Fullerton's Yale Avenue is decorated with sparkleballs each holiday season.

A view down Yale Avenue on a December evening is one of Fullerton’s most memorable scenic vistas. Stop by any night between now and New Year’s Day to enjoy the experience. Photo by Daniel Coats ’15,’ 18

A holiday-themed winter wonderland is only blocks from campus. This year, be sure to check out the Yale Avenue sparkleballs, which feature brightly-colored handmade ornaments made of Christmas lights and plastic cups put up by local homeowners to celebrate the season.

Residents of a local Fullerton neighborhood have made a holiday tradition of decorating their homes, trees and lawns with lit sparkleballs, creating several blocks of dazzling winter magic that is sure to put you and your family into the spirit of the season this year. From now through early January, a walk or drive through Fullerton’s winter wonderland is a great evening or weekend diversion to share with family or friends, and a good place to come with your digital camera and try out your photography skills.

It’s all courtesy of the homeowners of this subdivision of postwar tract homes, who were inspired by the late Bill Bales Sr., a longtime Fullerton resident and World War II veteran, who learned to make the sparkleballs out of staples, clothes pins, plastic cups and mini-lights during his youth in Nebraska. The tradition spread to Bales’ immediate neighbors, then to the broader community.

Today, the district prides itself as the “Sparkleball Capital of the World,” with sparkleball-making parties held throughout the year in advance of the annual roll-out each Thanksgiving week, when trees, lawns, homes and outdoor displays are adorned with dazzling color. Read More

Mihaylo College finance students perfect their investment skills at the Titan Capital Management trading lab.

The October Titan Capital Management (TCM) Conference enabled students to build their career network while gaining valuable investment experience. “I didn’t look at the conference as a competition among my peers, but rather as an opportunity to improve myself,” said Edith Vargas ’18, who took first place in the Seeking Alpha competition. “I really put a lot of work into my presentation and I’m grateful for the experience I gained, so winning first-place was just icing on the cake.”

Mihaylo College’s Applied Securities Analysis Program (ASAP) hosted its second Student Investment Conference in October, which provided interactive workshops, networking and competitions judged by financial industry professionals.

Mihaylo College’s innovative ASAP program  hosted the TCM Student Investment Conference, which aims to connect finance students with opportunities for professional development and future careers in asset management. ASAP students manage more than $1.3 million for the CSUF Philanthropic Foundation, with investment proceeds partially funding student-based college services, such as the Mihaylo Tutoring Center.

The two-day event featured 53 student attendees and 20 industry professionals engaging in interactive workshops and investment competitions.

“The mission of the conference was to connect students aspiring to careers in finance with local firms seeking high-potential new graduates for entry-level positions,” says Marcia Clark, director of Bond ASAP. “The workshop formats provided a comfortable atmosphere for business managers and students to discuss the day-to-day experience of their investment practice. This understanding is essential for students to better align their skills and aspirations with the needs of various types of investment firms.” Read More

California Treasurer and gubernatorial hopeful John Chiang speaks at an event sponsored by Lead SBDC, which is based at Cal State Fullerton's Mihaylo College.

California Treasurer John Chiang is committed to ensuring efficient and prioritized state government if elected to the governorship. “The No. 1 expenditure is education, second is healthcare, three is corrections. I want to go through audits where we think some of these programs aren’t working. We’ll performance test it, and [if] it’s not delivering on its promise, we’ll get rid of it.” Photo from SBDC

John Chiang, California’s State Treasurer and a Democratic contender for the Golden State’s top office, was the third and final speaker in the gubernatorial candidates’ speaker series, sponsored by Mihaylo College’s office of the Small Business Development Center. Chiang discussed his vision for a more inclusive, efficient and innovative California economy.

For more than a decade, John Chiang has been making history as the first Asian-American to lead California’s top finance departments – first as state controller and now as state treasurer.

Chiang visited Cal State Fullerton’s Irvine campus on Oct. 26 to discuss his vision for the nation’s largest economy, the last in a series of three lectures by California gubernatorial candidates hosted by Mihaylo College’s office of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and sponsored by the Orange County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Supporting Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Recognizing that preparing the state’s 19 million-member workforce for the jobs of the future is a top priority, Chiang proposes forging partnerships with the private sector and supporting entrepreneurship. Read More

The leadership board of the Orange County Hispanic Youth Chamber of Commerce in 2017.

