Success Stories
Jorge Escobar profile
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December 3, 2019 |
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MBA Student Seizes Opportunities and Inspiration

Jorge Escobar, MBA 2020, returned to school 30 years after college graduation. Interactive classes helped catapult him to the next level in his career.

By Jenny McKeel
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Jorge Escobar plays competitive tennis, reads historical novels, and hits the trails with his road bike. But his proudest accomplishment is helping his children fulfill their passions. His son is thriving in the film industry and his daughter studies fashion merchandising and design in Los Angeles. With his children’s careers taking off, Jorge decided to focus on his own unfulfilled aspiration—an MBA.  Jorge was the Associate Director of Clinical Operations for early phase drug development at Gilead Sciences, a biotech company that researches, develops, and commercializes drugs used to treat diseases. He lacked the means to pursue an MBA when he was younger with children at home.

“We have this program at Gilead in partnership with GGU that presented a good opportunity to finally get that degree. As part of the program, you have in-house professors come in every week and online work which makes it a great opportunity for working people trying to get a secondary education,” said Jorge.

MBA Cohort Program

By design, GGU’s MBA cohort programs afford students the opportunity to build friendships with classmates as they progress through their courses.

“Because students know each other, they can immediately engage and focus on coursework each semester. Long-term relationships and professional networks form that last a lifetime,” said Robert Shoffner, director of MBA programs.

Balancing School and Work

At first, Jorge struggled with fitting school demands into an already busy life. But soon he hit his stride. In the Personal Leadership course, students were tasked with creating a comprehensive 3-5 year plan for their career. Students then learned skills needed to achieve plan milestones. After that course, Jorge reached step one in his plan—a promotion to Director of Clinical Operations within the inflammation therapeutic area, a high visibility department that focuses on HIV, oncology, and liver disease.

“The skills I learned in Personal Leadership helped me get to the next level in my career,” said Jorge.

One of Jorge’s course assignments required him to create a presentation for new direct-reports. Using that presentation with his new team, he shared his life story, leadership values and goals, and explained what kind of person he is and what he expects from them. His team responded positively to the presentation and to case analysis, another tool he gained from his MBA program.

“Case analysis is a thorough review of a problem and an outline of solutions and alternate solutions. It details how to implement solutions and needed resources and timelines. My supervisor had never seen something like that and now wants other directors to apply this analysis to their challenges. It was great to have the quality of my work recognized,” said Jorge.

Leadership Training

What made the difference for Jorge was the hands-on teaching style in his classes that was interactive and fun, complemented by guest lecturers with specialized knowledge.

“Introspection was an integral part of my courses,” said Jorge. “You had to look deep inside yourself. Sometimes we don’t want to face things we don’t like about ourselves. But we have to do that in order to become better people. It’s not just about being a leader at work but being a leader at home, being a leader in your community, and being a better person. That’s why a lot of people at Gilead apply to be part of the cohorts. They see the value in terms of becoming a better employee—learning these concepts and applying that knowledge.”

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GGU invites you to join us tomorrow for the debut of “GGU Presents,” an exciting new series of web-based events and content sure to generate discussion, stimulate ideas, and tickle your brain. Programming will showcase a gamut of speakers and presentations from both within and outside GGU—with a broad range of unique perspectives, talents, and stories

First up on our virtual stage is Jeffrey D. Yergler, D.Min., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Management and Department Chair at GGU. He’ll explore the effect that our current “season of disruption,” and the change of this magnitude, can have on our own sense of stability and well-being.

Thursday, April 9, 11 a.m. to Noon.

Then it's Marcia Ruben on Friday with: "Volatile Times for Leaders: Here's Your Action Plan."

You can register for those two live events and find the lineup for the next several speakers here: www.ggu.edu/about-ggu/ggu-presents.
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GGU invites you to join us tomorrow for the debut of  “GGU Presents,” an exciting new series of web-based events and content sure to generate discussion, stimulate ideas, and tickle your brain. Programming will showcase a gamut of speakers and presentations from both within and outside GGU—with a broad range of unique perspectives, talents, and stories

First up on our virtual stage is Jeffrey D. Yergler, D.Min., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Management and Department Chair at GGU. He’ll explore the effect that our current “season of disruption,” and the change of this magnitude, can have on our own sense of stability and well-being.

Thursday, April 9, 11 a.m. to Noon.

Then its Marcia Ruben on Friday with: Volatile Times for Leaders: Heres Your Action Plan.

You can register for those two live events and find the lineup for the next several speakers here: http://www.ggu.edu/about-ggu/ggu-presents.

Hi, I'm Toygar Koktuna, an international student from Turkey in the MBA, Business Analytics program and a student worker at GGU.

