I graduated from the Rady School of Management with the Flex-Weekend 2017 MBA cohort and since graduation, it has been an incredible journey!  My team and I were bootstrapping Protector Brewery when I enrolled at Rady. The idea for Protector Brewery started in 2010 and we opened for business on June 2, 2017.  I was a Navy SEAL for 11 years I learned that the one variable you can control is the amount of work you put into anything. Although it has been a ton of work, there was so much value in building a company while simultaneously pursuing an MBA because the material in every class was immediately applied to my business plan.  Building a company has been as humbling as my experience in the military.  However, the support from the San Diego community and recognition for creating San Diego’s first and only organic beer company has made it all worthwhile.

Taking some lessons from my marketing class at Rady and my experiences in business thus far, people are very interested in what the goals of a company are, not just the product.  I really enjoy listening to TED Talks and there is a session by Simon Sinek called “How great leaders inspire action” which reinforces that people are inspired by the “why” of a company.  There were a lot of these “why” factors that influenced the seven-year process to start Protector Brewery.  However, there is one important “why” factor which is ranked at the top.

I took a class in my undergrad that quantified the dependence of humans on the environment and had to complete an assignment that measured my carbon footprint.  I plugged information into a program about where I lived, what type of vehicle I drove, how often I bought locally sourced foods, etc …  The result was powerful – if every person on Earth lived the same way I did, it would take 3.5 Earths to sustain that dependency.  In terms of sustainability, I have always felt a personal responsibility to future generations and that “why” has been a powerful factor for the seven years it took to build Protector Brewery from idea to opening (2010-2017).  An important lesson I learned at Rady was to look at the unmet need and understand what “job” your product is satisfying with the consumer.  So, I saw there were no organic beer companies in San Diego, but there were a lot of organic restaurants and supermarkets.  With that in mind, I tried to match my motivations to brew beer and satisfy an unmet need in the market place.

All the professors at Rady were open to letting me use my startup idea for projects in class.  I have found that pursuing a MBA increases your chances of success in a startup.  My Marketing and Brand Management class gave me the tools to lead with our company’s brand.  When I took Marketing Analytics, the data pulled from our analysis showed a high utility value for Alcohol by Volume (ABV) percentage in a beer.  Taking principles from our New Product Development class, we added a non-alcoholic beverage on tap and to our surprise; customers were mixing the drink with other beers to create more new products. The Negotiations course saved us thousands of dollars when bidding out construction projects to contractors.  My class in Operations helped identify “bottlenecks” in the brewery and calculate our “safety stock” of beer during high demand events.  Lab to Market has been a key component in the strategy development of our company. Creativity and Innovation has propelled us into constantly creating new beer styles and our Hazy IPA, which has been extremely popular, is a product of that initiative.  Finance, Strategy, Business Law & Supply Cost Management have guided our growth in so many ways – even with hiring employees.

I think the journey of an entrepreneur has to start with an intrinsically motivated factor.  There is an element of extrinsic motivation, which is related to making money, but the internal “why” is what I believe propels people past their limits.  In my experience, there is an important commonality that links the journey of a SEAL and an Entrepreneur.  That commonality is that you can give up on your dream anytime you want.  The journey of a startup is so difficult that I often compared it to some hardships I endured when I was a Navy SEAL, just in different ways.  I have learned that pursuing the “why” with the right people will attract positive involvement in the community.

Recently, I was featured on the Stay Wealthy San Diego podcast, which explores the minds and experiences of the entrepreneurs that make the San Diego community interesting and energetic.  They ask entrepreneurs what “wealth” means to them, not necessarily just tied to money. In the interview, I go into depth about our trademark dispute, licensing for breweries, organic application, etc … I also argue that San Diego is starting to rival Silicon Valley in terms of innovation.  Protector Brewery managed to beat everyone to market as San Diego’s first and only organic beer company and we even received a Proclamation Letter signed by Councilmember Chris Cate for that achievement.  Furthermore, we even become a finalist for the 2017 San Diego Business Journal (SDBJ) Manufacturing Awards.  Finally, our connection to Rady is still ongoing and we are providing our first lager to the 2017 Rady School of management Oktoberfest!

