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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Congrats to recent graduate Dorothea Tolliver, MS Human Resources Management 2020! 🎓 🎉

Dorothea came to GGU to pursue her passion: advocating for individuals like herself who are deaf.

“I wanted to earn a Master’s in Human Resources because I saw a lot of barriers preventing deaf and hard of hearing persons from working,” explained Dorothea. “As an individual who is deaf, I know the importance of an accessible workplace especially when it comes to communication. A lot of times deaf people will earn a degree and then learn that employers won’t hire them because they can’t answer the phone. I wanted to try and solve that problem.”

When Dorothea reached out to GGU’s Office of Disability Resources and Accommodations, she was impressed with the support that she received compared to the support available to persons with disabilities at other private schools.

“The provision of interpreters for deaf students at a small private university like Golden Gate University requires planning, budgeting and education,” ​reflected Peter DeHaas, Director of Disability Resources & Academic Accommodations. DeHaas was able to implement a sustainable plan to make sure that interpreters were provided to Dorothea. “Everyone at GGU rose to the occasion to make her integration into our community a success.”

Dorothea's dream is to one day found a large corporation for people with disabilities where their skills and talents are showcased alongside non-disabled coworkers. She wants to continue to advocate for individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing through supporting them and reducing the barriers that exist in the workplace and to serve as a bridge between the hearing and deaf world.

Read the story: ow.ly/eEfb50C4sg8
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Congrats to recent graduate Dorothea Tolliver, MS Human Resources Management 2020! 🎓   🎉

Dorothea came to GGU to pursue her passion: advocating for individuals like herself who are deaf.

“I wanted to earn a Master’s in Human Resources because I saw a lot of barriers preventing deaf and hard of hearing persons from working,” explained Dorothea. “As an individual who is deaf, I know the importance of an accessible workplace especially when it comes to communication. A lot of times deaf people will earn a degree and then learn that employers won’t hire them because they can’t answer the phone. I wanted to try and solve that problem.”

When Dorothea reached out to GGU’s Office of Disability Resources and Accommodations, she was impressed with the support that she received compared to the support available to persons with disabilities at other private schools.

“The provision of interpreters for deaf students at a small private university like Golden Gate University requires planning, budgeting and education,” ​reflected Peter DeHaas, Director of Disability Resources & Academic Accommodations. DeHaas was able to implement a sustainable plan to make sure that interpreters were provided to Dorothea. “Everyone at GGU rose to the occasion to make her integration into our community a success.”

Dorotheas dream is to one day found a large corporation for people with disabilities where their skills and talents are showcased alongside non-disabled coworkers. She wants to continue to advocate for individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing through supporting them and reducing the barriers that exist in the workplace and to serve as a bridge between the hearing and deaf world.

Read the story:  http://ow.ly/eEfb50C4sg8

This summer, the Bay Area program of Genesys Works, a national nonprofit that provides pathways to college and career success for underserved students, teamed up with Salesforce and GGU to offer a unique training program. GGU provided students with training in business and data analytics, while Genesys Works provided training in soft skills needed to navigate a corporate office environment—all offered online and a large portion sponsored by Salesforce. Students who successfully completed the course gained college credits and a certificate that they can embed in their LinkedIn profiles.

GGU is proud to partner with Genesys Works to #employchange in America, by opening our doors to diverse, talented students. Join us at genesysworks.org/employ-change.
... See MoreSee Less

This summer, the Bay Area program of  Genesys Works, a national nonprofit that provides pathways to college and career success for underserved students, teamed up with Salesforce and GGU to offer a unique training program. GGU provided students with training in business and data analytics, while Genesys Works provided training in soft skills needed to navigate a corporate office environment—all offered online and a large portion sponsored by Salesforce. Students who successfully completed the course gained college credits and a certificate that they can embed in their LinkedIn profiles.

GGU is proud to partner with Genesys Works to #EmployChange in America, by opening our doors to diverse, talented students. Join us at genesysworks.org/employ-change.

GGU's Race and Justice Task Force is thrilled to welcome Adam Foss, the founder and executive director of Prosecutor Impact, for an engaging online talk and Q&A. PI develops innovative curriculum & training for prosecutors across the country to reduce the use of incarceration. It trains criminal prosecutors to employ data-informed, sustainable & safety-focused interventions to foster more equitable outcomes for the communities they serve.

Adam Foss is a former Assistant D.A. in the Juvenile Division of the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office in Boston, and a fierce advocate for criminal justice reform and the importance of the role of the prosecutor in ending mass incarceration. Adam believes that the profession of prosecution is ripe for a reinvention that requires better incentives and more measurable metrics for success beyond, simply, “cases won.” This led him to create Prosecutor Impact, a non-profit that develops training and curriculum for prosecutors to reframe their role in the criminal justice system. Most recently, Mr. Foss appeared in the critically-acclaimed CNN feature-length documentary “American Jail.”

