelly Kennedy, well-known for teaching career development courses, will continue in that role as well as creating a new academic advising program that will engage students through all four years.

Kathy Hendrickson is serving as the assistant director of the Undergraduate Career Development Office (formerly known as the Business Career Center). That program can be contacted at (860) 486-5136.

Seanice DeShields is director of The Office of Diversity Initiatives, and that office can be reached at (860) 486-4135.

Jeffrey Roberts is director of the Business Writing Center, which can be contacted at (860) 486-9011.

Another familiar presence in the new center is Debbie Smith, who will now serve as front-desk receptionist in addition to her duties with the Career Development Office.

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UConn Business Magazine – Summer 2014

UConn Business MagazineThe latest issue of UConn Business is now available. In this issue, we focus on modern business education. Our feature article highlights the Storrs headquarters of the Connecticut Small Business Development Center. We also share with you “Insights on the Frontier of Marketing,” reflecting emerging communication trends; “Hall of Fame 2014,” introducing you to our five newest Hall of Fame members; “Giving Back with Pride,” one family’s generous gift to the School; and the Executive MBA summer business trip to South Africa.

View Magazine Online | Download PDF

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B-School Expands Professional Development Programs, Adds Finance for Non-financial Managers for Fall

Professional Development ArticleThe UConn School of Business will offer an executive education program this fall titled, “Finance for Non-financial Managers.”

The two-day, professional development program is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. October 23 and 24 at the UConn Graduate Business Learning Center, 100 Constitution Plaza, Hartford.

The program is designed to enable mid- to senior-level business managers to better understand and interpret their company’s financial status, thereby offering depth of insight to make sound company financial decisions.

Finance for Non-financial Managers” provides the essential elements of finance and accounting, whereby participants will learn about different financial principles, including value creation and value drivers, revenue and expense recognition concepts, ratio analysis, financial statement analysis, time value of money and capital budgeting and project evaluation.

In addition, the workshop will enable the participant to understand and interpret the major financial statements of the firm and to assess how the firm is creating value for its stockholders. Interactive exercises, based on nine public companies, across several industries, will be used to apply these concepts.

The program instructor is Robert Hoskin, associate professor emeritus of the Accounting Department at UConn. Hoskin is a leading expert and consultant in insurance and banking accounting, and an award-winning teacher. He was on the faculty at the UConn School of Business for 27 years and during that time directed executive programs. He holds a Ph.D. in Business Administration from Cornell University.

Register now! For more information please call (860) 728-2400 or email

The School is also offering Hands-on Lean Business Process Improvement program November 6-7. Registration for this program will open shortly.

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David Bergman Receives Prestigious Association for Constraint Programming Doctoral Thesis Award

David BergmanDavid Bergman, an assistant professor of Operations and Information Management in the School of Business, has been selected as the winner of this year’s Association for Constraint Programming Doctoral Thesis Award.
The annual award is given to a researcher who has completed his/her thesis in the area of constraint programming. Bergman will present his thesis at this year’s 20th International Conference on Principles and Practices of Constraint Programming in Lyon, France, in September.

Bergman’s thesis is titled, “New Techniques for Discrete Optimization,” and it explores new methodological approaches to discrete optimization problems, an area of operations research which finds an increasing number of applications in fields such as finance, healthcare, and logistics, to name just a few. His thesis provides both theoretical insights and important algorithmic discoveries which together improve upon existing state-of-the-art technology.

He completed his Ph.D. in 2013 at Carnegie Mellon University in Algorithms, Combinatorics, and Optimization, a joint program administered by the Tepper School of Business, the Department of Mathematical Sciences, and the Computer Science Department. Bergman’s thesis advisors were John N. Hooker and Willem-Jan van Hoeve.

An abstract of “New Techniques for Discrete Optimization” is available here.

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Grad Students on Verge of Exponential Change, Says Senior Executive, UConn Alumna Melinda Brown

What’s the key to staying competitive in a quickly changing job market?

Society Room Hartford EventBuild a strong skill set, distinguish yourself from your peers, and be a productive, likeable, and forward-thinking employee, said Melinda Brown, ’77, ’85 MBA.

Brown, the senior vice president and corporate controller of Coach Inc., a $5 billion company, directed her remarks to UConn’s graduate business students during an alumni-student networking event Aug. 21 at the Society Room in Hartford.

Brown earned her Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the School of Business in 1977 and her MBA from UConn in 1985. She is on the Board of Directors for the UConn Foundation, and in 2012 was inducted into the School of Business Hall of Fame. After 29 years as a top executive with PepsiCo, she joined Coach two years ago.

Since she earned her MBA, Brown said, the world has accelerated at a rapid rate. While functional excellence is still important, today it is vital to spot converging trends, she said. To her parents, owning a microwave and TV was innovation. For today’s students she predicts they will someday be vacationing off the Earth.

“Today everything is feasible, everything is one moment away,” she said. “The next innovation is right around the corner.”

She urged the students to take advantage of every opportunity as they pursue their degrees.

