How the Rady Community Is Showing Care During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Over the past couple of months, the world has experienced changes, challenges and grief like we have never known. Each day brings with it new hurdles to overcome, but also new reasons to be hopeful.

The UC San Diego community is working tirelessly to find solutions to the obstacles we face as a result of the the pandemic. From critical research to combat COVID-19 to making masks for healthcare workers, we are proud to witness inspiring acts of resilience and care.

In recognition of the ways the community has shown care during crisis, and to support these efforts as the crisis continues, UC San Diego has organized u.Care, a “Day of Caring” from 6 a.m. on May 14-2 p.m. on May 15. During these 32 hours, our UC San Diego community is encouraged to share inspiring stories, and, if you are able, donate a gift of any amount to make a difference.

We are so proud of the many Rady School alumni, partners, staff, students, and faculty who have found ways to support others in this difficult time. We have shared several of these inspiring stories below:

You can also dedicate your gift to UC San Diego’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund and participate in a $350,000 match thanks to a generous challenge grant from The Conrad Prebys Foundation.

Richard Castle (FlexWeekend MBA ’13), the co-founder and president of Cloudbeds, a hospitality management software, launched the #HospitalityHelps initiative. The online platform facilitates connections between hotel properties that want to make their beds available to healthcare agencies, organizations or individuals who need them. Within a few days, the more than 1.2 million beds had been pledged at HospitalityHelps.org.

Alumni working at the Scripps Research Institute are conducting a study to improve the real-time surveillance of contagious respiratory illnesses such as COVID-19 using data from smartwatches and activity trackers. Through the app-based DETECT study, Katie Baca-Motes (MBA ’09 and Director of the All of Us research project), Royan Kamyar (MBA ’10, physician and CEO and founder of Owaves app) and project manager and incoming MBA FlexWeekend student Lauren Ariniello, along with their colleagues, are crowdsourcing anonymized data across the United States.

“By evaluating individual changes to heart rate, sleep and activity patterns, as well as logged respiratory symptoms and diagnostics test results, the Scripps’ team hopes to complement traditional public health surveillance methods, potentially leading to earlier detection and containment of current and future outbreaks in various geographical locations,” said Baca-Motes. 

Three MBA 2021 students have organized a GoFundMe campaign to manufacture and distribute 3D-printed mask kits. Since organizing the campaign in early April, Amir Hassan and Nicholas DiGirolamo (MBA ’21) and Mark Schultzel (FlexWeeend MBA ’21) have delivered more than 500 face mask kits to local organizations in need.

Snehanshu Tiwari, Vishnu Sharon R. and Sakshi Sharma (MSBA ’18) contacted Professor Ken Wilbur to offer their help reviewing resumes, preparing for interviews or make introductions for current MSBA students graduating this summer. When Professor Wilbur shared this update on LinkedIn, even more alumni offered to help!

Sean Haggerty (FlexWeekend MBA ’17), founder of Protector Brewery, made curbside pickup and delivery available, in addition to offering the brewery’s supply of filtered water available to those in need. Protector Brewery has pledged to donate $1 from each order to Team Rubicon, a non-profit organization supporting veterans impacted by COVID-19.

Grace Evans Cherashore, a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council and Executive Chairwoman of Evans Hotels, is leading an effort to make hotel rooms open and available to healthcare workers. Medical workers who present ID at The Lodge at Torrey Pines, Catamaran and Bahia Resort Hotels are eligible to receive a discount of more than 50%. “The medical workers want to be in this fight as long as they can and a hotel allows them to be isolated,” Bill Evans, co-owner of Evans Hotel told 10 News. The Evans family has been a generous partner to the Rady School.

Jaden Risner and Clay Treska (FlexWeekend MBA ’19) founded Family Proud an app to help patients and their caregivers and loved ones manage their care, while they were students at the Rady School. In Spring 2020, the Family Proud platform was updated to include resources and support for those affected by COVID-19.

