Devin Goodhart opens doors with Business Program

Business Programs open doors to big world opportunities

For some alumni, the Penn State Mont Alto Business Programs have opened doors to the globe’s largest companies, including Deutsche Bank, but they studied in a setting where faculty members knew every student’s name.

"I know every one of them. It's one of my favorite parts of the job," said Michael Labalokie, program coordinator for the associate business program.

Labalokie keeps in touch with some of the graduates and finds he recognizes them even 20 years later, particularly if the students get involved in on-campus clubs. He encourages his students to sign up for clubs where they can serve others and gain experience.

"I tell the students, especially the ones eventually going to University Park, if you treat it like you're starting a career, you can build a resume," he said.

Devin Goodhart was undecided on a major when he started attending Penn State Mont Alto, but he soon forged his own path by selecting the dual majors of Business and Health Policy and Administration (HPA) ― a program that prepares students for mid-management and policy positions in the field of healthcare.

Goodhart has put his double major studies into practice during two internship opportunities working in the marketing department at Menno Haven Retirement Community and in a newly formed customer experience department at Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency. Through those internships, he realized how much he enjoys marketing, advertising, and graphic design ― areas that incorporate his business skills.

"It's giving me a lot of really good experience," he said. "Living in Chambersburg, going to Penn State Mont Alto, and working has allowed me to network. I think the double majors will give me a lot of opportunities because today’s health systems are very business minded."

Associate Professor of Economics Hanafiah Harvey is proud of his colleagues' certifications and work history, explaining certified public accountants and former managers are among the department's staff.

"We have faculty who are experienced in the fields they teach," he said.

Goodhart echoes Harvey’s sentiments about the quality of the faculty.

"I feel like the Mont Alto professors are amazing. For a small campus, they have professors who are able to offer so much to students," he said.

Harvey, who incorporates current events into his classroom lessons, said he finds the atmosphere on campus allows for students to be less distracted from their studies.

New programs, like one focused on supply chain management, are in development. Students participating in internships at area firms and companies are regularly being offered full-time employment upon graduation.

Assistant Teaching Professor John Gray helps students find internships focused on where they want to work and what they want to do. He describes internships as a "two-way date" and "test run" between employers and potential future employees.

"You learn all sorts of things on the academic side, then you go to the business side and it's very different," he said. "This is the bridge."

Goodhart's advice for incoming students is to remain determined and motivated while maintaining good time management skills.

"I have a long future and I'm setting myself up for that future now. I'll have that knowledge for my life," he said.