Although LHBS MBA students are primarily drawn from the tristate area, their career paths span beyond the northeastern states. Settling in California, Maureen Stivale and Samantha Moy have put their MBA degrees to work on the Pacific Coast.
Prior to entering the Monmouth MBA program, Maureen Stivale, a New Jersey native, had obtained an undergraduate degree in business finance, worked in management-related fields, and moved into information technology to improve her work-life balance. That led to a job with Tiffany & Co. as Retail Store Systems Lead. Maureen’s expertise in and passion for retail technology led to a number of Tiffany assignments in California stores. Before long, she restarted her MBA program—which she had begun early in her career but was forced to put on hold due to family and career constraints. The flexibility of our program suited her needs and afforded her the opportunity to complete the requirements and earn the credentials necessary for leadership positions. In June 2017, she realized her dream of working in California; Levi Strauss & Co. of San Francisco, where she is Senior Director of Information Technology, offered her a job even though she was one course short of graduation.
MBA Samantha Moy gained her current position at beauty products company Coty, based in Calabasas, CA, shortly after completing her Monmouth MBA in fall 2016. As the Senior Manager, Business Planning & Supply Chain Leader, she is responsible for optimizing Coty’s supply planning, inventory and costs for the North American Professional Beauty Division. Samantha’s path to supply chain management is due to a series of career moves in banking, supply chain, and logistics. Her role as Supply Chain Specialist at International Flavors & Fragrances in Hazlet, New Jersey, cemented her decision to pursue a career in that area and transition to the global apparel company, PVH Corporation, where she helped plan and build a new vertical supply chain in East Africa. Pursuing a part-time MBA at Monmouth while working at PVH, she built on her analytical and strategic planning skills. Finding the classroom analyses of business cases highly relevant, she also benefited from the broader lens offered by her peers, who represented a diverse set of skills and industries. Samantha welcomed the opportunity to relocate to California even if picking up a latte could take a twenty-five minute drive in Los Angeles traffic!
In November 2019, the LHBS partnered with TechLaunch, a New Jersey-based investor-led technology accelerator, to host “Bullpen #15” for the third time. Students participating in the event experience first-hand the challenges faced by entrepreneurs who aspire to launch their concept or product in the marketplace. TechLaunch works to identify and nurture early-stage tech ventures by collaborating with different universities to host pitch events in a Shark Tank format. Three to four technology ventures are invited to present ideas to a carefully selected panel of potential investors as well as an audience of students, faculty, innovators, and entrepreneurs who are encouraged to question and critique proposals. MBA alumnus, Jeff Weinstein, has been key to the success of our relationship with TechLaunch, giving time to mentoring students and judging the competition.
Patricia Skora and Victoria Johnson, a Monmouth University team, won the opportunity to present at Bullpen #15 in an earlier, University-wide, competition: Tech Pitch. LHBS and School of Science professors worked with the Monmouth University Center for Entrepreneurship (MUCE)—housed in the Business School—to mentor students who presented their technology-based concepts in a bid for the coveted spot at the TechLaunch event. The Skora-Johnson team won for its concept, Checkmate, an app designed to streamline the process of checking boat-parts for compliance in International Laser Class Association (ILCA) sailing events.
This year’s Bullpen event was closely contested. The global medical education company, eMedEvents, won the Investor Award, including $15,000 in professional services donated by TechLaunch sponsors and the opportunity to pitch at an upcoming meeting of Jumpstart NJ Angel Network. Hooke Audio—owner of a patented, mobile 3D audio recording system compatible with any mobile device—won the Audience Choice Award; Suzanne Shugg of Teleplus Healthcare, offering global chronic care management to providers, was a close runner-up.
Gloria Nilson, longtime friend of Monmouth University and a name we all recognize, has endowed a fund that ingeniously eases faculty relocation costs. It also enables them to live closer to campus and be more engaged in the day-to-day activities of the University.
