Helping People Succeed

My three passions are career development, experiential learning, and human resources management. The connections between those three are very strong. They are all about providing opportunities for individuals to learn the perspectives and competencies they need to be successful in their careers and in their lives. I love being able to make those sorts of contributions — whether it is working individually with a career counseling client, helping students succeed in an internship, or giving students the tools to design positive work environments for employees.

Why I'm at Nazareth

Higher ed is my passion, and Nazareth is my home. You are connected to a community here in a very special way. Recently I was wearing a Nazareth hat on the metro in D.C. and a guy asked if I went to Nazareth. It turned out his son had been a student of mine several years ago. We took a selfie together and his dad sent it to him in Belgium where he was working. Having that connection and being able to feel like you're having some impact is just really cool, and something you don't really ever want to leave. Even for the three years I was "retired," I taught graduate classes here. The opportunity to guide the School of Business and Leadership's graduate programs forward was very appealing and I couldn't be happier that I returned to Naz.

My history with Naz

I started here in 1984 as a business faculty member. In the early 90's, I helped develop and manage a centrally located internship program to serve students across all disciplines. I retired from that role in 2011, and the program continued to grow into the wonderful Center For Life's Work.

I have always taught that retirement to me means going to do something else. So when I left Nazareth, I worked for the not-for-profit Rochester Works! Career Center as a career counselor, and I really enjoyed guiding people from all different fields on their search for employment. In 2014, I had the opportunity to come back to Nazareth and coordinate the School of Business and Leadership's graduate programs.

My favorite course: Career Planning and Development

We discuss what a career is, what influences career decisions, and how a career progresses through its lifespan. We look at careers from the perspective of the company and individual to see how these different views affect each other. Then we talk about how human resources can implement programs that will enhance employees' careers. There is a lot of introspection, and most of the time students start to understand why they feel the way they do about their current careers. This class tends to have a wide variety of ages and experience levels, which is great because it lets us see what careers look like at different stages.

Leadership degree or MBA?

A lot of times a student will be undecided between an MBA and a leadership master's degree, and I say it depends what kind of story you want to tell about yourself. The story we tell through our program is all about leadership, people management. A masters in leadership is a shorter alternative to an MBA that focuses attention on the "soft skills" of business that leaders will tell you are really the hardest to gain. Our graduates leave with the skills to lead and manage the human side of business. The program is designed for working professionals with expertise in their field who need the leadership competencies to make that next step into management-level jobs.

The reason we developed the Leadership and Change Management program is if you look at people's careers and look at what determines success, as a person advances their technical skills become less important and soft skills become critical. Often what gets you your first job will be your technical expertise, but as you move out of that stage to supervisory roles, those technical skills become less important and your success depends more on your ability to lead, coach, develop teams, and build other key relationships.

Applied learning

People often say we learn through experience, but I believe we learn by evaluating our experiences and determining how we can improve. This is why experiential learning is so important. It provides the opportunity for students to take what they are learning and put it to the test during an internship, a field placement or their current workplace.

Al Cabral

What Our School of Business and Leadership Grad Degrees Offer

The interactions and relationships our students can build with faculty and classmates makes these programs incredibly valuable. Most of our programs are designed for working professionals who are established in their field and looking to make a transition, either to accelerate or change their careers. Classes are highly interactive, and the emphasis is on learning how concepts can be applied to their companies and their careers. The discussions in class are really rich and applicable. You'll have professionals from corporations, not-for-profits, small business, and educational environments all bringing their different vantage points back to the same topic and it really adds value to the program.