Adam Ray, BBA ‘12

By Fox Public Relations

Posted in Office Hours, Online Extras from the Spring 2016 edition

Actor

office-hours-image3Actor

For Adam Ray, there’s nothing unsettling about the unknown.

“If anything,” said Ray, “it’s an opportunity to see what you’re made of.”

With minimal formal training, Ray moved to Hollywood to pursue an acting career. The Fox School of Business alumnus, who appeared in two seasons of the HBO medical comedy series “Getting On,” is looking to continue his path in the Entertainment Capital of the World as an actor and producer.

Ray earned his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, with a focus in Marketing, in 2012. Along the way, the Phoenixville, Pa., native said he “took two theater electives,” stoking a deep-seeded interest. A few months after graduation, Ray put on hold his career plans and moved to Los Angeles.

“I at least had to see and experience the entertainment industry for myself,” he said. “I didn’t come to L.A. with the intention of staying here, but I knew that if I took a 9-to-5 job right after graduating, I’d never pursue acting.”

To expand his acting depth, Ray has studied at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in Los Angeles. Inspired on set by the show’s lead actor Laurie Metcalf, Ray started studying comedy at Lesly Kahn & Company in Hollywood. He also produced and co-produced two short films in 2015. Fellow Temple alumnus Alexander C. Fraser wrote and directed Ray’s first short, “Cabo,” which led to Ray meeting Al Pacino and Broadway director Robert Allan Ackerman.

Here’s a glimpse into a day in the life of Adam Ray:

Tuesday, Jan. 19

9 a.m. Start the day with a conversation with my agent to discuss an upcoming audition and the recent headshots that I’ve had taken.

9:30 a.m. Reviewing the trailer of a recent film in which I appeared. (I’m looking over it and getting ready to put some posts out to social media.)

10:15 a.m. Receive another call from my manager, who provides updates on a pitch she made to a director, Gabriel Hart, who became familiar with my work through an Instagram video.

10:45 a.m. Running through a scene for my audition, with former “Getting On” castmate, Verton Banks. We like to work together on material. I have a blast working with Verton, and can feel assured that I’m putting in the right work.

12 p.m. Meet in Burbank with a casting director whom I’ve gotten to know a bit from being called in for various auditions. It’s a casual chat, and we talk about our perspectives of the industry.

1 p.m. Stop by my place to have a bite to eat and to get ready for a pitch meeting for a script I recently optioned from a writer whose work I enjoy.

2 p.m. At the pitch meeting, which goes on for a while. We talk about what they thought of the script. They loved it and are considering a few actors that I’ve suggested. This looks promising.

4 p.m. Attend a seminar for producing new media content. I like to keep up-to-date with current news and ideas for producing material. As online content becomes more mainstream, it’s important to be aware of the changes.

6:30 p.m. Meet with a friend for dinner at Bosanova in Hollywood. It’s time to unwind a little bit and just talk about our day’s work and what’s coming up.

8 p.m. Head home to unwind, but I can’t help but jot down some ideas. I’ve developed a new hobby: Writing. Lately, I’ve been writing a few comedy sketches and shorts.

9:30 p.m. Watching the season finale of “Master of None.” Brilliant show!

11:00 p.m. Time to head to bed.

Q+A with Fox junior and Temple football player Sharif Finch

By Christopher A. Vito

Posted in Online Extras from the Fall 2015 edition

Sharif Finch has made a name for himself by being in the right place at the right time.

Sharif Finch has made a name for himself by being in the right place at the right time.

Sharif Finch, left, a junior at the Fox School of Business, bumps fists with Dr. M. Moshe Porat when the Fox School’s Dean visited one of the Temple football team’s October practices. Finch, a defensive lineman, is joined by senior Kyle Friend, the team’s starting center and a fellow Fox student. (Ryan S. Brandenberg)

Sharif Finch, left, a junior at the Fox School of Business, bumps fists with Dr. M. Moshe Porat when the Fox School’s Dean visited one of the Temple football team’s October practices. Finch, a defensive lineman, is joined by senior Kyle Friend, the team’s starting center and a fellow Fox student. (Ryan S. Brandenberg)

A business management major at the Fox School of Business, Finch doubles as a defensive lineman for Temple University’s football team. Finch had three blocked punts through the team’s first eight games, including two in a road victory Oct. 22 against East Carolina. That performance earned Finch the American Athletic Conference Special Teams Player of the Week honors.

