Christopher Stewart '15, a Mihaylo College international business grad, poses with the NASA logo at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, where he interned in 2016.

Mihaylo international business alumnus Christopher Stewart’15 displays the NASA logo. His internship at the Johnson Space Center involves the development of driver-less technology, which can be utilized for space missions and commercial automobile manufacturing.

Mihaylo international business alumnus Christopher Stewart ’15 hopes that his internship at NASA’s Johnston Space Center in Houston will launch his career, which combines business education with engineering goals.

“Working for NASA has been a lifelong dream,” says Christopher Stewart ’15. “I realized I wanted to commit myself to aerospace in my junior year of college. So after finishing my business degree at Mihaylo College, I packed up and left California for Texas to pursue a more technical background.”

In March, Stewart began an internship at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, involving the design and creation of self-driving vehicles. NASA and commercial manufacturers have been collaborating on the development of driverless technology that can be used for passenger vehicles as well as space vehicles for planetary missions to Mars and elsewhere in the solar system.

From International Business to Engineering

When Stewart committed to an aerospace education, he faced challenges translating his business experience to the engineering field, yet he found his schooling was still invaluable. “My degree got me a job at a local engineering company here in Houston and has provided me with the ability to earn a living wage and gain experience in the field,” he says.

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The hands of two people on a table, one writing in a journal and both surrounded by business technology.

Spending a lunch break with a business professional can be a great opportunity to learn about industries and job roles you are interested in. Image from Pixabay.

Wonder what it’s really like to work in your dream corporate job? What is it like on the staff of your favorite nonprofit? Informational interviews are a great way for students to explore career positions.

Interviewing doesn’t have to wait until you have applied for a position: Informational interviews provide a chance for entrants into the labor market to see what a day in the life of a professional is like.  An informational interview consists of either a phone call or a casual meeting either in an office or over a coffee.  From corporate executives to small business owners, many business people are eager to share their work with the next generation of career seekers.

Landing an Informational Interview

Reaching out to a professional for an informational interview may be a daunting prospect, but there are several tips that can make the process easier.

Cal State Fullerton has an alumni network on LinkedIn, the world’s leading career-focused social network. Many alumni would be honored to discuss their career path and current activities with students and recent graduates. LinkedIn’s in-mail feature is a great tool to get in touch.

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Mihaylo College alumnus Tam Nguyen '05 holds an award his business was given at the Center for Family Business Hall of Fame awards. He is surrounded by his executive team

Tam Nguyen ’05 (center) and his executive team at the Family Business Hall of Fame awards in March. Nguyen will teach this fall’s section of MGMT 335 – Family Business Dynamics.

Planning a future small business? Hoping to lead your family’s startup to the next generation? Mihaylo’s Center for Family Business sponsors MGMT 335 – Family Business Dynamics, which explores the challenges and opportunities facing today’s family operations.

Family businesses are the lifeblood of the American economy. With enterprises in such diverse sectors as agriculture, manufacturing, finance, entertainment and tourism, contracting, food services and retail, family-owned firms generate more than 50% of the nation’s GNP. Families own thousands of small “mom-and-pop shops” and 35% of Fortune 500 companies. Yet family dynamics can make generational succession difficult. Less than one-third of enterprises continue into second-generation ownership and only a sixth continues to the third generation.

Mihaylo’s Center for Family Business sponsors MGMT 335 – Family Business Dynamics, to assist students in understanding the dynamics such businesses face and the best strategies for successful outcomes.

“We focus on how family dynamics, including leadership and sibling position, influence the company and the family,” says Ed Hart, the center’s director. “Strategies for successful business planning, succession, ownership, estate planning, compensation, family meetings, mission statements, conflict resolution, use of outside consultants and boards are all included. We also study current national and international cases so that students have a working knowledge of real-life situations they might encounter.”

The course, available in fall 2016, is taught by the Rick Muth Endowed Chair for Family Business, a full-time professor dedicated to instruction and research on this theme. The position is named after Rick Muth, CEO of ORCO Block and Hardscape, and is unique in CSU Fullerton.

