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Month: October 2015

Current and Former Military Officers Emphasize Service Over Self at Leadership Dinner

Current and Former Military Officers Emphasize Service Over Self at Leadership Dinner

When Terry O’Halloran came home from Vietnam, he was advised not to wear his Marine uniform in the airport. But he did, and protesters of the unpopular war threw trash at him. “Although 1966 wasn’t a good time to be in the military, not a day goes by that I don’t remember the lessons I learned in the Marines,” he said.

O’Halloran, a U.S. Marine veteran and a University of Dallas alumnus, along with four other current and former military service men and women, spoke on October 22, 2015, to a group of University of Dallas students about the importance of service over self, whether that service be in the armed forces or in one’s community.

O’Halloran, Vice President and General Manager at Johnson Controls, went on to say that his Marine experience helped him weather the changes that come with the many mergers and acquisitions that characterize the corporate world.

Patrick Law, Senior Vice President of U.S. Bank and the Chief Operating Officer of Elan Bank and UD alumnus, said that his military experience taught him to take initiative. “The world needs people who can look at a situation and take action,” said Law, a U.S. Army veteran of the first Gulf War.

Esther Gomez, a Marine reservist and Catholic Youth Minister agreed. “Preparing to be an officer taught me to handle pressure. I can look at problem, quickly make a decision, and get results,” she said. Gomez is a graduate student working on a master’s degree in pastoral ministry at UD.

“One of the most important things I took away from the Marines was a respect for diversity,” said Michael Hilden, a Principal Engineer at Verizon, a former U.S. Marine, and a University of Dallas alumnus. “In the Marines, I learned to respect and understand other cultures and other people’s ideas. This gave me a global mindset and helped me keep an open mind and listen to others’ ideas,” he said.

Bo Glavan, Chief Staff Officer of the Navy Fleet Logistics Support Wing in Fort Worth, said that his 10 moves in 19 years taught him to adapt to new situations. “My family and I have a process,” he said. “We move to a new place, I learn my new job, we get situated as a family, and then we look for ways to give back.”

Members of the panel emphasized humility as one of the characteristics crucial to career and life success. “You have to find ways to challenge yourself,” said Law. “By learning from everyone you meet, you can stretch yourself, stretch your boundaries, and do things you didn’t think you were capable of.”

Hilden agreed. “People respect leaders who are transparent—the ones who are on the front lines with them and supporting them.”

When the panelists were asked what characteristic they would look for in potential employees, authenticity was at the top of the list. “Everyone needs a mentor,” said Glavan, “but you have to make sure you are being authentic to who you actually are. Communicate what you are passionate about and that will come across as authenticity.”

The take-home message of the evening was that service lies at the heart of a successful career and a fulfilling personal life. “Find a grass roots, pure of heart organization that you are passionate about,” said Glavan, “and give them your time and treasure.”

Terry Halloran couldn’t agree more. Perhaps because he remembers what it felt like to be persecuted because of his uniform, he volunteers for the USO at DFW Airport, welcoming soldiers on the way home for leave. “Sometimes we play cards, sometimes they just want to talk,” he said. “We just want to be there for them.” In or out of uniform, that’s honorable service—and another one he can be proud of.

For more information on events sponsored by the University of Dallas Office of Personal Career Development, click here.

4 Ways to Get Ready for Graduation Now

4 Ways to Get Ready for Graduation Now

opcd3If you’re a senior, it’s never too early to start thinking about where you will land after graduation. Here are some things you can do to prepare for life after May 15th.

It takes six to twelve months, on average, to find meaningful employment after graduation. Begin researching opportunities and polishing your resume NOW to give you a head start on other May graduates.

Many companies want to hire recent graduates without much experience. The Office of Personal Career Development hosts employers on campus that are looking for UD graduates. Pay close attention to the emails you receive from us and meet these employers when they come to campus. To sign up for our mobile job alerts, click here.

OPCD job fairs are a great place to meet potential employers from a variety of fields. Oftentimes, the companies that participate in our fairs are familiar with UD students and have hired them for internships and permanent jobs in the past. Dress professionally and bring several copies of your resume.

OPCD hosts panels and speaker events throughout the year. The speakers are experts in their fields and will provide invaluable information about the industries and companies for which they work. Attend as many of these events as you can. Come prepared with thoughtful questions and copies of your resume.

Sustainable Business Network: Understanding Big Data

Sustainable Business Network: Understanding Big Data

The phrase “big data”–intriguing to some, unsettling to others—is the common business term for the treasure trove of information companies collect and analyze in hopes making informed, strategic decisions. Representatives from Sabre, United Healthcare and a major global telecommunications provider spoke at the University of Dallas’ Sustainable Business Network event on October 20, 2015, about how their specific organizations balance the need for consumer analytics with their customers’ desire for privacy.

“The ‘Big Data’ department is more like a Silicon Valley start-up,” said the director of big data privacy and compliance for the telecommunications company. “Every day is something new. There’s no one to ask and no manual or practice guide.”

The director said that big data leads to predictive analytics and that data on customer behavior can help companies predict future activity, such as the likelihood of customer “churn,” leaving one communications service provider for another. Because of FCC regulations, however, customers of the telecommunications company must “opt-in” to allow the company to collect anything more than basic service data. The director said bringing in data scientists from unregulated fields who aren’t used to the kinds of regulations to which his company must comply is a particular challenge. “They have great ideas,” he said, “but they don’t fit into what a highly-regulated company can do.”

Dorcinda Pipkin, Data Privacy Manager for Sabre, a global travel services company, said that because her company provides the technology which airlines and hotels use to interact with their own customers, Sabre has to be particularly careful about how consumer data is used. “Our goal is to provide our customers [airlines, hotels and travel services] with information on their travelers that allows them to provide their own customers with better service and pricing, “ she said. “Each contract negotiation includes a detailed description of exactly how the end-consumer’s data will be used.”

Andrew Consolver, Vice President of Information Technology for United Healthcare said that big data helps his company fulfill its mission of helping people live healthier lives. “By interacting with patients, medical providers and employers, we can help individuals by using data about what has helped others who have been on the same path. This not only leads to a better quality of life for patients, it reduces medical costs in general,” Consolver said.

Storing mounds of sensitive data is not without its risks. A question from the audience led the panelists into a discussion of the security of PII, or personally identifiable information. Consolver said that data security is a top priority for United Healthcare. “We have refined and increased the focus on security by orders of magnitude in recent years,” he said.

The telecommunications director described internal processes at his company that keep highly sensitive private data secure. “Our external firewall protects us from outside invaders. Having an internal firewall means that we manually monitor the very few, highly-trusted individuals that have access to sensitive data,” he said.

The panelists agreed that although data scientists at their respective companies may present new and innovative ways to cull and analyze customer data, it is ultimately up to the compliance teams to determine whether these activities meet their internal privacy regulations. “We have to ask ourselves,” the telecommunications director said, “’What are the ethical implications of mining this data?’”

The University of Dallas Sustainable Business Network (SBN) is an open forum for building relationships, exchanging best practices, and fostering dialogue around issues of corporate social responsibility, sustainability and eco-innovation, and corporate governance. Hosted by the AACSB-accredited Satish & Yasmin Gupta College of Business at the University of Dallas, SBN hosts quarterly events and panel discussions on relevant topics led by recognized industry experts. Click here for information on the next SBN event.