Building Business Leaders

Mount News: alumni magazine

By: Mary Brigham

 

“We will expand the message about the Mount’s business programs beyond the tri-state region.” 

– Jamal Rashed, Ph.D.

There is an air of excitement in the halls of the Mount’s Division of Business. Dean Jamal Rashed, Ph.D., is gearing up for the first of several strategic planning retreats involving all stakeholders: undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff, alumni and advisory board members. 

The college will officially become Mount St. Joseph University effective July 1, 2014. This new designation reflects the changes taking place in the business division as graduate programs expand and strategies from the college’s Vision2020 plan are launched in the coming year. New offerings include undergraduate business majors that can be completed in three years and expanded weekend course offerings for adult and graduate students. 

Growth, quality and weekend programs are the top three priorities for Rashed. As the new business division dean, he oversees the accounting, business administration, organizational leadership and sport management departments. The Mount’s focus on personal attention and small class size sets it apart from the competition, Rashed says. “We will expand the message about the Mount’s business programs beyond the tri-state region,” Rashed says. He wants the Mount to be the place employers turn to and visit when they need to hire business graduates. 

Rashed is working closely with Cincinnati business leaders to develop ethical, career-ready and community-engaged graduates who can contribute to the economic future of Cincinnati. 

 

He says he is thrilled to be back in the tri-state as part of the leadership team at the mission-driven Mount. Rashed comes to Delhi from Northern Michigan University, where he was dean of the college of business. He previously served as director of the Center for International Business at Xavier University.

Mount President Tony Aretz, Ph.D., says, “I was looking for a dean who could lead the transition to a university school of business that engages more with the external community.”

Since Rashed’s arrival in July 2013, the Division of Business has put in place the groundwork to launch several new initiatives in fall 2014.

One strategy is a mentorship program for the 324 undergraduate business majors. Each one will be paired with a mentor from the business community. Rashed will make the matches. He wants Mount students to benefit from the guidance and expertise shared by alumni and members of the business advisory council. 

Big Expansion Plans

Adult students will also benefit from the coming business division enhancements. The Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership (BSOL) degree completion program now offered off-site at several area locations will also be available on campus on Saturdays. Developed for the working professional with an associate degree, the BSOL program builds skills in leadership, technology, ethical decision making and problem solving. 

In the past, the Mount has partnered with several Cincinnati companies to offer the BSOL exclusively onsite at their job locations. Professionals interested in this program no longer have to wait for their employer to partner with the Mount. Now they can take the classes on their own, on campus, starting in August.

Lauren Martin, offsite-advising coordinator, says the BSOL degree completion program lets students utilize their work experiences in the classroom and complete their degree while still working full time. The program curriculum welcomes students with a variety of transfer credit backgrounds and career choices, she says. “Employers value this program because their employees learn a concept in class one week and can apply it to their job the next.”

Rashed has expansion plans for graduate programs, too. The division now serves 85 graduate students. Starting in fall 2014, busy professionals with responsibilities during the week will have a convenient Saturday morning class option, enhanced with online components, for pursuing the Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree. “I want the Mount to be known as the place for the working professional who is looking for a graduate degree on Saturday,” Rashed says. The Saturday MBA will join the Master of Science in Organizational Leadership and the Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership to give students several Saturday options to pursue professional development and career enhancement through quality degree programs.

Real-life Lessons

The Mount’s small class sizes and personal attention from faculty continue to set it apart from other programs and remain important to Paul Silva ’87, president of the Greater Cincinnati Market for First Financial Bank. “I was a co-op at a bank the last two years of my undergraduate program, and 25 years later I’m still in banking,” says Silva, a management and finance major. “My co-op position provided the entry into banking.” 

Experience is essential to landing a great job. The Mount’s co-op program placed 75 business students in the past year to help them gain an edge in the job search.

“The job market for business majors is picking up,” says Rich Utecht, career and co-op coordinator at the Mount. “Our students do well in this very competitive field.”

The first class of MBA 4+1 students, who will graduate in May 2014, will have an even better advantage. Open to all undergraduate students, the 4+1 model enables students to earn both a bachelor’s degree and an MBA in just five years. During their senior year, 4+1 students take four courses for dual credits that count toward their undergraduate and graduate programs. The +1 year is two additional semesters of fulltime MBA coursework.

Dr. Charles Kroncke, associate professor of economics and chair of business administration says, “Our MBA graduates finish with enhanced academic knowledge and the practical skills necessary to launch them into leadership positions.” 

Encouraged to consider the 4+1 program by his academic advisor, sports management major Sean Brooks says the opportunity to have an extra advantage in the workforce was too good to pass up. “The project-based internship was the best experience, and I was offered a position with Henkle Schueler after I graduate.” 

Mary Brigham is the associate director of graduate recruitment for the Mount.