Interim chair for the 2016-2017 academic year, Tam Nguyen ’05 (MBA), will be teaching the class this fall.  Dr. Nguyen and his sister Linh lead Advance Beauty College, which has two locations in Orange County.  They were inducted into the Family Business Hall of Fame earlier this year, and were honored as the Family Business of the Year in 2012 by the Orange County Business Journal. Students will meet several successful family business leaders throughout the semester, providing an excellent opportunity for students to build their personal network. Registration for the course will be available in July for Cal State Fullerton students.

For more information on the course or the activities of the Center for Family Business, which offers networking, education and speaker events, contact Ed Hart at 657-278-7431 or visit the center at SGMH 5284 or online.

Introducing The Mihaylo College of Business and Economics Class of 2016! Close to 2,000 business students (both undergrad and graduate) walked in commencement ceremonies at Cal State Fullerton’s sunny Southern California campus on May 21st and 22nd. For some of them, this may be the last time they will be on campus, but as newly-minted alumni, they are Titans for Life!

Mihaylo College students enrolled in the applied investment program present a giant check to Assistant Dean for Student Affairs Emeline Yong.

ASAP students present Assistant Dean for Student Affairs Emeline Yong (front, second from right) with a check from the portfolio’s investment returns.

For the third consecutive year, the Mihaylo Applied Securities Analysis Program (ASAP), which provides an investment portfolio for finance students, has presented an annual gift to the Mihaylo Tutoring Center. This year’s donation was $7,500.

Mihaylo’s Applied Securities Analysis Program (ASAP) is truly a win-win. It equips finance students for an investment career with the opportunity to collaborate on a real-world investment portfolio using actual money. Students construct and manage portfolios, acting as money managers in buying and selling securities. It also benefits business students of all concentrations by providing funding for the Mihaylo Tutoring Center with its investment returns.

Earlier this month, ASAP students and Mihaylo finance lecturers Michael Milligan and Marcia Clark presented the tutoring center with the program’s third and largest gift to date – a $7,500 check.

“This gift will enable us to enhance student success by providing additional student services,” says Mihaylo Assistant Dean for Student Affairs Emeline Yong. “For example, more tutoring hours and resources will be available for students who are challenged by difficult courses.”

For more on the ASAP program, visit them online or contact Milligan at For more on the tutoring center, visit them online. The center is closed during the summer, but will reopen in fall to service students Monday through Thursday. For more on all of the tutoring options available to Mihaylo students, check out our earlier blog post.

Two businesspeople discuss a resume during a professional interview.

Today’s students should recognize that employers often read résumés online and sometimes don’t get to read them at all due to filtering software. That makes keywords critical in getting noticed.

As recent Cal State Fullerton grads look for career jobs, here are some tips on how to create a résumé that resonates with today’s employers.

Every entrant into the job market wants their résumé to stand out. Yet it is easier said than done – according to a recent study by The Ladders, recruiters spend only six seconds reviewing the average résumé. The quantitative study, the first to examine what portions of résumés recruiters notice using eye-tracking technology, found that the name, current job title and company, previous job titles and companies, previous and current start and end dates, and educational experience comprise 80% of the reviewer’s time. Beyond these points, recruiters did little more than give a cursory review.

Considering these findings, here are seven tips to make the most of your opportunity to engage potential employers, from a recent Time magazine report and The Ladders’ study.

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A Best Buy sales associate holds an iPad on the sales floor of a busy store.

A sales associate demonstrates an Apple iPad. Technology-related roles are a growing field within sales. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

More than 14 million Americans have sales jobs, including 1.5 million Californians. From retail outlets to B2B sales that power major corporations, salespeople are on the frontlines of the consumer-driven economy. Here’s a look at some high-paying careers in this field.

Think of sales jobs and you might picture the cashier at your local convenience store. Yet thousands of sales positions exist in such diverse industries as finance, construction, hospitality and manufacturing.

“Professional selling is among the most common types of jobs for graduating business students,” says Mark Mantey, co-director of Mihaylo’s Sales Leadership Center, which provides networking opportunities, sales competitions and career training for Cal State Fullerton students interested in developing sales skills. “Some research shows that as many as 60% of all business majors and 88% of all marketing majors start their career in a sales-related role.”

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The sign and basketball court of Jessamyn West Park, a small city park, in Yorba Linda, California.

