“Hi, sharks! My name is Sarah Apgar. I’m from Baltimore, Maryland and I’m the founder and CEO of FitFighter.”
This was the opening line of Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business Class of 2011 MBA Sarah Apgar’s winning pitch to the now-famous team of sharks — including billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban — during the November 13 episode of ABC’s Shark Tank. An Iraq War veteran, mom, and former volunteer firefighter, Apgar came on the show seeking $250,000 for a 15% stake in her strength and conditioning company, FitFighter.
Inspired by firefighting, FitFighter is a professional education and performance program that prepares those who serve, trainers, athletes, coaches, and more. The training program features a patent-pending free weight called a Steelhose, made in the U.S. from real firehose and recycled steel. FitFighter now offers two Home Gym Sets, complete home workouts on its iOS App, a four-week workout program for moms including support resources, and free daily workouts from world-class trainers. A portion of FitFighter sales supports wounded veterans, fallen first responders, and now front line health care workers through the Stephen Stiller Tunnel to Tower Foundation. FitFighter’s tagline is “Train like a hero — like our nation’s bravest.”
After serving as a second lieutenant in Iraq, Apgar chose to pursue her MBA at Tuck, where she felt a strong connection with the veteran community. “My Tuck experience was pivotal,” says Apgar. “It marked this transition from my old life into the new. I still carry my military experience with me, but in terms of feeling, emotion, and lifestyle, it feels worlds away—and Tuck fits right in between.”
$7.5M gift to SMU Cox will help build a new hall
A $7.5 million gift from Jane R. and Pat S. Bolin ’73 to SMU’s Edwin L. Cox School of Business will foster collaboration inside and outside the classroom, and strengthen students’ advanced data analysis skills.
The Bolins’ gift will combine with a $7.5 million designation by Gina L. and Tucker S. Bridwell ’73, ’74 from their previously announced gift to create the new Bolin-Bridwell Hall, part of the future Cox School renovation and expansion project. Bolin-Bridwell Hall will offer a learning environment that mirrors the evolving workplace and uses the latest technology to build students’ data fluency.
“I am grateful to Jane and Pat for empowering students who will become the next generation of business leaders,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “Bolin-Bridwell Hall will be a vital addition to the educational facilities of the Cox School.”
Inside Bolin-Bridwell Hall, classroom spaces and areas for collaborating outside of class will support innovative teaching practices and build the collaboration skills that top companies seek and that entrepreneurs need. The facility will promote all three of the school’s curriculum pillars: leadership, analytics and experiential learning.
New study: Teaching & learning must evolve by 2025
The Executive MBA Council has announced the publication of its A New Way of Learning and Working report. The research addresses how business education needs to evolve to keep pace with changing demands and expectations about professional development from both students and their employers over the next five years and beyond.
The study, conducted on behalf of EMBAC by higher education consultancy Carrington Crisp, draws on new original qualitative research from in-depth interviews with relevant decision makers at international business schools and within major employers who invest in working professional development. It also involved a survey of over 300 individual learners who were looking to take business school courses in the next five years.
“The relationship between employees and employers has been evolving for some time, and this study opens up what that means for the future of working professional education. Economic uncertainty, online learning, lifelong development, remote working, and digital transformation in business schools and other organizations are not new. However, the global pandemic is accelerating these trends. Our sector will benefit from a healthy and honest debate about how future ways of learning and work can help leaders in business and business education find new answers to the problems of our time,” says Michael Desiderio, executive director of EMBAC.