We are proud to once again recognize the exceptional students and faculty selected by the graduating cohorts for awards. These members of the Rady community are thought leaders and changemakers, and they uplifted those around them throughout the challenging cirumstances of the pandemic.

The Robert S. Sullivan award, named in honor of the Rady School’s first Dean, recognizes students for a high level of leadership and contributions to the Rady School and larger UC San Diego community. The Dean’s award is given to students who epitomize our school values. Here are the award recipients, as recognized by each graduating cohort.

Full-Time MBA

Robert S. Sullivan Award

Kayla Winter

Excellence in Teaching

Hyoduk Shin, Jimmy Anklesaria Presidential Chair in Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Associate Professor of Innovation Information Technology and Operations

Most Valuable Professor

Vish Krishnan, Jacobs Family Chair in Management and Engineering Leadership, Technology and Operations

FlexEvening MBA

Robert S. Sullivan Award

Angela Garais

Dean’s Award

Veronica Zax

Excellence in Teaching

Michael Finney, former Visiting Associate Professor

Most Valuable Professor

Thales Teixeira, Visting Associate Professor

FlexWeekend MBA

Dean’s Award

Brian Lattimore

Excellence in Teaching

Krisztina Büti, Assistant Adjunct Professor of Finance

Most Valuable Professor

Michael Finney, former Visiting Associte Professor

Master of Professional Accountancy

Robert S. Sullivan Award

Yingyuan Tong

Dean’s Award

Siqing Lyu

Excellence in Teaching

Robert Schmidt

Most Valuable Professor

James Deiotte, Executive Director, Master of Professional Accountancy

Master of Business Analytics

Robert S. Sullivan Award

Miloni Shah

Dean’s Award

Ganesh Baleri

Excellence in Teaching

Terrence August, Jerome Katzin Faculty Fellowship, Associate Professor of Innovation, Technology and Operations

Most Valuable Professor

Vincent Nijs, Associate Professor of Marketing, Associate Dean of Academic Programs, and Co-Director of the Master of Science in Business Analytics Program

Master of Finance

Robert S. Sullivan Award

Alexey Sokolov

Dean’s Award

YiZhou Tao

Excellence in Teaching

William Mullins, Assistant Professor of Finance

Most Valuable Professor

Rossen Valkanov, Zable Endowed Chair in Management Leadership,Professor of Finance Co-Director, Master of Finance Program

June 16, 2022 0 comment
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Join U.Care to Help Today’s Innovators Prepare for Tomorrow’s Success

To commemorate the Day of Caring’s founding year, the entire UC San Diego community showcases its loyalty and support with 1960 minutes of giving. Between May 12 at 6 a.m. through May 13 at 2 p.m., supporters can choose their cause, share stories, and make a gift to UC San Diego that will impact the world now and for generations to come. For 2022, Dean Ordóñez has personally committed to match all gifts to any area of Rady, dollar for dollar, up to $5,000 with a gift to the Rady School Career Management Center.

The Rady School’s programs prepare the next generation of diverse, innovative leaders of technology-driven companies through education, experiential learning, mentorship, and venture funding.

The unique experiential learning opportunities that provide students with the opportunity to explore the many sides of innovation and entrepreneurship include:

  • The nonprofit StartR accelerator offers six focused tracks, including programs for diverse groups and veterans, to participate in focused, hands-on company development.
  • Pitch competitions: Triton Innovation Challenge and Border Innovation Challenge focus on bringing to the spotlight promising solutions and technologies to address environmental issues and meet the efficiency and security challenges of the region’s ports of entry.
  • Rady Innovation Fellows program deploys teams of Rady graduate students to support the commercialization of new technologies and assist entrepreneurs in various stages of development.
  • Our mentorship program DRIvE (Developing Rady Innovation Entrepreneurs) connects teams with high‐level mentors who provide guidance in the early phases of their startups.
  • The Rady Venture Fund offers investment capital to entrepreneurs as well as education and experience in venture capital management, including opportunities to invest in Rady alumni startups.

Visit giveto.ucsd.edu to choose any gift fund OR click below to support these Rady funding priorities:

In May of 2021, the Rady School community raised $12,905, including funding for Undergraduate Clubs, including the UC San Diego Speech and Debate team, fellowships, MPAc program, and greatest needs.

