Devin Gates, Walker School MBA student and Project Manager for Paric Corporation.

Devin Gates has many exceptional traits, one being a vision for success. He is a veteran, father of two, and current Walker School MBA Student.  Devin also helped build Browning Hall while simultaneously pursuing a Master of Business Administration degree at the Walker School.  Recently, he received the “40 Under 40” award by the St. Louis Business Journal.  This prestigious award, granted to 40 awardees under the age of 40 each year, recognizes outstanding professional success and exceptional contributions to the community.

A career in construction came naturally to Devin.  He grew up around the industry with his father, who owned a small residency construction business. He eventually joined the army as a combat engineer, where he gained knowledge in a new type of construction, working mainly on explosives.

Devin’s plans for the future were not specific, but his skills and inclinations formed a clear path.  While studying at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, he was on the fence about majoring in civil engineering or construction.  He ultimately earned an undergraduate degree in construction in order to have more versatility in his career than a traditional desk job would offer. Today, he combines his vision and ability to create into a job that has allowed him to play a significant role on over 10 major construction projects in multiple states.

In 2016, Devin started working for PARIC Corporation, a top St. Louis general contractor, as a Senior Project Engineer until he was promoted to Project Manager in 2017.  Devin’s transformation of a 100-year-old Missouri theater into a hotel, in addition to his numerous other accomplishments at PARIC, led to his nomination for the 40 Under 40 award.

It was a new challenge for Devin; up until that assignment, he had only built buildings from scratch. Since construction standards and methods change over time, the renovation was “full of surprises” that required serious problem solving skills and a strong vision.  The building is now successfully operational as a hotel and Devin’s outstanding leadership set him apart from over 500 nominations and led to his induction into the respected class of 2018’s 40 Under 40.

Devin also played an instrumental role in completing a $44 million dollar project, and the newest addition to Webster University’s home campus, Browning Hall. He had been considering furthering his education, especially at Webster University, and describes the moment when he was assigned to the job that was footsteps away from potential night classes as “destiny.”

Browning Hall at the Webster University home campus.

Browning Hall under construction.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The decision to pursue a master’s degree while also juggling work projects and a family is an accomplishment soon to be solidified by his December 2018 graduation.  Devin’s desire to expand his business knowledge directed him to pursue an all-encompassing MBA program.  His studies have allowed him to cover subjects like economics and finance, information that has given him a better understanding of new aspects of his work and will be beneficial to his career.

Devin signed the final beam as a Webster University student and Paric project manager.

“I thought it was cool because I’m getting to give to the University and take away from the University at the same time.  I’m able to contribute to a very long-lasting landmark on the campus.  But at the same time, I’m taking away an education, so I learned a lot of life lessons as well.  It’s a nice relationship.” Devin had the honor of signing the structure’s final beam at Webster’s “Topping Out” ceremony as both a PARIC project manager and a Webster University student.

With a natural talent for creating, leadership skills, and a big heart, Devin has excelled not only at Webster University but also in his community. Devin is involved with several community organizations including Habitat for Humanity, the AGC Construction Leadership Council, Engineers without Borders, and Team River Runner. Because of his work in the military, Devin is very passionate about helping veterans through rehabilitation.

“Team River Runner is a really cool program where we help disabled veterans with rehabilitation through kayaking.  We start out by helping these disabled vets kayak in a medical pool at the VA hospital, and as they become more comfortable we take them out on lakes, rivers and eventually, the ones who are ready and interested, we work them up to big white-water trips.  We’ve got guys that are amputees, deaf, blind, people with unseen injuries, etc., and we all just work together.  We make it work.  We fabricate the boats if we need them to be different to account for their disability or we’ll send people down the river in groups so that we can help each other out. It’s great stuff.”

Finally, when asked what advice he would give to current students, he said, “Don’t hesitate to reach out to the people at Webster. They’re small classes and teachers are always eager to build personal relationships.  I’ve never not had a professor that was not only willing but happy to help out after hours and give additional help as needed.”

On behalf of the Walker School, we congratulate Devin for his success so far, and for the success that we know will fill his future.

