Why Pittsburgh is an Ideal Place for Young Talent

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“Pittsburgh has a hunger for new, younger, educated employees,” according to Laura Fisher, the Senior Vice President for Workforce and Special Projects of the Allegheny Conference. One reason why Pittsburgh is ideal for young people is that the median salary in Pittsburgh is at the national average, but the cost of living is well below the national average.

At our recent Ignite Your Career event, Fisher told us that companies want leaders who can “navigate change and foster innovation.” Our MBA is designed to give us the skills and competencies to solve “complex problems,” which Fisher says “is more important than your major.” Fisher was the mastermind behind ImaginePittsburgh.com, a site devoted to retaining and bringing talent to the region. This site has over 20,000 job postings for the Pittsburgh region!

Special thanks Laura Fisher and the alumni who shared tips for resumes, LinkedIn presence, and job searching techniques to help us master the job market.

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Net Impact Conference Reflection

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2013-2014 Net Impact Leadership Team

Throughout my life, I have wanted to be in a high impact role where I could have a positive effect on individuals or society as a whole.  Last weekend, I had the opportunity to attend the Net Impact conference in Silicon Valley.  Net Impact is an organization focused on creating positive social and environmental change in the workplace and the world.  This organization’s mission parallels my personal vision, and I am very thankful that our MBA program sent our Net Impact Chapter officers to this inspiring conference.

At the conference, over 3,000 students and professionals came together with a shared vision to act as change agents through business.  Conference speakers were volunteers from prominent organizations, including: Starbucks, Sprint, SAP, AT&T, Johnson & Johnson, Timberland, TOMS, Nestle, Walt Disney, Best Buy, Target, etc.  I found myself among companies that shared the values that I hold dear to my heart.

The conference affirmed that, through business,  I will be able to impact society – whether through sustainable supply chain solutions, corporate citizenship initiatives, social entrepreneurship or  as the corporate “intraprenuer” who promotes culture change.  Regardless of career path, I plan to be a change agent just like the other attendees.  It was exciting to find that I am not alone.

Why MBA Sustainability, and not a traditional MBA?

Personally, when I began to shop around for an MBA program I knew I wanted an MBA to advance my career, but sustainability was not even in my search box. After much needed research into the topic I realized that sustainability was a lot more than just the “green movement”.

Then I wondered – how could I be so naive? Sustainability has to do with all parts of business from reporting financials to strategic planning.

A widely accepted definition of sustainable development is “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of the future generations to meet their own needs”.   In Dr. Sroufe’s Sustainable Theories and Models class we used this definition to as a jumping off point to create our own definition of sustainability.

My classmate Peter shared his interpretation of sustainability in a simple, but an easy to understand manner.  He compared sustainability to the Boy Scouts’ mantra to “leave the campground cleaner than when we found it”.  Often it is hard to find the words to describe our program to family and friends, but Peter’s point makes it easy for all to relate to the concept of sustainability in business.

Now that I understand sustainability – how I could have ever not wanted an MBA with a sustainability focus?  Our unique program allows us to leave the world a better place through sustainable business practices, which is more than most MBA programs can say.

Student Spotlight: Jana DiSanti

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Before Duquesne:  Prior to joining this program, Jana’s work experience includes, crewleader with the non-profit organization the Student Conservation Association, Chicago chapter; Sierra Club community outreach representative; actor, photographer, and assistant retail manager at the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge, Denali National Park Alaska; brand representative and product spokesperson for Penn Breweries.  Jana has lived in a variety of places, including: Chicago, Illinois; Denali National Park, Alaska; London, England; Washington, Pennsylvania; Hershey Pennsylvania; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  She studied psychology and theatre at Washington & Jefferson College.

Why Duquesne: “I believe that the emphasis the MBA Sustainability program places upon assembling a diverse cohort of individuals offers ideal conditions for developing new and innovative ways to tackle the incredibly complex challenges facing today’s advocates for the development of sustainable practices.   The program’s assertion that no true profit can be had at the expense of environmental or social justice opened my eyes to the potential powers of business to effect positive change in the world and, ultimately, led me to enthusiastically pursue a degree I had never previously considered.  I truly believe that this year’s MBA Sustainability cohort is something special and that we will make some amazing discoveries together!”

After Duquesne: She plans to relocate to the Pacific Northwest to manage marketing and PR for an organization focused on generating a successful triple bottom line, preferably in the sector of sustainable agriculture and food production.  I hope to dedicate my career to developing new, interrelated paradigms for human and environmental health.