Cal State Fullerton campus walkway.

Photo by Chris McCarthy

As the coronavirus pandemic is forcing millions of workers to telecommute and transformed students’ routines to distance learning, social scientists are warning of “zoom fatigue,” a form of exhaustion from excessive video chatting, as Zoom technology has become the go-to for meetings in this challenging time.

The Zoom medium creates stressors such as constantly seeing an image of yourself, an inability to read body language and a lack of live feedback.

How can you minimize Zoom fatigue in an age in which the video conferencing platform is often the only way to communicate?

A recent article in the Harvard Business Review suggests the following:

  • Avoid multitasking. It’s a lot harder to remember what you’ve gone over in your Zoom meeting or stay engaged as a participant if you are checking your email or doing other tasks.
  • Take breaks if you are meeting for a long time with friends, or in the case of professional meetings, try to space them out throughout the day. Turning off cameras for part of long calls while still being a participant with a microphone is also a great approach.
  • When possible, make meetings optional if you’re running them. It’s great to connect with people you know, but it might be too many meetings for some participants.
  • Believe it or not, Zoom isn’t the only way to connect with people these days. There is also email, phone calls (the old way, just voice), instant messaging, and possibly even modified face-to-face (through a window or staying many feet away in an open field and using a megaphone to hear each other. Well, that last option might not be practical, but there are a lot of options.)

You might also want to read our posts about zoom etiquette and virtual interview tips.

Zoot Velasco of CSUF's Gianneschi Center for Nonprofit Research

Zoot Velasco

Since taking office as director of the Gianneschi Center for Nonprofit Research at Cal State Fullerton’s Mihaylo College in June 2018, nonprofit executive Zoot Velasco has transformed the center by activating his vast network, developed over more than 30 years of working and volunteering in California’s philanthropic sector. The center is a hub for philanthropic professionals building their own networks, participating in continuing education, and both offering and benefiting from peer support.

Since the coronavirus pandemic began, Velasco has marshalled these resources to help the Gianneschi Center become the heart of the local nonprofit sector’s COVID-19 relief efforts.

Moving Quickly to Make a Difference

OneOC, the Samueli Foundation and Orange County Grantmakers were a part of Velasco’s network pre-COVID-19.

So when the pandemic hit, Velasco contacted these organizations and brainstormed on the best response, resulting in an integrated solution in which OneOC listed resources on its website; the Samueli Foundation launched a dialogue with fellow nonprofits on Facebook; OC Grantmakers established an Orange County resiliency fund; and the Gianneschi Center launched a weekly email campaign with updates.

Thousands subscribed to Velasco’s preexisting 501(c)3(b)(s) podcast, which now focuses on COVID-19 resources, as well as steps for nonprofits to recover and make a difference.

“I kept my ear to the ground to know what different organizations were doing for COVID-19 and saw that many had been working in silos,” said Velasco. “But I had worked with all of them.”

Velasco has enlisted the support of fellow Centers of Excellence within Mihaylo College, including the on-campus chapter of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), to ensure nonprofits have access to Small Business Administration grants that have been made available to the social sector for the first time.

For More Information

Read more about the Gianneschi Center’s impact in this CSUF News article. Or read more of our articles on nonprofit research and outreach.

Economics professor Alberto Rivera Padilla

Alberto Rivera Padilla

Cal State Fullerton Assistant Professor of Economics Alberto Rivera-Padilla looks at agricultural productivity as a major factor in income differences between countries and the related impacts on the farming profession and interregional trade in his new study, “Crop Choice, Trade Costs, and Agricultural Productivity,” which has been accepted by the Journal of Development Economics.

What motivated you to pursue this study of agricultural productivity? What do you hope the impact of this study will be? 

Read More

CSUF alumna Channing Hussey

Channing Hussey

Wealth management – the branch of finance specializing in sustaining long-term wealth growth – is the career path of Cal State Fullerton business administration – economics emphasis graduate Channing Hussey ’08, who directs operations and is a principal at Private Ocean Wealth Management in Marin County.

“The wealth management industry is at a unique crossroads in its history. It is simultaneously seeing a mass exodus of advisors who are reaching retirement age and breaking new ground in its diversity and inclusion efforts,” says Channing, who was honored as one of the North Bay Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 honorees in May 2020. “There is definitely a need and a great opportunity right now for young professionals to help shape the future of financial services.”