Steve Prestrelski (FlexWeekend MBA ’06) is the founder and chief scientific officer of Xeris Pharmaceuticals, which is offering its GVOKE Pre-Filled Syringe—an injectable treatment for diabetes patients who experience severe hypoglycemia—for $0 copay through May 31st.

The team at Indigo Marketing Agency, founded by Claire Akin (MBA ’10). prepared a list of tips for working from home. “Indigo Marketing Agency is a company run almost completely virtually by mothers of young children,” said Akin. “We saw so many of our clients struggling to adapt, so we wanted to offer our tips and tricks for working at home (even with small children) … I believe that we are helping our team members support their families and spend time with their children. It’s the best of both worlds and it provides a highly fulfilling lifestyle!”

Rady Alumni Board president Josh Kuss is the Senior Director of Commercial Strategy at Illumina and the commercial lead for the company’s San Diego Emergency Management Team. The team has been working since March “defining and implementing the strategies for how we keep Illumina’s employees safe, while ensuring supply to our customers, many of which are on the front line of SARS-COV-2/COVID19 research, tracing, and treatment. We tackled how to transition to work from home, and are now in the process of determining a sound return to work strategy,” said Kuss.

Academic Assessment Senior Analyst Christine McMahan volunteers with a national organization that has provided 100,000 masks for front-line workers. McMahan also offered to sew masks for Rady School staff and faculty in need. She made 65 in total, sewing every evening until she ran out of supplies.

Krithi Bindal (MBA ’17) is the founder and president of Aroga Biosciences, a regulatory writing biopharma firm which has been donating their scientific expertise to peer-review pre-print literature related to COVID-19 research.

“We are in a period of information overload,” said Bindal. “Misinformation about COVID-19, especially information lacking scientific rigor, can lead to significant risk to the public. I feel it is our duty as scientists to ensure effective communication and to help delineate scientific factual results from fiction. After all, our job as scientists is to find the truth.”

“The name of our company Aroga is based on the sanskrit term ‘arogya”, which means free of disease. We hope to continue to contribute to freeing the world of disease as we help to develop treatments for ailing patients. As we navigate these challenging times, our mission is unchanged and is stronger than ever.”

Sara Jones (Flex Weekend ’13) is the CEO of Plum Blossom Creations. She is offering free workshops on The Big Four of Mental Toughness.

“As an Unbeatable Mind student, I learned first-hand the power of the Big 4 of Mental Toughness in my fight against Triple Negative Breast Cancer. I used the Big 4 to feed my Courage Wolf, stare down my fears and thrive through the health crisis that threatened my life… 

As lives were disrupted by homeschooling, layoffs, new routines and all the rest, I wanted to do what I could to help. As an Unbeatable Mind Coach, I had access to the four habits, tried and tested by warriors for 1000s of years, made simple and doable by Mark Divine, retired Navy SEAL through the Unbeatable Mind Academy. And I wanted to share those tools with others.”

To learn more about the Big Four of Mental Toughness, connect with Sara by email sara.jones@unbeatablemind.com or on LinkedIn. To sign up for coaching, visit https://bit.ly/UMCoachingwithSaraJones.

More ways in which the UC San Diego community is responding to COVID-19:

  • Medical school researchers launched “MyWellnessCheck,” an online platform to help identify how certain attitudes and behaviors may help increase well-being during a crisis.
  • UC San Diego physician-scientist Dr. Eliah Aronoff-Spencer, along with a team of researchers, built a rapid response platform to connect clinicians with answers to COVID-19 questions, resources and potential solutions to the challenges they face.

Read more about UC San Diego’s response to COVID-19 here.

Are you a member of the Rady School community who would like to share a story of care? Please fill out this form or email cacannon@ucsd.edu.

May 8, 2020 0 comment
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Ways to Support Rady School Students on #GivingTuesdayNow and Beyond

A message from the Rady School of Management Development Team:

We believe that generosity has the power to unite and heal communities in good times and bad. A global threat like COVID-19 touches every person on the planet, and it presents an opportunity to come together as a global community.

