SBE Student Wins MTU’s President’s Award for Leadership

Each year, one student is chosen from an outstanding group of nominees that have provided leadership for their peers in their activities while a student at Michigan Tech. This year’s winner is Elizabeth Molnar.

Elizabeth is a 4th year, Information Systems student. During this leaders time at Tech they have been involved in a number of academic, student and community organizations, USG, Association of Information Technology Professionals, Order of Omega Greek Leadership Honorary, Alpha Sigma Tau Sorority, Blue Key Honor Society, Intramural sports, Circle K, Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly, England Cadet Exchange Program, a TA for UN1010, a LeaderShape participant as well as an On-Site Coordinator this past year, an OTL for three years, and Army ROTC… to name a few.

Molnar attributes most of her leadership growth to the Army ROTC program. As a recent Cadet Battalion Commander responsible for everything in the battalion during the Fall 2006 semester, she improved the current program to include training that had not been previously provided. This training focuses on areas that the cadets are evaluated on at a national level during a month long, mandatory training camp in Ft. Lewis, Washington.

Currently she is serving as the Training officer which sets her with the task of planning and coordinating Army ROTC’s Spring Field Training Exercise. On top of this she assisted in the coordination of the Military Ball this past March, had cadets perform inspections of vehicles before extended breaks to ensure they were suitable to drive home, required cadets to report midterm grades to assess if cadets needed help with time management or class work, and she also is the Color Guard Commander whose job is to lead the group of cadets that post the Colors at football games, commencement, and who lead the Parade of Nations.

Elizabeth spent two years on the Undergraduate Student Government, one year as the sophomore representative and one as the Vice President. During her time on USG she helped with the start of the ASMTU campaign for the restructure of the student government by holding open forums and making presentations to student organizations as well as general education classes. She also served on University selection committees to hire a number of staff and faculty here on campus.

While serving as President for Association of Information Technology Professionals, she planned and coordinated a Career Fair Dinner for SBE students so they had the opportunity to meet recruiters looking for SBE students for full-time, intern, or co-op positions before the Career Fair. She also coordinated a programming competition for local high school students not only to recognize the talent of young individuals today but also so they could learn more about Michigan Tech.

She says she plans on utilizing all of the leadership experience she has obtained here at Michigan Tech while serving as a recently selected Military Intelligence Officer in the United States Army as a Second Lieutenant, scheduled to receive her commission in May 2007.

Congratulations Elizabeth Molnar!


Fan Ning Awarded Kauffman Foundation Internship

Fan Ning, who will be graduating from Michigan Tech this spring with an MBA, has accepted a seven-week intern position in finance with the Kauffman Foundation.

Based in Kansas City, Missouri, it is the 26th largest foundation in the United States, with assets of approximately $2 billion. The foundation focuses on advancing entrepreneurship and improving the education of children and youth.

The internship is awarded competitively by the foundation. Fan was contacted for a phone interview based on the resume he submitted after learning about the opportunity from Sonia Goltz, MBA Director and Associate Professor. The recruiter was impressed with his grade point average, previous work experience in China, and communication skills.

Ning received his undergraduate degree in business administration from Jilin University and worked at the Henan General Construction Investment Corporation in China before coming to Michigan Tech, where his goal has been to learn Western management and financial methods and apply them when he returns to China. “I worked for a year in China with finance and investments,” said Ning. “And to speak good English in China is not common so there are minimal language barriers for me.”

The Kauffman internship will provide Fan with additional experience in US finance, particularly in terms of how private foundations operate in a capitalistic economy. Fan is looking forward to this internship because it will provide him with valuable working experience in the states. He anticipates comparing the experience with those he had in China.

“This type of foundation is not common,” said Ning. “Its philosophies and values are different. This experience will help me learn more about this industry. I am looking forward to the opportunities and challenges with this internship, and using what I’ve learned in the classroom at Michigan Tech and what I’ve learned in daily life.”


APMP Wins Value Category at RISE Competition

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The Applied Portfolio Management Program’s Gold Team won the seventh annual RISE (Redefining Investment Strategy Education) conference, the largest North American student investment conference. The APMP won the “value” category with the highest risk-adjusted return for 2006 in the undergraduate division at the national investment competition.

Held in Dayton, Ohio, the competition and conference was March 29-31, 2007. This is the second year that the APMP has won top honors at RISE and continues the APMP’s record of superior placement at the conference.

At this year’s conference, the APMP reported a 2006 annual return of 20.96% with only a 2.31% standard deviation in monthly returns.

Representing the School of Business and Economics at RISE were Kelly Guzzardo-Plewa, Adam Michaud, Josh Vehring, Devin Magnuson, Mark Malekoff, Lorn Randell, Molly Bush, Lee Warlin, Tyler Skworchinski, Shawn Granlund, Ted Simonson, Cody Meier. Associate Professor Dean Johnson is the Founding Director of the APMP.

RISE is a student investment strategy symposium hosted by the University of Dayton. Modeled after the World Economic Forum, RISE connects investment students and faculty with Wall Street professionals in interactive discussions.

More than 1,700 participants from 218 colleges and universities, representing every state and continent, attended this year’s RISE symposium.

