This article was originally featured on BSOS UMD’s website. Read it here.
The College of Behavioral and Social Sciences (BSOS) at the University of Maryland has long relied on the expertise and engagement of its distinguished alumni to enhance operations and provide unique opportunities for students. Through collaborative efforts with innovative organizations throughout the D.C. area, BSOS students gain real-world experience and make contributions of their own.
In 2013, Kaulkin Ginsberg – a prominent mergers and acquisitions firm and a strategic adviser to the accounts receivable management industry and outsourced business services sector located in Rockville, Md. – launched the Research Fellows Program in conjunction with BSOS’s Department of Economics. The program was designed to help students realize the importance of high-end research in the professional world.
Each semester, qualified undergraduate students within the Economics Association of Maryland are chosen and placed into groups to collect and distill macroeconomic and qualitative data within select industries identified by Kaulkin Ginsberg. Experienced proctors oversee the students’ progress and provide support throughout the semester. At the end of the program, the students present their findings in an oral and written presentation.
What makes the program so unique is the practical impact of the students’ efforts on the firm’s projects. Kaulkin Ginsberg’s specialists review student research and prepare the information for distribution. The students benefit from the guidance of the trusted industry experts, and the firm benefits from the updated data, which is essential for strategy development.
Kaulkin Ginsberg Associate Michael Thomas, a member of the initial Fellowship cohort who now serves as supervisor of the program, said the experience significantly enhanced both his education and his professional career.
“Because the Research Fellows is an on-campus program that encourages students to work together and manage projects on their own, I was able to participate and gain valuable experience that otherwise would not have been available. Through the program, I was given the opportunity to apply academic training to real-world business assignments that helped me improve my communication, research and presentation skills,” Mr. Thomas said. “I am honored to work with my fellow economics majors at the University of Maryland and to help them take that next step as they prepare to graduate and pursue their professional careers.”
Faculty and advisers within the Department of Economics applaud the Fellowship for its student-first focus.
“Students today understand that real-world experience is a necessary complement to their academic classwork, but internships are often hard to find or squeeze into their schedules. Kaulkin Ginsberg brings an internship-like experience on campus and makes it much easier for students to see what business clients will expect of them when they join the workforce,” said Dr. Cindy Clement, Director of the Undergraduate Economics Department. “Unlike some internships, all time spent on the Research Fellows Program is content-intensive. Students really appreciate the opportunity to apply their skills and knowledge, and get detailed feedback on their work.”
This partnership was made possible with the guidance of President and CEO Mike Ginsberg, an alumnus of the Department of Economics.
Over the years, Mr. Ginsberg has made a point to share his experience and expertise with his alma mater, with members of his industry, and with the public. As a seasoned and highly-regarded executive, he has served as an expert witness and is frequently interviewed by trade, financial and consumer media, including M&A, The Dealmaker‘s Journal, NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, The Washington Post, BusinessWeek and The Wall Street Journal.
Mr. Ginsberg received the National Association of Retail Collection Attorney’s Don Kramer Award, which recognizes leaders who have made a positive impact on the ARM industry. He has also been recognized frequently by Collection Advisor, a leading trade publication, as one of the industry’s “Most Influential Professionals.” He is a member of the Association for Corporate Growth National Capital Chapter, ACA International and Debt Buyers International, and sits on the advisory boards of several industry associations and publications.
“The Fellows Program is a practical opportunity that I wish had been available to me while I was on campus. It’s about more than just developing a polished end product; students get to work as teams researching, problem solving and practicing their writing and presenting skills,” Mr. Ginsberg said. “I’m thrilled to be able to offer them career advice and help them as they embark on a new journey after graduation.”
The College and the Department of Economics are grateful to Mr. Ginsberg and to Kaulkin Ginsberg for their support and guidance in this tremendously beneficial Fellowship Program. To learn more, visit www.kaulkin.com.