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April 2017


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April 2017

Incubator Update

students in class room

In preparation for the Innovation Challenge Finalists’ Pitch and the CBA Pitchfest, the Incubator will hold a series of workshops on how to “Perfect your Pitch”.  This will include how to structure your PPT slides, how to present yourself on stage in front of potential investors, and how to convince your audience that your idea is worth investing in!

April 6th: We hope you all can join us at The Pointe for the Innovation Challenge Finalists' Presentation & Awards. The teams have worked very hard and would love your support!  Tuesday, April 25 is our annual PitchFest and everyone is welcome to participate. We will have judges from the Long Beach business community.

The CBA Incubator meets every Tuesday at 7 p.m. in CBA-139. We've been fortunate to have some excellent speakers so far this year. We had two Angel Investors – Joe Platnick (Pasadena Angels) talked about customer acquisition strategies.  Doug Pennington (ArchAngels Investors) talked about how to Raise Capital using your Perfect Pitch as your communication tool.   Tuesday, April 11th Jeffrey Siew will conduct a patent law workshop for the CBA Incubator. We hope you all can make it!

Centro Cha and the CBA are partnering to bring innovation and entrepreneurship to the Latino community in Long Beach. Together with two of our SMBA alumni (Joaquin Callejas and Glenn Canales), we will have a set of workshops on how to write a business plan for small businesses and entrepreneurs in greater Long Beach. 

If you are interested in volunteering some of your time and expertise to any of these efforts, we would love to have you work with us.  Just let us know how you would like to contribute!

Molina Speaker Series Continues

Molina Series Graphic

The CBA Incubator is excited to announce the next Molina Entrepreneurship Speaker Series starting April 13, 2017! See the dates below and mark your calendars! We'll send out a reminder as each date approaches so make sure you're on our email list and that you follow us on social media at @CBAIncubator on Facebook and Twitter. 

2017 Molina Speaker Series

  • April 13 - Developing Your Team
  • May 18 - Reaching Your Markets
  • June 29 - Obtaining Funding
  • September 14 - Pitch to Investors
  • October 26 - Launching Your Venture

Innovation Challenge

innovation challenge winnersFor the seventh year, College of Engineering, College of the Arts and College of Business Administration sponsor CSULB’s Innovation Challenge, a university-wide competition that seeks innovative ideas from aspiring graduate and undergraduate student entrepreneurs. Students from different colleges form interdisciplinary teams and are paired up with mentors who are business professionals and academics that volunteer their time to guide the teams. This year 24 business plans were submitted and four teams were selected by a panel of judges for the final presentation to be held on the campus of CSULB on April 6th. The winning team will receive $10,000 seed money in addition to support services worth up to $40,000 to start up their business!

Where are they Now?

Julio MarandaJulio Maranda, MS Supply Chain Management Cohort 1

My time at UPS taught me the following business principles. First, data is only as good as the people responsible for its collection and analysis. At UPS, data is everywhere yet not anywhere. They are strategic on how they collect and analyze data. Furthermore, the company understands that people, not data, create success. Second, no member is above accountability. From interns to executives, there is a responsibility to meet a standard of quality, which instills a sense of pride for all work. Third, vision without communication is destined for failure. On my first day, leadership made clear to all members the vision and purpose for the project. Though, the goals and timelines were intimidating, they proved to be effective as they provided structure to my daily assignments.

To say the least, I am very glad I got to work with such talented, hard-working individuals at a great company. My UPS experience embedded these business principles into my professional and personal life. I know they will serve me as a guide throughout my career and hope to master them as I grow.  

Miles WinstonMiles Winston, MS Supply Chain Management Cohort 2

The research company Gartner listed Intel as #4 in global supply chain performance. Intel is also preeminent in the semiconductor industry. It is an encouragement for me to know that I'll have the opportunity to work and learn at a company with such an illustrious reputation, as I know that the company's high-level performance will translate to an unparalleled learning experience for me. Also, it's a great benefit to have the resources and support to relocate and immerse myself in new surroundings. It'll be an adjustment but Intel has offered a variety of resources that will certainly make the process easier, and it's a reminder for me and all students to have an open mind to the prospect of relocating for a job, whether temporarily or permanently, and not to shy away from the uncertainties that come along with it.

The MBA Advisory Board Holds its Inaugural Meeting!

The MBA Advisory board held its inaugural meeting on January 24, 2017. Dean Michael Solt welcomed eight advisory board members and talked about how valuable the MBA Advisory Board would be in continuing to grow the MBA programs. Dean Solt described the advisory board as an integral bridge for our students between the academic world and their careers. Dr. Ingrid Martin, Director of the CBA Graduate Business Programs, described the three initial goals of the MBA Advisory board. Including 1) Finding ways to offset increased competition in the MBA market place 2) Increasing alumni engagement and 3) Increasing experiential learning in the MBA programs.