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Contributor: Megan Price, BA Management, 2018

Dina Sallam and Eman Fahmy

Left: Dina Sallam, Right: Eman Fahmy

This week, the Walker Team interviewed Eman Fahmy and Dina Sallam. They are two excelling graduate MBA students from the Walker School of Business & Technology, months away from graduation. They are also representatives of a group of twelve promising Egyptian women leaders studying at Webster University in St. Louis because of a scholarship from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) program, “Higher Education Initiative(HEI)”

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internationalbusinessgraphicA special weekend offering of International Business (INTB 5000) has been opened for students who have busy weeknight schedules but are interested in this course topic. Section 2 of INTB 5000 will be offered on Saturdays in February at the home campus in Webster Groves.

“We wanted to provide an option for students who might travel for work during the week, registered late, or otherwise have obligations that make weeknight grad courses difficult,” said Debbie Psihountas, professor and director of the MBA program in Webster University’s George Herbert Walker School of Business and Technology.

The course has been offered in this format the past two Februaries to a specific cohort of students, but this year is open to all students to take advantage of this flex schedule option. Students will meet on Feb. 4, 11, 18 and 25 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For information on the course, visit the catalog listing here: http://www.webster.edu/catalog/current/graduate-catalog/courses/intb.html

Hannah Joseph -WSBT Alum

Hannah Joseph graduated in 2015 with a BA in  Management and a MA in Human Resources Development

Next month, I will be leaving my corporate job at Amazon to work for the nonprofit organization, International Justice Mission, where I will be a Business Development/HR Fellow (neat fact: I will be their first Business Development/HR fellow in Mumbai, and they essentially added that position in the Mumbai office for me.) I will move to Mumbai in January 2017.

IJM (www.ijm.org) is a global human rights organization that protects the poor from violence throughout the developing world by rescuing victims, bringing the criminals to justice, restoring survivors to safety and strength, and helping local law enforcement build a safe future that lasts. I’ve always wondered how I could combine my heart for helping the marginalized internationally with my passion for business/HR, and this is the perfect opportunity to do just that. I am so excited! You can find out more details on my YouCaring page: www.youcaring.com/mumbaionmymind, and I am happy to answer any other questions you have or provide you with additional information!

At IJM, I will be serving as a Pro Bono Business Consultant in Mumbai and as such will provide expertise in writing and editing reports, organizing and tracking progress of ongoing projects and managing department databases and files. I will assist in the development of protocols, procedures and best practices, and help organize, administer and document ongoing department trainings.

mbaenvironment1The Walker School’s online MBA program was named one of the Top 15 Online MBA Programs in Environmental Sustainability 2017 by Online MBA Today.  Webster’s program was ranked 5th for it’s MBA with an Emphasis in Environmental Management.

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Guest Contributor: Debbie Psihountas, Ph.D., MBA Director

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. This new 1-Year MBA is designed for adult learners who are able to work at a particularly rapid pace to complete their 37-hour program within twelve months. The 1-Year MBA had four distinct cohort groups in its inaugural year: two in St. Louis, one in Orlando, and one in Geneva.

Solving Real World Problems

Because of the size and cohort structure of the 1-Year MBA, I decided that this was a great time to try out some new learning ideas that I’d wanted to explore. One of these creative learning approaches used was the incorporation of live cases within courses.  Beginning in the fall of 2014, I reached out to a number of Webster University Corporate Partners to see if there was interest in partnering with our classes for the purpose of solving a “real life” business problem using student teams as consultants.cohort1

In meeting with Enterprise Bank, the idea arose to embed a case within MNGT 5990 – Corporate Responsibility and Society. The course is a blend of ethics, sustainability, and the strategic implications of corporate responsibility faced by business leaders.

Enterprise had a real-time issue that they were grappling with and they were happy to partner with us. Their senior executives in charge of risk management, human resources, and diversity and inclusion were already in the process of analyzing data to recommend a new corporate responsibility plan to their board in fall of 2015.

Community Engagement and Social Responsibility

Enterprise, like many organizations, strives to be a strong part of the communities in which it serves. As lenders, they are obligated to invest in lower-income communities as part of their banking mission, but Enterprise also wants to lead by example in the communities in which it operates. They donate a significant amount of funding to various causes throughout the year, but needed better tracking and analytics regarding expenditures and impact. They also were seeking to incorporate a process to allocate time for individual employees to be able to serve charities and nonprofits they were interested in helping throughout the year.

cohort2After several meetings with Enterprise executives and our instructor team, we put together a timeline and plans for the cohorts. Dr. Dustin Smith and Professor Andy Gonzalez did a terrific job designing a course assignment around this case opportunity.

