The Charger Blog

New Pompea College of Business Assistant Dean Focuses on Student, Community, and Corporate Engagement

Leah Hartman, J.D., MBA, is working with her colleagues to create a Pompea College of Business brand so strong and recognizable that employers will say, “That’s a Pompea College student – a job candidate who has the skills to hit the ground running.”

September 20, 2023

By Jackie Hennessey, Contributing Writer

Dr. Leah Hartman (far right) is a mentor to her students.
Dr. Leah Hartman (far right) is a mentor to her students.

Leah Hartman, J.D., MBA, will consider it an absolute win in her new position as Assistant Dean for Student, Community, and Corporate Engagement, “When every Pompea College of Business (PCOB) student who is graduating walks across the stage and already has a desirable job in hand,” she said.

Not only that, but those graduates will arrive in their new positions with the kind of market-driven, globally-focused, 21st century skills needed to make an immediate impact on the company or nonprofit they work for – a value added proposition for students, their families, the Pompea College, and their employers.

“That is what my colleagues and I are working toward,” she said. “It’s very energizing.”

Undergraduates and graduate students “have indicated how much they like and want the application of skills to real business problems and that means high impact coursework, relevant projects and an array of co-curricular opportunities,” she said.

It also means connecting students to internships that allow them to hone those skills in the workplace. “That takes community partners who have real needs to solve real problems, and corporate partners to help mentor our students,” Prof. Hartman said.

‘The company is very happy with our students’

This builds upon what she has created as the lead relationship manager between the Pompea College and FactSet, a Norwalk based firm that “creates flexible, open data and software solutions for more than 185,000 investment professionals.”

Leah Hartman, J.D., MBA.
Leah Hartman, J.D., MBA.

For the last three years, she has placed more than 20 students in paid internships and full-time positions at FactSet. “Our students are receiving training, and they’re being mentored,” she said. “The company is very happy with our students. They are being offered full-time employment when they complete their internships.”

Her goals as assistant dean are many:

  • Foster new partnerships with corporations and strengthen the many existing partnerships with firms such as RBC Bearings Incorporated, an Oxford, Conn., based international manufacturer of precision bearings and products, and Marcum LLP Accountants and Advisors in New Haven.
  • Build internship opportunities with corporations and not-for-profit organizations, aligning with the PCOB mission and our students “who care deeply about social issues.”
  • Develop a new course based on feedback from alumni working in the corporate and not-for-profit sectors that will focus on technical and communication skills: becoming highly proficient in Excel and Google Docs; crafting effective emails; and communicating well with supervisors and team members.
  • Create a Pompea College young alumni advisory board, which she envisions providing rich networking opportunities among alumni and current students.
‘Sharing opportunities and connections’

Prof. Hartman is developing a five-year plan that involves working closely with her PCOB colleagues and with administrators across the University.

As assistant dean, she continues to teach Introduction to Finance. “I think it’s important that the person in this role remains an instructor, so they know every cohort coming in, and they can see their development.”

Last spring, Prof. Hartman received the Undergraduate Student Government Association’s Faculty/Staff of the Year Award. Cora Cogill ’23, former USGA president, said, “She is continuously sharing opportunities and connections for her students to engage in. It is clear to all the students she teaches that her main goal is to support their growth and success within the world of business.”

Cogill, who is now pursuing a law degree at Quinnipiac University’s School of Law, said Professor Hartman connected her to a research opportunity last fall with the Women Business Collaborative, a think tank in Washington, D.C.

“Throughout the project, the other students and I worked closely with Prof. Hartman as we gathered data relating to the presence of women in the workplace,” Cogill said. “This opportunity taught me valuable skills and techniques that I can use in my future career.”

‘We want to give back’

When she arrived at the University six years ago, Prof. Hartman brought 30 years of Wall Street experience including as director of research at The Delaware Bay Company LLC, as head of research at SKY Harbor Capital Management, LLC, and as managing director and senior research analyst at CRT Capital Group. She also volunteers on many not-for-profit boards.

Similar to many students in the Pompea College, Assistant Dean Hartman was a first-generation college student at Indiana University, and she understands that “many students are working one or two part-time jobs while pursuing their degrees.” She also recognizes how important it is that they graduate with a good job.

“There are many of us who joined the faculty from industry,” she said. “We are here at the University because we want to give back. We love our students, and we want to see them succeed. I feel so excited about this opportunity because the focus is entirely on positive outcomes.”