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Pictured is 2014 M.B.A. alumnus Joseph Dicianno, a veteran and workforce developer for the Veterans Leadership Program of Western Pennsylvania. | Photo by Victoria A. Mikula

Meet Joseph Dicianno

Job title: Workforce Developer
Employer: Veterans Leadership Program of Western Pennsylvania
Degrees earned:
M.B.A. with a concentration in management, Point Park University, 2014, and B.A. in management and human resources management, Columbia College, 2013
Grad school activities: Point Park Veterans Club
Hometown: Williamsburg, Va.
High school: Lafayette High School
Now living in: Pittsburgh, Pa.
LinkedIn: Joseph Dicianno

As a veteran, why did you choose Point Park for your M.B.A. degree?

I was transitioning from the military and had applied to Point Park University while I was stationed hundreds of miles away. I knew very little about the University and its M.B.A. program. However, Point Park staff reached out to me quickly and were very polite, receptive and made the process of enrolling simple. They also promised an environment that would not interrupt full-time employment. The veteran coordinator did a really good job of making me feel welcome and assisting with all of my concerns.

Tell us about your role as a workforce developer for the Veterans Leadership Program.

I work face-to-face with local veterans in the community to assess their needs and provide for them any and all services to assist them in finding employment and advancing their careers. By providing services such as career assessment, resume writing and mock interviews, veterans see how the valuable skills they learned in the military can be translated to the workplace. The Veterans Leadership Program's workforce development program launched in January 2014. In 12 months, my team has helped close to 300 veterans with their career searches and placed 177 local veterans in permanent jobs, with salaries ranging from $25,000 to $100,000 plus.

There is a large need for this type of service in this area. Pennsylvania has the fourth largest concentration of veterans of any state. Allegheny County alone has the largest population of Post-911 veterans and female veterans and contains roughly 11 percent of the total veteran population of the entire state.

How do you incorporate what you learned in your M.B.A. classes into the work you do?

There are things from every single class that help me in my day-to-day duties. I'd like to share a few that stood out to me the most. Professor Halloran gave me the knowledge of corporate finance and challenged me to have a more business-minded approach when leading projects and creating new processes by understanding and analyzing financial statements. Dr. Breslove challenged me to think outside of the box and engage in difficult yet productive discussions about business strategy and encouraging growth. Dr. Haley enabled me to think about monitoring trends in economics and forecasting potential challenges that an organization may face.

Describe the teaching style of Point Park's M.B.A. professors.

The professors understand the dynamics of the program and that it is designed for students who work full-time and want to continue their education. The workload was sufficient enough to allow us to be challenged but not overbearing to the point that it was unrealistic and affected our careers.

How has your M.B.A. degree helped you with your career goals?

I graduated with a completely different way of thinking about organizational structure and a confidence that allowed to me to be a part of larger projects and encourage more positive change and growth.

Photo by Victoria A. Mikula, sophomore photojournalism major


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