School of Business Administration

New business graduates reflect on experience, education at virtual event

icon of a calendarApril 30, 2021

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New business graduates reflect on experience, education at virtual event

Shared appreciation and gratitude flowed through the comments at the virtual event the School of Business Administration hosted to recognize its most recent graduates. All business majors who graduated August 2020, December 2020 and April 2021 were invited to join in with the members of their families.

More than two dozen graduates across business majors took advantage of this event to reflect on their Oakland business experience, thank their friends and family members for support, and hear words of appreciation, encouragement and inspiration from members of the OU Business School leadership team.

Student organizations were mentioned frequently as examples of connecting students with each other, learning about the real-world application of their chosen career paths, and networking with professionals.

Many attendees cited internships that evolved into career positions following graduation, reinforcing the relationship OU has with area organizations as well as the value Oakland business interns deliver to their employers.

Bhakti Patil, HRM ’21, described how her student organization involvement is influencing her career path.

As a member of the executive board for OU’s Society of Human Resources and Collegiate DECA chapters, Patil says, “I’ve been able to grow a lot as a person and a young HR professional, through those connections.” Currently, an HR intern at BorgWarner, Patil will move into a full time HR Coordinator position upon graduation.

Shaoli Amin, FIN ’21, voiced her appreciation for the opportunity she had to develop resume-level skills and network with professionals as a volunteer at OU Career Fairs.

The graduates also spoke about faculty, friends and family member support throughout their college experience, drawing particular attention to the previous year where everyone pivoted frequently to address shifting pandemic guidelines.

“A special thanks to everyone I worked with at OU, especially for the great overall college experience,” says Dania Alhourani, ACC ’20 and current MAcc student, who specifically mentioned the help and guidance OU business faculty provided before and during the pandemic. “During quarantine, it wasn’t easy. Our professors made it easier and made sure they were there for us.”

Alhourani made it a point to thank the Business School advisers as well as send a special thank you to Donna Free, accounting program director and instructor.

Economics major Owen Bennett took time to thank his family along with Dr. Ron Tracy and the entire Economics department, saying, “Dr. Tracy has everybody work hard, but I learned more in that class than other because he really teaches you the value of putting the effort in.”

Event participants called special attention to the commitment and dedication of OU’s undergraduate advising team, with several graduates sharing examples of how each member of the advising team has gone above and beyond in supporting students.

The small school feel is an aspect Charles Gwizdowki, ACC ’21, believes made a significant impact on his education. “One of my favorite things about the School of Business is the day to day, the classes, meeting people, working in the computer lab,” he says. “Being able to go from class to class and see familiar faces is one thing I really enjoyed.”

The event also included welcome remarks from Associate Dean Nivedita Mukherji, congratulatory remarks from Paul Trumbull, graduate business programs coordinator, and Ian Caullay, director, employer relations, Career Services in the School of Business Administration.

Experiential Programs Manager Meaghan Cole and Dean Michael A. Mazzeo closed the event with appreciation for and congratulations to all the Oakland business graduates.

Watch the full event on the School of Business Administration’s YouTube channel.

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