School of Business Hosts 5th Annual Summer Speaker Series

The School of Business recently held its fifth annual Summer Speaker Series. This year’s theme was “Toward New Horizons.” There were six total presentations, all given by School of Business alumni ranging from the classes of 1954 to 2017. This series follows the School of Business’s Reconnecting and Networking event this July, which sought to bring alumni back to campus and back together following the COVID-19 pandemic.  

The series kicked off with a presentation from Vincent P. Barabba (Class of 1954, Advertising) titled “Keep an Open Mind.” Barabba, who was also the recipient of this year’s School of Business Distinguished Alumni Award, spoke about lessons learned during his time with the United States Census Bureau and “how to avoid burnt toast.” 

The series went on to feature Lilit Davtyan (Class of 2012, Accounting), who is currently the CEO of Phonexa Holdings, LLC. Lilit’s presentation, “What is the Relationship Between Higher Education and Your Career?” emphasized the importance of learning skills such as critical thinking and time management while in college, regardless of a student’s major, to maintain flexibility in their career path after graduation.  

Wrapping up the first week was “Doing Well by Doing Good,” by MBA alum Matthew Gilbert (Class of 2005). Matthew spoke about the meaning of the phrase “doing well by doing good,” which he first heard from MBA Chair Dr. Satinder Dhiman. Matthew spoke about how he has worked to implement this in the “Each One Teach One” program at Coastal Carolina University where he currently works. 

The second week kicked off with “Forecasting What Happens Next – 2023 and Beyond,” by Talin Koutnouyan (Class of 2012, Accounting). Talin is a data scientist who spoke about how to create more accurate predictions about the future in light of a time full of unforeseen circumstances, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.  

The series also featured MBA Alumni and current School of Business Professor and Assistant Director of Recruiting and Outreach, Jack Condon (Class of 2017). Jack, whose presentation was titled “Making Changes When Opportunities Arise,” spoke from the heart as he shared his own story of overcoming challenges in his own career, such as a fire his business suffered, by finding new opportunities. Jack encouraged listeners to always pursue what they were passionate about, instead of merely working for a paycheck on Friday.  

The series concluded with “The Underestimated Value of Values” by MBA Alum Shahiedah Shabazz (Class of 2013). Shahiedah, who is an attorney working in law and real estate, spoke about the importance of having the right mindset and how having a positive mindset plays an important role in one’s success, especially during times of uncertainty.  

This year’s Summer Speaker Series presentations are all available for viewing on the Woodbury University Live YouTube page, here.  

The School of Business thanks all this year’s speakers for their participation and effort, and we look forward to hosting this great event again next year!  


Last Updated on September 2nd, 2022. 

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