The leadership board of the Orange County Hispanic Youth Chamber of Commerce includes Mihaylo students Leo Escutia ’19 (third from left) and Berenice Guillen ’17 (second from right).

Mihaylo College students are leading at the Orange County Hispanic Youth Chamber of Commerce, which seeks to foster the professional development of local young people through career preparation events, scholarships and community involvement.

Comprising more than a third of the Orange County population, Hispanics are at the forefront of the region’s economic transformation in the 21st century and own more than 30,000 businesses within the county.

The mission of the Orange County Hispanic Youth Chamber of Commerce (OCHYCC), which is open to local high school seniors and college students of all majors, is to link culturally diverse individuals, aiding them in their personal professional development, assisting them in their path to a higher education and encouraging them to become involved in their communities. The youth chamber hosts invited professional speakers on topics such as entrepreneurship, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and interview tips.

Leo Escutia and Berenice Guillen: Mihaylo Students Are OCHYCC Leaders

Each school year, at least two members of the chamber’s board are students from Mihaylo College, most of whom are also involved in the CSUF chapter of the Latino Business Student Association (LBSA). This year’s Mihaylo representatives are Leo Escutia ’19 (pre-business), who is serving as president and CEO, and Berenice Guillen ’17 (finance), community relations officer for OCHYCC and immediate past president of the CSUF LBSA. Read More

Mihaylo College grad Kathy Ly has launched her career at Disneyland in Anaheim, California.

Kathy Ly ’15 believes that the Magic Kingdom can be the open door to a magical career. “Disney is the largest employer in Orange County, and we are always looking for talent,” she says. “The key is getting started. After that, anything is possible.”

From marketing roles to accounting internships, The Walt Disney Company offers numerous opportunities for students and alumni seeking a career in Southern California.

Mihaylo finance grad Kathy Ly ’15 talks Disney company culture, her tips for students seeking to get involved in the business of the entertainment industry, and her personal career aspirations.

What are the responsibilities of your financial analyst role at The Walt Disney Company?

I support the marketing strategy team through financial planning, forecasting and budgeting for each new Disney marketing campaign. This involves shifting money and managing the entire marketing budget among the various disciplines, such as public relations, media and digital, ensuring that there are enough resources to spend on exciting new events each month. Some examples include Mickey’s Halloween Party and the new Disney California Adventure Oogie Boogie theme land that is going on this October. Read More

Weili Lu, director of Cal State Fullerton's insurance program, sits next to a standing representative from Travelers Insurance at iDay in October 2017.

Success in the insurance industry requires both academic and professional commitment. “Focus on how you can develop yourself outside the classroom,” says Jeff Brzozowski, university relations manager for Travelers field programs. “A lot of employers want to see a balance between academics and experience outside the classroom, such as internships, volunteerism and on-campus involvement.”

How can you get started and thrive in careers in the insurance industry? Professionals from Travelers Insurance, one of the nation’s leading carriers, discuss what it takes to have a rewarding and versatile career in underwriting or claims. Check out their tips and info on internships with the company.

An aging population, regulatory changes, increases in meteorological disasters and a booming economy make insurance one of the growth sectors of the American economy. While insurtech – the use of technological innovations to maximize efficiency in the insurance process – is changing the landscape of the industry, today’s college graduates are prime candidates for positions such as underwriters and claims professionals as older generations retire.

Mihaylo College’s Center for Insurance Studies (CIS) is committed to providing education and networking opportunities for Cal State Fullerton students seeking insurance careers. Among their main annual events is iDay, which draws thousands of students and company representatives to the largest insurance career fair in Southern California.

This year’s event on Oct. 18 featured 30 companies, as well as three speakers from sponsor Travelers Insurance, including Nicky Nguyen ’09 (business administration), middle market commercial lines underwriter; Jeff Brzozowski, university relations manager for Travelers field programs; and Kenneth Harrison ’07 (MBA), managing director of commercial accounts for Travelers. They discussed the current state of insurance markets and how students can best leverage themselves for careers in the field. Read More

Mihaylo College Associate Professor of Economics Mira Farka discusses the outlook for the economy at the annual Economic Forecast Conference in October 2017.

Former Mihaylo College Dean Anil Puri and Associate Professor of Economics Mira Farka reported that the long-term future of the economic expansion is tenuous, but in the near-term, the recovery should continue. “The good news is that in the near term, the current expansion is set to continue with the economy firing on more cylinders than at any point since the start of the recovery,” they said.

