Tag Archives: students

SOM Winter Rewind

The School of Management has made tons of memories this winter semester so let’s take the time to look back at them!

The beginning of the winter semester began and our students took off studying. But SOM made it our mission to give students opportunities to further their careers, learn from alumni, and KICK BACK! 

Our Alumni Liaison, Anna Swartz, planned three Alumni Career Panels for students to attend. These panels gave students an inside look at careers they could have after graduating. The students were able to ask questions and learn from professionals. 

We also hosted a career fair for SOM students and one open to many different majors. We had over 70 students attend both Career Fairs and seize the opportunity to gain job experience. Our fairs are for the students to take what they are learning in the classroom and apply it in a real job. Gaining networking opportunities and giving our students proper training to go out and find a job after their time here is done are just more benefits of attending these fairs! 

But once a WOLVERINE always a WOLVERINE! SOM ensured this by hosting an Alumni Social Hour event for St. Patrick’s Day. A night was filled with food and laughter as alumni, staff and current students met together. These events allow our alumni to see old professors and staff that helped them along their journey here. It’s events like these that allow SOM graduates to remember that Wolverines from Flint are Wolverines forever. And this extended into the university’s annual….. 

GIVING BLUEDAY! Giving Blueday was on March 15th when the University called upon alumni, students, and our community to support our students and their education. SOM had two pages, one for our Excellence Fund and another for our Entrepreneurship Society. The Excellence Fund received over 9,000 dollars in donations and was met by a match from Steve Whitener and the Entrepreneurship Society received over 6,000 dollars in donations. 

After all the excitement, we allowed the students to KICKBACK with our KICKBACK with SOM event. The event was filled with snacks, music, prizes, and trivia. Between studying for finals and getting ready for summer students came to the event to relax and have some laughs before exams. 

SOM holds many different events during all semesters. This was just a small REWIND but our most significant event is just around the corner. Our CAREER SUMMIT is June 23rd, 2023, and will be an event you don’t want to miss!

CAREER SUMMIT RSVP:https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScI_9Dgt-aAUGh5phh6V3-ZvYN2pXWrSJfvbH388LSQpa4gMw/viewform

From a BBA to a CFO, Robert shares his passion and investment in Flint: February aMaizeing Alumni

Robert Widigan graduated from UM-Flint School of Management in 2014 with a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) with a concentration in Accounting. He has been the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for the city of Flint, Michigan for over a year and explains that some of the most important things he learned while at UM-Flint were the core skills he uses every day. Such as, working on a team, handling big projects, staying organized, and managing stress. As our featured alumni of the month, Robert gives advice on working for the city, his path to becoming a CFO, and his favorite memories about UM-Flint!

Q: Where are you currently working and your title? How long have you been in this position or at this organization? 
A: I am the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for the city of Flint, Michigan. I have been here for over a year now

Q: What is your job like day to day?
A: Every day brings its own set of challenges. Therefore, it is crucial to understand clearly and have the department’s critical long-term, mid-term, and short-term goals in focus as you’re pulled in numerous directions. Day-to-day includes overseeing all aspects of the City’s finances, including preparation and administration of the City’s budget and financial reports, as well as accounting payroll, grant reporting, and purchasing. In addition, the CFO also oversees Fleet Management, IT Services, and Facilities. Recently, the day-to-day has primarily consisted of working with our partners in Lansing to find a solution to subsidizing the City’s underfunded pension fund. That goal was achieved recently with the newly adopted state budget, which included a $220M lump-sum infusion into the City’s pension fund, bringing it up to 60% funded, as required by state law. This funding will help ensure the City of Flint is financially sound for generations.

Q: Why did you choose to attend UM-Flint for your degree(s)?
A: It was clear that UM-Flint had amazing resources for students to be successful both academically and in their careers. To me, UM-Flint was a great opportunity to earn my degree while also remaining involved in my hometown.

Q: Share your best college memory
A: Attending home games at the Big House, Go Blue!

Q: What is the most important thing you learned while you were at UM-Flint? 
A: Some of the most important things I learned while at UM-Flint were the core skills I use every day. Such as, working on a team, handling big projects, staying organized, and managing stress.

Q: How did your education at UM-Flint prepare you for what you are doing today?
A: Well, there is not much that can truly prepare you for being the CFO of the City of Flint. However, I will say the relationships I made and the passion for this community that I developed while at UM-Flint made it easy to say “yes” when asked to take on this role. When your hometown calls, you go.

