What the School of Business Has to Offer Students

Kayla May, Staff Writer 

The School of Business here at Saint Martin’s offers a global lens to looking at businesses and organizations, which sets them apart from many other business programs. In their newsletter for fall/winter, Dr. Chung-Shing Lee, the dean, stated, “The impact of a successful business is not only the monetary benefits but also includes all the effects that the business has on individuals or society.”

This program offers many different avenues for students to be successful in the professional world. There are three undergraduate programs to choose from: accounting, business administration, and economics; two graduate programs, Master of Accountancy and Master of Business Administration; as well as two certificate programs in health care management and internal audit and risk management.

Something unique that SMU offers current students is the opportunity to complete your master’s degree in only one additional year upon earning your undergraduate degree. This is known as the 4 + 1 program. 

The financial aid received from your undergraduate program is still applied, totaling approximately $15,000 in savings. Additional benefits that this program offers are no graduate application fee, no letters of recommendation needed, and priority access to graduate assistantships. 

An exciting, upcoming student opportunity was highlighted in their newsletter. For the first time, the School of Business will offer a Study Abroad experience to Denmark in the Spring of 2024 in collaboration with the University of Southern Denmark.

The agenda for the trip includes visiting the headquarters of well-known and successful multinational corporations, observing robot technologies and automation, learning about sustainable entrepreneurship programs, and observing a drone testing center.

I was able to talk with a few of the faculty members from the program. Diane Bingaman, CPA, MAcc, the Program Director of Master of Accountancy, the Chair of Accounting and Finance, and an associate professor of accounting, was able to share with me how she became interested in the business world and how she ended up as a professor.

She gained exposure to individual and business returns through a part-time job preparing taxes. “When I discovered the work was something I enjoyed and did well, I decided to pursue a career in tax as a CPA,” she explained. Because she had only minored in accounting, she returned to school to take some accounting classes and complete the Master of Accountancy degree.

Inspired by former teachers, she transitioned from the CPA world to the academic world after an opportunity to share her professional tax experience as a part-time lecturer was presented, and she took it. 

When asked how the business program here prepares business students for life after college and entering the workforce, she explained that “the School of Business collaborates with the Career Center and Internship Hub to prepare students for job searches and builds the career skills needed to be successful.” 

Another faculty member I was able to chat with was Shawn Newman, J.D. Newman graduated from Ohio State University with a degree in business with a labor and human resources concentration. He is also an attorney who has represented entrepreneurs, small businesses, and corporations.

When it comes to teaching, Newman feels that “it is a way to use my experience as a public and private lawyer and pay it forward.” His parents, who were both teachers, contributed to this way of thinking. 

Bingaman and Newman agreed on many of the program’s highlights. He had also mentioned the program’s work with Career Services as beneficial to students, stating, “There is an old adage that, ‘It’s not what you know, it’s who you know,’ that is true. You can be an academic superstar but connections matter.” He encourages students to reach out to Career Services for help getting internships.

As a graduate of a large, public university, he explained that engagement is something SMU can offer that larger universities cannot. “SMU has a small student to teacher ratio so you can actually talk to your professors who are or have been working professionals in the field,” says Newman. 

Bingaman shared some advice for upperclassmen business students, “Take advantage of the community events on campus. Speakers representing the liberal arts and engineering, performances by the music and theater departments, and cultural events spanning the globe will broaden your perspectives and open your mind to new ideas.”

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