Powered by your support, we will prepare future leaders for new venture creation and growth, bringing to market solutions for global good and impacting the economy through job creation, revenue growth, and increased diversity.

Visit ucare.ucsd.edu for more information.

March 22, 2022 0 comment
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Demo Day Shines the Spotlight on StartR Entrepreneurs

Seven teams. Seven ideas. Unlimited ingenuity. 

For almost two hours, students of the Rady School of Management, Rady alumni, a UC San Diego faculty member and a U.S. Marine Corps veteran pitched their startup ideas to a rapt virtual audience of students, faculty and investors.

The presentations were part of Demo Day, an event held twice a year to showcase the startup ideas of entrepreneurs in the StartR accelerator, a program of Rady’s California Center for Innovation and Development (CIID).

The winner was Vogel, a company founded by Rady alum Govind Krishnamurthi (MBA ’07) and his business partner Samir Rayani. The company won the Audience Choice Award of $250 as well as the unanimous vote of the three-judge panel.

The centerpiece of Vogel’s platform is a data privacy app that was launched a year ago.

“Essentially, we are putting privacy control in the palm of your hands,” Krishnamurthi said to his audience. “With one click of a button, you can control what Facebook knows about you, what Alexa is probably listening to you and your wife or spouse in your bedroom, what LinkedIn knows about you when you are changing jobs.”

Since its inception in 2007, StartR has served as a launchpad for entrepreneurs by giving them access to a broad base of mentors, networking opportunities, and guidance to refine and build on their ideas.

The program is offered in six tracks — Rady students and alumni, Inclusion, Impact, Veteran, Teen and Blue. To date, StartR has supported 266 startup teams and helped them raise $212 million in funding for businesses that bridge science, data and innovation. The accelerator’s success is a reflection of the Rady emphasis on quantitative and analytical skills, rigorous discovery, innovation, and cutting edge faculty research.

Suman Kanuganti (MBA ’14)

One success story is Rady grad Suman Kanuganti (MBA ’14), and a StartR alum ’14. He called in during Demo Day to share his thoughts about the accelerator’s impact on his own entrepreneurial journey. Kanuganti is founder and CEO of two companies in the artificial intelligence space, Aira.io and Personal.ai.

“As founders, we have ideas. We have a lot of conviction about how our background or skills can potentially fulfill that conviction to become reality,” Kanugunti said. “But there’s a lot more to executing your vision.  I found being in a group of likeminded people, surrounding yourself with other founders will all of a sudden unlock conversations that you never probably had before.”

Dean Lisa Ordóñez welcomed the Demo Day gathering. Professor Kimberly Davis King, who has over 17 years of experience in the venture capital industry and is currently a partner at Launch Factory, lecturer at the Rady School and an adjunct professor at San Diego State University, moderated. Tim Schwartz, director of Rady’s CIID, introduced the center’s team. The three judges in the panel for StartR Day were Caitlin Wege, president of Tech Coast Angels; Jason Knapp, entrepreneur and CEO of CraftedPour.com; and Olin Hyde, StartR alum, and CEO and founder of Leadcrunch.

Applications for the next cohort of the StartR Accelerator are open through February 24th, 2022. Apply for StartR Rady, Impact or Inclusion. The next Demo Day will be held June 1. We hope you will attend the event and support our next cohort of StartR entrepreneurs!

StartR programs spotlighted at this year’s Demo Day:

Maisha Cobb (MBA ’21): MPact International, a scalable platform to measure and understand diversity of perspectives, openness to change, and psychological safety in organizations.

Lauren Hackney (FlexEvening MBA ’23): Rooted Reusables helps companies meet zero waste goals by providing reusable food ware products and services to eliminate the dependence on single-use plastics and other single-use alternatives.

Govind Krishanamurthi (MBA ’07) and business partner Samir Rayani : Vogel, a privacy platform with an app that aims to ensure data protection and greater consumer privacy.

Mark Thever (MBA ’13): Lift Seltzer is developing micro-dosed, cannabis-infused seltzers with 2mg THC and 6mg CBD for celebrating, socializing, or hanging out.

