Alex Brosseau, BS Accounting completed an internship at Centene Corporation this summer. Here he answers some questions about his experience and talks about how the Webster University Career & Internship Fair helped him find his internship. 

 

Q: What is Centene? How would you describe it to fellow students?

A: Centene’s business model is focused entirely on providing affordable healthcare. The business centers on finding cheaper and more effective ways to improve the health of their community ‘one person at a time.’ Centene is a large corporate conglomerate that’s growing rapidly- they’re balancing this growth with being connected and representative of the communities they’re in.

 

Q: What was your internship at Centene?

A: Internship- Financial Planning and Investments (FR&A.) I worked on budgeting.

 

Q: How did you hear about Centene?

A: Last summer, I worked at Southside Early Start in the accounting department. Southside provides childcare, family resources such as counseling, and English as a second language training. I knew about Centene because they were financial supporters of the center. I knew they gave back to their community and were good corporate citizens.

 

Q: How did this translate to an internship?

A: I met Centene recruiters at the Career Planning and Development Fall Internship Fair. The campus recruiters were very pleasant and they set up several interviews pretty quickly. After the interview call backs, I was able to choose from two internships.

 

Q: How was the internship program experience at Centene?

A: I was one of 100 interns, one of four from Webster University. The program was incredible. Every day I learned something, because the company made learning easy and available. There was also an awesome speaker series. Every week we would meet with a C-suite executive, such as the Director of Marketing. My biggest take away was seeing the pathways to those careers as visible and attainable. Also the intern class spent an evening in the Centene Cardinals Box.

 

Q: What is one takeaway you received from Centene?

A: I met all kinds of people. Coworkers can become your friends and they can make work fun. My co-workers had all sorts of interesting hobbies and they were happy to take me out to lunch. It was a great workplace culture.

 

Q: Would you recommend the Centene Internship Program?

A: I would highly recommend Centene to students. They can challenge you, teach you, and you will have tangible actions and items that you accomplish throughout the internship. I am an ambassador for the program at Webster University, which means I offer the student to student perspective anytime a recruiter is on campus.

 

Q: What are you involved in at Webster University?

A: I am the Accounting Club President, a Student Ambassador, member of Chain-link Improv, and play Ultimate Frisbee when I have the time.

 

Q: How did you apply what you have learned in college to the workplace?

A: Time management as a student is different, but transferable. When in the workplace, you work 8-5 and all of that time is spent working and thinking. But when you are finished with the day, you are done for the day.

 

Q: What does the future look like after graduation?

A: I have received an offer from Centene. I will give it a lot of consideration, but I also don’t want to make a final decision now.

 

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Common Myths about Career Management presented by Right Mangement

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2017 SAP Student Recognition Awards

On May 2, 2017, in Academics, by Walker News

On Thursday April 27, 2017, 14 Walker Students, including 12 graduates and 2 undergraduates received the SAP Student Recognition Award through the SAP University Alliance Program. Certificates were presented by the Walker School’s Interim Dean, Dr. Thomas Johnson.  Faculty from the SAP Systems Integration Group including Rich Dippel, Dr. Run Nui and Dr. Ali Ovlia were also in attendance to agknowledge the hard work of their students. Student recognized include:

2017 SAP Student Recognition Award Recipients

  • Zainab Ajanaku
  • David Bommarito
  • Lauren Bommarito
  • Travis Butler
  • Ashwin Jayaram
  • Victoria Johnson
  • Tenzin Lama
  •  Angela Long
  • Kinjal Patel
  • Jason Reynolds
  • David Rhodes
  • Mitra Ruzi
  • Dina Sallam
  • Emily Stahlscmidt

This is the second year that Walker students have earned this special award as a result of the specialized coursework that they completed in the ERP with SAP Graduate Certificate and the BS in Business Analytics. This coursework includes curriculum that helps students gain an understanding of how technology can enable integrated business processes and strategic, tactical, and operational decision making, with skills that can add immediate value to the marketplace. Students gain a basic understanding of the SAP system and will be experienced in master data creation and transaction processing using SAP.  These are highly desirable skills, particularly for careers in business analysis and accountancy.

 

 

For more information on the SAP University Alliance Program and the requirements for the SAP Student Recognition Award, visit webster.edu/SAP.

 

As Walker School students are finishing up the last two weeks of the Spring semester, an important task still remains: filling out End of Course Surveys. Student feedback on a course is an invaluable tool that helps instructors and departments make decisions for program improvements. This ensures that the overall learning experience for our students remains positive and accomplishes the outcomes that we expect.

