Cal State Fullerton Mihaylo College namesake Steven G. Mihaylo flanked by Center for Leadership Director Jay Barbuto and dozens of Leadership Scholars students pose at the Mihaylo College Courtyard.

Steven G. Mihaylo (left standing) and Center for Leadership Director Jay Barbuto pose with Leadership Scholars students at the Mihaylo Courtyard during Mihaylo’s visit in March 2015.

Steven G. Mihaylo, founder of Inter-Tel Inc., CEO and chairman of Crexendo Inc., and namesake of the Mihaylo College of Business and Economics, spoke to business students at the monthly Leadership Scholars meeting on March 20. Mihaylo encouraged business students to strive for greatness, drawing upon his personal entrepreneurial success.

“If you expect great things, you will achieve great things,” Steven Mihaylo ’69 told business students at the March meeting of the Leadership Scholars. “All of you are leaders in this room; it is so important that if you are given a chance for leadership that you take it.”

From Newspaper Boy to Telecommunications Titan

Mihaylo, namesake of the business college and its state-of-the-art facilities due to his multimillion-dollar gifts, related his life story to the audience. Born in Los Angeles during World War II, the 71-year-old’s first job was delivering 30 newspapers per day at age nine. Through tenacity and commitment, the young Mihaylo was soon delivering nearly 400 newspapers on his route. “I feel very fortunate for my life experiences,” he said. “You can either look at the glass half empty or half full – I looked at it as half full.” Read More

Former NBA star Earvin "Magic" Johnson speaks at the Titan Gym at Cal State Fullerton on March 4, 2015.Former NBA star Magic Johnson was the keynote speaker before an audience of thousands of CSUF students, alumni and guests at the Titan Gym on March 4. The event was sponsored in part by the Mihaylo College of Business and Economics and Business Inter-Club Council.

“Always remember, believe in yourself, your dreams and your goal,” NBA star and entrepreneur Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson told a crowd of CSUF students, alumni and guests at the Titan Gym on the evening of March 4, 2015. Johnson told the audience about his basketball career and entrepreneurial success and offered inspiration to the next generation of business leaders. “If you do right, if you have a great reputation, if you are a man or woman of your word, if you will be there on time, it will happen to you too,” he said.

Looking Back on a World-Class NBA Career

Johnson recounted that he was born into a low-income family in Lansing, Mich., the son of a General Motors assembly worker. After playing basketball at Lansing’s Everett High School, Johnson was on the Michigan State University basketball team. “My goal and dream was to win the NCAA title,” he recalls. In 1979, he achieved his goal by leading his team to the NCAA Final Four victory in the most widely watched game in NCAA history.

Drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers later that year, Johnson was point guard for the franchise for 12 years. During his professional career, he contributed to his team’s nine NBA Finals appearances, won three NBA MVP awards and appeared in the NBA All-Star game 12 times. Read More

CSUF Mihaylo College ISDS Professor and social media researcher Ofir Turel.Social media platforms, such as Facebook, provide up-to-date, accessible and personalized communication, yet they also have the potential to become addictive. Mihaylo Professor Ofir Turel discusses how to use social media constructively.

A 2012 survey of CSUF students conducted by Mihaylo Professor Ofir Turel revealed a campus community well-connected to social media platforms such as Facebook. Survey participants reported that they added an average of 7.53 Facebook friends per week, added two updates per day to their Facebook pages and spent an average of 1.89 hours per day on Facebook.

“Any application that provides variable and strong rewards and is regularly accessible is potentially addictive,” says Turel, an information systems and decision sciences professor. “With social media, you never know what friends have posted, so it encourages regular use.” However, he notes that the accessibility and rewards of social media use do not necessarily equate to addictive behaviors, as only a certain percentage of individuals are susceptible to addiction-like symptoms.