Cedric Paige (MSBA ’22): Rola, a social media aggregate and digital networking platform that removes the tediousness and inconvenience from the networking process.

Former U.S. Marine Corps Communication Strategy and Operations Officer Zack Doherty: TrueVote, a social platform for empowering Americans to be politically informed and engaged.

UC San Diego faculty member Dr. José Ricardo Suárez: Kryos is developing portable cooling garments for personal and industrial use.

February 23, 2022 0 comment
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MSBA Students and Alumni Lead Virtual Networking Program at Rady

Professor Vincent Nijs teaches MSBA students

The global Rady alumni community has become even better connected during the pandemic. Over the past two years, MSBA students and alumni have developed a strong networking program to expand their connections within the Rady community—across San Diego, the Bay Area, Europe, Latin America, and Asia. As they graduate with strong quantitative and analytical skills and embark on their job search, students are connected with alumni working for industry leaders including Petco, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Kimberly-Clark, EY, Deloitte, and the Mayo Clinic.

In early 2020, Snehanshu Tiwari, Vishnu Sharon Ramesh, and Sakshi Sharma (all MSBA ’18) contacted MSBA faculty, offering their support to the graduates who would soon be entering the pandemic job market. Coffey Zhang (MSBA ’20), then a student, co-led the effort of matching alumni with current students based on shared interests, desired industries, or functions. Alumni volunteers met virtually with students to assist with needs including resume review, interview tips, and job referrals. “Essentially this is a long-term relationship you’re building,” says Zhang, who became an alumni lead for the program in 2021. “It has been a very fulfilling experience for me to help the students.”

Anshul Sachdev (MSBA ’21) was a student lead for the networking effort in 2021. When he entered the MSBA program in fall 2020, he began connecting with alumni and assembled more than 100 contacts to form a WhatsApp group called The Rady Alumni Interaction Network (TRAIN). Zhang, Sachdev and their co-leads’ efforts led to increased alumni engagement, and even more students supported in the initiative’s second year. Zhang says that Professor Vincent Nijs was instrumental in fostering connections across cohorts. “Without him being the glue between cohorts, we couldn’t have done it.” 

Vishnu Sharon Ramesh, Data Science Tech Lead for Sinclair Broadcasting, was among the initial group of alumni who offered to help. “All the students I have interacted with have been very thankful, grateful and most importantly quite eager to learn.” He says, “The school propelled me to be where I am today and for that I will always be grateful. I will be extremely proud if I can contribute in any small way to the school’s future successes.”

Diego Amenabar (MSBA ’20) agrees, “As you can imagine, it has been an opportunity for me to expand my own network.” The Head of Advanced Analytics for Latin American retailer Cencosud says, “Usually, people only think about expanding their network by connecting with people with more experience, alumni, and so on. But there is value in expanding your network with younger people and from different cultures. You never stop learning.”

Success stories from the networking initiative are plenty. Sanya Khera (MSBA ’21), who helped organize the 2021 effort, was able to match with mentors who leveraged their Rady MSBA into product manager roles. Sachdev also had success, connecting with an alum who helped him secure a referral interview within a week of their first meeting. Organizers of this networking effort say that plans are already in the works not only to continue it next year, but to expand it, including to other programs. “All alums are assets for the school and for each other,” says Sachdev.

February 17, 2022 0 comment
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Meet the Teams of StartR Demo Day February 2022

Since its founding in 2012, the StartR non-profit accelerator program has provided resources, mentoring and access to funding opportunities to more than 230 teams. The program is offered in six tracks—Rady, Inclusion, Impact, Veteran, Teen and Blue, each providing unique opportunities to learn from experts and receive guidance for building a sustainable business. In total, companies that have participated in StartR have gone on to raise more than 158 million dollars.

Traditionally, twice a year, StartR teams have the opportunity to pitch their startups in front of the San Diego business community at a live event called StartR Demo Day. While the event will not occur in-person due to social distancing guidelines, the show will go on February 16th in a virtual format. Get familiar with the StartR teams below, and RSVP to attend Demo Day here.

