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February 2017

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February 2017

Featured Alumni – Lavinia Ciuciui

Lavinia Ciuciui

My Experience at CSULB was a life changing one. I decided to pursue an MBA, because I felt I needed to step up my game and make myself more competitive in the workplace. I did not know for sure what getting that degree would entail, but I am able to see its impact every day since I graduated. I use a lot of the tools and critical thinking mindset in the work that I do as a Business analyst on Technology projects at American Honda Finance Corp. I started working here as an intern, doing a full time summer CPT (Curricular Practical Training). Because I was in my last semester of my MBA program with only my capstone class left, I was able to extend my CPT to a part time one, and I continued working with the company while finishing up my last class. That internship turned into a fulltime job after I graduated, under my OPT (Optional Practical Training).  And the OPT eventually turned into a work visa, but it took a lot of planning ahead for all the deadlines to be met. As an international student, planning starts as soon as the MBA starts. It is never too early to find a company that you can do your long term planning with.

I feel I got a lot out of my MBA experience, due to the great people I met and the valuable life skills I gained. I got to work on projects with colleagues from all around the world, and was led by instructors with diverse experiences. This was excellent preparation for the corporate life, working with different people, and thinking on your feet while being creative. I couldn’t be happier, and I would recommend this program to anyone who wants a more strategic path for their career and life. If you would like us to feature your story, contact

Last Chance – Hire So Cal 2017

HireSoCal graphicInterested in hiring someone from your alma mater?
Interested in scoping out candidates from six Southern California, accredited graduate business schools all in one event?
Looking for workforce-ready, diverse, high energy, early to mid-level business professionals for your organization?
Are you looking for cost-effective and high-impact options to support your recruitment needs?
Then you might want to consider this great opportunity!
This is your last chance to take advantage of this year’s
Annual Hire SoCal 2017 Graduate Business Career Fair
Friday, February 10, 2017 @ 10:00AM – 12:30PM
Hosted at California State University, Fullerton
Sponsored by California State University Long Beach, California State University Fullerton,
Drucker School of Management, University of California Riverside, Chapman University, Pepperdine University
Contact Michelle Gomez for additional details.


Students at food driveThe Graduate Business Association (GBA) collected over 235 items to donate to the Beach Pantry in the Fall Semester. During the week of December 5 to December 10, Students from the Evening MBA, Accelerated MBA, Saturday MBA, M.S Accountancy and M.S Supply Chain Management collected canned fruits and vegetables, dry food goods, and hygienic necessities to give back to the campus community.

Associated Students Inc. (ASI) opened the Beach Pantry in the fall of 2016 after a CSU study found that 1 in 4 students face food insecurity. ASI Vice Present Logan Vournas told Beach Buzz that, “if students are hungry they are unable to focus on their studies and cannot be an active part of their community.” Upon hearing this GBA Community Engagement Leader, Olivia Sather, wanted to find a way to participate. “Students face stress from so many aspects of their life, but knowing where their next meal is coming from may alleviate that stress and help them succeed,” says Sather.

The GBA started holding community engagement events in the Spring of 2016 with an event in partnership with Habitat for Humanity. “By volunteering, we not only learn about the communities in which we operate, but build teamwork and social responsibility,” explains Sather, “These are skills we will need as we become leaders in our places of work or start our own businesses.” GBA members placed food collection bins around the CBA during the first two weeks in December and visited classes to spread the word about the Food Drive. The biggest contribution came from Saturday MBA Cohort 6 with 88 items donated. Sather says, “I am impressed by the support of my fellow MBA students, and thank everyone for their participation.” For those interested in more information about the GBA, please contact President Troy Mullen.

Keeping in Touch

figures holding hands

Tell us your story, re-connect with former class mates, and update your information. Keeping in Touch is your opportunity to let us know about you! 

If you would like to be featured as an alum, put out a call to get in touch with your cohort, or just say hello, Keeping in Touch is your place in the Newsletter.  Hearing from you is an important step in building a strong and valuable MBA Alumni Group that can help you with networking, making and re-making connections and just having fun!  In each edition of the Newsletter, we will feature an alum and publish your requests.  For more information or to make a submission, please contact Marina Freeman-Garvey or call 562/985-8627.  Go Beach!

Where are they Now?

Kyle Aguilar

The Graduate Business Career Services team congratulates Kyle Aguilar, August 2016 Accelerated MBA graduate, in his recent position at the Banc of California as a Residential Loan Servicing Specialist. This position allows him the opportunity to contribute to the operational processes of the loan servicing department within Banc of California. In this role, he utilizes his knowledge of process efficiency and business management gained from his experience and MBA education to draft procedures and create process flows for departments. 

Radhika Naik

I am currently a supply chain Intern at SpaceX. Working in a fast paced and competitive environment opens opportunities for learning and working efficiently. The lessons learned from working with the industry leaders like SpaceX is helping me take on more challenging roles in my supply chain career. My Internship at SpaceX has helped me gain exposure to inherent supply chain operations. I also work on special projects mainly focused on process design and process improvements. I’ve had the opportunity to work on cost estimation models, developing categorization of the suppliers for efficiency mapping system, strengthening supplier assessment model, and evaluating supplier financials for onboarding the suppliers. My long-term focus is to transform the supply chain operations through analytics and carve a niche in supply chain optimization. 

