“Not all heroes wear capes.”
Throughout their time at Temple University, a student may cross paths with thousands of people. Yet part of the fabric of the Fox School is building a community, providing students with the best educational experience possible and creating meaningful professional relationships.
In honor of those moments, the Fox Editorial team asked undergraduate students to identify the hidden heroes in our midst.
Cara Fredricks, Class of 2025 statistical science and data analytics major, is a transfer student from Misericordia University. As a previous non-business major, her journey at the Fox School started out challenging until she met the right professor that helped the stars for her.
With the support of Mike Guglielmo, Fredricks was able to gain a better understanding of how to lead and conduct a business.
Guglielmo's Leadership and Organizational Management class gave Fredricks a taste of the real world of business and of what it is like interacting with clients or customers through a semester-long project.
“In this class we were put into groups and teamed up with the commercial real-estate company Berkadia to give the company guidance from what we learned in the class. This included advice on how to recruit or attract interns as well as improve their internship program,” says Fredricks. “At the end of the semester, we presented to the Berkadia representatives, and they said we could potentially intern with them in the future because they really liked working with us. Professor Guglielmo basically gave us a great automatic connection.”
Not only did Guglielmo help her foster leadership skills, but he also has put great effort into helping to create connections between current students and alumni by taking the additional step to connect current students and alumni.
“Professor Guglielmo has a LinkedIn page that is open to his current students and alumni so that we are able to connect with one another,” says Fredricks. “In the group, people are able to post about internship and job opportunities, which has provided us with the chance to gain meaningful exposure as an undergraduate student.”
Just as much as the students strive to succeed in the classroom and in the workforce, Fox School professors want to see the same for individuals who have been in their classes. A common trait found in Fox School professors is that they are always willing to help students expand their networks and provide them with professional opportunities.
Class of 2024 finance and real estate major Jake Lewis emphasized how Professor David Wilk is always willing to support his students when it comes to networking and career or internship searches. From the moment Lewis stepped foot into Wilk’s office hours for the first time, he knew that, with Wilk’s personality type and demeanor, he would be a great mentor.
Through his Commerical Real Estate Analysis course, Lewis appreciated Wilk’s method of teaching where he would bring in several guest speakers throughout the semester to share their perspectives on the real estate industry, as well as their experiences working in the field.
“I found this class to be beneficial to my undergraduate education because I was able to learn about real estate from an actual practitioners' point of view, rather than just through typical classroom material,” says Lewis. “Professor Wilk did a great job teaching us concepts and then allowing us to hear from someone who practices the material we learned every day.”
In Lewis’s experience, Wilk was genuinely invested in everyone’s success and willing to help them advance in both the professional worldand the classroom.
“I view Professor Wilk as not only a great teacher, but also as my mentor,” says Lewis. “When I decided I wanted to intern in California this summer, he was the first person I went to talk to because I know he is knowledgeable and well-connected. He always seems to know somebody and is willing to help his students succeed.”
Investing in opportunities
Senior finance major Robert McFarland was quick to recognize how Professor Cindy Axelrod is a great resource to use for networking opportunities since she knows an abundance of people in the business world. If he was unable to access someone, she would make sure to pick up the phone herself to make that connection. He also was able to gain real life work experience through the Owl Fund Seminar course taught by Axelrod.
“This class is a student-managed investment fund,” says McFarland “I had the opportunity to cover different sectors of the S&P 500 managing real money. I was able to analyze different investment opportunities and develop ideas that my peers would poke holes at.
“Professor Axelrod really treated us like working professionals during this course, which has prepared me for graduation and entering the working world.”
McFarland was not only a student in the Owl Fund Seminar, but now helps Axelrod lead the class.
“I didn’t realize how much she helped me until I started assisting with running the class,” says McFarland. “She has also been a great access point for networking with alumni. If I ever need to get in contact with someone, she is willing to connect me.”
He also mentioned how he would not have landed his upcoming position as a healthcare analyst at McKinsey & Company without the connections that Axelrod helped give him during his college career.
Benefiting each other
Senior risk and insurance major Nolan Wiley spoke about how his experience in Professor RB Drennan’s class, Managing Human Capital Risk, provided him with great real-world experiences.
“We had the opportunity to learn about the benefits companies utilize to attract and retain talent and the questions companies must ask when they are designing benefits plans,” says Wiley.
Drennan also provided Wiley with the ability to look at his job offer and not just read what was given, but truly understand what the benefits package entailed.
“He taught us how to read benefits packages for what they really are,” says Wiley. “With the help of Professor Drennan, I now understand not only the difference between plan and benefit types, but what the difference means for me, as a consumer of these services.”
Wiley highlighted that Drennan has taught him valuable life skills that he will take into the professional world.
The students were extremely grateful to have the opportunity to praise their professors for their unsung support. As each student enters their respective fields, they will always remember those special moments from the Fox community.
- Michala Butler