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...]

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...]

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...]

Trotting the Globe for Business Education

Srivastava, Mukesh GM

Mukesh Srivastava is a frequent flyer with a penchant for international travel and a mind focused on global business. Srivastava, associate dean of the College of Business, was noted for his research -- on how different groups within an organization interact with each other -- at a conference in Thailand in April. He will travel to Ireland at the end of June to present similar research. The 2012 recipient of UMW's Graduate Faculty Award, Srivastava founded the Association of Global Management Studies (AGMS) in 2009 and hosted the first AGMS conference in 2010. This year, nine countries were represented at the conference held in the Harvard Faculty Club. He aims to hold the conference in New Zealand in 2013. “AGMS has given me an enhanced perspective on global thinking,” said Srivastava, who also is associate professor. “That exchange that I am able to bring to the classroom is useful for my students.” Last October, Srivastava spent five weeks in Tunisia as part of a … [Read more...]