November Newsletter

Engage with Us

We created an alumni engagement form that gives you the opportunity to give back to the business school and take advantage of alumni resources. There are many ways to connect as alumni, including becoming a guest speaker, sponsoring a consulting field project, or receiving networking resources. Click here to tell us how you would like to engage!

Young Katz Alumnus, Tom Cwalina, Uses his Gap Year to Get MBA

Tom Cwalina (MBA ’20) decided to enroll in the Joseph M. Katz School of Business after attending admissions events and talking to Katz alumni.

Currently a first-year medical student at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, Cwalina used his gap year before starting medical school to earn his MBA. Cwalina believes that the great faculty and outside the classroom curriculum allowed him to gain the necessary skills and experiences to further his goal of contributing to medical technology innovation as a physician.

“It was very clear to me that Katz was the perfect option for my education and future career,” says Cwalina. “Great medical care strikes a balance between both business and medicine. My time at Katz allowed me to shadow and connect with UPMC doctors and get an inside look at the business side of medical startups.”

In reflecting on his time at Katz, Cwalina explains that his most impactful course was the business simulation capstone. He served as president and had the opportunity to lead his classmates to successfully run a simulated business.

“It served as a summative experience for everything I learned at Katz, since I got to oversee finance, marketing, operations, and strategy,” says Cwalina. “Our company started off worse than what we would have liked due to some strong competition in our market sector. However, by leaning on my teammates and our knowledge from the classroom, we were able to turn things around a finish as the company with the best financial performance. The capstone served as a great conclusion to my time at Katz, and I will surely use the skills I picked up in the future.”

After graduating from Katz and starting medical school during a global pandemic, Cwalina has an even stronger desire to make a difference in the field.

“I believe with more people trained in both medicine and business and their expertise relayed to policymakers, we can strengthen our system and be able to respond to potential outbreaks or other problems in the future,” says Cwalina. “I think getting my MBA so early in my medical career is a big advantage.”

As a recent alumnus, Cwalina hopes to remain a resource for Katz students and, one day, sponsor an experience-based learning project, and serve on the board for the business simulation course.

Katz Chats: Alumni Speak to Katz Students

A huge part of our students’ experience is being able to engage with Pitt Business’ large alumni and professional network. With in-person and formal networking opportunities greatly reduced this school year, the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business aims to continue to facilitate these valuable engagements between our students and alumni in a virtual setting.

Katz Chatz are small group networking sessions meant to bring together students with an alumnus/a working in a specific role or industry the students may aspire to be in.

This semester, Katz Chatz has connected alumni and students for conversations focused on areas such as public accounting, digital marketing, the future of healthcare, and more. The groups of students have enjoyed these conversations and feedback has been overwhelmingly positive from both students and alumni.

Ananya Gupta (MBA ‘19) spoke to a group regarding product management in early September. Students appreciated his insights into the product manager role and how the title and role can vary so much from company to company. Julie Kirsch (MBA ‘18) hosted a session surrounding digital marketing and working for an agency.

Paul Donnelly, a current MBA student, found the Katz Chatz session he attended to be very personable, sharing that “the small group aspect gave everyone a voice and allowed the alumni to learn about us students and speak directly to our specific interests.”

The Katz team hopes to continue connecting alumni and students in this way throughout the year and beyond. It allows alumni from outside the region to reconnect in an easy and quick way. If you are interested in speaking with students in the future, please fill out our alumni engagement form. Based on our needs and student interests at the time, we will follow-up with you directly.  

Annual Event Welcoming CBA Women Continues Virtually

PAA Presents: Pitt Business on Entrepreneurial Success

The Pitt Business alumni webinar series will focus on entrepreneurship and be hosted by the Pitt Alumni Association and the business school.

Date: Thursday, November 19, 2020
Time: 7:00 EST
Location: Zoom

Moderator: Sharon Alvarez, Entrepreneurial Studies at the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business, University of Pittsburgh

Panelists: 
Joe Constanty (A&S ’02), Director of International, NIU Technologies
Jess Edelstein (A&S ‘11), Creator and Co-Founder of Piper Wei
Michael Halperin (KGSB ’98), Founder, FreeBridge
Jeb Hurley (KGSB ’83), Co-Founder & CEO, Xmetryx
Gilson Torii (KGSB ’16), Co-Founder & Operations, nugget.ai