Paul Wynns (MBA ’20) has been involved with aviation and aerospace throughout his entire life. His experience includes flying combat missions and managing aviation maintenance programs as a pilot in the U.S. Navy.  As a civilian, his career focused on new product prototyping for military aircraft, where he led teams in cultures and business environments, ranging from startups to the world’s largest aerospace company.

1) Why did you choose to pursue an MBA?

I’m enrolled as a Full-Time MBA candidate because the next steps of my career won’t come from technical credentials, awards or certifications. I need access to communities and networks where I can stretch my collaborative skills and find like-minded colleagues across a diversity of technical and life experience backgrounds. I’m excited to share and learn with the other entrepreneurs and professionals in my cohort, and the Full-Time program provides the perfect environment for collaboration and relationship building.

2) Why did you choose the Rady School?

Rady’s culture of innovation and collaboration resonates strongly with me. My first job after leaving the military was with a defense startup working out of a facility in the back of a strip mall. A few years and two acquisitions later I found myself working for the world’s largest aerospace company. My experience in military, large and small business cultures showed me that innovation comes from diverse points of view.

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

Rady’s relative newness as a school allows it to be agile, responsive and forward-leaning in its approach to the MBA programs. Its connections to the local San Diego startup ecosystem are full of exciting opportunities for insight, mentorship and venture capitalist funding. I’ve taken on a position as CEO and president of an aviation training startup, Flex Air, that’s just emerged from its first round of seed funding. I’m eager to apply the lessons and resources that Rady offers toward building my startup. With Rady’s help, I want to create the next generation of commercial and military pilots that will lead us into the second century of aviation.

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

I’m really looking forward to the MBA Quantitative Analysis class. My last lap through graduate studies was as an engineering student more than 20 years ago! In the intervening time, the accessibility of statistical and quantitative analysis tools has grown so significantly that they can be used by managers at all levels, not just specialists. It’s exciting to think that deeply powerful, analytical decision aids can be applied directly to my startup using open-source tools.

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

I graduated with my master’s degree in engineering at the height of the dot-com craze in the late nineties. It was an exciting time, but I didn’t take the time to cultivate relationships and networks after I graduated. My military career kept me busy, but I’m sure there were missed opportunities. This time I want to focus more on the people that I meet instead of the skills that I’ll acquire. Even after just a few weeks at Rady with my cohort, and a few meetings with the school’s network of supporters and faculty, I’m confident that my new focus is the right one.

6) What are your goals after graduation?

Humanity is entering its second century of aviation, and at a time when commercial air travel demand is larger than ever, our labor supply of qualified pilots for aircraft of all types is very challenged. Recent reports from The Boeing Company have shown that the Asia Pacific region will need more than 240,000 new pilots, while 127,000 will be needed in the North American market. Meanwhile, existing pilot workforces are approaching FAA-mandated retirement ages here in the U.S. There’s huge demand for innovative, agile aviation training that energizes and recruits talent from the Millennial and Generation Z communities. At Flex Air, I’ll continue building a team of aviation professionals, student pilots and investors that will serve this market and create the next generation of aviators.

October 9, 2018 0 comment
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Entrepreneurship is a fundamental aspect of the Rady School of Management educational experience. Whether students are pursuing an MBA, Master of Finance or Master of Science in Business Analytics degree, students have the opportunity to take an idea and transform it into a company at the Rady School. The StartR Accelerator – a free six-month long acceleration program open to all Rady School students and alumni – sets the stage for students to get businesses running through educational seminars, access to funding, mentorship connection and more. Recently, the StartR Spring Class of 2018 gathered to present their pitches to Rady School students, faculty, alumni and the San Diego business community.

Robert Sullivan, Dean of the Rady School of Management, kicked off the event by celebrating the success of the StartR program.

