A large and diverse group of shoppers rush through barricades into a store in an outdoor strip mall on Black Friday.

Shoppers rush into a mall early on Black Friday morning in 2013. The day became a major consumer and media event in the 2000s though there are doubts over its future importance. Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Americans will turn out by the millions this Friday for the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season. Here is a look at the key metrics and history of the annual consumer spending spree.

This week, students will relish a week off classes and enjoy family and good food on the Thanksgiving holiday. But most will also spend at least some of their time shopping. Since the Great Depression era, the Friday after Thanksgiving has been regarded as the beginning of the holiday season. But in the past two decades, it has developed into an annual ritual for retailers of every stripe.

Here is a synopsis of what could arguably be considered America’s greatest annual celebration of the consumer economy.

From Four-Day Weekend to Shopping Holiday

Thanksgiving always falls on the fourth Thursday of November, giving many corporate and government employees a four-day weekend. While traditionally a time to enjoy family and begin decorating for the holiday season, the weekend has developed into a multifaceted retail extravaganza, composed of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. Read More

Mihaylo College grad Erin Foate '07, founder of Dachs 2 Danes, a pet care startup, kneels, holding dogs on either side.

“You need to be able to understand and relate to customers on an emotional level to succeed in the pet industry,” says Mihaylo Entrepreneurship Alumna Erin Foate ’07.

Erin Foate ’07 (entrepreneurship) provides a look at her pet-care startup, Dachs 2 Danes Inc., and gives advice on starting your own business, whether it focuses on two- or four-legged clientele.

Pets are big business in today’s economy. According to the American Pet Products Association, the U.S. was expected to spend more than $60 billion on pets in 2015, with $1,641 spent annually on basic expenses for the average dog. As more people view their pets as valuable members of the family, more businesses are being established to provide grooming, training, health care and pampering to pets.

Mihaylo Entrepreneurship Alumna Erin Foate ’07 started a dog day care business in 2014. Her Anaheim-based startup, Dachs 2 Danes Inc., offers dog day care, boarding, grooming and training. The business also offers in-home pet care for North Orange County owners of animals such as dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, reptiles and horses.

“I was inspired by my dog, Romeo, to start a doggy day care,” says Foate. “I hated leaving him home alone all day, and I thought there must be other people who felt the same way about their dogs. When I got involved with more dogs and their owners, I realized that pet owners had many needs. That eventually led me to provide care for a wide variety of pets in their own home, in addition to providing dog day care and boarding.” Read More

A male student with a backpack writes a message with chalk on the Before I Die Wall in the courtyard of Steven G. Mihaylo Hall at Cal State Fullerton in fall 2016.

From graduation to marriage to career advancement, students share their goals and wishes on the Before I Die wall.

Mihaylo’s Business Honors Program has sponsored the Before I Die wall, which provides CSUF students a place to write their life goals and ambitions. The annual six-foot-tall chalkboard wall is on campus through Thursday. 

Where do you hope to see yourself in the future? Do you want to be a leader in your profession, have a family, travel the world, make a positive impact on society or enjoy your favorite hobby? Cal State Fullerton students are writing down their hopes and dreams on a chalkboard wall at Mihaylo Hall this week. Dubbed the “Before I Die” wall by the Business Honors Program, it is a place for students to reflect on their future.

Started by students in 2013, the wall has become an annual event that has drawn the attention of the campus community and even CSU Chancellor Timothy White.

“The students of the Business Honors Program created the wall to foster community among CSUF students and promote the honors program,” says the program’s Vice President for Public Relations Luc Ceci ’17 (finance). “Through sharing our dreams we inspire one another and often create a few laughs as well.” Read More

Mihaylo College finance grad Bhakti Pavani '11, a research analyst at Euro Pacific Capital.

According to Bhakti Pavani ’11, “strong financial fundamental knowledge, previous experience, communication skills and networking” are necessary for students to succeed in the financial industry.

Financial industry careers may be lucrative and rewarding but landing a job at a leading financial firm can be difficult. Mihaylo MBA – finance alumna Bhakti Pavani ’11 provides some insights on finance career paths and her journey from international student to research analyst.