Completing an End of Course Survey is easy: just go to evaluation.webster.edu on any internet-enabled device (including your smartphone or tablet) and enter your Connections username and password. From there, you will see a list of your Walker School courses. It only takes about 10-15 minutes, and you can do this at any time during the evaluation period, which will close at midnight on Sunday, May 14.

Students are encouraged to provide open and honest feedback about their learning experiences. End of Course Surveys are conducted online through a third party so that they remain absolutely anonymous; student identities are not tied to surveys in any way, and results are not released to faculty until after grades have been entered.

Added Incentive for Webster Groves Students

While the rate of student participation has been acceptable, we are always looking for ways to improve it. So, as a pilot test, we are offering students at the Webster Groves campus an added incentive to fill out their End of Course Surveys. After completing the survey, students will have the option of entering a drawing for one of several prizes.

At the close of the survey period, we will choose five winners who will be able to pick one of the following prizes:

Samsung Gear VR; Fire 8 Tablet; Roku with Remote

  • Samsung Gear VR Virtual Reality Headset
  • Fire HD 8 Tablet, 8” HD Display, 16 GB storage
  • Roku Premiere Streaming Media Player
  • Fitbit Flex 2
  • Amazon Echo Dot with Voice Remote
  • Magic Bullet NutriBullet High-Speed Blender/Mixer System

 

 

 

Entering the drawing is voluntary, and the information provided for the drawing is not tied to survey responses in any way. Prize winners will be notified via email after March 12, which is the closing date for Spring 1 surveys.

 

Zubair Meo, MA, Human Resources Management; Walker School Graduate Assistant

What is your position?

I work as a Graduate Assistant in the Dean’s office at the Walker School.

What have you learned at the Walker school?

When I first started my job, I was given the task to manage/organize an event. It was somewhat new to me, and I had to do things that I have not done before. It was a challenge and I had to ask my supervisors about the things I did not know and they were kind enough to help me with my questions. I did make mistakes in managing the event but the good thing was that after the event my supervisor explained them to me on how to get it done the next time. It was a learning experience for me and I always am ready to take criticism in a positive way to improve myself. The next event I did manage/organize was a success and my supervisors were satisfied and praised me for my work which gave me motivation to do better the next time.

Favorite part of the job 

Everything I do over here is wonderful, to name one is that I can be creative with my work and if I have any ideas on how to do things differently or organize an event for students professional development, those ideas are always welcomed by my supervisors and they empower me to go ahead with them, which in return helps me grow as a professional and is a sign that my voice is being heard. Students that I work with during my job are wonderful, always ready to help, which makes me come to work every day with motivation.

Meo at a meeting of the St. Louis HRMA with Walker School faculty and staff.

What advice do you have for other grad students?

My advice would be to network as much as you can in society, it’s not always easy to network but an effort a day can make a difference. Walker School and Webster University in general provide numerous opportunities to network with the professionals working in the corporate world. I try to attend as many events as possible which gives me the opportunity to network with students, professors, Webster staff, and our guests who are here to drop their knowledge for us students to grab and learn. I once read a beautiful quote and I try to practice it in my daily life: “Walk as if you are kissing the earth with your feet”.

How have you been able to utilize your specialty skills (photography) into the job?

I have been really fortunate at Webster University for the fact that I was given the opportunity to showcase my photography skills right from the beginning of my degree (M.A. Human Resources Management) and was able to find a part-time job too with the Photographer Services of Webster University. At my job I was also given the opportunity to photograph events, students interacting in the classes, and they were used for publications as well.

The Walker School is on Instagram!

On March 29, 2017, in Announcements, by Walker News
Walker School Social MediaThe Walker School has launched on Instagram! Follow us to see stories from the Walker School. You can also follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook as a great way to stay in the loop regarding events and news at the Walker School, and find out about giveaways exclusive to followers.
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Dr. Debbie Psihountas

Dr. Debbie Psihountas

Authored by: Debbie Psihountas, Ph.D., MBA Director and Professor of Finance

This blog article was published on ACBSP Impact, the official blog for the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, where you can discover the impact ACBSP has on communities around the world.

