The University of San Francisco: Career Services Center
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dons careers

Dons Success Stories

The stories below demonstrate that those who dedicate themselves to hard work and persistence are successful! We've showcased just a few of USF students and recent alumni who have made wise moves. Check out these student success stories, besides inspiration, they also show that academic major does not have to restrict your goals and that there are many ways to land a perfect position! Every success story is unique and the possibilities are endless. For your convenience, stories are alphabetized by major.

If you have recently been hired, enhanced your career, or entered graduate school, we want to know about it. Please click here to share your experience.

Abbie J.

Accounting '13
Assurance Intern, PricewaterhouseCoopers

"I got an internship working with PricewaterhouseCoopers in their assurance department. Working here will help me gain a better understanding of how accounting that is taught in the classroom can be applied to real life situations. I look forward to learning how to audit and further my understanding of working with teams and how to work efficiently and accurately within a given timeline. I initially found this internship opportunity on the USF Career Center's website. At the Career Center, they also assisted me in editing my resume and cover letter which helped to land my internship.”

Jeffrey Estrellanes

Jeffrey E.

Accounting ‘08
Accountant, Armanino McKenna LLP
Business Owner, Jamsee Home Care Services

 
"I joined Armanino McKenna originally in the Fall of 2008 right after graduation. Due to the death of my father, I was forced to make the tough decision to leave my career and manage several family businesses. I realized that those businesses were not for me, and that I wanted to fulfill my true career goal of completing my CPA which I hope to finish soon with Armanino McKenna as they gave me a second chance to get closer to my career goals. The Career Services Center helped me with resume preparation and interviewing prep. Their participation in the Fall and Spring job fairs and getting a good number of firms to show up, helped me in making my decision as to what firm to apply for and which would be the best fits for me."

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Jared D.

Accounting ’12
Audit Associate, KPMG

“I have been at my job for just over a month now and I am really starting to get accustomed to the lifestyle change. I have such a new feeling of independence. I thought being in college was a feeling of independence, but being able to completely support yourself in every aspect is such a gratifying feeling. I am challenged every day at work and I can only look forward to the challenges that I will be faced with in the future. USF really prepared me to be able to attack life after college and I am grateful for that. The Career Services Center played a crucial part in me acquiring my job. They led me through the entire process, from building my resume, writing cover letters, interview preparation, as well as the decision making process when choosing a job.”

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Katiusca S.

Accounting
Tax Intern, PricewaterhouseCoopers

"I got an internship at PWC accounting firm for summer 2012. Thanks to Career Services I was well prepared by having them look at my resume and prepare me for interviews. I'm very excited to get a better sense of what accountant do on a daily basis. I also hope to learn new skills and develop friendships. Through the Career Service website, I was able to find out about this internship position. Through Career Services, I scheduled my on-campus interview, which they also helped me prepare for.”

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Nikki F.

Accounting
Audit Intern, KPMG

"I am mostly looking forward to the training opportunity I have. This whole experience is based around learning and having hands on opportunities. The Career Services Center helped me the whole way! The application and resume submission was online at DonsCareers. The first round interview was also on campus in the Career Center. Since everything was done on campus it made the whole process a lot less stressful."

 danicar mariano

Danicar M.

Asia Pacific Studies, MA '10
Geography PhD Candidate, National University of Singapore (NUS)


“I am an Asia Research Institute (ARI) Scholar which means that I not only get to study my doctoral degree in National University of Singapore on a full scholarship, I also receive a generous monthly stipend and given time to do my own research and field work. NUS Geography is one of the highest ranking Geography departments in the world. I found about this scholarship through Rachel Rinaldo who was the Kiriyama Fellow in USF while I was taking up my Masters in Asia Pacific Studies. I was Prof. Rinaldo's research assistant. She was also a fellow in ARI and she told me about these opportunities in Singapore. When I was about to graduate, I often went to the Career Services Center to explore my options. The career counselor recommended that, given my field and my background as an International Student, I explore Asia for opportunities. The CSC staff recommended I network with established professionals in my field. I also had my application essay, CV and resume thoroughly checked by the center.”

Mariko Feuz

Mariko F.

Biology ‘12
Research Assistant I, San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center

“I work for NCIRE (Northern California Institute for Research and Education) at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center. I am involved in a study that is developing an educational guide for low-literate and minority populations. The guide focuses on advanced care planning for older adults. My minor in Gerontology at USF and my science background has been very valuable to my work.”

