Soft skills – social and communication skills, including team work, leadership and public speaking – have always been part of Rady’s MBA curriculum. As the School has grown, Rady has both expanded its soft skills-related curriculum for MBAs and has added such coursework to our specialized Masters’ programs.  An emphasis on leadership, teamwork and communication is a cornerstone not just for the MBA, but for the Master of Science in Business Analytics and the Master of Finance and of Professional Accountancy programs as well.

JoAnne Starr, Assistant Dean of Strategy, Curriculum and Rankings at the Rady School, emphasized the importance of soft skills in professional environments.

“Soft skill development is critical because every business professional needs to work in teams and communicate effectively,” she said. “You can do lots of analyses and compile crucial data points, but unless you can work with your team and can explain why the data is important and what value it has for business decision-making, your impact will be limited at best.”

Courses at Rady, including Management Communication, Strategic Communication and Storytelling, Leadership in a Crisis, and Negotiation, enable students to enhance their soft skills.

“From the beginning of our MBA program, we’ve offered courses focused on teamwork and leadership.  These enable students to gain self-awareness and improve their abilities as professionals and managers,” Starr said. “Teamwork requires speaking and listening, taking feedback, understanding roles and being flexible and adaptable. Teamwork is not simple – it’s a multi-faceted set of skills.”

Many soft skills courses center on teamwork, leadership and communication.  The addition of new courses in these areas has been driven both by student interest and by a recognition that these are among the top skills employers look for in new hires.  One very timely subject in which students have expressed increased interest is working with diverse groups.

“Our MBA students have long told us that the diversity of their class, particularly the international diversity of their classmates, is incredibly useful as a learning experience,” Starr said. “In response to these comments, we are adding an elective focused on diversity in the workplace. It will answer questions such as ‘What are companies really doing now?’ and ‘What is the business case for diversity?’”

“Everything about business is built on communication,” Starr said. “To have real impact, you want to develop the best possible skills for communicating up and down and inside and outside your organization. Rady really gives you the ability to do that.”

June 4, 2018 0 comment
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The Rady School of Management at University of California, San Diego recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Amrut Mody School of Management at Ahmedabad University in western India. The MOU creates a mutually beneficial partnership between the universities that will promote academic cooperation and development.

Part of the arrangement includes collaboration on combined research projects and exchanges of faculty and students between campuses. The universities plan to expand their educational capacities by arranging conferences, executive education programs, workshops, and other combined events. The partnership will also allow educational resources, such as library materials, publications, and other science and technology information, to be easily shared between institutions.

Professor Robert S. Sullivan, Dean of the Rady School of Management, and Professor Bibek Banerjee, Senior Dean of Strategic Initiatives and Planning at Ahmedabad University, signed the MOU in April at the San Diego campus. Both parties expressed excitement for this international partnership that will enhance the world-class education and research of both institutions. Professor Sullivan said at the MOU signing event, “Together, with Ahmedabad University, we aim to enhance our reach within India and strengthen our academic aspirations.”

Read more about this partnership here.

June 4, 2018 0 comment
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The San Diego Venture Group recently named the 30 startups on their “Cool Companies” List for 2018, and two companies created at the Rady School made the cut.

LabFellows and Epitracker were among the highly-ranked startups selected from 180 applicants this year. According to the San Diego Business Journal, these “Cool Companies” will meet with about 100 venture capitalists and investors from San Diego and beyond this summer. The SDVG organizes these events to connect the startups with investors and facilitate other opportunities for growth.

LabFellows, founded by Rady alum Julio de Unamuno, manages a software that assists biotechnology startups. De Unamuno (MBA ’14) recognized the difficulties that many biotech companies encounter when starting research and development, including the inability to afford necessary lab equipment and the time-intensive administrative duties. After participating in the Lab to Market course and the StartR Accelerator at Rady, de Unamuno began his subscription-based company that allows startups to access and organize the essential resources for research without the heavy administrative or financial burden that traditional labs require.

Epitracker, founded by 2010 MBA alum Eric Venn-Watson, is also making waves in the biotechnology industry. This startup researches incurable diseases and other health problems through a new perspective—nature. The startup researches dolphins and the oceans to gain valuable insights into possible health discoveries for both humans and animals. Epitracker researches small molecules to find nature-based therapeutics that could aid in numerous health issues, including Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes and skin repair.

Both of these companies will continue to grow and expand with the financial support and recognition of the San Diego Venture Group. The Rady School is excited to see where these startups will take the future of biotechnology.

