Retired KPMG partner Terry Iannaconi, MBA ’78, did not start her career looking for a fight. As a college graduate in 1965 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting, she just wanted a job. Her grades earned her an interview with one of the big accounting firms at the time, but the hiring managers made a false assumption when they screened her résumé.
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Conversations about gender in the workplace often focus on equity, inclusion, dignity and justice. All are worthy goals fundamental to quality of life. But I would add another word to the mix: Innovation. Something powerful happens when people step outside their comfort zones and confront new perspectives. Patterns get broken, risks get taken and problems get solved.
Between his summer internship and part-time job, you could say Justin Sawyer ’14 has his bases covered. The junior supply chain and marketing major is driving a forklift and doing warehousing at a local retailer while interning with the Baltimore Orioles, getting experience in both his areas of study.
Things moved fast for FiscalNote cofounder Jonathan Chen, UMD ’14. He built innovative software, launched a business, attracted a substantial investment from billionaire Mark Cuban, moved to his Washington, D.C. headquarters and hired nearly 20 people — all in less than a year and all while an undergraduate studying finance and computer science at UMD.
Melanie A. Brissett Nix, MBA ’98, was a featured cancer survivor in the American Association for Cancer Research campaign for National Cancer Research Month in May 2014. Nix, a triple negative breast cancer survivor, is a health advocate and speaker who works with several organizations to advocate for increased funding and research to reduce breast cancer disparities and eradicate cancer. She was featured in a public service announcement highlighting the lifesaving benefits of cancer research.
Ani Matson, EMBA ’03, thinks about her parents when she serves her clients. The daughter of two schoolteachers, Matson is chief marketing officer of NEA Member Benefits, an organization that provides benefits to teachers. “The fact that I am working to provide a service for educators, it is like doing something for my mom and dad,” she says.
Private Banker Rose Cohen, MBA ’03, recalls her personal passion for finance began as a child, when she and her mother would track the stock market, world news, and the local economics of Southern California. From those early beginnings, she aimed to turn that childhood bonding experience into a career in finance; ultimately advising families on how best manage their personal wealth. Today, Cohen works as a wealth advisor for J.P. Morgan in Washington, D.C.