Department News

Articles about activities within the academic departments



MSBAPM Team Wins Second-Place in Prestigious Healthcare Analytics Case Competition

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A hard-working team of MSBAPM students took home second-place, and a $20,000 award, in the fiercely competitive Humana-Mays Healthcare Analytics Case Competition. Continue Reading



Professor Cohen Earns Prestigious Appointment at Federal Reserve

Professor Jeffrey Cohen posing at a
Real Estate Banquet, Spring 2022. (Contributed Photo)

Professor Jeffrey Cohen has been named a Research Fellow for the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, where he will work on issues involving real estate and economic inequality.

Cohen, who is the Kinnard Scholar in Real Estate at UConn, earned the prestigious appointment after serving as a visiting scholar for the Fed for 20 years. The honor is bestowed on only a handful of academics each year.

“I’m very interested in questions of how real estate wealth accumulated differently over time for Black and Latino homeowners and residents, compared with others, and what can be done to try and remedy any potential inequalities that are found,” Cohen said.

His most recent research studied how proximity to highways affects home values in Connecticut, including how the interstate system, built between 1940 and 1960, destroyed some communities and created value for others. Cohen found a direct correlation between the proximity to Interstate 84 and increased home values, which disproportionately benefitted Caucasian families.

Appointment Is a Researcher’s Dream

In his new role, Cohen will serve with the Institute for Economic Equity, a relatively new arm of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. He will conduct research, give presentations, attend seminars, and contribute to the Fed’s ‘brain trust’ on issues of inequality. Cohen said he is familiar with many of his colleagues at the Institute and is excited to collaborate with them.

“They are extremely bright and well-published individuals who share a vision of enhancing equality for underserved populations,” he said. The connection is a researcher’s dream both in terms of colleagues and access to insightful data, he said.

Cohen, who joined the UConn School of Business in 2014, teaches in both the undergraduate and MBA programs and he will continue with those and all his other responsibilities. He was the principal investigator on Phase One of a State of Connecticut Department of Transportation and U.S. Department of Transportation grant investigating how a new rail commuter line connecting New Haven, Hartford and Springfield, Mass., would impact real estate value near the stations. He was also the principal investigator evaluating the property value impact of the CTfastrak bus-line project on Phases 1 and 2 of these projects. His work with the State of Connecticut on these transit-oriented development projects date back to 2016.

In addition, he is currently the principal investigator on a multi-year, $500,000 project funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Systems for Action, studying how the CTfastrak bus line has impacted the costs and outcomes of treating substance use patients, and how these systems can be aligned.

The St. Louis Fed is one of 12 regional Reserve banks that, along with the Board of Governors in Washington, D.C., comprise the Federal Reserve System. As the nation’s central bank, the Federal Reserve System formulates U.S. monetary policy, regulates state-chartered member banks and bank holding companies, provides payment services to financial institutions and the U.S. government, and promotes financial literacy, economic education, and community development.


UConn’s EMBA Program Ranks No. 20 in the Nation

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(iStockphoto.com)

The UConn Executive MBA program is among the most elite in the nation, ranking among the Top 20 programs of its kind, according to Fortune.

The EMBA program earned its high ranking because of its ability to attract top students, its outstanding reputation among companies, and its alumni representation in senior management of Fortune 1000 companies.

The 2022-23 Best EMBA ranking puts UConn’s program at No. 20 out of the 55 programs that the publication ranked as outstanding.

“Our EMBA program was designed to cater to the unique needs of mid-career executives, who already have high level skills, and are looking to round out their experiences,” said David Souder, Associate Dean of the School of Business and former Academic Director of the program.

“We’ve maintained high admission standards in the program, and it isn’t unusual for our EMBA students to also have advanced degrees in nursing and law or to have already earned a doctorate,” he said. “Furthermore, our program has been thoughtfully designed to enhance collaboration between expert faculty and mature students. Our students learn both from their instructors but also from each other through team projects.”

Professor Stephen Park, who is currently the Academic Director of the EMBA program, said the program has a proud and enthusiastic alumni community that supports its current students.

“We deliberately leverage those close working relationships, and that’s something our students welcome,” Park said. “We don’t have specialized tracks in our program, but rather we offer soup-to-nuts exposure to what top leaders in an organization need to know.”

