Dave Covington talks with students in Alter Hall.

When Fox School students return to Alter Hall to begin Fall classes, they may notice someone is missing. Recessed lighting still brightens the lobby, but an electric smile no longer lights up the room—the smile’s owner being now-retired security guard Dave Covington.

To know Covington is to have experienced a warm, light-hearted greeting each day.

“Good morning!”

“Howdy do?”

“You’re going to be late for class!”

Wednesdays seemed to be Covington’s favorite day, as he would utter his iconic line, “Happy Hump Day,” to greet the masses at the week’s midway point.

Since Alter Hall opened in 2009, Covington has been its gatekeeper. He began his career at Temple University on July 17, 1977, in the bookstore. Then he worked in Speakman Hall through the 1980s.

“I worked in shipping and receiving for three years,” he said. “Some of my fondest memories there were the Christmas parties we had—after the boss left, we sang Christmas carols over the PA system.”

After a switch to a “nice, easy job” in security on December 3, 1980, Covington was in for a surprise.

“They threw me to the wolves,” he said. “My first assignment was the dorms—J&H, 1300, Peabody, and McGonigle. Finally I told them, I need help!”

Encouraged by his colleagues to enter the Temple Municipal Police Academy, Covington completed the training in 1984 as part of the “Centennial” class of officers. However, he eventually returned to TU Security and was promoted to work in Speakman Hall, the business school building before Alter Hall was built.

“I’ve met some good folks in security over the years,” he said. “We used to have annual cookouts in Fairmount Park.”

Even with his salt and pepper hair and kind expression, there have been a few people who have dared to get past Covington. As a self-described “customer service” security guard, Covington has experienced people trying to push past, sneak by, or ask to “use the bathroom.” His years of service have added up to an instinct that is rarely wrong.

“I’ve learned to trust my gut,” he said.

Covington, a diehard Philadelphia sports fan who earned a certificate in small business while working at Fox, grew up at 35th and Allegheny. As his city has changed, he has watched Temple and Fox do the same.

“It’s like an obstacle course around here,” he said. “There are so many new buildings.”

Over the years, food at Temple has been a pastime for Covington. He’ll miss gyros from Ernie’s Lunch Truck—a beloved food truck that’s tenure on campus hasn’t matched Covington’s, yet—the most. He liked his quick breakfasts of sausage, egg, and cheese in the quiet, secluded third floor PhD lab.

Retirement, for Covington, will take some getting used to. With a songlike rhythm to his voice, he spoke about what lies ahead. He’s been an early riser for the past 41 years, with a 6:30 a.m. roll call at Temple each day. His morning pleasantries, doled out by the hundreds for decades, will now be shared with just one special person: his wife, Naomi, a Temple graduate.

“She’s already got a honey-do list at home in Mount Airy,” he said.

An endless stream of well-wishers had kind words of farewell for Covington on his last morning in mid-August.

“I’ll miss messing with the pizza guys that came in to deliver at the student organization events,” he said. “Temple’s been good to me—what a journey, what a journey.”

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Are you a seasoned marketing and advertising professional looking for a hyper-specific master’s program to take your career to the next level? Or a rising star seeking a path into an exciting, growing industry?

Temple University’s Master of Science in Strategic Advertising and Marketing at the Fox School of Business could be exactly what you’re looking for.

The part-time grad program is a collaborative effort between the Fox School of Business and the Klein College of Media and Communication. In order to get a holistic, sophisticated view of the interrelationship between these two vibrant disciplines, students alternate between marketing classes taught by Fox faculty and advertising courses led by Klein professors.

Below, a few former students talk about finding exactly what they were looking for in the Strategic Advertising and Marketing program—and how the degree helps to boost their careers.

 

Matt Barber

Becoming a Better Marketer—and Moving Up to Manager, Too

Matt Barber, after earning a bachelor’s in marketing from Messiah College in 2005, worked in various marketing roles before taking a job with Subaru in 2015. He now works as a brand partnership and experiential marketing specialist at the Japanese car company’s Camden, New Jersey headquarters.

Barber’s goal is to move up to a managerial role. But that’s not necessarily why he’s pursuing the MS in Strategic Advertising and Marketing—it’s because he, first and foremost, wants to be a better marketer.

“It wasn’t just a play to move up the ladder, but to be better as a marketer and then let everything else settle where it settles,” says Barber, who started the program last year and plans to finish in 2021.