While there is no set criteria for what constitutes excessive or addictive use of social media platforms, Turel explains that use that severely interferes with other important priorities, such as school or work, is a warning sign of addiction. “If you use social media even though you know you need to be studying for an exam, the behavior is becoming unhealthy,” he says.

For those that do develop addictive symptoms, there can be serious negative results. “Such ‘addictions’ can result in academic failure, sleep deprivations, social isolation, health issues and many other impairments for adolescents and young adults; they can also result in reduced work performance and marital discord and separation for adults,” Turel and four other professors wrote in the 2014 study, Examination of Neural Systems Sub-serving Facebook ‘Addiction’The study noted that research generally shows that between 0.7% and 11% of the population are strongly impacted by Internet-based addictive tendencies.

Turel notes that professional social networks, such as LinkedIn, and blogs generally do not result in addictive behaviors. “This is because the amount and variability of rewards are smaller, unlike the strong and unexpected social rewards users receive on networks such as Facebook,” he says.

Read Turel’s studies on technology addiction and information technology in the workplace here.

Mihaylo Grad Jason Liu stands in front of the logo of his Alpha Greek Apparel startup in Fountain Valley, California. Mihaylo management and entrepreneurship alumnus Jason Liu ’13 has established Fountain Valley-based Alpha Greek Apparel, which creates customized clothing and accessories for Greek-letter fraternities and sororities at colleges and universities nationwide. Liu discusses his business and gives advice for entrepreneurial students.

College and university fraternities and sororities require customized clothing and accessories to display and share their organizational pride. Mihaylo management and entrepreneurship alumnus Jason Liu ’13 recognized a need for customized products for these Greek-letter societies, which led him to establish Alpha Greek Apparel in August 2013. Based in Fountain Valley, the company, which services fraternities and sororities nationwide, now has a second location in Irvine.

Liu explains that he was active in CSU Fullerton Greek life while pursuing his bachelor’s degree, joining Zeta Phi Rho and serving as an executive board member for the Multicultural Greek Council. These experiences birthed his interest in establishing a business based on campus Greek life. “As I progressed through my business entrepreneurship classes, I started to think about how I could utilize this vast Greek network,” he says. “I thought about products that everyone within the Greek community needed and as a result, Alpha Greek Apparel came to be.”

Alpha Greek Apparel offers Greek-themed clothing in numerous styles and colors, appealing to various tastes. “Customers can bring in their own sweaters and accessories or order them through us,” Liu says. “Our apparel includes pullover hoodies, American Apparel zip-ups, crewnecks, tote bags and hats.”

The company has its own production site in Fountain Valley, minimizing outsourcing and thus permitting prompt execution of orders. It currently has four employees (two in each location), though Liu has high hopes for expansion in the future.

Liu provides advice to entrepreneurial-minded business students. “Do something that you are passionate about and love doing,” he says. “During peak season, I sometimes spend 10 to 12 hours per day at the shop and work through Saturdays and Sundays. But I do not even feel like I am at work. I feel at home when I am at the shop, because I truly enjoy what I am doing.”

For more on Alpha Greek Apparel, visit their Yelp Page or call them at 714-833-6153.

Students interested in entrepreneurship may contact Mihaylo’s Center for Entrepreneurship at 657-278-3464, or visit their office at SGMH 3280.

CSUF Mihaylo College entrepreneurship alumnus Henry Reyes, co-founder and president of the International Surf Lifesaving Association (ISLA).

Henry Reyes ’10, co-founder and president of ISLA

Mihaylo business administration alumni Henry Reyes ’10 and Raquel Lizarraga ’10 were awarded the President’s Volunteer Service Award for more than 900 combined hours of service on behalf of the International Surf Lifesaving Association (ISLA).

Southern California beaches draw millions of surfers, swimmers and beachgoers each year. That translates to thousands of beach rescues each year as rip currents and rough surf can pose dangers for even experienced enthusiasts. On Nov. 3, 2014, Los Angeles County lifeguards reported a record 14,331 ocean rescues for 2014. In other parts of the United States and around the globe, there are thousands more rescues and drownings each year.

