Stories and Articles

Outstanding graduates recognized by Fowler College of Business

Each year, the Fowler College of Business (FCB) names its most “Outstanding Students” from each department to be recognized at commencement. This year, 11 students will sit on stage with their designated most influential faculty member to be recognized.

Top students and their most influential faculty members for 2019 include:

Undergraduate

Christina Berglund

Accounting: Cristina Berglund

Most Influential Faculty Member:

Dr. Pablo Machado

Hometown:

Roseville, California

Q: Why did you choose to come to SDSU?
I chose SDSU because I was looking for a school with a good business program and thought that SDSU had the best opportunities for me out of the schools I was considering. Also, once I visited SDSU’s campus, I felt at home and fell in love with the school.

Q: Why did you select Dr. Pablo Machado as your Most Influential Professor?
I selected Dr. Pablo Machado as my Most Influential Professor because he was the professor that pushed me to start thinking about life after graduation. He helped put me on the right track for recruiting with accounting firms. Without him, I likely would have missed the recruiting season for internships. Also, I felt like the way he modeled his class helped me to really learn the information as well as meet other accounting students. I met a really good group of people in his class who I continued to take the rest of my accounting classes with which gave me a really good support system. I am really thankful for how seriously Dr. Pablo Machado takes his job and invests in his students!

Q: Any advice for future and/or current students on making the most of their time at SDSU?
My advice would be to realize that stressful times come and go and that you can push through the times where you feel completely overwhelmed. Whenever I was leaving the library late at night, I always looked around campus and thought to myself how lucky I was to be at such a beautiful school. I recommend that students take their school work seriously but also make sure to accept fun opportunities and experiences that come your way.

Q: How has the Fowler College of Business prepared you for your future career?
Fowler College of Business has prepared me for my future career as it has given me many skills not only in accounting but in several areas of business. It has also given me confidence to speak to groups and make network connections. I also feel like Fowler College of Business has provided me a strong community of friends that I can rely on.

Lan Phan

Finance: Lan Phan

Most Influential Faculty Member:

Prof. Kamal Haddad

Hometown:

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Q: Why did you choose to come to SDSU?
I chose SDSU because the school has been known to have high-ranking business programs in the San Diego area. Also, SDSU offers a wide range of extracurricular activities and student organizations. I love the San Diego area with its best weather, lots of beaches, many amazing attractions and a variety of delicious food.

Q: Why did you select Prof. Kamal Haddad as your Most Influential Professor?
I knew professor Haddad in Fall 2018 when I took his class, FIN 423, Financial Analysis and Management, which is the capstone class for Finance major. He is such a nice and caring professor. He's always trying to help his students learn the materials and understand finance. I learned a lot in his class by doing different case studies, which gave me hands on experience with financial analysis and prepared me well upon my graduation. He also has helped me a lot in determining my career path and gives me lots of valuable advice.

Q: Any advice for future and/or current students on making the most of their time at SDSU?
Get involved by joining a student organization and holding a leadership role, expand your networks with different people which helps a lot in job finding later on, but make sure to stay on track in your education. Don't miss class, read the books and assigned materials, come to professors' office hours, actually learn and participate in class instead of just learning to pass the class. All material you learn here can be used for your future jobs, so don't underestimate them.

Q: How has the Fowler College of Business prepared you for your future career?
FCB offers a lot of great signature workshops for networking and skill development, helpful advising services, great career fairs and updates on job postings on Blackboard sites, student organizations to participate in, and lastly amazing professors and faculty members who are always willing to help students.

Alexis Hesse

General Business: Alexis Hesse

Most Influential Faculty Member:

Prof. Kaveh Abhari

Hometown:

Temecula, CA

Q: Why did you choose to come to SDSU?
I chose to come to SDSU for multiple reasons—the beautiful campus, great business program, amazing San Diego weather, and the short commute to my favorite people and biggest supporters (my family)!!

Q: Why did you select Prof. Kaveh Abhari as your Most Influential Professor?
Professor Kaveh Abhari is my most influential professor because he provided help beyond the syllabus of any course; he guided me in finding my value. He encouraged me to be proactive, to constantly work hard towards my dreams and goals, and to face challenges head-on. My life accomplishments depend on the amount of effort I put in. To sit still, be bored, and merely “exist” in this beautiful life we’re so lucky to have would be a waste of personal talent, effort, and opportunity; so, I choose to be an active participant, to grow, to succeed. Thank you Professor Abhari for opening my eyes to my self-worth and to the boundless (and attainable) opportunities of life.