A complete list of the SDVG “Cool Companies” for 2018 and additional information on the organization can be found here. The San Diego Business Journal article can be found here.

Learn more about Epitracker and LabFellows here.

May 31, 2018 0 comment
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UC San Diego is a hub for the world’s brightest minds to think innovatively and creatively to solve pressing issue and develop solutions to make the world a better place. Students cross the Commencement stage and become alumni poised to put their education into action.

Four outstanding Rady School of Management alumni were recognized on the UC San Diego Alumni 40 Under 40 list, honoring leaders and changemaking Tritons under the age of 40 for their contributions to the greater good.

Byron Myers, MBA ’10
Co-Founder and Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Inogen 

  • Inogen’s mission—to improve the quality of life for millions of supplemental oxygen users—began in 2001 when Mae, a beloved grandmother, was prescribed oxygen therapy.
  • Inogen launched an IPO in February 2014, becoming the Rady School’s first startup to achieve this accomplishment.
  • Deloitte’s 2017 Technology Fast 500™ recognized Inogen as One of the Fastest Growing Companies in North America, and the co-founders were awarded as Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneurs of the Year and Inc. Magazine’s 30 Under 30 Coolest Entrepreneurs in America.

Peter J. Preuss, MBA ’14
Director of Business Development, Tecate Group 

  • Professional experience at leading edge of technologies and education in virtual reality, augmented reality, AI, robotics and energy, working to democratize the field of robotics and automation.
  • Success as Director of Business Development at the Tecate Group and at Brain Corporation, working with frontier technologies like robotics, drones and artificial intelligence. At Qualcomm, Preuss worked in the Vuforia Augmented Reality group, where he helped foster the first Developer community and run the first Augmented Reality competition.
  • Passionate about education, science, technology and medical research, his philanthropic roles include vice president of the Preuss Family Foundation, co-chair of the Preuss School Gala, board member at the Ruben H. Fleet Science center and EvoNexus committee member.

Pierre Sleiman, MBA ’13
Founder and CEO, Go Green Agriculture 

  • At Go Green Agriculture, innovation and farming are combined to find new ways to grow healthy food locally and reduce environmental impact. Go Green has become one of the largest organic-hydroponic producers in the U.S, producing 500,000 heads of hydroponically grown organic lettuce per month.
  • Sleiman’s vision is to have “mini-farms” in every urban area of the U.S., supplying local and organic food, eliminating the need for major trucking, creating local jobs and improving food quality. The company reports that by employing state-of-the-art technology, it uses one-fifth of the land typically needed in traditional farming, has reduced water usage up to 80% and enjoys 365 days of production per year.
  • Awards include President Obama’s “Champion of Change” in “The Future of Agriculture,” the 2015 UC San Diego Alumni Emerging Leader Award and San Diego Magazine’s “50 People to Watch.”

Ashley Van Zeeland, MBA ’12
Chief Technology Officer, Human Longevity, Inc. 

  • Career is focused on commercializing life science technologies and developing synergistic relationships between commercial and academic research pursuits. Co-founded Cypher Genomics, now part of Human Longevity Inc., producing groundbreaking work in the genetics of autism and supervising large-scale genetic sequencing studies.
  • Listed in San Diego Business Journal’s 500 Influential Business Leaders of 2016.
  • A passionate alumna, Van Zeeland received 2016 UC San Diego Alumni Emerging Leader Award, has served as a Rady School Alumni Board Member; Rady School Advisory Board Member, California Institute for Innovation & Development (CIID); and Rady School of Management Spokesperson for their “Rady Made” and “Never Stop Starting Up” Campaigns.


May 25, 2018 0 comment
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Each year UC San Diego hosts the annual Entrepreneur Challenge to celebrate innovation on campus. And each year, Rady School of Management students and alumni bring their brilliant startup ideas and launched companies to the stage to compete with fellow Tritons, sweeping the competition and earning thousands of dollars to continue developing the product or technology. The 2018 Entrepreneur Challenge was no different.

The majority of teams competing in the competition were affiliated with the Rady School and worked with one of the School’s many accelerator programs. The competition featured three tracks — Clean Technology, Life Technology and High Technology – and Rady School affiliated teams won first prize in two out of the three tracks.

Rady School affiliated teams swept the High Technology track, earning first, second and third place. StartR team GLXY – technology for weight training by preventing injuries and plateaus for athletes – earned first place. Family Proud – a mobile-application based patient advocacy software solution that provides hospitalized patients and their families easy and secure access to all their essential social, medical, and logistical resources – took second place. Beggy, mystartupXX and StartR team developing a new and trendy approach to convenient and functional Smart Bags, earned third place.

