Aerial view of shipping containers at the Port of Long Beach, California.

The Port of Long Beach, one of Southern California’s major ports of entry, handles billions of dollars-worth of Chinese imports each year, for consumption throughout North America. Photo from Wikimedia Commons

The world’s largest and second-largest economies have been locked in a bitter trade dispute since the Trump Administration has acted upon protectionist policies, with particular impact to the Southern California economy, one of the nerve centers of trade with East Asia. CSUF Mihaylo College Economics Associate Professor Pedro Amaral and Lecturer Aaron Popp examined the trade dispute and where it might go next at a Nov. 28 panel discussion.

At a summit meeting on the sidelines of the G20 conference in Buenos Aries, U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping have agreed to a temporary truce in an escalating trade dispute between the world’s top economies.

As much as $250 billion in Chinese imports and $110 billion of U.S. exports have been tariffed since Trump mandated the first of three rounds of tariffs on Chinese imports on July 6, following an investigation by the U.S. Trade Representative. The East Asian nation has countered with tit-for-tat duties on American exports.

“About 46% of total Chinese imports are being tariffed, but L.A. is serving a smaller percentage of those products [that are being tariffed] – 41%. But any later round of tariffs will have a harder impact on the local economy,” said Aaron Popp, Mihaylo College economics lecturer, of the situation and its Southern California impact at a Nov. 28 symposium, sponsored by the CSUF Economics Association. Read More

For Tanvi Bobde ’17 (M.S. – information systems), an interest in “Game of Thrones” along with an education and skills in data analytics converge in her current role at the Los Angeles offices of HBO. She discusses the responsibilities and activities of her position, what life is like working at the cable TV network, her career goals and the impact of her CSUF Mihaylo College education.

Millions of people enjoy watching the HBO fantasy drama series “Game of Thrones.” But for Mihaylo College alumna Tanvi Bobde ’17, the fantasy drama served as the catalyst for a career opportunity at the Los Angeles offices of the cable television network.

“I’m a huge fan, and after watching the season seven finale episode, I was awestruck. Just out of curiosity, I was going through their audience statistics, with the ability to understand all the terminologies and the analytical breakdown, thanks to the information systems and decision sciences program at Mihaylo,” says Bobde, who earned her M.S. in information systems. “It was interesting to see how the creative environment is constantly changing. It then struck me that I should look up HBO’s career page for any data analytics openings. I wanted to be a small part of the larger whole that entertains the world. I always wanted to work in a creative environment that keeps me on my toes, and the entertainment field was just the right fit.”

While data analytics is a growing field across all industries from health care to government, Bobde notes that the entertainment industry is a significant career path for Southern California professionals with data analytics skills. Business analyst, data analyst, data scientist and business intelligence developer comprise an in-demand professional cast of characters. Read More

Jessica McNamara, HR associate at UST Global, posing in front of palm trees.

Jessica McNamara ’18, HR associate at UST Global, one of the panelists at the Dec. 3 event at Mihaylo College.

The Cal State Fullerton chapter of the Society of Excellence in Human Resources will feature an Alumni Panel of human resources professionals on Monday, Dec. 3. The free event, which will be held in the O’Brien Center on the third floor of Steven G. Mihaylo Hall from 7 to 9 p.m., will include a discussion by two alumnae of the business college and a graduate of the CSUF public relations undergrad program. Dress code for attendees is business casual.

Open to students of all majors and sponsored by the Business Inter-Club Council, the symposium is designed to showcase the opportunities available in the human resources profession, which, according to, employs more than 800,000 people in the U.S. across all industries – from high-tech startups to education to manufacturing.

The event will feature the following panelists:

  • Jessica McNamara ’18 (management), HR associate for Aliso Viejo-based digital and IT services solutions firm UST Global
  • Kathleen Geriak ’92 (public relations), director of human resources for Laguna Hills-based software company Altec Inc.
  • Sheer Best ’17 (management), HR coordinator for South Orange County homebuilder Pardee Homes.

For more information on opportunities in human resources, including a concentration devoted specifically to this field, visit the Department of Management online or by calling 657-278-2251.

Mike Daniel, director of the Cal State Fullerton Mihaylo College SBDC. The Cal State Fullerton Mihaylo College chapter of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), which assists startups in Orange County, the Inland Empire and the desert communities, has received a nearly $1 million award from the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development for the 2018-2019 Small Business Technical Assistance Expansion Program.

