Lifted Learning

Omar Aminzay1_HP

Omar Aminzay is tackling his MBA at the University of Mary Washington in the same way that he approaches lifting 525 pounds, one day at a time. The first-generation American, whose parents emigrated from Afghanistan in the 1970s as refugees, has mapped out his life for the next decade. He aims to compete in his next powerlifting competition within the next 10 months; advance to a middle management position within five years; become a chief financial officer within 10 years.  He’ll accomplish these goals one day at a time. “My parents came here for the American dream. They sacrificed their lives to make a better one for me. That is what fuels me,” said Aminzay, who works as a project accountant for CACI Incorporated. “A day that I don’t have a plan is a bad day.” Aminzay, who starts each day with a to-do list, received his bachelor of science in business administration in three years at UMW, and he’ll complete his master of business administration in one year. He works 40 to 50 … [Read more...]

Learning Lab Redefined

Service Dog 1

There is a new student in Professor Woodrow Richardson’s Tuesday afternoon principles of management class. Meet Farrah, a Labrador and golden retriever mix and service dog in training. Farrah is one of two dogs in the University of Mary Washington’s chapter of Canine Companions for Independence (CCI), founded by UMW juniors Rebekah Selbrede and Abigail Hannell. Selbrede and Hannell started the program in the fall 2014 semester after a year of planning that culminated with an overnight trip to New York to pick up Dragon and Farrah in June. Having grown up with dogs, both girls were eager to put their love of animals towards a meaningful cause. As service dogs in training, Dragon and Farrah will eventually be paired with someone in need of help with a physical or hearing disability. Both students were quick to admit that it’s not quite the same as having a pet. “It’s like having a child,” said Selbrede. “It’s a big responsibility to train these dogs.” Over the next year … [Read more...]

Spring Training

Crawford’s experience helped her to learn what it would be like to work on the business side of sports. Photo by Norm Shafer.

Dancing the Macarena with a giant squirrel named Nutzy on top of a dugout wasn’t exactly what Kayla Crawford had in mind when she signed up for her summer internship. Nevertheless, it turned out to be the best part of the University of Mary Washington senior’s summer as she interned with the Richmond Flying Squirrels, a minor league baseball team. Crawford, along with 30 other interns from throughout the region, learned about marketing, sales techniques, customer relations and how to interact with coworkers and supervisors, all while having a great time. “It’s a really fun environment, very lively, a lot of people,” said the business major. “I like being interactive with people and I like being on the field; you feel special and important. You’re in charge of creating that fun.” Crawford is among more than 100 UMW students who completed internships for credit this summer for organizations ranging from Mary Washington Healthcare to the Edgar Allen Poe Museum. Each year, … [Read more...]

Cultivating a Career

Drew Miller '14 is climbing the corporate ladder at Best Buy.

A business leadership course at the University of Mary Washington so inspired Drew Miller last summer that he took matters into his own hands. The 22-year-old business administration major emailed the chief financial officer of Best Buy stores for advice on how to climb the corporate ladder of the company where he has worked since high school. Not only did the CFO personally impart some sage career advice, she asked to continue the conversation by phone. She was so impressed by his initiative and his credentials that she offered him a job. In June, less than a month after earning his undergraduate degree, Miller packed his bags, left Fredericksburg where he grew up and drove nearly 1,000 miles to join Best Buy’s corporate headquarters in Richfield, Minnesota. “I knew I wanted to be part of something bigger than the store level, but I never dreamed I’d be working in the corporate office,” said Miller, who now works as a financial analyst with the international consumer … [Read more...]

Lights, Camera, Passion

Dan Wolfe

The job Dan Wolfe ’84 landed after graduation brought a paycheck, but it also brought nightmares. In them, 20 years had passed; he was in his late 40s, still scuffing along in car insurance. Then came the call. His 26-year-old former University of Mary Washington roommate, John Heath ’84, had died in a car crash. Shaken, Wolfe drove to the campus they’d called home. He’d been coasting, he realized, even back then – a business administration major on “the four-plus-year plan.” But Mary Washington wasn’t giving up on Wolfe yet. He thought of his friend and how he’d loved movies, especially "The Big Chill"; they’d seen it together. As Wolfe strolled Campus Walk, reliving his past, he came face-to-face with his future – a flier for film school on a bulletin board outside Lee Hall. “Once I got over my fear of failure, things started happening,” said Wolfe, now executive vice president for Worldwide Creative Operations at NBC Universal. “I realized I was holding myself … [Read more...]