When asked about her time at Cal State Fullerton, she says, “Some of the highlights of my student experience included building a strong network of friends, made up of both students and student leaders, which led to lasting personal and professional relationships.

“I graduated the year before the new business school building was finished, and there was a lot of brainstorming with my colleagues on how this new building would deliver on student needs. I appreciated the school’s commitment to providing ongoing improvements to the infrastructure, including new dorms and parking areas.”

Through her career journey, Hussey looks back on the support of others as being integral to her success.

“A career isn’t built alone, and mine certainly reflects that,” she says. “From the first attorney to give me a chance to be his assistant, or my stepfather pushing me so hard on how I communicate at the dinner table, I’ve been surrounded my whole life by strong leaders – a majority being male advocates. I have had an enormous amount of people give me opportunities and provide coaching and feedback to help in my growth.”

Read more about Hussey’s career, her interests and her plans for the future in the North Bay Business Journal.

Students at a job fair at Steven G. Mihaylo HallAs the economy attempts to rebound from the coronavirus pandemic, in-person gatherings are still banned or not advised, and many companies and organizations are turning to virtual job fairs to recruit candidates.

Despite the virtual format, the goal is the same as with in-person career fairs: connecting workers with prospective employers.

What constitutes a virtual job fair varies greatly. It can be as simple as an online list of employers who are hiring or links to a virtual booth complete with video chat and specific information on positions.

Generally, expect a more complex registration process for involved fairs, such as those with video chat, including the possibility of scheduling meeting times with employers in advance.

How to Prepare for Success

Regardless of format, preparation is crucial, which includes knowing the companies attending and ensuring that they are indeed looking for candidates for positions near where you live.

Being ready and prepared in case you end up in a live chat or video conference with a prospective employer.

What if a virtual fair doesn’t land you a new job? It’s still great to attend and invest the time in participating because you’ll learn more about the employers that are hiring and be prepared for your next fair or interview.

Continue reading in this featured LinkedIn article.

Students walk in front of Mihaylo Hall at Cal State Fullerton prior to the COVID-19 pandemic

Photo by Sonya DeBerry

As the economy reopens and the class of 2020 hunts for career opportunities, job interviews are in the future for most of us. But with some coronavirus restrictions still in place, job interviews are likely to be on Zoom or Skype, or by phone, rather than in person.

Naomi Shibley, career advisor at Mihaylo Career Services at Cal State Fullerton, provides five tips for preparing for and succeeding at virtual interviews.

  1. Do Your Research

Look at the company or organizational website, review sites such as Glassdoor, recent business news, and other sources to know more about the potential employer before your interview. Find out what they are known for, what their mission and vision is, and how they align with your values. It will help you answer the likely question, “What do you know about our company?”

Researching the position is also a must, so you know the specific job responsibilities and how you qualify.

  1. Practice

The chances that you will come off polished, articulate and knowledgeable are higher if you practice. In particular, be ready for common questions such as:

“Tell me about yourself?”

“What are your strengths and weaknesses?”

“Why should we hire you?”

“Why do you want to work for us?”

  1. Do a Test Run

This is even more important than ever: You’ll not only need to be ready personally, but you’ll also need your technology to be ready, too. Secure your internet connection, sound, camera angle and background, ensuring that any interruptions or distractions will be avoided and that you’ll come off as professional as possible.

  1. Show Confidence

Before you interview, take time to assess your worth, recognizing what makes you unique and how your skills and experience relate to the position you’re applying for.

Project confidence in your interview by maintaining good posture, listening intently, having appropriate body language and smiling.

And be sure to dress the part! Just because you aren’t going to a white-collar office doesn’t mean you shouldn’t appear just as professional. In fact, it might be more important than ever to show your professionalism, since the video chat may be the only view that your potential boss gets of you.

  1. Know Your Resources

Mock interviews with a Mihaylo career advisor enable you to practice your interviewing abilities and get step-by-step guidance and feedback from a career development expert.

Big Interview, an online tool combining training and practice to help you improve your technique and build your confidence, is also a great resource. You’ll find thousands of interview questions, with tips on how to answer them, and a video-based curriculum on all aspects of landing your dream job.

Make an appointment with a Mihaylo Career Services advisor. They are available and ready to help you with any aspect of your career journey. You may also call the center at 657-278-8738 or email for more information.

