Dennis Salotti '14 EMBA: Pursuing a Business Education in the Context of STEM
“I regularly reference and rely upon the education and experience I gained from earning my Executive MBA [EMBA] at NJIT,” said Dennis Salotti ’14. “It has provided me with a strong foundation in various areas of business — finance and accounting, strategy, governance and organizational management — individually and with perspective on how they integrate within the context of managing a business.”
Salotti is vice president of operations at The Avoca Group in Princeton, N.J. The company is a pioneer in clinical outsourcing research and consulting for pharmaceutical companies, contract research organizations and specialty service providers. It also leads The Avoca Quality Consortium, which “brings together 65+ pharma, biotech and clinical service companies that share a commitment to collaboratively improving the execution and management of outsourced trials.” Such execution centers on speed, efficiency and quality.
In addition to overseeing overall client delivery as well as internal systems and processes that include project management, information technology and CRM operations, Salotti leads strategy and execution of The Avoca Group’s research practice and serves as an invited speaker on Avoca’s research data at pharmaceutical industry meetings. He also is responsible for Avoca’s Diligent Centralized Request for Information (RFI) Platform, the pharmaceutical industry’s first centralized repository of RFI materials designed to streamline provider prequalification.
With Salotti focused on the nexus of business and technology in the context of drug development, his NJIT EMBA nicely complements his skills and experience. He notes that it gave him the confidence to open his own consulting firm, which led to him accepting a position with Avoca, previously one of his clients.
Salotti chose to pursue his EMBA at NJIT for a variety of reasons: the university’s strength in STEM disciplines and its diversity among professionals returning to school. “I did not want to walk a well-worn path of an MBA focused on the pharmaceutical industry,” he said. “I wanted to ensure that I could gain both an education and an extension of my network.”
Also, he had the opportunity to sit in on a class beforehand “and was quite impressed with the professor, the students and the dynamic of the conversation during the lecture.”
His fondest memory of NJIT was the pre-course breakfasts provided as part of the EMBA program. Sure he liked having a hot meal before getting down to classwork, but he enjoyed engaging with his classmates even more so
“The 30 minutes I spent with my colleagues gathering to have breakfast before the first lecture began was an opportunity for us to catch up on the past week’s personal happenings and career events,” Salotti remarked. “This check-in helped drive the cohesion that exists with my cohort today, and brought positivity into the class by allowing us to first connect as human beings before diving into the course material.”
He uses a similar technique at The Avoca Group before each meeting — just another way his NJIT EMBA has had an impact on his career.