Original Article Link

 

Webster University’s George Herbert Walker School of Business and Technology introduced a new version of their largest degree program, the Master of Business Administration (MBA) in fall of 2014. While using the majority of the existing courses, this particular version of the program was geared to adult learners able to work at a particularly rapid pace to complete their 37-hour program within twelve months. To help make that more doable, the curriculum was modified in some instances to allow for creative delivery of courses, including a few targeted specialized Saturday seminar courses, hybrid courses (a combination of online and live learning), and more.

Due to the more manageable size of this particular MBA version, I decided this was a great time to try out some new learning ideas that I’d wanted to explore for some time, but which had been difficult to implement due to Webster’s huge footprint (the MBA is offered on more than 80 campuses in 8 countries, 4 continents, and fully online.) Having a program with only four cohort groups (two in St. Louis, one in Orlando, and one in Geneva, Switzerland) and 67 students allowed for creative experimentation with new learning approaches, while keeping the learning consistent between course sections and cohorts.

One of these learning approaches was the idea to make use of live cases within courses. In early fall, I reached out to a number of corporate partners to see if there was interest in partnering with our classes for purposes of solving a “real life” business problem using student teams in an Operations Management course. As part of meeting with company executives and learning about some of their real-time challenges, we were able to line up some great projects in Operations Management. That particular course was offered in spring two (mid-March through mid-May) of the academic year, and both partner organizations were happy with the student recommendations and projects.

While meeting with corporate executives to find some feasible problems for Operations Management, I came across Enterprise Bank. Enterprise had a great story, and a real-life issue they were grappling with and willing to partner with us on. Unfortunately, it was not an operations management problem, and I didn’t feel it would work within the course being targeted for the live case. But it sounded very relevant to another of the courses the students would be taking during the year (specifically, in summer term of 2015; their last term in the program). This course was introduced into the MBA program in 2012 as a required part of the curriculum. At the time, the Business Department, which is responsible for the MBA curriculum, determined that a course dealing with ethics and sustainability was an important addition to the MBA to keep it current and relevant as a degree program. The course that was designed and introduced, Corporate Responsibility and Society, is a blend of ethics, sustainability, and the strategic implications of corporate responsibility faced by business leaders.

Enterprise, like many organizations, strives to be a strong part of the communities in which they serve. Part of this is required; as lenders, they are obligated to invest in lower-income communities as part of their banking mission, but a large part of it is Enterprise wanting to lead by example and to do the right thing in the communities in which they live and operate. One of the big programs run by Enterprise for the benefit of others is their well-known and regarded Enterprise University. This segment of their business offers a huge range of free programs available to anyone in the community who signs up. They teach everything from basic financial planning for individuals and businesses, retirement planning, how to hire good employees, how to market your business, and many other useful topics relevant to small businesses, nonprofits, and individuals.

Enterprise also donates a significant amount of funding to various causes throughout the year, but their leadership and board wanted to get a better idea of how funds were being spent, in addition to some analytics regarding impact. In particular, they wanted to track the impact their donations and funds were having on the charities and organizations receiving them, a better process overall for determining when to donate, how to donate, how much to donate, and a process that would be fair and consistent to assist in determining how to allocate personnel time for individual employees to be able to serve charities and nonprofits they were interested in helping throughout the year.

The timing of our initial meeting was fortuitous; Enterprise Bank’s senior executives in charge of risk management, human resources, and diversity and inclusion were already in the process of analyzing data to come up with a recommended plan to present to their board in fall of 2015. Webster would be working with them “just in time” as they made ready for their formal recommendations to the board.

After meeting a couple of times with Enterprise, I contacted the instructors slated to teach the two St. Louis-based cohort sections for the course in summer term to determine if they would be interested and able to incorporate a live-case project into their courses while still achieving the needed learning outcomes of the course, and both were immediately interested in hearing more about the case opportunity. From there, a series of meetings with Enterprise SVP’s, the Webster professors, and me ensued, and with the great help and sharing of relevant data by Enterprise, our instructor team did a terrific job designing a course assignment around this case opportunity.

On the second night of the nine-week term, classes met at Enterprise Bank, and the executives working with us shared data with the students and allowed them to ask questions and to gather the information needed to allow them to do a thorough job with their case analyses. From there, the two classes formed their work teams, and off the students went! Student teams worked on their cases while also completing the other reading and course assignments needed to pass the MNGT 5990 course.

