Photos by Gina Vergel
Mitchell Dingwall (GBA ’10) loves Fordham.
In fact, he loves Fordham so much that he decided to show his allegiance to his graduate school.
On his body.
After three hours of searing pain, Dingwall, a brand-spanking-new graduate of the executive master’s of business administration (EMBA) program, now sports a Fordham tattoo on his right, upper thigh.
And no, he’s not a tattoo enthusiast. The Fordham logo bearing the University’s name and ram’s head is his very first.
“I want to remember this experience for the rest of my life because I’m proud I finished a master’s program, especially at a great university like Fordham,” he said.
Dingwall, 34, got the tattoo at a shop in his home city of Philadelphia just before his EMBA cohort’s capstone trip to Beijing, China.
“It was very painful, but I was reminiscing about all the classes and hard work I did during the pain,” he said. “It was worth it.”
Dingwall, an executive chef and food scientist in the Innovation Department at Campbell Soup Company, applied to the EMBA program to differentiate himself.
“I found in Corporate America that if you make great products—but don’t understand business—then your work is really for nothing,” he said. “I wanted to understand the financials and the ‘why’ behind what we do in product development and research and development.”
Dingwall’s job is one that thrives on insight into consumer preferences, and he said the EMBA gave him the tools he needs to excel.
“The courses I had in innovation were really helpful,” he said. “I learned how companies differentiate themselves, especially in a market like canned soup. People aren’t eating it very much these days, so how do you disrupt things?”
The Campbell Soup Company is about to find out, as Dingwall continues to travel the country, conducting focus groups and developing new soups. And through it all, he’ll have his Fordham tattoo.
“It’s a reminder that no matter what happens, just keep working hard and you’ll get through it in the end,” he said.
Fordham’s EMBA is designed for business professionals and managers on the fast track toward challenging managerial and global assignments. The program focuses on building each student’s personal portfolio in management development with tools that can be implemented immediately in the workplace.
The program was ranked 26th in the world by The Wall Street Journal in 2008 and 20th in the Return on Investment category. It includes an international study trip lasting five days as a capstone pedagogical experience. The most recent study trip was to China, but other potential destinations include South Africa, Turkey, India and South America.
Despite Dingwall’s act of devotion, GBA administrators say there are no plans to make a tattoo artist available at next year’s diploma ceremony.
For more information about the EMBA, visit the Fordham website.