MBA Students Honored at Awards Ceremony
Passion, persistence, and networking can lead to career success, Don Brown ’63 told Providence College’s graduating MBA students.
Brown is the managing director of International Magazine Publishing, LLC, a consulting firm he founded after spending more than three decades at Time Inc. There, he worked for three years contributing to significant cost savings as manufacturing director of People magazine.
He spoke at the MBA Awards dinner about his experience after PC and what graduates can expect as they embark on their careers.
Brown went from PC to a brief stint in Naval aviation, followed by high school teaching and coaching. But after a sales job at The Wall Street Journal, he was determined to work for the world’s number one news magazine.
Getting that job at Time, Inc. required out-competing Ivy-League graduates, but Brown, who grew up in blue-collar Long Island, persevered over nine months.
“Once on board, I was on a mission,” he said. “Nobody, and I mean nobody, was going to outhustle me, be more creative, or more focused. My energy and creative selling ideas soon became the basis of my reputation.”
That led to more than 40 years in the publishing industry, with nearly 15 years running the business end of Time Asia and Time Canada, he said.
He recommended that the students distinguish their own personal brand and core values, as well as develop their leadership capabilities.
“The world today is seeking people who inspire others — people who have a vision and can energize others and have the ability to create and manage change,” he said.
The students themselves should be ready to accept change throughout the course of their careers as well, Brown warned. They may work for a number of companies and in different disciplines, some of which will require them to acquire new skills, including languages and adapting to new cultures. He described working as the only non-native person among a group of 150 Japanese residents.
“I can attest it can be very challenging, but at the same time satisfying and rewarding — but not possible without recognizing your need to change and your need to adapt,” he said.
A group of 68 seniors graduating from PC’s School of Business (PCSB) received advice of their own from Nancy Wiser ’89, a PCSB Business Advisory Council member, at the induction ceremony for Tau Pi Phi, the business honor society. She offered wisdom gleaned from her career, which she started as a mutual fund accountant. Wiser encouraged them to try new things and to take calculated risks. For example, she said every other job for her was a lateral move rather than a direct promotion.
“As a result, I grew my skills and experience — wide and not just tall,” she said. “To contrast that, I meet so many people who look at their organizational chart and focus on the box above them – that becomes their aspiration. That can be extremely limiting.”
Of the 68 inducted into Tau Pi Phi, 25 were accounting majors, 15 were finance, 13 management, and 15 marketing. Several students were honored for their performance during major field tests, and marketing majors also were inducted into Alpha Mu Alpha, an honor society run by the American Marketing Association.
MBA Award recipients
At the MBA ceremony, the following Providence College MBA students received awards honoring them for their achievements:
Faculty Choice Award: Kevin Cassidy
Best Collaborator: Aaron Yu
Most Inspiring Classmate: Tucker Shosh
Highest Major Field Test Scorer: Richard O’Brien
Highest Grade Point Average: Sarah Dowling, Kimberly Hernandez, Erin Kelly, Gregory Magee
Most Outstanding Graduate: Stephanie LeBlanc, Kathleen Kelly