Meet the People of Zarb: Chairperson Kaushik Sengupta, Department of Management and Entrepreneurship
[Note: This is one in a series of posts to highlight the people who contribute to making the Zarb School of Business a special place.]
Here is our Q&A with Dr. Sengupta, who begins his Chairpersonship in September 2014 .
- Could you describe the Department of Management and Entrepreneurship in terms of the undergraduate and graduate programs offered?
The department is the most eclectic one at Zarb, given the number of different focus areas and faculty expertise that we provide.
We offer three undergraduate majors: Management, Entrepreneurship, and Supply Chain Management. The Supply Chain major is one of the newest majors offered in the Zarb School.
At the graduate level, we offer MBA concentrations in Management, Sports and Entertainment Management, and Health Services Management. An MS concentration is also offered in Human Resources Management. Faculty from the department also co-teach in the Quality Management concentration.
In addition, Advanced Certificate programs are offered in General Management and Human Resources Management.
- Tell us a little bit about the Department of Management and Entrepreneurship faculty and yourself.
The department faculty has expertise in a number of areas, including: Strategy, Human Resources, Ethics, the Supply Chain and Operations, and Entrepreneurship. The faculty brings a number of years of deep expertise in these areas through their experience in academics and in industry.
The diverse backgrounds of the faculty also allow us to offer a variety of courses, such: as Leadership, Dispute Resolution, International Management, Contract Negotiations, and Compensation and Benefits. Courses in the Supply Chain and Operations area cover Purchasing, Logistics, Service Operations, Project Management, and Process Management. This variety is unique in the Zarb School.
The full-time faculty members in the department have the highest possible educational expertise in their respective fields. Full-time faculty members have their Ph.D.s from such elite institutions such as New York University, Yale, Indiana, Syracuse, City University of New York, Northwestern, Louisville, University of Massachusetts, and others.
We also have a very good group of part-time faculty members, many of whom hold senior level positions in industry and bring their expertise into the classroom.
With regard to myself, I began my career at Hofstra in 2002 after completing a Ph.D. in Operations Management from Indiana University and after multiple year stints at a few universities and in the supply chain industry. I have an MBA and my undergraduate degree is in Mechanical Engineering. Immediately before joining Hofstra, I was a Director of Supply Chain Solutions at a leading supply chain consulting firm for about 6 years. I teach courses in the Supply Chain Management area and conduct research in Strategy, Supply Chains, and Service Operations. Since 2011, I have also been the Director of the Online MBA Program and now I look forward to taking up additional responsibilities as the Chair of the Management and Entrepreneurship department.
- What are some of the recent achievements by the Department of Management and Entrepreneurship?
The Management major has been one of more popular majors with a high level of enrollment in the past; this trend continues. The Entrepreneurship major at the undergraduate level is also popular with students, given the overall trends in business regarding what it takes to have one’s own business. Corporate partnerships in this area with Capital One Bank and Uniondale High School have allowed experiential learning for students where they get to work on a “real-life” business initiative with funding and to make a presentation to executives. The major has grown in popularity over the years.
We started offering the Supply Chain major just a few years ago. Although developing a following, this major offers a specific focus for those who want to have a career in Supply Chain and Logistics -– areas that have many opportunities both within and outside of the U.S. This will be an attractive field for students for the foreseeable future. As part of the major, many new courses in Project Management, Supply Chains, Service Operations, and other areas have been developed over the last few years.
- What kinds of jobs do students get after graduation?
Based on past job placement opportunities, students have found positions in such diverse areas as Human Resources, Communications, Operations, Sports and Entertainment, Financial Institutions, Transportation and Logistics, Labor Relations, Supply Chains, Leadership, Health Care, Management Consulting, Entrepreneurs, New Business Start-Ups, Growing Existing Businesses, and Not-for-Profit Management.
As the jobs are diverse, so are the companies where students have been recruited. Companies that have hired our graduates include such companies as Express, The Gap, Limited Brands, ADP, Capital One Bank, Con Edison, Exxon-Mobil, Macy’s, Target, the U.S. Army, Pepsi Bottling Group, Best Buy, Price Waterhouse Coopers, Major League Baseball, the National Football League, and ESPN. This is just a representative sample of companies that have recruited our students in the past.
- What do you see ahead for the Department of Management and Entrepreneurship?
I see an exciting time for the department going forward. We have a few new faculty members and are looking to hire additional new faculty in the near future. I am expecting they will provide a fresh perspective to the department’s offerings.
As the incoming Chair, I have a responsibility to continue the fine work accomplished by the previous Chair. I also want to explore the possibility of establishing an Entrepreneurship major at the graduate level. Industry certifications and knowledge of specific industry solutions are becoming more critical for students to attain – I look at a few of these possibilities as being offered from the department so that our students get better skills when they go for jobs and internships.
Finally, I intend to seek alums of the School who majored in the department to help us form a departmental advisory board. I hope such an advisory board will help us make sure the curriculum is what industry needs and also to be a resource pool for students regarding mentoring, internships, and possible employment opportunities.
- What is something that most people do not know about the Department of Management and Entrepreneurship?
I am not sure if people know that the Management major has traditionally been one of the largest majors in terms of enrollment, not only in the Zarb School. It has also been one of the Top 10 Majors in the university.
I also think the faculty members in the department are very collegial and we get along well with one another – this is something that is not necessarily present in academic departments; so, as a member of the faculty, I do cherish this aspect. It has helped us develop the department curriculum, think about new initiatives, foster more collaborative research among the faculty, and in the end, helps us in our ultimate goal of assisting our students get the skills and knowledge necessary for today’s environment.
- Final thoughts?
It is a great time to be a part of the Zarb School as a lot of new initiatives, programs, and development are taking place. The Department of Management and Entrepreneurship is a key constituent of the school; and I know we can bring in all the expertise and cooperation needed from the department to make the school even better.