In summary, I developed a mantra for myself and morphed it into an alliteration to easily remember during the difficult times – Endless exposure, endless experimentation and endless endurance. I accepted that there are no easy days from this point forward and 18-hour workdays are okay.  This is a very important way to frame the journey in your mind because it is a very different path than many of the peers you may measure your workload against.  When it gets tough, keep the destination in mind, but remember that that is ALWAYS the minute-to-minute journey.  The thousands of unfinished tasks and choices to be made in a short period of time will be daunting.  But, if you can appreciate the small victories and be grateful for the daily opportunity to pursue your dream, then I believe you are already successful.

Sean Haggerty (MBA ’17) is a corporate coach, performance coach for SEALFIT and collegiate leadership coach.  He is also the founder and president of Protector Brewery. Haggerty is a Navy SEAL Chief with 11 years experience, 4 deployments to the Middle East & 116 combat operations in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn. He holds a BA in Business from Ashford University & MBA from the Rady School of Management at the University of California San Diego. 

September 27, 2017 0 comment
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Elaine Kub (MBA ’07) was one of the few students who came to the Rady School of Management directly after earning her undergraduate degree in engineering.

“It was great to learn from classmates who had already been out in the real world, and at the same time to contribute a different kind of wide-eyed energy,” she said. “Our class had a good time harnessing the startup spirit for a multitude of new clubs and organizations. Ultimately, it was the math and analytical skills, refined in Rady’s finance and investment courses, which set me on my professional career trading and writing about the commodity markets.”

  1. What impact has Rady had on your career progression?When I entered the program, I was fairly unsure about what direction I wanted my career to take, but my Rady connections opened my eyes to career opportunities I wouldn’t have otherwise known even existed. An idea and a connection will get you just so far, however. It was the knowledge and skillset learned in the classroom which truly made it happen. Without the classes and events at Rady, I would have had no idea there was so many opportunities for funding new business ideas, nor would I have known where to begin the formal process of starting a business.
  2. Has your Rady MBA enabled you to change industries or functional areas or even achieve a promotion?I started with just an undergraduate degree in Industrial Engineering and ended up with a career in the investment industry. That might have been possible without an MBA, but my years at Rady were definitely an inspiration.
  3. What event or realization served as a ‘turning point’ for during your Rady School and/or professional career?After speaking at a conference, someone came up to me and asked for reading recommendations on the topic I was presenting (agricultural commodity prices). It occurred to me that there wasn’t really anything out there. Looking at it in the entrepreneurial mindset taught at Rady, that meant there was a market opportunity! I think having a well-rounded education from Rady gave me the confidence to step up and write my book, which fits well into that particular niche of market opportunity.
  4. What is the most memorable moment from your Rady School experience?Early in the first year, we were individually captured on video, just speaking extemporaneously about ourselves. This was so we would have to watch it and truly see how we appeared to others. That was eye-opening. It really showed me the value of growing up and getting “polished” by business school before going out among others in the real world.
  5. What is the best thing about being a Rady alumni?Always having a great reason to go back and visit beautiful San Diego!
  6. Tell us a fun fact about you, or something people may not know about you.So far I’ve been to five of the seven continents. It’s just the long flight to Australia and the next leg to Antarctica which are holding me back!
September 20, 2017 0 comment
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To tell you about my internship journey, I have to go way back – back to my undergraduate years studying Electrical Engineering in Lebanon at the American University of Beirut. My focus was on renewable energy and my final year project was on simulating the breaking system of hybrid electric cars. After graduation, I faced the reality of the Middle Eastern job market and the absence of jobs in my desired field. My dreams of helping the earth in the sustainability field lost out to the reality of the offer I got from an oil and gas company. Dreams don’t pay the rent.