#GivingTuesdayNow is a new global day of giving and unity that takes place on May 5, 2020 (in addition to the regularly scheduled December 1, 2020 #GivingTuesday) as an emergency response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19.

If you are in a position to give and had plans to participate in this universal movement, we invite you to join the Rady School of Management in creating a wave of generosity, community engagement, action from individuals, businesses and philanthropy, and support our student community that needs it most.

As UC San Diego mobilizes a holistic response to the challenges of the coronavirus, we are more aware than ever before that our students rely on us for far more than their education. By making a gift to the Rady School of Management Innovation Fund, you can help us protect the academic and financial needs of our students, and provide compassion and care that reminds them that we are all in this together.

By donating on May 5 (#GivingTuesdayNow), your gift will count towards UC San Diego’s Day of Caring. You can also dedicate your gift to UC San Diego’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund and participate in a $350,000 match thanks to a generous challenge grant from The Conrad Prebys Foundation.

We also encourage you to join us for UC San Diego’s Day of Caring, u.care, May 14 and 15, 2020 and share stories of care with your community using #UCSDCares and #RadyCares.

May 4, 2020 0 comment
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Rady MFin Students Win First and Third Place in CQA Investment Challenge

Teams of students from the Rady School Master of Finance program placed first and third at the 2020 Chicago Quantitative Alliance Investment Challenge!  

From October 2019-March 2020, the students managed a portfolio with the goal of achieving the best risk-adjusted performance. “As we all know, this has been a very challenging time for equity investing and our teams did a great job,” said MFin Executive Director Michael Melvin, who served as the teams’ faculty advisor.

The teams scores were based 80% on risk-adjusted performance and 20% on a ten-minute video presentation about their investment strategy. The Rady MFin teams were mentored by CQA member Tom Anichini of Guided Choice.  

April 28, 2020 0 comment
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Rady MFin Students Use Satellite Imagery to Design Optimal Solar Panel Systems for Earth Day

Students in Professor Chris Girand’s Master of Finance 418 class used satellite imagery of beach houses in Encinitas, California to design the most optimal grids for producing energy.

Sixty houses were selected based on size, roof direction and lack of shading.  Each student was assigned one house. The student measured the south-facing portion of the roof using satellite imagery from Google’s Earth Viewer.  Various panel layouts were configured to get the maximum number of panels on the south-facing surface. 

The students employed a simple, grid-tie photovoltaic system and priced the system based on market prices for the individual components.  Each house ended up with a slightly different solar array to make optimal use of the particular roof.  

The students made assumptions about the typical electrical consumption of an Encinitas household (10,000 kWh per year) and future prices of electricity.  The students calculated what each system would produce to offset that consumption.  The savings created by the solar system was treated as a future positive cashflow.  The present value of these cashflows was netted against the initial cost of the system.  Cumulatively, the net present value of the 60 systems was $1.5 million.   

The assumptions are dynamic variables.  Interested readers may log on to the Google Sheet to adjust variables as they see fit and see the actual houses that were selected (all from publicly available sources).  Over the last decade, the price of residential electricity in San Diego has gone up 3.5% per year.  The students modeled 3% annual increase for the next 25 years. If a user thinks future electrical costs will increase at 4% per year the net present value of the 60 systems is $1.9 million.

Since it is Earth Day, it is nice to know that the 60 systems would generate enough excess electricity (482k kWh/year, beyond what is needed for the houses) to power 120 Teslas – 2 for each household.  Each Tesla could drive 12,000 miles per year off the excess power – saving a total of 552 metric tons of carbon dioxide.

Disclosure: These houses were the low-hanging fruit of solar candidates with south-facing, unshaded roofs – not all residents of Encinitas are so lucky! Some houses may require expensive things like a new roof or an upgraded electrical panel before a solar installation can be performed.  Students did not actually visit the houses in-person, climb up on any ladders or speak to the residents. A 30% Federal tax credit to help offset purchase price of system was not included.  