“I’m just grinding,” said Finch, a junior from Henrico, Va. “I’m the kind of guy who will do whatever this team needs me to do. I go hard every single play. Success is where preparation meets opportunity. You have to want it, and then go after it.”

In a season of special moments, Finch and the Owls attained the program’s first Associated Press national ranking since 1979.

Here’s more from our Q+A with Finch:

Q: It’s been a history-making season for the football team. What’s been the highlight of the season for you?

Finch: “Every game that we get a win is a highlight for me. If I had to pick one, it’d probably be that interception against Penn State. That’d be my best memory.”

Q: So your two blocked punts against East Carolina are runner-up?

Finch: “I’d say to get over that hump and beat Penn State, that was more special for us as a team.”

Q: What initially made you choose Temple University?

Finch: “I’m originally from New York, so Temple was in that perfect spot between New York and Virginia. It was the median, the perfect spot. I loved the team, the coaches, the university, and the Fox School, of course.”

Q: And what was your calling to the Fox School to study business?

Finch: “I’ve always wanted to own my own business. To be my own boss, I think that’s everybody’s goal. It’s something I aspire to do. I’m not 100-percent sure what path I’d like to follow, but maybe something sports-related.”

Q: Do you feel as though Temple and the Fox School are preparing you for the next step in life?

Finch: “Football is an avenue. It’s an opportunity to do something special with your life. It enables you to get a degree, to get an education, and find a calling if professional football isn’t in the cards.”

Q: What is your favorite class?

Finch: “Statistics. I’m just good with numbers. It’s something I’ve never struggled with.”

Q: Do you have a favorite spot to eat on campus or a guilty pleasure?

Finch: “The Insomnia Cookies (food truck). I’m there all of the time. The (football staff) monitors what we eat and how to eat the right way. It’s not like I’m going there for 20 cookies a day, but I definitely have a few.”

Q: Now, back to the important questions – what are your goals for this year and beyond?

Finch: “We’re striving to win a championship. It’s something that’s never been done here. We’re putting the work in every day. In the classroom, I know I want to have an internship this summer. I’m looking into it now, and I have a few people helping me look at my options. I’m excited about it.”

The path less traveled

By Dave Zeitlin

Posted in Online Extras from the Fall 2015 edition

Angela Costello, BBA ’01, an executive with global financial services company UBS, followed a career route she never anticipated taking.

Photo Alumni Angela Costello

Angela Costello, BBA ’01, an executive with global financial services company UBS, followed a career route she never anticipated taking.

Like many college students, Angela Costello was unsure of where she’d end up after graduation.

But for someone who comes from a big, tight-knit family based in the Philadelphia area, she never thought she’d advance her career with stops in Washington D.C., San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York. And working her way up the ladder at UBS Financial Services once seemed equally improbable, for someone who admittedly considered the world of finance “boring” and had a “more-glamorous” job offer in the fashion industry coming out of Temple University’s Fox School of Business.

“Back in college,” she admitted, “I didn’t think I’d be doing any of what I’m doing in my career.”

In many ways, though, it was Costello’s four years at Temple that allowed her to excel at a big global financial services company like UBS, where she currently serves as the Executive Director of Project Management, Reporting, and Analysis. In fact, her experience at UBS almost mirrors her time at Temple, where she found her niche and honed her interpersonal skills in the Fox Honors Program and while working in Dean M. Moshe Porat’s office at Fox.

“I think that experience, being a part-time student-worker and having that opportunity with Virginia (Roth, the Dean’s executive assistant), especially, taught me a lot about operating in a professional environment and executing on different projects,” said Costello, who graduated in 2000 with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Economics and Marketing. “I think those two communities – the Dean’s Office and Fox Honors– helped shape the soft skills needed in my career.

