Does speed matter in e-commerce? How can you eliminate the harmful effects of smoking on society? How can you predict which movies will be a hit or a bust? These were the questions posed this year by the annual Temple University QVC Analytics Challenge and its sponsors QVC, Pfizer, and NBCUniversal.
Now in its fifth year, 582 students from 10 different schools and colleges across the university participated in the competition, organized by the Institute for Business and Information Technology (IBIT), where participants solve important industry-specific problems using data. This year’s 245 entries were judged in two categories—analytics and graphics—and winners took home $12,000 in cash prizes from the event, held Nov. 13, 2017 at Alter Hall, home of the Fox School of Business.
The winner of the graphics category was a team consisting of Charles Attisano and Luke Harding, two seniors studying graphic and interactive design at the Tyler School of Art. They worked on the NBCUniversal challenge about movie box office forecasting and produced a short video exploring the topic, which you can watch here.
“We concluded that, on average, the highest performing movies in the box office tend to be adventure films with production budgets between $100-250 million, and release dates in May, June, or December,” said Attisano and Harding. “Providing a formula for success, on average, may help a producer choose a genre, budget, and release date. One of the most important things we learned in the process is that storytelling is an integral part of the analyzing process, and that you must communicate your analysis in a clear manner.”
The winner in the analytics category was a team of four Fox School students majoring in management information systems: Ngoc Pham, Chi Pham, Run Zhu, and Jiawei Huang. They focused on QVC’s e-commerce problem, and showed how the shopping network can ship the right products at the right time to its customers. (See the winning infographic here.)
“Working with raw data is like playing a video game,” the team explained. “You have the same goal to fulfill certain tasks, and there are tons of approaches that can be used to accomplish this goal. We provided our recommendations for highly underutilized distribution centers in terms of product categories based on their sales. By implementing our recommendations, QVC could increase its sales volume in California, Texas, and Florida within three months.”
One of the most thrilling aspects of the Analytics Challenge is that participants represent many different schools and colleges across the university. This means teams approach data, analysis, and visualization in diverse ways, and they bring unique, multi-disciplinary insights to each problem.
“It was exciting this year to see how well so many students from so many different majors instinctively understood the importance of the science of data,” said Laurel Miller, assistant professor of management information systems, IBIT director, and the co-founder of the Analytics Challenge. “It was hard to pick the winners, and all the students should feel proud of how well they did.”
Learn more about the Temple University Analytics Challenge.
Life is unpredictable. Tammylynn Rodriguez, BBA ’17, can attest to that.
Rodriguez initially enrolled at Temple University’s Fox School of Business to earn a traditional, on-campus Bachelor of Business Administration degree. And despite a fire in her family home and maintaining full-time employment, she wasn’t willing to put her dreams on hold.
“(Fox’s program) really allowed me to be myself,” said Rodriguez, who addressed fellow students during her undergraduate commencement ceremony in May.
Is there an appropriate time for students like Rodriguez to transfer into an online degree program?
U.S. News & World Report asked that question and spoke with Rodriguez, who’s now a Fox Online MBA student. U.S. News also reached out to Elvita Quiñones, who often counsels Fox students making their academic transition through the school’s Center for Undergraduate Advising.
Learn more about Rodriguez, and the Fox Online MBA and Online BBA programs by reading the full story at usnews.com.
Updated Aug. 16, 2018: Mary Tang, BBA ’18, is currently working on her Master of Accountancy degree at the Fox School and she recently completed a summer audit internship with KPMG.
“How do I make the most of my college experience?” is a question every new college student ponders. Mary Tang, a senior majoring in accounting at the Fox School of Business, has answers.
Tang formerly served as the president of the Temple University chapter of Ascend, a Student Professional Organization (SPO) that fosters Pan-Asian leadership across industries, and she is currently the president of Beta Alpha Psi, the international honor society for accounting, finance, and information systems students.
Tang’s involvement in SPOs had a significant impact on her. After graduation next May, she’ll intern with KPMG, and then she plans to earn an MS in accountancy from Fox and become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). But her longterm goal is to stay involved with SPOs.
“For a while,” Tang says, “I thought I wanted to be a partner at a public accounting firm, and I could end up doing that. But since I’ve been so involved with SPOs on campus, I’ve worked with a lot of recruiters, so I know the recruiting process for public accounting firms, which are very specific processes, and I’ve really enjoyed it. I’d love to work as a campus recruiter, for a campus organization, and help students in SPOs get internships and jobs. That would be really, really cool.”
From learning how to network with recruiters to becoming an SPO leader, Tang’s learned a ton about optimizing her college experience during her time at Fox and Temple. She shares this wisdom below.