But, of course, Barber sees the degree as a necessary step to a leadership position, too. And he chose the MS in Strategic Advertising and Marketing over an MBA program because he loved the “hyper-targeted” curriculum focusing on his chosen field.

“Temple is the only school I knew that actually had a marketing graduate program with this narrow of a focus,” he says. “It’s very unique to have a program with a combined marketing and advertising track—that was huge for me.”

Barber, who in addition to working full time has two children, also chose the program because it can be customized to meet the demands of busy, working professionals.

“It’s great to be able to go to school and work while having a family,” Barber says. “It’s been a great experience. I find myself in meetings, big strategy discussions, or discussions around positioning, and these higher-level concepts are clicking quicker for me now. This is totally a result of what I’m learning in class.”

 

Brittany Turner

To Grad School or Not to Grad School?

When Brittany Turner, BBA ’17, graduated from the Fox School in 2017 with a Bachelor of Business Administration and a major in marketing, she was unsure about her next move. Grad school was an option, but it was tough finding the right program. Then she heard about the MS in Strategic Advertising and Marketing.

“It was exactly what I was looking for,” says Turner. “I feel it was everything that was missing from my undergrad studies and it has connected the dots to make everything more applicable to the real world. I think it goes hand-and-hand with somebody who is working in the industry because it gives you the chance to understand it from not only the educational standpoint but also from the actual working standpoint.”

Turner was working as a staffing manager when she started the program in 2017; she is currently working full-time as a Chapter Coordinator at Entrepreneurs’ Organization. “I would love to get more into strategic marketing,” she says. “And this program is a great mix between marketing and advertising, so it gives an overhead view of the field, which a lot of other programs lack.”

In addition to gaining valuable skills that will help her succeed in her career, Turner is learning a lot from the diverse professional backgrounds of her classmates.

“I pretty much knew everyone in my classes. We are all going through it together. It was a fun experience getting to know everybody, and getting to know their different business experiences and how they fit in with what we are learning.”

 

Victoria Cianciulli

Finding the Perfect Fit

Victoria Cianciulli, BBA ’11, within several months of earning a Bachelor of Business Administration from the Fox School in 2011, took an entry level role as a marketing coordinator with Comcast Spotlight, the Philadelphia-based global telecommunications conglomerate’s advertising sales division. Her current title is senior sales marketing specialist.

She started her MS in Marketing Communications at Fox, but when she heard about the Strategic Advertising and Marketing program, she switched degrees because it was the optimal fit for the career she’s pursuing.

“It couldn’t have been more perfect,” says Cianciulli. “Temple is the only school with a specialized program like this. Being in the workforce while participating in this program has helped everything click. I find myself constantly applying subjects from class to my job and the real world.”

Cianciulli’s objective is to progress within Comcast Spotlight—and she’s confident this degree will enable her to do that.

“I love what I do currently and I am definitely in pursuit of growth within Comcast,” she says. “I also hope I am able to position myself as a thought leader—having now been trained in an elevated educational setting—and share new information with my peers or even managers and leaders above me. This degree will help me do so.”

Learn more about the Fox School’s Master of Science in Strategic Advertising and Marketing.

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Students who earn degrees in information systems (IS) earn higher starting salaries than fellow business-school counterparts. And they benefit from one of the fastest national placement averages.

These statistics are just some of the findings from the latest edition of the Information Systems Job Index, produced by researchers from Temple University’s Fox School of Business, in partnership with the Association for Information Systems (AIS).

Published and released in January 2018, the third installment of the IS Job Index culled the responses of 2,140 IS graduates of the Class of 2017, from 58 universities nationwide.

Some of the index’s more-interesting findings include:

  • Salaries for IS undergraduates ($62,820) are the highest among students who pursue typical business majors ($52,047).
  • The percentage of women in IS jobs (39%) is more than double that of women in other STEM fields like computer science (18%).
  • Internships double the likelihood of an IS student getting a job offer (39% for those who hold at least one internship vs. 16% for those who do not).

“There are more than 3 million IS jobs in the U.S. alone,” said index co-author Dr. Munir Mandviwalla, associate professor of management information systems (MIS) at Temple University’s Fox School of Business. “This data is critical for parents of college-age children, current and prospective students seeking an accurate job outlook, employers, and policymakers—and it cannot be found anywhere else.”