Inside the Beltway

Photographer

Senior Evan Lauderdale gazes through a glass partition at two co-hosts, poised in front of microphones and computers in a Sirius XM recording studio. Six large television screens cover the wall, tuned to news organizations from around the world. The red light above the studio door beams red, signaling the show is live. “This is the Politics Powered by Twitter show; this is Evan,” Lauderdale greets the show’s first radio caller. “Are you ready to go on the air?” Lauderdale, a business administration and political science double major, is an intern for the “Politics Powered by Twitter” program on the POTUS channel – the ‘P’ stands for politics, not president – which airs from 2 to 3 p.m. each weekday. He’s one of several University of Mary Washington students who are interning in Washington, D.C., this semester, in positions from Capitol Hill to government agencies to media organizations. Lauderdale also helps hosts with their blogs and social media content and edits … [Read more...]

Taking Flight at UMW

Glen-Ackermann-MBA-student

Call Glen Ackermann the consummate adventurer. Whether he’s competing in obstacle races or flying half-way around the world, Ackermann lives daringly. His latest venture: seeking a master of business administration at the University of Mary Washington. “I wanted to keep my mind fresh and active and an MBA is a great thing to have,” said 54-year-old Ackermann, who began taking classes last semester. During the day, the retired Navy pilot works as a program executive for Northrup Grumman where he travels to Japan every six weeks to meet with potential clients. When he’s not in Japan, he manages a team in the United States in offices from New York to D.C. This year alone, he has racked up 150,716 miles with United Airlines and that doesn’t include his regular flights to New York. There is never a typical day for Ackermann, and he likes it that way as evidenced in his choice of extra-curricular activities. He enjoys competing in Spartan races, eight-mile obstacle course … [Read more...]

Building Global Leaders

Tanzania_Homepage

  In a small village in Tanzania, Mama Anna teaches local children from a makeshift classroom in her home. She greets everyone in the village by name and always looks for ways to help others, even in the face of her positive HIV diagnosis. “As a leader, she is innovative, compassionate and committed,” said Meagan Holbrook, a 2013 graduate of the University of Mary Washington. “Those three traits enable her to do great things in her community and allow others to benefit from her talents.” Holbrook and eight UMW students traveled to Tanzania in July as part of a faculty-led study abroad program. The 14-day trip, led by Vice President for Student Affairs Doug Searcy, was the culmination of last semester’s “Cultural Leadership in Tanzania” leadership seminar course. “I think in America sometimes we lose sight of what community means and what family means,” Holbrook said. “In Tanzania, even when people may not have had the time or the resources, they welcomed us into … [Read more...]

Drive to Succeed

Doug Dolton '78, chairman and CEO of San Francisco Motorsports, is serving as UMW's Executive-in-Residence for 2012-2013

Within five years after graduating from the University of Mary Washington, Doug Dolton ’78 went from working as a bank teller to being the chief executive officer of a small bank. Now the chairman and CEO of San Francisco Motorsports, a luxury automotive retailer based out of Northern California, Dolton attributes his success to hard work and a strong sense of personal responsibility. “My philosophy has always been ‘if you do what is right for customers, it will ultimately come back to benefit you,’” he said. “A lot of that was born at Mary Washington. It was a very grassroots kind of place where the philosophy was ‘learn, contribute and be honest.’” Dolton will share his business philosophy during a visit to campus in the spring as part of UMW’s Executive-in-Residence program. He hopes his message of “work really hard and be really honest” will resonate with students. In his more than 30 years in the banking and financial services industries, Dolton said his experience … [Read more...]

Cultivating Fresh Opportunities

The farmers market is open every Wednesday afternoon through September

Standing between piles of yellow squash, potatoes and peppers, with the chatter of friendly small talk in the background, Adrian Martinez greets each customer the same way: “Welcome! Is this your first time at the farmers market?” The I-95 corridor seems a world away. In fact, one almost forgets that the farmers market is in the parking lot of Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center in the bustling Cosner’s Corner area of Massaponax. Martinez, a University of Mary Washington senior business administration major, is helping oversee the market for the summer. He is one of more than 30 UMW business students who have internships this summer, ranging from positions in sales to marketing to human resources. Although his internship is an unpaid opportunity, Martinez is one of the first three students to receive an internship grant, awarded by UMW’s Office of Career Services. “As a result of donations from alumni, parents and friends, we are now pleased to be able to offer the … [Read more...]