Deutsche Börse

Our visit to Germany included a stop at the Deutsche Börse in Frankfurt.  If you didn’t know the Deutsche Börse in Frankfurt is the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, so you can compare it to the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) that we know so well in the United States.  It was interesting to hear about the indices, and have the opportunity to see the trading floor from the gallery.  I was pleasantly surprised to find the trading floor rather quiet and calm!

European Central Bank Idea Sharing

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Today we had the opportunity to meet with sustainability leaders and ambassadors at the European Central Bank. This visit allowed us to not only relate our sustainability knowledge, but also economics since we just finished up discussing central banking systems. Our cohort had the ability to exchange ideas regarding sustainable business solutions and initiatives. The bank specifically found interest in game theory to change behavior. To gather a quick understanding of the ECB and Eurosystem here is a quick video!

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Student Spotlight: Katie Summers

katiesummersBefore Duquesne: Katie attended Washington & Jefferson College where she studied business administration. Katie still manages to find the time to balance her position as a marketing intern at NetServe 365, an IT company in Robinson township, with a full-time course load.

Why Duquesne: “I chose this program because it is innovative and will allow me to learn about managing a business while reducing the impact we have on the earth. Business is changing and sustainability is going to be the most important aspect of the way people live and run their business so I wanted to become educated early and be able to be part of changing the world.”

Beyond Duquesne: After the program, her goals are to find a position in finance or operations in the field of information technology.

Corporate Governance and Responsible Investing at BlackRock

by Blair Schoenborn

Duquesne Professor Connie Bentzen invited our cohort to join her International Finance class to hear a guest lecturer from BlackRock speak about Corporate Governance and Responsible Investing.  With $4.1 trillion invested in more than 7,000 portfolios, BlackRock is the world’s largest asset management institution.  Jack spoke about BlackRock’s Proxy Voting and ESG (Environment, Social, and Governance) Investment Integration services.

The Process  BlackRock’s Corporate Governance and Responsible Investment (CGRI) team partners with portfolio managers to integrate ESG issues into their investment strategy.  This happens in a three-step process:

1)   Research and Issue Spotting – This is driven by their internal guidelines for research and meetings with clients and companies to determine issues and management of those issues, respectively.

2)   Review and Engagement – This involves in-depth research leveraging the expertise of portfolio managers and engagement with the company in question as necessary.

3)   Vote Execution – BlackRock votes with one voice, meaning through meetings and review of research they are able to come to a decision for the vote; all votes are reviewed by an oversight committee both monthly and quarterly.

As a student of sustainability in business operations, and especially in finance, it was interesting to hear how the world’s largest asset management company is successfully integrating environmental, social, and corporate governance issues into their portfolio management strategy.

As an individual, and a novice investor in the stock market, it was also enlightening to learn of the power that a proxy voting system can have in influencing governance and responsible investing.

Overall, it was an eye-opening and thought-provoking lecture.  Visit BlackRock’s website to find out more.

Bring on the Spring (Semester)!

While it may not feel like spring with the recent sub-zero temperatures, our cohort is back to the bluff to begin the spring semester.  We have a full course load with finance, economics, marketing, organizational behavior, sustainability tools, an elective of our choice and a consulting project course.

In this semester’s consulting project course our cohort has been broken up into seven teams to consult for four multinational corporations that are leaders in their industry. Two teams have been assigned to General Electric (GE), two teams to Alcoa, two teams to Braskem, and one to PPG Industries. The student teams will be meeting with clients over the next few weeks for kick-off meetings to guide the projects throughout the semester.

Now if we could only bring on the spring weather!

Student Spotlight: Karli Minick

ImageBefore Duquesne: Karli joins our cohort after completing her undergraduate work in three years at the University of Pittsburgh.  Karli was able to major in both finance and supply chain management in three years, while also cheerleading.  Karli completed a leadership internship at Target Corporation, a supply chain internship at Westinghouse Electric Company/Toshiba, and a finance internship at Prime Metals & Alloys, Inc.

Why Duquesne: “I chose this program because it will allow me to complete my MBA in one year, and it complements my supply chain management degree.”

After Duquesne: After completing this MBA program Karli will be looking for positions in sustainable supply chain management.

Student Spotlight: Nick Monzo

IMG_0152Before Duquesne: Prior to joining our program, Nick studied communication at Villanova University.  He worked as a corporate sales intern at Philadelphia Union and as a promotions assistant at 94WIP, CBS Radio.  During his time at Villanova, he produced a documentary focusing on social justice.  The film follows several college students living in the United States as undocumented immigrants.

Why Duquesne: “I chose this program because its mission echoed my own personal values and interests. In addition, I was eager to be back in my hometown.  When I had the opportunity to visit campus and attend class, all of the faculty and students made me feel very comfortable, even though I had a limited business background at the time. I felt as if they wanted me, and me specifically, to be a part of their next cohort.  All of these factors made choosing Duquesne a very easy decision for me.”

Beyond Duquesne: After this program Nick plans to work in finance or project management for a small company with a tight-knit culture.  He would like to stay in the Pittsburgh area, but he is open to many opportunities. Nick is able to articulate his thoughts effectively making him a valuable asset to any organization.