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The Student Becomes the Teacher: Alumnus Returns to SHU Lux as Guest Lecturer

Leading & Influencing with Integrity, a compulsory course in the MBA program, has always been an interactive and dynamic course. But on Monday’s session, the classroom transformed into a theater when Director of Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg and SHU Alumnus, Tom Leick-Burns, MBA (Class of 2012) took the stage in his debut role as Guest Lecturer.

Having been a former student in the course, Professor Mary Trefry initially invited Leick-Burns to speak to her class to offer some insight as to why he decided to pursue an MBA and share a bit of his professional/life experiences.

It has only been a year since Leick-Burns succeeded his predecessor Frank Feitler, as the Director of Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg. Speaking on the context of being a leader after being an employee of the company for nearly 10 years, he says,

When I was appointed as the Director, I was very nervous about how the job would go. The trust that Frank put in me was equally flattering and terrifying. I used to compare myself with him and people used to ask me what changes I would bring in. But then I realized that I am what I am and I shouldn’t compare myself with anyone. I told everyone that I am not going to change anything, but will certainly develop things. If you are true to yourself, you can achieve a lot of things.

WGB 612 Leading & Influencing with Integrity Guest Lecture, Tom Leick-Burns, offers his wisdom and insight on pursuing an MBA and being Director of Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg

Elaborating on the need to believe in yourself, Leick-Burns added,

I know that I have worked hard for the job and I did my MBA so that I am qualified for the job. So why should I doubt myself?

According to Leick-Burns being a leader means one has to be a fast learner, and also be able to make decisions quickly. He explained that you don’t always have time get everyone’s input, therefore having a core team of trusted and authentic colleagues to discuss your decisions amongst  is a crucial component of a successful leader.

Despite the class running late into the evening , both students and Leick-Burns were equally enthusiastic to engage in a Q&A session.

QUESTION

What challenges have you faced as a leader?
– Samy Mzabi, Sacred Heart University Luxembourg MBA student

ANSWER

The main challenge for me was to shut out the voice in my head saying, ‘you are not good enough’. Once you get that out, you will have clear thoughts.
– Tom Leick-Burns, Director of Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, MBA (Class of 2012)

QUESTION

As a leader, how to do you draw a line between being a friend and being a boss?
– Jouda Adada, Sacred Heart University Luxembourg MBA with internship student

ANSWER

To strike out a balance, one needs to know and understand one’s job and responsibilities very well. From my experiences and from what I have learnt, you don’t need to shout at people to get things done.

If you are authentic with your colleagues, you can earn the respect and the trust that is necessary to succeed in a leadership role.
– Tom Leick-Burns, Director of Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, MBA (Class of 2012)

SHU Discover’s Luxembourg 2016

Saturday, September 10, 2016: Two teams of MBA with internship students from the new 2016 cohort were on the hunt, representing Sacred Heart University in 9th annual Discover Luxembourg (2016) challenge.

The charity event which supported Stemm vun der Strooss, was organized by www.chronicle.lu in collaboration with the Luxembourg City Tourist Office (LCTO) and the Ville de Luxembourg. Although this year’s theme color was orange, courtesy of ING Luxembourg, the 2016 Event Partner, the two SHU teams stood out and showed their SHU spirit wearing SHU LUX T-shirts.

Sacred Heart University Team 1 & Team 2: Discover Luxembourg 2016

The “discovery of the city” began from Place de Guillame in front of the LCTO and led students to the vibrant corners of Luxembourg City, many of which had never been spotted by these new residents. As contestants on the 8-10 km course, SHU students had the opportunity to explore and discover various facets of Luxembourg’s culture, history, technology and gastronomy, with eight Event Stations along the way in which they could participate in challenges to win points. They also had ten questions to answer, as well as 10 photographs to take and post on social media using the #discoverlux2016 hashtag.

Questions varied from topics on the Cold War, film and entertainment, and some related to the charity institution, Stemm vun der Strooss. Selfies were required at serveral, unique sites in Luxembourg; from The Sheep on Grand Rue to the Melusina Statue in Grund.

