What I Did This Summer

At the Lubar School of Business, the summer months give our students, faculty, and staff the opportunity to do things that they might not have the chance to do during the academic year.  Here’s a glimpse at how some of them spent their summer break.


Ashlie Hoffman
Graduate Student, Professional Accounting

This summer has proven to be one of the most transitional and life-changing times of my life – I traveled to two foreign countries and multiple different states specifically to further my schooling and career. Upon graduating with my bachelor’s degree from the Lubar School of Business, I decided to continue my education in the master’s program for professional accounting on the tax track. I started this program with a study abroad experience in Germany and Luxembourg at the end of May. The program lasted two weeks, and was my first time out of the country.  After returning back home, I began my internship in the tax department of PwC, and had an amazing experience there. They sent us to training in Chicago and Virginia to kick off the program, and once I received an offer at the end of the summer, was sent to Disney World for a final Launch experience to start off my professional career. This summer really set me up to be a successful professional. I learned an incredible amount through each experience, and it all proved to be extremely rewarding and fulfilling.


Sandra Kenly
Senior, Supply Chain & Operations Management

Over the summer, I was a global supply chain intern at Rockwell Automation, an opportunity I discovered through the Panther Foundation for Success program offered by UWM’s multicultural student center. At Rockwell, I worked day-to-day as a master production scheduler for a production cell located in Twinsburg, Ohio, maintaining fluent communication with the production control analyst, and utilizing complex Excel tools to monitor inventory levels. I also completed documented work instructions for our factored goods planning team in Monterrey, Mexico, using one on one Skype calls to gather relevant information for my project. This opportunity offered a wealth of knowledge to succeed as a professional in supply chain. I’m ready to graduate in December! 


Carlos Sierra
Senior, Marketing

I am beyond thankful to have spent my summer interning in Fort Myers, FL, with Gartner, the world’s leading IT research and advisory company. Thanks to Gartner’s phenomenal internship program, I was able to get a taste of what it’s like to engage and collaborate with C-level executives regarding their organizational goals and corporate objectives. I secured multiple new IT consulting opportunities with various technology organizations in six different U.S states and three countries in Latin America. I realize that everything you want is on the other side of fear. To grow, one must step out of their comfort zone as much as possible. It’s crazy how far being curious can take you. By asking questions and leveraging resources, I was able to make the most out of this great opportunity. Although the internship came to a close, the relationships I made and knowledge I gained will last a lifetime.


David Wolfe
Senior, Accounting

This summer, I participated in the Lubar School’s study abroad trip to Paris, France where I took classes on European business, foreign accounting standards, and the different identities of individuals overseas. The class took a corporate visit to Disneyland, navigated French grocery stores and markets to understand international marketing strategies, and encouraged us to fully immerse ourselves into the European way of life to comprehend the differences and similarities to United States business strategies and customs. I accidentally flew out three days early and stayed with a group of eight French students during this time. What started as a gaffe quickly became one of the most memorable and enjoyable experiences of my life. Additionally, I ran a 35 kilometer race (21 miles) in Cambrai, France where I was the youngest runner to finish and the only American in the entire race.


Karissa Zanoni
Senior, Accounting and Finance, and Investment Management Certificate

This summer I worked for Riverwater Partners LLC as an Equity Research Intern. I was tasked with researching a new company each week, putting together models, presenting stock pitches and helping with various tasks. I was also given the opportunity to attend investment conferences held by Benchmark Research, as well as attend team management meetings of companies I was conducting research on. This internship gave me a real-world feel of what it could be like working for a buy-side equity firm after graduation. Another opportunity I was gladly a part of this summer was the Investment Management Certificate Program outing in Chicago. I traveled to different offices for lectures about quantitative analysis, value investing, options and futures, and portfolio management. From this experience, I learned about all the different strategies and philosophies in investing and am confident I’ll find the right fit for myself during my job search this year. Although there was a lot of hard work this summer, I can confidently say that every second was worth it.


Ed Levitas
Professor of Management

One of the things I did this summer was to lead a group of Lubar students to Southeast Asia, specifically Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Siem Reap, Cambodia, and Bangkok, Thailand.   Our travels allowed us to explore the cultural and business practices of these three important and growing economies. In addition to cultural and historical visits, we met with a number of executives at companies including Castrol BP Vietnam, Secoin (a Vietnamese multinational ceramic manufacturer), Ford Thailand, Jelly Belly, and Harley-Davidson. The students gained an understanding of the challenges and opportunities of doing business in these markets. Perhaps most importantly, students developed perspectives and understandings of international trade that were unimaginable to them before the trip.


Mary Moore-Geisler
Academic Advisor

As an academic advisor, summer is always a great time to meet our new freshmen at orientation.  But I also had two fun vacations – one with family to Ireland, and the second to view the solar eclipse in the “path of totality.”  My husband, son, and I took a road trip to Festus, Missouri, about 40 miles outside of St. Louis, to experience the eclipse on August 21.  Festus is the quintessential small Midwestern town, where a crowd of mostly tourists gathered in an open field next to a sports complex.  As the eclipse approached totality, it became darker with an unusual deep blue sky…..a different kind of light than you’d see at dusk.  When the moment arrived, there was whooping and hollering followed by a period I’d just describe as amazement as the corona – the shimmering rim — became visible.  It was an experience that a photo just can’t capture.


Purush Papatla
Professor of Marketing and
Interim Associate Dean

I attended the bi-annual summit of the Marketing Accountability and Standards Board (MASB) where I serve on the Board of Directors.  The meeting brought together academics and top industry executives from leading firms including S.C. Johnson, Capital One, Aetna, General Motors, ESPN and several advertising and marketing intelligence agencies.  I was invited to make a presentation related to my research on leveraging the power of small details of social media to get substantial increases in the return on investment in marketing and in social media.  For example, I have studied how the colors and the presence of humans in photos that also include products, and are posted by individuals to Instagram –and then, in turn, are posted by brands on their own websites — can have significant effects on whether the brand’s site visitors become interested in the products.