A Father and Son’s Global Mindset Leads to MBAs at Scranton

When Sunil Pillai G’83, of Mumbai, India, was finishing up his MBA at Scranton at age 23, he promised himself that if he eventually got married and had a child, that child would go to Scranton for his or her MBA.

“God has been kind,” said Sunil in a recent interview. “I had one son. And his name is Rathin.”

It was pretty clear from early on that Rathin Pillai G’12, who, like his dad, grew up in Mumbai, would follow in his father’s footsteps.

“My dad had his framed final certification on the wall at home. He’d say to me, ‘That’s the degree that has gotten me this far. You can talk back to me all you want, but until you have that degree, I won’t listen,’” remembered Rathin.

Like Father, Like Son

Rathin had a lot to live up to. Sunil had gone from Scranton to Pfizer International in New York to Colgate Palmolive in India, quickly moving up the corporate ladder. He eventually became vice president of marketing and sales at CavinKare, a conglomerate in fast-moving consumer goods, then vice president of marketing at Reliance Communications, Global Operations, and, most recently, COO at Tata Teleservices. He is currently a guest faculty member at IIM Bangalore and founder and director of Strategy Green Consultancy.

“I owe this whole career of mine to Scranton and the education I got there,” said Sunil. “It got me to move from being just a young kid playing around in the streets of Mumbai to be a formative professional in the way I looked at things.”

Rathin, a TV executive who recently took on a strategy and business development role at India’s Network 18 (Viacom in the United States), said it was essential — for both of them — to go abroad for their graduate degrees.

“I think I speak for both of us when I say we needed a global perspective. Had we studied for our MBAs in India, it would’ve been specific to India marketing only,” he said.

Sunil and his son both chose Scranton because it had a good reputation, was a “friendly campus” and was close to major cities. Although the two graduated about 30 years apart, they had a campus friend in common — Murli Rajan, Ph.D. G’84, now interim dean of the Kania School of Management. Rajan was Sunil’s roommate in the ’80s and became a lifelong friend.

Paying it Forward

Sunil paid it forward when Rajan arrived in Scranton from India for his MBA just a year later. Rajan traveled directly from the airport to the Hotel Jermyn on Spruce Street, where the other international students were staying while they looked for more permanent housing.

“Sunil called me as soon as I got there. He found out where I was staying,” said Dr. Rajan. “I don’t even know how he did that. We spoke the same language; we both speak Tamil. I couldn’t believe it. He just made me feel so welcome.”

When Rathin arrived in 2010, he found out that his dad’s friend would be his adviser. Having that personal connection was a comfort to Rathin, but he said he felt on level with almost everyone at Scranton.

“I never felt alone on that campus or in Scranton in general,” said Rathin. “It’s not just the students; it’s the professors as well. They made me feel at home right from the start.”

Sunil said his own acceptance into the University community made it possible for him to focus on his studies and excel in his courses.

“I grew into a professional at Scranton,” said Sunil. “I learned to understand the world better.”

He expanded his global knowledge when he went on to work in India, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and East Africa. And now, as he sits in his house gazing out at the Arabian Sea, he looks back with pride at his experience in Scranton, where it all began.

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Learn more about the MBA program at The University of Scranton here!

This article originally appeared in The Scranton Journal.

Award Winning DBA Faculty!

University of Scranton accounting professor Douglas M. Boyle, D.B.A., was profiled as one of just six “Professors to Know in Business Programs Based in the Northeast” selected by Bschools.org, an online resource for entrepreneurs. The professors, who teach at business schools in the Northeast with online MBA programs, were selected based on their professional experience and knowledge.

An award-winning researcher and teacher, Dr. Boyle is chair of the University’s Accounting Department, director of the University’s DBA program and the founder and director of the University’s Nonprofit Leadership Certificate Program.

A Certified Public Accountant as well as a Certified Management Accountant, Dr. Boyle has more than 25 years of industry executive experience. He has served in executive roles in startup, middle market and Fortune 500 companies where he has held the positions of chief executive officer, president, chief operations officer and chief financial officer. He currently serves as chair of Allied Services Foundation’s Board of Directors.

At Scranton, Dr. Boyle was named the Kania School of Management’s (KSOM) Alperin Teaching Fellow for 2015 to 2018 and received the KSOM Advisory Board’s Award for Curriculum Innovation for 2017-2018. He has twice earned the KSOM Teacher of the Year award and earned the Provost Excellence Awards for the Scholarship of Teaching in 2014 and for Scholarly Publication in 2012. He was awarded the Outstanding Accounting Educator of the Year Award from the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants in 2015. In addition, three research papers he has authored with fellow KSOM faculty members have received the Institute of Management Accountants’ Lybrand Medals for “outstanding papers.”

Dr. Boyle earned his bachelor’s degree from The University of Scranton, a MBA from Columbia University and a doctorate from Kennesaw State University.

To learn more about the DBA program at The University of Scranton, click here!

DBA Program Research Award Presented 

At The University of Scranton’s Kania School of Management Annual Accounting Dinner on May 3, 2018, Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) student Marcus Burke received the first ever Dr. Douglas M. Boyle DBA Outstanding Research Award recognizing his exceptional research efforts with University of Scranton Accounting faculty. Burke, who holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music Composition from Old Dominion University and Master’s degree in Management from Texas A&M University-Commerce (TAMUC), began pursuing his DBA at The University of Scranton in August 2017 as a member of the program’s flagship cohort. Prior to returning for his terminal degree, Burke gained professional experience at CMA CGM (America) LLC as a Database Administrator and Web Application Developer before being promoted to a Business Architect, TAMUC as a Senior Web Developer, and TAMUC and Marist College as an adjunct faculty member teaching in the areas of Accounting Information Systems, Systems Analysis and Design, Data Information and Management, and Enterprise Resource Planning.

