Dean’s Executive Forum Series Gets Underway in the New Academic Year

Dean’s Executive Forum Series Gets Underway in the New Academic Year

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The forums served to provide a platform for thought leaders and executives to discuss cutting-edge topics related to business and society, and to network with Dolan students.

On October 1 in the new Dolan Event Hall, Chris Pilkerton '95 told aspiring student entrepreneurs how the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), which he helms, has played an important role in launching major American corporations such as Apple, Under Armour, Chobani, and 23andMe. Pilkerton headlined the forum, entitled, "Entrepreneurship in the Modern Economy: Leveraging Innovation and Workforce Development."

“You have a leg up because you have a tremendous faculty here, but if you are looking for someone else to help you down the road, please walk into an SBA office,” Pilkerton encouraged his audience, many of whom are studying entrepreneurship or taking part in the Fairfield StartUp program.

Pilkerton serves as Acting Administrator and General Counsel of the SBA which advocates for small businesses and offers free resources, including business planning advice. He has held prominent roles with JPMorgan Chase, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

A few weeks later, executives from Standard & Poor’s (S&P) took part in a forum, entitled, “The Power of Integrating Liberal Arts and Business Education for Career Success.” The evening was an opportunity for students to hear firsthand how an increasing number of employers are seeking to hire individuals who can use their liberal arts and business acumen to tackle today’s complex challenges. The forum was co-sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences.

John Berisford, president of S&P Global Ratings, brought a trio of colleagues who, like himself, were liberal arts majors and now hold crucial positions at S&P, which provides high-quality market intelligence in the form of credit ratings, research, and thought leadership. “This interdisciplinary approach [of liberal arts and business] is a brilliant idea,” said Berisford, who emphasized the value of critical and analytical thinking and personal engagement skills, coupled with curiosity and authenticity.

By sharing their own professional and personal stories, the panelists illustrated how a liberal arts background put them on a path to professional success.

Tags:  Dolan School

Last modified: 11-19-19 12:27 PM

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