Alumni Networking Event

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Recently, the local alumni and our cohort had a networking event at the Red Ring campus restaurant. While our program has alumni across the world, we still have a lot of local alumni, which became evident to me after seeing the turnout at the event.  This networking opportunity allowed us to take a glimpse into our future – and it is bright.

Personally, I was able to talk with Maureen Coyle, operations director at Venture Outdoors.  While at Duquesne Maureen was also the graduate assistant that created the blog, Facebook, and Twitter for our program.   I enjoyed being able to pick the brain of the person whose footsteps I am following.

My classmate Dave spoke with two other graduates, Erin Clymer and Dana McTighe. Erin works in talent development at PNC, and hired Dana as a project manager upon graduation.  For Dave, this story reinforced the value of networking with program alumni.

Another classmate Blair connected with Ashley Jones, organizational efficiency specialist at NORESCO. Ashley and Blair connected on their passion for the Net Impact organization.  Ashley started the Pittsburgh Net Impact chapter, and Blair is the current president of Duquesne’s Net Impact Chapter.  Do I foresee another networking event between Net Impact chapters?

In attendance, there were also alumni from Fisher Scientific, FedEx, BNY Mellon, and other Pittsburgh-based businesses.  It is motivating to see the impact that our alumni are having in a variety of professions. To get to our own bright future, each of us has a lot of challenging, but exciting work over the next year

BNY Mellon Class Interaction

Guest Blogger: Matthew Petronko

Dr. Nist’s special topics class was extra special today. We hosted two practitioners from the finance field from BNY Mellon, John T. Buckley, Managing Director of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), and Lauren Lambert, Corporate Social Responsibility Program Administrator, a star employee and alumnus of our sustainability program. They brought with them a quandary, how to rectify Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) standards with their own CSR reporting?

Dr. Nist prepared the class with readings and dedicated time to work out our ideas beforehand, so the discussion was exceptionally rich. The conversation included many topics such as political activity of corporations and banks, the role of large banks to stabilize markets, society’s expectations of banks, and, of course, fiduciary duty and the shareholder, stakeholder, investor dynamic.

We were trying to understand what ought to be disclosed in an integrated report. The dangers of including too much are exposure to liability, exposing competitive intelligence, clutter, or just looking worse than the competition. The benefits of disclosure include increased appeal across all markets, but not without risk. The problem becomes even more complex because standards are not yet set.

While we may not have solved the problem, we gained deeper insight. We also gained a new appreciation of the implications of applying the practices we have learned in class. This was a great experience because of the deep interaction with the experts. It is especially valuable to have feedback from a graduate working in CSR.