Imagine a situation where you are settled with a great paid job and vacations on time; then you decide to venture into your own business. Sound scary and challenging?
To stay ahead or a change in career; to get a promotion, these are some of the main goals for pursuing an MBA. But Lene Pedersen, decided to take a distinctive turn in her career to become an entrepreneur.
Lene was Head of Marketing & Communication at CIP Group while she was pursuing her MBA at SHU. After graduating in 2013, Lene took a chance and started a new journey as an entrepreneur.
Today Lene is the Owner and Managing Director of LeneLife, a service that gives customers a balanced lifestyle based on a healthy body, soul and mind. Lene shares that she is happy to be in a business which helps define herself.
36 graduates of Sacred Heart University began a new journey on December 9, 2016, after receiving diplomas and words of advice and encouragement from business leaders, scholars and classmates.
Dr. John Chalykoff, Dean, Sacred Heart University (Fairfield, CT), commenced the 25th Graduation Ceremony by congratulating the graduates and addressed, “You are graduating from a very special program, one where the faculty and staff have been dedicated to your success. And the Luxembourg students continue to be among the very best we have in Welch College. We will be proud to have you as alumni”.
Before the eager graduates were called upon to receive their diplomas, Ms. Kelsey Hopper opened the ceremony by singing the National Anthem of the United States of America.
The keynote speaker of the 25th Graduation Ceremony was Prof. Georges Hubner, Professor of Finance at HEC University, Liege and Chief Scientific Advisor at GAMBIT Financial Solutions. After congratulating the graduates and the faculty, Prof. Hubner reminded the students that the real world is tougher and competitive and everyone should be ready to face the challenges.
Dr. Alfred Steinherr, Academic Director of Sacred Heart University, Luxembourg, then announced the conferral of degrees which were awarded by Dean Chalykoff.
The Gold Medal of Excellence was awarded to Paulo Fernandes and Caroline Louise Linel won the Silver Medal of Excellence.
In his valedictorian speech, Mr. Fernandes thanked all the members of the faculty, staff and students and shared his memories of being a student of SHU.
Even though we are different in many aspects, today we are all the same. Today, we are all the same, with the same caps, the same gowns, and the same diploma. Today we are all 2016 MBA graduates from Sacred Heart University! Congratulations!- Paulo Fernandes
The ceremony concluded with a private cocktail dinner enjoyed by all graduates, SHU Alumni, family members and guests.
Presenting the Graduates of the SHU Jack Welch College of Business, Class of 2016
Master of Business Administration
Jefferson Marcon Avelino
Maria Del Rosario Cleofe Chavez Cortez
Sarah Boyes Derengowski
Brian De Witt
Paulo Fernandes Da Cunha
Caroline Louise Linel
Tanya Natasha McEvoy
Fabián Andrés Mejía Pinto
Tatiana Rangel Zárate
Yi Chen Yeo
Graduate Professional Certificate
Laura Bragagia- Corporate Finance
Sara Gentile-Modern Business Management
Filipa Grancho- Modern Business Management
Calogero Nicosia- Risk Management
Derek Moore is the Assistant Wresting Coach and a Part Time MBA student at Jack F. College of Business at Sacred Heart University, Fairfield. He came to Luxembourg with his fellow classmates for the Knowledge Management course (Management Elective BU 699) taught by Michael Zhang. Derek shared his experience learning course and also what he did during his stay in Luxembourg.
I enjoyed the class. Each evening I was able to sit next to another student and interact with them during the breaks. Although we did not always agree, the discussions were positive in nature and communicated in a way which does not attack or degrade other’s opinion.
Having a class with students from 10+ different countries I got to know the students and learn from their varied cultural experiences. The difference came from the diverse student base, their viewpoint on subject matter, the way in which they communicate and how they work with others. I am very impressed with their level of dedication, to their education and openness to share their opinions.
