Success Stories
MS in Accounting student
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May 6, 2020 |
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Accounting Grad Turns Obstacles Into Opportunities

Meet Sahibnoor Singh, winner of the Outstanding Student Award for the MS in Accounting program. His contributions to the GGU community helped propel him toward his own professional success.

By Jenny McKeel
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Sahibnoor Singh has encountered his fair share of professional challenges. Through hard work and perseverance, he’s overcome them one by one. His passion is auditing—he enjoys the challenge and exposure auditors gain to different industries including software and life science companies. But when he immigrated to the United States with three years of auditing experience in India and obtained his CPA, he found that U.S. employers were seeking candidates with professional experience in the U.S. or recent graduates. He was neither. Eventually, he accepted a position with a nonprofit to gain experience and then transitioned to a public accounting firm for nearly one year. Even with more professional experience, he decided not to rest on his laurels. He came to GGU to pursue his MS in Accounting.

“I didn’t want my lack of a U.S. education to ever be a hurdle again,” explained Sahibnoor.

Community Engagement

At GGU, Sahibnoor’s professional experience helped him excel in all of his courses. But he empathized with classmates who struggled with course material and their job search. He had been in their shoes before. He tutored classmates informally and then served as an official Accounting Tutor for the program.

“Tutoring others is one of the things that allowed me to excel,” said Sahibnoor. “I wasn’t just helping those students. I had 4-5 years in accounting and auditing, but when I was teaching students, I had to do extra research before I could teach them. That really helped me improve.”

After attending GGU’s resume workshops, Sahibnoor hosted his own resume workshop that enabled him to help classmates in a personalized way. He also organized a speed networking event with a few friends, inviting contacts from the Big Four he had met at Lunch and Learn events and through LinkedIn.

The Power of Networking

At GGU, Sahibnoor took advantage of every networking opportunity he could to help with his job search. But, at career fairs, he found most employers were seeking entry-level candidates.

“It was hard for me compared to other students,” said Sahibnoor. “Most of the representatives at career fairs were looking for candidates with no experience, whereas I had five years of experience.  My friends were getting offers from the Big Four, but I wasn’t getting any interview requests.”

Eventually he made contacts at career fairs and through his own networking efforts that led to his current position as Senior Auditor with BDO. His advice to prospective students is to attend every single career fair.

“Don’t miss a single one. They are very helpful; take them seriously,” said Sahibnoor. “Try to network as much as possible with your fellow students, because you never know who will help you in the future.”

Why did you choose GGU?  I needed a flexible program in which I could get my masters at my own pace in accordance with my work schedule.

What accomplishments are you the most proud of? I’m proud of my contributions to the GGU community. I hosted a Speed Networking event which included partners/directors from the Big Four, helped a lot of students as the GGU Accounting Tutor, and hosted a resume review workshop for my fellow classmates.

What courses that you have taken have proven most valuable to you? Accounting 305 taught by Professor Deborah Bennett. The accounting knowledge I gained was very valuable and still helps me with my real world problems in public accounting. Sometimes I go back to slides she used in class for technical items I’m working on.

What activities did you participate in outside of coursework? I was vice president of the GGU Accounting Club which led me to organize various networking and soft skill events.

How do you think your education at GGU will help you succeed in your career? It helped me network with the right people, and allowed me to develop soft as well as technical skills.

What are your career ambitions for the future? I am currently working at one of the top accounting firms and intend on staying in public accounting until the end of my career.

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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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