MPact International

A scalable platform designed to measure and understand diversity of perspectives, openness to change, and psychological safety in organizations. Because when employees feel valued and safe, customer value grows too.

Rady School alum: Maisha Cobb (MBA ’21)

Rooted Reusables

Rooted Reusables helps companies meet zero waste goals by providing reusable food ware products and services. We are rooted in our mission is to eliminate the dependence on single-use plastics and other single-use alternatives.

Rady School student: Lauren Hackney (FlexEvening MBA ’23)

Vogel Privacy

Take care of your privacy, simply!

Rady School alum: Govind Krishnamurthi (MBA ’07)

Lift Seltzer

Microdosed, cannabis-infused seltzers with 2mg THC and 6mg CBD for a light, uplifting, social buzz; whether for celebrating, socializing, or hanging out, Lift Seltzer is here to provide a refreshingly new type of experience.

Rady School alum: Mark Thever (MBA ’13)


Rola is a social media aggregate and digital networking platform that removes the tediousness and inconvenience from the networking process.

Rady School student: Cedric Paige (MSBA ’22)


TrueVote is a social platform for empowering Americans to be politically informed and engaged, in order to increase trustworthiness, accountability, and ultimately effectiveness throughout our political ecosystem.

Zack Doherty


We are developing the most powerful portable cooling garments for personal and industrial use.

José Ricardo Suárez

Learn more about the Rady School’s California Institute for Innovation and Development and StartR Accelerator Program here.

February 9, 2022 0 comment
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Here are the 2021 Rady Student and Faculty Award Winners

We are proud to once again recognize the exceptional students and faculty selected by the graduating cohorts for recognition. These members of the Rady community are thought leaders and changemakers, and they uplifted those around them during the challenging circumstances of the past year.

The Robert S. Sullivan award, named in honor of the Rady School’s first Dean, recognizes students for a high level of leadership and contributions to the Rady School and larger UC San Diego community. The Dean’s award is given to students who epitomize our school values of innovation, impact, collaboration, integrity and risk-taking.

This year, a third student award, the Daniel J. Reed Memorial Prize for Innovation, was created in honor of FlexEvening student Daniel Reed, who passed away during the course of this academic year. Daniel embraced a full life, and he was passionate about technology and innovation. This award recognizes a student or group of students who have demonstrated a commitment to entrepreneurship, technology and innovation.

The student and faculty honorees listed below will be recognized during commencement ceremonies on Sunday, June 13th, 2021 at 10 a.m. Join us for a livestream of commencement here.

Full-Time MBA

Robert S. Sullivan Award

Daniel Henderson

Dean’s Award

Angela Wan

Most Valuable Professor

Hyoduk Shin

Excellence in Teaching

Alison Bloomfield Meyer

Master of Professional Accountancy

Robert S. Sullivan Award

Peggy Gu

Dean’s Award

Zian Deng

Most Valuable Professor

Jim Deiotte

Excellence in Teaching

Mario Milone

FlexEvening MBA

Robert S. Sullivan Award

Erica Do

Robert S. Sullivan Award

Brian McArthur

Dean’s Award

Theodore Pease

Daniel Reed Memorial Prize for Innovation

Kristen Black, Ivana Bonaccorsi, Fletcher Damon, Victoria Lesley, and Adriane Lesser

Most Valuable Professor

Amy Nguyen-Chyung

Excellence in Teaching

Michael Finney

Master of Finance

Robert S. Sullivan Award

Yifei Wang

Dean’s Award

Aaron Kharwar

Most Valuable Professor

Rossen Valkanov

Excellence in Teaching

Joseph Engelberg

FlexWeekend MBA

Robert S. Sullivan Award

Mark Schultzel

Dean’s Award

Param Narayanan

Most Valuable Professor

Michael Finney

Excellence in Teaching

Hyoduk Shin

Master of Science in Business Analytics

Robert S. Sullivan Award

Anshul Sachdev

Dean’s Award

Yiyi (Tony) Liang

Most Valuable Professor

Vincent Nijs

Excellence in Teaching

Hyoduk Shin

December 10, 2021 0 comment
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UC San Diego Speech and Debate Team Ready for the Next Stage

UC San Diego’s Day of Caring, U.Care, takes place May 13-14th 2021. As part of our effort to support student success, we have highlighted UC San Diego’s Speech and Debate team and undergraduate clubs for your giving consideration. All gifts in support of UC San Diego Speech and Debate during u.care will be matched dollar for dollar up to $5,000 by an anonymous donor. 