“Since its inception in 2013, the accelerator program has launched 61 companies,” Sullivan said. “Twelve of these teams have been accepted into the prestigious EvoNexus accelerator, and 60 percent of the teams that have been launched are still operational. StartR teams have generated more than $40 million in capital.”

A successful graduate of the StartR program returned to campus to speak about his company, CB Therapeutics. Sher Ali Butt (MBA ’16) entered the Rady School with an idea – to create cannabinoids without the use of marijuana plants. These compounds are not psychoactive. They do not produce a “high” or have potential for abuse and are already sold in the market similar to supplements. Since graduating from the Rady School, CB Therapeutics has been accepted into EvoNexus and Y Combinator, raised millions of dollars in funding and was recently selected as a finalist in a TechCrunch pitch competition in San Francisco.

“Rady was the best thing that happened to me and my business,” Butt said. “I came with an idea and left with a business. As a scientist, I was comfortable with creating the product, but I had no idea where to begin with the business side of things. CB Therapeutics would not have been possible without the Rady School.”

Here’s a look at the companies that were pitched at StartR Demo Day.


If you’re a fan of free stuff, TrySpree is for you. Developed by Ben Koonse (MBA ‘19), the website scrapes the internet to search for products offering free samples. The user is able to select free samples they’re interested in testing and choose to try them risk-free. TrySpree is then able to offer custom-selected samples to the customer based on their selections and interests. The company has created the most revenue out of any company actively involved with StartR, currently generating $1 million in revenue annually.


Traditional shopping malls are struggling to meet the demands of dedicated online shoppers, but Rady School student Chuan He (MBA ‘18) is developing a solution to help both malls and customers improve their shopping experiences. Hylite is a precise marketing system that uses LED lights to identify preciswe shoppers’ location within a shopping mall. Shoppers are able to navigate better within a mall and can receive product offers from businesses in the location. Hylite plans to launch in China where almost 1,000 new malls were built last year alone.


Modern businesses have more data than they know what to do with in order to make informed decisions. AnalytixHub – launched by current student Fay Mehr (MBA ’19) – created a company that connects data scientists and analytics experts with companies and research institutions. The platform is also moving toward creating a database that provides advanced data analysis services and consultations on demand.


Sugar-packed sodas are out and healthy beverage options are in! Bevea, created by Kabir Gambhir (MBA ‘10) creates beverages from a nutrient-dense coffee cherry byproduct. The beverage Cascaraa provides a solution for the 23 million tons of byproduct created annually while creating a low calorie, low sugar and delicious sparkling beverage. The drink comes in five flavors – original, mint basil, lavender, hibiscus, and rose chili.

Evolution Smart Bag

The average American woman owns 13 purses and handbags from seven different brands. To cut down on the clutter, Rady School graduate Suvi Tanninen (MBA ’18) created a smart bag designed to fit the needs of women on the go. The modular, washable and customizable bags come in a variety of shapes, colors and sizes and are equipped with pockets that provide wireless charging.

In addition to the pitch presentations, Herb Meistrich was presented with the Guru Award in recognition of his mentoring support of students in the StartR program. The audience also voted on their favorite pitch and selected Koonse of TrySpree to receive a $500 check for his company.

Due to the success of their startups, each five teams have chosen to continue building their companies after graduating from StartR.

“It’s inspiring to see these teams succeeding and contributing to the local and national economy,” Sullivan said. “The Rady School community is proud of their efforts and we are looking forward to watching them continue to grow.”

October 4, 2018 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!
October 2, 2018 0 comment
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Whether you’re looking to start a company or enhance your entrepreneurial skills, the Rady School of Management supports students eager to develop innovative companies. A new position was created to connect students and alumni to the wealth of entrepreneurial resources located at UC San Diego and in San Diego – one of the top cities in the world for startups.

Karen Jensen, the former program manager for the California Institute for Innovation and Development (CIID), recently assumed the role as the Rady School’s Entrepreneurship Advocate. Inspired by Rady students’ desire to launch and sustain businesses, the position was created to support students in every step of their entrepreneurial journeys.

