Just one day after graduating from Suffolk University, Roxanngely Correa-Torres started her dream job.
Thanks to her connection to Sawyer Business School Executive-in-Residence David Hartstein, Correa-Torres is now the marketing copywriter for the online restaurant delivery service DiningIn.com. Correa-Torres met Hartstein during a global travel seminar to Israel, and he soon became an influential career resource.
“It was literally a dream come true,” said Correa-Torres, who was determined to gain a writing position in the food industry after earning a bachelor’s degree in International Affairs, with a minor in International Business.
Hartstein, founder and CEO of KaBloom, has been doing consultant work for DiningIn.com founder Michael Hackel since March. With a background in corporate strategy, business development, marketing, and operations, Hartstein is helping to reorganize and eventually expand DiningIn.com into other cities besides Boston, Chicago, Dallas, and Philadelphia. To accomplish this task, Hartstein has recruited several Sawyer Business School alumni, students, and faculty.
One of Hartstein’s recommendations was to hire smart, young, driven entrepreneurs for executive-level positions in the corporate office. Hartstein has helped bring in a total of nine Business School alumni and students who he considers “bright, assertive, and ready to take charge of their futures.”
The benefit of hiring recent graduates is that they are more likely to be open-minded and enthusiastic about their careers. In return, they gain important real-world experience in a “fast-paced learning environment,” Hartstein explained. “They will undoubtedly make mistakes along the way, but they’ll learn from those missteps,” Hartstein added.
Conor Stevens, currently earning his BSBA, is among the recent hires. As the Boston general manager, he oversees about 120 sales people and leads the operations team, which dispatches over 70 drivers throughout the city. He is excited about the position and what the future might hold. “I love that there’s so much potential; there’s so much room for growth,” he said.
Ajay Mahor, who earned his Suffolk MBA this May, is the new director of marketing and information technology. The position is a unique combination of two specialties, not usually fulfilled by a single person, Hartstein said.
Recent MBA graduate Akshay Kumar is the new director of finance for DiningIn.com.
Business School students Evon Huang, Ari Davidoff, David Barac, Michael Schall, and Victor Vercher, are interning at DiningIn.com this summer.
Hartstein also recruited two Sawyer Business School faculty members to serve as consultants for the company. Professor and Director of Entrepreneurship Programs George Moker has more than 25 years of accounting experience and is offering financial guidance. Professor Suzyn Ornstein recently completed a six-week faculty internship with DiningIn.com and is extending her time as a consultant to help restructure the company.
“What George, David, and Suzyn have done is look at me, as the entrepreneur, and then ask: ‘Where is the business challenged, and how do we best leverage Michael to really harness his passion and energy, no different from Steve Jobs or any other who may have started a business?’” Hackel said.
Today, Hackel feels more connected to DiningIn.com. “I feel more engaged in my business, more invigorated. I feel like I’m getting back to my core essence,” he said.
Hackel plans to continue collaborating with the Sawyer Business School and recruiting new hires and student interns in the future.