Growing up in Topeka, Kansas, Robert (Coach) Campbell idolized University of Kansas basketball star Wilt Chamberlain. Young Coach had dreams to follow in Chamberlain’s footsteps: representing his university across the country and filling trophy cases with hardware that glimmers like a college kid’s own smile after a hard-fought win. Coach achieved all of the above, but he did not do it on the basketball court. He became the winningest debater in the University of Kansas’ history. Since 2018, the seventy-five year-old Campbell has been building a nationally recognized speech and debate program right here at UC San Diego’s Rady School of Management.

It’s not common to find a collegiate speech and debate organization connected to a business school. Campbell, who ascended to executive positions across seven different industries, has taught undergraduate business ethics and marketing courses at the Rady School for over a decade. “I can credit my whole career to public speaking success,” he says. A Northwestern MBA graduate, Campbell built his career in financial services, ultimately becoming Chief Operating Officer of a billion-dollar bank. With more than 20 years banking experience, he then transformed companies including California’s second-largest insurance brokerage—developing strategic plans and negotiating deals that spared businesses from bankruptcy. Campbell also coaches UC San Diego’s Adwave and Commercial Real Estate teams.

Campbell’s professional expertise and experience are an invaluable component of the Rady School’s mission to develop future business leaders. In concert with a strong quantitative curriculum, opportunities such as speech & debate cultivate the public speaking and critical thinking skills essential to succeeding in business. It’s a sentiment that Coach believes in firmly and relays often. So much so, that his message on the importance of effective communication echoes from his students to their peers outside of the classroom.

Coach Campbell

In 2018, Coach was approached by two undergraduate students (who were not in his classes but had heard about his communications expertise) to resurrect their student-run speech and debate organization, which would be forced to disband without the support of a faculty advisor. “I’d been thinking about this since I came to Rady,” says Coach. “I took this as a sign.” Any fledgling organization needs wings to fly, and Coach agreed not only to be the club’s advisor, but their head coach, too.

Campbell’s impact on this team extends beyond both of those titles. He has invested innumerable hours over the past three years building a program that is now ranked third in the nation, Junior Division, by the National Parliamentary Debate Association. In his good humor, Coach jokes that his role is that of “a leader, a cheerleader and a sheep dog,” a combination that encompasses his passionate dedication to the success of these students. In pre-pandemic times, one would often find Coach on campus leading speech and debate practices until 11 p.m., holding court at a café for the team’s general business meetings, driving the team to competitions throughout Southern California (in “Ruby,” his red Ford Explorer and the adopted team mascot), and walking for miles across said competition sites to celebrate each student.

The speech and debate team celebrates their success (photo taken pre-pandemic)

“The amount of work that goes into coordinating this team is beyond a full-time job. The fact that he does all of this is unbelievable,” says Vice President of Coaching Jasmine Moheb. “He is my superhero in every way possible.”

 Moheb, who studies political science and international relations, first fell for speech & debate while in high school in Woodland Hills, CA. She joined the UC San Diego team in the fall of 2018, and has helped shape the organization as lead coach to her fellow student coaches, working closely with Campbell. In addition to building a close community, Moheb says that helping other students build their public speaking skills has been the most fulfilling part of her speech and debate experience. “It’s a really exciting feeling to think that you’ve made a positive difference in someone’s life, that now they’re more confident or want to pursue a new path because they have these skills,” she says.

Jasmine Moheb

Earlier this year, Moheb was selected as an alternate in the prestigious Fulbright Cultural Exchange Program, and she credits her own speech and debate experience for her interest in policy work. Her long-term goal is to become an intelligence analyst in Washington D.C. “Debate is much more than picking a side and sticking to it. It requires you to think critically and articulate your thoughts. It requires you to stay informed and get a deeper understanding of the issues. You develop a drive to seek knowledge constantly,” Moheb says. 

