Meet Ryan Dumont ’21 ’22MBA from Salem, Massachusetts. Ryan is concerned about the state of the world and wants to make a difference. Sustainability, he says, is going to be a key challenge of the 21st century, and one we can’t ignore on an increasingly damaged planet. “I want to work on things that benefit all of us and help make changes that will make our world more livable—because the way we’re living right now isn’t working,” he states.
His education is preparing him to make that change. As an undergraduate and now as a student in Bryant’s One-Year MBA program, Ryan has explored the connections between theory and practice, the relationships between different disciplines and the bonds and shared ideals that bring people together all over the world.
All these pieces, he says, have helped him channel his natural determination in a way that helps others. “I trusted Bryant to lead me in the right direction and it helped me find my path,” he notes.
A perfect fit
For Ryan, a dedicated student and athlete who wanted to compete on a Division I track team, The choice to study at Bryant was an easy one. “Bryant just seemed like the perfect fit for me,” he says. “It had really strong academics, it had competitive athletics and it had a great return on investment.”
“I think that a good professor is someone that’s understanding but also wants to push you to be your best. I’ve had a lot of great professors at Bryant.”
At Bryant, Ryan also found a community dedicated to helping him excel in the classroom and beyond. “I don’t know if I would have made it to graduation without Dr. Marie Saddlemire and Bryant’s Academic Center for Excellence,” he says. “They accommodated and supported my learning differences in every way so that I was able to learn on my terms.”
His professors were equally accommodating—and inspiring. “I think that a good professor is someone that’s understanding but also wants to push you to be your best,” he says. “I’ve had a lot of great professors at Bryant.”
Each has offered him something new—a different piece of the puzzle—whether it was learning to embrace creativity through Professor Dirk Primus’s focus on innovation or exploring the real-world application of his studies with Lecturer Christopher Ratcliffe. They also helped make a difference for him personally. “Professor Mara Derderian helped support me and made me believe that I was capable of succeeding in Finance when I wasn’t sure I could,” he remembers. “Professor Peter Nigro challenged me to do my best work and made me feel like I earned everything I accomplished.”
Building a path
It was Lecturer of Science and Technology Stephanie Mott who helped Ryan foster a growing passion for sustainability. “I was in her Biology class and I had an epiphany,” he says. “I began to see how connected we all are.” Professor Mott sat down with him to discuss his options and suggested he study environmental science, which he took on as a minor.
“Completing a program like this separates you from everyone else. It felt like a great cap for my undergraduate degree.”
Ryan paired it with majors in Finance and Marketing, fields of study that will help him drive change. “I’ve learned about finance, marketing and now, in the MBA program, supply chain, which is all about operations." Those are the kinds of skillsets that you need to be a CFO, CMO or Chief Operations Officer, and, ultimately, the greater understanding you need to be a CEO,” he points out. By mixing business and the liberal arts, he says, you can build a perfect-fit education. “It’s all about taking different types of thinking and applying them together. You can learn what you need to and apply them to the areas you care about.”
After graduation, Ryan enrolled in Bryant’s One Year MBA program to further refine his talents. “Completing a program like this separates you from everyone else. It felt like a great cap for my undergraduate degree,” he notes. It was also an opportunity to challenge himself. “I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it,” he acknowledges.
Ryan decided to focus on Global Supply Chain Management at the graduate level because it will help him make an impact in his future career. “Supply chain management is all about focusing on the details to see the big picture and make something more efficient—but you can also use it to make things more sustainable,” he says.
Crafting a better future
For the last two semesters, Ryan has worked to make that sort of positive difference on the Bryant campus and beyond. With Professor of Management Eileen Kwesiga as his advisor and mentor, Ryan is studying how Bryant and other colleges and universities are incorporating the elements of the United Nations Principles for Responsible Management Education (UNPRME), an initiative which seeks to establish sustainability development goals through the implementation of the guidelines for responsible management education.
“We can all learn from one another and we can all be leaders together, instead of just competing with one another.
His work has given him an avenue for pursuing his passions. “When I started as a graduate assistant for Dr. Kwesiga, she found out about my interest in sustainability and suggested UNPRME,” says Ryan. Kwesiga, he notes, is a perfect mentor for the project. “She’s passionate about equality and ethics, both in the classroom and out in the world.”
The UNPRME initiative, says Ryan, is all about looking to the future. While Bryant already incorporates many of the initiative’s principles, there is always room for improvement. “I see it as trying to do my part to educate the next generation to be ready to make important changes,” he states. “We’re looking at the next steps: What are we doing well that we can maintain and what can we do better?”
It’s also an opportunity for collaboration between institutions. “We’re looking at the different areas each school is focusing on and how they incorporate things differently,” says Ryan. “We can all learn from one another and we can all be leaders together, instead of just competing with one another,” he notes.
This spring, Ryan traveled to Dubai through Bryant’s Global Immersion Experience (GIE), a signature element of the University’s graduate studies program that helps prepare students to operate effectively in a globalized world. For Ryan, it was a chance to expand his education in new directions and learn from new perspectives. “My GIE experience felt like it made the whole MBA program for me,” he says. “It was a huge learning experience.”
“I wanted to take the things I learned and bring them back with me. With all the opportunities I’ve been given, I want to pay it forward."
For two weeks, Ryan and his classmates, led by Professors Elzotbek Rustambekov and Yasamin Salamani, explored the culture, history and business climate of Dubai, visiting sites like Eithad Museum and the Burj Khalifa. “I loved being able to experience it for myself,” he says. “I kept asking questions, exploring and trying new things. I soaked it up like a sponge.”
Though Dubai is more than 10,000 miles from Bryant’s Smithfield, RI campus, he quickly found himself at home in this new country. “It really makes you realize how similar we are to one another and how connected we all are,” he reflects.
During the trip, the students also visited the Dubai 2020 World Expo, which welcomed visitors and exhibitors from 192 countries and focused on bringing people together to create innovative sustainability solutions—an ideal match for Ryan’s interests. “It honestly brought me to tears because it was so amazing to see all of these countries working together, sharing their ideas and having a voice,” he says.
The experience made him all the more determined to continue working for sustainability back home. “I wanted to take the things I learned and bring them back with me,” he says. “With all the opportunities I’ve been given, I want to pay it forward."
“The business that are on the leading edge of the curve want to hire people who understand sustainability and know how to take it further.”
The next big thing
As he looks back at all his experiences at Bryant, Ryan is confident that he’s well-prepared to take control of his future. He’s considering a career in sustainability consulting or joining a company focused in that area—a field that’s currently on the rise.
“One of the next big revolutions is going to be the sustainability revolution,” he says. “The businesses that are on the leading edge of the curve want to hire people who understand sustainability and know how to take it further.”
He's ready to take on big challenges, empowered by an education that’s helped him to empower his best self. “It’s pushed me in all the different aspects of who I am,” says Ryan.