2022-23 Interdisciplinary Business with Engineering Studies Newsletter

In This Issue

New Things Going on in the Major

Carol Putman

Carol Putman

Credit: Penn State Behrend

Welcome to the Interdisciplinary Business with Engineering Studies (IBE) newsletter! There have been a lot of good things happening in and out of the classroom. Enrollment, internship opportunities, and full-time job placements remain strong for the major. As alumni and company managers contact the school looking for IBE students to hire, I share the information and link to apply on a site dedicated to those pursuing the major. This site has shown to be an efficient platform to connect companies with qualified students.

The year-long IBE capstone course has eight teams of seniors working on sponsored projects that they will present at the annual Fasenmyer Engineering Design Conference in April. Each unique project has both a technical and a business challenge. Status update presentations will also be provided to the industry sponsors at the end of the fall semester.

Matt MacBeth, our Executive in Residence, provided entrepreneurship training via Zoom last spring to help students better understand skills needed for successful ventures. While most participants were IBE majors, it was open to all students. Those who completed the training received a certificate.

This past spring, we completed a five-year program review for the IBE major. One of the recommendations from both alumni and employer feedback was to consider updating some topics as continuous improvement, especially in coding language, to match skillsets needed on the job. As new business and engineering courses are developed at Behrend, we are evaluating potential curriculum options like this in consultation with our IBE advisory board, which is made up of business leaders and alumni who have gone on to successful professional careers.

Please enjoy the highlights provided in this newsletter. A special thank you to Reagan James, our current NOBE student club president, for coordinating the content.

Carol Putman
Disciplinary Leader for Interdisciplinary Business with Engineering
Associate Teaching Professor of Management

Alumni Spotlight

Jacob Schmidt ’21, ’22 M.B.A.

Photo of Jacob Schmidt

Photo of Jacob Schmidt

Credit: Contributed Photo

Jacob is a part of Wabtec's Lead Program on the Operations track. Some of his roles will include quality control, material management, supervising, and a special assignment.

What is one of the most interesting/unique aspects of your job?
I get to travel around the country to different manufacturing shops and have different roles within the shop.

What would you tell your college self if you could go back in time?
My advice would be to embrace all the challenges one at a time, and to enjoy college and not rush through it.

Which Behrend course has helped you the most in your career?
All of my MIS classes for Oracle because that is the system used at Wabtec.

Student Spotlight

Aubin Kotewicz '23

Photo of Aubin Kotewicz

Photo of Aubin Kotewicz

Credit: Contributed Photo

Aubin is majoring in Business Economics and International Business with a certificate in German Studies.

He is a part of Delta Sigma Pi, a professional business fraternity, and is the president of the Disc Golf Club.

What attracted you to Penn State Behrend?
My family has always been heavily into Penn State, so growing up there was already this attraction to the school. Once I took economics in high school, and looked into programs that Penn State offered, Behrend was the campus that offered business-oriented econ and also offered a dual major in International Business that piqued my interest.

How did your study abroad experience help you once you returned to Behrend?
I would say my study abroad experience has helped me beyond just Behrend; it has given me the determination to continue to do whatever it takes to work internationally and improve upon my German language comprehension and speaking skills.

If you had one do-over at Behrend, what would it be?
I would have attempted to create the Disc Golf Club a lot sooner into my time at Behrend. The amount of time I have left here does not allow me to make the club everything I wish it could be

Faculty Spotlight

Carol Putman

Carol Putman

Carol Putman

Credit: Penn State Behrend

Where did you work before teaching at Behrend and what did you do in that job?
Before teaching at Behrend, I worked for International Paper. I started in the Technical Department as a process engineer before leading new product development projects. Later I became the program coordinator for the White Papers Group, which involved overseeing the portfolio of new development projects across all IP paper mills within the group and serving as a liaison with marketing.

What made you choose to switch from your previous job to becoming a professor?
As my personal life changed, it became difficult to balance with the hours required for my career. I had taught as an adjunct instructor in Behrend's continuing education program while still working at IP, so it was a logical transition because I already knew I liked it. Timing was good for me in that a full-time role in project management and supply chain management needed to be filled.

What is your job title at Penn State Behrend?
My title is Associate Teaching Professor of Management, and I have two other titles related to roles I serve in—Discipline Lead for Interdisciplinary Business with Engineering Studies and Black School of Business Committee Chair for Learning Innovations.

What are a few courses that you teach at Behrend?
I teach Strategic Product Development, Product Realization Capstone, Project Management for Engineers, and Supply Chain Management.

How long have you been a professor at Behrend?
I've been at Behrend in a full-time role since 2008, but my first-time teaching here as an adjunct instructor was in 1993 (before most current Behrend students were born!).

What is one thing that you love about being a part of Behrend?
My favorite thing about being a part of Behrend is having the opportunity to make a positive impact working with students. It's fun to support students in building their confidence toward their careers knowing they will be uniquely successful in their own way. I also enjoy the culture at Behrend, where everyone works together to make a difference.

About the Club: NOBE

The National Organization of Business and Engineering (NOBE) is a national society uniting business, management, and engineering organizations from universities coast to coast. NOBE strives to produce and refine leadership internally and develop professional skills in our members that can translate into business success. NOBE produces leaders. We offer students resources for professional development, corporate interaction, post-undergraduate, and current-market education.

Recent Activities

  • Résumé Workshop: The NOBE Club held a résumé workshop on September 15, 2022. The workshop had faculty members and club board members present to help review and revise student résumés, as well as answer any questions that students had about the upcoming Career and Internship Fair.
  • Club Showcase: The club showcase was held on September 28, 2022, and was a great way for students to view all of the different clubs available to them on campus. The NOBE Club had board members present to answer any student questions about the club and to sign them up for our Slack channel so they could receive notifications about upcoming club events.
  • NOBE Fall Virtual Conference: The NOBE Fall Virtual Conference was held on October 12, 2022. The conference allowed club members to join via Zoom for a Cloud Industry Panel and an Engagement Workshop.
  • Club Board meetings: The board members of the NOBE Club have had several meetings to discuss future events for the upcoming spring semester!