“The one thing about Temple that surprised me is that it felt like I went to a small school even though it’s a large school. And that’s just because the people there are really top-notch and make you feel like you’re a part of a community.”

One of those people who made Costello feel right at home was Michael Leeds, who served as the Director of the Fox Honors Program during Costello’s undergraduate days. Leeds helped Costello get settled upon her arrival to Temple and Fox, offering the kind of personal touch meant a lot to Costello. Leeds said he remembers her for not possessing the same kind of “swagger” as other honors students.

“I think there was a lot of self-doubt in her,” said Leeds, Professor of Economics at Temple’s College of Liberal Arts. “(Rhetorically, she’d wonder,) ‘Should I be in the honors program? Am I good enough to do this? Do I belong here?’ And I think that by the time she graduated she realized that she not only was a legitimate member of the honors program, she was a leading light in the honors program. I don’t think she ever quite had that swagger. But I think she had a stronger sense of self-confidence and a sense that she could go out and work with and be a peer with people from anywhere.”

Leeds called Costello “one of the most delightful people that I have met at Temple” –high praise from someone who’s worked at the university since 1982. And since graduating from the Fox School, Costello has certainly utilized those people skills in the often-cutthroat business world.

At UBS, for instance, she oversees a team of seven people and tries her best to help them find challenge and a sense of accomplishment in their work, and to maintain a healthy balance between work and their personal lives.

“You want to make sure they have a positive experience so that they’re also positive and happy and bring that good energy home,” Costello said. “That’s how I view it. It’s a personal thing, not anything I was taught. It’s just something that’s really important to me.”

Costello’s assistant, Trinity Martinez, has witnessed this characteristic firsthand. Martinez, who works at UBS while also pursuing her PhD in art history, has a unique vantage point into the flexibility and support Costello affords her colleagues. It’s one of the reasons why Martinez has been at the company for five years.

“I think, honestly, it’s hard to find in this business,” Martinez said. “Out of all the people I’ve known, (Costello) really does try to promote her people the most. And that’s very important. That’s a rare asset.”

Perhaps it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that Costello is a team-oriented person. After all, she was essentially part of a team while growing up as one of eight siblings (two of whom also graduated from Temple), finding her way in a big house just as she has in a big company, and learning from a young age “leadership, organizational and communication skills,” she said.

Despite being so close to her family, she said she knew the best career move for her was to leave the comforts of Philadelphia and move to the Washington suburbs just two weeks after graduation to join General Electric’s financial management program. From there, she returned to the Philadelphia area for a couple of years to work for GE Water Technologies, before heading to New York as a finance manager for NBCUniversal, which at the time was under GE’s auspices.

While in New York, she moved to UBS in 2006, and she’s remained with the company ever since. But that’s not to say she found much geographical stability in the early stages of her career. The Philadelphia native worked out of offices in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles from 2008-2012, as the Director of Finance for UBS Wealth Management, Western Division.

Still, even though she missed Philly, Costello quickly realized that the chance to met new people around the country made the finance field more exciting than she initially thought. And her communication skills led to another discovery: that she was “pretty good at it.”

“I’ll always think of Philadelphia as my home and, hopefully, one day, I’ll end up back there again,” she said. “But I just viewed going to different places as exciting and challenging. There were risks in moving far from my family and friends and everyone who I knew. I was basically moving to San Francisco sight unseen. I had never been there before, so I think it was a challenge both professionally and personally, but it was a calculated risk that ultimately helped me move forward in my career.”

After such a whirlwind few years, Costello is more settled in her current role. Based in Weehawken, N.J., She recently bought a home in New Jersey and, in October, she married. Sometimes, after a full day of meetings and first checking her email at 5 p.m., she admits that she needs some friendly encouragement from her husband, Paulius Mikalainis, to come home. But she’s almost always able to practice what she preaches to her team members about balancing her personal life with work because she knows “my family is most important,” even as her career ambitions remain as fierce as they’ve ever been.

For that, she’s thankful for everyone who had imparted those lessons, from her parents to her professors at the Fox School, to her bosses at GE, to her colleagues at UBS, where she can see herself remaining for years to come.