Six-figure paychecks, a professional work environment and upward mobility are among the reasons the financial industry beckons so many business majors. But how can you break into this competitive and high-stakes field?

Mihaylo MBA – finance alumna Bhakti Pavani ’11 was an international student from India when she began her graduate program at Cal State Fullerton in 2009. After her graduation in 2011, she held analyst positions at C.K. Cooper & Company and B. Riley & Company before beginning her current role as senior research analyst at Euro Pacific Capital in Newport Beach, where she researches companies in the oil and mining industries.

How should students prepare for a career in the financial industry?

Without sugar-coating things, it is a very cut-throat industry with tons of competition. It is certainly rewarding but at the same time very demanding and challenging. Read More

A diverse group of Mihaylo College students outside Warner Bros. Television near Los Angeles on a trip sponsored by the CSUF Behind the Scenes club.

Mihaylo students visit Warner Bros. as part of the Behind the Scenes club, which seeks to prepare students for careers in hospitality and media.

The Mihaylo College Behind the Scenes club hosts networking events, industry tours and panel discussions relating to the tourism, hospitality and entertainment fields. Club President Maureen McLandrich ’18 (entertainment and tourism) discusses the club’s activities and how students can join.

With miles of beaches, theme parks and the world center of the movie industry, entertainment and tourism are major drivers of the Southern California economy. Los Angeles and Orange counties lead the state in related employment.

Behind the Scenes (BTS), a student club related to the Mihaylo Entertainment & Tourism Management concentration, offers business workshops and panels, socials and tours of entertainment companies; the club seeks to provide participants a well-rounded understanding of how the world of entertainment operates.

Building Business Skills

Like many Mihaylo-affiliated clubs, BTS helps students prepare for the work world through résumé development, dress for success and networking workshop events. BTS focuses specifically on the entertainment sector by bringing in industry guest speakers for these events. Read More

Anil Puri, the former dean of Mihaylo College, looks out to a room full of Orange County business executives while delivering the annual Economic Forecast in fall 2016.

CSUF Provost and Former Dean Anil Puri delivers the economic forecast report at the Hotel Irvine on Nov. 2 to an audience of local business professionals, economists and members of the Titan family. Photo by Matt Gush.

Former Mihaylo Dean and CSUF Provost Anil Puri and Mihaylo Associate Professor of Economics Mira Farka presented their annual economic forecast on Nov. 2. They discussed the local, national and global economic outlook in light of structural headwinds and news shocks impacting macroeconomic performance.

From Britain’s vote to leave the European Union to the antiestablishment candidacies of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, 2016 has not been business as usual in the Western world. As Director of the Woods Center for Economic Analysis and Forecasting Anil Puri and Associate Professor of Economics Mira Farka note, “When all is said and done, 2016 will be remembered as the year when wildly unlikely events came to pass… across the western world, a deep sense of resentment, anger, and frustration with the status-quo is reshaping the political discourse.”

Puri and Farka, in delivering the 22nd Annual Economic Forecast Conference to local business leaders and academics on Nov. 2 at the Hotel Irvine, report that the economic situation may not match the political climate, but significant headwinds remain nearly a decade after the start of the Great Recession. They titled their report “World at a Crossroads: Navigating Risks in Pursuit of an Ideal Climate.” Read More

Looking up at the Silver Bullet roller coaster ride at Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, California.

The Silver Bullet ride at Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park. The city’s destination marketer, Jeremy Peterson ’14, says new rides and water slides are planned at Knott’s.

Tourism is a major force in the Orange County economy, employing nearly 200,000 people, according to the latest Orange County Workforce Indicators Report. Destination marketers are at the forefront of representing all that the county has to offer to visitors from around the world. Jeremy Peterson ’14 (marketing) discusses his position as a destination marketer for Visit Buena Park and opportunities in the Orange County hospitality industry.

