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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MPAc Program Is Now STEM Designated

We are excited to announce that our Master of Professional Accountancy (MPAc) degree has been recognized as a STEM designated field of study beginning this fall. Students who complete the MPAc degree will now have the opportunity to qualify for an additional two-year STEM extension of their post-completion OPT work permission. The Rady School MPAc degree is now one of only 24% of specialized masters programs in the U.S. to earn STEM designation. Our Master of Science in Business Analytics and Master of Finance are also STEM designated programs.

The MPAc program is the Rady School’s newest graduate degree. This program was created with the guidance of world-class faculty to address the evolving educational needs of the accounting industry. With a focus on a personalized career plan and accessible, supportive faculty, the MPAc program at the Rady School is designed to prepare you for an accelerated career in accounting.

Further information about eligibility and requirements for the STEM OPT extension is available on the Department of Homeland Security website and through the International Students & Programs Office at UC San Diego.

July 8, 2020 0 comment
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Rady School Recognized as a ‘Top Veteran-Friendly School’

We are proud to share that the Rady School is recognized as a Top-Veteran School by U.S. Veterans magazine. The list of schools was compiled from market research, independent research, diversity conference participation and survey responses.

Earlier this month, the Rady School also announced a new partnership with San Diego Military Advisory Council. We will provide research support for the annual Military Economic Impact Report (MEIR), for which associate professor Sally Sadoff will lead a data analysis, supported by a group of Rady School MBA students. The MEIR is an independent annual study to comprehensively quantify the impact of defense-related expenditures on the San Diego region’s economy.

The Rady School is proud to offer benefits to our Veterans, including:

  • We will waive the application fee current and former members of the military applying to any Rady MBA program. Please contact Graduate Admissions to receive the application fee waiver before submitting your application. 
  • In the Spring and Fall, we offer complimentary GMAT Prep courses to eligible military veterans or active duty personnel.
  • As part of the Yellow Ribbon Program, we partner with the Veteran’s Administration to fund tuition and fee expenses that exceed the tuition and fee amounts payable under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
  • Our StartR Veteran program is a commitment to provide Veterans with entrepreneurial programs, resulting in greater confidence and increased skills as they transition into the civilian world. The program utilizes a “Veterans helping Veterans” approach, providing participants with inspiration, support and mentoring throughout the 10 session program. 
  • The Rady School’s small size means that our career management center can provide individualized attention as you assess your strengths and explore the career path that is right for you.

Hear from Rady Veteran alumni about their experience:

“Being accepted to Rady was a life-changing experience and really solidified the transition plan I had from the Military to the civilian world.” – Robert Sweetman II (MBA ’19)

“Being a former counterintelligence agent, I’m very inquisitive. I’m always asking questions and I always want to understand what makes things work and why. When I was able to see the touchpoints that the Rady program has relative towards healthcare, technology, broader sciences and business, [it was clear that] they don’t just you these individual disciplines. They teach you how to blend them all together in order to actually make it function. That’s what the Rady experience was for me. That was the most valuable thing they gave me: to take a dream and turn it into reality.” – Clay Treska (MBA ’19)

June 23, 2020 0 comment
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Teigan MacDonald was working on her application to the Rady School’s full-time MBA program while sitting in a hotel hallway in Fall 2018. She had traveled to Marietta, GA, to compete with her rugby club, the San Diego Surfers, in the Women’s Premier League National Championship. Teigan scored the first try of the match (like football’s touchdown) and the Surfers defeated the Glendale Merlins 34-28. That championship marked the second of three in Teigan’s rugby career, and the beginning of her new career. 

Born and raised in Modesto, CA, Teigan earned a B.S. in biology and minor in economics from UC San Diego. When she began her undergraduate studies, she thought she might like to work in a bioengineering lab. “I took my first lab class and I absolutely hated it,” she says. “I hated not having windows and not being able to talk to people. It’s a very individualized experience.” Having spent most of her life playing–and thriving–in team sports, Teigan realized that the lab environment wasn’t for her. 

Inspired by family members who’d studied economics, Teigan began taking coursework that blended her interests, such as economics of the environment and economics of healthcare. “I loved that you could take a class [on these subjects] and apply business concepts to them,” says Teigan. She’d found her niche. Before she graduated, Teigan’s dad, a stock broker, recommended that she take a personal finance class, one of the Rady School’s undergraduate offerings. 