Student teams worked on their cases while also completing the other learning requirements for MNGT 5990. Dr. Smith commented that “This was a tremendous opportunity for Webster MBA students to apply their skills to a challenging situation and create a bridge between the classroom and the practical.”

In the final week of classes, each of the cohort groups met at Enterprise Bank, and presented their recommendations.  Enterprise executives heard six distinct team presentations. While there was some overlap of ideas, recommendations, and overall analysis, it was interesting to see the different and creative approaches taken by each of the teams.

Real World Solutions

The end result? Enterprise received just-in-time analysis and recommendations to help make their own board recommendation, and the Webster 1-Year MBA students benefited from the opportunity to work on a real-time, real life problem relating to their course materials. A win all around!

Enterprise leadership was thrilled with what the students came up with. The final night of class was a day of double celebration. The students were thrilled with the success of their presentations, and they had, after an incredibly action-packed, challenging year of study, completed an MBA (in nearly all cases, while employed full time) in just 12 months.

Based on the success of this project, the Corporate Responsibility and Society 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.

debbie_psihountas_smFor further detail or information on this article or on the MBA, please feel free to contact me at debbiep@webster.edu. For information regarding the 1-Year MBA program at Webster, visit www.webster.edu/MBA1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This August, we will launch our new 1-Year MBA program. In order to support students enrolled in this program and alleviate some of the financial costs, we have created a new fund to help cover the cost of their textbooks. With your support, textbook vouchers will be awarded to St. Louis area MBA students through a lottery system each term.

Donation Information:
All donations, no matter how big or small, are appreciated. However, a $25 donation is suggested so that there will be sufficient funds to benefit multiple students in the program.

Donations can be made by check to Webster University (include “Walker Textbook Fund” in the memo line) or online. All donations made to the George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology Fund today through July 31, 2014 will directly support the Walker Textbook Fund, and are fully tax deductible.

Please join us by making a donation.

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china students

Students from Webster China in St. Louis, Missouri, USA

This summer, nearly a dozen students enrolled in the joint MBA program at Shanghai University of Finance & Economics and the University of Electronic Science & Technology of China are studying at Webster University’s home campus in St. Louis, Missouri, USA.  In addition to taking course for their master’s program, the students will visit various corporations to learn how business works in the U.S., and many have trips planned to travel around the country.

Prior to the start of the summer semester, students spent time with Benjamin Ola. Akande, dean of the Walker School of Business & Technology.  Dean Akande told the students that being in the U.S. is an opportunity for them to make new friends and new connections.  “I encourage you to go out of your way to meet people,” he said.  “Find out about them; from their life to their work.  These connections could be the foundation you need to do business with them or go to work for them in the future.”

 

Webster’s 1-Year MBA

On April 29, 2014, in Announcements, by Walker News

mba videoWebster University’s Walker School of Business & Technology will launch a new accelerated one- year Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) program in August, 2014. Students in this program will graduate in July, 2015.

Webster’s 1-Year MBA is offered in a cohort-based format that provides students opportunities to build a global network, gain international perspective and acquire substantial leadership development skills.  The program will be offered at  Webster University’s home campus in St. Louis, Mo., as well as its U.S. campuses in Denver, Colo.Kansas City, Mo.; and Orlando, Fla., and its international campuses in Geneva, SwitzerlandLeiden, The Netherlands; and Vienna, Austria.

Watch this video to find out more, and visit webster.edu/1mba to learn how you can take advantage of this powerful career development opportunity.

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1-Year MBA Information Sessions

On March 25, 2014, in Announcements, by Walker News

mba-blog-imageIf you’re interested in earning your MBA, then you should attend an information session to learn more about Webster University’s new 1-Year MBA program.  This accelerated degree option is open to students from all majors.

Webster University’s 1-Year MBA program will provide you with opportunities to build a global network, gain international perspective and acquire substantial leadership development skills.  Visit the program page to learn more, or attend an information session.

1-Year MBA Information Sessions

Wednesday, April 2
4-5 p.m.
East Academic Building, room 232
RSVP to attend

Tuesday, April 8 
5-6 p.m.
East Academic Building, room 263
RSVP to attend

Thursday, April 17
4-5 p.m.
Sverdrup Hall, room 120
RSVP to attend

Friday, April 25
12-1 p.m.
East Academic Building, room 232
RSVP to attend

For questions, contact Anne Browning, program director, at 314-246-8236 or annebrowning15@webster.edu.

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