“We have an ever-growing list of startups launched here at Rady,” Jensen said. “Our goal is to take these startups and get them beyond the campus environment, connect them with resources and community mentors, and continue to help them grow and flourish once they leave Rady.”

Jensen will also organize the Triton Innovation Challenge, a competition that spotlights commercially promising, environmentally focused technologies generated by UC San Diego’s students, staff and faculty. She will also coordinate mentorship breakfasts designed to connect startups with local industry leaders. She will continue to provide operational support to mystartupXX accelerator program dedicated to increasing the number of underrepresented students and alumni at UC San Diego looking to get involved with startups.

Local connections

San Diego is a hub for startups and innovation, and Jensen is leveraging her position to serve as a liaison between the Rady School and the San Diego startup community. America’s Finest City is home to a number of prestigious accelerators, clubs, conventions and events dedicated to connecting top talent with individuals eager to break into the booming startup scene.

“I’m looking forward to reaching out and connecting with leading entrepreneurs in our local community,” Jensen said. “One of the most exciting aspects of this positions for me is to identify resources for our startups so that we can connect them and watch them continue to grow. There are so many opportunities and assets here in San Diego that will be extremely useful to our students’ startups.”

In addition to connecting Rady School students with the local community, Jensen is working to get them more involved with the talented and innovative students across the UC San Diego campus. With a number of plans in place to increase collaborations with the brilliant minds of students in the Jacobs School of Engineering, Scripps Institution of Oceanography and beyond, Jensen’s priority is to ensure Rady School students have access to a diverse network of talented peers.

“There are so many intelligent and driven students here on campus with a diverse set of skills,” Jensen said. “We would be remised to not tap into the talent we have right here on campus. I’m making it a priority to work to forge more connections on campus to see what kind of partnerships and collaborative efforts we can create.”

Future goals

Since Jensen assumed the role, she has been involved in launching the new DRIvE program – Developing Rady Innovative Entrepreneurs, a mentorship initiative that connects current students with industry leaders who serve as coaches to help guide startup founders during their entrepreneurial journey. Although the program is in its infancy, DRIvE has already been able to connect six student-run companies with 25 mentors.

“The idea is that the startups participating in the DRIvE program aren’t just idea or pre-prototype — these startups are launched and have been able to secure some amount of funding,” Jensen said, “DRIvE provides mentorship opportunities to help these startups to the next level so that they can continue to grow.”

As Jensen settles into her new position, she looks forward to supporting students and helping them achieve their goals.

“My favorite aspect of this position is that I have the opportunity to work with students one-on-one,” Jensen said. “I admire their ambition and dedication and I am constantly impressed with their innovations. It’s an honor to be able to help them out during their journey, and I am so excited to be a part of their mission.”

October 1, 2018 0 comment
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About the Company 

Solar Turbines is a $2 billion annual revenue-generating subsidiary of Caterpillar Inc. and is headquartered in San Diego. The company designs and manufactures gas turbines and compressors for oil and gas applications.   

The Process

I took Professor Hyoduk Shin’s Operations class (Management 413) and recognized the importance of supply chain management. He highlighted how Tim Cook – the CEO of Apple Inc. – is an operations guy, and that Amazon is successful because of its supply chain. Elon Musk even said, “The supply chain stuff is really tricky.” I felt supply chain was a good field to master. A few students from the 2018 Full-Time MBA cohort interned in the supply chain department at Solar Turbines the previous summer and spoke very highly of their experience. As a local company, Solar Turbines targets UC San Diego and Rady School students for its internship program. Rady Career Connections provided my resume to Solar Turbines for a supply chain internship, and I was very fortunate to receive an offer for the summer internship program.