April 22, 2020 0 comment
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Rady UC Fellowship Guarantees $10,000 to Qualified Students

The Rady School of Management at UC San Diego is pleased to offer a unique fellowship opportunity for graduates of any University of California campus who are interested in pursuing a Master of Finance (MFin), MS in Business Analytics (MSBA), or Master of Professional Accountancy (MPAc) after graduation.

The Rady UC Fellowship guarantees $10,000 in fellowship funding to qualified admitted students.

In order to be considered for this fellowship, individuals must apply and be admitted to the Rady MFin, MSBA, or MPAc program, and must have completed or be on track to complete a degree from one of the ten University of California schools: UC San Diego, UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC Santa Barbara, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC Santa Cruz, UC Riverside, UC Merced, and UC San Francisco.

For more information on the programs and the admissions process, please visit:

Master of Finance

MS Business Analytics

Master of Professional Accountancy

QUESTIONS?

Contact RadyGradAdmissions@ucsd.edu or call 858.534.0864

April 21, 2020 0 comment
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Rady Faculty Lead Market Impacts of COVID-19 Webinar Series

Faculty at the Rady School of Management are leading a series of webinars aimed at analyzing the ongoing challenges businesses face during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Beginning Friday, April 24th and continuing for the next five weeks, distinguished faculty experts will deliver a free lunchtime webinar. The first webinar will discuss the “Four Stages of a Pandemic Response,” highlighting steps that individuals, business owners and the economy are moving through as we all experience the unprecedented global pandemic. This webinar will be led by Professor of Marketing On Amir, associate dean of the Rady School and chief behavioral officer at Fiverr, Inc.

“The human condition during a crisis is characterized by distinct psychological changes,” Amir said. “This webinar will examine these changes through observed marketplace behavior. I will also explore how data from a large global marketplace for digital services can reveal these changes in behavior and point to ways in which individuals and businesses can recover from the effects of the pandemic.”

Friday, April 24:

Four Stages of Pandemic Response

Speaker: On Amir, Marketing Professor and Associate Dean at the Rady School of Management

Moderator: Uma Karmarkar, Assistant Professor of Marketing/ITO

Friday, May 1:

How Do Fiscal Stimulus Checks Impact Consumer Spending?

Speaker: Kanishka Misra, Associate Professor of Marketing

Moderator: Karsten Hansen, Professor of Marketing

Friday, May 8:

Physical and Mental Health During COVID-19

Speaker: Sally Sadoff, Associate Professor of Economics and Strategic Management

Moderator: Uri Gneezy,
Epstein/Atkinson Endowed Chair in Management Leadership and Professor of Economics and Strategic Management

Friday, May 15:

Supply Chain Insights and Modifications in a Pandemic

Speaker: Zal Phiroz, Rady Lecturer

Moderator: Hyoduk Shin, Associate Professor of Innovation, Information Technology and Operations

Friday, May 22

Stock Market Investor Sentiment During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Speaker: Joey Engelberg, Professor of Finance

Moderator: Will Mullins, Associate Professor of Finance

Friday, May 29

Panera During COVID-19: Lessons in Leadership

Guest Speaker: Niren Chaudhary, CEO of Panera Bread

Moderator: Amy Nguyen-Chyung, Visiting Assistant Professor 

April 17, 2020 0 comment
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Tips and Resources for Job Searching During the COVID-19 Pandemic

As we all navigate a new reality as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, job searching can feel like particularly shaky terrain. To address concerns around the job market, FlexMBA and Alumni Career Consultant Linda Kurtz recently led virtual workshops for Rady School students. Below, we’ve compiled expertise shared by Kurtz and fellow Career Management Center staff to help provide guidance for the Rady community.

Research industries of interest and look for trends.

“I want to be transparent,” Kurtz said during the workshop. “Some companies are actively hiring and recruiting, some are putting things on pause, and some are laying people off.”

To discover which companies and industries are actively hiring, Kurtz and the Career Management Center staff shared several resources.