5. Explore Philadelphia
“One thing students forget to do is explore the city,” says Tang. “Philadelphia is one of the best cities in the country and in the world, so it’s important to learn all the history behind it. There’s so much to do, not just in Center City, but many other parts of the city, too. I’m a lot busier now in my senior year, but freshman year is when you have the most time, so new students should take advantage and get to know Philly. I love South Philly. And I’m always in Chinatown; I recommend people go out and have some bubble tea.”
4. Use SEPTA
“Not many students have a car on campus, so SEPTA is the best way to explore Philadelphia. You could Uber and Lyft everywhere, sure, but if you’re going to college in a city, you need to learn how to use that city’s public transportation. Learning how to navigate the subway, trolley, bus, and trains will prepare you for getting to interviews, go out to dinner with friends, or whatever you need to do.”
3. Network/Ask People to Grab Lunch or Coffee
“Friends, classmates, anybody. If you’re at a networking event and you meet someone who’s interesting, definitely grab their business card, but also ask if you can shoot them an email, and ask if they’d like to get together for lunch or coffee. Every time I’ve asked a professional this, they’ve said, ‘Yes.’ I’ve gone on about 15 lunch dates with different professionals. It pays off in the long run.”
2. Talk to the People You See Every Day
“If you walk by someone in the dorm, or the hallway, or you see them in class every day, become friends with them. For business students, learning how to talk to everyone is important. And maybe one day you’ll need their help, or they’ll need your help, so it’s good to become friends with as many people as possible. Start learning how to network by talking to the person next to you in class. Maybe they’ll help you get a job one day, but it’s more important to talk to them like a human and get to know them first.”
1. Become an SPO Leader
“I was perfectly content with being a member of SPOs, but when I learned about the success stories of leaders, I knew I had to join the leadership. The former president of Ascend really challenged me to do and try new things and this helped me learn new skills. That’s when I learned being a leader is a great way to influence people and make a big impact. I knew I wanted to become one, and I did.”
Learn more about the Fox School’s Undergraduate Programs and the Department of Accounting.
Updated Aug. 16, 2018: Suchetha Subramaniam, BBA ’18, is currently part of the Sales & Marketing Future Leader Program at GSK.
Grab your books—it’s time to go back to school!
Whether you’re an incoming freshman or a senior, the beginning of a semester is the perfect opportunity to make big plans and set challenging goals. It’s an excellent moment to try new things—so with this in mind, we asked rising senior Suchetha Subramaniam to offer a few tips that will help business students succeed.
Subramaniam is a double major in International Business and Spanish. She’s also the president of the College Council—the organization that oversees nearly 30 student professional organizations (SPOs) at the Fox School—and she recently completed her fourth internship in a financial advisory program with Merrill Lynch. Subramaniam’s long-term career goal, she says, is to “work in the financial advisory space, with an international nonprofit specializing in business development in Latin or South America.”
From risk-taking to strategic networking, here are some of the secrets that have helped Subramaniam find success during her time at Fox.
5. Join Student Professional Organizations
“Joining an SPO is the best way to get into the business world as a student,” says Subramaniam. “They’re a great way to network yourself and to network your abilities, to learn about possible career paths, and to speak to professors. I’ve had a lot of opportunities to interact with many top performing students and these relationships will help me in the future. I got some of the best work experience I never would’ve gotten otherwise through SPOs.”
4. Take Professional Risks
“When I came to Temple, I knew Fox was a highly-esteemed school and I knew that the discipline of business is broad enough that I’d find my niche in due time. I had no background in finance, but all of a sudden I decided to apply for a financial advising internship with Merrill Lynch. It was very challenging for me, but I realized finance is a field I can truly see myself working in. I never would’ve discovered this passion if I hadn’t taken a risk and been willing to try something new.”
3. Talk to Your Professors
“Professors all have office hours and you should take advantage of that. Professors are incredibly intelligent and experienced, and they are great people who want you to succeed. All you have to do is make an effort and show them you’re a curious, functioning person with feelings and they’ll reciprocate. One of my professors even put me in touch with someone in her personal circle and this helped me get an interview I otherwise wouldn’t have had. Talking to professors can open up so many new opportunities. It pays off. And they’re such nice, knowledgeable people, so why wouldn’t you want to get to know them?”
