Ithaca College Will Make You Ready
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What would compel a 40-something owner of an already successful small business to return to school for an M.B.A. at Ithaca College?
Heather Lane, owner of Purity Ice Cream—a well-known and loved institution in Ithaca and the central New York area—had her reasons: “I had plateaued at Purity. I couldn’t beat my best day’s sales,” she says.
Heather always urged IC students on her staff to finish their degrees but was embarrassed she never finished her own. After taking the final classes needed to complete an undergraduate degree in psychology with the University at Buffalo, she was inspired to scoop up an M.B.A. at Ithaca to boost her business.
“I didn’t understand how transferable the theoretical knowledge was until I entered the program, and then it just became this great game: what can I change next at Purity?”
Heather made operational adjustments, which included changing the way customers move through her store and the location of the cash registers. She also modified the prices of certain products.
Then she tackled the human resources side of the business and created a series of videos so that staffers could understand the nuances of making a great sundae or a smooth milkshake, and even how to mop the floor correctly.
Changes like these and others are what helped Heather eventually beat her best day's sales by 40 percent. She credits that growth to her education at IC.
“The M.B.A. program really pushed me to analyze my operation, make sense of it, and do it better,” Heather says.
>> More on this story: "Ice Cream Social" - The Ithacan
Many young musicians have role models—artists they look up to and respect—whose success fuels their growing aspirations for musical achievement. Not many get the chance to have one of their most influential role models as a mentor and teacher. But at Ithaca College, Jordan Morton got just that opportunity.
“Nicholas Walker had so much to do with my development as a musician and as a professional personality. He opened up the horizon to what I could accomplish,” Jordan says of her double bass professor. “Nicholas treats his studio like family. He cares about and guides each one of us throughout our entire undergraduate career and remains a valuable mentor and professional contact after graduation. Without him, I would definitely not be going to Paris.”
Jordan is the recipient of the Harriet Hale Woolley Scholarship and residency at the Fondation des Etats-Unis in Paris, France. Four exceptional American artists and musicians are selected for the award each year. Through the scholarship, Jordan will pursue a year of private study under the tutelage of François Rabbath—a contemporary French double bass player, soloist, and composer—who also taught Nicholas Walker.
“For me, Paris will be an apprenticeship with the teacher of my teacher. I’m going straight to the source, becoming a part of the tradition. I’m going to absorb everything I can from François and explore the possibilities of my own musical voice. Now is the time to do that—to build on the foundation that Ithaca College has provided.”
Through close guidance, dedicated training, and industry connections from her professor and mentor, Jordan graduated well prepared for an innovative and fulfilling musical career—and she can’t wait to share her passion with the world. “I feel ready to connect with the public and to revitalize soulful, spiritual, intellectual music, because we need that as a culture whether we know it or not.”
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