Alumni Spotlight: Kate Hogberg

Kate Hogberg
Kate Hogberg earned her BS in Business Administration in 2002

Kate (Harkins) Hogberg conveys architectural principles in her job as Communications Specialist with HDR, Inc. She also is learning a fair amount about building blocks.

Kate, a Michigan Tech SBE graduate, is helping with Duplo instead of Lego sets at home—her child is two years old, and she and her husband are expecting another in June—but communicating about architecture, engineering, and construction is something she does every day.

“My typical day consists of communicating with engineers and scientists to tell stories of successful projects around the world,” says Kate. She leads the production, writing, and editing of internal and external publications, as well as developing the storylines, content, and production for internal and external videos. “Communication happens by email, phone, text, video conference, and in-person, and usually involves me asking a lot of questions to get to the bigger meaning of our work. The technical minds get focused on the technical aspects of their work, and it’s my job to extract how that work was new and innovative, used the latest technology, and made an impact on a community.”

Kate’s work tells the story of science and technology in the world. “I do a lot of writing and editing, work that communicates internal messages and goals and tells the story of our work and its impact,” she says. “Reshaping technical information into straightforward marketing materials takes an ability to collaborate with engineers, something business students at Tech are comfortable taking on.”

In fact, studying business at Tech prepared Kate to step into a technical world and make a difference by telling its story. “Working in the architecture, engineering, and construction industry (AEC) was a natural fit given my education at Tech,” she says. “I was instantly comfortable working with engineers, architects, and scientists, and understood the quirks of communicating with many of them.”

“At Tech, the usual question was ‘What are you?’ What kind of engineer, in other words. That mentality has been a huge advantage for me in the business world.”

Looking back out that window to the mountains, Kate thinks of what her work means in the big picture. “Engineering and science are the foundation of our communities,” she says, gazing at the grid of structures and transportation all the way to the base of those mountains, the ones in the distance barely more than tiny building blocks. “The minds that drive the technical fields have the ability to make a huge difference in our futures. These people solve complex infrastructure challenges and develop scientific breakthroughs.”

Away from the office, Kate’s ability to plan and manage is just as important for leisure as it is for cranking out information on a building project. “Being able to manage your time well is huge,” she says. “I always know what’s coming so I can plan my days accordingly and still have time to spend enjoying the outdoors with my family.”

She pauses again, turning back from the window “I think it’s important to balance work and fun, and finding a company and position that value that as well is critical.”

And what advice for students leaving school and heading into the working world? “It’s exciting to start a career when you graduate, and I think that’s the time to make a name for yourself.” She thinks back on her path from a biomedical engineering firm to a construction company, and now to her home in Denver and career with HDR. “Bring your fresh ideas, show your enthusiasm and put in the time it takes to be great at what you’re doing.”

This profile appeared in the Spring 2013 issue of Impact Magazine, Volume 3, Issue 2

Tech welcomed into CFA Institute University Recognition Program

Michigan Tech has become the latest university to be welcomed into the CFA Institute University Recognition Program. The Bachelor of Science in Finance has been acknowledged as incorporating at least 70 percent of the CFA Program Candidate Body of Knowledge (CBOK) and placing emphasis on the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice within the program.  This program positions students well to obtain the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation, which has become the most respected and recognized investment credential in the world.

Knewtson

Entry into the CFA Institute University Recognition Program signals to potential students, employers, and the marketplace that Michigan Tech’s curriculum is closely tied to professional practice and is well-suited to preparing students to sit for the CFA examinations. Through participation in this program, Michigan Tech is eligible to receive a limited number of student scholarships for the CFA Program each year.

“Students in these programs study the Candidate Body of Knowledge, which includes the core knowledge, skills, and abilities identified by practitioners worldwide as essential for successful practice,” said Charles Appeadu, PhD, CFA, Head of University Relations at CFA Institute. “By mastering the fundamentals of the CFA Program as well as the Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct, these future investment professionals gain a strong foundation that helps prepare them well to join the growing CFA Institute community dedicated to promoting the highest standards of ethics, education, and professional excellence for the ultimate benefit of society.”

