Students Seek to Destroy Asteroids in New Mobile Game

by Nick Kastner, Marketing Manager, Mike Cottrell College of Business

What does an accountant, a musician, asteroids and programmers have in common? It seems like the start to a bad pun or joke, but in this case, it’s one of the latest startup companies to be formed out of the Mike Cottrell College of Business.

Senior computer science majors Graham Giles and Jonathan Luke, as well as friend David Dashevsky and UGA accounting graduate student Jim Daley have turned their love of mobile gaming into Sandy Dingo, LLC, a new company that is seeking to make games like Fasteroids.

“We made Fasteroids because we want to make awesome games for people,” said Jonathan Luke. “Sure, Fasteroids, is just a mobile game, but for us it represents a stepping stone towards bigger and more involved projects we want to build.”

Fasteroids is a simple but challenging arcade adventure through a deadly asteroid field. You hit gates to accelerate and increase your score while dodging asteroids and drifting through derelict space structures to avoid an inevitable collision. The team asks in their profile on the Google Play store “How fast can you go before you crash and become a greasy space meatball?”

The original idea came from UGA accounting graduate student Jim Daley and Giles and Luke completed the development and creative work. Dashevsky is credited for music and sound design.

“There’s a lot of steps involved in getting whiteboard drawings to code, and I think we’ve been able to use what we’ve learned at UNG to make those steps more manageable,” said Luke.

The game is currently available on the Google Play store and will soon be available for iPhone users.

“We want people to play Fasteroids. Our hope is that lots of people become interested in the game. We want to do this full time so we can keep making awesome stuff for mobile users.”

MBA Spotlight: Katie Bennett

Our MBA students come from a variety of backgrounds. Katie Bennett, who graduated with a degree in Psychology with a minor in Statistics, decided it was necessary to get her MBA when she got the position of Procurement Manager for Rogers Electric. She said that her “undergraduate background was not centered on business at all, and attending UNG’s MBA program has really helped me bridge that gap.”

At Rogers Electric, Katie was asked to develop the department by putting standard operating procedures in place and working with the IT department to develop a user-interface that corresponded with the needs of the new procurement department. Katie is currently managing a team of 9 people, but this number will increase as the department grows.

Now that Katie is in a business oriented career, she stated that “I wanted to make sure that I had the skills sets and knowledge necessary to become a leading professional in her field.” She said that “UNG was an obvious pick for me because of the location. Additionally, UNG’s tuition was much more reasonably priced than that of many other MBA programs offered in the area.”

In the five classes she has taken so far, Katie has had the opportunity to really get to know the MBA program staff and her classmates. She is very impressed with the welcoming and inclusive environment that the MBA program provides. Coming into the program, Katie was a bit anxious that she would be lost or fall behind because she did not have an educational business background; however, she quickly realized there are several students in the same situation as her. She mentioned that, “the professors always stay mindful that the cohort is made up of such a diverse group of people, which she feels positively impacts the group.”

The MBA has already started to help Katie in her career. Classes like Leadership, Motivation, and Operations Management have added great value to her existing skill set. These courses have allowed her to “analyze operations from a different angle.”

Katie is excited to continue her MBA journey to find out what she is passionate about. “I anticipate that these experiences within the MBA program will help me formulate a clearer goal regarding what I would like to accomplish in the future.” For now, Katie thoroughly enjoys managing a team, so she is focused on strengthening her leadership skills through the MBA program.

Internship Spotlight: Melanie Powell

by Evie Somogyi, marketing intern and senior marketing student, Mike Cottrell College of Business

A degree in business is truly applicable in any field. Melanie Powell, a senior marketing major with a minor in biology, uses her degree everyday in her internship with ProCare Rx, a pharmaceutical company in Gainesville.

Melanie is interning as a Marketing Clerk and takes on many different tasks. Her key day-to-day activities include: maintaining the RFP database, increasing efficiency, and producing information sheets that are distributed to clients when they are diagnosed with new diseases.

So far, this internship has allowed Melanie to gain a lot of experience in the corporate world. Her dream was to be able to combine her two passions – Healthcare and Marketing. This internship in the marketing department of a pharmaceutical company does just that. She enjoys getting to show her creative side when she provides input on marketing ideas.

Melanie received a lot of help from her internship coordinator when it came to finding her internship, preparing her resume and practicing for her interview. Her Consumer Behavior and Digital Marketing classes equipped her with necessary skills her for this internship. Melanie said that Consumer Behavior has helped her, “understand the corporate world not only from the company view, but from the view of the consumer” and the digital marketing course allowed her “to understand proper layouts as well as social media insights.”

Melanie believes that an internship is “definitely worth it because you learn and gain crucial experience before you graduate.” Moreover, “an internship shows motivation and ambition that looks very impressive to future employers.”

When we interviewed Melanie, she was in the process of discussing a position with her internship after graduation. Since then, she was offered a job for the Digital Marketing and Inside Sales position. It is safe to say that, “ Internships are definitely worth it!” She is extremely excited and she “can’t wait to see what the future unfolds.”