The Project 

My manager, Jason Brown, leads the team responsible for ordering filter (air inlet filtration) parts, and saw that my electrical engineering and computer science background and MBA are a rare skillset, so he devised a new summer project that would capitalize on both skills. He identified that Solar Turbines needed a revamped product management tool to measure the Life-Cycle Cost of operating a Solar Turbines engine based on different filter mediums.

I was up for the challenge, so I decided to meet with technical leads and engineers and refined the vision of the new tool. After reading a few research papers about life-cycle cost, I found a more accurate model in a research paper authored by a Solar Turbines engineer and used it as a baseline. When I told the engineers what I aimed to make, they were in disbelief. One engineer asked, “When does your internship end? You’re going to make that in a month?” I boldly replied, “Yes. I will.” And I did it. When I started, I didn’t know Visual Basic. I learned the language and coded a seven-page UserForm to run accurate life-cycle cost simulations. The simulator does side-by-side cost comparisons to convince customers to choose one filter medium over another.

When I demonstrated the program to Solar Turbines executives, the reception was great. Senior principal engineers thanked me for the awesome work. My second level manager said it was fantastic. The Executive Sponsor of the Internship Program (the Director of Engineering) showed his gratitude, said it was the best implemented summer project and noted that it will be adopted by the company. Terra Saltzman-Baker, Director of Rady Career Connections, came to the presentation for support. Additionally, my product management professor at Rady, Vish Krishnan, stopped by the office to see a demo of the program as well. This internship was a remarkable experience, and I’m glad I could make an impact this summer.

The Experience

The internship was filled with many events hosted by the internship program coordinators, Ryan McKennon and Jericho Menvielle. We enjoyed campus tours, business unit overviews, professional mixers, an intern lunch, a happy hour and a summer BBQ. Work-life balance is an essential part of the Solar Turbines culture.

Joey Talia graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS). He went on to work at Intel for over five years as a Circuit Designer and is now pursuing his MBA at UC San Diego – Rady School of Management (MBA ‘19). He is the president of the Rady Technology Club.


October 1, 2018 0 comment
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Christopher Russow graduated from the Rady School of Management’s FlexMBA in 2014.

“I actually started in the FlexEvening program, and during my second year at Rady I ended up switching to the FlexWeekend program for greater flexibility,” he said. “This is a perfect example of why the Rady FlexMBA was perfect for me, as it gave me the flexibility to manage my career, my personal life and my pursuit of an MBA degree all at the same time.”

After graduating in 2014, Russow’s MBA experience helped give him the confidence to leave his previous job to go out on his own and pursue a career as an independent consultant. After consulting for a few years both domestically and in Europe, an opportunity came his way in 2017 to start a business with a former boss and mentor Sean Marsh, who is now his business partner.

“Our startup, Tangello, is disrupting the mortgage industry by creating a mortgage-less solution to affordably finance and buy a home that you love,” Russow said. “Starting your own business isn’t what it looks like on TV, and the skills I learned at Rady, as well as the support of the Rady School and my cohort, have really been invaluable.”

Outside of his current role with Tangello, Russow enjoys spending time with his wife Gabi, investing in real estate and other startups, and tinkering with classic German cars.

Why did you decide to come to the Rady School?

I had been thinking about getting my MBA for several years, and shortly after moving to San Diego to start a new job, the desire to get my MBA bubbled to the surface once again. I weighed the options available to me locally, as well as what I could commute to (either by car or plane) and decided that the Rady School of Management FlexMBA program was the right one for me.

The first thing I thought about was the fact that UC San Diego is part of the California Public School System, and as a lifelong supporter of public education, this was very important to me. Second, there are a bunch of great aspects to Rady’s program offering; the faculty are outstanding, the program is flexible and perfect for people who are working full-time, and it’s centered around entrepreneurship and the idea of cultivating startups and helping its alumni to enter the startup world. Finally, you just can’t beat the location, both of the school (you can see the ocean from campus) and of San Diego itself.

What was the most valuable thing you learned while at the Rady School?