2. Go to Events You Normally Wouldn’t Attend
“Last year, Fox played a part in bringing Colin Powell to campus. I had no intention of going; I saw the flyer, I saw the invite, but didn’t think much of it. But I was pushed by some faculty to go because it was a once in a lifetime experience. I was able to speak to Powell individually, and I got a picture taken with him. He’s one of the most influential people in our recent political history, so that was really cool. His speech was on leadership and inclusion, and it was incredible. He was so inspiring and there were so many things I took away from it that I can apply to my future and to different leadership roles.”
1. Network, Network, Network
“On day one at Fox, they had us go to a networking event with faculty, the deans, and other students—they literally threw us right in the deep end. We’ve all heard it a million times: ‘It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.’ That’s so true in every facet of life and your professional career. At Fox and Temple, we have all these interesting people around us who are doing and will go on to do great things; we’re all on the same trajectory, but working in different fields. I see networking like a plant, where you’re the main branch and each person you know branches off into a different one. But once you make a connection, you have access to their network as well, and this opens up new paths for you.”
Learn more about the Fox School’s International Business program.
Entrepreneurship, a pillar at Temple University, continues to flourish campus-wide.
Adding to that robust culture, a recently forged student professional organization is helping to strengthen Temple’s ties to entrepreneurship. The Temple University Venture Club (TUVC) is the latest extension of entrepreneurial support offered to students, and offers students opportunities to learn about entrepreneurial finance and venture investing.
In starting the entrepreneurship-focused organization, Fox School of Business senior Rourke Phalon set out to create a space that is for fellow business-minded individuals, whether or not they are business majors.
“The most rewarding part about guiding student entrepreneurs is helping them tap into opportunities that no one had made available to me as an underclassman,” said Phalon, an International Business major from Watertown, Conn. “I had been an active member of student professional organizations dedicated to institutional finance and entrepreneurship, but there was this interesting world which blended both that needed more attention brought to it. I helped form the club to fill that gap.”
While entrepreneurial thinking is mainly associated within the Fox School, TUVC hopes to foster growth and innovation among all Temple students. According to Zachary Scheffer, the Venture Club’s vice president, the organization seeks to help students who may not know where to begin when launching a business or venture.
“We encourage all backgrounds to join our organization because if you have an entrepreneur’s mindset, you may need information regarding funding one day,” said Scheffer. “We currently have a few members from outside of Fox that find great value in the opportunities and information TUVC provides.”
For Phalon, serving as president of a new organization with more than 20 members is no easy feat. But, he said, seeing students grow and take advantage of new opportunities through other startups has made the journey worth it.
“The overall mission of the Venture Club is to create a culture around entrepreneurial finance at Temple,” he said. “We accomplish that goal by hosting an entrepreneurship speaker series, and by making students aware of networking, volunteer, and work opportunities in the entrepreneurship space.”
Venture Club is the latest edition to Temple’s entrepreneurship-rich landscape. Temple University Entrepreneurship Academy (TUEA), launched in Fall 2016, already has begun expanding the university’s widespread entrepreneurial culture by incorporating entrepreneurship education into coursework delivered by faculty members throughout all of Temple’s 17 schools and colleges.
TUEA is an extension of Temple’s renowned Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute, which uses applied, hands-on learning and access to entrepreneurs and mentors to proactively promote entrepreneurial spirit for students from all disciplines.
While the Temple Venture Club is still young, the organization’s corporate relations officer Courtney Mangano envisions a bright future for TUVC.
“I hope the Venture Club continues to act as a platform for anyone looking to gain experience on how to successfully become involved in the startup and venture capital community, get an internship, and network with our influential guest speakers,” said Mangano.
Dan Genuario is on a mission to capture Philadelphia one frame at a time.
The senior Management Information Systems major at Temple University’s Fox School of Business is using his creativity to showcase the beauty in the abandoned. His photography hobby has turned into a passion, and is opening up doors to his potential future.
Three years ago, Genuario used his cell phone camera to start taking pictures of graffiti and architecture around the city. He noticed his father had a digital camera that he never used and, one day, decided to pick it up and start shooting.
“I’m self-taught, but I like to credit my abilities to my friends. I learn a lot from their feedback, everything from how to shoot to post-processing,” Genuario said.
Genuario has found a community while hunting for rundown and abandoned areas to photograph. His adventures have taken him to a variety of landscapes, including dilapidated warehouses and asylums that date back to the 19th century.
After sharing his work with the Saxby’s Coffee shop on Temple’s campus this summer, the shop decided to showcase a piece in its newly remodeled space. The photograph that hangs on the wall is the exquisitely captured interior of a deserted water treatment plant from the 1930s.
“It was so photogenic and such beautiful architecture,” he said. “I’ve never seen anything quite like that place.”
