PharmD/MBA students win business plan competition

PharmD/MBA Students.

L-R: Laura Bielecki, Olivia Dioguardi, Senior Associate Dean and team advisor Karl Fiebelkorn, Cassandra Nicolia, Stacy Fredrick

Published January 31, 2017 This content is archived.

Four dual degree students from the UB School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and the School of Management won first place at the 2017 Pharmacist Society of the State of New York (PSSNY) Business Plan Competition.


PharmD/MBA class of 2017 students Laura Bielecki, Stacy Fredrick, Cassandra Nicolia and Olivia Dioguardi were presented with a challenging case: a pharmacy owner in Saratoga Springs was looking to sell his pharmacy. The team was tasked with offering a purchase price and analyzing how they would improve the struggling pharmacy.

Their business plan was submitted to PSSNY and they were chosen as one of three finalists to present at the annual conference.

"What really differentiated our plan was our use of the National Community Pharmacists Association's purchase price analysis tool to propose a realistic, competitive purchase price for the pharmacy, as well as the presentation skills we learned in the PharmD/MBA program," says Olivia Dioguardi.

The School of Management and the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences jointly offer a five-year program leading to the doctor of pharmacy (PharmD)/master of business administration (MBA) degree. The program provides graduates with the analytical tools and managerial skills necessary to drive their businesses forward and adds exceptional value for those who wish to work in retail pharmacy, hospital settings, or the pharmaceutical industry.

“I felt that our team was at a real advantage due to the fact that all four of us were dual degree majors in the PharmD/MBA program,” says Laura Bielecki. “Without the dual degree program I do not believe we would have been as successful.”

In addition to the competition award, UB SPPS was pointed out as being a "dynamic force." SPPS student leadership is strong, with four of the five Student Pharmacist Society of the State of New York (SPSSNY) officers being SPPS students.

The Pharmacists Society of the State of New York, established in 1879, unites the pharmacists of the state for mutual assistance, encouragement, and improvement in order to maintain the standard of pharmacy practice at a high professional and ethical level. It is the largest pharmacy association in New York State.

The UB School of Management is recognized for its emphasis on real-world learning, community and economic impact, and the global perspective of its faculty, students and alumni. The school also has been ranked by Bloomberg Businessweek, Forbes and U.S. News & World Report for the quality of its programs and the return on investment it provides its graduates. For more information about the UB School of Management, visit

Media Contact Information

Jacqueline Molik Ghosen
Assistant Dean and Director of Communications
School of Management