“I remember walking into Wells Fargo Hall and thinking, ‘Why have I not been here the whole time?’” Teigan says. “‘Whatever I need to do, I want to [study] here.” she says. “I was able to meet Joe Pecore, a great instructor. I went to his office hours and he really helped me figure out what I wanted to do and why I should go get an MBA.”

Teigan began the full-time MBA program in Fall 2019. “What I’ve enjoyed the most so far about is the holistic experience I’m getting at a graduate school,” she says. “My undergraduate experience at UC San Diego was great, but I didn’t really have career networking or resume workshops. I wasn’t really close with my classmates because I was in classes with 300 students. When I came to Rady, I thought, ‘Wow, this is more than just going to school. This is building a career.” 

This summer, Teigan begins a new role in sales support at ACADIA pharmaceuticals, where she works part-time as a commercial operations analyst. She says that working closely with Rady career advisor Stephanie Sindt earlier this year helped prepare her for a new challenge. “We had internship meetups every week before COVID. It was a great way to crowdsource and work as a group and get Steaphine’s expertise. We would prepare for interviews and work on our cover letters and resumes.”

Ultimately, Teigan says that her dream job is managing sales teams for a biotech or pharmaceutical company. It’s a role that combines the competitiveness she’s fostered throughout her life in sports, the knowledge she’s gaining in her courses, and the collaboration and experience she receives among her peers. 

“People forget that you try to interact with people just like you. This program encourages you to work with different people and learn how other people operate and work,” she says. 

Teigan says that her favorite Rady experiences so far include her fall marketing class, the career treks organized by the Life Sciences Club to San Diego companies such as Thermo Fisher Scientific and ResMed, and conversations before and after class with her fellow students. Despite the current challenges and activities on hold–including rugby–due to the pandemic, Teigan remains optimistic about her future. 

“When I land an interview or get a chance to talk to a company I’m interested in, I feel like I’ve scored a try, because it’s just one step closer to my goal.”

June 18, 2020 0 comment
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Rady School Partners with SDMAC for Military Economic Impact Report & Webinar

The Rady School has partnered with the San Diego Military Advisory Council (SDMAC) to provide research support for SDMAC’s Military Economic Impact Report (MEIR). The MEIR is an independent annual study to comprehensively quantify the impact of defense-related expenditures on the San Diego region’s economy.

“The Rady School is the premier business school in the region with faculty recognized for their research,” said Mark Balmert, SDMAC Executive Director. “We are honored to partner with the Rady School on this important project. The school and Dean Ordóñez have been incredibly supportive and we look forward to continuing this collaborative and strategic partnership.”

On June 18, Dean Ordóñez and UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla are featured guests on an SDMAC webinar. This webinar will discuss the role of the coronavirus pandemic’s effect on UC San Diego and active duty and veteran students.

Dean Lisa Ordóñez
Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla

Register here for webinar.  

“At the Rady School, we are committed to our active duty service members and veterans,” said Rady School Dean Lisa Ordóñez. “Our partnership with SDMAC for the MEIR study will deliver a vital, independent look at the military’s impact on our local economy. Our faculty and student analysis of the SDMAC data provides clarity to local, state, and national elected officials who use the report to demonstrate the importance of the military on our region.”

Associate Professor
Sally Sadoff

Sally Sadoff, an associate professor of economics and strategic management, will lead the analysis of the data provided by SDMAC, supported by a group of Rady School MBA students. The report will examine the economic impact of San Diego’s military cluster on jobs, income, direct spending, supply chain, and consumption. The report will also provide analysis of military personnel counts and wages and benefits for military branches, reserves, retirees, and the VA.

Once completed, the results of the report will be shared with the community via a press conference and distributed to key groups. The report will also be available online at SDMAC.org.