After exhausting most of the vacant properties in and around Philadelphia, Genuario decided it was time to expand his portfolio. This past summer, he combined his loves of travel and photography into several road trips with friends.
“We went to the Midwest, down south, and up to New England to branch out more,” he said.
Genuario’s work also has appeared in several shows throughout the city, at places like the Trocadero Theatre and Goldilocks Gallery. A dedicated student, he was offered other art shows, but declined due to his schoolwork. “I have to find the right balance between school and photography,” he explained. “I don’t want to give up my passion of photography for school, but at the same time I want to graduate.”
Genuario said he’s “still trying to figure it out,” with regard to his career choices, but said he’d ideally like to apply the information technology and business management skills he’s honed at the Fox School with the potential launch of a photography business.
“I can have a good career with my major and eventually retire to pursue photography,” Genuario said. “I would love to travel the world and take photos.”
A team of students from Temple University culled its business and information technology savvy to take first place in the Penn State Abington Business Challenge.
The team – composed of Robert Moses and Nicole Cirillo from the Fox School of Business, and Nick Carmen from the College of Science and Technology (CST) – claimed the $1,000 first prize and bested eight other finalists when it delivered its winning presentation April 2 at Penn State University’s Abington campus.
Temple’s team was one of 200 invited to compete in the Penn State Abington Business Challenge, a case competition in which students solved a complex business issue by providing strategic solutions for a company within the IT healthcare industry.
The Temple trio emerged from the stacked field of finalists by providing quantified recommendations and implementations, based upon six years of historical financial figures provided to each team.
“From an analytical standpoint, we went beyond this singular company and identified trends and drivers within the industry, which I believe differentiated us from our competitors,” said Moses, a Business Management major who graduated in May. “By providing more than a high-level overview, we also created a forward-looking table to account for our recommendations and expenses, and forecasted the potential revenue.”
Dr. Manohar Singh, division head for social sciences at Penn State Abington, and the competition’s organizer, later revealed the name of the unidentified company as the Greater Philadelphia-based MRO Corporation, which delivers health information management and technology systems built to safeguard confidential information. Steve Hynes, MRO’s chief executive officer, served as one of the competition’s five judges.
“It was an interesting exercise for the students – researching, forming hypotheses, and defending them,” Hynes said. “I was impressed that the students put in so much effort and leveraged the strengths of their teammates.”
Temple’s team delivered highly efficient and effective solutions for MRO Corporation’s desired growth within its particular marketplace. Teams from Swarthmore College and Shippensburg University placed second and third, respectively.
For Cirillo, a Business Management major who graduated in May, the case competition provided an opportunity to learn from other competitors.
“This was an interesting experience because it exposed us to the analyses completed by our competitors,” she said. “It was eye-opening to see students from other schools run their analysis completely differently, using the same figures, and it was great to represent Temple and win first place.”
The Fox School of Business at Temple University will introduce new academic programs for the 2016-17 academic year.
A Bachelor of Science program in Statistical Science and Data Analytics headlines the new offerings by the Fox School, and joins two undergraduate minors in Leadership and International Business Administration.
At the graduate level, students can elect for MBA concentrations in either Business Analytics or Enterprise Risk Management. In Fall 2016, Fox also will launch a Master of Science degree program in Business Analytics.
“The addition of new programs and concentrations demonstrate our reputation as one of the nation’s most-comprehensive business schools,” said Dr. M. Moshe Porat, Dean of the Fox School of Business. “Employers and industry partners agree that these areas represent emerging fields and areas of study wherein professionals and leaders are in great demand, and we have the diverse, renowned faculty to answer the call of industry and these support programs.”
The undergraduate major in Statistical Science and Data Analysis will provide students with the ability to select, utilize and apply quantitative reasoning and data analytic skills to their future fields of study, according to program director Dr. Alexandra Carides, Associate Professor of Statistical Science.
The minor in International Business Administration incorporates the nationally ranked curriculum of Fox’s undergraduate-degree program in International Business. The minor requires only four courses and four prerequisites, delivering the cornerstones of international business education while offering students the opportunity to complete a study-abroad trip in the process.
The minor in Leadership cultivates stronger interpersonal skills for effective management and leadership positions. With courses focusing on workplace demands for leadership from both the organizational and interpersonal points of view, the minor allows students to move beyond technical competence as they step into leadership roles in industry.
The MBA concentration in Business Analytics is designed to enable graduate students to use data and models to recognize opportunities and to improve organizational decision-making. “Data-driven decision-making has been shown to have large positive effects on outcomes of interest to organizations of all types,” said Assistant Professor of Marketing and Supply Chain Management Dr. Eric Eisenstein, the concentration’s director. “Business Analytics concentrators will meet the growing demand for talent in the areas of managing, analyzing, predicting, and discovering insights from the complex data that is available to modern corporations.”
