When it comes to success in today’s dynamic business environment, certain fundamentals remain fundamental, including financial literacy, accounting and problem-solving. But what are the intangibles, beyond those core skills, that prepare a student and future professional to lead?

That’s a question that Hilary Gettman, director of the Management Program, and her faculty colleagues are constantly asking themselves.

“We regularly take a holistic look at the major, in partnership with a visiting committee of advisors in the business community, to evaluate what our students need in the workforce, and how we can make sure they’re prepared for leadership,” says Gettman.

For Liz Abramo ’16, that preparation included the foundational courses and communication skills covered by the program’s curriculum — both of which are vital to her role as a senior human resources business partner at Athenahealth.

Emphasis on Critical Thinking, Presentation Skills Resonates With Employers

“I didn’t realize at the time how many presentations the program required, and how critical it is to be able to tell a story and use data to convince an audience to back your conclusion,” Abramo says. “Stonehill prepared me to speak effectively to stakeholders at every level.”

Indeed, critical thinking and writing skills are essential to the Stonehill formula, which grounds the Management Program in the liberal arts. In recent years, Gettman and other faculty members have expanded the scope of the program’s curriculum to reflect core skills in today’s business climate: agility, ethics, analytics and a global perspective. “People are no longer starting and finishing their careers with one company,” says Gettman. “You have to be nimble, flexible and willing to learn.”

Critical to this flexibility, she adds, are interpersonal skills that enable Stonehill alumni to work effectively in teams as well as negotiate with and persuade others in order to achieve organizational goals. “We hear constantly from people who hire our students that their well-roundedness and interpersonal capabilities really separate them,” says Gettman. “We put a lot of effort into developing these core strengths.”

Liz Abramo ’16, senior human resources business partner Athenahealth

Extensive Array of Field Experiences Bring Classroom Learning to Life

Tara Hegarty

Tara Hegarty ’20

Supplementing the classroom curriculum in this endeavor is Stonehill’s focus on applied learning through real-world experience. On campus, experiential learning opportunities include active student clubs such as DECA, and a student-run finance investment organization, SCIFI, which provides hands-on stock selection and investment experience. Beyond campus, students engage in on-site consulting for companies such as WB Mason and eBay through a senior capstone course, as well as internships that count for course credit. “I was able to use these experiences in becoming a licensed Realtor,” says Tara Hegarty ’20. “And I just sold my first house — starting my professional career before even graduating.”

Hegarty also credits support from the program’s multidisciplinary faculty for her success. “As a first-year student, I was trying to find my advisor to ask a question, and a professor I’d never met asked if he could help me with anything,” she notes. “He sat down and answered all of my questions and gave me advice on classes. That’s really stuck with me — that every professor will help any student they can.”