Students in the MS management program here at Saunders College of Business have the opportunity to expand their learning in a way like few other graduate programs. Those studying for the degree have the ability to apply for a spot in ‘Saunders Leadership Fellows Program’, providing the chance for them to expand their education outside the classroom.
Accepted students get the chance to connect with and shadow leaders in business. Through these mentors, students gain perspective on many elements of management and the business world that are hard to convey in class. The Fellows’ experiences give them insight into one of various possible industries, as well on how to be an effective leader.
Seeing proficient managers in action can be especially valuable, as they possess and impart the sort of knowledge many might not acquire without years of experience. The Fellowship program allows students to learn from, but also expand their network to include such professionals -- many of whom would be hard to meet otherwise.
Current Saunders Fellows
“Being able to shadow these mentors though is great as they can provide a wealth of knowledge"
Andrew Tobin, a recent graduate from RIT’s Packaging Science BS program, got to connect with Pete Giovenco of Bergmann Associates this past fall. Giovenco is someone who worked his way up from designer, to project manager, to department director, to COO, and now President of the architecture and engineering firm.
“While shadowing him, I got to witness the positivity that others talk about him with in the company and how he gives back to Rochester at both RIT and in the city. Those kinds of observations and takeaways you would not get from just sitting in a lecture hall.”
For Tobin the fellowship program provided more personal experience than a curriculum taught exclusively in a lecture hall.
“You get to observe other industry leaders work, their management styles compared to your own, and the ability to expand your professional network – that just makes the Fellowship all the more valuable in enhancing the education for MS Management students.”
Tobin noted how because of the program he became acquainted with a mentor that he likely would not have met otherwise; Giovenco working in architecture and he a graduate in packaging science.
“Pete started working at Bergmann Associates as a designer and then over the years he started to climb the ranks within the company. From that I learned how valuable it is to a leader to be able to start at the ground floor of the company and learn how all of the different departments interact and function together so that when you do come into senior management, you already have a feeling for the inner-workings of the company.”
“It’s a great experience to be able to visit companies and see how they operate.”
Silvia Caraballo is an MS in Management student who received her bachelor’s degree in Applied Arts and Science and double majored in Sociology/Anthropology and Multidisciplinary studies. Caraballo was paired with Peter Parts, President & CEO of Peter Parts Electronics. In addition to being a central figure of Peter Parts Electronics and Peter Parts Electronics Shenzhen, Parts is a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council here at Saunders and is actively involved with ‘Camp Good Days and Special Times’, InterVol, and the U of R Medical Center.
“Mr. Peter Parts gave me the benefit of his perspective and experience. He has helped me assimilate and [come to] understand how to operate a company. [Providing me] the insider’s view on how to run a company effectively. He also, gave me an understanding of how to incorporate social responsibility into a company, and still run a successful, profitable business. Mr. Parts helped me explore my career path, and advised me to not lose focus. To continue down that road even when I am distracted by day-to-day pressures, and to define my career goals.”
Like many other Fellows, Caraballo likely would not have met her mentor without the program. She has pursued her MS in hopes of continuing to develop a social venture organization for indigenous communities. Mrs. Caraballo is a member and co-founder of Pacha Trends, an upcoming organization that hopes to establish health and education projects in South America and the U.S.A.
"Being able to talk with mentors about my educational path and work hand and hand with them to better position myself for a postgraduate career has been a tremendous help.”
Focusing on Product and Service Development, Patrick Reynolds is an MS Management Fellow who has also found the program to be a rewarding experience.
“Combin[ing] knowledge from the classroom with real life applications has been a wonderful opportunity that adds an additional dimension to our traditional learning. This program allows you to make the most of your mentor relationship, tailoring what you learn to what you are most interested in.”
Reynolds’ mentor was Jim Goff, the CEO of Landsman Development Corporation: a family of companies that implements strategies within real estate development, construction and management. Goff is also one with 23 years of experience at Bausch & Lomb, serving in positions including VP of Administration and VP of the Vision Accessories business unit.
“Going through both an undergraduate and now graduate program I know that my greatest concern was, ‘how will my degree apply to a company and what skills will make me the most valuable candidate?’ Being able to talk with mentors about my educational path and work hand and hand with them to better position myself for a postgraduate career has been a tremendous help.”