The pandemic put the team’s critical thinking skills to the ultimate test. As speech and debate programs across the country shut down, Moheb, Campbell and their team transitioned online. They continued to practice several times a week, and they introduced new styles of debate to their repertoire. Their persistence, as well as the now-virtual nature of competitions, led the team to debate against highly competitive institutions on the East Coast and abroad, such as Oxford University.

The team holds their annual banquet on Zoom in 2020

“The most rewarding part of this all is the pride I see on the faces of these kids when they realize they’re representing UC San Diego, and they’ve won,” Campbell says. “We started with a dozen kids in fall 2018. This year we surpassed 50, and next year we expect 50-70 as our reputation grows.” The organization is open to undergraduates and graduate students, and includes students across diverse disciplines and majors. Unlike some established debate programs, Coach runs his team as a “no-cut sport,” welcoming all students who have an interest, regardless of experience. “If you haven’t done it before, we’ll make you good at it. If you have, we’ll make you great,” he says. He’s not kidding. In the past year, team members participated in 20 tournaments and earned more than 60 awards, including 13 in first place.

As we inch closer to a more open world, the speech and debate team is anxious to build on a successful year in cyberspace. Growing this organization in size and status rests the on team’s ability to travel to competitions outside of Southern California (when safety guidelines permit). Ultimately, Coach says, this requires resources beyond what the team can expect as a student-run organization. His hope is that the team will be recognized as an official campus program, granting it more permanence and stable funding. “I feel a sense of urgency,” he says. “At 75, I may be running out of time!”

 Much like he did for the University of Kansas, Campbell has led this team to many victories, as a full trophy case at the Rady School goes to show. More so, he has helped shape dozens of future leaders to engage in critical thinking, sharpening their communication skills and preparing them for successful careers.

“It’s purely out of his passion because he feels like it’s his calling to help this team,” says Moheb. “We need to find a way to really celebrate him. The world really needs to know what he’s done. But more than that, we need to implement the learnings he has taught us into our everyday lives. That is how we can truly honor Coach Campbell and the life-changing impact he has made on this community of students.”

May 10, 2021 0 comment
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MFin Student Aaron Kharwar On a Sustainable Future in Finance

“For me, a career in finance represents a way to help clients achieve their long-term investment goals, ensuring that they will be able to sleep soundly at night knowing that their capital will be preserved and grown,” says MFin student Aaron Kharwar.

Kharwar, who earned a B.S. in economics and M.S. in Finance and Private Equity, came to the Rady School to gain experience applying programming to finance and putting finance theory into practice. Post-graduation, Kharwar wants to pursue a career as a financial or investment analyst. “I am particularly motivated by responsible investing as a way of allocating funds to companies that have sustainable work practices, but also achieve high financial returns,” he says.

We talked to Kharwar, an admissions ambassador, about his experience in the program thus far, including experiential learning opportunities, collaboration with his peers, and the faculty who have been instrumental in his education.

About Aaron:

  • MFin ’21
  • Hometown: London, UK
  • B.S. in Economics and Management from King’s College London; M.S. in Finance and Private Equity from The London School of Economics
  • Previous internship experience in investor relations, investment analysis and insights 

What led you to pursue your MFin at the Rady School of Management? 

There were many factors that led me to choose the Master of Finance degree at the Rady School of Management. First, the MFin at Rady was designed to be a modern and innovative finance program, meeting the data-driven needs of the industry by equipping students with coveted skills in quantitative finance and data science. Additionally, the program culminates with a unique Capstone project where students will have an invaluable opportunity to work with leading financial firms on a cutting-edge research project. Attending Rady Preview Day also exposed me to the top-notch facilities on campus (including state-of-the-art Bloomberg terminals) as well as the exceptional faculty, who are motivated to innovate their classes with current research. The Rady School has an esteemed reputation in quantitative finance with Nobel Laureate Harry Markowitz. 

What skills did you want to build on in coming to Rady?  