We were happy to have two corporate visits during this study trip: Bofferding & PayPal. The experience at Bofferding was unique because they took us into the areas where they stool brew their beer. They have a rich history as a family owned beer with majority market share in Luxembourg. We were also happy to learn that one of the managers was a former student of the MBA program in Luxembourg.
The PayPal visit was incredibly interesting and enlightening. The COO spent a good amount of time with us along with two other employees, sharing where PayPal has been, it’s growth, where they are headed and how they manage knowledge within the company.
Aside from the course, we had a weekend trip to Amsterdam and Brussels, and it was fantastic. We started by touring the city by foot, enjoying the delicious food and taking in the beautiful scenery of the unique water ways. We were fortunate enough to purchase tickets for the Anne Frank museum and visited her hiding place during WWII. It was sad but amazing.
Brussels was another beating city with lots to see. We probably put in 6 miles on foot that day. We visited Manneken Pis, went to a bar with over 2,000 beers, enjoyed their delicious waffles and are on the famous Rue de Brochures.
Being on the field is always a wonderful experience, be it anywhere. The five students from SHU, Luxembourg had the first hand experience in Business market functions during their two weeks of 2016 USA-Luxembourg Connections Summer Enrichment Program in the U.S. From July 17 to July 30, 2016, these students attended classes with their U.S. counterparts at SHU campuses in Stamford and Fairfield, and also visited corporate houses like NYSE, IBM, and Sandler O’Neil. Having been exposed to the bigger world, what were the main insights from the program? Let’s hear it from them.
Paulo Fernandes (Student, Welch MBA):
This was not my first trip to the U.S. but the experience was different and refreshing. The 2016 USA-Luxembourg Connections Summer Enrichment Program created strong links between the MBA colleagues, both Luxembourg and the U.S. based.
Out of the corporate visits we had, I personally liked the Sandler O’Neill visit the most. The takeaways from the discussions with Bob Castrignano (Principal, Equity Sales, Sandler O’Neil), about what made his success, amongst other topics, were very interesting. The story about what happened to the company after 9/11 and his commitment to help rebuild the company was inspiring. A very good visit.
The classes were also very interesting. Obviously, due to cultural differences, professors and students have different point of views and perspectives on many subjects, which is a good thing as it created very interesting discussions.
During the weekdays we went to the beaches close to Stamford several times. We went for a run regularly and played sports such as Basketball and Tennis. For our free two-day weekend, we decided to rent a car and drive to Atlantic City. It was a lot of fun! We enjoyed the beach, the good food and the parties.
I realized the importance of connections and creating and keeping a good network with this trip.
Maria del Rosario Cleofe Chavez Cortez (Student, Welch MBA with internship)
The CONNECTIONS program was full of great moments, but this trip gave me the opportunity to meet new people with awesome perspectives and ideas on different business topics. This trip was my best experience, and of course it was more than what I expected. Being there, with perfect sunny days, visiting important companies and meeting new people, gave me the chance to acquire more business insights and earn new connections.
All the corporate visits gave me the opportunity to learn something new and also taught me some important lessons. The most interesting visit to me was to the NYSE (New York Stock Exchange). It was so exciting to see people working on the trading floor, a place which I am used to seeing in photographs, newspaper and on business TV channels.
The SHU students from Fairfield are friendly and everyone supported us for any need. They are competent and showed engagement during classes. It is difficult to compare professors, because all our professors are amazing professionals that answer all our questions concerning doubts or curiosities. Through an international perspective, all classes were explained under different point of views, and everyone was unique.
I enjoyed every corner of New York City. I visited the MOMA, the Rockefeller center, Atlantic city and also some amazing beaches, such as West Beach and Cove Island Park in Stamford. I will remember the nice people I met from this trip and all the efforts of Prof. Mary Trefry who worked a lot for this program. And New York City, with all its chaos and frenetic life, it was simply magic.
