Marist Magazine Winter 2013 - page 28

Alumni
news
&
notes
26
More than 50 alumni of the
Marist College Higher Education
Opportunity Program gathered on
Nov. 21 in New York City to celebrate
the 10th anniversary of the HEOP
Alumni Fund. Guests included (left to
right) Dr. Eddie Summers ’04/’06M,
Luis Santiago ’98, Niasia Kemp ’11,
Freddy Garcia ’09, and Julio Torres
’01. This was the first gathering of its
kind and included a 50/50 raffle to
raise additional money for the fund.
A
fter sending her résumé to 100 places
with no results, business major Elizabeth
Imken ’12 thought she’d be graduating from
Marist without a job. Then, finally, success: she
landed a position in a management development
program at cosmetics giant L’Oréal. But the hard
part was just beginning: her first assignment at
L’Oréal was to condense a 2-inch-high stack of
financial reports into a 1-page summary.
It was sink or swim. But she already was
a strong swimmer. Because of her senior cap-
stone class at Marist with Dr. Helen Rothberg,
she knew how to attack the problem. “I didn’t
know how to solve the problem, but I knew
how to go about finding a solution,” she says,
“and I applied the same skills I used in her
class to the problem. This class prepared me
for that.”
Three weeks later, Imken presented her
summary to executives. They went on to
implement her suggestions for streamlining
the report process.
“It was the best class,” Imken recalls of
Rothberg’s course. “It was just a great learn-
ing experience because it teaches you how to
think.”
Rothberg pulls no punches with her stu-
dents. “This is boot camp,” Rothberg says. “This
is a rite of passage. When they’re done with
this, they stand taller. They now know they
can rely on themselves when things get tough,
when they face something difficult, and shine.”
Students in Rothberg’s fall 2013 Strategic
Management class found that out the hard way.
On a December evening in the board room
of the Cannavino Library, five students stood
before Rothberg, their classmates, and three
alumni guests and offered their strategic analy-
sis of L’Oréal and their plan for expanding the
company’s global reach. Then Rothberg poked
holes in their presentation, asking questions
that showed the data and analysis that were
missing. Afterwards she met privately with the
five students, asking them how they thought
they did and in retrospect, what they would
have done differently.
The three visiting alumni were well-suited
to give the students meaningful feedback. Nick
Alumni returned to campus in December to
critique presentations by students in Dr. Helen
Rothberg’s Strategic Management course.
Pictured are Rothberg (center) with (left to
right) Nick Gent ’13, Class of 2014 members
Tierney Larson, Cody Sorrell, Brendan Morris,
Kevin Dondero, and Ruth Bonventre, Liz
Imken ’12, and Peter Bogulaski ’11.
A Challenging Class Leads
to Career Success—
and a Desire to Give Back
Gent ’13 is a relationship manager at M&T Bank
and Peter Bogulaski ’11 a senior product cost
analyst in operations finance at cosmetics com-
pany Revlon. Imken was especially so, as one
of only three “finance explorers” enrolled since
2012 in L’Oréal’s two-year Explorer program,
a management development track. She spent
a year studying L’Oréal’s North American
operations, learning how products are made
and howmuch they cost to make, and then six
months supporting the company’s sales and
marketing team, a rotation she will continue
until July 2014.
Her School of Management professors
were wonderful during her job search, Imken
says. “When it came time for me to look for a
job, every single one of them was more than
willing to sit and talk about my résumé. They
became my biggest support system.”
When Rothberg invited her to return
to campus to evaluate student presenta-
tions, Imken was more than happy to say
yes. Although the presentation was on
Thanksgiving weekend, Imken drove an hour
and a half from her home in northern New
Jersey to be there.
She is giving back in other ways as well.
From the day she began working at L’Oréal,
she has been pushing the company to recruit
at Marist.
“I stepped back on campus today and I felt
like I was home. It’s just something that you
can’t really teach, and you can’t really put into
words what exactly it is about Marist. But I
know a lot of people feel the same way. You
feel connected after you leave. And I knew,
as soon as I left, that any success that I had, I
wanted to pay it forward.”
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