Former Mihaylo College Dean and CSUF Interim Provost Anil Puri and Associate Professor of Economics Mira Farka presented the 23rd annual economic forecast to local business and academic leaders at The Hotel Irvine on Oct. 25, an event co-sponsored by the Orange County Business Council. The report, which examines the global, national and regional economies, anticipates a continuation of the economic expansion in the short term.

With increases in the gross domestic product (GDP), declining unemployment, increases in median household income, record homeowner equity and an improved economic outlook in other parts of the world, the U.S. economic expansion is continuing, at a slow but steady pace.

As director of the Woods Center for Economic Analysis and Forecasting Anil Puri and Associate Professor of Economics Mira Farka note, if the expansion continues through mid-2019, it will set a record for the longest such period in the post-World War II era.

“Odds are that it may make it, provided the policy environment is calibrated prudently,” they report. “Predictably, as time goes on and the current expansion advances in age, concerns grow about its longevity. In recovery terms, this expansion is practically geriatric: currently in its ninth year, the recovery is the third longest in the post-war era, shy of only two predecessors: the 120-month-long expansion of the 1990s and the 106-month-long expansion of the 1960s.” Read More

Matthew Slagle '15 is a Mihaylo College alumnus with a career in the video game industry.

Matthew Slagle ’15 believes working in the entertainment industry is all about gaining from the perspectives of others. “Always try to learn from those around you. Never stop asking questions,” he says.

With an $18.4 billion market in the U.S., the video game industry is big business in today’s economy, propelled by technological advances that make games more interactive and popular among users of all ages.

Earlier this year, Mihaylo grad Matthew Slagle ’15 (entertainment and hospitality management) joined the overwatch team at Blizzard Entertainment, a major Irvine-based video game developer and publisher, as coordinator of global publishing.

The former member of Cal State Fullerton’s Behind the Scenes entertainment and hospitality club and director of corporate relations for the Business Inter-Club Council (BICC) discusses what it’s like to work in the video game industry, how his previous career and academic experience has prepared him for his current role, and tips on how to get started in the entertainment industry. Read More

Mihaylo College leaders and industry professionals finalize the details of a new scholarship for Cal State Fullerton business students.

Mihaylo College leaders and APICS officials, including chair of the Department of Management Gerard Beenen (left), Interim Dean Morteza Rahmatian (second from left) and president-elect of APICS Nick Testa (center) met to finalize the Roly White Scholarship.

The Orange County chapter of the American Production and Inventory Control Society (APICS) has established an endowed scholarship to honor the late Roly White, a local supply chain educator and leader. The award will be given to one or more Mihaylo College student recipients studying operations and supply chain management.

In December 2016, Roly White passed away after a brief illness. White was a supply chain professional who had advanced the industry for more than 40 years through the American Production and Inventory Control Society (APICS), one of the world’s premier professional and certification organizations.

White, who was 73, is remembered by many students and professionals as the driving force behind their decisions to pursue careers in the rapidly growing supply chain field.

In honor of his legacy, friends and colleagues established the Roly White Scholarship, which will benefit one or more high-achieving Mihaylo College students with concentrations in operations and supply chain management. The $25,000 endowed award from APICS will be distributed to students according to the discretion of the Department of Management over a multiyear period.

Nick Testa, president-elect of the Orange County Chapter of APICS, notes that White was supportive of education. “He’s always been very enthusiastic about getting the material out and getting students certified,” he says. “We have a warm spot for the business school, because we believe it is an important way to educate leaders.”

Gerard Beenen, chair of the Department of Management, sees a connection between the scholarship and the opportunities in this industry. “The digital economy is revolutionizing how goods and services are configured, selected and ultimately delivered to consumers. This is true in both online and physical retail venues,” he says. “The Roly White Scholarship will help us identify and reward our most promising operations and supply chain management students, who are ready to lead in this new hyper-competitive business environment.”

APICS has long had a close relationship with Cal State Fullerton’s business program, first partnering with the college to develop a supply chain certificate program. The 43,000-member global society, which relies largely on volunteers, offers three respected certificate programs – CPIM, CSCP and the new CLTD – providing endorsement and education for professionals in the field.

For more information on Mihaylo College’s operations and supply chain concentration, visit the Department of Management online or at SGMH 5313.