Going into my 5th week in quarantine, I’m getting used to doing everything from home. I work remotely Monday through Wednesday. After preparing breakfast and an Americano, I move to my desk, my workspace for work and school. Seeing my co-workers during our Monday team meeting helps me stay integrated and motivated.

During the rest of the week, I distribute my time among assignments, housework, and free time. Stretching in the morning really helps me stay balanced. I also play board games and PlayStation with my girlfriend, and we take the dog for walks. When my family and friends are awake in my home country, Turkey, we Facetime over virtual coffee. I think all of us are coming up with new ways of staying happy, and this period enables us to have time for the things we couldn’t do before and helps us discover new things we like. Stay safe, everyone!

GGU's summer term will be 100% online. Learn more about our degrees and certificates today: ow.ly/RWYt50z9ef1
#PeopleOfGGU
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Hi, Im Toygar Koktuna, an international student from Turkey in the MBA, Business Analytics program and a student worker at GGU.
 
Going into my 5th week in quarantine, I’m getting used to doing everything from home. I work remotely Monday through Wednesday. After preparing breakfast and an Americano, I move to my desk, my workspace for work and school. Seeing my co-workers during our Monday team meeting helps me stay integrated and motivated.
 
During the rest of the week, I distribute my time among assignments, housework, and free time. Stretching in the morning really helps me stay balanced. I also play board games and PlayStation with my girlfriend, and we take the dog for walks. When my family and friends are awake in my home country, Turkey, we Facetime over virtual coffee. I think all of us are coming up with new ways of staying happy, and this period enables us to have time for the things we couldn’t do before and helps us discover new things we like. Stay safe, everyone!

GGUs summer term will be 100% online. Learn more about our degrees and certificates today: http://ow.ly/RWYt50z9ef1
#PeopleOfGGU

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Stay home and stay safe 😷

Hi Toygar!

Our Student Government Association is hosting an online student forum this Friday at 6pm! As we navigate through these uncertain times, this will be an incredible opportunity to learn from each other and have your questions answered! RSVP and submit questions: tinyurl.com/SGAForum20 ... See MoreSee Less

Our Student Government Association is hosting an online student forum this Friday at 6pm! As we navigate through these uncertain times, this will be an incredible opportunity to learn from each other and have your questions answered! RSVP and submit questions: tinyurl.com/SGAForum20
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Students: President Fike announced today that classes will continue all online through the summer term. Deans will be hosting webinars to answer questions. See your email for details about those. And remember, you can always stay up-to-date with our special coronavirus web site here: newsroom.ggu.edu/coronavirus/main/

Dear GGU Students,

I hope that you are doing well and staying healthy. I know that many of you are struggling to balance all of your responsibilities and determine what the next few weeks and months will look like. While we all adjust to the changing nature of our work, school, and everyday lives, I wanted to provide you with information about the Summer term, beginning May 10th, at Golden Gate University that will hopefully help you plan your educational path.

In order to provide some certainty during the ongoing public health crisis, we have made the decision to convert our summer in-person classes to distance learning in the business schools and undergraduate program. The classes will remain in these formats for the entire summer 2020 term.

Courses listed as offered in-person (SF) will primarily be delivered via Zoom technology, and students will meet at the same time each week with their class.

Courses listed as cyber courses will continue to be delivered via the eLearning platform in an asynchronous format. Students can log in when they want throughout the week to participate in course materials.

Hybrid, Web Conference and Mixed Mode courses will be delivered using a combination of Zoom and eLearning platforms, with some class sessions requiring online attendance at a specified time and date.

Students who are receiving veteran’s BAH benefits must be registered for at least one in-person, hybrid or mixed mode course at all times throughout the entire trimester (even though these courses will be converted to online mode due to the public health crisis) in order to meet the requirements for SF BAH residency for that trimester.

International students in F-1 status must continue to enroll full-time with at least two in-person courses (that will be converted to online) unless authorized for a reduced course load.

Our current understanding is that distance learning will have limited impact on the benefits or visa status of our veteran and international students, respectively, if you follow the guidelines described above. However, if you have questions about the implications of continued distance learning on your BAH or visa status, please follow up with us so that we can address your concerns.

Veterans – email VA@ggu.edu
International Students – email uac@ggu.edu
For questions about how continued distance learning might affect your financial aid, email finaid@ggu.edu.

We know that many of you came to GGU to increase the career opportunities available to you, and we recognize that you and other students have had to adapt suddenly to the current circumstances. This situation has affected colleges and universities in the U.S. and throughout the world. You have received messages from Vice President for Academic Affairs Barbara Karlin about our recent changes in grading policies during this unusual time. We want to continue to partner with you to achieve your educational and career goals. Please let us know how we can further support your success.

Thank you,

David J. Fike
President
Golden Gate University
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