The UConn EMBA program is now accepting applicants for the Fall 2023 class. For more information, please visit emba.business.uconn.edu


Alumni Spotlight: Alison Zweig

Allison Zweig graduated from UConn in Spring 2022 as a Marketing major with a double minor in Communication and Spanish. Allison now serves as a Research Analyst at NielsenIQ (BASES), a global information services company. Allison was introduced to NielsenIQ when Tyler Delano, a UConn alum, came into her Marketing Research class (MKTG 3260). Tyler spoke to the class about the exciting life within BASES and the company culture. “It really inspired me to hear about how fun and rewarding a career in marketing research could be.” Allison recalls; she then applied for an internship at NielsonIQ. “My interview process consisted of two different video calls where they asked me a lot of situational interview questions like ‘Tell me about a time when…’, as well as an online exam.”. Allison was able to secure an internship with NeilsonIQ for Summer 2021, and went on to receive a full-time offer for July 2022.

A typical day for Allison is surrounded by analytical work and meetings. Most of Allison’s work consists of configuring the survey information and consulting with her team on how they want to present it to the client. As an analyst, she takes full control over projects where she interprets survey results and helps formulate them into insights that NielsonIQ delivers to one of their Fortune 500 clients. Allison has worked on a lot of fun projects during her time at NielsenIQ so far, but she claims her favorite thing about this role is the people. “It sounded cheesy to always hear how everyone’s favorite thing about this company was the people, but I have met some of the best people in this role. I’ve had the most supportive managers and mentors, who not only provided career advice to me but have made me feel valued as a person.’ she states.

At UConn, Allison took advantage of all the resources available to her. She was involved in different organizations and took various positions that helped to explore my career goals. Allison also took advantage of the UConn current student and alumni network. As mentioned earlier, she was introduced to her current role from a UConn alum who came to present in one of her courses. “There are so many hidden gems at UConn that you should take advantage of before you enter the working world.”, she advises. One piece of advice Allison would offer is to conduct informational interviews where you can talk to people in roles or career paths you’re interested in. Allison says this was “one of the most beneficial things I did while looking for a role”. Not only does it show interest, but you are able to gain additional perspective and insight into various roles and companies.


OPIM Professor Jing Peng Among Most Promising Young Scholars

UConn business professor Jing Peng has been honored as one of the most promising young scholars in the information management field. In the photo above, Peng (left) accepts the Gordon B. Davis Young Scholar Award from ISS President Oliver Sheng.
UConn business professor Jing Peng has been honored as one of the most promising young scholars in the information management field. In the photo above, Peng (left) accepts the Gordon B. Davis Young Scholar Award from ISS President Oliver Sheng. (contributed photo)

OPIM professor Jing Peng, a prolific researcher and champion of students in the Ph.D. program, has received a prestigious award, recognizing him as a promising young scholar who is likely to make outstanding contributions to his field.Continue Reading


Student Spotlight: Melanie Montalvo ‘22

As a Marketing major with a Management minor, Melanie Montalvo plans to graduate from UConn in December of 2022. Aside from her studies, Melanie is currently a Product Marketing Intern at WebMD. Melanie has been in this position since June of 2022. What attracted Melanie to her current position is the great reputation of the company. At the time, Melanie was not familiar with what Product Marketing was. After doing some of her own research, the role piqued her interests. The interview process for this role at WebMD was “fairly simple and straightforward”, in Melanie’s opinion. She had an initial phone conversation with a recruiter and then was asked to do a video interview. The interview was with the Product Marketing Manager and two other team members. The deciding factor in accepting this role was that it was a remote position. Over this past summer, Melanie also took online classes and had a side job. If she had to commute into New York City it would have been a lot more stressful for her, so she was relieved to have the remote option.

There is no typical day as a Product Marketing Intern at WebMD and Melanie is always working on different projects. She is currently overseeing all updates to any product decks which are client facing. WebMD has been modernizing their product offerings and creating new mockups. Melanie is managing this project and something similar has not been done at the company in years. A lot of this work looks like collaborating with other teams, such as project management and creative, and working with an external agency to create new templates. Melanie’s favorite professional experiences so far have been with her team. “I am constantly being supported and my work is always appreciated and acknowledged. I definitely think having such a close team creates an environment where I am comfortable asking questions and for help. It’s great that there has been trust established and my manager gives me meaningful projects to work on. I also enjoy having weekly team meetings where we discuss work but can also be lighthearted.” Melanie recalls.

