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November 27, 2017 |
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GGU Helped Me Get Hired by a “Big Four” Accounting Firm in San Francisco

Golden Gate University is different than my undergrad school, UC Berkeley. Cal has definitely helped me build my fundamental foundation in learning and thinking, while the Master of Accountancy program at GGU taught real-world skills.

By Noah Lee, Master of Accountancy (’18)
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I was skeptical at first, because there is only so much you can mimic professional situations, right? However, as I began interviewing for internships at Big Four accounting firms (that include Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG, and PricewaterhouseCoopers), I could tailor my answers to show my grasp of what the job really entails. Getting the job as an audit intern at one of the Big Four companies was the most satisfying proof that I learned something relevant.

For example, we had to deliver a mock board presentation as part of a course called Communication and Analysis of Financial Information for Accountants. Professor Ric Jazaie gave us a mock budget and challenged us to answer the client’s question: What should we do; and why are our numbers the way they are? Up front, we had to learn the textbook terms that you might find in an academic class and go right to applying them.

I took inspiration from Prof. Jazaie, who knows what the skills employers are looking for in the accounting field.

Prof. Jazaie gave us barely enough instructions for the presentations, which was slightly unnerving. Aggregating all the broad ideas he gave us and having to narrow it down was our task. We had to decide what we wanted to portray to our audience—and be ready to say why. The reasoning for the assignment is that you may not get all of what you need or get something ambiguous from a client. In the same way, traditional school is different than a business setting where you must eventually succeed.

Prof. Jazaie asked us questions after the presentation that he did not give us in advance. He has a lot of experience giving presentations in court and in front of clients. He wanted to make us feel like we didn’t know what to expect and it brought out the best in us.  Because he threw us into high-pressure moments, we just got used to it.

What did we learn in the Communication and Analysis of Financial Information course?

  • Differentiating what is presentation versus what is casual conversation
  • Critical thinking, which means deciding what is important from hundreds of facts
  • When questioned, coming up with a reasonable explanation without overreaching
  • Having a story to tell rather than just a report of findings, which means linking company strategy to financial statements

I took inspiration from Prof. Jazaie, who knows what the skills employers are looking for in the accounting field. He really opened my eyes to the profession and inspired me when he said that as an accountant, “what you are doing is really impacting the company.” That was great to hear.

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Recently, GGU hosted a speaker, Adam Foss, who enjoys a reputation as an important and critical voice on criminal justice reform. Since then, it has come to our attention that he has been accused of sexual violence and other harassing behaviors that have been hurtful and damaging to women.

Had we known about these accusations—none from within GGU—we would not have selected him as a speaker.

We can’t undo that. But we can state unequivocally that behavior of this nature is anathema to our values, and that people who engage in it are not welcome at GGU. The #MeToo movement continues to expose the distressingly widespread nature of sexual harassment, violence, and abuse, and the time for indifference and silence has long passed.

An investigation has begun into the allegations. Meanwhile, we cannot reinforce a system where women, men, and others with stories of abuse and predatory behavior remain silent because they are afraid to come forward. No one should be subject to an imbalance where their voices are judged less important than those who hold power.

This news is deeply disappointing to those who helped organize this event and those who participated in it. Going forward, we will work to ensure that guests to GGU clearly understand and acknowledge our values in advance, and that we strive to maintain an inclusive and safe environment for our community.
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Recently, GGU hosted a speaker, Adam Foss, who enjoys a reputation as an important and critical voice on criminal justice reform. Since then, it has come to our attention that he has been accused of sexual violence and other harassing behaviors that have been hurtful and damaging to women.

Had we known about these accusations—none from within GGU—we would not have selected him as a speaker.

We can’t undo that. But we can state unequivocally that behavior of this nature is anathema to our values, and that people who engage in it are not welcome at GGU. The #MeToo movement continues to expose the distressingly widespread nature of sexual harassment, violence, and abuse, and the time for indifference and silence has long passed. 

An investigation has begun into the allegations. Meanwhile, we cannot reinforce a system where women, men, and others with stories of abuse and predatory behavior remain silent because they are afraid to come forward. No one should be subject to an imbalance where their voices are judged less important than those who hold power.

This news is deeply disappointing to those who helped organize this event and those who participated in it. Going forward, we will work to ensure that guests to GGU clearly understand and acknowledge our values in advance, and that we strive to maintain an inclusive and safe environment for our community.

Today marks the 21st Transgender Day of Remembrance, an annual observance that honors the memory of transgender people whose lives were lost to anti-transgender violence, an epidemic that disproportionately affects transgender people-of-color.

This year, the Human Rights Campaign has reported at least 37 violent deaths of transgender and gender nonconforming people, the deadliest year on record. However, many other incidents may be unreported or misreported.

Let's take a moment of silence for those lives lost.

Learn more about the history of TDOR: ow.ly/4DeI50CqNjJ

📷 : "George" Larcher
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Today marks the 21st Transgender Day of Remembrance, an annual observance that honors the memory of transgender people whose lives were lost to anti-transgender violence, an epidemic that disproportionately affects transgender people-of-color.