The MBA concentration in Enterprise Risk Management, offered by one of the most-prestigious Risk Management programs in the nation, will prepare MBA students to design and implement state-of-the-art processes that enhance and improve organizational strategic decision-making, how it manages risk across the enterprise, as well as improving traditional risk mitigation decisions. “This concentration will provide MBA candidates with the concepts and tools to develop advanced organizational risk management capabilities and pursue executive responsibility for managing enterprise-wide risks,” said Assistant Professor of Risk, Insurance, and Healthcare Management Dr. M. Michael Zuckerman, the concentration’s director.
All eligibility and declaration questions regarding the new undergraduate major and minors should be referred to Fox’s Center for Undergraduate Advising. Graduate students are encouraged to speak with their program advisors for more details about new curricula.
One of the first-established academic departments at Temple University’s Fox School of Business is getting a new name, and is set to introduce a new undergraduate degree program.
The Fox School’s Department of Statistics will soon be rebranded as the Department of Statistical Science. Additionally, the department will unveil a Bachelor of Science degree program in Statistical Science and Data Analytics. Both changes are effective for the 2016-17 academic year, following the approval in March by Temple’s Board of Trustees.
The department had been known as the Department of Statistics since its establishment in 1929, 11 years after the founding of the Fox School.
“Rebranding our department as the Department of Statistical Science reflects the breadth of our department’s academic research, the discipline’s changing landscape, and our department’s renewed focus on engaging in quality research that reshapes the field of statistics and to train new generations of statistically skilled graduates,” said Dr. Sanat K. Sarkar, Chair of the Department of Statistical Science.
The new department name, Sarkar added, is reflective of the discipline’s evolution into one that “develops newer subfields and its interdisciplinary research with scientists in modern scientific investigations involving complex data.”
In Fall 2016, the department will launch its Bachelor of Science undergraduate degree program in Statistical Science and Data Analytics. The demand for the program, said program director Dr. Alexandra Carides, has been driven by the proliferation of computing technology, software, and statistical tools for capturing and interpreting the substantial volume of data now available at the enterprise, government, and personal levels.
The program will qualify students for professions in some of the fastest-growing job sectors, according to Carides.
“The program will provide undergraduate students with the ability to select, utilize, and apply quantitative reasoning and data analytic skills to their future field of study,” said Carides, an Assistant Professor of Statistical Science. “Knowledge of statistical theory and methods has become increasingly important to students in many disciplines. As more data are collected, stored, and analyzed, students are finding it increasingly beneficial to gain expertise in statistical science to strengthen their skills and enhance their career opportunities.”
How sweet it is.
Marketing majors from Temple University’s student chapter of the American Marketing Association (AMA) won the parent organization’s annual Collegiate Case Competition by delivering a marketing strategy for a product from event sponsor The Hershey Company.
The Temple AMA team took top honors ahead of the University of Pennsylvania, Texas State University, and Ferris State University, among other tough competitors. The team of marketing students from the Fox School of Business assembled a thorough, research-driven marketing plan for Hershey’s Ice Breakers Cool Blast Chews, emerging from a field of 91 college chapters to claim first place in the prestigious competition for the first time. The $3,000 top prize will be allotted toward defraying costs related to next year’s case competition, the team said.
“This puts our chapter on the map,” said junior Lily Tran. “Now, other chapters across the country and internationally will look to us as a prime example of what it takes to win.”
The Temple AMA all-junior presentation team comprised Tran, Abbey Harris, Rachel Baker, and Alexander Brannan. The written case team included seniors Taylor Sauder, Rachel Zydyk, and Jennifer McGill. Temple AMA was one of 10 national finalists invited to deliver a presentation at the AMA International Collegiate Conference, held March 17-20 in New Orleans.
The final presentation culminated more than seven months of original research, situation analysis, conducting focus groups and surveys, and marketing recommendations by the Temple AMA team. The group had submitted its written case to AMA in December and, one month later, learned that it had been selected as one of the 10 finalists. From there, they delivered a number of “dry-run presentations,” said Dr. Craig Atwater, Assistant Professor of Marketing and Supply Chain Management at Temple’s Fox School of Business, and one of Temple AMA’s three faculty advisors.