However, I kept the dream alive, and after getting accepted into the Rady School of Management, I focused my internship search on sustainability. With help from my career advisors I was made aware of the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) Climate Corps program. I applied and was accepted.

EDF Climate Corps is a summer fellowship program organized by the Environmental Defense Fund, whereby it selects and trains graduate students and matches them with organizations that have certain energy goals.

I got assigned to Sam Houston State University (SHSU) in Huntsville, Texas. Here are a few fun facts about Huntsville: it has only one small cinema, and I luckily found an apartment that is within walking distance. Downtown Huntsville has a lot to offer, such as several antique shops for the many people who are into antiquing I suppose.

At Sam Houston, I was engaged with the Facilities Management and Energy Management offices to help them achieve their goals of determining their university’s carbon footprint and figuring out ways to conserve energy and money. I knew the latter would be quite challenging since SHSU only paid $0.047/kWh for their electricity, or to those who don’t understand that number: extremely cheap.

I set about gathering utility data from the past three years and calculated the university’s carbon footprint. Then I focused on what I considered the more important aspect: reducing this footprint by focusing on energy efficiency. To my surprise, most of the school was using old fluorescent T8 bulbs that consume a lot of power, therefore, it was perfect for LED retrofits and occupancy sensors. Since the university had a sprawling campus with 241 buildings, I focused my efforts on specific projects: LED retrofits for the parking garage and library, and installing occupancy sensors in 300 bathrooms.

Next, I turned my attention to a major consumer on campus: the residence halls for the students. With around 1,900 rooms and close to 4,000 students, residence halls consume about 25 percent of the university’s water. I checked the rooms and noticed that the faucets and showerheads they use are 2.2 and 2.0 GPM flow rated. Therefore, by changing to 0.35 GPM and 1.25 GPM faucets and showerheads respectively, we can achieve significant water savings.

Finally, during the time I spent on campus, I interacted with some college kids and asked them what they knew about energy efficiency. This being in the heart of Texas, I wasn’t particularly surprised to find out that many had no clue. This gave me the idea to implement an energy awareness campaign, which was not part of my initial plan for the internship. I contacted the marketing department of the university and we collaborated on the implementation. Since I wanted the campaign to be student facing, and since students love hashtags, we created the campaign slogan: #SHSUgoesgreen, which became part of the university’s sustainability logo. We designed brochures with energy saving tips that will be handed out to all the dorm rooms, and we printed t-shirts with our campaign logo for the RAs to wear as they hand the brochures out, promoting conversation about energy efficiency. We will also be interacting with the students on the university’s social media account through our hashtag, and will hold social media contests to promote energy saving behavior.

Of course, it’s easy to say the bulbs or the faucets need to be changed, but it’s very difficult to convince an accountant to part with the money required to do so. That’s where the most important aspect of my internship comes in: I must financially analyze every suggested project, considering initial investments required, possible rebates, and the resulting annual savings.

I can proudly say that the projects I suggested have the potential of achieving around $200,000 in annual savings with a combined NPV of around $1,500,000, and reducing SHSU’s carbon footprint by about 750 metric tons of CO2e annually.

My time at the Rady School helped me use my entrepreneurial skills to implement long lasting changes on the campus. Not too shabby for an ex – oil and gas engineer.

Rawad Abi Saab is an electrical engineer and current Rady MBA candidate. He enjoys being active and participating in activities such as camping, hiking, exercising, swimming and surfing. He is passionate about sustainability and works in the field to ensure future generations are able to enjoy the beauty of  our planet.


September 5, 2017 0 comment
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Adding to his already impressive list of accomplishments, recent Rady School of Management graduate Jonathan Wilensky (MBA ’17) and his company Braykion took home four out of five awards at Biocom’s DeviceFest pitch contest, as well as the overall Five in 5 in the Hot Seat challenge for the event.