Cottrell MBA Spotlight: Vinay Kumar

by Evie Somogyi, marketing intern and senior marketing student, Mike Cottrell College of Business

Getting your MBA is very beneficial — even after years of experience. As manager of an IT development team at General Motors, Vinay Kumar decided to get his MBA after 18 years in the field. Throughout his career, Vinay worked across multiple geographies, roles, and functions. As Vinay’s career progressed into managerial roles, he found that, “although I had been exposed to broad perspectives and paradigms that helped to strengthen my management skills, I still felt that he was missing a stamp of academia from his career resume.”

In his current management role at General Motors, Vinay’s team supports GM’s Customer Relationship Management Systems for GM business teams, GM dealers, as well as external third-party CRM providers. GM’s CRM systems allows GM to run targeted promotions and GM dealers to review customers’ vehicle service history before they show up for service. As a result, they provide better customer service by knowing their customers.

Vinay chose the Cottrell MBA for a number of reasons. Vinay said that, “UNG provided me so the perfect opportunity to access an accredited school — in close proximity — with a flexible class schedule to fit my busy life.” After talking to alumni, attending orientation, and going through the curriculum, Vinay knew that he had found a “hidden gem in North Georgia.” To top it off, “GM provides a strong employee development program that offers tuition support — which made it an opportune time to enrich my education.”

 Vinay’s first two semesters have proved that he made the best decision by choosing the Cottrell MBA. He said that, “the overall experience has been very rewarding, both academically and for broader professional networking.” His classes have given him a different perspective and he has found that, “the MBA academic content is practical and teaches skills and concepts that you can implement right away.” Vinay used his leadership course as an example when describing how beneficial his courses have been. He said the course, “was not just a conceptual discussion about what a good leader should be, but rather an active encouragement to find the leader in yourself.”

Though he is only through his first few semesters, Vinay has already gained knowledge from his courses that he can implement simultaneously into his current role as IT manager. He said that, ”project management and leadership courses have direct application to what I do on day-to-day basis at work. The leadership course in particular helped me identify my specific traits and behaviors which I am able to channel through my leadership style.” As someone in the technology field, Vinay is planning to pursue the Specialization in Technology Leadership.

Vinay views his MBA journey as a “holistic experience” that has encompassed strong academic values, personal growth, and networking opportunities. He has enjoyed being able to network with students from a variety of different backgrounds. With the opportunity to work on group projects, Vinay has gotten to hear new perspectives. Furthermore, he has been able, “to learn about other people’s domains, the challenges they face, and how they solve them.”

Going forward, Vinay has made it his priority to apply everything that he has learned to his current role. He would also like to carry forward the networking connections that he has gained through the program, and give back to the UNG local community as opportunities arise.

For more information on the Cottrell MBA, visit

Internship Spotlight: Stephan Morgan, Novagradac & Company, LLP

by Evie Somogyi, marketing intern and senior marketing student, Mike Cottrell College of Business

Have you ever wondered how your peers land internships at prestigious companies? Stephan Morgan, senior accounting major, shed some light on how he landed an internship with Novogradac & Company, LLP. In his current role, he completes audit engagements for various partnerships, conducts business specific research, gathers and analyzes data, interprets results, and compiles reports for clients.

We asked Stephan how he was successful in procuring his internship and his reply was, “I owe this internship to Beta Alpha Psi (BAP) at UNG. I first met with a principal from Novogradac three years ago at a BAP banquet where we sat at the same table and talked over dinner. I stayed in contact with her throughout the years at various BAP events, and I was eventually contacted about an internship opportunity.”

As far as being prepared for his internship, Stephan said that, “I can pull from something I have learned in almost every class I’ve taken in the Mike Cottrell College of Business.” Of course, all of his accounting classes have been very beneficial. However, he also learned a lot of important business skills from his management and business communications classes. These courses have given him some insight when it comes to dealing with particular situations down to composing a well-written email.

If you are pursuing an internship, Stephan encourages you to network and stay in contact with the people in your network. He also stressed the importance of getting involved and building your resume; “Being involved shows that you know how to multitask and find a good work-life balance.” By being a part of Beta Alpha Psi, he “learned soft skills through the professional development meetings, had numerous opportunities to travel, network, and deepen his understanding of the accounting world.” Stephan said, “I honestly believe that without BAP I would not be set up for such success like I am today.”

Through his hard work, dedication, and the connections that he was able to foster through the Mike Cottrell College of Business, Stephan was able to land an incredible internship. Prior to the final version of this article, Stephan said that, “The skills that he has gained in this internship will be extremely valuable for his future endeavors.” Indeed, this rings true, as Stephan was recently hired by Novogradac & Company, LLP.

 In the future, he plans to “continue his work in the public accounting world at Novogradac & Company, LLP, and begin his journey towards obtaining his CPA license.”