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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“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” – Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

On his 93rd birthday, we still face the same injustices that Reverend King fought tirelessly to correct, reminding us that we must always fight for justice.

Today, we honor Martin Luther King, Jr. and his legacy with an official campus holiday. #MLK
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“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” – Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

On his 93rd birthday, we still face the same injustices that Reverend King fought tirelessly to correct, reminding us that we must always fight for justice.

Today, we honor Martin Luther King, Jr. and his legacy with an official campus holiday. #MLK

Located in the heart of San Francisco's business and technology community, GGU has always offered proximity to hiring companies that makes it easy for students to network, access internships, and build relationships.

During the pandemic, our move to all-online courses has allowed more students to access a GGU education, online internships, and virtual networking opportunities. We're committed to to bringing the Bay Area's culture of innovation and diversity to all our online degree and certificate programs, virtual job fairs, alumni events, and online workshops and seminars. In everything we do, we pledge to bring the spirit and ethos of GGU to the virtual space.
... See MoreSee Less

Located in the heart of San Franciscos business and technology community, GGU has always offered proximity to hiring companies that makes it easy for students to network, access internships, and build relationships.

During the pandemic, our move to all-online courses has allowed more students to access a GGU education, online internships, and virtual networking opportunities. Were committed to to bringing the Bay Areas culture of innovation and diversity to all our online degree and certificate programs, virtual job fairs, alumni events, and online workshops and seminars. In everything we do, we pledge to bring the spirit and ethos of GGU to the virtual space.

"I came to the U.S. from the Phillippines at age 13, and I struggled with a language barrier at first. I've learned that the more you put yourself out there, the better you feel. I've served as a medic in the United States Air Force, I've modeled for Good American, and I've recently started a training and consulting company to provide training and consulting solutions for veterans and other individuals and organizations to help navigate their path to success."- Janine Werling, MBA '23 ... See MoreSee Less

I came to the U.S. from the Phillippines at age 13, and I struggled with a language barrier at first. Ive learned that the more you put yourself out there, the better you feel. Ive served as a medic in the United States Air Force, Ive modeled for Good American, and Ive recently started a training and consulting company to provide training and consulting solutions for veterans and other individuals and organizations to help navigate their path to success.- Janine Werling, MBA 23

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“I decided to pursue a master’s degree at GGU after arriving to the U.S. from Algeria to open doors as well as open my mind to new possibilities. I felt supported and empowered by each instructor at GGU, I enjoyed being a graduate student, and it will be an unforgettable experience.” - Fatima Saim, EMPA 22

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I completed my MS in Accounting Data & Analytics program and served as the President of the Chi Pi Alpha Accounting and Tax Club to build upon my leadership skills. We hosted an info session with Deloitte, meet-and-greet with alumni, workshop with KP&G, and a CPA info session. Everybody benefitted and Im grateful for the opportunity. - Priyanka Pitale
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