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Month: March 2017

UD Alum Receives Fulbright Research Award

UD Alum Receives Fulbright Research Award

University of Dallas alumnus Phillip Wozniak (BA Biology ‘15) has been awarded a Fulbright Research Award to conduct medical research in Spain. He will be conducting a pre-clinical trial that focuses on finding an alternative treatment for preventing severe respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), an infection that can be deadly to premature and immunocompromised infants. His research will focus on the use of medical nanotechnology to develop the treatment.

Phillip Wozniak

Wozniak is currently a Clinical Research Coordinator at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, the pediatric teaching hospital associated with Ohio State University. He believes his Fulbright application was particularly strong because of his relationship with a pioneer in the medical nanotechnology field, Dr. Maria Angeles Muñoz-Fernández. “Many applicants come up with a research idea and the beg around for someone to mentor them,” Wozniak said. “But I worked closely with my mentor to develop a research proposal that already had the support of a leader in the field.”

Wozniak will defer medical school for a year in order to conduct the research. And although he understands that the transition won’t be easy, he thinks his time at UD helped prepare him to live abroad. “Having the Rome experience helped me understand at least some of what I will be in store for me in Spain,” he said.

For more information on Prestigious Scholarships and Fellowships like the Fulbright Award, visit the OPCD website or to make an appointment, click here.

Executives on Campus: Aaron Bujnowski, Texas Health Resources

Executives on Campus: Aaron Bujnowski, Texas Health Resources

Creating a winning strategy for the largest health care system in the Dallas/Fort Worth area may seem like a daunting task. But Aaron Bujnowski, Senior Vice President of Strategy and  Planning for Texas Health Resources feels that striving to provide the best quality care for patients gives his work deep meaning. “If we decide to build a new hospital, maybe in the long run, someone’s child or grandchild will be helped because of that decision,” he said. Bujnowski spoke recently to a group of University of Dallas business students about the role of strategic planning in a large corporation.

Aaron Bujnowski

Bujnowski told students that the key to strategic planning is to get the best return on limited resources. “You don’t need a strategy if you have unlimited resources,” he said. “But if your resources are limited, you have to make tactical choices to set the direction of the company. It’s hard to say no, but limited resources require that you must.”

According to Bujnowski, companies must understand that there is an important distinction between goals and strategy. “Vision statements and goals are aspirations,” he said. “But a good strategy is a clear definition of the choices required to achieve those goals.”

Perhaps the primary job of a strategic planner, Bujnowski said, is insight–insight into customer habits, analytics, market forces, and how current trends could possibly lead to disruption in the marketplace. “Strategy is always looking to see what’s coming down the road,” he said. As an example, Bujnowski described how Kodak did not see the disruption that cell phone cameras would have on its core camera business until it was too late for them to become a force in the market. “Disruption happens,” he said. “And strategists are constantly looking for ways in which things like new technology can cause that disruption.”

Bujnowski said that Texas Health Resources is paying close attention to how healthcare is changing in order to stay ahead of the innovation curve. “Consumerism is an important force in health care now,” he said. “Since people are paying more out of pocket of their healthcare costs, they expect a certain level of customer service to go along with that, a level that’s not been traditionally associated with healthcare.” According to Bujnowski, companies like Texas Health Resources are adopting strategies that focus on customer satisfaction, with features like online scheduling and app-based wait-time calculators to decrease time spent in the actual health clinic.

Starting a career in strategic planning often means going to work for a large consultancy firm and then specializing in a particular business sector. This can lead, then, to an in-house strategy position at a firm within that sector. “Good consultants look for patterns,” Bujnowski said. “They also look for anomalies, analogies, and compromises. But the best consultants can figure out how to break those compromises and get the maximum result.”

The University of Dallas Executives on Campus program was founded to further the University’s mission of providing practice-based education by inviting successful business leaders to share their experience with graduate and undergraduate students in the classroom. Through this program, alumni, business leaders, and their companies are invited to partner with the University in our shared pursuit of management excellence.

For help with your resumé or to make an appointment with a career counselor, click here.

 

Judgement Call: Is Law School Right for You?

Judgement Call: Is Law School Right for You?

Going to law school is a common next step taken by many liberal arts graduates. And while there may be some good reasons to go, there are some equally good reasons not to, according to Dr. John Baker, University of Dallas alumnus, professor at at Louisiana State University, and visiting professor at Georgetown University. Dr. Baker spoke recently to a group of UD students about the ins and outs of law school.

“Here are the reasons not to go to law school,” Baker said. “Don’t go because your parents or anybody else wants you to go. And don’t be go because you don’t know what else to do.” Baker said that not knowing what to do with a liberal arts degree is sometimes a problem for UD students. “Don’t be afraid of the world,” he said. “You have a lot to offer.”

Baker said that UD students can stand out in the competition to get into law school because so many undergraduates are not being taught how to think, and since the best law schools have intellectual depth, unprepared graduates can’t compete. But broad thinking liberal arts majors must be prepared to make the transition to a new level of detail in law school. “Law school is granular,” Baker said. “You have to be ready for that kind of attention to detail.”

Baker said that those considering law school can make themselves competitive by bringing a special skill to the table. This will also help law school graduates differentiate themselves when competing for jobs after graduation. “Since law schools are basically agnostic about majors, try to get a background in anything,” Baker said. “Whether it’s a foreign language, business, or medicine, try to develop an expertise in something.”