Q: Any advice for future and/or current students on making the most of their time at SDSU?
My advice for future and current students on making the most of their time at San Diego State? Apply yourself, expand your knowledge, be thankful, and stay humble! It’s a HUGE honor to get a college education—don’t waste away this precious time and opportunity. We’re all capable of giving our 100% and being the best versions of ourselves every single day; I encourage you to do exactly that. It’s never too late to start sharing your talents with the world and if you’re unsure of what your talents are, I hope your college years help guide you in the direction of finding yourself as they did for me.

Q: How has the Fowler College of Business prepared you for your future career?
The Fowler College of Business—more specifically, my degree in General Business—has prepared me for my future career by exposing me to all of the different fields of business. I’m not sure what my future career(s) will be, but I’m confident of my acquired knowledge along with my capability and ability to learn new skills and to create my own success wherever I land. Studying general business has prepared me for exactly that—versatility in numerous career opportunities.

Jesus Valle-Ruelas

Management Information Systems: Jesus Valle-Ruelas

Most Influential Faculty Member:

Dr. Steven Andres

Hometown:

Redwood City, California

Q: Why did you choose to come to SDSU?
Studying at San Diego State University has always been a dream of mine, something I have strived for, ever since my high school years. I applied to be a student before, but despite my best efforts, my dream always seemed to be just out of reach. And it was always just out of reach, at least, up until recently.

A few years ago I found myself in need of a life change. After years of trying to find my path, I did some intense soul-searching, and I made the decision to go back to school. I went to community college, applied myself, studied my heart out, balanced my full-time job, and I never stopped striving to become an Aztec at San Diego State University. Now that I am here, and graduating as a representative of the Fowler College of Business, it truly is a dream come true.

Q: Why did you select Dr. Steven Andres as your Most Influential Professor?
I had the pleasure of being Dr. Andres’ student in my Spring 2018 semester, where I was enrolled in his Network and Data Communications class – I like to consider it as my real “first taste” of the IT world. I exceled in the course, even though I did not have any networking experience; and, that is why I attribute all of my success to the professor’s course structure, as well as his strong aptitude for teaching. He did not simply flip through the textbook, or utilize generic PowerPoint presentations that were provided by the publisher. Dr. Andres gave every one of his students the tools and opportunities they needed to not only succeed in his course, but to gain a real-world understanding of computer networking. Dr. Andres and his Networking class are the reason why I am pursing a career in computer networking and security (it may also have something to do the stories he told me of his work as security professional).

Q: Any advice for future and/or current students on making the most of their time at SDSU?
Yes, I have plenty, but I will keep it short:

  • Utilize your time wisely here at SDSU, because before you know it, it will be gone.
  • Make as many connections as you can - with your professors, peers, and the staff of SDSU. You never know when it will pay dividends.
  • STUDY ABROAD!!! It will be the most enriching aspect of your college experience, I promise you. You will be a better professional, a better student, and, most importantly, you will become a better/more worldly person.

Q: How has the Fowler College of Business prepared you for your future career?
The Fowler College of Business has provided me with the foundation to be a successful professional in both a Business and IT perspective. Every course I have taken here, from Marketing to Systems Analysis, or from Strategic Management to Project Management, has been taught by one of the most impressive professionals I have ever met in my life. Each and every professor of mine brought with them a flurry of expert knowledge that can only come from years of experience in his or her respective field. I can honestly say that the education I received here, at the Fowler College of Business and at SDSU, is second to none. I am proud to be a graduate of this established college of business, and I am proud to be an SDSU Aztec.

Nora Glaser

Management: Nora Glaser

Most Influential Faculty Member:

Dr. Robert Judge

Hometown:

San Diego, California

Q: Why did you choose to come to SDSU?
I’d heard about SDSU’s highly-recognized Business College and I liked the fact that the San Diego alumni community is very involved with the business school, which is great for networking. My husband also was going to school here at the time (Master’s program) and had wonderful things to say about SDSU. Lastly, it was important for it to be local, as I’m raising a young family here.