Mihaylo business administration alumni Henry Reyes ’10 and Raquel Lizarraga ’10 are part of the solution. Reyes is co-founder and president of the International Surf Lifesaving Association (ISLA) and Lizarraga is vice president of development for the organization, a nonprofit that advances water lifesaving worldwide. Founded by four Huntington Beach lifeguards in 2008, the volunteer organization seeks to prevent drowning in the U.S. and locations throughout the world, with operations in many nations, including Mexico, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and Macedonia. Read More

Ben Gold, Cal State Fullerton alumnus who founded QuickBridge Funding, an Orange County, California, lender.Ben Gold ’04, MBA ’12 has achieved entrepreneurial success as co-founder and president of Orange-based Quick Bridge Funding, which was recently recognized by the Orange County Business Journal as the fastest-growing private mid-sized company in the region. Gold is also actively involved in his alma mater, through support of the Executive Council, Mihaylo Leadership Academy and internship and scholarship programs.

Mihaylo marketing and business administration alumnus Ben Gold ’04, MBA ’12 has utilized his business education and entrepreneurial spirit to succeed and thrive in the Orange County business community.

From 2003 to 2011, Gold gained experience as an innovative leader as vice president of operations for Orange-based Alliance Funding Group, a company that provides business loans and equipment leases to corporate customers nationwide. Gold was responsible for oversight of all non-sales activities in this role, including development of credit and funding policies, team management, development benchmarks to ensure efficiency and creating and maintaining relationships with the company’s funding sources and underwriters.

Launching an Orange County Alternative Lending Giant

In June 2011, Gold co-founded Orange-based Quick Bridge Funding with Jason Osiecki, David Gilbert and Brij Patel ’95. The company provides short-term working capital for small and medium-sized businesses. Under Gold’s leadership, Quick Bridge Funding has grown from a small business with two employees to a company with a workforce of more than 70 in only three years. It is now recognized as one of the leading alternative lending providers for small and medium-sized businesses in the United States, having lent more than $200 million to more than 5,000 different businesses since inception. Read More

Founders of the CSUF Startup Incubator gather in front of the Placentia, California, facility in summer 2014.

Founders of the CSUF Startup Incubator gather at the new facility in Placentia

Mihaylo’s Center for Entrepreneurship is preparing to open the CSUF Startup Incubator, the first CSUF business incubator, in Placentia. The business incubator will utilize entrepreneurs in residence and industry-experienced mentors affiliated with the Center for Entrepreneurship to guide aspiring business start-ups into viable business models.

Students at CSU Fullerton often aspire to start their own businesses, yet attaining the skills, resources and knowledge to succeed can be a daunting task.

“It is my observation that we have many outstanding entrepreneurs with innovative business ideas at CSUF; with proper support and coaching for the entrepreneurs, these ideas could become viable businesses, “John Bradley Jackson, director of Mihaylo’s Center for Entrepreneurship, says. Three years ago, he wrote the business plan for the CSUF Startup Incubator, an off-campus business incubator that will open in nearby Placentia by mid-November.

Established through a partnership with the City of Placentia, which provided the small building at 120 South Bradford, the center will be a “mixed-use incubator.” Jackson explains: “This means that we do not specialize in a certain type of industry. We are looking for innovative ideas that are scalable, meaning capable of growing to a large company. The scalability requirement favors companies that build repeatable products rather than direct labor businesses.” Read More

Mihaylo College grad Taryn Hoffmann-Torres interned with Deloitte in Brazil in 2015.

Photo by James Calish

Taryn Hoffmann-Torres, a business accounting senior, spent this past summer in Brazil, in an internship with Deloitte, one of the “big four” accounting firms. Hoffmann-Torres recounts her experiences while in Brazil and how international internships can benefit business students.

