Hundreds of pizzerias, taquerias, hotels and even a restaurant at the Statue of Liberty — and countless more New Yorkers — have L. Jermaine Russell to thank. The former, for saving them up to millions of dollars by not violating food safety standards. The latter, for keeping their eats tasty, not tainted.
Russell’s career began at the Department of Health in New York City. His role was to improve standards for identifying food contamination in food establishments, write protocols and communicate important infectious disease information to the public. It was important work, but Russell found himself restless.
Seeking ways to advance his career, he joined the Touro College Graduate School of Business. He set his sights on an MBA in Healthcare Management, with hopes to foster new skills and credentials. “It seemed like an excellent way to combine my experience in health with my interest in business,” Russell shares.
It turned out to be so much more. At Touro College, what began as an interest in entrepreneurship bloomed into an entire immersive deep dive to expand his knowledge. “As I learned more about setting up a business or businesses, I realised that I’d spent years understanding and detecting the origin of infectious diseases associated with food service establishments,” he explains. “If I could use this expertise to highlight critical health risk management information and resources to food establishments, then these organisations would experience substantial benefits,” Russell recalls.
It wasn’t long before he found a new calling. “All the classes that I took — courses on marketing, trends, ethics and strategy — I applied to myself, and my business plan to rebrand myself as a food safety consultant.”
Such is the transformative power of a Touro College education. Located in New York City’s charmingly frenzied Times Square neighbourhood, the Graduate School of Business offers a suite of distinctive advantages to dreamers and do-ers like Russell.
Start with its specialised business programmes. Touro’s MBA is a 42-credit programme that begins with core courses before advancing into one of the seven areas of specialisations offered: Entrepreneurship, Forensic Accounting, General Management, Human Resource Management, Healthcare Management, International Business Finance, Marketing.
Each is impactful in its distinctive way. Healthcare Management would probably be today’s most topical as healthcare providers grapple with the long-term effects of the coronavirus pandemic. This is the world Touro’s healthcare-focused MBA graduates are set to stand out in.
With the practical leadership skills and advanced knowledge they have, they are ready to thrive in medical leadership positions. From optimising budgets to consulting on “big picture” understanding of new procedures and policies, they have a wide-reaching skill set — one that’s set to be rewarded handsomely in the current climate.
Many graduates credit their success today to the coursework, lectures and seminars by some of the brightest minds in business academia at Touro. These, however, would not have made the profound impact on them if they were not able to apply their know-how to the real world.
Experiential opportunities on hand, conveniently funnelled from its location in the epicentre of global business, develop crucial skills. Muhammad Ali Piracha moved over 7,000 miles from Pakistan to the US for this very reason.
At Touro College, the MBA student took on three internships. This is common for MBA candidates here. “First, I was a digital marketing intern at the Lawyer for Workers law firm, where I redesigned their website and blog, created a social media strategy and managed some of their key events,” he shares. “Next, I interned at Inside Running Recruitment in the sales department, where I was responsible for generating and following up on hot leads and managing their social media platforms. I am proud of being able to onboard three clients during the time I was with them.”
At his last stint — at MediaExplode.com, an interactive marketing agency, focusing on social media marketing, as well as redesigning client’s websites and blogs — he got to work closely and was mentored by the company’s director and CEO, JD R. Maleh. “Here, everyone works together as one team and it’s a really friendly environment,” he enthuses. “I am learning real-life marketing skills that I couldn’t have learned from solely doing research on my own.”
With skills of this calibre, Touro graduates get the job they want. From analysing financial reports to making challenging strategic decisions, these skills and experiences impress recruiters and let them stand out among the competition. Little wonder then that Touro graduates can be found leading large and small companies, including entrepreneurial ventures, accounting firms, financial organisations, and human resource agencies in the New York metro area and across the world. These include NYC Fleet (an organisation managing the largest municipal fleet in the US), the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation and the Wall Street Journal.
The price tag for this career boost? US$825 per MBA credit, the lowest in the state.