Mandviwalla conducted research for the latest installment of the IS Job Index and co-authored it with Dr. Crystal Harold, associate professor of human resource management at Temple’s Fox School of Business, and Maria Boggi, a junior MIS major in the Fox School and Temple University Honor’s programs.

The AIS-Temple Fox School Job Index is the only systematic assessment of the IS job market. It is a joint project, with support from AmerisourceBergen and LiquidHub, to produce reliable national-level data on placement, job type, satisfaction, and related factors like career services, knowledge level, preparedness, and search strategies.

More: To read the Information Systems Job Index, visit isjobindex.com.

Interview requests: Please send requests to Christopher A. Vito, associate director of communications & media relations, Temple University’s Fox School of Business, at cvito@temple.edu

Learn more about Fox MIS degrees.
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On February 2, Temple University’s Liacouras Center was buzzing with excitement for the Fox School of Business and School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management winter graduation ceremony, where over 500 undergraduate and graduate degrees were conferred.

The keynote speaker was Lori Bush, MBA ’85. Following her position as the president of Nu Skin, the personal care brand, Bush served as the CEO and president of skin care company Rodan + Fields until her retirement in 2016.

Lori Bush, MBA ’85.

In her speech, Bush, the author of a best-selling wellness book titled Write Your Skin a Prescription for Change, detailed how she achieved great things in her career by being scrappy, leveraging her strategic training, and pushing the limits of business with limited resources. She advised the new graduates to look at the small moments of everyday life through a business lens, as this can lead to meaningful, career-changing insights.

“Everything is business,” said Bush. “You have to take inspiration from everyday life—then just add business principles and stir.”

The student speaker was Beatrice Raccanello Esq., MBA ’17. Raccanello, a native of Italy, earned her law degree from Bocconi University in Milan, and then relocated to Philadelphia to earn her Master of Laws from Temple University’s James E. Beasley School of Law. While working full-time for the Beasley School, as the assistant director of the Office of Graduate and International Programs, Raccanello enrolled in the Fox School’s Part-Time MBA program.

Beatrice Raccanello Esq., MBA ’17.

Raccannello spoke about how she was initially afraid to move to an unfamiliar country, but that her experiences as an international student ultimately molded her into a bolder leader. She found strength and inspiration by working with other exceptional students in the Part-Time MBA program who, like her, had full-time jobs, family responsibilities, and other life commitments.

“We became better leaders,” she said, noting how beneficial it was to work with students who brought diverse backgrounds and professional perspectives to the classroom. “We were able to collaborate to pursue our dreams.”

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Sumbal Bashir PhotoThe global phenomena of startup accelerators, incubators, and university labs have started to take hold in Pakistan. With a growing recognition of entrepreneurship as a driver of economic growth and social change, more organizations are investing in sustainable and socially responsible programs.

And at the forefront of it all is Sumbal Bashir, Fulbright Scholar and student in the Master of Science in Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship (MS-IME) program at Temple University’s Fox School of Business.

Despite advances in and a growing acceptance of entrepreneurship in Pakistan, Bashir has seen firsthand that there exists a gap in the knowledge base and a need for skilled professionals in the country’s startup landscape. This is where she said she plans to make a difference.

“I will bring home my knowledge and experiences from the MS-IME program to fill in that gap and drive the growth of entrepreneurship in Pakistan,” she said.

To be fair, Bashir already has had quite an influential role in Pakistan’s startup scene. While earning a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance from Lahore University of Management Science (LUMS) in Lahore, Pakistan, Bashir interned with Ernst & Young, Barclays, Shell, and Akhuwat.

SMSall, a small, Lahore-based tech startup working to improve mobile communications in Pakistan, hired Bashir immediately after she graduated. There, she worked in business development and contributed to some of the company’s most-noteworthy projects, including the launch of SMSall messaging app. The app went on to be featured in the APICTA Awards in Hong Kong and the BlackBox Connect accelerator program in Silicon Valley.

“The most challenging and rewarding project was the launch of SMSall’s messaging app,” she said. “It was the first mobile-based communication application developed in Pakistan.”

Much of Bashir’s interests lie in supporting other young, female entrepreneurs. During her internship with Akhuwat, one of the largest micro-financing organizations in Pakistan, Bashir interacted with female micro-entrepreneurs and came to realize how vital their financial earnings were to their families. At the same time, she participated in a Shell program to promote entrepreneurship in Pakistan. Again, she found herself consulting with female entrepreneurs.