Craig Martyn holds up one of his company's metallic business cards

Craig Martyn

Craig Martyn ’10 (advertising) had discovered the possibilities of chemical etching – applying CAD artwork to a thin sheet of metal and etching artwork with acid – when he founded and grew a model-train manufacturing business in the 2000s. This early experience would inspire Martyn’s current business.

“One day, after seeing a business owner receive a lot of attention at a business mixer over his plastic business card, I knew I had to give metal business cards a shot,” says Martyn, who launched in March 2011.

Today, Martyn’s business is thriving, and he is also a mentor at Cal State Fullerton’s Startup Incubator, which helps aspiring entrepreneurs in Orange County turn their dreams into reality through connections with mentors and workshops for entrepreneurs. Read More

Daniel Taylor, Cal State Fullerton Guardian Scholar grad

Daniel Taylor

Cal State Fullerton’s Guardian Scholars Program, supported by generous donors, provides academic opportunities, mentoring and support for former foster youth as they pursue degrees and their careers.

One of the graduating Guardian Scholars this year is Daniel Taylor ’20, who just completed the undergraduate entrepreneurship concentration as part of a business administration degree.

Overcoming early hardship, Taylor has grown to become a versatile business professional ready for the next chapter.

Travis Lindsay, adjunct entrepreneurship professor who taught Taylor, describes him this way: “Daniel was a great student and very conscientious. He was always prepared in the classroom and made the extra effort to meet with me, his team and his clients outside of class as well. I look forward to seeing what he does professionally.”

Taylor shares his experience, the impact of the Guardian Scholars Program and the entrepreneurship program, and his plans for the future.

How did you come to be a student at Cal State Fullerton?

My academic journey began at Mount St. Jacinto College in Menifee, California. I spent one year there and changed my major five times, from biomedical engineering to business administration. I later had a falling out with my family and moved to Cerritos, where I discovered Cypress College. I attended Cypress Community College for about two years while living in a house filled with strangers. At the time, I did not have much life experience or business experience. I couldn’t write a résumé, but with time and education, I began to learn how to conduct myself professionally. I then decided to attend Cal State Fullerton. I did not apply to any other universities because I was confident that CSUF was my home.

What was your experience as a Guardian Scholar?

The donors made my experience as a Guardian Scholar amazing. I give them a lot of the credit for my achievements. Their relentless support and a willingness to help me gave me all the motivation and leadership I needed to succeed.

How did you decide to study entrepreneurship at CSUF?

I decided to choose entrepreneurship because it was a reflection of my life. My life is filled with so many obstacles, perils, innovation and risks. I’ve overcome so many challenges, so when I heard that there was a degree in which you can study entrepreneurship, I pursued it. This degree means that I have the ability to navigate the business world in various locations all over the globe, adapting and creating and bringing new ideas, technology or just about anything into this world.

What are your plans for the future?

I plan to open up a company that assists minorities all over the United States, whether that be in housing, food, education or occupations.

Cal State Fullerton management professor Richard Parry

Richard Parry

JCPenney, The Hertz Corporation, J. Crew, Neiman Marcus, Gold’s Gym, Pier 1 Imports and the McClatchy Company are just a few of the major corporate names that have declared reorganization bankruptcy during the economic downturn accompanying the coronavirus pandemic.

While there are some cautious signs that the worst may be over for job markets as nationwide unemployment fell to 13.3% in May from 14.7% in April, most economists and business analysts anticipate a continued spate of business closures, as the economy transitions to a post-COVID-19 world and the full impact of the shutdown is felt, especially in fragile industries.

Richard Parry, management professor and business law and ethics expert at Cal State Fullerton’s Mihaylo College of Business and Economics, notes that many of these bankruptcies were years in the making, with the coronavirus pandemic the final straw. Read More

Brandon Sayphraraj, in graduation fatigues, in front of the Titan sign at Cal State FullertonWhen Brandon Sayphraraj arrived at Cal State Fullerton in 2017, he was focused on an accelerated completion of his degree and a career in accounting.

The lifelong Southern California native and Valencia High School grad used a combination of internships, on-campus employment, and participation in the Business Honors program to get the most out of his time at Mihaylo College and CSUF and best prepare for his career.

Sayphraraj, who you may recognize from the Starbucks locations on campus, looks at the highlights of his journey and gives advice to his fellow accounting Titans.

He’s just one of the thousands of hardworking students finishing their degrees in 2020. Best wishes to all of them for a great future despite the current challenging times! Read More