The School of Business and Economics is home to the Bachelor of Science in Finance Program. The BS in Finance is an AACSB accredited program in which students learn financial management, investment analysis, derivatives and financial engineering, and banking and financial institutions. The Applied Portfolio Management Program (APMP) is available to a students who distinguish themselves in their foundational courses. APMP provides students with hands on portfolio management experience with $1.5 million. Recognition by the CFA Institute as a recognized university program signals alignment of the BS in Finance with the CFA Program Candidate Body of Knowledge (CBOK).

This article was originally written by Dr. Heather Knewtson, Assistant Professor of Finance (SBE), who currently serves as the principal contact between Michigan Tech and the CFA Institute. For more information, please email Dr. Knewtson at knewtson@mtu.edu. 

Fall 2014 Career Fair Largest in Michigan Tech History

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Over 300 companies from across the country packed the Student Development Complex at Michigan Tech yesterday for the Career Fair. Students double and triple checked their resumes and were determined to leave a lasting impression for their prospective employers.

Career Services Director Steve Patchin explained how the state of the economy impacts the job market.

“Right now, there’s a shortage of talent out there, especially in the areas of STEM,” he said.  “We have the baby boomers that are going to be retiring.  They kind of held that off in 2008 when the market tanked and their retirement savings went down quite a bit.  That’s recovered since then.  So, now they’re retiring, the economy’s on the rebound and the companies need talent.”

Students lined up in front of booths and answered questions about career achievements and previous experience.  MTU students have a great reputation as evident by the over 90% job placement rate for those graduating from Tech, along with payscale.com ranking Michigan Tech graduates in the top ten amongst the highest salaries in the country.

“I call them “well prepared and job ready”,” John Dau from DTE Energy said.  “The university does an awesome job with the students to get them prepared, not only for internships and co–ops, but extremely well prepared for the working world once they come out of the university, ready to work full time.”

Amazon.com made its first appearance ever at the career fair, and are looking for specific skills that they are sure to find here today.

“We look a lot for algorithms, data structures, design patterns…so Amazon is all about big data and machine learning. And lots of large scale, high computational systems, with hundreds of thousands of transactions per second. So having software engineers and developers that are really strong in the fundamentals is core,” Garret Gaw from Amazon said.

What goes into preparing for attending a career fair?

“I generally prepare by highlighting my top companies and making sure that my resume is all up to date and talking about my strong points. Just coming in, relaxed and confident. It’s nothing more than a mere conversation and if you go in with a friendly smile and a good attitude, then good things happen,” senior mechanical engineering major Brent Cousino said.

It is a bit of a nerve-racking experience but many of them know just how invaluable this experience is.

“I think they help tremendously. I never would have even considered half of these companies. I hadn’t heard of half of these companies before today and now three of them that I’ve never even talked to or even considered working for, I have interviews with and I might work there in the future. And to me, it blows my mind,” senior computer engineering major Tanner Howell said.

At the end of the day, many of these students walked in with the hope of speaking to someone important and walked out with handful of great opportunities.

And it’s all thanks to Michigan Tech and its reputation as a great place to hire employees.

“So you want to be a CFO…”

On September 11th, Barbara Johnson-Rossi spoke with Accounting students about her field, and how they can aspire to be Chief Financial Officers. Johnson-Rossi worked for nearly 30 years within the healthcare industry as an Internal Auditor, Manager of Accounting, Director of Operations, and CFO. Now retired,  she maintains 8-10 hours/week of consultancy work helping with payer contracting and managing data around cost-of-care.

Barbara Johnson-Rossi, former CFO for Essentia Health, speaks to Michigan Tech's accounting students.
Barbara Johnson-Rossi, former CFO for Essentia Health, speaks to Michigan Tech’s accounting students.

Based on popular demand, Johnson-Rossi will be presenting once again, this time to the Kappa Sigma Iota (KSI) Accounting Club and members of the greater Tech community. Her discussion will cover the various career options available within the field of Accounting, including a deeper look at the jobs she has held. KSI Accounting Club welcomes any interested parties to join them in welcoming Barbara Johnson-Rossi back to campus this Wednesday, October 1st at 5:30 pm in Fisher Hall, Room 131.