NEW KENSINGTON, Pa. — Penn State New Kensington adult learner Nicholas Iducovich, a senior marketing and management major, received the $500 award at the campus’ third annual “Business Degree Program Essay Competition.”
Campus business students wrote papers on “Why I Chose the Business Program and My Career Development Plan.” Iducovich’s 687-word paper was selected by a committee of faculty, and judged on writing skill, organization of the paper, and creativity.
“Choosing the Business program has given me a vast array of job skills,” Iducovich wrote in his essay. “Whether it is thinking critically about a problem, evaluating different plans and options, or leading a project to a successful completion, a business degree allows me to adapt to the ever-changing world around me. There will always be a high demand for professionals who can effectively organize, plan, and manage.”
The business contest was developed by Yang Xu, associate professor of business administration and head of the selection committee. Samantha Simon won the initial competition in 2014-15. Madison Tonarelli earned the business guerdon a year ago.
“Some students don’t know what they will do after graduation, according to my observations,” said Xu, “This essay competition provides them with the opportunity to reflect on what they’ve learned from the Penn State New Kensington business degree program, and motivate them to formulate a future career plan.”
Iducovich, who will graduate in May, is pursuing a career in market research and project management. The campus’ Business program offers a bachelor’s degree with a marketing and management option that gives graduates the skills to adapt to the ever-changing workplace of the future. The new Project and Supply Chain Management four-year degree program allowed Idocuvich to take courses on the development of new projects and coordinating procurement and project delivery systems. The major emphasizes the integration of manufacturing and service operations, logistics, purchasing, and distribution that enable organizations to develop supply chain networks.
“There are many things that I find very useful and interesting about project management,” Ducovich wrote in his essay. “You can relate it to the very smallest of chores you need to do in your everyday life, and to large and complex projects that at first glance might seem insurmountable.”
The New Kensington native’s goal is to travel the country, taking a companies’ ideas, and designing a project or solution that will create value for those companies. His fondness for class presentations will serve him in his future endeavors.
“The ability to communicate goes hand and hand with project management,” Iducovich wrote. “There is a great amount of satisfaction to formulating an idea and then thinking of ways to best get your ideas across to your audience, something I can say has only gotten better as I have progressed through my classes.”
To kick-start his project management career, Iducovich secured an internship at Allegheny Valley Hospital in Natrona Heights. Internships are a requirement for the Business program.
“I hope to gain experience with my hospital internship,” Iducovich said. “I am designing an outreach program for young people to enter into the health sciences.”
Iducovich’s essay is especially memorable because of its connection with the late Michael McGinnis, professor of business administration and program coordinator. McGinnis, member of the selection committee, died on Dec. 26, a few days after he judged Iducovich’s paper as the top essay.
“Dr. McGinnis’ confirmed his vote for my essay in an email to Dr. Xu,” said Iducovich, a marketing and management major. “I think it was the last email he sent.”
Iducovich is a product of the University School, a private college preparatory school in the Shadyside neighborhood of Pittsburgh. The school prides itself on a sustaining a small student-to-faculty ratio and delivering individualized educational experiences. The New Kensington campus, with its 16:1 student-to-faculty ratio, was the logical next step for Iducovich.
“One of the best things I like about Penn State New Kensington are the small class sizes,” Iducovich said. Also, faculty bring in amazing business leaders who present their real-world experiences.”
The passion for learning runs in the Iducovich family. His mother was a music teacher, and his father was an instructor in the Army. His four older siblings are college graduates, including a sister, Marie, who is a Penn State alumna.
For more about the business program, visit Bachelor of Science in Business
“Why I Chose the Business Program and My Career Development Plan”
By Nicholas Iducovich
My mother was a music teacher, and my father was an instructor in the Army. Ever since I could remember my environment was one of music and learning. I was the youngest of my parents’ five siblings, and all my brothers and sisters went to college. My oldest sister, Maria, even went to Pennsylvania State University. Back then, the New Kensington campus was much smaller, but there was room to expand. And over the years, like myself, it continued to grow. The campus offered many bachelor degree programs to nearby residents, who might not have been financially able to live away from home. So, living in New Kensington, and being surrounded by the love for learning, it was no surprise to find myself drawn to the New Kensington campus.
I chose a Bachelor of Science in Business, with a management and marketing option. Choosing this program has given me a vast array of job skills. Whether it is thinking critically about a problem, evaluating different plans and options, or leading a project to a successful completion, a business degree allows me to adapt to the ever-changing world around me. There will always be a high demand for professionals who can effectively organize, plan, and manage.
Some of the areas which I have become particularly fond of are class presentations and project management, which is not particularly surprising when you consider that I was raised by teachers. I even have an aunt, Alice Royer, who is a senior instructor of Women’s Studies at the Mont Alto campus. There is a great amount of satisfaction to formulating an idea and then thinking of ways to best get your ideas across to your audience, something I can say has only gotten better as I have progressed through my classes. Best of all this is something I feel I will never master, because I want to be able to remain fluid in my ability to adapt to my audience. If relaying a message were to become automatic, then I might lose that connection with the audience along with my ability to remain personal to each and everyone in the audience. One of the greatest anonymous feedbacks I ever received after a presentation was, “It was like talking to a friend.”
The ability to communicate goes hand and hand with project management. There are many things that I find very useful and interesting about project management. You can relate it to the very smallest of chores you need to do in your everyday life, and to large and complex projects that at first glance might seem insurmountable. This is why I want to pursue a career in project management. My long term goal is to work around the country, helping companies take what at first is only an idea and design an endeavor that will create value for those companies. I hope to gain experience with my Allegheny Valley Hospital internship, where I am going to design an outreach program for young people to enter into the health sciences.
One short term goal I have is to complete the PMI professional certification offered by the Project Management Institute. While time will be increasingly difficult to come by to achieve this short term goal, I feel my ability to prioritize will allow me to overcome any barriers to succeed in my long term goal. Crucial to my success will be to continue to develop my skill set through education and training. I will do this by attending seminars, taking on any special assignments, and incorporating what I learn into my internship. I plan on meeting with my professors at the end of my graduation year to discuss what developmental activities would be best to pursue. One particular activity offered by PSNK is the annual Leader Launch. It is a student-alumni networking dinner in Station Square at Buca di Beppo. Through continued diligence and seeing my plans through to fruition, I will build on what I have learned and position myself best for success.
Alumni and Public Relations Specialist