Two ambitious Long Island students are at the forefront of a groundbreaking program at Mercy College’s School of Business. Amanda Droll from Bellport and Billy Johansen of Glen Head are already setting the stage for future career success while still in college through this innovative program now transforming the traditional business school model.
“This novel approach to business education—which is being pioneered at Mercy College—emphasizes active learning and faculty members who are top-ranked professionals and whose contacts can open doors for students in global companies,” explains Dr. Kimberly Cline, president of Mercy College.
The key to the new approach is the synthesis of top-tier instruction with a broad spectrum of opportunities for learning outside the classroom through mentoring, skills development, networking, and internships. The School of Business
restructuring is a core component of Mercy College’s ongoing commitment to spearheading innovative educational strategies.
The Mercy College School of Business is led by Dean Ed Weis, who personifies the program’s new direction. He was a managing director in investment banking at Merrill Lynch before turning his focus to business education.
“The core of this exciting new curriculum at Mercy College is ‘active learning’,” explains Dr. Weis. “While we cover the traditional business education concepts, we place more value on experiential learning. Our goal is to ensure that our students graduate with a portfolio of skills and experience that enable them to stand out in the business world – an environment they will feel comfortable in from day one.”
The program features “Executive Faculty” members who are high-level business executives, leading seven new Mercy College School of Business Centers of Excellence that provide students with valuable experience in the business world. And the two Long Island students are taking full advantage of the wealth of opportunities that the program presents.
Staying Ahead of the Game
Billy Johansen grew up in Glen Head, where he was captain of the football team at North Shore High School. At age 20, he has already had internships at the Federal Reserve Bank and UBS.
Now at junior at Mercy College, Billy is majoring in Public Accounting in a degree program that allows him to complete a 5-year course in 4 years to meet the CPA requirement.
Recently he wasawarded a spot in the highly prestigious PricewaterhouseCoopers 2013 Summer Internship Program in Alternative Investments, an accomplishment which will undoubtedly help him achieve his career goals. “I want to start my career at one of the Big 4 accounting firms,” Billy says. “They invest more into their training which will create yet another platform for my professional development.”
Billy Johansen has been directly mentored by Dean Ed Weis, who places an emphasis on networking, public speaking, and presentation skills. Having developed into a persuasive public speaker, Billy serves as a Mercy College Student Ambassador, meeting with high school students who are interested in studying business.
In addition to being an Honors student, he participates in the Mercy College Strategic Consulting Institute led by Dr. Ray Manganelli, former CEO, Swiss Re Consulting. “The Institute has allowed me to gain real world consulting experience, impressed a number of influential business executives, and opened the door for internships,” explains Billy. “The executive-based faculty at Mercy College and opportunities to network really put us ahead of the game.”
Exploring Media and Marketing
Amanda Droll hails from Bellport, where she attended Bellport High School. This outgoing freshman is a promotional assistant for WALK 97.5 radio station in Patchogue and interested in a career on the business side of radio or television.
Her first exposure to Mercy College was when she attended the Future Business
Leaders Academy for high school students. There, she was immediately struck by the Mercy College difference. “Mercy doesn’t treat students like they are just a number. The professors give you individual attention that you can’t find anywhere else,” says Ms. Droll. “Mercy is invested in our future.”
Amanda is now a freshman at Mercy College with a major in Marketing and minor in TV Production. She has already participated in a mentoring program with the COO of Viacom, Alex Ferrari, who invited Amanda to “shadow” him for a day at his NYC office. She now has internship with Bold Media, where she writes articles for an online magazine and works on marketing strategies for the company web site.
Amanda participates in two Centers of Excellence programs: the Strategic Consulting Institute and the Entrepreneurship Institute. She also performs community service by mentoring high school students in the Bronx
– and excels in her Honors classes.
While this sounds like a lot for an 18-year-old to undertake, Amanda manages to stay on track with the help of Mercy College’s nationally renowned PACT mentoring program. At Mercy, each full-time freshman is assigned a PACT mentor who guides them through every aspect of their college experience. “My PACT mentor has really helped me choose classes, and balance all the extracurricular activities with my coursework,” Amanda explains.
Dean Weis concludes: “Billy Johansen and Amanda Droll exemplify the core values of our new business education program at Mercy College. They are
exploring their interests and developing their skills, learning to network and
present themselves professionally at a young age, while gaining tangible
business experience that will set them apart when they graduate.”