The 10th Annual DeviceFest & Digital Health Summit featured five innovative companies. The companies were challenged to deliver five-minute pitches to a panel of judges and investors at the conference, while receiving on-the-spot critiques.

Braykion, which was started while Wilensky attended the Rady School of Management, is a company that developed a wearable device that uses an advanced sensor fusion algorithm to monitor, record and remind healthcare workers when they need to wash their hands, preventing the spread of infections.

In addition to the recent win, Braykion also won UC San Diego’s Entrepreneur Challenge, was a finalist in the TCA Quick Pitch Competition, is currently in the EvoNexus incubator and  received admission into the CONNECT Springboard program.

More than 140 people attended the event to network and learn about the next generation of medical technologies.

September 1, 2017 0 comment
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 Hesham Zohair is a student in the Rady School of Management’s Master of Science in Business Analytics program.

1) Why did you choose to pursue a Master of Science in Business Analytics?

I have been working in marketing for five years, largely in promotion development and analysis. I wanted to take my career to a new level by going deeper into understanding consumer behavior analytics.

2) Why did you choose the Rady School of Management?

Rady is a well-established school, and one of the early schools that started a Business Analytics program. Positive feedback from students in the same program also had a strong influence on my decision to apply here.

3) What do you feel makes Rady unique? How do you benefit from these aspects?

From the very first day of the orientation, the enthusiasm was obvious from faculty, the admissions team, the career advisory office and student services – not to mention my fellow students in the class and the ones in other programs I interacted with. That alone makes UC San Diego, and the Rady School in particular, a very unique place.

4) What classes are you looking forward to taking this year?

So far, the class I look forward to the most is pricing and consumer behavior analytics.

5) How has your perspective on your career or your life changed since you came to Rady?

At first I was thinking, “I am going to study and see how it goes afterwards, fingers crossed!” However, the energy from the Career Connections department gave it quite the lift.

6) What are your goals after graduation?

I have considered two paths. The first is to try to land a job in a related field — hopefully in the San Diego area. The second to return to Egypt and establish a consultancy that focuses on marketing analytics.

7) What advice do you have for prospective students?

Again, I thought it would be not so different from my graduate studies. Fortunately, I was wrong — and the program started at full force. Dedication is key here, so work hard and stay on top of your work.

8) Anything else you would like to share?

A final word about Rady and UC San Diego. Diversity is a very important pillar here. I had not realized it until I saw it for myself. To me that makes things even more interesting — to study and work with people from very different backgrounds and cultures, understand the differences and broaden my knowledge.

August 31, 2017 0 comment
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Andrew Chappell (MBA ’12) is the Engineering Program Manager at Avitas Systems, a spinout startup funded by GE Ventures. The company is focused on offering the first autonomous robotics inspections with predictive analytics, intelligent risk-based scheduling, and digital data fusion across operations, maintenance and regulatory inputs on GE’s Predix Cloud Platform.

Prior to Avitas Systems, Chappell was a service manager, program manager and business architect at Cisco Systems where he was accountable for initiatives that automated and transformed the way intelligence was derived from Enterprise Architecture, Service Management, and master data to unlock business capabilities and reduce costs. He has also held roles at Sony Network Entertainment, Disney Parks & Resorts IT, Disney Consumer Products and a variety of startups.

In his personal time, Chappell promotes youth outreach through his involvement with the Newark Soccer Club, and local non-profit consulting. During his time at Rady, he took on prominent leadership roles on the Rady Student Board, the Technology Club, and the California Clean Innovation Conference (CACI) in 2011 and 2012.

What impact has Rady had on your career progression?

The period of time that really sums up how Rady impacted my career begins in the first few months of my second year. In September, I had two job offer letters and six company interviews setup thanks to the Rady Career team’s many networking events. Fast-forward another month and I had five offers, and five more interviews in-queue. By Thanksgiving break, I was sitting with the careers staff trying to determine which of eight offers I was going to take. I’m not sure exactly how, but I do know the Rady Careers team played a big part in how many doors were opened for me.