Fabián Mejía Pinto (Student, Welch MBA)
With this trip I reinforce the importance of the technology-enabled connections and the social capital and also the importance of developing strong and weak links through social media and different technology based channels.
All our corporate visits were very interesting, but IBM visit was my favorite. We met Watson, the technology platform that use natural processing and machine learning to reveal insights from large amounts of unstructured data (http://www.ibm.com/watson/what-is-watson.html). This kind of machines can really improve the capacity to analyze large amounts of data and help in decision making processes in any service or industry.
We had very good lectures and group discussions about Developing Social Capital in the era of global networks connections, Marketing in the age of social media and Big data and predictive analytics. We had an excellent atmosphere between the Luxembourg based students and developed very good relationship with the US based students. In class, we had interesting debates about US presidential elections, sustainability and environment, where we could see differences of opinions.
Meetings and dinners with SHU professors like Alfred Steinherr and Mary Trefry and with US executives like Richard Robustelli and Robert Castrignano were very interesting and enriching.
Now that we all are back, we expect to keep in contact with the U.S. based students and maintain the great relationship we built with them.
In less than 24 hours five students from SHU Luxembourg, Jack Welch College of Business, will fly off to the main University campus in Fairfield, CT (U.S.) for the 2016 USA-Luxembourg Connections Summer Enrichment Program. Participating students have the incredible opportunity to visit some of the big U.S. corporate houses in NYC and meet one-on-one with leading professionals from Bloomberg, IBM, JP Morgan, NYSE and Sandler O’Neill (investments & trading). Throughout the two-week excursion, students will also get the chance to interact with the U.S. faculty and study alongside U.S. students—all while earning elective credits in their MBA program for the course BU 687 Contemporary Issues in Global Management.
There is an air of excitement and anticipation among the Lux students as they eagerly pack and prepare for tomorrow’s take-off, so SHU decided to check in with the lucky students and see what some of their expectations are for the trip. Here’s what they had to say:
Maria del Rosario Cleofe Chavez Cortez (Student, Welch MBA with internship)
I am very excited to embark on this new experience because this will be my first time at SHU’s Graduate Center in Stamford, Connecticut. I am also enthusiastic about the course BU 687 Contemporary Issues in Global Management because it will cover interesting topics concerning new trends that impact global businesses such as: social media and networking, cyber security, environmental changes, etcetera.
Thanks to this cross-cultural connection, I will have the opportunity to interact and learn from other students in the U.S. I hope to build a strong relationship with others by sharing my opinions and discussing different topics.
During the course I want to gain more awareness about the latest development in global business and I want to acquire a new vision that will make me responsible with my actions in the future. I am looking to achieve a higher level of professional knowledge and develop new skills; gain a high level of English knowledge and, more generally, become more competitive. I am curious to know about the culture in the United States—to learn about other people’s lifestyle and enjoy visits at important companies, such as New York Stock Exchange, IBM, JP Morgan, Bloomberg, while also enjoying some sight-seeing trips and social events.
Fabián Mejía Pinto (Student, Welch MBA)
I’m very excited to participate in this Connection Enrichment Experience. It is a two-week program including sight-seeing, corporate visits and social events. I’m looking forward to having stimulating discussions on how technology-enabled connections affect us as individuals, organizations and societies, and to meet our classmates of the SHU U.S. campus and to have a great experience.
Iría Martinez (Student, Welch MBA)
I am extremely excited to be part of the U.S. program and I look forward to enriching discussions in class between the U.S. and European minds. This will also be an amazing opportunity for me to spend some time in New York; a city I have always been in love with, and come to know what life is like across the “big pond”. SHU Luxembourg has been very helpful in facilitating the application process with clear guidance and support, as well as Professor Mary Trefry, who I really look forward to meeting in person and spending memorable days with.
Danijela Radic and Paulo Fernandes from the Luxembourg MBA Class of 2016 will also be joining the program with Maria, Fabián, and Iría.
SHU wishes them a meaningful learning experience and a safe journey!