Student Spotlight: Cara Mia Manzella

Tell us about yourself.
My name is Cara Mia and I am from Buffalo, New York. I studied at Duquesne University for my undergrad and obtained a BSBA degree with a major in Marketing. For the last six years, I have worked full-time over the summers at a small marketing firm and immersed myself in every facet of the business – holding a variety of positions like Marketing Assistant, Traffic Coordinator, and Account Executive. Even from performing the basic tasks to the more interesting and exciting projects I’ve worked on in the recent years, I have gained a full appreciation of the level of detail that goes into every project and client interaction in a business. From my experience at the firm, I noticed a gap between small or startup companies and agency marketing prices, and began to offer freelance marketing services for those unable to afford agency prices. Further to my entrepreneurial spirit, I have a small company where I make and sell custom paintings and donate a portion of the proceeds to a charity that fights against childhood cancer. Incorporating corporate social responsibility into my business efforts is what first sparked my interest in business sustainability and helping the community around us.

My passion for business and desire to launch my career is what led me to pursue an MBA and continue my education. I am very excited to learn more about sustainability, as I feel it is our duty to be responsible men and women in business by being mindful of social and economic problems, minimizing all avoidable harm, and even better yet – making a positive impact on those around us. My career goal coming out of this program is to work at a company that will provide me with the opportunity to learn and further develop my skills. In the future, I have aspirations of owning my own company built on the philosophy of providing value and giving back to the community.

What are you looking forward to in the MBA-SBP program?
I am really looking forward to the client consulting projects, as consulting is an area of business I am passionate about and I love client-facing roles.

What skills would you like the master?
Investing and trading stocks

What could you give a 30-minute presentation on with absolutely no preparation?
The importance of a healthy company culture

Where is the most interesting place you’ve been?

Who inspires you to be better?
My family – they are a terrific support system and I want to be better every single day because of their encouragement and inspiration.