Has your Rady MBA enabled you to achieve a promotion?

Unequivocally yes. Since graduating in 2012, it’s no secret to those who know me that my career has been one amazing opportunity after another, and I’m proud to say that my classmates are no different in this regard. Though I know that our motivation, work ethic, talent, and a little luck play a part, I believe that our investment in obtaining an MBA at the Rady School has propelled us to new heights, and paid us back over and over again. Because of the skills I acquired at Rady, I find my opinion sought after by my colleagues, my expertise put first in conversations, and having to frequently decline great projects simply because of my own personal time constraints – an excellent problem to have.

What event served as a ‘turning point’ during your professional career?

I would have to say my contract with Disney Consumer Products. I was a Project Manager and Business Systems Analyst for Disney’s multi-billion dollar licensing system team, and my first assignment was to support my senior colleague as she determined how best to integrate and merge with this smaller multi-billion dollar licensing system at Marvel Studios. Three months into this nine-month project, my senior colleague decided to take a two-month vacation to Italy, leaving me in charge of one of the largest system mergers of all time. Fortunately, the previous months had allowed me to immerse myself in the requirements and draw up a plan so when execution kick-off came, I was ready. And as far as waterfall projects go, I was able to complete the project on schedule, under budget, and with only minimal hiccups along the way. The reason I would call this experience my turning point is because of the exposure to great mentors and leaders I had at Disney – all of whom advised me, helped mold my style and encouraged me to stay true to my own personal philosophies. To this day, I still thank these colleagues for the opportunity.

Why did you decide to come to the Rady School?

That would be the Lab to Market series as I had previously owned my own company, and I knew I wanted to start or run other companies. When visiting other business schools, I was overwhelmed with their tradition branding and the continuous narrative of “our school’s prestige will get you a job anywhere.” While that was advantageous, I felt that if I was going to go spend two years in an MBA program, I preferred to actually learn something in a practical way; the Lab to Market series lent itself well to my passions and interests, so the Rady staff didn’t have to try too hard to sell me on the benefits.

What was your favorite class and why?

Toss-up between Quantitative Analysis and Market Research – I get to chat with Professor August and Professor Nijs occasionally as well which always keeps those fond memories fresh. I think those we’re my favorite because the classes put labels and advanced logic to concepts I’d been practicing for years. Simple analysis tools such as a regression, correlations, or cross-tabular analysis gave new meaning to data-driven decision making and have been great instruments for me throughout other classes and my career.

What is the most memorable moment from your Rady School experience?

The MBA Poker Tournament in Vegas – it  feels almost like a tease to bring up such an amazing experience when Caesars Palace no longer hosts the event. The event was spectacular as it was flooded with Rady alumni, current students, and MBAs from around the globe; with our Rady team practically owning every final card table. If ever you wanted to witness Rady alumni young and old networking in an unforced manner, this was the place to do it as around every card table or rooftop bar, you were introduced to another of the great Rady-ites. To this day, I’d still vote this event as the top Rady networking event I’ve attended.

Tell us a fun fact about you.

IT Manager by day, human jukebox by night! I’ve got an odd talent where I naturally memorize the lyrics to songs I’ve heard before. Be it the latest pop song or something from the early 1900s, you can change the radio station from channel to channel and I’ll sing along to practically anything. I guess I’m trying to say that I’ve yet to meet a music trivia question or a karaoke night where I couldn’t entertain a crowd.

What is the best thing about being a Rady alumnus?

Definitely the alumni comradery. We’re all still a bunch of crazy alphas, but I truly feel like I could call any member of the Rady crew to ask a question, request a favor, or treat them to a beer/coffee – our whole alumni base feels like a family. And because of the support I received in the Rady program, I feel that same sense of responsibility to extend my hand, and help the next Rady generation as they begin the next chapter in their careers. I’m excited to see how far each of us rises as the years go by.