RISE included presentations by some of the biggest names on Wall Street and business, including Ralph Alvarez, President and COO of McDonald’s Corp; Paul Atkins, Commissioner of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission; Peter Coors, Chairman Molson Coors Brewing Company; Dr. Hatzius, Chief U.S. Economist Goldman Sachs; Knight Kiplinger, Editor in Chief of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance; and Dr. Ortiz the Governor of the Bank of Mexico.

The conference also included portfolio management workshops; career strategy sessions; and networking opportunities.

The New York Stock Exchange, The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, TIAA-CREF, the United Nations and Deutsche Asset Management sponsored the event.

The APMP manages over $1 million in the equity and fixed income markets. APMP designated donations to the Michigan Tech Fund from alumni and friends provide support for student travel and scholarships. For more information on the Applied Portfolio Management Program please visit: http://www.apmp.mtu.edu


Ronald Staley

Alumni Offers His Career Experiences and Advice for SBE Students

Ronald Staley has engineering and business degrees from MTU and gives advice and talks to students about what he does on a daily basis.

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SBE: What was your major and concentration at MTU?

RS: I received my AAS in Civil Engineering Technology from MTU in 1977. Then in 1980, I received my BS in Business Administration with a major in Industrial Management. I graduated with honors in both degrees. While studying at MTU, I was able to work summers and during school, for several great engineering firms, giving me exposure to the construction industry which would be the direction I would ultimately take my career.

SBE: Did you have any experiences or classes at Tech that helped you compete in the work force against other students?

RS: What MTU offered was a very hands-on education. By having the combined technical and business degree, I look at issues related to construction with both a strong technical understanding of how buildings work and a business understanding on overhead, return on investment, balance sheets and income statements. Tie to that leadership skills learned from various associations, and I have been able to move into various professional organizations as board member and officer.

SBE: What does your company do?

RS: The Christman Company is a full service construction company providing Construction Management, General Contract, Design/Build and Property Development. Founded in 1894, the firm is owned by current management and implements institutional and commercial construction of educational, health care, and historic preservation projects. Projects range from $5 million to over $200 million in size with offices throughout Michigan and Washington, DC.

SBE: What is your current position?

RS: I am Vice President of National Historic Preservation and Mid-Atlantic Regional Office for The Christman Company.

SBE: What are you main job responsibilities? What do you do on a daily basis?

RS: In this role, I am responsible for executive direction and leadership for Christman’s Historic Preservation Group. I started this business unit in 1992 after managing the $58 million restoration of Michigan’s State Capitol. Since that time the group has implemented restoration on over $500 million of historic preservation work including work at the White House, Virginia’s State Capitol, Henry Ford Estate Fair Lane, Notre Dame’s Administration Building, and dozens of other high profile and historically significant Landmark structures. I have worked on projects in over a dozen states and on professional teams on 500 year old wooden churches in Poland and Slovakia.

I market our services to architects and owners and develop marketing and competitive strategy. I oversee the preconstruction and construction phase services on approximately eight projects from Michigan to Washington, to Georgia.

I develop fee proposals and cost estimates for each of these projects and oversee staff who manage the day to day construction operations. I lead development of the historic preservation training and quality programs for the company.

SBE: Do you have any advice for current students in the School of Business and Economics?

RS: Balance your business studies with a technical specialty. Too often I see students get a business degree but have no idea of the industry which they wish to use the degree. Understanding the business concepts of various industries give more depth to the educational process and ultimately to the value of the education received and the salary to be paid. Getting into leadership roles with university organizations is another great way to develop skills which are invaluable in the future.

It is said your university education will serve as the foundation for your future career. Make the foundation as large as possible with every opportunity you can experience. For, with the larger the foundation, the greater the career it will support.


Speaker Series: Jessica Gonzalez Kaiser, Owens Corning, Operations Support Leader

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SBE distinguished alumna, Jessica Gonzalez Kaiser will be on campus to discuss the important topic of Leadership and Careers. The presentation will take place on Wednesday, April 18, at 11 AM in ChemSci 101. Students are encouraged to attend this lecture about this dynamic leader and ask questions you may have about leadership, careers and balancing careers with life.

Jessica graduated with a BSBA with a concentration in Operations Management in 1988, and has had a very successful career working in large and small organizations as well as her own consulting firm.

Kaiser has an extensive background in Quality Management and has led several organizations to successful ISO/QS registrations. She owned and operated her own consulting firm and has extensive managerial experience including Plant Manager, Regional General Manager and Marketing Manager, and Operations Support Leader.

Speaking Topic:

Which Behaviors Lead to Success?
Today’s corporate cultures demand leadership, peak performance and continuous improvement. With continuous improvement a requirement for peak performance, the bar is raised every year—yesterday’s peak performance for leaders is today’s norm for everyone. The key to succeeding in today’s business environment is to recognize that you need to focus not only on outcomes, but also on behaviors. What behaviors define you as a leader? What behaviors define your career path? You are in charge of your career and where you want to take it.

In addition to this lecture, she will be meeting with Bob Mark’s BA1700 class at 2 pm and Victoria James’ BA4770 HR class at 3:30 pm on the topic of work-life balance.