Understanding the importance of internships in the contemporary business world, business accounting senior Taryn Hoffmann-Torres ‘15 took an accounting intern position in summer 2014. Working for Deloitte, a global financial services corporation operating in 150 countries, Hoffmann-Torres spent the summer in Fortaleza, Brazil, with the company’s Global Internship Program (GIP).

“The flight, lodging and meals were fully paid, in addition to a generous hourly pay that made the opportunity even more attractive,” Hoffmann-Torres says. “I had never been to Brazil but was always intrigued by its melting pot of cultures, its music, such as the samba and bossa nova, and its cuisine,” she says. “More importantly, I liked the challenge of working abroad and wanted to have a memorable internship experience.”

Deloitte prepared Hoffmann-Torres for the assignment by providing cultural travel guides and free access to language learning software Rosetta Stone to learn Portuguese, Brazil’s official language. Spoken by 250 million people around the world, mostly in Portugal, Brazil and parts of southern Africa, Portuguese is a romance language, like Spanish. Read More

Michael Oates, a Mihaylo College MBA alumnus who is the founder of Cafe Hidalgo in Downtown Fullerton and author of "Wade in the Water," a novel on the 1889 Johnstown, Pennsylvania, flood. A Cal State Fullerton business undergraduate and MBA alumnus, Michael Oates shares his success as an entrepreneur and author of the historical novel Wade in the Water. He gives practical advice on how to succeed as a startup in the Southern California restaurant industry and shares the inspiration for his novel, which discusses one of the worst natural disasters in American history.

Michael Oates, owner of Café Hidalgo in downtown Fullerton and author of the historical novel Wade in the Wateris a 1992 graduate of CSUF Mihaylo’s MBA program. During the past 20 years, he has used the knowledge gained from his degrees to become both a successful entrepreneur in the restaurant industry and an author. Oates credits much of his success to his Mihaylo education.

“Receiving my MBA from CSUF has given me confidence and credibility in both the restaurant industry and the business community at large,” he says. “Yes, there were a lot of classes to take, exams to study for, papers to write and a wealth of knowledge to absorb, but the benefits went far beyond that.”

He believes that the practical skills he learned in his classes has helped him perform basic accounting, marketing and management for his business, yet he believes that it is the reputation and commitment attached to a top-notch college education that opens doors. “Higher education, especially a program such as Mihaylo’s, where heavy class loads and high expectations are the norm, builds a strong, resilient character that others see, colleagues are drawn to and bosses cannot help but notice,” he says. Read More

A view of the Hong Kong skyline from the The Peak.

Hong Kong, one of the four Asian Tiger economies that powered the region’s economic transformation in the second half of the 20th century.

The economies of East Asia are outpacing the world average in economic growth and are projected to continue their rise to prominence in the future. In a globalized world economy, what do business students need to know about the rise of the Asian economies? CSUF Economics Professor Robert Mead shares some insights about the economies of East Asia and what students can do to be active participants in the world economy.

East Asia, a region encompassing the economic giants Japan and China as well as the upstart economies of Southeast Asia, has a population of 2.2 billion people, over a quarter of the world’s total. It also has more than a third of the world’s total economic output.

CSUF Economics Professor Robert Mead tells students that the East Asian economies have been remarkable in their persistence toward economic vitality over the past half century. The region’s economic development started in Japan and spread to the “Asian Tiger” economies of Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore in the mid-20th Century. China has made a transition from a Communist command economy to one of the world’s most dynamic economies, while Southeast Asian nations such as Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand are rapidly becoming developed countries.

“China, India, Japan and Korea are the four major economies in Asia, though all of the Asian economies are growing faster than the rest of the world in the general,” Mead says. Particularly, China and India are notable because of their huge populations – more than one billion citizens each – which make them economic leaders by sheer size alone. Yet all of the Asian economies are notable for outpacing the world average in economic growth over the last 50 years. Read More