The fund provides a new faculty member up to $5,000 toward covering costs related to purchasing a home in Monmouth County, New Jersey, within two years of relocation. Costs include attorneys’, mortgage processing, agent, and document fees in addition to those related to closing costs. Faculty using the fund are not obligated to use the Gloria Nilson Real Estate Company when they purchase their homes. Major kudos to Ms. Nilson for her creative approach to supporting our faculty!
As part of a term project last fall semester, Prof. John Inzero’s Marketing of Services course (BK-421) worked with Shore House, a Monmouth County not-for-profit organization that mentors people afflicted with mental illness in job search and training.
Student teams met with Shore House representatives at the beginning of the fall 2019 semester and began to work on a marketing plan intended for raising awareness of the Shore House mission among donors and volunteers. In November, the teams presented their recommendations to the Board of Trustees of ShoreHouse, which praised students for providing independent and objective views.
Dr. Nahid Aslanbeigui, Jack. T. Kvernland Professor of Philosophy and Corporate Social Policy, was interviewed for a National Public Radio (NPR) podcast on carbon taxes, a solution to controlling the effects of global climate change. Her book, Arthur Cecil Pigou (jointly authored with Monmouth University Prof. Emeritus Guy Oakes and published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2015), is the intellectual biography of the British economist (1877-1959) who in 1912 proposed a tax—now known as the Pigou tax—on air pollution to reduce the harm consumers and businesses created for their fellow citizens.
The Hawk Capital Student-Managed Fund (SMIF) was up 36.4 percent in 2019, outperforming its benchmark, the S&P 500 Index, by 5.1 percent. At the end of the year, Hawk Capital had positions in nineteen equity securities and one exchange-traded fund, ranging from 11 to 2 percent of the portfolio. Significant holdings in Apple, Microsoft, Google, Intel, and Disney were major contributors to the stellar performance.
The LHBS SMIF is run as a finance course, Hawk Capital (BF 452). Managing an equity portfolio of some $300,000 provides students with real-world security analysis and portfolio management experience. They analyze industries in technology, finance, energy, communications, consumer cyclicals and non-durables, and healthcare and are assigned a diversity of roles, learning state-of-the art techniques in security valuation, portfolio and risk management, and optimization while replicating the real-time, hands-on environment of a professional “buy side” investment firm.
On November 19, 2019, Ms. Nandini Jammi—a digital marketing specialist and cofounder of Sleeping Giants, a social media activism initiative—spoke to students in the Leon Hess Business School (Prof. Aslanbeigui’s graduate class in Corporate Governance and Organizational Ethics) and Political Science (Prof. Crohheim’s undergraduate class in Media Law). Launched in 2016, Sleeping Giants campaign against the unethical consequences of programmatic advertising, an automated process that markets products on websites and apps. Operating from a Twitter account in the United States—similar accounts have been established in other countries, including Australia, Brazil, Germany, Norway, and United Kingdom—hundreds of thousands of Sleeping Giants followers alert advertisers that their programmatic ads appear on websites that support, implicitly or explicitly, unethical practices such as hate speech and bigotry, sexual harassment, or inhumane treatment of immigrants.
In her lecture, Jammi shed light on the fact that well-known product brands employ technology platforms such as Google to place digital ads, seldom knowing where they would appear. As a result, reputable brands fund the operations, and tacitly support the views, of websites that peddle hate speech and practice bigotry. Politely but tenaciously, Sleeping Giants activists act as corporate watchdogs, pursuing a simple but effective model: utilize social media to increase awareness of unethical practices—screen-shots of unintentional ads are often juxtaposed with publicized mission statements of socially-responsible corporations. Highlighting the inconsistency of values professed and values practiced, Sleeping Giants offer ways in which corporations could eliminate the resulting value conflicts. Jammi expressed satisfaction that in most cases, such corporations are grateful for the information and quick in implementing change.
Jammi and her fellow Sleeping Giants are far from freeing the digital world from unethical practices. However, they work assiduously to shift public perceptions of business and technology platforms through consumer activism and offer strategies that keep business brands morally defensible.