Pierce Ogden new

Pierce O.

Biology (Molecular) '09

Assistant Specialist, Small Molecular Discovery, UCSF

“After graduating, I was offered a full time position working in high throughput screening for small drug like molecules at the SMDC at UCSF. Basically what we do is test hundreds of thousands of compounds against a single target (protein or cell) and screen for effects. This process is automated. It is super cool and I am learning a lot about drug discovery and computer science."

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Ulyana K.

Biology (Molecular) '09

Patient Coordinator, Comprehensive Core Consultants

“I found this job through a friend referral. This is a new office of a private medical practice. I started volunteering here this January and was offered a paid summer full-time internship. I had my resume checked once at the Career Services Center. There aren't a lot of appropriate jobs for a biology pre-med student like myself there. Also, during my freshman orientation, Alex Hochman from the Career Services gave me some great advice regarding internships and volunteer opportunities which helped me find experience later on."

Cameron L.

Business Administration, ‘12

Real Estate Transaction Associate, UGL Services

“I was sure I wanted a career in commercial real estate and staying in San Francisco after graduation was a big goal of mine. There are many obstacles in landing feet first after graduation. The most intense being the cost of living in San Francisco. The Career Services Center helped me refine my resume and aided me with writing cover letters. I applied for a position at UGL Services through a posting on the CSC Dons Careers site. I am happy to say that I was offered the position. I am impressed with the team I work for and am excited for the opportunity to continue to better myself every day.”

Alex L.

Business Administration
Risk Management Services Intern, Arthur J. Gallgher

“It is an invigorating experience for me to go to Los Angeles to experience a different society and a different work culture. I want to know more about the insurance industry so that I may one day possibly become a broker in the near future. I am looking forward to becoming a part of the Arthur J. Gallagher family this summer in the beautiful and sunny Los Angeles. The application process was intense and stressful. The Career Services Center was a big part of guiding me through those stressful times by actively helping me improve the way I present myself to future potential employers. I was guided through the entire process step by step from the creation of my resume to the application process to the interview stage. The Career Services Center was very helpful.”

Robert Ethel

Robert E.

Chemistry '09

Medical School Student at University of Oklahoma, College of Medicine

“During my years at the University of San Francisco I majored in chemistry and minored in biology, as well as played on the baseball team. Upon graduation, I wanted to apply innovative science to those who needed it the most, and decided to get a Masters in Bioscience from the Keck Graduate Institute. After receiving my Masters, I worked in the pharmaceutical industry for a year, and quickly learned that I was not close enough to the patient. So, I changed careers and am currently in medical school. I did not know it then, but my experiences at USF laid a foundation for the type of person I am today. In my time post-USF life I have learned that not only was my basic science education top-notch, but the overall curriculum gave me a perspective nobody else received at any other institution. My education at USF has allowed me to seamlessly transition between careers in science, business, and now medicine. It is hard to put into words everything my USF education has done for me, and I realize more and more everyday how special and limitless it truly is.”

Julia M.

Communication Studies
Communication Director, iSnap Social

“I recently accepted a position as Communications Director at a high tech startup in Sacramento named iSnap Social. iSnap Social is the creator of the Social Photo Station and accompanying software suite. It allows users to snap photos at events or businesses and instantly share them on social networks. My job is fantastic because I can use all of the skills I learned in the Communication program at USF! I have my professors and USF to thank for helping me land this position with a hot up and coming company. As Communications Director, I manage all internal and external communications for iSnap Social. That includes media relations, marketing, branding, public relations campaigns, and executive visibility. I'm in charge of creating the public face of the company. It's a challenging job and every day brings something new. I love it! Before this I was an account executive at two high volume public relations agencies in the bay area. I was also President of the USF Chapter of PRSSA (Public Relations Student Society of America) and am still active in PRSSA as an executive. USF was instrumental in helping me find a job in a tough economy when jobs in the Public Relations and communications fields were tough to come by. Alex Hochman with the Career Services Center helped me build a killer resume. Professor Pabst helped me get my internship at HBO in San Francisco, which was the launch pad of my career. Professor Tony Adams gave me great advice on the day of graduation that I've always held close to my heart, "no matter what, don't compromise your morals and listen to your intuition." I feel extremely fortunate that I graduated from USF and I am positive that without USF I would not be where I am today.”

Stephanie Denton

Stephanie D.