In week nine, the final week of classes, each of the cohort groups met at Enterprise Bank, and presented their recommendations on a corporate giving plan to Enterprise. Each class took a slightly different approach to their teams. The Wednesday cohort, taught by professor Andy Gonzalez, divided itself into two teams. Interestingly enough, they divided by gender, so we had the female team presenting first, followed by the males. It was interesting to see the differences in ideas and approaches to charitable giving management that just these two teams were able to design. The Enterprise team was impressed, and asked many follow-up questions to the student presenters, which the students did a great job addressing. After only the first two presentations, it was clear to the Enterprise team that they had a lot of great data and analysis to consider as they made their own plans for their board recommendation, but to make their job even a bit tougher, the Thursday groups were up next. Under the leadership of Dr. Dustin Smith, the Thursday cohort divided itself into 4 sub-groups, and each worked independently to come up with recommendations for Enterprise.

Of course in six presentations there will be some overlap of ideas, recommendations, and overall analysis done, but it was interesting to see some of the different and creative approaches taken by each of the six teams that ended up presenting to Enterprise.

enterprisearticle

Suffice it to say that Enterprise leadership was thrilled with what the students came up with, and it was particularly a day for celebration for the student cohorts as well, as each class was meeting that evening for their final night of class, after an incredibly action-packed, challenging year of study to complete an MBA (in nearly all cases, while employed full time) in just 12 months.

Based on the success of this project, the Corporate Responsibility instructors and I plan to continue to build on this project. There is a world of need and opportunity out there, and providing these types of real-world projects for our students strengthens them, our corporate partners, and our community.

For further detail or information on this article or on the MBA, please feel free to contact me at debbiep@webster.edu.

 

 

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course evaluation announcement for studentsAs Walker School students are finishing up the last two weeks of the Spring 1 term, an important task still remains: filling out course evaluations. Student feedback on a course is an invaluable tool that helps instructors and departments make decisions for program improvements. This ensures that the overall learning experience for our students remains positive and accomplishes the outcomes that we expect.

Completing a course evaluation is easy: just go to evaluation.webster.edu on any internet-enabled device (including your smartphone or tablet) and enter your Connections username and password. From there, you will see a list of courses to be evaluated. It only takes about 10-15 minutes, and you can do this at any time during the evaluation period, which will close at midnight on Sunday, March 12.

Students are encouraged to provide open and honest feedback about their learning experiences. Course Evaluations are conducted online through a third party so that they remain absolutely anonymous; student identities are not tied to evaluations in any way, and results are not released to faculty until after grades have been entered.

Added Incentive for Webster Groves Students

While the rate of student participation has been acceptable, we are always looking for ways to improve it. So, as a pilot test, we are offering students at the Webster Groves campus an added incentive to fill out their course evaluations. After completing the evaluation survey, students will have the option of entering a drawing for one of several prizes.

At the close of the evaluation period, we will choose five winners who will be able to pick one Alof the following prizes:

Samsung Gear VR; Fire 8 Tablet; Roku with Remote Fitbit; Amazon Dot with Remote; Yeti 20 oz. Tumblers

  • Samsung Gear VR Virtual Reality Headset
  • Fire HD 8 Tablet, 8” HD Display, 16 GB storage
  • Roku Premiere Streaming Media Player
  • Fitbit Flex 2
  • Amazon Echo Dot with Voice Remote
  • Set of 3 Yeti Rambler 20 oz. Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Tumblers with Lids

 

 

 

Entering the drawing is voluntary, and the information provided for the drawing is not tied to survey responses in any way. Prize winners will be notified via email after March 12, which is the closing date for Spring 1 evaluations.

 

AMAconference2017-2Ellen Donato, an undergraduate senior majoring in Management with an Emphasis in Marketing and a Finance Minor, was afraid she would not be able to make it to the St. Louis chapter of the American Marketing Association annual conference on February 17 due to a scheduling conflict with her Edward Jones internship. It wasn’t until Dr. Dave Brennan, a professor of Marketing, brought to her attention an award she world be receiving, that she knew the accommodation should be made. Donato was selected as Webster University’s Outstanding Undergraduate Marketing Student at the conference, something Dr. Brennan describes as, “A distinct honor to be selected.”

Donato’s Walker story began with her transfer from Meramec Community College to Webster University. During her Associate Degree studies at Meramec, she was a member of the Phi Theta Kappa National Honors society given her impressive 4.0 GPA. She enjoyed the small classes and knowing her professors personally, so it was natural for her to continue her studies at Webster University. After a recruiting visit, campus tour, and multiple recommendations she knew “every little thing led back to Webster.” She became a Gorlok in August 2015 and has continued a legacy of excellent academic pursuit, resulting in her current 3.97 GPA and admittance into the transfer student Tau Sigma Honors Society.