Q: Why did you select Dr. Robert Judge as your Most Influential Professor? 

I’ve had Dr. Judge for two MIS (elective) classes and one of the things I’ve appreciated is how he brings a lot of relevant real-world experience and personal insights into the classroom, while also inviting a lot of good discussion and critical analysis. He’s also very personable, responsive, and always provided helpful feedback on assignments. I felt that he genuinely wanted to see his students not only succeed in the class, but more importantly, be prepared to do well in the work environment. Business process management (MIS 305) and project management (MIS 460) are two of the subjects that I feel will benefit me the most in my career, and have been extremely interesting to learn more about from Dr. Judge.

Q: Any advice for future and/or current students on making the most of their time at SDSU?
Take advantage of Career Services and the workshops, events, the AMP, and personal advice they provide. The staff there are great and really want to see you succeed!

Q: How has the Fowler College of Business prepared you for your future career?
The FCB’s Business Administration program has helped to greatly enhance my understanding of business management – topics such as operations, leadership, applied financial and data analysis, business strategy, and project management—to name a few, have all been extremely applicable in my business career. Through my studies here I’ve been able to validate many of the skills I’d acquired through previous work experience in non-profit program management, and also expand my skillsets further. I’m very grateful for all the support and encouragement from SDSU faculty and staff that have helped me on this journey.

Molly Kinahan

Marketing: Molly Kinahan

Most Influential Faculty Member:

Dr. Robert Judge

Hometown:

Santa Rosa, CA

Q: Why did you choose to come to SDSU?
I chose SDSU for several reasons. The main ones include the location/weather, the amazing business school and the variety of study abroad programs.

Q: Why did you select Dr. Robert Judge as your Most Influential Professor?
I was lucky enough to have Professor Judge as a professor my first semester of freshmen year. At this point in my college career I had no direction and no clue what I truly wanted to get out of my education. Professor Judge was able to add clarity to this confusing/ stressful time and has acted as a mentor throughout my college career since. I have had him as a professor for several semesters in different courses including the honors program. And in every course he pushed me to become a better version of myself. He was constantly challenging me and encouraging me to take risks. I cannot thank him enough for his 4 years of guidance, advice and thoughts on life.

Q: Any advice for future and/or current students on making the most of their time at SDSU?
Everyone says it but what you put in is truly what you get out. The best way to fully take advantage of your time here at SDSU is to chase the things you are passionate about. Find the things that excite you and fully pursue them. It is a time of trial and error so it is also okay to find the things you don’t like, that is all part of the college experience. Also, STUDY ABROAD, studying aboard is not something you want to miss out on, and SDSU has some of the best study abroad programs in the nation take advantage of them and get outside your comfort zone, you will never regret studying abroad.

Q: How has the Fowler College of Business prepared you for your future career?
The professional connections I have made while in the Fowler College of Business have been pivotal in my plans post-graduation. And several of my capstone courses have tied into real world examples for my career. I have even used past IMC plans from capstone courses during different interviews, which proves how aligned the course work is with my career plans.

Graduate

Kristine Chacon

MS Accounting: Kristine Chacon

Most Influential Faculty Member:

Dr. Damon Fleming

Hometown:

Manila, Philippines

Q: Why did you choose to come to SDSU?
I have always been captivated with the business world and its inner machinations. Having graduated with a dual major in mathematics and economics, I felt that extending my understanding of the business environment through a Masters of Accountancy would be the most advantageous. Having heard of SDSU’s reputation for the Fowler School of Business, and the accounting program it promotes, SDSU was my natural choice.

Q: Why did you select Dr. Damon Fleming as your Most Influential Professor?
Although I have only been in one of Dr. Fleming’s classes, he has had a profound impact on me. The passion and sincerity in which Dr. Fleming approaches all facets of life is both commendable and an aspiration for myself. The energy he exudes is infectious and impactful. Not only is he charismatic, but the level of effort and technical knowledge that he has in his career is astounding. This is not only apparent through his notable achievements but could be quickly ascertained through a short face-to-face. Remarkably, amongst this litany of achievements, his true self-actualization is derived from the guidance and impact he confers to his students. His impressive stature does not mitigate a genuine desire to provide meaningful guidance and mentorship to his students. These are qualities that I not only want to emulate, but embody, in my own life.