It’s hard to really pick one thing as the “Most Valuable” thing that I learned while at Rady. I could talk about the Business Model Canvas, which is an incredible tool that anyone starting a company should utilize. I could also talk about the Lab to Market program, which isn’t really “one thing” but was a critical part of my Rady education. But even more than what I mentioned above, the thing that really stood out to me was the overall shift in the way that I evaluated business opportunities before my MBA and how I evaluate them now.

Before Rady, any time one of my friends mentioned their “new innovative startup idea” I would share in their excitement and enthusiasm, but not really understand if that idea had strong potential or how it could become a real business. After Rady, I feel like I can comfortably evaluate (on the back of a napkin sometimes) the potential of new business ideas and can quickly assess the value of those ideas in real time. This skill, of being able to evaluate opportunities, is what eventually drove me to start a company, based on what I felt was an incredible opportunity in a market I had a competitive advantage in.

What advice do you have for prospective students?

Take your MBA program seriously. I know that should go without saying, but it’s easy to get caught up in work, life, etc. and let some of the deliverables from your MBA program fall by the wayside. The reality is that what you get out of your MBA program will be directly correlated with what you put into it. Attend events, lectures and social gatherings. Take classes that are outside of your comfort zone and that challenge you. The MBA experience is about filling any gaps in your skill-set, forging lifelong bonds with your cohort, and creating a solid foundation from which you can pursue your post-MBA goals, whatever they may be.

September 21, 2018 0 comment
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As I entered my first year at the Rady School, I prepared to hit the ground running in search of my summer internship. It is true what the Careers Connections team warns about during orientation – the recruiting season is well underway by the time first year students start at Rady. It is important to start the job search early! In October of 2017, I attended an on-campus IBM panel featuring IBM employees in different roles, including distinguished engineers, offerings managers and Summit Program representatives. After the event, I used LinkedIn to connect with the Summit Program panelist to set up a call to get a more detailed perspective on what the Summit Program entailed. The Summit Program representative had gone through the program and was able to answer my questions and provide guidance on how to apply for the internship successfully. What I was not aware of initially was that this representative had direct access to the program’s recruiting team and recommended me on the back-end for a position.


A few months before the start of the internship an IBM in San Francisco, the Summit Program managers paired me with an industry leader for the State of Washington. My assignment was to conduct a sales prospecting analysis to help implement best practices for the territory sales team. Working closely with each team member was valuable in that I got 15 different perspectives on what it is like to be an IBMer and learn about the company culture simultaneously.


The Summit Program sponsored travel to Dallas for orientation and to your host region for summer assignment purposes. Since the territory I was assigned was Washington State, my host manager and I planned for me to fly to Seattle twice, one for client-facing meetings and the second for internal planning meetings. The opportunity to travel was a nice perk to have as an intern and it also gave me a taste of life at IBM.


Participating in a summer internship is an invaluable experience for an MBA student pursuing the corporate track.  What better way to “test drive” a new industry, company and geography? My experience this summer allowed me to explore the tech industry and live in the Bay Area where tech is king. While my summer was filled with travel and a heavy workload, I was able to find networking opportunities inside IBM and in the San Francisco area. Needless to say, it was nice to have a month off before my second year at Rady commenced!

Elizabeth Castaneda is a member of the Rady School of Management Class of  2019 MBA cohort. She is also the president of the Women of Rady student organization. 


September 20, 2018 0 comment
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2018 marks the 5 and 10 year anniversaries of the Rady School of Management MBA Classes of 2013 and 2008, and the two classes will be gathering at the Bali Hai hotel in Mission Beach to reconnect and celebrate.

Are you a member of the Class of 2008 or 2013 MBA cohorts and haven’t purchased your ticket to the festivities yet? Here are 10 reasons why you should attend the reunion.

1) Reconnect with your classmates

How long has it been since you’ve seen your Business School friends? If you had to stop and do some mental math, it’s probably been too long. Reconnect with your old classmates, catch up on their lives and network with business leaders and entrepreneurs in America’s Finest City.