The Advisory Board members include: Brett Rohring, CSULB undergrad alum 1989, just celebrated 30 years with Disney. Currently drives Environmental Policy at Disney. Alaine Weiss, worked in corporate HR before earning her MBA from Indiana, then transitioned into a career services role at CSULB. Jason Martinez, CSULB 2013 MBA alumnus, currently working in Wealth Management. Ben Arnold, CSULB Saturday MBA alumnus 2013, Head of Operations at Giant Media. Barbara Barcon, undergrad from San Diego State in Psychology, worked for Hughes HR and decided to get an MBA at CSULB. Became CFO of PG&E in San Francisco. Sharon Eshett, CSULB undergraduate (1985) and graduate (1992) alum. Currently a real estate investor and property manager. Massimo Massini, graduated 2013 from MBA program, works in aerospace industry. The next MBA Advisory Board meeting will be held in April 2017. 

Graduate Business Association Hosts “Spotlight on Success” Event Featuring two SMBA Alumni

Students in classroomThe CBA Graduate Programs’ Graduate Business Association (GBA) hosted a guest-speaking event in February that featured two alumni of the Saturday Master of Business Administration (SMBA) program. The speakers, each of which hail from Cohort 5 of the SMBA program, spoke about a number of key topics that they believe were pivotal in the acquisition of their MBA degrees. The keynote speakers for the Spotlight event were Kim Sherron, Retail Facilities Design Leader at Lexus, and Dean Heiss, Senior Project Manager at Southern California Edison. Mrs. Sherron discussed how her MBA degree at CSULB provided a vaunted amount of career opportunities, and proceeded to tell a handful of stories where she directly applied what she learned in her SMBA courses at Lexus. Mr. Heiss presented his personalized words of advice that are considered imperative to the success of MBA students in their careers, in school, and in life as a whole. Both speakers stayed well after the event to answer further questions that students approached them with.

“We were incredibly pleased with the way this Spotlight event went,” GBA President Troy Mullen explained. “Dean and Kim were phenomenal, and I know the large turnout at this event helped advance many of the careers of the graduate students in attendance. Given the firsthand experience these two bring to the table, their authenticity and genuine desire to help our students gain a leg up makes it that much better.”

The Graduate Business Association regularly holds events dedicated to the development of students’ careers. The next Spotlight on Success event will be held on Saturday, April 15th at 6 PM in CBA Room 216, and will feature SMBA graduate Ben Arnold, who is the Vice President of Operations at Giant Media. The GBA meets next on Tuesday, April 4th at 6 PM in CBA Room 124. All current graduate business students are welcome to join! Any inquiries about GBA or upcoming GBA events can be sent to Troy Mullen

CareerTip: How to Explain Why You Quit Your Job without Bad-Mouthing Your Former Boss

If you have recently left – or are planning to leave – your job because of a conflict with a manager, it makes sense why you would feel a sense of anxiety when contemplating how to answer the question “Why did you leave your last job?” in potential job interviews. First, do not feel pressured into giving every detail about the particulars behind why you left. It is absolutely fine to explain your reason as it relates to you and your career trajectory. Here are a few examples:

  • I knew I wanted to pursue a career change and was very aware of how intense job searching can be, keeping in mind the demand of my previous role, I decided it was best to leave in order to focus all of my energy into finding the next step.
  • It was an opportune time for me to leave because I had just wrapped up a significant project that set the company/department up for success and this provided a natural breaking point.

What if you are applying for a similar job function as your previous role, and therefore cannot use the “career change” angle? Here are some additional tools you can use when crafting that response:

  • I realized that I valued my professional development and felt that there might be a mismatch between me and the company for this reason. I am interested in opportunities that provide growth, and I felt that I had grown to my capacity within that role at X company.
  • Because of where I am in life, I really need a company culture that prioritized work/life balance. I get my best work done when I am well balanced, and I know that X company values work/life balance as much as I do.

The key to explaining the transition when you are making a lateral change is to focus on the differences in company culture between your old company and potential new company. Just be sure to focus more towards the positive and avoid bad-mouthing your prior employer. Speaking negatively about your previous employer or manager could lead the interviewer to question your professionalism. -Zoe Sullivan, Assistant Director of Graduate Business Career Services

How to Get Involved! Donate to our Scholarship Fund – Your Donation Has a Big Impact on Students’ Education

Troy MullenFeatured Scholarship Recipient - Troy Mullen, AMBA 12

As a Master of Business Administration (MBA) student here at CSULB, the one item I want out of my time in this program is professional experience. Any extracurricular opportunity I can find in an effort to better myself for my career is more than welcome: after all, jobs aren’t earned in the classroom. When I heard that CBA planned to send one Accelerated MBA student to the Prospanica Leadership Conference and Career Expo in late September, I was chomping at the bit to find out how I could be the one to represent CSULB. The Prospanica Conference has gained a large following nationally as a top-quality career fair for graduate business students, and of course, I knew I couldn’t miss it. Given the cost of the attendance alone for the conference, it became clear to me that I could not afford to attend the conference out-of-pocket. Fortunately, the CBA Graduate Programs Scholarship fund was funding the trip and I was able to go.