This year, the Human Rights Campaign has reported at least 37 violent deaths of transgender and gender nonconforming people, the deadliest year on record. However, many other incidents may be unreported or misreported.

Lets take a moment of silence for those lives lost.

Learn more about the history of TDOR: http://ow.ly/4DeI50CqNjJ

📷   :  George Larcher

Meet Amy Kweskin, GGU instructor in the School of Undergraduate Studies.

What is your educational and professional background?

I have 2 BAs from Ithaca College in Cinema and Photography and English Literature, and I graduated from GGU in Arts Administration in 1997. Now I’m a doctoral student at GGU in Business Administration. My professional background is fashion marketing and management as well as the management of arts organizations. I consult in strategic planning for orchestras, gallery spaces, festivals, theater and dance companies.

What do you like about teaching at GGU?

I love teaching at GGU. Students bring real life experience from a variety of career paths and they benefit from classroom learning that’s practical, applicable, and immediately implementable. It’s not theory we teach, but practice. Our students have complex lives with families, school, and work. It’s different from any other school at which I've taught. Our students are mature and they’re committed to earning their degree. They challenge me in really good ways. They don’t just take my word, they really process it and dive into topics. They’re always willing to go above and beyond the requirements.

What is it like teaching teaching online?

GGU was ahead of the curve in terms of transitioning to online classes. Still, it was a huge transition. It's very important that we develop rapport, so I allow time to check in. We spend time talking about where students are physically or anything they want to share so that we build community. I make weekly Zoom classes highly engaging with breakout rooms and activities that enable students to collaborate together on-screen. I strive to engage all learning modalities. I'm very available so they can call, text, or email me. I make myself available to listen. That's important.
... See MoreSee Less

Meet Amy Kweskin, GGU instructor in the School of Undergraduate Studies.

What is your educational and professional background?

I have 2 BAs from Ithaca College in Cinema and Photography and English Literature, and I graduated from GGU in Arts Administration in 1997. Now I’m a doctoral student at GGU in Business Administration.  My professional background is fashion marketing and management as well as the management of arts organizations. I consult in strategic planning for orchestras, gallery spaces, festivals, theater and dance companies.

What do you like about teaching at GGU?

I love teaching at GGU. Students bring real life experience from a variety of career paths and they benefit from classroom learning that’s practical, applicable, and immediately implementable. It’s not theory we teach, but practice. Our students have complex lives with families, school, and work. It’s different from any other school at which Ive taught. Our students are mature and they’re committed to earning their degree. They challenge me in really good ways. They don’t just take my word, they really process it and dive into topics. They’re always willing to go above and beyond the requirements.

What is it like teaching teaching online?

GGU was ahead of the curve in terms of transitioning to online classes. Still, it was a huge transition. Its very important that we develop rapport, so I allow time to check in. We spend time talking about where students are physically or anything they want to share so that we build community.  I make weekly Zoom classes highly engaging with breakout rooms and activities that enable students to collaborate together on-screen. I strive to engage all learning modalities. Im very available so they can call, text, or email me. I make myself available to listen. Thats important.

There is still time to register for today's show...Stories are universal and core to who we are as humans. So why are they so rarely used in the business world? In this upcoming GGU Presents, Marc Singer talks with management consultant and GGU Adjunct Professor Larry Ebert about why storytelling is an incredibly powerful, but underused, form of communication for leaders in business and how we can mine our internal stories to clarify values and move and shape teams and the world.

That's this Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. Register for free here: ow.ly/YwQs50Cli79
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There is still time to register for todays show...

Is vegan butter "butter?" The California Department of Food and Agriculture says no. But Miyoko’s Creamery, an all-vegan creamery, recently sued the state over that and other product-labeling issues—and won. It's one of many challenges the Sonoma food company has faced. This week, join founder Miyoko Schinner and GGU Visiting Associate Professor of Law Lucas Williams in a discussion of her company’s beginnings, challenges, and victories along the way. Her recent win against the state is a victory not only for her product label, but also animal rights, plant-based products, and women- and minority-owned businesses.

That's Thursday at noon on GGU Presents.

Register here: www.eventbrite.com/e/spread-the-love-and-the-vegan-butter-tickets-127239654231
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Is vegan butter butter? The California Department of Food and Agriculture says no. But Miyoko’s Creamery, an all-vegan creamery, recently sued the state over that and other product-labeling issues—and won. Its one of many challenges the Sonoma food company has faced. This week, join founder Miyoko Schinner and GGU Visiting Associate Professor of Law Lucas Williams in a discussion of her company’s beginnings, challenges, and victories along the way. Her recent win against the state is a victory not only for her product label, but also animal rights, plant-based products, and women- and minority-owned businesses.

Thats Thursday at noon on GGU Presents.

Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/spread-the-love-and-the-vegan-butter-tickets-127239654231
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