The Faces of Marketing and Management at MC

by Richard Gerling, Staff Writer

The department of management and marketing offers two distinct majors for students to choose. The management major aims to teach the skills used by managers in fulfilling their roles and functions and provide an opportunity for students to apply quantitative methods to solve management problems. The marketing program is designed to train students to be marketing professionals and emphasizes a managerial approach.

Housed within the management and marketing department is the global business studies program, which seeks to provide a global and multi-disciplinary perspective to complement a second business major. Students also have the opportunity to go on an immersion experience to explore the global aspect of business.

In the department, the goal is to reinforce the skills of problem solving and critical thinking within the larger world of management and marketing. The faculty have the view of wanting the students to be very strongly career ready when they get out, but do not want their education to be solely vocational. Students are set up for the careers of tomorrow with the skills that let them problem solve and critically think through the problems they find themselves in. This vision is shared with the faculty and everyone in the department.

In 2018, the management major curriculum was completely reevaluated. It was not solely an academic review, but rather an entire review that focused on what skills students needed to succeed in internships and jobs after graduation.

After evaluation, concentrations were introduced to the management major. Students can now get one of three concentrations: talent management and acquisition, which focuses on human resource management, behavior and decision making, which is more of the non-human resource part of management, and a general management concentration. There are more concentrations that will be added to the management program in the future.

With the introduction of concentrations and the revamp of the curriculum, the management major is competitive and comparable to many other programs.

In the near future, a review of the marketing major will also take place, similar to the one undergone by the management major.

Additionally, many of the students and faculty within the department work on research oriented projects, often independent of the classroom that take place year-round. The skill sets obtained from these projects give students the skills they need to be more successful in their internships and jobs.

Ultimately, the goal of the department is to keep the programs updated, but also add new programs as students’ and employers’ needs evolve, while maintaining a high quality of problem solving and critical thinking.

Poonam Arora, Ph.D., began teaching at Manhattan College in 2010, and recently became the department chair for the management and marketing department chair in 2018. Before teaching at the college, Arora worked in a corporate setting for about 10 years before deciding she wanted a career change.

“I knew I had some really big questions in my mind about people’s choices and decisions, but not really good answers and my MBA didn’t really give me the basis to those answers and that prompted me to actually go and explore those questions through a Ph.D.,” Arora said.“While I was a Ph.D. student, I taught and realized as much I liked to research and want to chase the truth and get answers to these questions I’ve encountered for 10 years in my corporate career, I also really liked the teaching part of it.”

Arora is the current department chair of the management and marketing department. MANHATTAN COLLEGE/COURTESY

Arora wanted to be at an institution that was balanced between research and teaching and was student-centric. MC made sense in Arora’s decision, as she is able to find that balance between research and teaching.

“I really enjoy working with undergraduates,” Arora said. “I like their open mindedness, their bright-eyed view in which they come in and the excitement they bring to a subject.”

Arora also teaches three different courses within the school of business: Introduction to Management, a senior level management elective, and the capstone MBA course. All of her classes are interactive and dynamic, as the classes are structured around discussions, case-based work, and projects.

“I love teaching [Introduction to Management] and seeing the young freshmen come in without any knowledge. It’s been fascinating watching [the students] come in and seeing how their perspectives change throughout the years. I truly enjoy that,” Arora said.

“[The senior elective course] pulls from my corporate experience because I’ve negotiated a lot of deals and I have research within that area and conflict management. I really enjoy teaching that class because I can go back and forth through theoretical and practical framework. I love being able to share that knowledge with my students. The capstone one is really interesting because it allows me to step back and really go beyond just management and bringing together how to be a business leader. That’s essentially what that course encapsulates.”

Arora concluded with her thoughts on the department and the level of dedication that faculty bring to the program.

“I’m really struck by how faculty bring the absolute best of their field and themselves to work everyday,” Arora said. “I am constantly struck by the sheer dedication and passion and the desire of bringing the best of themselves to everything; it’s phenomenal. I love being here and working here.”

Angela Grotto, Ph.D., came to teach at the college in 2013 after she finished her dissertation and decided on a change from a consulting firm.

“I always thought that I might end up in academia and I found out about the opening from my mentor,” Grotto said. “It worked out that Manhattan College is local for me because I can’t move for an academic job because of my husband’s business.”

In her time at the college, there have been some changes in faculty, but the dynamic of the department has stayed the same and differs from other academic institutions.

“There’s always been a culture of comradery where everyone cares about each other and it’s a warm place to work,” Grotto said. “I think it makes sense given that we’re a Lasallian school, that everyone is very collaborative and helpful. Everyone has a lot of energy and everyone really cares about the future of the department and we’re working a lot on improving it.”

Grotto began teaching at Manhattan College in 2013. MANHATTAN COLLEGE/COURTESY

Grotto teaches three courses at the college: Introduction to Management, Talent Management, and Career Management. From her previous consulting career, Grotto draws upon her experience as a manager in a consultation firm to help teach her classes. Grotto uses her former clients as examples when explaining abstract materials and using her own knowledge from managing to aid in teaching her courses.

“Because [Introduction to Management] is mostly freshmen, it’s usually their first introduction into management, so we end up shaping a lot of their decisions and what major they’re in. I’ve been teaching that on and off since I started here. I teach it from a behavioral management approach. I want students to know that management requires a lot of people skills. That’s been a wonderful class to teach,” Grotto said.

“Talent management looks at the role of how the talent of the organization makes a company successful, about what a talent management department does, how employees are treated as valuable assets and all the various careers you could do in talent management. Career management is mostly seniors and it’s really giving them an idea of how they should manage and develop their career from a theoretical standpoint.”

Grotto concludes by saying that management should either be considered for a major or a minor because regardless of the career students take, some level of management is required. If students are not managers, it is still a good skill to have for any job a student may have in the future.

“A lot of things we teach in management courses help you to be a better employee, help you manage your work, help you relate better to other people, manage conflicts, leadership. Whatever major you are, these skills will be helpful for you to have,” Grotto said.

  Clare Farrelly, sophomore Accounting and Marketing major, is involved within the O’Malley School of Business and utilizes the knowledge from classes to help her in her job as a social media coordinator for the business school.

“I used the information I learned in marketing class, along with meetings with the marketing and communications department to shape the way I manage the accounts,” Farrelly said. “I have used the social marketing tools taught in Marketing 201 to help find a target audience and shape the posts for the students in our business school.”

Farrelly is a current sophomore marketing major and third generation Jasper. MANHATTAN COLLEGE/COURTESY

Additionally, Farrelly has been involved in a research project on campus in the Marketing Honors Research Seminar course, researching sustainable tourism.

“My research was focused on the connection to our Lasallian Values and study abroad programs on campus and it opened my eyes to the opportunities that we have as a college to become more sustainable, not only on campus but also while running trips and traveling abroad,” Farrelly said.

Farrelly concluded with her views on the marketing department at the college.

“My favorite part about the department are the faculty and the classes,” Farrelly said. “The marketing department faculty at Manhattan College are a diverse group of people with different research interests, from entrepreneurship and innovation to consumer behavior.”

“I like to learn about the experience of the faculty through their research and work. I also really like that they offer classes in research which allows us to dive into marketing topics that we are interested in,” Farrelly said.