“An undergraduate internship with a law firm is another good way to see if the law is right for you,” Baker said. In addition, he suggested that becoming a paralegal for a while before applying to law school can let students test the waters of a law firm before committing to law school.

Baker recommended that if students apply to law school, they should accept the best school they can get into. “There are some good schools in this area,” Baker said. “If you want to stay in this region, consider University of Texas. If you want to stay in Dallas, consider Southern Methodist University.”

For more information about applying to graduate school, contact OPCD by clicking here.

 

The Road Less Traveled: UD English Majors Talk About Various Paths to Success

The Road Less Traveled: UD English Majors Talk About Various Paths to Success

University of Dallas students often hear the remark, “You can do anything with a liberal arts degree.” But what exactly does that mean? A panel of UD alumni, all English majors, spoke on Friday, February 21, to a group of students about how they translated their degrees into successful careers and graduate studies.

Panelist Michael Traylor parlayed his degree into a career as a landman, a job that CNN Money calls the third best America. “I didn’t really have a big plan when I was a senior,” Traylor said. “I kept looking around for the perfect unicorn job.” Although some of Traylor’s friends had decided on law school, he wasn’t so sure. He eventually got job researching property rights and leases for oil and gas drilling. “It’s like lawyer-lite,” Traylor said. “I read deeds all day, and businesses rely on my interpretation of them.” A job as a landman might not be on every senior’s radar, but it is an example of one of myriad positions available to not only UD English majors, but to liberal arts majors in general. “Your education prepares you to do anything,” Traylor said, “But narrowing that down can be a difficult process.”

John Corrales, Social Media Editor for the New York Times, said he was idealistic but certainly not deliberate when he was a senior English major: “I had these vaguely romantic ambitions, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do.” After graduation Corrales moved back to his hometown of Odessa, Texas and got a job working for the local newspaper. After realizing this wasn’t for him, he wandered about a bit trying different jobs until he finally reached out to a friend’s cousin, who helped him land a job at the New York Times. “You really have to trust yourself,” Corrales said. “You make your own luck. You just have to want it.” And as far as the job he left Odessa, Corrales encouraged students to take a job that’s it’s in front of them, even if it’s something they don’t necessarily like. “You’ll learn something from every experience,” he said.

Seth Gonzalez, videographer and Staff Writer for The Texas Catholic newspaper, also changed jobs a few times before settling in his current position. “You have to bring something to the table,” he said. “You can’t just say that you are passionate about something without bringing some kind of skill related to it. Develop your skills on your own time if you have to.” Seth agreed with Corrales that individuals make their own luck: “Someone told me once that failing to prepare is preparing to fail.”

Maria Walley has taken the entrepreneurial route as the co-founder and marketing director of Kandid.ly, a fledgling digital marketplace for photographers. “It’s kind of like Etsy for amateur photographers.” Walley said that liberal arts majors can have success in just about any field because they think differently than those graduates who have more specialized skills. “Instead of just learning a process, we’re trained to think about the process from the outside,” she said.

Megan Wadle, who taught middle school before pursuing PhD work at Southern Methodist University, said that although it’s sometimes difficult to narrow down career possibilities, the naïveté of not knowing one’s limits can be a good thing. “Sometimes, you sign up for things that are really too much for you, but you learn as you go,” she said.

Nate McCabe, also a graduate student at SMU said that he had to make a conscious decision to be aggressive in pursuing his goal of getting into graduate school. “I got waitlisted by SMU and was working as a barista. I decided that I had to go harder to get the door open,” he said. “I started emailing professors. I had just about given up, but as soon as I closed the door on graduate school, I got the call from SMU that I got in.” Nathan said that although he doesn’t get much choice in what he studies, he got a good piece of advice from UD’s Dr. Greg Roper that keeps him going. “You have to suffer the 90% you don’t like to get to do the 10% that you do,” he said.

In closing, the panelists each offered practical advice for soon-to-be graduates:
Corrales: Find an internship. Gain some sort of useful skill–it’ll make you unstoppable.
Gonzalez: Develop an insatiable appetite. Dig into what you’re passionate about.
Traylor: Find the person who has the job you want and find out how they got there.
Walley: Meet with people to learn about different careers. And surround yourself with people who lift you up.
Wadle: Talk to someone who’s actually in the profession you’re interested in. Nobody knows it better than they do.
McCabe: Don’t just analyze information. Learn to synthesize it.

To make an appointment to meet with an OPCD counselor, click here.

College of Business Newsletter Notes from the OPCD: Researching Cities

College of Business Newsletter Notes from the OPCD: Researching Cities

When conducting a job search or just to gain a greater understanding of the job market in general, we recommend that you research what cities are seeing employment growth, boast the best salaries, and considerations like average commuting time.

Take a look at THIS PAGE, which provides information on the above topics for the year of 2017 and also allows you to click on the profiles of employment experts who provide answers to questions like:

  • What impact will the new administration’s policies have on job growth?
  • What fields are expected to grow the most in the coming decades?
  • Which are the biggest challenges facing job seekers today?
  • Which are the most common mistakes job seekers make when seeking employment?