During his first year in the DBA program, Burke completed and submitted a research article with Drs. Douglas M. Boyle and Daniel P. Mahoney to Management Accounting Quarterly entitled “Goodwill Accounting: The Matter of Serial Non-Impairment.” This research uses thirteen years of archival data covering 1,646 firms from Compustat and Thompson ONE to examine the number of firm acquisitions and their respective goodwill impairment rates to determine the existence of notable trends related to the non-impairment of goodwill among firms with high business combination rates. 

Burke has also co-authored a case with Drs. Megan Burke and Sandra Gates entitled “To Amend or Not to Amend: A Tax Consulting Case” which appears in the Journal of Accounting Education (2017). Currently, he is working with Dr. Megan Burke on research related to managerial ability and its relation to a firm’s tax posture, and with Drs. Sandra Gates and Megan Burke on an article for the Accounting History Review on Benjamin Montgomery and the role of slavery on the development of American accounting. 

When asked about his experience with being part of The University of Scranton’s DBA Program, Burke stated, “During my time in the DBA program, I have interacted with the professors in a variety of settings, both inside and outside the classroom. Within that time, and during those interactions, I have been consistently and thoroughly impressed with their enthusiasm, dedication, and commitment to academic excellence. The life-lessons and knowledge conveyed within the classroom are uniquely targeted to help guide and propel students toward future success. As program director, Dr. Douglas M. Boyle makes a noticeable and concerted effort to bring in individuals from both the academy and the professional world to establish a high level of knowledge transference and create relationship building between his students and the global community.” 

Burke, originally from Virginia Beach, Virginia, currently lives in Poughkeepsie, New York, with his wife, Megan, an accounting professor a Marist College, and his two children, Justin and Evelyn. He continues to enjoy playing music and playing taxi driver for his children’s extracurricular activities. 

“As program director, Dr. Douglas M. Boyle makes a noticeable and concerted effort to bring in individuals from both the academy and the professional world to establish a high level of knowledge transference and create relationship building between his students and the global community.”

To learn more about the DBA program at The University of Scranton, click here.

An MBA Is the New Bachelor’s Degree

Earning a bachelor’s degree is commendable, and increasingly important in the workplace. But those trying to stand out as an employee or job applicant should consider attaining an even higher level of education. Many employers want to see a master’s degree, and it may be in your financial interest to get one.

According to a Washington Post report, those with a master’s degree can expect to earn $457,000 more over the course of their career than those with just a bachelor’s degree. Also the number of jobs that require a master’s degree are projected to increase at a much higher rate than other jobs, through 2020.1

A master’s degree today is as prevalent as a bachelor’s degree was in the 1960s, according to Vox, which also said that a master’s degree in business administration is growing faster than other master level degrees.2 In 1971, 11.2% of all master’s degrees were in business. By 2012, that percentage more than doubled to 25.4%.

A Practical Degree

An MBA is useful in fields as diverse as accounting, healthcare, manufacturing, information systems, logistics, telecommunications, retail, finance and banking, law, consulting, pharmaceuticals, hospitality, insurance, and engineering. The degree is increasingly important in business today.

Today, with modern technology, it’s easier  than ever for aspiring students to get a quality MBA degree!

The MBA  is used as a screening tool by employers to find the most qualified candidates with the advanced education necessary for the job. Showing a willingness to invest time and money to get additional education signals to the hiring manager that the candidate is serious about their career.

The University of Scranton’s MBA program offers both  broad-based study in all aspects of business, or a focus in a specialized area such as accounting, operations management, healthcare management, human resources, international business or enterprise resource planning.

The Payoff

According to data from head hunter Career Bliss,3 those with master’s degrees usually earn more than those with bachelor’s degrees. For instance, a business manager earns on average 22% more with the advanced degree than with a bachelor’s degree.

For more information on how an MBA can help you, check out The University of Scranton’s MBA Program.

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Sources:

1http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/brand-connect/wp/2014/03/14/overall-trends/
2http://www.vox.com/2014/5/20/5734816/masters-degrees-are-as-common-now-as-bachelors-degrees-were-in-the-60s
3http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20110817006495/en/CareerBliss-Data-Reveals-Top-10-Jobs-Master%E2%80%99s

 

13 New Students will Benefit from a Scranton DBA Education

The University of Scranton welcomed the second cohort of students into its doctor of business administration (DBA) program.

Douglas M. Boyle, DBA, associate professor, Accounting Department chair and DBA program director, faculty from the DBA program, University Trustees and DBA students who entered the program in the fall of last year, joined together to help orient the new students into the program at a welcome session on campus.

Housed in the University’s Kania School of Management, the DBA program began in the fall semester of 2017.

The University’s DBA program, with a concentration in accounting, was developed to provide experienced practitioners with a practical pathway to an academic career. The program offers participants flexibility, while still providing for the development of the knowledge and skill set necessary to become a “scholarly academic” – one who is qualified to teach at a school of business that possesses or is seeking formal accreditation by Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International).

The incoming DBA students are:

Shea N. Burden of Athens, Ohio;

Felisha N. Fret of Great Neck, New York;

Anuradha (Anu) C. Ghai of Allentown;

Jessica L. Hildebrand of Mountain Top;

Hugh Lambert of Rochester, New York;

Ran Li of Potsdam, New York;

Alexis C. Montelone of Bensalem;

Afia A. Oppong of New City, New York;

Linette Rayeski of West New York, New Jersey;

Savas Saymaz of Whitehall;

Charles Speicher of North Attleboro, Massachusetts;

Ashley L. Stampone of Old Forge;

James W. Sunday of Scranton.

Click here to learn more about the DBA program at The University of Scranton!