After a successful tenure at a large nationally-known law firm as a technology attorney, Deborah Dong started her own law practice based in Boston. Drawing on Deborah’s earlier experience as an information systems manager and telecommunications analyst, she counsels software, Internet, clean tech, and financial services clients in the protection of their intellectual property rights; she also negotiates tech licensing and distribution agreements. When not practicing law, she volunteers her business skills to local preservation and historical organizations, attends Red Sox and BU hockey games, and plays the piano and guitar. Deborah can be reached at email@example.com.
The greatest truth in management: It’s vital to build relationships and trust.
My first job was: Selling Levi’s jeans at the Chestnut Hill Mall.
The last book I read was: Living in the Sweet Spot: Preparing for Performance
in Sport and Life by BU SED Professor Amy Baltzell.
I’ll retire when: I feel I have nothing left to contribute.
No one has influenced me more than: One of my first bosses, Tom Blady. He
taught me the importance of self-improvement, mentoring, and team building.
The moment I knew I didn’t know it all was when: I’m constantly reminded of this!
When I was in the School of Management, I wish: I had spent more time just
hanging out with classmates.
My last meal would be: This amazing garlic, soy sauce, and chicken dish that my
father James Dong (SMG ’56) created. I never get tired of it.
The easiest part of my job is: Listening to my clients’ business and technology
ideas. That’s also the most fun part.
If a film were made of my life, I’d be played by: Sandra Oh.
The most difficult part of management is: Aligning personal goals with
My next venture will be: It’s too early to tell.
My favorite place to go on vacation is: Maui.
Most people don’t know that: I’m a huge Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers
Every day I make the time to: Play a bit of music and refocus.
Running a successful organization takes: Teamwork and respect.
The soundtrack of my life includes: Bowie, Bach, Broadway tunes, and ’80s rock.
Nothing tells more about a person than: How that person treats people who are not in a position to help him or her.
My guilty pleasure is: Designing and making jewelry.
If I could change one thing about the world, it would be: To empower others
with the courage to take the next step.
I’m happiest when: Solving a problem: business, legal, or otherwise.
What’s changed most in business is: Globalization’s influence on the
multiculturalism of individuals in the workforce.
The wisest investment I ever made was: My ongoing education at SMG,
LAW, and beyond.
The World is Her Stage
Parminderjit Bhullar (MBA PNP ’13), known as Pammi, is an actor, a world-traveler, and an education advocate, but she found the path to her future by chopping vegetables.
The acting, travelling, ledgers, and passion for education have all pointed her towards a career in education management. The vegetables brought her to the Public and Nonprofit (PNP) Management program at the School of Management.
Dedicated to facilitating innovative educational opportunities for others, Bhullar’s most memorable educational experiences have occurred on stage. In high school, she acted in a Humane Society play that showed elementary school students how to care for their pets.
“The auditorium was so small,” she says of the rural school she attended outside of Pittsburgh. “You really got a feel for how your presence was affecting the students. It was so personal.”
As a theater minor at the University of Pittsburgh, she participated in four plays, including one that immersed her in the Suzuki Method of Actor Training, which emphasizes strenuous, martial arts-like preparation for roles.
“It was difficult work,” she says. “I was sore every day.” But she also bonded with the other members of the cast in a way she hadn’t in other plays. She maintains those friendships to this day. “I learned how much camaraderie you can build through hard work and pursuing a common goal,” she says.
She found camaraderie again while researching graduate schools. Bhullar had been fast-tracked as an employee at an investment firm. However, she realized that although theoretically successful, her career was not fulfilling her dream to use her business skills to support innovative education.
During her graduate school search, she attended an SMG Public and Nonprofit Club community service event at a Boston-area organization that delivers meals to the homebound. Bhullar joined the club members in chopping vegetables for the day’s meal and touring the facility.
The people were warm and friendly, and Bhullar realized that at the School she would be surrounded by other students who share her values.
Among the shared values are an international perspective and a zeal for foreign travel. As an undergraduate, Bhullar studied for a semester in France, and before starting at SMG, she and her fiancé, Eric Tracey, taught English to Tibetan refugees in India for four months. On a volunteer basis, she was also able to help a few organizations in India clarify their financial statements.
“I realized, ‘this is where I can contribute,’” she says. “It helped form my path more clearly.”
Over winter break, that path led her to Honduras with the BU group Students Helping Honduras to build a school and work with a micro-finance program. Bhullar will participate in SMG’s European Field Seminar in her second year to learn more about European education.
After graduating, Bhullar plans to combine her globetrotting ways with her fervor for education. She intends to collect the best educational ideas from around the world, then put those ideas to work in a government or nonprofit organization that improves communities through education.”I see myself contributing to an international educational organization, and then bringing that knowledge back to the US.”
By Madeline Bodin