Q: Any advice for future and/or current students on making the most of their time at SDSU?
In order to maximize your opportunities, it is necessary to expand your network by meeting more people. This can be done through many of the events hosted by SDSU, or by joining the professional organizations on campus. Being exposed to a diverse group of people and opinions allows you to broaden your viewpoint and truly flesh out your own thoughts. This is an integral part to intellectual growth and a fantastic means to prepare many of the social situations that you will face later in your career. Furthermore, the connections that you meet through these organizations will not only spearhead your career but will continue to aid you later down the road.

In line with this, you would be remiss if you did not build relationships with your professors. Your professors not only have a lifetime of experience in the career that you are about to embark but have also dedicated their time to making sure that you excel. They are a natural avenue for mentorship that would be invaluable for your career.

Finally, be mindful of the company that you keep. It will do you well to maintain friendships with those that have the same work ethic, drive, and ambition as you do. These friendships are a catalyst for greater aspirations and self-fulfillment.

Q: How has the Fowler College of Business prepared you for your future career?
The preparation that the Fowler College of Business has provided me will be integral to my future career. At the forefront of their pedagogy, the MSA program focused on molding us into the accountants that we will need to be in our careers. Most importantly, our professors constructively challenged us through their classroom conduct, emphasizing how much they truly cared for our success. The cross between the lecture and seminar style allowed us to simulate the expectations that would be present in our career while the team projects mirrored the challenges and hurdles, we would face later down the road. These expectations were accentuated by the frequent real-world professionals who would provide insight into not only the course material at hand, but their own careers. These frequent interactions with professionals served to bridge the perceived gap between academia and the real world.

Maximilian Mann

MBA: Maximilian Mann

Most Influential Faculty Member:

Dr. Martina Musteen

Hometown:

Frankfurt, Germany

Q: Why did you choose to come to SDSU?
I looked into different MBA programs in the San Diego area. After connecting with current students at various schools, it became clear to me that SDSU's business school offers the best MBA program in San Diego. The program is affordable and you get a lot for your money. The classes offered are relevant and up-to-date, there is also plenty of events and opportunities outside the classroom. Further, the faculty and staff are very engaged and passionate about the work they do. SDSU also has a very strong alumni network.

Q: Why did you select Dr. Martina Musteen as your Most Influential Professor?
Dr. Musteen was my advisor for the international MBA consulting project last summer and we traveled to Prague, Czech Republic with her to meet our client. She was very passionate about the project and made it a truly unique, hands-on learning experience for my group and I. It is professors like her that set the MBA program at SDSU apart.

Q: Any advice for future and/or current students on making the most of their time at SDSU?
For MBA students in particular, I recommend taking part in as many events, workshops, mixers, guest lectures etc. as possible. The College of Business goes above and beyond organizing interesting outside-the-classroom events and activities. Those events present great networking opportunities. After all, an MBA is all about networking. For example, I took part in the Toastmaster speechcraft course offered during my first semester and I also participated in the international BA795 experience for which my team and I traveled to Prague, Czech Republique.

Q: How has the Fowler College of Business prepared you for your future career?
I received my undergraduate degree in Communications, so I did not have much "business knowledge" before starting the MBA program at SDSU. Hence, I feel I was really able to get the most out of the program. I soaked it all up. The MBA gave me a great foundation and helped me hone my business and management skills. In addition, through the multitude of events and outside-the-classroom activities, I was able to significantly improved my public speaking and networking skills, which definitely benefits me in my professional life.

Matthew Eovino

MBA: Matthew Eovino

Most Influential Faculty Member:

Prof. Miro Copic

Hometown:

Cupertino, CA

Q: Why did you choose to come to SDSU?
After having a good experience attending SDSU for my undergraduate degree it was a clear top choice for my MBA. The fact that the business school is excellent solidified my decision.