Navega – a mystartupXX team – took home first place in the Life Technology category. The company is developing technology to conquer the opioid addiction epidemic in the United States using addiction-free pain management. CReATE Medical,a StartR team, earned second place in the competition. CReATE is a patent-pending algorithm that analyzes routinely-collected patient data utilizing machine learning techniques to predict highly accurate patient-specific outcomes to pacemaker-related heart surgeries.

Green Stop won second place in the Clean Technology. The Green Stop is a mobile, solar-powered, waste-free refill station that can be used at the beach to reduce plastic pollution and provide filtered and chilled drinking water to beachgoers.

Pierre Sleiman (MBA ’13) gave the keynote address at the event, detailing how he was able to start his successful business, GoGreen Agriculture. He credited the Rady School for helping him develop the necessary entrepreneurial skills to launch and sustain a successful business.

May 25, 2018 0 comment
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At the Rady School of Management, students, faculty and alumni  are both innovators and entrepreneurs. Lessons are structured around educating students with the skills to excel in both while operating within the organizational environment.  An entrepreneur is someone who innovates by starting his or her own company, whereas an intrapreneur is an employee of an organization whose job is to innovate and create change within the corporation. Thus, intrapreneurs are inside entrepreneurs who follow the goal of the organization.

Are you an Intraprenuer? Intrapreneurs often remain hidden and unrecognized, because they often display behavior contrary to what is considered as “corporate”. They are self-motivated leaders with the courage and flexibility to think outside of the box. According to The League of Intraprenuers, it isn’t a job title, it is a way of working and being:

  • Silo Busters: Collaborating across traditional company boundaries.
  • Opportunity Spotters: Finding innovation potential where others typically see risk or challenge.
  • Systems Thinkers: Seeing the interconnections between business value and societal pressures.
  • Storytellers: Bringing others on board with their vision for “shared value”.
  • Dreamers: Believing that business can be a force for good.
  • Doers: With a track record of getting stuff done.

Most large companies are focused on innovation and have dedicated innovation functions and teams to support the innovation agenda. Well known examples of companies who encourage and support projects internally include: Accenture, Coca-Cola, 3M, Xerox, Virgin, Siemens, Intel and Google.

The Rady Career Connections team members help students to target employers where they can align their values, interests, and talents in innovation.  In order to land jobs with target employers like the ones noted above, students need to demonstrate past successes and quantify the results of their accomplishments through their resumes and LinkedIn profiles; matching the language of the industry, brand and culture.

Through workshops and 1:1 advising appointments, students are provided an individualized experience to build their professional presentation to achieve their career goals in innovation both inside and outside of organizations.

May 24, 2018 0 comment
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A recent graduate team of the Rady School of Management’s Lab to Market program is heading for the stars with a $50,000 grant and partnership with NASA.

The Ateios team – which joined the Rady School Lab to Market program as part of the Institute for the Global Entrepreneur collaboration with the Jacobs School of Engineering – entered the Rice Business Plan Competition with help from finance students at the Rady School. The team is comprised of Kartik Sharma, Jennifer Miller, Carlos Munoz, Rajan Kumar, Karan Sheth, Keita Okuyama, Tom Yuki and Professor Ricardo Dos Santos.

Ateios developed a battery that is stretchable and printable and able to function when bending. The average battery loses up to 20 percent of functionality when it is bent, but the Ateios battery is able to operate at full capacity.

Eager to learn more about the business side of technology, Carlos Munoz, a graduate student at the Jacobs School of Engineering, and his team joined the fall 2017 Lab to Market cohort to maximize Ateios’ potential. Through the rigorous coursework, Ateios team members learned all about customer discovery, business model development, fundraising and more.

“The Lab to Market program been great for us,” said Munoz. “We entered the program as a group of engineers who started with a nice shiny object, but had no idea how to develop the business side of things. Working with Rady School professors and students helped us realize the marketability and profitability of our product.”

The IGE collaboration between the two schools enabled the Ateois team to submit their business plan to the prestigious Rice Business Plan Competition. More than 600 teams applied and only 42 were accepted to compete in the competition. Ateois made it to the semifinals of the competition, placing among the top 16. Although the company did not win, they received the grant from NASA which will allow them to collaborate with the space exploration giant in the future.

“Thanks to our time with the Lab to Market program, we were able to submit an exceptional business plan that represents the potential of our business,” Munoz said. “We stuck to what we knew, which is the technology, but left the business side of things to the experts. These competitions aren’t just focused on the technology – they want to make sure businesses are profitable. Lab to Market helped us prove that our business has a great deal of market potential.”