August 29, 2017 0 comment
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by Silvia Mah

When I entered the Rady MBA program, my goal was to develop leadership and entrepreneurial skills. I never envisioned myself leading a nonprofit that helps businesses to launch and scale, but that’s exactly what I’m doing as executive director of San Diego-based Hera Labs. I also didn’t see myself as an investor, but I’ve personally angel funded 13 startups in Southern California and supported business micro-loans for two domestic violence survivors. I love paying my MBA degree forward and through Hera Labs, I’ve helped launch more than 100 startups and boosted 150 small businesses to the next level.

UC San Diego has been very good to me over the past several years. Not only did I receive several degrees here, but I’ve never really left. I’ve served as a Teams in Engineering Service program manager in the engineering school and I currently serve as a curriculum designer and strategic advisor to The Basement at UC San Diego.

I use lessons from the Rady MBA program every day in my job, whether I’m helping an inventor refine their concept in our Hera Labs Idea Potential Lab or helping an existing business expand through our SCALE Intensive workshop.

Though I love touching the lives of entrepreneurs here in San Diego, I wanted to expand my reach on a more global scale, especially because I’m originally from Caracas, Venezuela. Last year, we hosted entrepreneurs from Russia, Jamaica, Mexico and Venezuela at Hera Labs’ headquarters in Sorrento Valley. I also traveled to St. Petersburg, Russia to conduct the first ever female startup weekend, which was (amazingly!) covered in Forbes Woman Russia.

I wanted to keep riding the wave of mindfully impacting global innovation ecosystems, so in June 2017, I launched She Invests!, a podcast featuring female angel investors, which I think are the real unicorns (as opposed to startups valued at over $1 billion, which are known as unicorns in the investing world). The podcast’s goal is to bolster angel investors’ knowledge about how to invest and find likeminded individuals they can collaborate with. It’s essential for women startups and investors to find synergies and allies with a tribe of other women like them.

So far, we’ve spoken on the podcast with remarkable women including Trish Costello, founder of entrepreneurial investing platform Portfolia; Dr. Alicia Robb, founder and CEO of Next Wave, which provides early stage financing and advising to young firms; and most recently, Xandra Laskowski, startup consultant and cofounder of OSEA Angel Investors. The learning doesn’t stop after you leave school and I’ve learned so much from the women I’ve interviewed so far in my new endeavor as a podcaster.

If anyone is interested in learning more about the world of startup funding and angel investing, I personally invite you to join Hera Labs for Hera Venture Summit on September 16 at University of San Diego. The one-day event will bring together women from both sides of the investing table. Guests will get to hear from experienced investors and entrepreneurs who’ve successfully navigated the tidewaters of funding. You can learn more and register, here. I look forward to seeing you there.

Dr. Silvia Mah received her PhD in Marine Biology from UC San Diego in 2004 before earning her MBA from the Rady School of Management in 2010. She is founder and director of nonprofit business accelerator Hera Labs, and she recently launched a podcast, She Invests, which puts the spotlight on the rising tide of female angel investors.

August 25, 2017 0 comment
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The Rady School of Management is known for its outstanding graduate programs, but an increasing number of undergraduate students at UC San Diego are taking advantage of the unique educational opportunities available at the school.

Over the past 10 years, students from a large cross section of the undergraduate population at UC San Diego have taken Rady School courses. In the 2016-17 school year, more than 12,000 undergraduate students enrolled in Rady’s undergraduate course offerings and that number is expected to grow to more than 13,000 in the next year. The three minor programs offered at the Rady School- Business, Accounting, and Entrepreneurship and Innovation are some of the most popular on campus. Rady has also collaborated with the International Studies department to provide coursework for the interdisciplinary International Business major track. By the end of the 2017-18 school year, it is anticipated that approximately 1,300 students will have declared the Business minor, 650 Accounting, 150 Entrepreneurship, and 1,100 will have declared the International Business track of the International Studies major.

