Business Management Technology (MGT) students conducted two alumni panel discussions as part of their lab work in a newly redesigned course, MGM 198 Business Management Practice Lab as taught by Associate Professor Elizabeth Hoch. The curriculum provides students the opportunity to manage projects and to work in teams to plan events. For this project, students wrote biographies of the panelists and devised panelist questions, ordered refreshments, and took photos of the participants. Speaking with the graduates was the highlight of the project because students wanted to know “what it’s really like out there.”
The day class hosted five MGT bachelor degree graduates: Denise Provost ’14, financial aid officer at NEIT; Bob Larrabee ‘06, senior account executive at NEIT’s Center for Technology and Industry; Elizabeth Scotto ’07, human resources generalist at Brown University and MBA graduate from Johnson & Wales University; MGT associate degree graduates Anthony Badessa ‘14, director of e-commerce and store manager at Diamond Legends; and Lucas Wilbur ‘12, supervisor of environmental systems in the environmental office of the Rhode Island Army National Guard. As Scotto stated, “You may be overwhelmed with classes, homework, and exams, but remember to take one day at a time. Paraphrasing from Nelson Algren’s novel A Walk on the Wild Side, Scotto said, “Inch by inch, life’s a cinch; yard by yard, life is hard.”
The evening students hosted bachelor’s grads Marianne Solsberg, ’05, a special education teacher at Hope High School, a MGT adjunct faculty member, and a master’s degree graduate from Johnson & Wales University; Terri Sardelli ‘08, a former buyer at Yardney Technical Products; Lester Laracuente ‘13, owner and operator of Meticulous Paintless Dent Removal; Keith Thompson ‘08, IT training and development specialist at Brown University; Jennie DeSantis, ’05, executive director of player development at Foxwoods Resort Casino and a MBA graduate from Johnson & Wales University; associate degree MGT grad, Maria Bourski ‘13, a human resource coordinator at Hasbro, Inc.; and Ed Carlson, manager of player development at Foxwoods and a MBA graduate from the University of New Haven.
“It was a good experience for the business management students to be acquainted with the alumni and see where they are today,” observed one student. “I learned that anything is possible and having a degree is more important than I thought,” stated another student. As Dr. Karen Whalen-Berry, Business Management Technology department chair concurred, “Any management curriculum will provide an understanding and ask you to explain how to, in this case, effectively manage projects. Much more important and at the heart of NEIT’s business management degree programs is practicing the skills and being able to actually complete the task, or to practice effective management of a project.”
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