2) Raise a Mai Tai with Dean Sullivan and Rady faculty

Bali Hai is well known in town for their Mai Tai drinks, so stop by the event to chat with faculty and show them how much you’ve accomplished since crossing the Commencement stage while bonding over a legendary libation.  Don’t be nervous, they aren’t grading your papers anymore.

3) Spectacular views of San Diego Bay and the downtown skyline

A picture is worth a thousand words, and this picture speaks for itself.

4) Social media threads aren’t real conversations

No matter how many times you’ve “liked” their posts or commented on their pictures, social media interaction isn’t the same as connecting in real life. Take the communication offline and meet up with your friends from Rady in person!

5) Revisit and reframe your journey with fellow alumni

Chat with your fellow alumni and learn where their journey has taken them, and share your turning point moments as well. Have they started a business and found success? Did you transition careers or achieve balance? Toast to progress and learning from one another.

6) Change and aging is universal

And it’s for the better, of course! Like a fine wine, you’ve only gotten better with age. Join a group of educated intellectuals eager to have a stimulating conversation with you about the state of the business world or stock market. And, of course, everyone wants to see pictures of your kids, both furry and human.

7) Re-connect your educational life with your personal life

Earning an MBA is no easy feat. Throughout your journey, the emotional support provided by your fellow classmates was invaluable to your success. Raise your glass to aced exams, flawlessly-executed presentations, long night study sessions and a network of scholars and professionals. 

8) Because, photo booth

Complete with ample props and goofy disguises. The more you use – and the more people you can cram in the booth – the better the picture.

9) New business ideas and chances to learn

Did you join a pioneering biotechnology company after graduation? Interested in making a move into a different industry? Finding success with your Lab to Market startup? Connect with your fellow alumni to find what other opportunities and ideas are out there. You never know what insight you’ll be able to gain, or what companies are hiring!

10) Party with Erwin at one of San Diego’s top waterfront venues

You know you’ve missed him – here’s your chance to give him a hug! Erwin + photo booth + Mai Tai’s = Best. Reunion. Night. Ever.



September 18, 2018 0 comment
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The MBA may be the most well-known choice for people looking to enhance their career prospects in business. However, it’s far from the only option. In fact, many students are choosing specialized master’s degrees over the traditional MBA path.

Here’s what you need to know about this increasingly popular option, along with one San Diego school helping students position themselves for career success with specialized master’s degrees.

The MBA may be the most well-known choice for people looking to enhance their career prospects in business. However, it’s far from the only option. In fact, many students are choosing specialized master’s degrees over the traditional MBA path.

Here’s what you need to know about this increasingly popular option, along with one San Diego school helping students position themselves for career success with specialized master’s degrees.

More Expertise, Less Time

If you’re interested in gaining expertise in one particular aspect of business studies, a specialized master’s may be in your future. A recent US News & World Report article on the uptick in interest in specialized master’s degrees highlighted the allure of specialized master’s degrees for candidates who want to hone in on and deepen their knowledge of a specific subject.

Consider the case of Swagata Chakraborty, a recent graduate from the Master of Science in Business Analytics program of the Rady School of Management at the University of California San Diego. After working for two years on Citi’s Global Decision Management team in India, he’d reached an impasse.

“Towards the end of my tenure at Citi, I was trying to figure out whether I wanted to pursue an MBA or wanted to hold on to my engineering roots. On one hand, I loved working with datasets and writing codes to come up with analytical insights and on the other hand, gaining a formal degree to prepare for the business side of industrial problems seemed imperative to me,” says Chakraborty.

Rady School of Management UCSD

Enter the Business Analytics specialized master’s degree at the Rady School. “When I learned about the Business Analytics Program at the Rady School, I realized that this is exactly the specialization I was looking for,” continues Chakraborty.