Undergraduate students from a wide range of academic disciplines are flocking to the Rady School.  35 percent of all 2016-17 UC San Diego  graduates took at least one Rady class during their undergraduate academic career. Students choose Rady courses because of the robust academic experience, outstanding faculty, real world relevance, and because courses were designed to complement a student’s chosen major. Last year, more than 900 students enrolled in the most popular course, Product Marketing and Management (MGT 103), demonstrating that the topic is relevant for all majors- from Communications to Computer Science.

“The Rady School of Management offers UC San Diego undergraduates course work in the areas of business ethics, accounting, social innovation, finance, and entrepreneurship/intrapreneurship.  These are learning opportunities that are not broadly available to undergrads elsewhere on campus,” said Gila Zanelli, Undergraduate Program Manager at the Rady School. “The Rady School is an innovative school by nature and we will continue to foster and grow innovative and entrepreneurial programs for undergraduate students. We will continue to expand our curriculum to meet our students’ needs and stay on the frontier of business and accounting subjects.”

Concepts covered in the program align with the Rady School’s values of innovation, impact, collaboration, integrity and risk-taking and processes.  Undergraduate courses like Innovation to Market A and B (MGT 121) give students a taste of some core Rady themes. Similar to Rady’s MBA capstone Lab to Market course sequence, MGT 121 students work in teams to evaluate business opportunities, write a business plan, and ultimately present to a panel of industry experts. Other courses like Business Analytics (MGT 153) and New Venture Finance (MGT 187) are reflective of cutting-edge topics taught in Rady’s MSBA and MF programs though adjusted for an undergraduate audience.

“If students are only going to take only one course with us, I recommend Business Project Management (MGT 172) as it is applicable to any career path. Case studies, examples, and readings cover projects as diverse as aircraft design to theatrical productions,” said Clark Jordan, assistant dean of the Rady School of Management. “By bridging academic and industry domains, we believe our programs contribute to student success after graduation. No matter what career goals a student may have, there will always be business aspects.”

August 24, 2017 0 comment
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Just over a year ago, a group of concerned community members and I founded a startup-non-profit called “The Silicon Valley Ice Skating Association”. Many of the lessons learned in the Rady School of Management’s Lab to Market program were very helpful in doing so.

To understand the situation, I used the framework from Lab to Market to describe the market for ice rinks: There was a need for more ice rink facilities in Silicon Valley’s Peninsula community – an issue that was worsened by many facilities recently shuttering. This was happening due to the extremely high ROI of housing or commercial facilities in lieu of recreational facilities. Further, there was a gap in supply of such rinks, but a very high demand from community members. We mobilized when the market fell out of equilibrium and our home ice rink in Belmont, California was forced to close due to high maintenance costs and due to the market forces that dictated the property was worth millions of dollars to a housing developer who later purchased it.

The Silicon Valley Business Journal, Mercury News, ABC News, and other local news outlets closely followed the skating community efforts, including the efforts of our sister group looking to save a rink in San Mateo.  Since our founding a year ago, we are so thankful to be seeing movement to save our rinks and that our sister group’s ice rink is slated to re-open in September! Our non-profit also started to help build another rink in a surrounding area. We are extremely excited to welcome 2002 Olympic Team Member, Timothy Goebel to our board. Timothy brings his experience with Figure Skating in Harlem and passion for the skating community to our organization. He has been an absolute pleasure to work with.

In April 2017. Silicon Valley Ice Skating Association hosted its first anniversary gala, with the help of our amazing volunteer staff. Our Honorary Speaker, an exceptional woman, was Joanne Pasternack, executive director and vice president of the San Francisco 49ers (who has since moved to the Golden State Warriors). Some of the attendees included Kari Wolfe, Community Director of the Oakland A’s, Polina Edmunds, Olympic medalist; local elected officials and board directors; with over 300 individuals at the event.