Southern California residents and international visitors alike know Buena Park as the home of Knott’s Berry Farm. But the city of more than 80,000 has a number of things to see and do, including a scale replica of Independence Hall, a historic district, and Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament. Jeremy Peterson ’14 is a leader in representing the city to the traveling public. The Mihaylo marketing alumnus joined the city’s tourism bureau in 2014, following a four-year role as marketing assistant for The Walt Disney Company in Anaheim.

Opportunities in Entertainment and Tourism

When you think of tourism jobs, hotel, restaurant or attraction employment might come to mind. Yet destination marketing is critical for developing and promoting cities, regions, states and countries as a place for visitors, conventions and even motion picture filming. Destination marketers have played a major role in putting Orange County at the forefront of the Southern California visitor experience. Read More

Skiers and snowboards descend the slopes on a sunny winter day at Snow Summit near Big Bear Lake, California.

Snow Summit near Big Bear Lake offers downhill skiing and snowboarding only 90 miles from CSUF. Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Temperatures are falling and recent rains remind us of the upcoming winter season. Snowy weather may seem worlds away from Orange County, yet skiing, snowboarding and other winter sports can be enjoyed less than two hours from campus in the San Bernardino and San Gabriel mountains.

Mostly cloudy and cool with a 70% of rain. That forecast could mean it is a bad day to go to the beach or Disneyland. But it likely means it is a good time to explore the local mountains, which offer snow play, winter sports and other cold-weather recreation.

Here are five places to enjoy a real winter within a day’s drive.

  1. Big Bear Lake

Big Bear is Southern California’s foremost winter sports destination, featuring two major downhill ski and snowboard resorts: Bear Mountain Ski Resort and Snow Summit Ski Resort. Nearby Running Springs also has cross-country skiing at Rim Nordic and downhill skiing at Snow Valley Mountain Resort. Read More

Portfolium, which provides a forum for Cal State Fullerton students and alumni to highlight their academic and professional achievements.

Portfolium offers an online community for the Cal State Fullerton family to connect and network. The site is open to all majors and offers a LinkedIn-style profile, as well as a space to upload school and work samples.

Cal State Fullerton students and alumni have exclusive access to a career network known as Portfolium, which provides a forum for academic and work samples of Titans. Here are some tips on how to use the network for your career development.

In 2015, the California State University network reached an agreement with Portfolium, a free digital profile platform, to provide an online professional development forum for students and alumni. With nearly 40,000 students and 215,000 alumni, Cal State Fullerton has a massive network across all major industries in Southern California and around the world.

Here are seven things you should know about the Cal State Fullerton Portfolium network.

  1. You can upload your résumé, completed class assignments or internship projects.

Uploads can be added as attachments. If you are including any group projects, however, be sure to check with fellow group members before uploading. Also be sure to remove any private information, such as your CWID, from the documents. You may want to remove your physical address as well. You can download your profile as a pdf to easily share it in-person or by email to prospective employers. Read More

Mihaylo College alumnus Matthew Sanchez '12 poses in professional attire at his workplace at T.D. Ameritrade in Indiana.

Matthew Sanchez ’12 (finance) encourages students to reach high to attain their dreams. “Don’t be afraid to take risks and be willing to work hard,” he says.

Matthew Sanchez ’12 (finance) has worked in the financial services industry for more than three years, including roles with Charles Schwab and T.D. Ameritrade in Southern California and Indiana. He discusses the industry, his career and his Mihaylo experience.  

Alumni of Mihaylo’s finance program work for some of the top names in the industry. In Southern California and across the country, Titans are developing themselves in the banking, investment and securities fields. One such alumnus is Matthew Sanchez ’12 (finance), who is a senior investment consultant with online broker T.D. Ameritrade in Indianapolis, Indiana. He discusses his current position, careers in the investment industry and his experience at Cal State Fullerton.

What would you like students to know about careers in investment consulting?

I am not going to sugar coat it; this is a cut-throat industry and everyone is competing for your clients so you have to be at your best every day. I believe the best aspect of this career is the people you get to meet and the relationships you develop. Although rewarding on many levels, this field is not without its difficulties. Soft skills are critical, as is utilizing and managing a social network. As an investment consultant, I help clients identify concerns they have with their investments, such as their retirement plans, and provide solutions to these challenges. Read More