“Our team took tips from the faculty members and PhD students to whom they made their practice presentations and fine-tuned the presentation until it was perfectly polished,” Atwater said. “Their focus groups and taste tests also helped our students determine that the product’s positioning was ambiguous. It’s not a gum, as it dissolves within 15 seconds, and yet it’s not a mint. It’s instead classified within a subcategory, as a power-mint. Our students found that for millennials, who enjoy trying new things, this product is cool and fun, but they found that it also required an explanation.”
Those elements proved critical to the Temple AMA team’s presentation, which the group delivered before a trio of high-ranking executives from Hershey. Then, the marketing students waited until all other names had been announced before celebrating their victory.
“While awaiting the results, I remember counting the spots and losing count because my heart started to pound,” said Harris. “TU-AMA is improving in reputation thanks to our incredible faculty advisors – Dr. Craig Atwater, Professor Jim Thompson, and Dr. Drew Allmond – our talented Fox School professors, and the support of the Marketing department.”
Added Baker: “I believe our success is a direct tribute to Temple University’s dedicated faculty, who over the past three years have consistently encouraged innovation in team settings, fostered perseverance, taught us how to think strategically, and have pushed us to reach our potential.”
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.”
His early months in Los Angeles were what Ray termed “a testing time.” He had little in his savings account, so his living arrangements were constantly in flux. At times, he spent nights in a hostel. He had no West Coast friends or relatives to lean upon, either.
“It was isolating in a lot of ways,” Ray said, “so it became a matter of asking myself, ‘How badly do I really want this?’ Let’s be honest: You can spend months in L.A. without landing an audition.”
Without marketable experience or an acting-heavy resume, Ray bounced between talent agencies. He relied on his education at the Fox School to objectively view his professional predicament. He had to think clearly about his decision-making processes. He assembled a list of targeted agencies and identified a niche in his career – all skills he developed at Fox.
What Ray called “a last-minute opportunity” led to an audition for the writers/producers of “Getting On,” the HBO comedy series that follows the staffers of an extended care unit of a hospital set in Long Beach, Calif. Ray improv’ed with the producers, performing for them and with them during his audition, before landing the part.
Ray shared a first name with his character, Adam, who was an intern in the show’s first season and a resident in the second season. Additionally, his work on “Getting On” led a fellow actor to introduce Ray to her agent, who’s helped “push me into other rooms and secure other auditions that never would have been possible,” he said.
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.
Ray admits his Hollywood career is a journey and he’s continued learning along the way.
“Acting isn’t something you can study for four years and say, ‘I’ve perfected it,’” Ray said. “From that vantage point, I’m happy I got a business education and studied at Fox. It taught me to be confident, overcome self-consciousness and nervousness, command a room, be assertive, and how to communicate your clear idea to a room of strangers.”
“That last one is extremely helpful in L.A. because, like I said, it can be lonely out here.”
Taylor Hildebrand, a sophomore accounting major at the Fox School of Business, has been named a recipient of the 2015-16 American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Foundation Two-Year Transfer Scholarship.
Hildebrand is one of 15 students who will receive a $3,000 scholarship. AICPA received more than 700 applications nationally for the AICPA Foundation Two-Year Transfer Scholarship, which is awarded to students at two-year colleges who wish to study accounting upon their transfer to four-year colleges or universities.
A minimum grade-point average of 3.0 and at least 30 college credit hours are required of all applicants. The scholarship also requires eight hours per semester of service promoting the accounting profession. Hildebrand hopes to do so at an information table at Fox’s Alter Hall.
“The AICPA is committed to building the certified public accountant pipeline by drawing from a pool of the best and brightest from diverse paths to the profession,” said Joanne Fiore, AICPA Vice President of Professional Media, Pathways and Inclusion.
Hildebrand, a native of Lebanon County, Pa., enrolled at the Fox School of Business for the Fall 2015 semester. She had been studying at Harrisburg Area Community College, in Harrisburg, Pa.
“Fox was the best business school out of all the colleges I was considering,” she said.
Hildebrand first gained an interest in accounting after discussing the career choice with her uncle, who is an accountant. For her scholarship application, she prepared an essay that shared her plans in the future as an accountant.
“I want to have an internship first to explore the career through audit and tax and see what I like best,” Hildebrand said. “Eventually, I want to apply business knowledge to create my own business.”
In her first semester at Fox, Hildebrand joined the student-professional organization Beta Alpha Psi, Temple’s chapter of the scholastic and professional fraternity dedicated to financial information students.
The AICPA Foundation Two-Year Transfer Scholarship is part of the AICPA’s Legacy Scholars program, which was created in 2011 to help students develop the necessary skills for successful careers in accounting. Visit AICPA’s website for more information on this and other scholarships.