In addition to the Rady School’s partnership with SDMAC, the school offers unique programs to support service members and veterans, like the StartR Veteran accelerator program, which offers mentorship, support, and inspiration from other veteran entrepreneurs. For more information on the school’s support for service members and veterans, go to: https://rady.ucsd.edu/programs/masters-programs/mba/military/

June 16, 2020 0 comment
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As the shelter-in-place orders find many of us exploring new hobbies—i.e. baking banana bread—and finding ways to fill time at home, MSBA student Diego Amenabar has been busy blogging. He has published two articles on the popular blog Towards Data Science. Not only that, but earlier this year he started his own website, Healthy-Analyst.com, where he tracks data from wearable devices to inform his health decisions, and hopes to inspire others to do the same.

What do you enjoy about writing?

I made myself a goal to practice my writing skills and what better way to do that than to write interesting blog posts? It all started trying to create a portfolio of my work for future job applications. To be able to publish some works, I need original ideas so I can also try to publish them in an important website. That’s how it started and I’ve had lot of fun and new knowledge in the journey. I will probably keep writing while I have ideas that are worth to share.

What made you decide to pursue an MSBA?

I think information is going to drive companies in the near future. Being able to understand it and get insights from it is going to be a basic skill. Many people ask why an MSBA and not a Master in Data Science, and from my end, the most important part about using information to drive a company is to being able to “read” the data in the context of the business for it to be useful. For this, MSBA is the perfect mix between technology and business.

What do you enjoy most about the Rady MSBA program?

It is an intensive program. Coming from years of industry experience, some in fast-paced companies and some in slow-paced, you start to appreciate when the intensity pushes you forward in achieving your goals, and learn [what you need to know] in the work environment. You do need to be responsible and be able to deliver on certain deadlines.

Read Diego’s Towards Data Science articles:

Parallel API connections in R

Not a Funnel! Use Sankey to represent your sales process

Follow Healthy Analyst on Twitter @healthy_analyst and Instagram @healthyanalyst.

June 10, 2020 0 comment
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The Class of 2020 has demonstrated extraordinary resilience and innovation. We are so proud to celebrate our graduates–albeit virtually–throughout the week. Please join us in congratulating these students and faculty who were selected by students as recipients of our 2020 awards.

The Robert S. Sullivan Award recognizes a student for a high level of leadership and contribution to the Rady School, UC San Diego, or larger community.

The Dean’s Award recognizes a student who epitomizes the philosophy of the Rady School (innovation, impact, collaboration, integrity and risk-taking).

Winners from all programs will be added here as they are announced. Don’t forget to join us for our Virtual Commencement broadcast 9-9:30 a.m. on June 13, 2020!


Student Awards

Dean’s Award

Jia (Jeff) Rui Wen served as the president of the Rady Finance Club and as MFin 2020 cohort rep, and participated and communicated important events and opportunities. Jia encouraged solutions and worked with the Rady faculty and administration to make the student journey better.

Robert S. Sullivan Award

Raven (Di) Deng represented the Rady School at several competitions, including the regional ACG Cup – placing second! He has been active not only in several Rady student organizations, they belonged to the UC San Diego competitive break-dancing club. With that busy schedule, Raven attended many events, representing the Rady School by being prepared and engaged.

Faculty Awards

Most Valuable Professor

Rossen Valkanov

Excellence in Teaching

William Mullins


Student Awards

Dean’s Award

Lauren Rowley was recognized by Poets and Quants as one of their 2019 “MBAs to Watch.” She held leadership roles in the Consulting Club, the Women of Rady, and the Rady Student Board. She worked on wide-ranging initiatives from rebuilding the Rady Student Board election process to rewriting the Board constitution and created a legacy that will make the school more equitable and efficient for all programs. She also brought community leaders to campus for training opportunities and meaningful partnerships, using her platform to the benefit of all students.

Robert S. Sullivan Award

Joseph Baini (left) and Samuel Jordi (below) led the Venture Capital and Innovation Club, creating opportunities for students and build their professional network. Last February, under their leadership, a Rady School team was invited and competed in the regional level VCI Competition in Salt Lake City.

Because of their consistent work dedicated to their professional field, we recognize their impact and contributions to the Rady community. Their focused vision for a meaningful personal learning experience is inspirational and shows that you can create the experience you desire.