Not only do specialized master’s degree programs support the acquisition of advanced knowledge, but they often do so in less time and for less money — without the extensive work prerequisite.

Another appeal of specialized master’s degree programs? They can be tailored to respond to financial, environmental and other global disruptions,” according to The Globe and Mail.  In other words, if you want a degree that will enable you to hit the ground running as an authority in an emerging area, specialized master’s degrees provide exactly that.

One other thing to keep in mind about specialized master’s degrees, recently declared by Forbes to be “the hottest new MBA [that’s] not an MBA at all?”, is that they do not preclude the possibility of continuing on to an esteemed MBA degree in the future if and when career advancement or a shift into general management mandates it.

Rady School of Management

Introducing Specialized Master’s Degrees at the Rady School

One school with uniquely compelling specialized master’s degree programs is UC San Diego’s Rady. Specifically, its Master of Professional Accountancy (MPAc), STEM-designated Master of Finance (MFin), and Master of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA) programs offer invaluable skills for students aiming for the inside edge.

MFin program executive director and instructor Michael Melvin says, “The MFin program is a one-year quantitative program aimed at giving the students the skills required to be competitive in today’s financial industry. It is more technical than an MBA program and specializes in finance with an emphasis on data analysis.”

Meanwhile, MSBA executive director Raymond Pettit insists, “Our graduates learn not just how to code, for example, but also how to take results and relate them to business objectives. In addition, the program exposes the students to all the major areas of business where analytics play a key role. This cross-fertilization of learning and techniques across multiple business dimensions actually strengthens the insights and methods that our students can bring to the table when they do arrive on the scene of their respective jobs.”

This mindset of customizable curriculum and hands-on industry experience is also being rolled into the Rady School’s most recent specialized program, the Master of Professional Accountancy (MPAc), which is currently enrolling its first cohort. In addition to preparing students for the CPA exam, networking and career services are a key component to helping MPAc grads get a jump on their careers.

No mention of Rady is complete without mention of its extraordinary location. Chakraborty says, “The location and the culture of California serve as an advantage. Proximity to the various companies in the Bay Area as well as the several startups that are booming in California just make networking and collaborating in the professional frontier easier for us.”

Pettit adds, “Data and the ability to make sense of data is endemic across nearly every facet of business today. Our students have outstanding local assets in the biotech, health sciences, communications, government, and analytical services industry, and our network and reach of possible experiences, internships, capstones, and job placement is rapidly extending further to include key US business centers, such as San Francisco, Boston, and New York.”

And while these programs may be shorter than their MBA alternatives, the intensive curricula are designed to pack in a lot, including sought-after practical experience.

“Every student gets a chance to work with a company to implement a real project. We get to interact with companies and solve real-world problems.  This provides students with the experience and confidence required to navigate through the new field of analytics,” enthuses MSBA alumnus Snehanshu Tiwari.

Tiwari is also quick to point out Rady’s extraordinary faculty. “Each and every professor has a very strong research background. Profs [professors] go out of their way to help the student succeed in the program. They are always open to discussions and open to feedback. In fact, “Every staff member in the school wants us to succeed and do well,” Tiwari says.

The takeaway for everyone from recent grads to mid-career employees hoping to level-up? A specialized master’s degree may make sense from an advancement perspective.

But it is also important to note that all specialized master’s degree programs aren’t created equal. According to Forbes, education consulting firm Eduvantis founder Tim Westerbeck recently cautioned that “among the many useful programs are a few that were ill-conceived, and are less likely to give graduates the outcomes they want.”  Because of this, choosing to pursue a specialized master’s degree is only part of the equation.

Also critical? Choosing the right school — which brings us back to Rady. If you’re looking not just for a degree, but also for the quality assurance that goes along with a degree from a top-ranked institution, Rady’s specialized master’s programsmay be the perfect fit.

