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graduate students walking across a stage

Highlighting the experiences that shaped six Opus College graduate students

Celebrating Our 2022 Graduates

Headshot of Shannon Burfeind

Shannon Burfeind

'22 Executive MBA

With a background in criminology, sociology, psychology, and marketing, Shannon Burfeind is now adding a Master of Business Administration to her list of accomplishments. When she first enrolled in the Executive MBA, Burfeind was battling a nagging feeling that she was off track in her career. The executive leadership development and coaching she received led to renewed purpose and direction. She proudly accepted a new job at Barr Engineering as a corporate business development specialist just a month before graduating. "The Executive Leadership Development (ELD) experience [in the program] transformed my life," she said.

Headshot of Merhawi Yigzaw

Merhawi Yigzaw

’22 Health Care MBA

Being a first-generation American, Merhawi Yigzaw's family has always put an emphasis on education. "My mom would tell me that education would take me further than any bike, car, or plane," he said. While going to school during a pandemic was a challenge, it also taught Yigzaw how much he could endure. The program helped expand his business network within Minnesota's health care industry and prepared him for a leadership position at CVS Health. "[My MBA] has opened doors I would not have had access to otherwise," he said. "So many employers value an MBA in today's job market. Having one from Opus is especially respected."

Headshot of Pavan Kumar Ganta

Pavan Kumar Ganta

'22 MS in Business Analytics

A self-proclaimed enthusiast, Pavan Kumar Ganta has always "chinned up and dreamt of unfathomable things." He is completing his master's degree in Business Analytics and is eager to start the next chapter of his career in the Twin Cities. This spring, he joined Blu Dot, a Minneapolis-based designer, and maker of modern home furnishings, as their newest data analyst. "Opus College has played a pivotal role in helping me land a full-time position [at Blu Dot]," he said. Ganta looks forward to networking, volunteering, and giving back as part of the St. Thomas alumni community. "Opus has given me everything."

headshot of Jordan Griffin

Jordan Griffin

'22 Part-time Flex MBA

When Jordan Griffin left his first meeting with an enrollment advisor at Opus College, the focus on serving the common good stuck with him. "A commitment to ethics, integrity, and service are incredibly important to me," he said. After graduating this spring, Griffin will continue his career at MarketBound Inc., managing company financials and serving as the main point of contact for IT issues. "Take those extra steps to get involved in the community," he advises incoming students. "I joined the Graduate Business Student Association as a board member, and it has been a great opportunity to meet my peers outside of the classroom."

Headshot of Rebecca Trudeau

Rebecca Trudeau

'22 Part-time Flex MBA

Rebecca Trudeau is completing her Master of Business Administration and a Graduate Certificate in Transformational Change and Organization Development. A year and a half into the MBA program, she was promoted to culinary innovation manager at Land 'O Lakes and spent the next two years managing a small team of corporate chefs. Last fall, she was again promoted into a newly created position as culture and change manager. "I [decided] to pursue a graduate-level education to strategically position myself for future [management] opportunities," said Trudeau. "And that's exactly what happened."

Headshot of Molly Beugen

Molly Beugen

'22 MS in Health Care Innovation

Molly Beugen's last five years at St. Thomas have been "nothing less than amazing." A double Tommie who majored in Biology, she returned just a few months later to begin her studies in the MS in Health Care Innovation program. The guidance and support she received through mentorship with M Health Fairview's executive team opened doors for her career. Beugen's journey has been driven by curiosity, a drive to learn, and the fearlessness to ask hard questions. She is thrilled to begin her health care career at M Health Fairview as an associate consultant. "Opus and the Health Care Innovation program were essential in my introduction to the health care industry."