For one, Candor.co is compiling a live, user-generated report of hiring activity across industries. CultivatedCulture.com prepared a COVID-19 job market insights guide, which summarized Candor.co’s findings as of April 4th:

Industries of particular interest to Rady School graduates such as consulting & services, business software and financial services are showing a lot of hiring activity.

LinkedIn has also compiled this regularly updated list of companies currently hiring to meet increased demands. 

Startup San Diego, CONNECT San Diego and San Diego: Life Changing, a division of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Council, has put together this list of companies with current job openings.

“Think about the functional areas that are being impacted,” said Mitchell Kam, Assistant Director of the Career Management Center. Ecommerce companies experiencing an increase in online orders are also experiencing an uptick of data. They’re likely to seek data analysts not just during the pandemic, but in the aftermath as well.

Create a job search plan.

While uncertainty can feel overwhelming, creating a plan can help you prioritize and take action. Kurtz recommended these three steps:

  1. Write down your goals. Where would you like to be professionally in the next three to five years? What short-term adjustments might you need to make to get there?
  2. Create a list of desired industries, roles, companies and locations. Include relevant advocates and contacts.
  3. Continue applying to jobs and follow up on your applications.

“Even if an interview process is put on pause, the good news is that you are likely to be considered when interviewing resumes,” Kurtz said. Be “politely persistent” as you follow up, and keep in mind that everyone you are in contact with is likely experiencing their own concerns about the pandemic.

Continue to network online.

Without the opportunity to attend in-person networking events or schedule casual coffee chats, a thoughtful online networking strategy is more important than ever. You may find your inbox bombarded with Zoom happy hour invitations, connection requests, or colleagues checking-in.

Kurtz recommended prioritizing your networking efforts according to your job search plan so that you can maximize your time and make the most meaningful online connections. “Companies need the right talent to help them move their business forward,” she said. Conversations with your network can help you learn early about new opportunities, or learn about ways in which a business is shifting its priorities.

“It’s a better time than ever to be reaching out on LinkedIn,” said Graduate Career Advisor Michelle Sedgwick. “A lot of us have been through ups and downs of the economy in the past and people want to be able to provide some support.”

Now is also a good time to make sure your LinkedIn profile (and website, if applicable), are up-to-date. When requesting new LinkedIn connections, be sure to include a brief message about why you’re interested in talking to them, and what you have in common. A little customization can go a long way, and gives a personal touch to electronic communication.

Upskill (in a way that makes sense for your goals).

Many online learning sites are currently offering free or discounted courses. Research which programs can get you closer to the goals you outlined in your job search plan. Students can arrange a meeting with Rady Career Management Center advisors to personalize their plan. Online learnings options to consider include:

Take care of yourself.

It’s absolutely normal to feel overwhelmed by this pandemic. As you continue your job search, remember to look out for your health, too. UC San Diego has compiled a list of resources for coping with coronavirus stress that includes tips for preserving your mental, physical and emotional health. Your well-being comes first!   

April 16, 2020 0 comment
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How Rady School Alumni Are Responding to COVID-19

Alumni working at the Scripps Research Institute are conducting a study to improve the real-time surveillance of contagious respiratory illnesses such as COVID-19 using data from smartwatches and activity trackers. Through the app-based DETECT study, Katie Baca-Motes (MBA ’09 and Director of the All of Us research project), Royan Kamyar (MBA ’10, physician and CEO and founder of Owaves app) and project manager and incoming MBA FlexWeekend student Lauren Ariniello, along with their colleagues, are crowdsourcing anonymized data across the United States.

“By evaluating individual changes to heart rate, sleep and activity patterns, as well as logged respiratory symptoms and diagnostics test results, the Scripps’ team hopes to complement traditional public health surveillance methods, potentially leading to earlier detection and containment of current and future outbreaks in various geographical locations,” said Baca-Motes.