Faculty Awards

Most Valuable Professor

Excellence in Teaching

Hyoduk Shin


Dean’s Award

Coffey Zhang is being recognized for her consistent leadership and initiative throughout the program. As the President of the Data Analytics Club, she collaborated with colleagues, faculty and staff to create learning opportunities. She has made a lasting impact not only at Rady but in the San Diego community – connecting with companies for engagement opportunities for her peers, and becoming a founding board member of the Women in Big Data San Diego chapter.

Robert S. Sullivan Award

Diego Amenabar created a culture of trust and assurance among his colleagues. Serving as cohort rep, Diego demonstrated a willingness to support and serve their constituents, being a voice for concerns and a partner for the Rady administration.

Faculty Awards

Most Valuable Professor

Excellence in Teaching

Vincent R. Nijs


Dean’s Award

Nizam Khan has been a champion for the MPAc program’s success and growth during its historic first year. He helped institute a Rady chapter of the Beta Alpha Psi organization, which will connect UC San Diego accounting undergraduate and graduate students. Nizam has positively represented Rady through professional engagement, supporting partnerships between the San Diego Accounting community and the Rady School that will benefit many future cohorts. This person has been recognized as a positive role model and enthusiastic leader.

Faculty Awards

Most Valuable Professor

James T. Deiotte

Excellence in Teaching

Wade Lindenberger

FlexWeekend and FlexEvening MBA

Robert S. Sullivan Award

Elizabeth Zhang-Chen is being recognized for her broad engagement and positive impact within the Rady community. Elizabeth was an active member of the Rady Life Sciences Club and used their connections within the local biotech community to arrange company visits for Rady students. She also used her industry expertise to share professional opportunities with Rady students, often making introductions and referrals. She is a member of the Vistage on Campus mentorship program and initiated the first ever VOC alumni reunion. She also participated in not one, but two StartR teams!

Faculty Awards

Most Valuable Professor

Hyoduk Shin

(selected by FlexEvening MBA)

Excellence in Teaching

Charles Sprenger

(selected by FlexEvening MBA)

Most Valuable Professor

Michael Finney

(selected by FlexWeekend MBA)

Excellence in Teaching

Krisztina Büti

(selected by FlexWeekend MBA)

June 8, 2020 0 comment
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Rady Students Among Finalists in Fowler Global Social Innovation Challenge

Update 6/15/20: Brilliant Biome and Ethos Mask both received funding!

Brilliant Biome finished second out of all 30 teams and was awarded a total of $10,500 in funding, including $3,000 as the winner of the Qualcomm Wireless Impact Reach Award.

Ethos Mask was awarded $1,000 as the COVID-19 Innovation Award winner.

Throughout the past academic year, student teams from diverse academic disciplines put forth their ideas for sustainable social innovation and participated in the Fowler Global Social Innovation Challenge. This challenge promotes hands-on experience and provides student entrepreneurs the opportunity to develop an idea that aligns with the mission of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

As part of UC San Diego’s commitment as a Changemaker Campus, Rady’s Center for Social Innovation and Impact (CSII) facilitated a virtual information session for interested students throughout the university, and hosted an art of the pitch workshop by StartR accelerators co-director Kim Davis King. The CSII then selected a group of social impact experts to judge the pitch competition of five UC San Diego finalists.

Now, two teams with Rady students will represent UC San Diego in the virtual global finals on June 13, 2020. Finalists from seventeen countries representing thirty universities will pitch for up to $50,000 in seed funding.

Ethos Mask created a supply chain to manufacture 3D printed facemasks and distribute them to local healthcare facilities in need. Two full-time MBA 2021 students, (left to right) Amir Hassan and Nick DiGirolamo, and FlexWeekend MBA 2021 student, orthopedic surgeon Mark Schultzel, M.D., came together shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic struck the U.S. to quickly produce and supply these reusable masks.

Brilliant Biome offers a personalized microbiome approach to drug addiction and recovery. This team participated in the Spring 2020 cohort of StartR, and is comprised of scientists (from left to right) Sierra Simpson, Ph.D.; Gregory Peters, M.S., Ph.D.; and clinical project manager and FlexEvening MBA 2021 student Carrie Herbert.

RSVP here to attend the virtual Global Finals on Saturday, June 13 at 5 p.m.!

June 8, 2020 0 comment
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