Designed to expand the capacity of small business assistance, the grant will provide funding for business consulting with advisors and business training through workshops, classes and other activities; the grant is part of a broader $23 million awarded to centers across the state.

With a particular focus on women-launched firms and entrepreneurs from historically underserved demographics and communities, rural areas, and localities recovering from disasters such as the California wildfires, the Mihaylo College chapter was ranked first in the nation for providing access to capital, assisting clients with $326 million in debt and equity capital in 2017. An estimated 1,209 jobs were created through concepts developed at the center last year.

The business consultants of the CSUF SBDC, which operates in partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), provide individual consulting and advising, low-cost seminars, technical and trade assistance, venture capital formation, feasibility studies, business plan reviews, marketing support, production assistance, and organizational advice to support new concepts in a wide range of industries.

For More Information

Do you have a business concept that you would like to turn into reality? The SBDC is ready to advise startups launched by members of the community, including students and alumni. You can set up an appointment by calling 657-278-2719 or using the center’s contact form.

Read more small business development articles on this website.

As older generations retire, the banking industry provides opportunities for lucrative and impactful careers for today’s young professionals. Ivo Tjan ’99, founder and CEO of Irvine-based CommerceWest Bank, which primarily serves small- to medium-sized enterprises for their commercial banking needs, looks at why students and alumni should consider careers in the field, how to get started and his personal entrepreneurship story.

“I became a CEO when I was 27 years old,” says Ivo Tjan, who founded CommerceWest Bank two years after completing his undergraduate degree in marketing from Cal State Fullerton. In a sector dominated by older professionals – many of them in their 60s – the young entrepreneur found a niche focusing on commercial banking services for Southern California companies with revenues between $5 million and $100 million.

Tjan (pronounced tee-jan), who entered the banking industry at age 18, already had held management roles at Eldorado Bank, Home Savings of America and Great Western Bank, which, supplemented with his business coursework at CSUF, provided a focus and foundation in this field.

“I became a better CEO because I’ve been in there for so long. I was young, but I had the experience beforehand at different banks,” he says. “You have to stick to your core competency of what you’re good at.” Read More

A group of chocolate cupcakes with tempting frosting, an example of a guilty pleasure that many consumers fall for. From desserts to vacations, today’s marketers are experts at engaging the public with products, places and pastimes that they enjoy – and feel guilty about afterwards. Cal State Fullerton marketing Professors Matthew Lancellotti and Sunil Thomas look at how men and women respond to advertising messages in their co-authored study, “Men hate it, women love it: guilty pleasure advertising messages,” published in the Journal of Business Research.

That chocolate cake in the window at 85° bakery may be tempting, but you’re trying to cut down on sweets. If you ultimately indulge but feel bad about it afterwards, you are one of the millions of consumers who might be successfully targeted with guilty pleasure advertising messages, a common and often engaging strategy employed by Madison Avenue and small businesses alike in promoting their products and services.

Professors Matthew Lancellotti and Sunil Thomas looked at the differences and similarities in the effectiveness of this type of advertising on men and women in their recent study “Men hate it, women love it: guilty pleasure advertising messages,” published in the April 2018 edition of the Journal of Business Research.

Asking hundreds of participants to review relevant advertisements and report the personal impact, the researchers examined the resonance across student and general populations and among multiple age groups and both genders. Participants in different groups reviewed the fictitious ZBX from Amalfi motors, a youth-oriented Italian sports car to be imported to the U.S.; the Mac’N Cheese Anytime You Please! dinner; and a resort vacation in Baja California. Read More

Students interact with judges at the 2018 Titan Fast Pitch competition at Cal State Fullerton in the Titan Student Union.

A student presents to Rossina Gallegos from MUFG Union Bank. Photo credit: Matt Petit for MUFG Union Bank

Nearly 400 students, parents, business professionals, and Cal State Fullerton faculty and staff spent their Saturday afternoon at Cal State Fullerton’s Titan Student Union on Oct. 27 for the sixth annual Titan Fast Pitch, which gives Southern California university, high school and middle school students an opportunity to showcase their entrepreneurial talent to judges from a wide range of industries.

Featuring more than 150 student participants and 50 judges, the event provided 12 scholarships of up to $1,500 for winners. The four recognized university winners included three Cal State Fullerton students, with Nicholas DeOrian ’18 taking the top spot.