Moving forward, Munoz and his team are looking forward to continue developing the Ateois technology and secure funding to bring the product to market.

“This has been a very exciting experience for us because people are generally interested in our technology and the future of our business,” Munoz said. “They see potential in our product.”

May 16, 2018 0 comment
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The Rady School of Management Master of Finance program was selected to participate in the esteemed Chartered Financial Analyst University Affiliation Program — a program that supports students pursuing degrees in finance through coursework integration, scholarships and networking.

According to Michael Melvin, Executive Director of the Master of Finance program, the CFA designation is held in high esteem in the industry.

“When I was at BlackRock, the world’s largest asset management company, we recognized that someone with the CFA designation possessed knowledge that set them apart from other job candidates,” he said. “In addition, they were recognized for their diligence and hard work to pass all three levels of the CFA exam.  Many of our Master of Finance students pursue a CFA and it is great to now be a University Affiliate.”

Recognized for the program’s commitment to excellence, the Master of Finance program at the Rady School will have the opportunity to work with the CFA Institute to develop relevant and exciting curriculum into the coursework. The designation also provides student scholarships for the CFA exam, exclusive access to all three levels of the CFA Program® eBook curriculum, and access to sample exams for each level of the CFA Program.

In addition to scholarly and financial support, participation in the University Affiliation Program also gives students access to local Institute member societies to support student teams in the annual Research Challenge — an annual, global competition that challenges university students to research and analyze a local, publicly traded company and create a report detailing why they recommend buying, selling or holding the company.

Distinctions from revered organizations reaffirm what makes the Rady School Master of Finance program stand out from other competitive programs. In addition to the cutting edge quantitative finance curriculum, the Master of Finance curriculum offers CFA prep courses to help the students prepare for the Level 1 and Level 2 exams. To gain CFA University Affiliate status, a program must meet high standards with regard to accreditation and curriculum, offering courses that reflect CFA values with regard to ethics and finance topics.

May 8, 2018 0 comment
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It’s a path several Rady School of Management students have embarked on – entering as a scientist and graduating an entrepreneur. This journey will be the topic of the annual Dr. Michael Kriegler Memorial Lecture, featuring Dr. Magda Marquet. Dr. Marquet will share her journey detailing her evolution into a scientifically-minded entrepreneur, as well as her view of San Diego as a major hub for biotech innovation.

The lecture will run from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 15 in the Beyster Auditorium at the Rady School of Management. Guests are invited to the courtyard for tacos and ice cream after the event to discuss the lecture topic.

Please RSVP if you are planning to attend.

About Dr. Magda Marquet

Magda Marquet, Ph.D., is a life sciences entrepreneur, investor and community leader. She is the co-founder and co-CEO of ALMA Life Sciences LLC, an investment and consulting firm with a portfolio of 20 private investments. She is also the chairman and co-founder of Althea, and served as co-president and CEO for 10 years before the company’s acquisition by Ajinomoto.

Marquet co-founded Althea Dx, a spin-off of Althea Technologies focusing in precision medicine. She previously held management positions at numerous biotechnology companies including Vical Inc., Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Protein Polymer Technologies, Syntro Corporation and Transgene. She currently serves as a board member for Sente, Independa and Portable Genomics, as well as an advisor for many other companies.

As a business leader passionate about entrepreneurship, Marquet plays an important role in building a strong innovation economy. For example, she is currently on the Executive Committee of the Board of Visitors of the UCSD Moores Cancer Center. Marquet holds a Ph.D. in Biochemical Engineering from INSA/University of Toulouse, France, and has received numerous awards throughout her career including the 2005 Regional Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the Life Sciences category, the Athena Pinnacle Award, the Exemplary Service Award from the San Diego Business Journal and the Director of the Year award from the Corporate Directors Forum. She was also the first woman inducted into the CONNECT Hall of Fame.

About the lecture series

The Michael Kriegler Memorial Lecture Series was created to perpetuate Dr. Michael Kriegler’s spirit and enthusiasm for science by establishing programs that educate and motivate students and scientists — just as Dr. Kriegler did throughout this life. To accomplish this, his wife, Jan Tuttleman, established this lecture series to bring together the San Diego biotech community with the University, the faculty and students to build relationships and to share ideas.








May 8, 2018 0 comment
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Sara Jones, M.Ed. MBA
FlexWeekend 2013, Rady School of Management
Founder and CEO, Plum Blossom Creations
Author, Getting Ready: Your Journal to Help You Deal with and Heal from Sexual Harassment
Author, Stories from Athena’s Garden, blog,
Public Speaker

What impact has Rady had on your career progression?