Brandon Study still remembers the oppressive sunshine beating down upon his back last summer. Study had been crouched atop a home in El Salvador as he applied the final bolt to a repaired rooftop.
Handiwork is just one element of Study’s plan.
The junior Entrepreneurship major at Temple University’s Fox School of Business is the co-founder of Into The Nations, a non-profit organization that seeks to empower artisans in developing countries.
During the summer of 2014, Study met Amparo del Carmen Valle Velis, an El Salvadoran hammock weaver. Study, a Littlestown, Pa., native who has worked in El Salvador on a volunteer-basis for four years, credits Amparo with inspiring him to create the business model for Into The Nations.
Study is an amateur photographer with an appreciation for artistry. He admits he was amazed more by Amparo’s life story than with the beauty her hand-woven hammocks.
“She has a second-grade education,” Study said. “El Salvador had a war when she was in grade school, so she was constantly getting pulled out of school. I wanted to create something that would help an individual. I don’t mind if the impact we have doesn’t grow exponentially, but as long as we can help one person in a huge way, that’s really all I care about.”
In The Nations uses a small team of volunteers to identify an artisan. Then the team alleviates the artisan’s pressing needs, like Amparo’s dilapidated roof, before they develop a business model to help the artist sustain his or her work and bring it to the market.
Study will visit El Salvador over an upcoming holiday break from the Fox School to discuss with Amparo his vision for her business model. He said he plans to develop a supply chain by sourcing materials, before setting up necessary distribution channels to sell her work both in the United States and in El Salvador.
“We plan to work with her for about a year, sell her hammocks on our e-commerce site for a year and then, after that, really allow her to take ownership over it,” Study said.
Study’s ability to create a business model, he said, stemmed from his experiences within the Fox School and last year’s Be Your Own Boss Bowl®. In BYOBB, a university-wide business-plan competition for students, faculty, staff, and alumni, one of Study’s ventures advanced to the finals.
“I would really not know where to start if I had not gone through some of the curriculum at Fox, as well as the BYOBB,” Study said.
Study entered the Be Your Own Boss Bowl® with his Fox mentor, senior Entrepreneurship major Tim Mounsey. Their now-dissolved business, Cycle Clothing Co., used non-exploitative production and zero-waste manufacturing through a producer in Cambodia. Mounsey said Study’s passion for social impact was visible as they worked together for the competition.
“Helping people and making sure people’s wellbeing comes first is important for him,” Mounsey said. “I think he’ll carry that through anything he does in his life, especially with Into The Nations.”
Mounsey and Study are working with a team to create an innovation-themed festival for the Spring 2016 semester that would collaborate with several schools and colleges at Temple University.
“I’ve found that when you are willing to learn about people and really invest in what they need and walk alongside them, it is more of an empowerment than an investment,” Study said of Into The Nations. “In business school at Fox and in entrepreneurship work, I’ve started to understand that empowerment can come through creating a business.”
The Fox School of Business at Temple University will introduce two new undergraduate majors for the 2015-16 academic year: Supply Chain Management and Financial Planning.
In all, the Fox School offers students a choice of 15 undergraduate majors.
“The additions of Supply Chain Management and Financial Planning as majors further bolster the Fox School’s reputation as not only the most comprehensive business school in the Philadelphia region, but one of the most comprehensive in the nation,” said Dr. M. Moshe Porat, Dean of the Fox School of Business. “Employers and industry partners agree that these concentrations are regarded as emerging fields wherein professionals are in great demand, and Fox has the renowned faculty to support such programs.”
The new majors are available to all students. Students entering their junior and senior years can declare for either of the majors and still remain on four-year academic plans. Interested juniors and seniors are encouraged to meet with a Fox School advisor to discuss their academic options.
The Supply Chain Management major will prepare students to operate and lead major aspects of the supply system in both established and start-up firms. Fox’s Marketing and Supply Chain Management department will oversee the program, which will ready students for careers in the interconnected chain of suppliers, manufacturers, warehouses and distribution centers, transportation-providers, retailers.
“Businesses today operate on a global scale,” said Dr. Neha Mittal, Assistant Professor and Academic Director of the undergraduate Supply Chain Management program. “For example, it’s very common for a company to have its sourcing in South America, manufacturing in China, and sales of its products to markets in Europe or North America. We’re talking about huge, complex supply chains here, which have fueled the need for supply chain management professionals to manage the flows between the different parties.”
The Financial Planning major will prepare students for careers in the growing field bearing the same name, which takes a holistic approach to working with clients in order to enable them to identify and attain lifestyle and retirement goals. Students who complete the Financial Planning curriculum are eligible to sit for the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) examination upon graduation – a unique feature of the program.