September 17, 2018 0 comment
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Hundreds of business leaders and entrepreneurs have emerged from the Rady School of Management since the School began in 2003. Alumni have joined the ranks of leading corporations or industry changing companies, or launched startups of their own. When asked about their success, these alumni have all attributed their accomplishments to the support, insight and guidance of Rady School faculty.

“The Rady School has grown exponentially in the past 15 years, thanks to the support and dedication of our faculty,” said Rady School Dean Robert Sullivan. “Their commitment to providing a top quality business education for our students coupled with their internationally-recognized research paves the way for continued success.”

Rady School curriculum explores innovation across a number of industry sectors while encouraging students to think entrepreneurially. Faculty lead two programs – StartR and Lab to Market – that encourage MBA students to develop and launch their own companies. Through the accelerator program and core curriculum, students gain real-world knowledge on how to create, scale, market and gain funding for their innovations.  In the last three years alone, the number of entrepreneurship-related graduate courses has surged from 12 to 28 with the number of faculty teaching an entrepreneurship course growing from 13 to 23.

“My time at the Rady School of Management gave me the startup bug – without this experience and having amazing professors, I would not be successful with my company today,” said Brett Blazys (MBA ’14), creator of, a consulting and finance firm.

In addition to providing top-tier instruction and curriculum immersion in the classroom, Rady School faculty are leading the way in their fields of research. These contributions to scholarly research have been recognized by a number of publications — the school’s faculty have been ranked #1 in the U.S. for intellectual capital by Bloomberg Businessweek, 14th globally for faculty research by the Financial Times and 12th globally in student rating of teaching quality by The Economist.

Harry Markowitz, an esteemed Rady School professor who earned the 1990 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, continues to be a thought leader in the field of investments. He is recognized for being the mastermind behind modern portfolio theory, a theory on diversifying stocks to get the best returns. Markowitz’s contributions to economics have earned him the title as “the greatest investor of all time.”

For the past two years, Professor Uri Gneezy was recognized as a highly cited researcher for his contributions to the field of behavioral economics. Gneezy’s has been featured in prominent academic publications, including American Economic Review, the Quarterly Journal of Economics and Econometrica. His research has also been referenced in the New York Times, Washington Post, Marketplace, Quartz, TIME, The Financial Times, the Boston Globe and the Economist.

Two Rady School faculty were recently awarded prestigious fellowships for their respective fields. Assistant Professor of Finance Richard Townsend was awarded the Kauffman Junior Faculty Fellowship in Entrepreneurship Research, a $35,000 grant given to junior faculty members contributing to the field of entrepreneurship. The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation selected Charles Sprenger, Associate Professor of Economics and Strategy, to receive a Sloan Research Fellowship. Sprenger was gifted $55,000 to further his research, and was recognized as a “rising star” in his field.

15 Years of Excellence

In its 15 years, the Rady School has grown exponentially, adding numerous tenure-track professors to support the growing programs, and experts in burgeoning fields of research.   Today, the school has approximately 40 permanent faculty, many of whom have joined the Rady School from some of the nation’s most prestigious schools, including Harvard, Stanford, Chicago Booth, MIT, and the University of Cambridge, among numerous other institutions.

This fall, two new members join the ranks of esteemed Rady School faculty. Raymond Pettit, an accomplished advertising, media and marketing research expert, will serve as the Executive Director of the Master of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA) program and the Center for Business Analytics. Robert Sanders, who recently earned his Ph.D. in Business Administration from the University of Chicago, joins the Rady School as an Assistant Professor of Marketing.

“We are thrilled to welcome Raymond Pettit and Robert Sanders to the Rady School of Management,” Sullivan said. “Sanders joins a number of outstanding world-renowned faculty going above and beyond to provide stellar student experiences, inspiring the next generation of business leaders. Pettit’s expertise and experience in a number of fields ensures that the Rady Master of Science in Business Analytics program will continue to grow and inspire the next generation of business leaders.”


September 12, 2018 0 comment
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