Olympic Medalists Kristi Yamaguchi and Timothy Goebel both donated time to be auctioned off at the event in addition to numerous generous skate companies and event sponsors. Event donations were made by tech executives and community members, including those from Julianne and Scott Wagner (president and COO of GoDaddy), Charlene Low, Irvin, Abrahamson & Company CPA’s, Inc, and many others. We are so thankful for the continued support as we strive to bring more ice skating facilities to Silicon Valley!

Since the event was hosted, we had the great fortune of working with California Congresswoman Jackie Speier to continue brainstorm ideas of how to keep ice skating a vibrant part of Silicon Valley, home of many successful Olympic Figure Skaters.

My experience at Rady gave me the mindset and the toolkit to lead the effort to bring more skating facilities to the Silicon Valley. From the financial forecasting experience to building a business plan to calculating Total Addressable Market, Rady’s MBA program prepared me to launch our startup non-profit.

Sarah Feldman graduated with an MBA from the Rady School of Management in 2015. She currently works in the Bay Area as the Business Intelligence Program Manager for Tesla Motors. 

August 2, 2017 0 comment
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Engineers and entrepreneurs work together to solve problems, but oftentimes there is a divide between the two schools on university campuses. Seeing the need to bring the collaboration between engineering and business to the startup realm, the Rady School of Management and the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego launched the Institute for the Global Entrepreneur (IGE).

The Institute for the Global Entrepreneur, which launched last year, links the Jacobs School of Engineering and Rady School of Management through the Rady School’s Lab to Market core sequence, which challenges students to build a business around a real technological innovation.

“We are forging new paths with the Technology Management and Entrepreneurism Fellowship Program and continuing to deliver on our promise to impact the innovation economy,” said Rady School Dean Robert S. Sullivan. “The combination of our two world-class schools puts us in a position to do what no other institution has been able to accomplish.”

Since its inception, 17 engineering students have completed the inaugural course. Teams that have gone through the program have found success, such as obtaining funding, winning pitch challenges and receiving recognition at competitions around the country.

A shining example of the success of the program? South 8 Technologies, an endeavor launched at UC San Diego that features team members from both the Jacobs and Rady Schools. The company – which developed a breakthrough chemistry for batteries, allowing them to increase energy density at lower temperatures without compromising power – recently won first place at UC San Diego’s illustrious Entrepreneur Challenge. Additionally, the team will head to the National Clean Tech Business Plan Competition later this month hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy.

“The classes taught us how to better pitch our tech to business people,” said Jungwoo Lee, a nanoengineering Ph.D. student at UC San Diego and member of South 8 Technologies. “As engineers, we often describe a technological advance as something that’s X percentage better than Y. But to succeed in the business world, we need to describe our tech as something that results in greater value to the customer — something that is worth replacing the existing product.”

Students and recent alumni enjoyed working with Jacobs School of Engineering students because the collaboration opened their eyes to new possibilities and problem-solving strategies. Recent Rady School graduate Lloyd Hinostroza (MBA ’17) shared why he believed the program was beneficial.

“Without IGE I would have been unaware of the exciting work being done at the Jacob’s School that is being brought to the marketplace,” Hinostroza said. “And more importantly, I would not have had the opportunity to meet and work with the great research teams working on being the next market disruptors.”

Rini Abraham (MBA ’17) echoed the statement.

“I think this is a great option and would highly recommend future Rady students to actively seek IGE students and work with them,” she said. “Lab to Market serves as a great avenue to build the relationship between engineers and business students. This positive work environment is critical and I think it has given us a strong foundation for our careers.”

The overwhelming success of first group of IGE students has set the stage for the program to continue.

“The IGE partnership was built to bridge the gap and celebrate the strengths of both schools while working together to solve pressing issues,” said Sullivan. “The IGE students have proven that greater success can be accomplished when business acumen is combined with engineering skills.”

July 17, 2017 0 comment
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