Some advice Melanie would give to undergraduate students who are currently looking for internships or full-time roles would be to not be discouraged by rejections or not hearing back from positions you have applied for. “There are tens if not hundreds of applicants for each position and the reality is that you won’t hear back from most of them.” Melanie states, “I went through probably around 15-20 interviews and the more comfortable I got with interviewing, the more confident I was which led to offers. It was definitely discouraging at first, but everyone goes through it, and you eventually will land something that is meant for you. It’s okay if the only thing you get from an interview is experience and practice.”.


School of Business Offers New Online Master’s Degree, Certificate in Fast-Growing FinTech Field

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(istockphoto.com)

The UConn School of Business will be offering an online master’s degree in financial technology (FinTech), as well as an online certificate, in response to corporate demand for talent in this fast-growing field.

The latest additions, to launch in Fall 2023, will continue to position UConn as an international leader in fintech education.

“Fintech has disrupted traditional practices in the financial sector and changed the way we bank, shop, trade, invest, and pay our bills,” said John A. Elliott, dean of the School of Business. “We are eager to expand our educational offerings in this area and anticipate that our graduates will have a significant impact in this evolution.”Continue Reading


Alumni Spotlight: Anna Mecca ’22

Anna Mecca graduated from UCONN in May of 2022 as a Marketing major with a concentration in Professional Sales Leadership. Shortly after graduation, Anna took a position to work for Smith+Nephew, a global medical technology company, as part of their Commercial Leadership Rotational Program in Advanced Wound Care Management. Anna knew she wanted to be in the med-tech space and was especially interested in a role that offered a leadership development program. Smith+Nephew provides a 2-2.5 year program that consists of completing rotations within both marketing and sales divisions of the company, ultimately setting candidates up for a Sales Associate position. Anna states, “These programs really teach you the in’s and outs of a company, before accelerating to a more complex job role. This program in my eyes really teaches you how to first crawl, then walk, and eventually run!”.

As an undergraduate, Anna was a member of the UCONN Women in Business organization and was also on the UCONN Women’s Swim Team. Anna was among 15 female athletes nationwide to be selected to join the Women in Sports Foundation Mentorship Program. She was nominated by the UCONN Athletic Department, applied for the program, and was ultimately accepted. This enabled her to meet people within the sports world and get invaluable career guidance from professionals within the industry. Anna was very persistent in using the resources UCONN provides to their students. With that being said, UCONN partners with Parker Dewey, a micro internship platform that connects students and recent college graduates to employers. Here, company’s upload small projects onto Parker Dewey and students are able to apply and get compensated for meaningful work. One day while on the platform, Anna happened upon Smith+Nephew; who had posted a project titled, ‘Sales Pitch Presentation’. She noticed the company was in the med-tech space and that if done well, the sales pitch would be used as a job audition for their first Commercial Leadership Development Program. She applied for the project, was selected, and created a sales pitch presentation which she gave to 4 members of the sales/marketing team at Smith+Nephew. After a successful pitch, Anna received a call asking to officially interview. The process was broken into 3, 30 minute interviews each led by a different person in the Sales Department. Once completed, Anna got a call back the following week with a job offer! Her favorite experiences with Smith+Nephew so far have been through ‘OJT’ (On the Job) Field Trainings. Anna fondly recalls attending an OJT in Omaha, NE where she was able to shadow a Field Sales Trainer for a week out in the field. She was able to see surgeries, meet patients with wounds that use our product, talk to podiatrists and surgeons, discuss any questions she had along the way, and gained a better understanding of how Smith+Nephew operates.

Anna’s advice to current students is to use your resources! She declares, “It is CRUCIAL that you take advantage of the resources UCONN provides during your undergraduate career and expand your knowledge. Whether that be taking a resume class, meeting with an advisor in the Career Development Office, or taking a class that might pique your interest. You never know what opportunities can present themselves when you use the resources that you have at your disposal. So while at UCONN, make sure you take the time out of your busy schedule to focus on career development. Set aside a couple hours a week to devote your time to finding what you want to do and seeing if there are any opportunities out there. Don’t be afraid to ask for help too! If you’re in class and an employer comes in to speak about their company, if you’re interested, even in the slightest, go up to them and introduce yourself! Make that first impression and get yourself out of your comfort zone. As long as you are actively trying to ‘build your brand’ at UCONN, you will have much success!”.