“I’ve stayed so long for two reasons: I’ve had a lot of opportunity here and the people here are just wonderful,” she said. “It’s a very collaborative environment. Everyone wants to work together to do the right things for our clients. It’s a great place to work.”

Fox School alumnus Edward McGinty keeps Boardwalk Empire authentic

By Renee Cree

Posted in Online Extras from the edition

Although the HBO series Boardwalk Empire is a work of historical fiction, Fox School alumnus Edward McGinty, BBA ’89, the show’s research advisor, helps ensure that the writers’ words are backed up with historical facts. Here, he talks about how growing up in Atlantic City helped land him a job on the acclaimed series.

Photograph of Edward McGinty

Fox alumnus Edward McGinty in character as Ward Boss Boyd. Photo courtesy of HBO.

Although the HBO series Boardwalk Empire is a work of historical fiction, Fox School alumnus Edward McGinty, BBA ’89, the show’s research advisor, helps ensure that the writers’ words are backed up with historical facts. Here, he talks about how growing up in Atlantic City helped land him a job on the acclaimed series.

How did you connect with Terence Winter, the show’s creator?

After graduating from Temple, I went to film school at Columbia University, where I met Terence Winter at a Q-and-A screening with the cast of The Sopranos. A few years later, Terry mentioned that he was writing a project about Prohibition in Atlantic City to a friend of mine from film school. My friend said, “You’ve got to meet my friend Eddie, he grew up in Atlantic City and knows everything there is to know about the town.”

What was that first meeting like?

I brought as much research material as I could carry to the meeting. My grandfather and my father, Ed Sr., ENG ’56, had worked at the Ritz Carlton, where the real Nucky lived. At the end of the meeting, I showed a photo of my grandfather wearing his bellman’s uniform, standing on the boardwalk in front of the Ritz. Terry looked at it and said, “You’re hired!” I think I may have been the first person on the payroll.

So growing up in Atlantic City gave you an edge?

Absolutely. I brought a lot of first-hand knowledge to the table. I was always fascinated by the history of the city I grew up in. I had always heard stories from my Dad about growing up in Atlantic City, so there was a lot of family history I could refer to. And [Temple History Professor] Bryant Simon’s book, Boardwalk of Dreams: Atlantic City and the Fate of Urban America, sat next to Nelson Johnson’s Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times, and Corruption of Atlantic City [on which the HBO series is based] on my bookshelf for years.  Those are two of my personal favorite books about the history of Atlantic City.

What does your father say about your work on the show?

The high point of my life was taking my Dad to see the Boardwalk set in Brooklyn. When he saw it for the first time, he stopped in his tracks. He climbed the stairs to the boardwalk they had built and leaned on the railing and said, “You guys really nailed it.”

What does being a researcher for the show entail?

The writing staff comes up with the storylines, and I support them with as much historical research as I can about the time period. If they have any questions along the way, I find the answer by searching the Internet, going to libraries, calling on experts, etc. Anything I need to do to find answers as quickly as possible. When the script comes out, I go back through it and fact-check, making sure that everything is on the mark. Everyone on the show does their best to make sure the historical elements are as authentic as possible.

You appeared on screen during the first few seasons as Ward Boss Boyd. How did that happen?

One day I was sitting in the writer’s room, and Terry looked across the table and said, “You kind of look like a character from back then. You should audition.” I brushed it off, but he persisted. I had trained as an actor at the American Conservatory Theater, but I hadn’t auditioned in a few years, so I was extremely nervous. But I got the part. The fun thing is that my character was named after a real ward boss, who was my grandfather’s fishing buddy. So much of this show for me has been due to good luck and great fortune. The best part of it all has been having a mentor like Terence Winter to learn from.

Did you draw on your experience in Philadelphia while researching the storyline for Willie Thompson, who was a student at Temple this season?