Though I sat in on some truly insightful and innovative presentations at this leadership conference, the clear primary benefit of the event was the career fair. I had never been to a career fair before, and certainly not one of this magnitude (there were over 100 employers seeking MBA students like me). Though daunting at first, there was an incredible mood about the fair: everyone was excited to be there. Students like me loved the idea of speaking to many big-name employers, employers loved the hundreds of capable students in attendance that could fill key positions, and the guest speakers at the event were icing on the cake.

I was able to, for the first time, speak with employers at a career fair. It may not sound like much, but I gained experience in something that is so imperative to a business professional’s success in being hired.  I spoke with nearly 100 employers and interviewed with five. Each company’s interviewing representative was monumentally helpful in giving me feedback on my interview strengths and weaknesses. I was able to network with a population of students and employers from around the country and now have a handful of lasting relationships with them as well. I am truly grateful to CBA for providing me with this fantastic and unique opportunity!

Charles Hamburger Ph.D Student Award

Dr. Charles Hamburger and his wife Dr. Doreen Hamburger served as faculty at CSULB for many years. They had a passion for education and loved teaching.  During their tenure, they saw the educational expenses students face and the difference a scholarship can make in the life of a young person.  When Charles passed away in 2012, his wife created the Charles Hamburger Ph.D. Student Award with the CSULB 49er Foundation to honor her husband’s memory and assist students enrolled in the MBA program at the College of Business Administration.  Doreen said, “My wish is to make a difference in one student’s life at a time, so that they can be one step closer to achieving their dream. 

The Charles Hamburger Ph.D Student Award is given to one MBA recipient each year. We appreciate all of the donations and support we receive from our alumni!


Giving Back as a Career Mentor

Mentoring graphicThe Graduate Career Services unit, which supports all current graduate business students in their career ventures, is launching a Graduate Career Mentor Program for the 2017-2018 academic year. In this program, we will be matching up currently enrolled graduate business students with accomplished CBA graduate alumni who are out working in the field. If you are an alum of our graduate programs from CBA and have an interest in serving as a career mentor, we would love to hear from you.

If selected, your responsibilities as a career mentor are as follows:

  • Serve as a career mentor to a current graduate business student for one academic year (2017-2018) and make yourself available for them to ask career-related questions
  • Attend a kick-off meeting in September where you will meet your mentee
  • Attend a mid-year meeting in February
  • Attend a closing meeting in May

Mentorship is a wonderful opportunity that is often beneficial for both mentee and mentor. Mentors have the opportunity to bestow knowledge and wisdom on mentees and to act as a professional sounding board for the mentee to express their challenges and triumphs as they progress in their career. A mentor’s feedback and guidance can be invaluable for a mentee, whether they are experienced or entry-level. Many studies have been conducted on the effectiveness of mentoring, and one outcome is that career mentoring, as a guided activity, benefits the student by developing networking skills and an understanding of workplace culture (McMahon, Limerick, & Gillies, 2004). Additionally, mentors are benefitted by building leadership, supervisory, and training abilities (Messmer, 2003), as well as developing increased presence of the mentor’s organization on campus.

The CBA Graduate Programs team would love to see our dedicated alumni invest in themselves and our upcoming graduates by applying themselves as mentors. Interested individuals should email a current resume and statement of intent to Zoe Sullivan, Assistant Director of Graduate Business Career Services at . Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact Zoe at 562-985-8551. Additional details on communication guidelines and proposed career mentor activities will be provided.


McMahon, M., Limerick, B., & Gillies, J. (2004). Mentoring as a career guidance activity: Fostering non-traditional career exploration for girls. Canadian Journal of Career Development, 3(1), 5-11.

Messmer, M. (2003). Building an effective mentoring program. Strategic Finance, 17-18.

M.S Accountancy Program


Do you know someone that is about to graduate? Are they searching for a great career? Public accounting can provide a great career even for students that weren’t undergraduate accounting majors. Accounting firms need people with diverse skills. A recent posting on a Big 4 Accounting firm website showed that they were looking for over 1500 management consultants, 250 information technology specialists, 240 tax professionals, and 350 accounting and audit professionals. Accounting firms are always in the top 100 best employers and they pay well.

Check out the MS in Accountancy program at CSU Long Beach. In just over one year, College of Business Administration graduates in any business major could be ready for a career in accounting.

  • Summer academy starts in May to provide the prerequisite accounting courses for non-accounting majors.
  • 30-Hour MSA program starts fall semester and ends in less than a year.
  • Classes are nights and weekends.
  • Waivers available for GMAT/GRE for good students.

Contact for more information.