The format, in which presenters must give a brief and compelling synopsis of their vision in 60 seconds or less, gives students invaluable skills for personal networking in addition to entrepreneurial acumen.

Presented by the Mihaylo College Center for Entrepreneurship and Center for Economic Education, this year’s event was platinum sponsored by MUFG Union Bank. U.S. Bank sponsored the middle school and high school portions of the competition.

For a complete overview of the event, its sponsors and the winners on all levels, continue reading on the CSUF Entrepreneurship blog, which is written and maintained by the Center for Entrepreneurship and provides regular updates on the center’s events and activities.A university team at the Cal State Fullerton Titan Fast Pitch 2018 pitches an entrepreneurial concept in 60 seconds.

Cal State Fullerton Mihaylo College Marketing Professor Chiranjeev Kohli surrounded by his students in a classroom at the college.

Mihaylo College Marketing Professor Chiranjeev Kohli (second from left) was inspired to gather expert-approved advice for young adults from learning of the challenges and questions many of his students face as they begin their professional lives.From investment advice to how to have the most fulfilling existence, Mihaylo College Marketing Professor Chiranjeev Kohli is committed to finding and sharing insightful answers to life questions that impact business professionals and his own students.

From warranty advice to how to maximize willpower for positive goals, Kohli hopes to codify these insights into a short but engaging forthcoming book. “This would be ideal for young adults who are starting their own careers,” he says. “It will be many topics in which I don’t necessarily provide a perfect solution, but give a gist of what needs to be done in a few pages.”

Kohli focuses on scientific evidence, rather than opinions, to form the basis of his advice, relying on studies across a wide range of disciplines. Read More

Kami Kaur, vice president of recruitment at the Sales Leadership Center at Cal State Fullerton's Mihaylo College, speaks at the Sales Career Academy on Sept. 28, 2018.

The Cal State Fullerton Sales Leadership Center offers opportunities for career development, such as the Sales Career Academy on Sept. 28, 2018.

Since its founding in 2009, the CSUF Mihaylo College Sales Leadership Center has provided support, networking and applied career readiness experience for Cal State Fullerton students of all majors seeking careers in sales or seeking to improve their personal brand. Brad Anderson, the center’s new director, discusses his vision for the center and how to maximize the resources of the center for career advancement.

In a consumer-driven economy, sales ranks front-and-center in the U.S. economy. In 2017, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 14.5 million Americans were employed in sales, nearly a 10th of the total labor market. As the economy shifts due to technological and societal trends, the need has never been greater for entrants into the sales force to be prepared for the current realities and best practices of the field.

But even if your career goals don’t include sales, all professionals in today’s competitive environment need to be able to sell their personal brand to prospective employers and clients.

“Anyone can benefit from learning to sell. In any vocation, you sell,” says Brad Anderson, director of the CSUF Mihaylo College Sales Leadership Center. “Selling is the act of persuading others to take action or respond in a certain way. This can be convincing people what to have for dinner or to invest in new equipment, whether for a rocket launch or the purchase of a new car. If you learn the aspects of being successful, success will happen.”

Anderson succeeds Mark Mantey, who expanded the reach of the program during his five years of leadership.

Read More

Staff from the Orange County Registrar of Voters outside of the Early Pop-Up Voting booth at Tuffy Lawn at Cal State Fullerton on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018. As we approach one of the most significant midterm elections in recent generations, Cal State Fullerton made voting even more convenient than ever for students, staff and faculty with a mobile booth for early voting on Nov. 1.

A day after Halloween festivities, many Titans switched gears to civic participation on Thursday, Nov. 1, getting an early start to voting in the midterm elections by casting their ballots at the Pop-Up Vote Center on Tuffy Lawn.

The mobile polling spot, which includes three private and secure booths with voting machines, was open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., one of a number of such locations sponsored by the Orange County Registrar of Voters to ensure that the busy residents of California’s third most populous county don’t miss the opportunity to let their voices be heard.

While residents of the immediate campus vicinity can vote on Tuesday, Nov. 6, at the George G. Golleher Alumni House, the Pop-Up Vote Center, staffed by trained representatives, was the first time that Orange Countians could cast their ballots on campus regardless of their address. The center also accepted completed absentee ballots. Read More