Communication Studies

Human Resource Coordinator, Aegis Media

“Effective June 2012, exactly 3 years after graduating from USF, I have my dream job. I knew I wanted to pursue a career in Human Resources as early as my junior year. As a first generation college graduate I didn't know how to go about getting there though. To get to where I am now I had to make huge sacrifices. I have never been lazy. I've been working part time (doing mostly office work!) since I was legally able to work at age 15 but was never able to find a job. After graduating, I took a sales recruiting job because after looking for full-time work for 6 months nothing was coming up. I worked this average job for two and a half years (and put up with horrible treatment from crappy management, but ok pay) before I was able to humble myself enough to accept an internship at $12 an hour (this was more than a 50% pay cut for me). I worked hard and within 4 months I was hired on full-time to my current position! Every day I am excited to come to work and look forward to growing further in my career!”

Molly M.

Master’s in Education
2nd Grade Teacher

“Ellen Kelly, from the Career Services Center, visited my student teaching class on two occasions to discuss the job application process. She touched on everything from resume formatting to interview do's and don'ts. She stressed the importance of asking questions, and about half my interview time was me asking them questions. She stressed individualizing cover letters to include specific characteristics of the school and how you match them. She told us what to bring to interviews: resume, references, demo-lesson, lesson plan (one copy for everyone observing it). Beyond this, she even told us the importance of appearance. During a mock interview, she mentioned to the interviewee that her hair kept falling in her face and that it is important for the interviewer to be able to see your eyes. I wore my hair up - something I rarely do. I can't say for sure which parts of Ellen's advice were most vital for my success, but together, it was all essential! I cannot thank Ellen, and her resources at the Career Services Center enough for the incredible role she played in my job interviewing process.”

Jommel Gutierrez

 Jommel G.

M.S. in Environmental Management ‘06
Environmental Health and Safety Manager, University of the Pacific

"True to my interest in the preservation of the environment, I enrolled at USF and graduated with a Master of Science Degree in Environmental Management. This interest grew even more when I met professionals with similar appreciation and goals at NASA Ames Research Center located in Moffett Field, California, while working as an Environmental Specialist. My education and my direct contact with professors and planners involved in this environmental cause and community building helped me realize that I could truly make a difference. They opened up my mind that a career in environmental management could help achieve this environmental effort to make the world we live in more livable, more orderly, more productive, less congested and less polluted. In my quest to give back to San Francisco, I am now the Environmental Health and Safety Manager at the University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry located in the heart of the city. With a Master’s degree in Environmental Management from the University of San Francisco and professional experience with a leading edge institute, I can do more."

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David D.

Finance
Financial Planning and Analysis Intern for Sales and Marketing, Dolby Laboratories

“I look forward to the hands on experience I will receive working with spreadsheets and data entry systems in order to generate forecasting models and show trends in sales at Dolby Laboratories. These skills will certainly prove valuable to any career path I end up on. The Career Services Center was a valuable resource throughout my entire internship search process. Before I reworked my résumé with Alex Hochman, I had not received a single call back. After the revisions we made, I had two offers within a few weeks of one another. I could not have done it without their help and advice.”

Godavari Ghosh

Godavari G.

Finance ‘11
Grad Student, Hult International Business School '13


“I am enrolled at HULT international Business School San Francisco. The best part about my degree is the fact that it’s so global. We get the opportunity to rotate to five different countries. After completing my OPT I knew I wanted to do a Masters but didn't know in what. I visited the grad school fair on campus and that is where I heard about HULT and its masters programs. Being international it only made sense to do a Masters in International Business. As cliché as it sounds I am learning something new every day. I now look forward to graduating next August.”

Joshua K.

Finance ‘12
Middle Market Technology Underwriter, Travelers Insurance Co.

"The USF Career Services Center assisted me in creating a resume and cover letter that highlighted my strengths to potential employers. Through DonsCareers I was able to search for relevant jobs and apply for multiple positions within the Bay Area. After completing a series of interviews for a company I was highly interested in, I finally received a great job offer"

Brittany R.

Hospitality Industry Management ‘13
Management Intern, Seasons Culinary Services

“I am excited to be gaining more experience in the industry that I love and, more specifically, the position that I want to eventually have. I hope to learn about how to interact with different types of clients in the hospitality industry and the ins and outs of the onsite food service firsthand. The Career Services Center helped me to review my resume multiple times. I also utilized their online resources to assist me in writing cover and thank you letters.”

