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Meet Clarkson

Josh Fogarty

This Kid Means Business

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Quick Facts +

Favorite non-business activities:
Running, triathlons and Sigma Chi fraternity

Favorite outdoor spot in the region?
Seven Springs

If you had time to pick up a double major, what would it be?
Either Global Supply Chain Management or Civil Engineering

When you’re a big success, will you hire Clarkson grads?
That’s a no-brainer. Of course!

Great. You’re out of shampoo. You run to the grocery store, grab a bottle of Neutrogena Triple Moisture Cream Lather Shampoo (your brand), and zip to the checkout  — only to find that every line is five people deep. Then you spot the self-checkout lane. Sweet! It’s empty!

You slide the shampoo over the scanner, place it on the conveyor belt, and … BEEP! “Please rescan item.” OK, not a problem. You pick up the shampoo, rescan it, place it on the conveyor belt, and … BEEP! “Please rescan item.” Now you’re getting a little frustrated, and people behind you are sighing dramatically. BEEP! “Please rescan item!” Is it you, or is the machine getting testy? As the bedraggled manager comes over with her keycard to manually enter the price, you wonder: Who designed this system, anyway?

Whatever you do, don’t blame Josh Fogarty. A Clarkson junior from Guilford, Conn., Fogarty spent the second semester of his sophomore year ensuring that your next trip to the self-checkout lane is hassle-free. Thanks to a smashing interview at the Clarkson Career Fair, Fogarty was accepted to a full-time co-op with the Johnson & Johnson Consumer Division in New Jersey. Fogarty gained valuable experience — and completed a graduation requirement — while working to improve the Fortune 500 company’s database synchronization rate with retail distributors such as Walmart, Walgreens and Target.

“I was in charge of sending data that the store computer uses to make sure each product matches its weight,” says Fogarty, who is majoring in Information Systems and Business Processes (ISBP). “Theoretically, if we make an update in the Johnson & Johnson database, it should automatically update the grocery store system, and the scan will go through.”

With his prior knowledge of SAP (thank you very much, Intro to Information Systems), Fogarty was able to quickly master Johnson & Johnson’s own proprietary database software and bring Walmart’s sync rate from 74% to a whopping 93%. He also “onboarded” three other major retailers to the system.

Even though Fogarty was only a sophomore, he believed that Clarkson’s ISBP program had already given him plenty of practical skills, both technical savvy and general business know-how, that helped him thrive at Johnson & Johnson. In fact, that was the reason he had chosen Clarkson over the standard Management Information Systems (MIS) degree offered at other schools.

“Clarkson’s ISBP program is structured for the realities of modern-day business, whereas a lot of other schools are still teaching old theories,” says Fogarty, who was also sold on Clarkson’s size. “The classes are small, you get the first-year experience of running your own business, and you really get to know your professors; you’re not just a name on a spreadsheet.”

Fogarty should know a thing or two about spreadsheets. For the past two summers, he interned with the Clarkson Entrepreneurship Center, a regional business resource launched by Professor Mark Compeau. Fogarty helped structure the “My Small Business 101” course and worked individually with local entrepreneurs to help them build effective spreadsheets and learn online tools such as QuickBooks. Fogarty loved the grass-roots business experience.

“We worked on everything from dental care to horse care,” says Fogarty, who still keeps in touch with many of his clients.

In the spring of 2009, Fogarty went from local to global, spending two weeks in Italy with Clarkson’s Global Business Program. Both business majors and non-majors can sign up for one of seven faculty-led excursions to destinations in Western and Eastern Europe, Africa, Latin America and Asia. Fogarty loved Italy, and not just for the gelato.

“We visited six or seven businesses while we there,” says Fogarty. “One of them was this small pottery place, a real mom-and-pop operation, selling most of its goods to Crate and Barrel. It was really great to see that connection and to understand more about how they did business with U.S. companies. It truly was an eye-opening experience.”

Now Fogarty is getting ready for his next hands-on business experience, interning with GE as part of its Information Management Leadership Program. Again, this opportunity came from the Clarkson Career Fair, thanks to a recommendation from Professor Boris Jukic, the ISBP major director.

“Professor Jukic literally walked up and said, ‘This is one of the best students in this major,’ shook their hands and walked away,” says Fogarty. “It’s crazy to see how much trust and faith the Clarkson faculty have in us and what we can do.” A week later, Fogarty got an offer for the internship, which could be an entry point into GE’s full-time leadership training program for high-potential employees. If this summer goes well, Fogarty will have a very bright future waiting for him when he graduates.

Learn more about the Clarkson Business School and the innovative program in Information Systems and Business Processes