Q: Who influenced you most during your time at UM-Flint and why?
A: Professor Chris Douglas. I had Sports Economics with Professor Douglas, one of the best classes I have ever taken. The class examines the economic issues pertaining to professional and college sports – such as labor relations and how franchises impact the local economy. I still talk about what Professor Douglas taught us in that class today. We have stayed in touch over the years; he has even presented at conferences I planned while working at the State of Michigan.

Q: Describe your career path.
A: Before joining the City of Flint’s Team as CFO, I served as the Finance Director for the City of Lansing. There I managed the Finance Team, oversaw short and long-term financial planning and financial operations of the City, prepared revenue projections and debt service requirements, and evaluated department operations, among other tasks related to the City’s financial health.

   Previous to Lansing, I served as the Village Manager for the Village of Shelby in Oceana County, Michigan. In this position, I oversaw the day-to-day operations of the Village. Leading a small local government required me to wear many hats, including budgeting, community engagement, economic development, forging public-private collaborations, and working with local, regional, and state partners.

   Prior to that, I was with the Michigan Department of Treasury for over four years. There my responsibilities included:

   – Analyzing trends.

   – Compiling local government data.

   – Preparing reports for long-range strategic planning and recommendations for state support directly to local governments.

   Throughout my career, I’ve developed substantial expertise in calculating and managing risk, cash flow projections, economic development, and planning, facilitating communications and decision-making between departments and administration, financial and operational management, labor negotiations, long-term financial planning and financing strategies, policy and ordinance development, and an understanding of State reporting requirements. This experience also taught me excellent skills in building lasting relationships with individuals and community members.

Q: Why did you choose to go into the career path you are currently in?
A: I have always been interested in government, finance, and economics, and I have a high drive and desire to help people and communities progress toward further success; this role as Flint City CFO allows me to do just that!

Q: What advice would you give current students or recent graduates interested in pursuing a career in your professional field?
A: First, Take your time and be patient. Second, it’d be helpful to earn your Bachelor’s in Public Finance alongside a Bachelor’s in Business Administration. That will open many doors for you, from CFO to City Manager. Lastly, take an internship somewhere, like with the City of Flint!

Q: What is a long-term career or professional goal you have for yourself?
A: I would like to go back to school for my MBA.

Q: What is one of your proudest accomplishments so far?
A: My proudest accomplishment was helping carry the football across the goal line: pension reform in Michigan. It is unmistakable that Flint has had its share of disinvestment over the years.

   Upon taking the role of CFO with the City of Flint, the City faced unrealistic annual pension contributions. FY2022 and FY2023, the pension contribution was about $32 million and was projected to increase to $40 million in FY2024. This drastic increase made pension contributions our most significant expense in the City’s budget.

   While facing this reality, under my leadership we engaged in numerous meetings with state legislatures and our partners in Lansing.

   All these meetings led to $750 million being set aside in the state of Michigan’s Fiscal Year 2022-23 budget to support underfunded municipal pension plans, helping to ensure a promise made is a promise kept to hardworking local government employees across the state.

   This is a historic moment in Flint; thanks to the countless meetings and hard work, we helped ensure the City of Flint is financially sound for generations to come with this cash infusion of up to $220M into our pension fund. Based on recent analysis, $220M deposited into the pension plan will reduce our pension contribution for that following fiscal year to approximately $18 to $19 million, ensuring we fulfill our promise to retirees while maintaining City services.





Q: Fun Facts! (Examples: sports fan, long-term goals, favorite vacation, future travel plans/ideas, or come up with your own!)
A: I really enjoy golf (although I am really bad at it). Future travel plans include Puerto Rico in January, Mexico in February, and Honduras in the spring.

Q: What is something people may not know about you?
A: I was a paid-on-call firefighter for seven (7) years.

BBA Alum becomes a well-rounded business attorney: January aMaizeing Alumni

Nicholas Goldsworthy graduated in 2012 with a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) concentrating on Operations Management and Finance. As a student, he was a part of the Entrepreneurs Society, a SOM student organization. Outside of academics, he spent time at the UM-Flint Rec Center where he met his future wife! In 2021 Nick became a partner at Witt & Goldsworthy, PLLC, and has practiced law there since 2016.  As our featured alumni of the month, Nicholas gives advice on working in law, his path to becoming a lawyer, and his favorite memories about UM-Flint!

Q: Were you involved in any clubs or extracurriculars during your college experience? If so, what organizations/clubs?
A:  Entrepreneurs Society

Q: Where are you currently working and your title? How long have you been in this position or at this organization? 
A: I work as an attorney with Witt & Goldsworthy, PLLC. I’ve practiced law with this firm since 2016, and I became a partner in 2021.