Terry had the initial idea to have Willie go to Temple, and it made a lot of sense. When I went to Temple as an undergrad, there was a big contingent of Atlantic City kids there. So I was able to add a lot of first-hand knowledge to my research. On top of that, the Temple Library staff was very helpful. They pointed me to a number of digitized documents and yearbooks from the era. Also, [Professor Emeritus] Jim Hilty’s book, Temple University: 125 Years of Service to Philadelphia, the Nation, and the World, was an invaluable resource. Every Temple student and alumnus should have a copy of that book on their shelf.

Faculty Profile: Mercedes Delgado

By Chelsea Calhoun

Posted in Online Extras from the edition

“Mercedes is a core research partner, and has been instrumental in bringing new ideas, methodological rigor, and tenacity to our joint work.” – Michael E. Porter, Bishop William Lawrence University Professor Harvard Business School

“Mercedes is a core research partner, and has been instrumental in bringing new ideas, methodological rigor, and tenacity to our joint work.”
Michael E. Porter, Bishop William Lawrence University Professor
Harvard Business School

Mercedes Delgado
Assistant Professor, Strategic Management
Hometown: Seville, Spain
Motto: Stay positive.
Latest read: Tim Harford’s Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure
Latest band: Gotan Project
Businessperson she admires: Oprah Winfrey – self-made, great teacher, connects with the public and gives back.
Best way to cope with stress: A good cup of coffee and the gym.

Innovating in the fast lane

Ask Mercedes Delgado about the current pace of innovation, and here’s what she’ll tell you: It is moving faster than ever.

Delgado, an assistant professor of strategic management, focuses her research on entrepreneurship, country competitiveness, and the relationship between industry clusters and the performance of firms, regions and countries.

In the three years since Delgado joined Fox, she has demonstrated the power innovation and collaboration can have in and outside of Alter Hall.

In September 2010, Delgado and a team of Harvard and MIT researchers earned a grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) to help policymakers more effectively tap into regional innovation clusters that drive economic growth.

Delgado, who describes clusters as “geographic agglomerations of companies, suppliers, service providers and associated institutions in a particular field,” said the EDA grant has allowed the researchers to use state-of-the-art methods to better assess the presence, dynamics and emergence of regional clusters (for example, clean energy). Their main goal is to provide mapping tools for firms, practitioners and fellow researchers to evaluate growth opportunities.

Delgado’s “Clusters and entrepreneurship,” which she co-authored with Harvard University’s Michael E. Porter and MIT Professor Scott Stern, was published last year in the Journal of Economic Geography. But the team has been working on clusters and regional development for years, beginning with Porter’s pioneer work in the 1990s.

“I have been very fortunate to work with and learn from great researchers,” Delgado said. “Collaboration makes it easier to see the bigger picture and produce more impactful research.”

Before joining Fox, Delgado completed post-doctoral fellowships at the National Bureau of Economic Research’s Innovation Policy Group and Harvard Business School’s Institute for Strategy and Competiveness, which Porter directs and where Delgado is a senior associate.

Research also plays a vital role in her Fox curricula and instruction.

“The interplay of research and teaching is crucial. My research helps me develop new course material, including company cases and tools for assessing the business environment in a particular location,” said Delgado, who, just last summer, studied the entrepreneurial capacity of Andalusia, Spain, by interviewing more than 50 organizations.

Since 2009 she has collaborated on a new curriculum development initiative to link strategic management’s undergraduate capstone and Fox’s MBA Enterprise Management Consulting (EMC) Practice, increasing real-world experience for undergraduates. As part of the course enhancement, Delgado co-authored a case study of the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program with EMC Managing Director TL Hill.

“Discussing these cases with the students, and the follow-up on the cases offered by the CEOs,” she said, “improve students’ learning experience and motivation to succeed.”

With help from her colleagues, Delgado is designing an MBA-level course on Analytical Foundations of Strategy, which she plans to pilot in Fall 2012.

“This course will offer the analytical tools to facilitate strategic decision-making in a setting of uncertainty,” Delgado said. “The business environment changes fast, and these changes need to be reflected in the curriculum.”

Banana Republic’s Robin Lenge turns materials into merchandise

By Christine Fisher

Posted in Online Extras from the edition

Some might consider Robin Lenge’s life a fashion fairytale. Others might call it a testament to the power of networking and pursuing your passion.