I cannot begin to express the value of this. When I lost my job in DC, I had very few career options. I immediately called up Rady and asked them if I could reapply. They said yes and they accepted me. This was 2011. I had been accepted in 2006 but did not matriculate. Now jobless and moving back to San Diego, I relied on the Rady Career Center to help connect me with a local part-time job.

My expertise up to this point was in education and emergency management, but as a Rady FlexWeekend student, I was learning about entrepreneurship and high-tech innovations. After a few months of searching, I started with a local software firm as their Director of Client Education and Strategic Advancement, part-time. Immediately upon graduating, I moved into full time and was promoted to also be the Director of Marketing, a skill and talent that I did not know I also had until I took Professor Ayelet Gneezy’s class. I quickly realized that marketing and education are very similar – they both teach you about things you, the customer, want or need to know about or that the company wants or needs you to know about.  A few years later, I was promoted to Senior Director of both positions.

But the seeds of innovation for my own company, Plum Blossom Creations, had been planted a while back and in 2015 I began my blog. I started very slowly at first. I had a demanding day job with responsibilities in two relatively high-level positions and these took much of my energy. As I put the ending period on the first draft of my memoir, the nation started discussing my newest area of expertise. I knew when the #MeToo movement took hold, that I needed to finish my book and start teaching a different kind of topic altogether – how to deal with and heal from sexual harassment. The 2nd book to be written but first to be published, Getting Ready: Your Journal to Help You Deal with and Heal from Sexual Harassment, came very quickly after that.

From Lab-to-Market, to real-world experience, to incubator and investor exposure, Rady has helped me become aware of my talents and my passions as well as helped me understand how to think about and grow into being an entrepreneur.

Has your Rady MBA enabled you to change industries or functional areas or even achieve a promotion? 

Initially yes, and long term yes.

Tell us a fun fact about you, or something people may not know about you.

I love to hike. I had the opportunity to hike for four days along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru when I lived in Brazil back in the late 90’s. On the longest climb day, it was a glorious thing to be sitting along the trail for a break with our guide, four of my friends and eight other hikers in our group from around the world. We enjoyed the effort, each other and the moment so much that we spontaneously burst out into a chorus of “I’m on top of the world” by the Carpenters. I met one of my totem animals on that trip. I’m currently training for a section hike along the Appalachian Trail which, this year and the launch of my new business, may become the Pacific Crest Trail. The bucket list hike may have to wait a year.

What was your favorite class and why?

I loved almost all of my classes at Rady – I found the finance classes to be very difficult to work through. I really tried to be a sponge and learn as much as I could and my professors all had lots to share and teach! Even though I got the most out of the marketing classes, it was the Advanced Management Communications course taught by Todd Salovey that I really enjoyed. Worth only 2 credits, with little to no team work and with no exam, it was supposed to be my “easy” class. But perhaps it was because I let myself relax in that class that I opened up and really let the professor show me how to find my core and then find my voice. Less than 2 years after that class, I started my blog and now I am a published author with a second book on the horizon.

How did your view of entrepreneurship/innovation change throughout your time at the Rady School?

I’m not sure my view of entrepreneurship and innovation has actually changed. I think what happened is that I learned how to live into them. I learned to value my innovative side and find the path to successfully manifesting it. I learned to have the courage to be an entrepreneur as well as how to recognize when to risk being one!

What advice do you have for prospective students?

Go for it! All of it. The curriculum is rigorous. The professors are demanding. And the team work reveals the worst (and best!) side of you. Regardless of the challenges, commit to the process. Trust that you are in good, caring hands and open up to the interpersonal work.  It’s where most businesses succeed or fail. Why not practice in the best incubator, before you risk it all with the innovation you want to bring to the world.

How have you applied your studies to your career?


What is the best thing about being a Rady alumni?

I ended up being the only woman in my cohort for a good portion of my track. In my time, the student body had “Rady Ladies” but the group focused mostly on the full-time students and did not reach to the level of professional growth focus as the Women of Rady. As an alumna, I am very much enjoying being a part of the newly resurrected Women of Rady chapter of the NWMBA. The very recent Rady Women’s Forum, Discussions and Action Plans for Vibrant Leaders, was a fantastic achievement in planning as well as an invaluable tradition for years and alumnae to come! I respect our current students so much for the time they put into this group and the impact it has on not only the current students but we alums as well.

May 3, 2018 0 comment
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