Q: What is your job like day to day?
A: I’m usually working on a matter on behalf of my client, and the work varies depending on whether the matter involves a transaction or litigation. Transactional matters involve negotiating, drafting, and closing contracts supporting a sale, and what is sold ranges from real estate, goods, services, or businesses. In that context, my job involves supporting my client by advising them in the negotiation process, performing due diligence, preparing documents that minimize any legal exposure or risk of loss to my client, communicating with the other party’s attorney, and assisting the client with closing on the deal. For litigation matters, I spend a lot of time educating clients on the litigation process, preparing and filing motions and briefs in court, discovery, negotiating settlements with the opposing party, and attending court hearings. 

   When I’m not doing work for clients, I spend time working to generate new business for the firm and to improve how we deliver legal services. This requires networking with potential new sources of business and consulting with outside advisors.  

   I’m fortunate that I get to do most of these activities from the comfort of my home!

Q: Why did you choose to attend UM-Flint for your degree(s)?
A:  I chose UM-Flint because I had a great experience touring the campus, and UM-Flint was an affordable option for me and my family.

Q: Share your best college memory
A: My best college memory was meeting the woman I would later marry. We met at the UM-Flint Recreation Center!

Q: What is the most important thing you learned while you were at UM-Flint? 
A: The most important thing I learned at UM-Flint is to get involved. Get involved by asking questions, networking, and taking advantage of the resources you have available to you.

Q: How did your education at UM-Flint prepare you for what you are doing today?
A: Since I majored in operations management and finance, the education I received at UM-Flint has made me a well-rounded business attorney.

Q: Describe your career path.
A: I worked a lot of service jobs when I was younger. I worked various sales jobs, waited tables, and worked at a golf course in the summertime. When I started college at UM-Flint and joined the Entrepreneurs Society, I sought opportunities to work in positions where I had greater autonomy. One notable opportunity was working for a bioenergy startup company that was primarily grant funded by MDARD. While working in that position, I also clerked for a small law firm. Coincidentally, the principal investigator on the MDARD grant was also an attorney, and I introduced him to one of the attorneys at the firm I was clerking with at the time. The two attorneys eventually formed their own firm, and I ended up working for them before, during, and after I attended law school and passed the bar. Now I’m a partner at that firm.

Q: Why did you choose to go into the career path you are currently in?
A: The main reason I chose this career path is because I know I can help people and businesses in a meaningful way. Another reason is because practicing law is what I’ve always wanted to do, as I knew I wanted to be a lawyer at a young age.

Q: What advice would you give current students or recent graduates interested in pursuing a career in your professional field?
A: Get good at researching and writing more. Sound research and analysis are critical to success in law. If you can write well and know your way around the library and online research databases, then you can be a serious asset to any organization.
    Seek a mentor. Mentors can help you avoid common errors and connect you to other professionals. It may seem daunting but take the time to find someone working in an area of law that you’re interested in. Do some background research on that person, then contact them to learn more about what they do, why you’re interested in what they do, and if you can help them in any way. If you find that you “click” with your target mentor, ask if they would be willing to meet/call for 20-30 minutes on a monthly basis.

Q: Fun Facts! (Examples: sports fan, long-term goals, favorite vacation, future travel plans/ideas, or come up with your own!)
A: I’m looking forward to taking my 2-year-old daughter to the beach for the first time.

Q: What is something people may not know about you?
A: I love to cook, and I do my best to replicate authentic Italian cuisine.

International Students At UM-Flint

International Students At UM-FlintGlobal Advocates for Vehicle City
BY ON JULY 1, 2016

This past year, there were more than 700 international students attending UM-Flint – the most they have ever hosted.

“We are an international campus that has been progressing over the past decade,” says Dan Adams, International Center Director. “The reality is that having this identity isn’t just our students. It happens with the curriculum and student life make-up; it’s a matter of embracing what is here now. Diversity means nothing; it’s really about what you do with it. It’s how you incorporate it into your everyday life, your student and professional lives, your friendships and relationships.”

And UM-Flint is not short on diversity. Students hailing from China, India, South Korea, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Jamaica and even more countries decide to live, work, study and play in Flint.

Read the full article HERE.

Hagerman Student Scholars selected for the 2016-2017 Academic Year

The Hagerman Student Scholars program has been expanded for the 2016-2017 academic year by adding two additional students to the lineup for its annual Hagerman Student Scholar Award. The Hagerman Student Scholar award was created in 2015 to support future entrepreneurs. Hagerman Student Scholars become ambassadors of the Hagerman Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation located inside the School of Management.