Yorba Linda’s Jessamyn West Park is one of the hundreds of city and county parks that dot the Orange County landscape. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

How do urban parks impact housing prices? Mihaylo Economics Assistant Professor Mitchell Livy examined the relationship in his recent report on the capitalized value of local park renovations. He discusses his study and its relationship to Orange County’s vast parklands.

For more than 150 years, urban planners throughout the world have recognized the value of parklands to increase the desirability of cities and towns. Today, park maintenance is one of the leading allocations of local governments, with annual spending in America’s 100 largest cities totaling more than $6.3 billion. How does spending to improve parks impact residential housing values?

Mihaylo Economics Assistant Professor Mitchell Livy addressed this question in his recent study, “Maintaining Public Goods: The Capitalized Value of Local Park Renovations,” which appeared in the journal Land Economics in February.

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The skyline of Downtown San Diego on a clear day, as visible from Coronado Island.

The target of major revitalization projects, Downtown San Diego is developing as a major shopping, entertainment and residential district. Image from Pixabay.

Two zoos, SeaWorld, museums, historic sites, beaches, golf, shopping, pro sports. The list goes on and on of things to see and do in San Diego, California’s playground within driving distance of campus. Here are 10 top attractions.  

San Diego stands out among America’s metropolitan areas in its stunning variety of things to see and do. It’s a great place for visitors of every lifestyle, age range and budget – and it’s all only a two-hour drive (traffic permitting) from Cal State Fullerton.

Here are 10 things to do in Orange County’s southern neighbor.

  1. The San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Safari Park

Consistently ranked among the top zoos in the world, the original San Diego Zoo, founded in 1915, houses more than 3,700 animals of 650 species and subspecies in Balboa Park; the Safari Park in Escondido, a 30-minute drive north of San Diego proper on I-15, gives visitors a chance to see flora and fauna from around the world in its natural habitats. Cal State Fullerton students are eligible for discounted tickets at both locations.

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Spectators watch an e-sports event in an auditorium.

Since the first video game tournaments held 20 years ago, e-sports has expanded to a large – and rapidly growing – industry. Hundreds of thousands of people watch live streams of competitions or attend events in which they watch virtual games, such as the League of Legends event shown above. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

Mihaylo Fully-Employed MBA (FEMBA) alumnus Mark Deppe ’15 has founded an innovative e-sports program at UC Irvine, the first such program at any public research university in the U.S. Deppe discusses his inspiration and vision and shares advice.

Mihaylo FEMBA alumnus Mark Deppe’15 developed an innovative concept in his strategic management capstone course last year. Under the direction of Mihaylo Management Lecturer Jack Mixner, Deppe was tasked with completing a competitive analysis and proposing recommendations for a given industry.

Mihaylo College FEMBA grad Mark Deppe has started an e-sports program at UC Irvine.

MIhaylo FEMBA alumnus Mark Deppe ’15 hopes the e-sports program he developed will serve as a model for other universities.

“I chose to do a strategic analysis of the video game industry,” he said. “I saw competitive gaming in higher education as an emerging market and found ways to fill the associated institutional voids. Using the experience I had with in-class presentations, I was able to successfully pitch my concept to the UC Irvine’s chancellor’s cabinet.”

Deppe strongly believed in applying his MBA assignments to practical, rather than theoretical, issues, which prompted him to develop a business plan for his current employer while leveraging the feedback of others in developing solutions. “Pitch your ideas to friends and family, pitch ideas as much as you can,” he says. “The more feedback you get, the better prepared you’ll be to share them with people who can help make them happen.”

The e-sports program, featuring virtual multiplayer video game contests, will launch this fall in an arena equipped with high-end gaming PCs, a competition stage and live webcasting facilities. “We have four main focuses with the program: Elite competition, connecting with research and academics, supporting the massive gaming community, and creating live and online entertainment,” says Deppe. “This is the next step for collegiate e-sports and I hope it will pave the way for other schools to follow.”

Deppe views his FEMBA coursework as invaluable to his personal development. “I loved everything I got out of my FEMBA experience,” he says. “I loved the team environment, the pace of the coursework, the schedule, the faculty and all the skills I gained over three years.”

For more on Mihaylo’s FEMBA program and other graduate studies, visit Mihaylo MBA and Graduate Programs online or at SGMH 4210.