Q: Why did you select Prof. Miro Copic as your Most Influential Professor?
As a student pursuing a MBA with a focus in finance, holding a bachelor’s degree in Economics, and with industry experience in banking I came into the program with high expectations of the knowledge I would gain in the finance arena. These expectations were certainly exceeded through the program, however I also sought the MBA to broaden my thinking. I chose Professor Copic because he was the first teacher that truly expanded my thinking and exposed me to another area of running a business. His passion and deep knowledge of Marketing were able to really open my eyes and get me interested in a subject that was very new to me. This is incredibly beneficial because it taught me to be less narrow minded and only focused on the financial aspects of running a business and management. While I may not use the knowledge I gained in his class in my current job role the way I approach problems and my ability to potentially run a business one day have immensely been improved by the way that Professor Copic has taught me to think.

Q: Any advice for future and/or current students on making the most of their time at SDSU?
You will get out of your education what you put into it. Ensure that you are engaged in your classes, especially in smaller settings. Visit your professors during office hours, they are likely much more knowledgeable in their relative subjects than their lectures allow them to construe, and one-on-one time is invaluable. Alongside with the obvious importance of learning the materials and the academic side of things, becoming involved in activities outside the classroom is of paramount importance to future success. There are many clubs/groups to join, and volunteering opportunities. Meeting like-minded people in the community is great and can often lead to job opportunities, and will also allow you to learn a huge amount about various career options!

Q: How has the Fowler College of Business prepared you for your future career?
The Fowler College of Business has opened up various career paths that were previously unavailable to me. Through the MBA program I learned a great deal via coursework, but also learned a lot about leading teams and finding a path to success. This has made me a better businessman, a better member of my community, and a much more motivated individual.

Andrew Ferrette

MS Business Administration: Andrew Ferrette

Most Influential Faculty Member:

Dr. Thomas Warschauer

Hometown:

San Diego, CA

Q: Why did you choose to come to SDSU?
I was interested in becoming a Certified Financial Planner and knew that SDSU had a fantastic program to complete the required classes to sit for the CFP® exam, and get my MSBA in Tax & Financial Planning. I started with the Executive CFP® program through the College of Extended Studies, then continued to complete my MSBA.

Q: Why did you select Dr. Thomas Warschauer as your Most Influential Professor?
Dr. Warschauer is the reason the SDSU Financial Planning program was created, is successful, and known as a top program nationwide. He is passionate about continually improving upon existing practices and preparing the next generation to become successful financial professionals. His continued work within the FCB, the San Diego community, and the profession of financial planning has had a remarkable impact on the continued success of many financial professionals who were fortunate enough to be involved in the financial planning programs at SDSU.

Q: Any advice for future and/or current students on making the most of their time at SDSU?
Challenge yourself. My biggest accomplishments have come from pushing myself to areas of discomfort and the unknown. These challenges will only improve your skills and prepare you to be the best version of yourself. Ultimately leading to growth and learning beyond your expectations.

Q: How has the Fowler College of Business prepared you for your future career?
After completing the Executive Financial Planner program at SDSU, I successfully passed the CFP® exam in March of 2018. With over 8 years of experience within financial services, my time at FCB has been a huge part of my continued growth and the foundation of knowledge I have as a financial planner. I have incorporated the skills I learned in the classroom to my daily interactions with clients, my peers, and professional network.

Alan Chiharo

MS Information Systems: Alan Chihwaro

Most Influential Faculty Member:

Dr. Bruce Reinig

Hometown:

I was born and raised in the Middle East, but have been living in San Diego for almost 10 years now.

Q: Why did you choose to come to SDSU?
I really liked the flexibility offered by the MSIS program. Also, I previously earned a BA and MA from SDSU and enjoyed my time here greatly.

Q: Why did you select Dr. Bruce Reinig as your Most Influential Professor?
In addition to being a superb educator, I think Dr. Reinig embodies the community-oriented spirit that I've come to love about SDSU. I especially admire his patience, constant encouragement, and obvious love and dedication to both SDSU itself and the San Diego community in general.

Q: Any advice for future and/or current students on making the most of their time at SDSU?
It sounds cliche, but the experience is what you make of it. Make an effort to enjoy the school and the city and you will be rewarded.

Q: How has the Fowler College of Business prepared you for your future career?
The flexibility of the curriculum has been especially helpful in maximizing the utility of my time at FCB to my career. I also feel that the project-based nature of many of the course provided me with invaluable experience that I was able to immediately apply to many aspects of my job.

 

These students were also recognized during the Fowler College of Business Honors Luncheon on May 9th.

Outstanding Students 2019