-Radhika Naik MS Supply Chain Management Cohort 1

Career Tip: Career Link Professional Certifications – The Good and The Bad

Career Services Graphic

As a business professional continuing in your career, you may have considered completing a professional certification as a way to enhance your professional profile. Professional certifications are often obtained by individuals who either need them to secure a certain type of position that requires or desires that skill, by individuals who hope to get a promotion by obtaining such a certification, or by those who wish to continue their professional development within their current role by expanding their skills through this certification.

We’ve put together a list of pro’s and con’s to pursuing a professional certification that we’ve gained over the years of speaking with MBA students and business professionals.  We hope this can assist you in making a decision to move forward – or not – with a certification in your desired field.

The Pro’s:

  • Certifications can provide credibility. They can show that you have a theoretical and technical understanding of the concepts you are utilizing in your work. Also, recruiters for cert-related jobs and hiring managers that are familiar with them will use them as search tools to seek you out.
  • Certifications may increase the strength of your safety net if you lose your job. If recognized by other employers, or even other industries, certifications can be a nice thing to have if things go south.
  • Certifications can be helpful in getting you a promotion. If you have your eyes set on a position where the skill from that certification is desired or required, pursuing certification to show your employer you are serious about your growth into the role can be an indicator of your commitment and readiness.

The Con’s:

  • Certifications may cause you to get pigeonholed. Once you become more specialized, you brand yourself as such a professional, meaning it could be increasingly challenging to break out of that type of role. This can be good or bad depending on your situation, but in this ever-changing globalized economy, having transferable skills is always important.
  • If you have no real experience in that certain area of certification, it can make things difficult. You might not be able to properly deliver when it comes time to put those skills into effect due to lack of experience.  Hiring managers also tend to be less impressed with standalone certifications without hands-on experience in that professional arena. Hence, if you are going for a certification in an area outside of your professional work just to obtain a job in that area, it will be a tough road.

- Zoe Sullivan, Assistant Director of Graduate Business Career Services

Incubator Update

man giving presentation

The CBA Incubator is where the Innovation Challenge teams come to get support and mentoring as they prepare for the competition.  So the good news is that the Innovation Challenge is officially underway with over 40 teams signing Letters of Intent and paired up with a mentor from industry. The Incubator kicked off the new year with a two-part workshop on writing a marketing plan led by two of our very own faculty members, Dr. Scott Flexo and Dr. Hieu Nguyen. A friendly reminder to all Innovation Challenge teams: business plans are due by 8 a.m. on Monday, February 27!   Finally, The CBA Incubator continues to have its regular weekly meetings on Tuesday 7:00 to 9:00 pm in CBA 139 in the CBA building.  You are all invited to join us to see how teams of students create their business innovations and prepare to eventually launch their businesses. 

As an alum, if you are interested in getting involved in the CBA Incubator and/or becoming a mentor for an Innovation Challenge team, let us know.  We are always looking for mentors that can guide our students as they seek to launch their great ideas. 

Molina Speaker Series Update

people at meeting

The holidays are always stressful but entrepreneurs never let anything get in the way of their business goals! Our partnership with Molina Healthcare, the City of Long Beach, the Downtown Long Beach Associates (DLBA), and the CBA continued with its speaker series. We held our fourth Molina Entrepreneurship event on Thursday, December 15, 2016. Despite the rain, 100+ people attended from CSULB and the Long Beach community. Jeff Lydon, founder of Lydon Solutions, shared insight on the important role that Microsoft SharePoint plays in the construction industry. The audience also heard from Mike Shipman, the founder of Illuminations who created the illuminated LED backlit desktop/laptop keyboard.  They both shared their challenges and experiences that they faced as entrepreneurs and engaged the audience with a thorough Q&A session.

The Molina Entrepreneurship Series had it’s fifth speaker event on Thursday, January 26 again attracting over 100 local entrepreneurs, students, city officials, and CBA faculty. A panel of experts from four incubators talked about the different types of incubators and the types of resources for entrepreneurs.  Jim Cooper, one of the founding partners of Braid theory, shared his experience in commercialization and his involvement with emerging technology startups. Our second speaker, Carolyn Stephens, Associate Director of UCI Applied Innovation brings her vast experience executive marketing in the high tech industry to the Cove at UCI. Tanya Raukko, one of the strategic leaders of a local seed stage incubator called Imprint Venture Lab, brings her expertise in strategic planning to fledgling start-ups. The fourth speaker, Lori Jordan of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship talked about her expertise in digital media and distribution. She currently oversees the Student Innovation Programs, which includes the SLO HotHouse Accelerator. This panel was a great eye-opener for our aspiring local entrepreneurs and motivational for own students and Innovation Challenge teams!

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

Dave Clifford

David Clifford is a Master in Supply Chain Management Students, currently he works as the Transload & Container Depot Manager for Ventura Transfer Company. He received a scholarship from The Containerization & Intermodal Institute. David talked about the positive impact this scholarship has made for him, “It’s an honor to be recognized as a scholarship recipient as I continue my studies in the field of Supply Chain Management.  This award will surely help with the daily balancing act between my family, career, and educational responsibilities.”