I was very keen to learn how to apply finance to programming languages such as Python and I can assuredly say that, after two quarters, I have learned how to do that! The Rady MFin curriculum ensures that students have hands-on experience with Python in their core classes as well as a dedicated Collecting and Analyzing Financial Data class taught by Professor Michael Reher. My second core goal was to bridge the gap between finance theory and practice and representing Rady in the CFA Institute Research Challenge with my brilliant MFin classmates was a great opportunity to replicate the work of an equity research analyst. We wrote a research report on a local San Diego BioTech firm, valued the firm, issued an investment recommendation and presented our findings to a panel of CFA charterholders. 

Kharwar and his peers compete in the CFA Research Challenge with academic mentor, MFin Executive Director Michael Melvin

How have faculty made an impact on you so far?

The Rady faculty are at the top of their game in bridging finance theory with practice. In all of my classes, the professors have made a large positive impact by sharing fresh-off-the-press articles from the Financial Times or Wall Street Journal that cogently apply the concepts that we learned in class. We also went through several case studies that enabled us to immediately draw connections with the material and the real world. Professors also emphasize the importance of data-driven methods in Python as this a core skill that the financial industry is seeking. One quote that stayed with me was from Professor Rossen Valkanov in our financial econometrics class: “Liquidity… is like … love. Everybody knows what it is, but it is hard to explain.”

How have you been learning from your peers so far?

A unique offering from the MFin program is that our assignments are predominantly done in teams, which is highly rewarding as teamwork is common practice in the industry. From working with my peers, I have learned that ‘a problem shared is certainly a problem halved’. Through collaboration with my diligent peers, we shared productive ideas that led us to succeed in our assignments.

What are the goals of the finance club? What does your role as president look like? 

The Rady Finance Club’s mission is to educate our members and affiliates in current topics in finance, support members in career development, and provide a professional, comfortable, and enjoyable environment to promote growth and support for each other. Upon graduation, we endeavor to inspire and empower members to become ethical and entrepreneurial leaders.

As President, I lead and work with my fellow club officers (across events, marketing and technology) to ensure that we bring the highest-quality events to the Rady School student community. I am particularly excited about our recent partnership with the CFA Society San Diego, that will empower students to succeed in investment management and pursue their CFA charter. My highlight of the Fall quarter was moderating our first virtual MFin Alumni panel and learning from the highly impressive alumni on how to succeed in the industry when we graduate.   

What does your involvement as an admissions ambassador look like? 

As an admissions ambassador, I enjoy speaking with prospective students and answering any queries that they may have about the MFin program or student life at Rady via email or Zoom call. Once we are back on campus, I also look forward to meeting incoming students in person and helping them make the most of their Rady experience!

What are your goals for after earning your MFin? How is this program preparing you to get there?

My goals after graduating are to break into the industry as a financial or investment analyst. The MFin program, with its deep variety of electives, offers students a fantastic opportunity to take classes from various disciplines (from computational finance methods to valuation in corporate finance). Recent talks at the Brandes Institute/Rady Summit and Rady Innovation in Finance Series have also been excellent to hear from experts in their field on current developments in finance and learn about how their work has been impacted by these developments.

I’m confident that Rady will provide me with an invaluable, diverse skillset that I can put to great use in an entry-level role.

March 31, 2021 0 comment
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Lessons in Leadership from Dean Lisa Ordóñez

Dean Lisa Ordóñez made history becoming the Rady School’s second-ever dean in 2019. Previously Vice Dean and professor at the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management, Ordóñez is the first woman and first person of color in the role.

Ordóñez, who earned a bachelor’s in psychology, a master’s in marketing, and a Ph.D. in quantitative psychology all from UC Berkeley, is a recognized expert in the field of ethical behavior in organizations. She received a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to support her work, and her research has been cited in numerous media outlets including New York Times, Forbes and The Economist. While Vice Dean at Eller, she also co-chaired the university-wide strategic plan.

A “double first gen” graduate—Ordóñez, who grew up in rural California, was the first in her immediate family to graduate both high school and college. Early in her career, she says that she struggled with impostor syndrome, feeling like she did not belong in academic and professional settings where her achievements had landed her.

Ordóñez is frequently asked to speak about her expertise and experiences, including many discussions of women in leadership. “There have been so many women’s leadership conferences over the past several years. This indicates that we are working on changing organizations to support and encourage more female leaders,” she says.