Some might consider Robin Lenge’s life a fashion fairytale. Others might call it a testament to the power of networking and pursuing your passion.

Originally from rural Schnecksville, Pa., Lenge, BBA ’91, came to Temple for its urban environment. Today she has a fast paced, New York City fashion-industry career that has taken her to trend shopping in Europe, leather shows in Bologna, fabric shows in Paris, and mills and factories in Asia. She has worked for Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Kate Spade, Coach, Gap and, currently, Banana Republic.

“I wanted to mix the creative with the business,” said Lenge, who monitors commodity markets as frequently as she leads the creation of new fashion accessories.

Early in Lenge’s career, a family friend helped her secure an internship and her first job with industry giants Polo Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger, respectively. She remembers running home after one of her first meetings at Tommy Hilfiger to call her parents and tell them that Hilfiger had asked her opinion.

Later, at a fashion awards ceremony with Hilfiger, Lenge saw an outstanding video presentation by then up-and-coming designer Kate Spade. Inspired by the video, Lenge wrote to Spade, expressing how much she wanted to join her company.

“It was such a cool place, and I wanted to be a part of it so much that I was willing to do anything to get there,” she said.

It worked, and when a job opened up at Kate Spade, Lenge was called.

Along the way Lenge made strong friendships in the industry. She recounts the excitement of moving to New York fresh out of college and building a friend and community base around her work. Those friendships helped Lenge move from Kate Spade to Gap and Coach.

Today Lenge is director of production non-apparel for Banana Republic. She helps her team of six coordinate with design and merchandising to translate concepts and raw materials into 500 styles a season and tangible products, such as handbags, jewelry, belts and other accessories.

Lenge provides the designers with the tools to execute their vision, works with overseas offices and factory partners, and manages the designers’ ideas through production and quality control.

One of the most rewarding aspects of her job is seeing the concepts she started with walking down the street in the hands of consumers.

“I see people carrying a handbag I made, and I love that.”

Bausch + Lomb CEO Brent Saunders has eye on innovation

By Brandon Lausch

Posted in Online Extras from the edition

Brent Saunders, MBA, LAW ’96, CEO of Bausch + Lomb, has traveled to at least 60 countries in the past decade, yet the leader of the world’s largest independent eye-care company hardly gets a chance to look around.

Brent Saunders, MBA, LAW ’96, CEO of Bausch + Lomb, has traveled to at least 60 countries in the past decade, yet the leader of the world’s largest independent eye-care company hardly gets a chance to look around.

“Except for one trip, I don’t think I’ve taken time to do any sightseeing,” Saunders said, recalling the lone exception – his second trip to China – when he had an extra day to squeeze in a “week’s worth of activities.”

Such is life for Saunders, who oversees a company that does business in 100 countries and has more than 10,000 employees worldwide. Appointed CEO in March 2010, Saunders said his job is to ensure as many ideas as possible result in tangible innovations.

To that end, Saunders recast research and development as “development and research,” which, while acknowledging research is essential, emphasizes development as the work that transforms ideas into products that help people see and live better.

Although Bausch + Lomb is best known for eye-care products, the 158-year-old company has two other business units: surgical and pharmaceuticals. With Saunders at the helm, the company has rejuvenated its product pipeline across all units, with projects that include a new laser technology for cataract surgery, new contact lens solution and materials, and a novel anti-inflammatory pharmaceutical agent.

In addition to developing potentially game-changing products, Saunders also emphasizes that “results, in and of themselves, are not enough.”

“It’s how we achieve the results that is going to make us different – or better – than our competitors,” said Saunders, who at age 41 is among the nation’s youngest CEOs.

Before Saunders joined Bausch + Lomb, he served as a senior executive with Schering-Plough, a partner and head of compliance business advisory at PricewaterhouseCoopers, and chief risk officer at Coventry Health Care. And before that, he attended the Fox School at night, doubling up on classes as he practiced law.

“I really learned how to prioritize my time and do things efficiently and effectively,” said Saunders, whose grandfather and brother also have Temple degrees. “It’s probably the best learning I gained from my time at Temple.”

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