Six Crummer Connections Lead to Success for Graduate
This article appears in the July 2020 edition of the Center for Advanced Entrepreneurship newsletter.
Six Crummer connections tied together working for the good of one entrepreneurial student does indeed spell success.
As a student in the Professional MBA program, Anthony Chessa ’20MBA was eligible for the Crummer Mentor Program. Anthony had requested assistance with time management and career options after graduation. With these specific needs and an entrepreneurial spirit (having started a business with his brother in middle school), the Center for Advanced Entrepreneurship knew just who to pair him with, Joshua Snyder ’10MBA.
Snyder too has an entrepreneurial spirit. In addition to his former role as the assistant director for the Center for Advanced Entrepreneurship at Crummer, Snyder has been a champion for the technology and startup community and has done extensive work with early stage companies. He now serves as the VP of Business Development for PowerDMS.
Six degrees of Crummer connections:
- Anthony Chessa ’20MBA, entrepreneur and former paralegal, was looking to make a career move after Crummer.
- Lisa Reineck ’91MBA, current assistant director for the Center for Advanced Entrepreneurship, matched Joshua Snyder ’10MBA and Chessa through the Crummer Mentor Program.
- Snyder, VP of Business Development at PowerDMS served as the mentor to Chessa.
- In addition to Snyder’s mentorship, Jane Trnka ’17MBA, executive director of Student Success and the Career Resource Center at Crummer organized Chessa to receive career coaching.
- Renee Quintanilla ’15MHR, associate director at the Career Resource Center assisted Chessa with career coaching.
- T Gunther, former VP of Business Development at PowerDMS and CEO/Chief Compliance Officer of TGunther Group hired Chessa through his Crummer connections.
The two hit it off immediately.
“Anthony reminded me a lot of me at that point in my life; I had real work experience, was finishing up my MBA, and trying to decide what to do next,” said Snyder.
Chessa said Snyder was the perfect mentor.
“Josh was a great fit. He was successful, driven, down-to-earth, able to communicate well, and most importantly, he genuinely cared about my future,” he said.
He also put Chessa to work – with homework.
Their primary focus was on what to do after Crummer. Snyder suggested Chessa review his past work experience and then look at his current interests to determine his next steps. They spent their first few meetings discussing between 10 and 20 industries. Chessa’s homework was to look inward and identify three industries he might want to pursue.
He narrowed the list to the automotive, software, and compliance industries. Prior to COVID-19, Chessa was leaning towards moving out-of-state and pursuing a career in the automotive industry. The pandemic changed the industry and his plans.
In addition to attending school, Chessa was also working in the real estate investment industry. Realizing that soon he’d be moving onto another career, he reached out to Jane Trnka and Renee Quintanilla with the Crummer Career Resource Center for their expertise and assistance in updating his resume and discussing future opportunities. Chessa also continued to work with Snyder. With the automotive industry out of the picture, the field was narrowed down.
Snyder and Chessa discussed the compliance industry in more detail.
Anthony Chessa’s background included time spent as a paralegal. Snyder’s employer, PowerDMS is in the compliance business. PowerDMS streamlines policy, training, and accreditation lifecycles through an online platform. Snyder had stayed in contact with the individual who had been in his position previously. T Gunther with the TGunther Group was still in the compliance industry, but in a different segment.
T Gunther was intrigued by Chessa’s experience handling legal research as an undergraduate and serving as a paralegal. He gave Chessa a test to determine his skill level, then brought him on as a contractor and eventually hired him full time.
In his new role, Chessa is utilizing his degree to assist companies with best practices in HR, supply chain management, and legal compliance. He is grateful that the industry is growing and doing well despite COVID-19.
“I believe in what I am doing because I know the end result will help people,” said Chessa.
Both Snyder and Chessa are grateful for the mentor program and the result for Chessa.
“I recommend a formal mentoring program (or informal) for anyone who is facing challenges or change. Even 10 years after my MBA, and as a professional I still seek people who can provide guidance.” said Snyder.
Chessa wishes more people in the Professional MBA program at Crummer will get involved in the mentor program.
“It’s not what you know, but who you know. I chose to go to Crummer because of the networking opportunities and the alumni connections. It paid off for me,” said Chessa.
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