Lauren Adams, Bryan Halpin, Nolan Moore, Sean Tabor, and Emily Zoromski will step into their role of Hagerman Scholars in the Fall 2016 semester.  Along with receiving a $2,000 scholarship, they will become ambassadors of the School of Management Hagerman Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Through this opportunity, the scholars will expand their networking opportunities while working one on one with School of Management professors and the community.

Adams, a senior majoring in Business Administration, expressed her excitement about being selected as a Hagerman Scholar. “It’s exciting to get involved this early on since I am only in my third year. I am excited for the networking opportunities and community involvement,” said Adams.

Adams sees entrepreneurship and innovation as ways of creating positivity in the community. As a part of the National Society of Leadership and Success, she has found that traits she already possessed will suit her entrepreneur spirit. “[National Society of Leadership and Success] gave me realization of my strong traits and interests. I am embracing entrepreneurship because it will teach me to be a better leader and to take risks for positive changes,” she said.

Lauren Adams, 2016

Lauren Adams, 2016

Moore, a senior majoring in Business Administration, echoed Adams sentiments about receiving the award. “When I heard about it, I got really excited. I applied for it and I was lucky enough to get it,” said Moore. “It’s been a huge blessing to me and my family. My mom cried when I told her I got it.”

As someone who grew up just outside Flint, Moore was never unaware of the cities issues. After he graduates from college, he hopes to contribute to positive changes in the city. “I heard about the crime, the violence, the poverty, and the poor economic situations that have plagued the city for years. Hearing about these things can easily crush one’s hope for a better future. After attending the University of Michigan-Flint for four years now, I have seen things that have restored my hope for the city, and I want to be part of that,” he said.

As a senior, Moore can see the impact that it will have on his education and career outlook. “The simple fact is this will help me get though school,” he said. “This is going to be my last year and I can get through this year without a bunch of student debt. It’s going to relieve a lot of stress and help me get a jump start on my career.”

Nolan Moore, 2016

Nolan Moore, 2016

Halpin, a senior majoring in Supply Chain Management and Marketing, agrees that the financial stress of education can affect the choices students can make. He understands the financial burdens that affect college students and how they impact the time it takes to get a degree. Originally starting his college career in 2004, he took only one course each semester while working full time. He states that the sacrifices his wife and himself have made allowed him to pursue his college education full time. “I set myself up to have one year without a job to go to school full time and this award helps me achieve my goal; it helps me to get where I’m going,” said Halpin. “My wife and I have both sacrificed for me to get this degree. For the school to participate in that and help to ease our sacrifice is amazing to me.”

As a student who is already heavily involved with Entrepreneurs Society as their Vice President, Halpin understands the impact of Hagerman Student Ambassadors. “I think the ambassadorship, reaching out to the community and to other students, that’s going to be the most fun,” he said. “I look forward to helping people achieve their goals just like this scholarship helped me achieve mine. That’s going to be phenomenal.”

Bryan Haplin, 2016

Bryan Haplin, 2016

Tabor, a senior majoring in Business Administration with a concentration in Entrepreneurship, credits Dr. Michael Witt for igniting his passion for Entrepreneurship when he joined the Entrepreneurs Society. He was elected Vice President for the 2014-15 academic year and shortly after, transitioned to President for the 2015-2016 academic year. He pursued his passion by starting his own real estate investment company while attending school full time. Shortly after, he obtained an internship with SkyPoint Ventures. He hopes his work through SkyPoint Ventures will create opportunities for students to strengthen the surrounding community.

“I think it’s [the Hagerman Student Scholar Award] going to give hope to local entrepreneurs,” said Tabor. “It’s going to give hope to college grads who want to be entrepreneurs and realize that there are people out there who want to support them— people out there that understand the importance of small business and that they’re willing to give of their fortune to help someone create their own.”

Sean Tabor, 2016

Sean Tabor, 2016

Zoromski struggled to find her place in the beginning of her college career. She discovered her love for business and joined the Entrepreneur Society. It was there that she discovered her passion for working with others.

“That has had a really big impact on my college career,” she said. “I have met a lot of really great students with the same goals and mindset that I have. That’s had a big impact. You get different viewpoints on everything and just some of the projects you do, dealing with the people you are helping is really cool.”

Zoromski believes that future Hagerman Scholars will benefit and gain opportunities that otherwise would not be available. “I think that it’s [the Hagerman Student Scholar Award] going to help other students learn and grow,” said Zoromski. “Everyone wants scholarships and having the different things you’re involved in, from getting the scholarship, is a great learning opportunity for other business majors. I’m a finance major so letting people other than entrepreneurship majors know about this scholarship will be a great opportunity for them to learn about entrepreneurship.”

Emily Zoromski, 2016

Emily Zoromski, 2016