“We as women may unconsciously go into these discussions and think we are the problem. I don’t want us to think that we need to be ‘fixed,’ and that doing so would make the issues we face go away. Change needs to occur on multiple levels: 1) supportive organizations; 2) male colleagues as allies, 3) and yes, where we have the most direct control, develop ourselves as leaders.” 

Recently, she presented a talk called, “Advice for All of Us,” at the 2021 WACUBO Women’s Leadership Forum. Inspired by the advice she says she needed to hear when she was younger—Ordóñez shared the lessons below for other women who may be feeling alone in their leadership journey.  

You belong and you are entitled.

Childhood in rural California

I grew up in rural California. My parents did not finish high school, and I became a first-generation college student. When I got there, I didn’t feel like I belonged. Even in graduate school, most of my classmates had parents who were professionals. I doubted if I should be there.

The truth is that you do belong. You are entitled.  Why do I use the word entitlement that often has a negative connotation?  Malcolm Gladwell discusses the positive side of entitlement in his book “Outliers.”  Everyone should feel entitled to information and help.

You are entitled to ask questions and get answers. You are entitled to ask for help and to receive it. You are entitled to feel like you belong.

Learn to accept help.

Professor at the Eller College of Management

When I was a new professor, a colleague Terry Connolly wanted to do research with me, but I was afraid that others would not see me as competent if I worked with a senior researcher.  So, I initially said no.  Luckily, he was persistent and we became great research partners.  I owe him a great debt as an early mentor.

A friend of mine, a highly published economist and the current Provost at the University of Minnesota Rachel Croson, received an NSF ADVANCE Grant. She put together a networking and mentoring program to help women faculty in economics rise in the ranks. She received too many applications, so, being the excellent research that she is, she randomly assigned women in and out of this program and then measured the results. Women were more likely to receive tenure and move up the ranks who completed this program.

As women, we might have to ask for help. It’s important to make connections and receive it. No one does this alone.

Put people first and empower others.

Vice Dean at the Eller College of Management

When I was first appointed Vice Dean at the University of Arizona Eller College of Management, my husband asked me how I was preparing for this new role. He laughed at me when I said I was working on a new time management system so I could get more done. He reminded me of the leadership expert Marshall Goldsmith’s famous book title “What Got You Here Will Not Get You There”, which meant that I had to do more than get tasks done.  

One of my faculty members came to me complaining about her salary.  I was not prepared, and I said something to the effect of not being able to do anything for her then. She left the conversation upset with me for not taking the time to listen to her. I quickly learned that it wasn’t about getting work done– it was about considering people and their needs. They needed to know that I cared more about them than anything else.

You got this!

Dean at the Rady School of Management

When I was interviewing for my current role, the recruiter asked me if I was nervous about my upcoming campus visit. He seemed surprised when I confidently said, “no.” I told him that I was just going to present me—if “me” worked, great.  If “me” didn’t work, that was fine since I had a great job already with people who cared for me.

It’s not that I am hubristic about my abilities in my new position. I just know that I am prepared.  I know what data I need and what questions to ask before making big decisions. More importantly, I now know how to listen.

Leadership can be hard.  People do expect you to have the answers. How do you truly listen and take advice while “having all of the answers?”  I don’t pretend to know everything. Remember that you set the tone as a leader. If you push or cross the line, so will those watching you. You don’t need any advice from people on what to do when you feel that pang in your gut.  Do the right thing.

Lessons Learned as a Leader

  1. Never act on the first story you hear– triangulate with others.
  2. Staff and some faculty do not have tenure and often need coaxing to share their opinions.
  3. No one cares how much you get done if they don’t think you care about them.
  4. Make integrity your true north– everyone is watching and will mimic your behavior.
  5. Learn how to be comfortable with conflict and how to find solutions that benefit the organization.
  6. Be comfortable not knowing everything by working through the expertise of others.
  7. Remember to laugh and have fun– we spend too much time at work to be miserable.
  8. Show up as your authentic self.

Follow Dean Lisa Ordóñez on LinkedIn and Twitter.

March 16, 2021 0 comment
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