Rady Alumni Board president Josh Kuss is the Senior Director of Commercial Strategy at Illumina and the commercial lead for the company’s San Diego Emergency Management Team. The team has been working since March “defining and implementing the strategies for how we keep Illumina’s employees safe, while ensuring supply to our customers, many of which are on the front line of SARS-COV-2/COVID19 research, tracing, and treatment. We tackled how to transition to work from home, and are now in the process of determining a sound return to work strategy,” said Kuss.

Krithi Bindal (MBA ’17) is the founder and president of Aroga Biosciences, a regulatory writing biopharma firm which has been donating their scientific expertise to peer-review pre-print literature related to COVID-19 research.

“We are in a period of information overload,” said Bindal. “Misinformation about COVID-19, especially information lacking scientific rigor, can lead to significant risk to the public. I feel it is our duty as scientists to ensure effective communication and to help delineate scientific factual results from fiction. After all, our job as scientists is to find the truth.”

“The name of our company Aroga is based on the sanskrit term ‘arogya”, which means free of disease. We hope to continue to contribute to freeing the world of disease as we help to develop treatments for ailing patients. As we navigate these challenging times, our mission is unchanged and is stronger than ever.”

Richard Castle (FlexWeekend MBA ’13), the co-founder and president of Cloudbeds, a hospitality management software, launched the #HospitalityHelps initiative. The online platform facilitates connections between hotel properties that want to make their beds available to healthcare agencies, organizations or individuals who need them. Within a few days, the more than 1.2 million beds had been pledged at HospitalityHelps.org.

Andrea Yoder Clark (MSBA ’17), and her consulting company LiveGoode Programs & Analytics is working with 211 San Diego to analyze statewide data collected from regional 211s to support the state of California’s policy response to COVID-19’s impact on most vulnerable populations.

Jaden Risner and Clay Treska (FlexWeekend MBA ’19) founded Family Proud an app to help patients and their caregivers and loved ones manage their care, while they were students at the Rady School. In Spring 2020, the Family Proud platform was updated to include resources and support for those affected by COVID-19.

Snehanshu Tiwari, Vishnu Sharon R. and Sakshi Sharma (MSBA ’18) contacted Professor Ken Wilbur to offer their help reviewing resumes, preparing for interviews or make introductions for current MSBA students graduating this summer. When Professor Wilbur shared this update on LinkedIn, even more alumni offered to help!

Steve Prestrelski (FlexWeekend MBA ’06) is the founder and chief scientific officer of Xeris Pharmaceuticals, which is offering its GVOKE Pre-Filled Syringe—an injectable treatment for diabetes patients who experience severe hypoglycemia—for $0 copay through May 31st.

The team at Indigo Marketing Agency, founded by Claire Akin (MBA ’10). prepared a list of tips for working from home. “Indigo Marketing Agency is a company run almost completely virtually by mothers of young children,” said Akin. “We saw so many of our clients struggling to adapt, so we wanted to offer our tips and tricks for working at home (even with small children) … I believe that we are helping our team members support their families and spend time with their children. It’s the best of both worlds and it provides a highly fulfilling lifestyle!”

Sean Haggerty (FlexWeekend MBA ’17), founder of Protector Brewery, made curbside pickup and delivery available, in addition to offering the brewery’s supply of filtered water available to those in need. Protector Brewery has pledged to donate $1 from each order to Team Rubicon, a non-profit organization supporting veterans impacted by COVID-19.

Sara Jones (Flex Weekend ’13) is the CEO of Plum Blossom Creations. She is offering free workshops on The Big Four of Mental Toughness. “As an Unbeatable Mind student, I learned first-hand the power of the Big 4 of Mental Toughness in my fight against Triple Negative Breast Cancer. I used the Big 4 to feed my Courage Wolf, stare down my fears and thrive through the health crisis that threatened my life.”

Roche Diagnostics North America, of which Matt Sause (FlexWeekend MBA ’06) is president and CEO, developed the first available commercial test kit for the novel coronavirus, which was granted Emergency Use Authorization by the FDA.

Do you know of a Rady School of Management alumni responding to COVID-19? Please email cacannon@ucsd.edu with more information.

April 8, 2020 0 comment
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