Even though we did not win, it was a wonderful bonding and learning experience for all of us. For me, the most entertaining aspect was posting selfies from locations across Luxembourg City
-Jouda Adada, Team Captain of Sacred Heart University Team 1

At the Sheet Statue on Grand Rue
At the Sheet Statue on Grand Rue: SHU Team 1

Discover Luxembourg was an amazing adventure! We had a lot of missions to complete around the city, such as posting pictures from certain places, solving puzzles and quizzes, and doing activities. My favorite one was one of the first challenges at the ING counter where we had to complete a two-meter long distance on a weird little machine that consisted of two pedals. It looked innocent and funny, but turned out to be pretty difficult to keep the balance on and not fall off of it. Even though we did not win, the best thing about this event was the fact that we got to spend an amazing time together representing our university in the atmosphere of fun. …and on top of that the weather was gorgeous!
-Patrycja Stala, Team Captain of Sacred Heart University Team 2.

At Melusina Statue: SHU Team 2

Students even got a chance to meet and interact with SHU alumnus and local, Luxembourg entrepreneur, Lene Pederson, Founder of LeneLife, a business dedicated to promoting healthy and happy living through natural food and nutrition, exercise and individual growth.

With SHU Alumnus Lene Pederson
With SHU Alumnus Lene Pederson

At the end of the day both SHU teams completed the challenge reaching the final destination of Konvikt Centre on Ave Marie Therese where the prize/award ceremony was held! Way to go!

SHU Team 1:

SHU Team 2:

Jouda AdadaPatrycja Stala
Raju AkulwarIuliana Stan
Niranjan Mysore VishwamurthySaranya Valsarajan
Kevin Nolan

 

From Brazil to Luxembourg – From Student/Intern to Full-Time Employee

In August 2015 Gabriel Ristow Cidral traveled all the way from Brazil to join the Sacred Heart University Luxembourg MBA with internship program. Soon after his arrival he started his internship at PwC Luxembourg. Like any other student Gabriel worked long and hard hours to get the most out of his intern experience at PwC.

His hard-work paid off.

SHU is proud to report, in less than one year after starting his internship, and even before graduating, Gabriel has earned a full-time position as a Market Analyst at PwC.

SHU asked Gabriel about his experience as a SHU student and as an intern:

How did you find the life as a student in Luxembourg?
How do you feel being offered a full-time job before graduating?
Your journey from intern to full-time employee…
How did the MBA help to build your career?

Here’s what he had to say…

MBA with internship Orientation Day held!

“Cover letter is not the summary of your CV”, said Ildiko Mulley, the Recruitment Lead-Luxembourg, Vodafone Procurement Company Sarl, on the Orientation Day of the MBA with internship students of 2016-2017 cohort.

The event, which was held at the Chamber of Commerce building, began with an introduction to the program by Anemone Thomas, the International MBA Manager of Sacred Heart University (SHU), Giving an overview of the entire course, she spoke on how the University assists the students in finding the right internship.

Followed by the introduction, Antoine Rech, the Administrative Director, SHU, informed about SHU’s digital support such as the SHU online library.

The center stage was then taken over by the Adjunct Professor, Esther Celosse and Ildiko Mulley. They lead an intense interactive session with the students and explained how to write a CV and a Cover Letter and what are the mistakes that need to be avoided.

“Read through your CV with a critical eye and analyse it like a third person. Avoid typographical errors because such minor mistakes are quickly noticed by the recruiters and can lead your CV to land on the rejection pile ”, shared Ildiko Mulley.

The session ended with an informal lunch where the students and the speakers had a chance to continue their discussion in a more informal way.

My Luxembourg Experience

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.

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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.

Bofferding

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.

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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.

Ams-Brus

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.

It was a great stay and went by all too fast.

CONNECTED forever!

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, Sacred Heart University Luxembourg MBA):

PauloThis 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.

Students-2e

 

 

 

 Maria del Rosario Cleofe Chavez Cortez (Student, Sacred Heart University Luxembourg MBA with internship)

MariaThe 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.

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 Fabián Mejía Pinto (Student, Sacred Heart University Luxembourg MBA)

FabianWith 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.