“The one thing I learned from my experiences was that the women from low-income communities are really ambitious and talented, and very much into entrepreneurship,” she said. “The only thing they need is more training and access to capital and markets. I want to be a part of the process that takes out this constraint for them.”

Last year Bashir worked with The Citizens Foundation, a non-governmental organization in Pakistan that offers affordable schooling to students from low economic backgrounds. She spent her time providing educational and personal counseling to female students.

“At the end of the program, a number of students told us how life-changing the experience was for them, and that for me was a very rewarding moment,” she said.

Bashir is in the midst of her own life-changing experience now, as she completes her MS-IME degree program. She was drawn to the Fox School’s program by its holistic approach to teaching entrepreneurship — and the emphasis on real-time projects, internship opportunities, guest speakers, and personal coaching for students who want to start their own businesses.

Last semester, as part of her independent study project with Assistant Professor of Strategic Management Jane Frankel, Bashir interned with Dreamit Health Philadelphia, a 16-week boot camp for health-focused startups. Under Dreamit Health, Bashir worked with VizExcell, a startup that is developing a personalized breast cancer risk assessment platform for radiologists and their patients.

“It was one of the most-interesting experiences for me so far, as it provided me with an exposure to the startup accelerators environment and the healthcare ecosystem of the United States,” she said.

Bashir’s commitment to entrepreneurship and her potential to make a real-world impact have not gone unnoticed.

“She was able to provide extensive research and evaluation for the markets of her sponsoring company,” Frankel said of Bashir’s market research for VizExcell. “Her report was extremely comprehensive, well-organized and timely.”

“She really seemed to embrace the innovation strategies and tools being taught, and I was able to see her apply them to many real-world situations,” said Dr. Michael Rivera, Associate Professor of Strategic Management and Director of the Fox School’s Executive MBA program, who counted Bashir among his students in his Business Model Innovation and Innovation Adoption and Diffusion courses.

“She is on the path to future success.”

Alter Hall Exterior PhotoThe Fox School of Business will launch a specialized Master of Science degree in Human Resources Management that will be available online beginning August 2016.

Fox’s ability to deliver high-impact, cutting-edge online curriculum is nationally renowned. In January, the Fox Online MBA program earned its second consecutive No. 1 national ranking by U.S. News & World Report.

“Spurred by the Online MBA’s national prominence, and the record growth of our program, it seemed like a natural fit to offer an online version of the Master of Science in Human Resource Management program,” said program director Dr. Tony Petrucci.

According to Petrucci, the program’s format will be nearly identical to that of the Fox Online MBA. The MS in Human Resource Management will feature four-week courses that meet once a week, offered on Thursday nights from 8 to 10 p.m. The courses will include “synchronous and asynchronous learning,” Petrucci said, meaning it will feature academic videos produced by Fox faculty, online discussions between faculty and students, case analysis, and more.

Fox’s MS in Human Resource Management benefits greatly from the ability for students and faculty to complete coursework collaboratively and interactively through the use of WebEx web-conferencing technology, said Petrucci, an Assistant Professor within the Fox School’s Human Resource Management department for seven years.

“We are able to break our cohorts into teams in order to work on cases,” Petrucci said. “Additionally, the methods that are unique to the Human Resource Management curriculum that are traditionally focused on student and faculty engagement remain intact within the online experience.”

The difference between the Fox School’s traditional and the online versions, Petrucci said, is the pace at which students can complete the program. The online version of the MS in Human Resource Management program, with 10 three-credit course, can be completed in as quickly as one year or as many as three, depending upon the student’s schedule.

Convenient access and delivery of the program will attract prospective students, said Dr. Arthur Hochner, Associate Professor of Human Resource Management at the Fox School.

“I have students in my Online MBA courses who are located in Chicago and Texas, for example, or are traveling professionally and have accessed the course from Ireland, Poland, and India,” Hochner said. “This format is incredibly convenient for professionals.”

Petrucci said he believes the online version of the MS in Human Resource Management will only further bolster Fox School’s already-prominent reputation in the delivery of online education.

“Our goal was that this program would mirror or even enhance the experience that students receive in a traditional classroom, and our focus was built around that mission,” he said.