Leandra Cartagena

Leandra C.

International Business ‘10, Finance ‘10
Spanish Translator, AirWatch

“I work for a mobile device management company called AirWatch in Altanta, GA. I love my job. I get to work with amazing people and do what I love. I am a Spanish translator for the company. I am in charge of the globalization of our product to make it visible to the Spanish Speaking countries. This job is opening doors for a lot of other opportunities within the company. As I translate the product, I know more about the product than any other person in the company. It is amazing how much you learn. The Career Services Center helped me a lot my Senior year when I was working on developing my resume. Thanks to all the resources they offered me I was able to show a good Resume to potential jobs.”

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Adanma O.

M.A. International Studies: Peace & Conflict
Northrop

“My interest was to pursue a career in which National Security issues were priority. While job searching, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Woodland Hills CA advertised for the position of an International Trade Compliance Analyst 2 in the Electronic Systems/Navigation's Unit. This role was an introduction in understanding the Import/ Export regulations that govern the Global Trade of NGC Electronic System Division. It was an entry level position which meant exposure to the different stakeholders involved in the National Security debate. I applied online on NGC's website. I was called to participate in a phone-interview with the Hiring Manager of ESD. Then a week later for an on-site interview in Woodland Hills with the rest of the ESD team. I waited for two weeks quite nervous and anxious for a response. Having visited the Woodland Hills Campus I knew that this was where I definitely wanted to work. I was contacted 2 weeks after the onsite interview and offered the job.
It took 10 long months of many, many hours emailing my CVs to countless job links. During my job hunt, I learned to keep an open mind and not to settle for just any job. I needed a job that would put me onto a professional career path, and would be a natural fit for my background, passions, and my long term personal and professional aspirations. I learnt patience, perseverance and learned how to trust God during a difficult season. Finally, I look forward to building up and adding value to my skill base. This job will help me identify my strengths and weakness, enhance my comparative advantage and prepare me for future roles.”

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Evan V.

International Studies: Peace & Conflict
Senior University Ambassador, University of San Francisco

“I began working for the Office of Admission over three years ago as a Showroom Host showing my residence hall room and opening up about campus life to prospective students and their families. I applied to be a University Ambassador and have held this job since my sophomore year. I love working for Admissions because I have the ability to share my story with prospective students. It’s more than just giving tours and showing guests around campus. I get to tell students about the opportunities that come with college, studying at a Jesuit institution, and living in the city of San Francisco. I love interacting with people, especially when I get to speak on something about which I am so passionate. Just before senior year, I was promoted to the position of Senior Ambassador. I now work more closely with the Admission counselors and help in supervising other ambassadors. I act as a resource to the rest of the team while still serving in my Ambassador role. After years of showing my interest and dedication to my work, I was promoted to this position. I’m so excited to be an integral part of the team in Undergraduate Admission. Before I came to USF, I had a sort of high school profile that covered my involvement and previous jobs as a teenager. When I took it to the CSC, a counselor politely tore it apart with her red pen and handed me a guide book on how to write a resume based on my BA major. I took her notes, her tips, and the guide book and sat down and followed the rubric on how to create a proper resume. I came back in the following week to go over my new resume, and the counselor made sure that everything was in order. I know that if I would have applied to my job without a proper resume, I wouldn't have gotten the job.”

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Joe R.

Mathematics

Software Engineer

“My career actually started years ago with Fortran programming language and lab, and ALGOL courses at USF and matured into post-graduate courses in the COBOL programming language at UC Extension. After a long stint in a production support group in a company on Geary, I progressed further as a programmer/analyst at World Savings through the 1990's. Then onto Charles Schwab as a contractor doing corporate tax programming and finally taking a position as an employee at Charles Schwab in their institutional investors group. For a happy ten years, I honed my COBOL, JCL, Easytrieve language skills, alongside database utilities, and found satisfaction in the implementation of several large systems. Looking back, the groundwork for my success had actually been seeded in those programming courses at USF. After over 30 years in the technology industry, I am now a contractor once more, venturing into the next phase of my career, wherever my experience will take me.”   

Chad Heimann

Chad H.

Media Studies

Noise Pop & Treasure Island Music Festivals

“Noise Pop has given me the opportunity to immerse myself in San Francisco's thriving music scene as well as the national independent music market. Through my work I am able to work with a strong driven team whose end goal is to create amazing music festivals for the city of San Francisco to enjoy. Before graduating I was able to work the Career Services to aid me in my job decision when I had a few offers but was unsure how to compare them. Career Services helped me weigh my options while looking at my long term goals and short term needs at the time.”