“You can’t afford to come here to punch your ‘MBA ticket’ and become functionally literate and grab your diploma. This is a journey to learn both facts and ways of thinking and operating and well, frankly, about how to confront what you can’t even yet articulate. Those are the areas to explore, to dig into.

“The things that scare you the most are often the most rewarding. Develop your frameworks and paradigms, focus on creativity, EQ, collaboration and leadership—stretch yourself in ways you may have not previously contemplated. This is a safe place to practice being the next version and the next version and the next version of you.”

More than ever, organizations are seeking “design thinkers,” who can identify problems at their root cause. These are the people who will make the world a different place.

“I have one cell phone, two iPads and two computers. But if you asked me when I purchased my first Gateway computer in 1995, I would have told you that I thought it would be doubtful that any home needed more than one computer, let alone one person having multiple personal devices. The designers of all my mobile devices uncovered what I really needed, not what I told them I thought I needed. Henry Ford got it right—he said, “If I asked my customer what he wanted, he would have said, ‘A faster horse.'”

As her remarks drew to a close, she told the 150 graduate students that their future was certain to be exciting—and unprecedented.

“I know you’re going to get a wonderful education,” she told the students, “and I hope you’re ready for exponential times.”

Pictured: Mario Flores of New Britain, Alia Mahmood of North Haven, and Nicole Segretta of Bristol, all graduate business students at the University of Connecticut School of Business, speak with John A. Elliott, dean of the School of Business, and Melinda Brown, senior vice president and corporate controller at Coach Inc., during a student-alumni networking event on August 21 at the Society Room in Hartford.

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Second Annual UConn School of Business Conference to “Celebrate Women Entrepreneurs” in Connecticut

Stamford, Conn. – Connecticut’s second annual statewide conference celebrating and supporting women entrepreneurs* will be held Friday, September 19, 2014, at 8:30 a.m., at UConn’s Stamford campus. Similar to last year, this event is sure to sell out and keynote speakers include: Continue Reading

UConn Full-time MBA Program Relocates to Hartford

GBLC HartfordThe School of Business has relocated its Full-time MBA program to Hartford, a move that will give students more professional opportunities as well as the chance to learn alongside other UConn graduate students.

“We are thrilled that the UConn Full-time MBA will be part of the Hartford business community, allowing for the program to continue its tradition of providing excellence in graduate education,” said Rajendra Shirolé, director of UConn’s Full-time MBA program.

In the past, the students took their first-year courses in Storrs and completed the program in Hartford and sometimes Stamford. The dual campus set-up wasn’t popular with MBA students.

“The biggest reason for the move is to put first- and second-year students together,” said Professor Mary Caravella, who chaired a task force that recommended the consolidation.

“We chose Hartford because we wanted to put them together with students from the part-time and specialized masters’ degree programs. By working together, on the same campus, it gives them all the means to be successful.

“Both Storrs and Hartford are great locations, each with many strengths,” Caravella said. “But Hartford offers both close and broader connections with the business industry, and will certainly help our students with job placement.”

The program will be housed in the Graduate Business Learning Center in downtown Hartford, and its new offices can be reached at (860) 728-2440.

“This is a positive move on multiple fronts, including networking among all graduate business students and also engaging with alumni and employers in the Hartford area,” said Meg Warren, assistant director of the Graduate Career Development Office (CDO). “Our students are excited about it. There’s now an opportunity for the Full-time MBAs to network with professional students in the Executive and Part-time MBA programs as well as the MS in Business Analytics and Project Management and MS in Financial Risk Management programs.

Warren has met with representatives from Cigna, Aetna, Prudential and more, and all are pleased that the Full-time MBA program will be housed so close to their workplaces. In addition to hosting corporate information sessions and interviews in Hartford, the CDO and MBA Program Office work closely with the School of Business Alumni Relations Office which offers a number of alumni networking events running from August through March. Warren said, “Having the Full-time MBA Program in Hartford makes it much easier for students to attend these important programs where they can connect with alumni from target companies they want to learn more about. Building relationships with our School’s alumni is a vital part of our program.”

Alumni and other executives can visit for coffee, lunch, or for more structured programs in the evenings that will interest all graduate business students. Meanwhile the Full-time MBA students can easily go on corporate site visits from the downtown campus. “Overall, the employer’s ability to engage with our students has just become a lot easier. Storrs may only be a forty-minute drive, but it’s much easier for a hiring manager or an alum to have morning coffee before the workday begins or come by the GBLC for their lunch hour than it is to ask them to take a half-day from work to venture out to Storrs,” Warren said.

“From the moment they arrive, we tell our students that networking is critical for an effective job search. Students must start having conversations with people from industry or job functions that interest them,” Warren said. “This is necessary as 75-80% of jobs are filled as a result of networking. Being in Hartford allows us to offer more built-in opportunities for student and employer engagement.”

With the arrival of the new academic year, the School of Business is hosting an Alumni and Student Networking Reception at 6 p.m. Aug. 21 at the Society Room of Hartford, 31 Pratt Street. Melinda Brown, ’77, ’85 MBA, senior vice president and corporate controller for Coach Inc. will be the guest speaker. Brown joined Coach Inc. in 2012, after a 29-year career with PepsiCo.

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