Fox’s Finance department will oversee the program, and will draw upon the expertise of faculty in Fox’s Legal Studies and Risk, Insurance and Healthcare Management departments, as well, said Cynthia Axelrod, Assistant Professor and Financial Planning Program Director.
“Within the next 20 years, 10,000 baby boomers will retire every day. This will produce a tremendous intergenerational wealth transfer, for which there won’t be nearly enough advisors to take on the burgeoning growth of clients and client assets,” Axelrod said.
“Further, retirement planning now resides with employees, not employers. Individuals need help with retirement planning and investments. A financial planner brings objectivity to the process, and helps their client to develop a successful roadmap to attain their financial goals. A career in financial planning is very rewarding, allowing an individual to combine their investment skills and people skills, with excellent economic potential. All of this will lead to strong prospects for our students majoring in Financial Planning.”
At Temple University’s Ritter Hall Annex, the elevator bay is abuzz with students and staff members talking about the building’s newest addition: Rad Dish Co-Op Café. The vegetarian, cash-only eatery has become a hotspot for foodies looking for locally sourced meals.
Keeping an eye on a midday lunch rush, Lauren Troop, Rad Dish co-founder and its head of outreach, said her involvement in the café inspired her transfer into the Fox School of Business.
“Through this project, I was able to see that you can use business to solve problems like these and be a leader in your community,” said Troop, a junior entrepreneurship major.
Troop and fellow Fox School student Trevor Southworth are among the Temple students who are behind the primary operations and day-to-day management of Rad Dish Co-Op Café.
Troop said she’s always been fascinated by eating habits and the sustainability of the slow-food movement, which promotes the use of a local ecosystem to support traditional meals. It wasn’t until Troop opened Rad Dish in January and started her courses at the Fox School in Fall 2014 that she saw how to turn her interests into a business.
“I took a class that explored innovation through different business plans and Rad Dish’s business plan, being a co-op, is so unique,” Troop said.
Utilizing skills gleaned from her Marketing and Human Resource courses, Troop said she began to problem-solve issues of promotion and business management while working to maintain the idea of opening a locally sourced restaurant at Temple.
Rad Dish Café, as a co-op, embraces a purely democratic leadership that allows all students equal voting rights, and invites students and community members to buy into the co-op for $25, which affords them a 10-percent discount on purchases and voting privileges in the co-op.
Among the committee leaders is Trevor Southworth, who not only supports Rad Dish’s cause, but also views the venture as an ideal application for the skills he’s learning in the Fox School.
“I’m in Cost Analysis right now and that’s everything I do for Rad Dish,” said Southworth, a sophomore accounting major at the Fox School.
Rad Dish is primarily funded by seed money provided by Temple University’s Office of Sustainability. Southworth, who heads Rad Dish’s finance committee, focuses on creating a financial plan that allows the restaurant to meet and exceed overhead costs and saving to pay back the seed funding within five years. Southworth and Troop also worked to launch an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign that raised $2,000. The idea came from alumna Rachel Voluck, FOX ’14, the former president of Fox School student professional organization Net Impact, a responsible business coalition.
Prior to its February soft opening, Rad Dish worked with the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute’s (IEI) Living Learning Community to plan the grand opening and formulate outreach programs. Troop also said she plans to work with Sustainable Marketing business students to pitch the co-op model, and hopes to resume a series of independent studies available through the Fox School to get students involved.
“This semester we hope to create those relationships and plan out more organized internships,” Troop said. “A big thing for us is collaboration between colleges.”
Troop and Southworth have also reached out to Dylan Baird, FOX ’13. The alumnus, who took second place at the IEI’s 2010 Be Your Own Boss Bowl, a university-wide business plan competition, launched Philly Foodworks, an aggregator for local farms to sell their crops locally. Rad Dish uses Baird’s community-sourced agriculture delivery service as a drop-off/pick-up zone for the café’s food stores. And the café’s breads and pastries are courtesy of Lauren Yaghoobian, FOX ’01, who launched Northeast Philadelphia-based Wildflour Bakery with her husband, Nishan, shortly after graduating.
“We would use Temple alumni over anyone else because they get so excited about it,” Southworth said. “It’s natural networking and I’ve learned a lot.”
Both Troop and Southworth look forward to continuing their business educations and applying their skills to Rad Dish’s everyday operation.
“I want to learn these news skills and have this business succeed,” Troop said. “I’m excited to continue collaboration between a variety of Temple schools and colleges.”