Welcoming Remarks: GGU Law Dean Eric Christiansen
Speaker Introduction: Law Professor Jyoti Nanda
Following Q&A led by:

Amye Osakue, President, BLSA, Co-Chair of RJTF Subcommittee
Alexis Pickins, BLSA Member, Co-Chair of RJTF Subcommittee

THURSDAY, October 29, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Free tickets here: ow.ly/kckp50C1jSZ
... See MoreSee Less

GGUs Race and Justice Task Force is thrilled to welcome Adam Foss, the founder and executive director of Prosecutor Impact, for an engaging online talk and Q&A. PI develops innovative curriculum & training for prosecutors across the country to reduce the use of incarceration. It trains criminal prosecutors to employ data-informed, sustainable & safety-focused interventions to foster more equitable outcomes for the communities they serve.

Adam Foss is a former Assistant D.A. in the Juvenile Division of the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office in Boston, and a fierce advocate for criminal justice reform and the importance of the role of the prosecutor in ending mass incarceration. Adam believes that the profession of prosecution is ripe for a reinvention that requires better incentives and more measurable metrics for success beyond, simply, “cases won.” This led him to create Prosecutor Impact, a non-profit that develops training and curriculum for prosecutors to reframe their role in the criminal justice system. Most recently, Mr. Foss appeared in the critically-acclaimed CNN feature-length documentary “American Jail.”

Welcoming Remarks: GGU Law Dean Eric Christiansen
Speaker Introduction: Law Professor Jyoti Nanda
Following Q&A led by:

Amye Osakue, President, BLSA, Co-Chair of RJTF Subcommittee
Alexis Pickins, BLSA Member, Co-Chair of RJTF Subcommittee

THURSDAY, October 29, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Free tickets here: http://ow.ly/kckp50C1jSZ

View of GGU from the back. Remember walking through the back door off Jessie Street? The world looks pretty different depending on our vantage point.

"Sometimes a change of perspective is all it takes to see the light." - Dan Brown

Happy Friday, everyone.

Photo: Ana Carolina Almeida
... See MoreSee Less

View of GGU from the back.  Remember walking through the back door off Jessie Street? The world looks pretty different depending on our vantage point.

Sometimes a change of perspective is all it takes to see the light. - Dan Brown

Happy Friday, everyone.

Photo: Ana Carolina Almeida

Meet Alika Publico, BA ’19

What are you studying?

Organizational Leadership and Human Skills Development in the School of Undergraduate Studies.

What is your profession?

I work full-time as a fire prevention officer for the city of Monterey with the U.S. Army.

Why did you choose GGU?

As military service members, we face trials and tribulations. For 19 years I tried to complete my bachelor’s degree at other schools, but every time I hit a wall that would halt my progress. I chose GGU because here I don’t feel like a number. My enrollment counselor walked me through everything until I completed my application, and my tutors and professors are always available through emails and phone calls. My advisor is always in touch with me and has helped streamline the process so I get to that next step.

How are you balancing work and school during COVID-19?

The pandemic hit during my second semester, but thankfully GGU immediately transitioned to Zoom and my academic progress continued uninterrupted. I like Zoom classes because all the information is provided in an accessible way. As long as you communicate with your instructors when issues come up, they are always accommodating and flexible. During my first week, I was affected by the Dolan fire, which we could see from my office. My instructor understood and helped me get through the course while juggling that stressful situation.

What advice do you have for prospective students?

I believe it’s up to the student to put in the time and effort to learn. Take advantage of the instruction videos and all of the readings assigned. Make sure you plan out when you will write your posts for online discussion forums. And if you have any questions or issues, post them to the discussion thread or ask your instructors. They will find a way to help you succeed.

What’s next for you?

I’m graduating this fall and plan to apply for a master’s program in the spring.
... See MoreSee Less

Meet Alika Publico, BA  ’19 

What are you studying? 

Organizational Leadership and Human Skills Development in the School of Undergraduate Studies.
 
What is your profession?
 
I work full-time as a fire prevention officer for the city of Monterey with the U.S. Army. 
 
Why did you choose GGU?
 
As military service members, we face trials and tribulations. For 19 years I tried to complete my bachelor’s degree at other schools, but every time I hit a wall that would halt my progress. I chose GGU because here I don’t feel like a number. My enrollment counselor walked me through everything until I completed my application, and my tutors and professors are always available through emails and phone calls. My advisor is always in touch with me and has helped streamline the process so I get to that next step.
 
How are you balancing work and school during COVID-19?
 
The pandemic hit during my second semester, but thankfully GGU immediately transitioned to Zoom and my academic progress continued uninterrupted. I like Zoom classes because all the information is provided in an accessible way. As long as you communicate with your instructors when issues come up, they are always accommodating and flexible. During my first week, I was affected by the Dolan fire, which we could see from my office. My instructor understood and helped me get through the course while juggling that stressful situation.
 
What advice do you have for prospective students?
 
I believe it’s up to the student to put in the time and effort to learn. Take advantage of the instruction videos and all of the readings assigned. Make sure you plan out when you will write your posts for online discussion forums. And if you have any questions or issues, post them to the discussion thread or ask your instructors.  They will find a way to help you succeed.
 
What’s next for you?
 
I’m graduating this fall and plan to apply for a master’s program in the spring.
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