Donato’s academic focus on finance and marketing has allowed her to become a diversified business woman who can “use both sides of her brain.” She has enjoyed professors from both programs, especially their commitment to be as helpful as possible, even outside of the classroom. Donato’s more than impressive academic career has been achieved with intense effort; she notes having a learning disability, thus having to work that much harder to perform to the best of her abilities. Donato says she sets the achievement bar incredibly high because she is not willing to let anything stop her from reaching her goals.

Donato has aspirations to continue her studies by earning a Master’s, and if the financial budget and degree path coordinate, she would be delighted to do so at the Walker School. She looks forward to applying her degree in the field, as she realized the parallels between the conference speakers and her Webster University classes. “The conference reassured me that my education is on par to career success in the field.” Until then, she will continue working at her prestigious internship as a Client Services Specialist on the Tax Hotline with Edward Jones. The internship has been a wonderful experience, she reports, even though it came to fruition through a spontaneous visit to the fall internship and career fair. “I decided to go to the fair because I wanted to learn how they function and gain experience navigating them. I was happy with my current job and did not have plans to leave it.” However, a well-prepared conversation with recruiters led her down a different path.

A week after the fair, Edward Jones recruiters asked to schedule an interview after reviewing Donato’s resume and recognizing that her personality fit the company culture. Per her father’s advice, Donato attended the interview to learn more about the position and soon realized her compatibility for the job. Donato accepted the internship offer and after two 40 hour weeks of training, she now interacts directly with clients. “I speak to clients so I have to establish a relationship and my knowledge in the subject so they will buy my solutions.” The internship also allows for Donato to work with and learn from other employees and interns in the company, another valuable experience to facilitate a good job fit in her future career, preferably at Edward Jones.

Donato’s advice to students, applicable to those in all majors, is to take time to meet people in person. She noted that a lot of her connections, be it with professors or employers, have not been made over the phone or email, but in person. This leads to skills in better connections with professionals down the line, what inevitably “gets you the job.” Finally, she encourages students to pride themselves on hard work and doing their best, two factors Donato has excelled in to get ahead.

While Donato wishes she could stay in school forever, Dr. Brennan says on behalf of the Walker School, “We congratulate Ellen and wish her all the best with her marketing career.”

AMA Student Marketing Conference

On February 28, 2017, in Academics, Announcements, Student Profile, by Walker News

 

AMAconference2017-2

Dr. Rhiney, Ellen Donato, Dr. Brennan and Dr.Cartwright

Walker School faculty and students attended the 56th Annual Student Marketing Conference held in St. Louis, Missouri on February 17, 2017. The annual conference was sponsored by the St. Louis chapter of the American Marketing Association.

Dr. David J. Brennan, Professor of Marketing, Dr. Eric Rhiney, Assistant Professor of Marketing, and Dr. Donna Cartwright, Adjunct Professor of Marketing and several Webster University seniors (Ellen Donato, Timotius Gunawan, Art Lueking, Meghan Moloney, Leah Kauffman, Amelia Knox, Brendan Mills, Eboni Sampa, Lucas Wittrock) from the Webster University School of Business and Technology marketing program attended the conference, sponsored by the St. Louis chapter of the American Marketing Association.

The conference featured presentations by several regional marketing professionals. These professionals discussed their marketing jobs and careers.  They also emphasized the knowledge and skills that graduating marketing students would need to be successful in career positions in the marketing field.  In the afternoon the conference provided a visit and tour of several St. Louis advertising agencies.

AMAconference2017-1At the conference, Ellen Donato was named the Webster University Outstanding Undergraduate Marketing Student for 2016/17. Ellen is a student from St. Louis who has spent the last two of her university years at Webster University in St. Louis.  She will complete her Bachelor of Arts in Management with an Emphasis in Marketing as well as a Minor in Finance in May 2017.  Ellen was selected as Webster’s Outstanding Undergraduate Marketing Student due to her high academic achievements – an overall high GPA and high grades in her Marketing courses. Ellen is also a member of Phi Theta Kappa and Tau Sigma Honors Societies.  In addition to obtaining her degree she is currently working as a Client Service Specialist with Edward Jones in Des Peres.

It is a distinct honor to be selected as Webster University’s Outstanding Undergraduate Marketing Student for 2017.  Ellen is an outstanding marketing student with proven academic excellence and interesting work experience. We congratulate Ellen and wish her all the best in her marketing career.