For Immediate Release (00-22)
Date: May 30, 2000
Contact: Steve Simon, 240-567-7952 (pager: 301-930-2880)
Montgomery College’s Macklin Institute Gets High Marks
For Year One
Select Honors Students Experience the Real World of Business
Rockville, MD -- Experiencing the swiftly changing currents of modern business is one of the key lessons learned by a select group of Montgomery College students who were the first to complete a unique honors business curriculum offered by the College’s Gordon and Marilyn Macklin Business Institute.
A class of 10 business majors in their second year at Montgomery College soared through the inaugural year of the Macklin Business Institute’s operation, taking honors levels courses, attending weekly seminars and listening to guest lecturers from the business community. Among the visiting business leaders was a former chairman and CEO of Lockheed Martin Corporation – Norman R. Augustine.
While juggling a rigorous curriculum of business courses, the Macklin students also worked as interns with local businesses ranging from construction companies to CPA firms and law firms. In addition, they were given access to top executives of the firms to provide an opportunity for mentoring.
“I would have to say the internship was really the highlight of the program,” said John Rueger, 18, of Wheaton. “I was able to see not only the external workings of the business and its services to customers, but some internal operations as well.”
Rueger, who wants to pursue a career in accounting, parleyed the internship with a local CPA firm into a summer job, a typical experience of many of the students.
Asiya Ourmanova, 20, of Rockville, said her mentor, a partner in the law firm where she interned, took the mentoring very seriously and she benefited greatly from it.
“It wasn’t just going for staples and filing,” said Ourmanova, who immigrated from the former Soviet Union five years ago. “He was very serious about getting me involved, reading cases, working with corporate documents. I even helped translate for some Russian clients involved with an immigration case.”
Ourmanova, who has a 4.0 grade point average and was recently awarded a Montgomery College Board of Trustees Scholarship for her academic achievement, said her year with the Macklin Institute helped confirm her decision to pursue a business career, rather than follow her parents into the field of research science.
The Macklin Institute was established in January 1999, through a gift of $1.26 million from Gordon and Marilyn Macklin to Montgomery College. Macklin, a corporate financial adviser and the former president of the National Association of Security Dealers, Inc., which owned the NASDAQ stock exchange, envisioned the Institute as a place where the values of education, business and civic responsibility come together in a creative way. The gift is one of the largest single charitable gifts ever to a Maryland community college.
This year’s course of studies represents the first phase of implementing the Macklin Business Institute’s objective of becoming a resource for students interested in business and technology and for local employers seeking highly skilled employees. In the second phase of the program, the Institute will focus on faculty development to meet business and training needs of local businesses. In phase three, the Institute will expand its curriculum to more directly address the training needs of local employers.
“It was successful beyond my initial expectations,” said Jeffrey Schwartz, a professor of business and economics at Montgomery College, who has directed the Institute since its inception. “Every day, I came in expecting something different to happen. A highlight for me was the commitment of the students,” said Schwartz, noting that many of the students used public transportation to come from around the county to the weekly seminar he conducted on current business issues.
Schwartz noted the initial class of students provided a tangible product
other potential business partners and donors to the program. He added that the students
gained a unique opportunity to qualify for transfer to recognized business programs around the country including the Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland at College Park.
Lisa J. Cines, a certified public accountant with Aronson, Fetridge & Weigle CPAs, a Rockville-based accounting firm which participated as one of the employers, confirmed that her company was attracted to the program because of its potential to introduce highly desirable employees to the firm early in their career. As for the students, Cines said, “They were exposed to a side of a profession that they would not have otherwise seen.”
During the year-long program, the Macklin students, who were provided full scholarships to participate, followed a rigorous curriculum of upper-level business and honors courses and interacted with business faculty and guest speakers. In addition to the scholarship, the Macklin Business Institute provided a laptop computer for each the students to use during the year.
The experience of working together and focusing on a single area of interest bonded the students, who came from a diversity of cultures and backgrounds, ranging from the Bulgaria to Israel, according to both students and faculty.
“It was an opportunity to meet a bunch of people from different cultures,” said Jeremy Kemp, 18, who grew up in Darnestown. “It has been a great learning experience to realize there are many things we take for granted that are not available to everyone.”
Kemp and other students noted the experience of attending the Macklin Institute transformed their ideas about their futures. Kemp, who initially began at Montgomery College thinking he would start his own landscape business, said he now has set his sights on a business degree and a future in the stock market. Kemp and fellow Macklin honors scholar Fadwa Natour will serve as interns for the National Association of Securities Dealers, which operates the NASDAQ stock exchange.
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