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Kristina R.

Nursing ‘12
Registered Nurse, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

"Getting an interview for a new graduate Registered Nursing program at a hospital was tough enough, but learning to sell myself and convince my interviewers to hire me was even harder. I did a mock interview with Alex Hochman and painfully watched a replay of my lackluster performance. I listened to the key points Alex made about how to make an impact. I focused on learning to tell compelling and authentic stories rather than describing vague clinical experiences, and this increased my confidence going into the interview and ultimately helped me land the job."

Addie Byars

Addie B.

Politics ‘10
Grad Student, Sports Management at USF

Intern, California State Assembly & United States House of Representatives
and Luxury Suite Attendant, San Francisco Giants 

“My success story involves taking advantage of everything USF has to offer. I did my undergraduate studies at USF earning my BA in Politics with a Public Service Honors Minor and I am currently pursuing my MA in Sport Management, again as a Don. As a student of Politics, I interned in the offices of both Karen Bass, who was at the time Speaker of the California State Assembly, and Nancy Pelosi, also while she was Speaker of the United States House of Representatives – both through the McCarthy Center. These positions allowed for an intimate, firsthand look at the inner workings of our political system and a front row seat to history (as I was present during President Obama’s inauguration and first few months of his term). Now as a graduate student, I am pursuing my dream of working in the world of Sport. A lifelong Giants fan, I was fortunate enough to be a member of the organization this year as they once again became World Series Champions. My access to and success in these three positions are a direct result of my active relationship with USF. They have been exciting and educational, making memories I will always treasure.”  
 

Christine G.

Politics ‘12
Early Childhood Education Corps Member, Teach for America

“I first heard about Teach for America through the Career Services Center when I was a junior. Teach For America attended the Non-Profit Expo and also held a number of informational sessions throughout the Fall semester through the Career Center. At both events I was able to meet with TFA's Bay Area Recruiting Director and learn more about the organization. I knew that I wanted to take a break from school before applying to law school and since I have been invested in education reform through my studies as a Politics major, I decided to apply the fall of my senior year. Having had various internship and on-campus leadership experiences/positions greatly assisted me with obtaining my current position. I am looking forward to teaching little ones! And I'm really excited about entering the classroom alongside an invigorating team of social activists, ready to effect fundamental change. The Career Services Center assisted me in various ways throughout my application process. Career counselors reviewed my resume and cover letter to ensure that it was presentable to the employer who would be reviewing my application. The office also offered a number of Mock Interview sessions with employers, which I utilized to assist me with my interviews. I found this service to be very beneficial during my phone and in-person interviews.”

Molly Maser

Molly M.

Politics '11

Operations Associate, Ploughshares Fund

“I work at a Venture Capital Philanthropy firm that grants money to organizations, scientists and people who believe in nuclear non-proliferation. USF's Politics department not only gave me a passion for politics and policy but a strong foundation in doing what is right in the world. I am a support to our Executive Director, as well as the Development and Operations team. When I applied for the job they liked my background, coming from USF and having an interest in changing the way the world thinks. They are a foundation changing the way America thinks about nuclear weapons and looking at conflict resolution abroad, and saw the confidence and intelligence I gained from USF and thought it would benefit them as well.”

Krystal P.

Psychology ’12
Bilingual Behavior Specialist, The Hume Center

“The Career Center has helped me with my resume for years! I've had on-campus interviews and career advice. My cover letters have also been reviewed several times. I love DonsCareers! Wouldn't have had so much success without your help! Today, I am working as a Bilingual Behavior Specialist at the Hume Center.

Stacie L.

Psychology '14
Clinical Research Assistant, UCSF

“After much searching, I found the opportunity on DonsCareers. The best part of this internship is being able to experience and assist with research in a clinical setting. What I'm looking forward to the most is working with clinical psychologists and perhaps gaining mentors along the way. The Career Services Center was greatly involved in every aspect of the application process. They helped me tailor my resume and cover letter, and they also supported me in the post application process (follow-up email, snail mail thank you letter).”

Victoria C.

Psychology ‘12
Receptionist/Office Assistant, PHD Media

“I am the receptionist and an assistant at PHD media. I managed to get this position through networking! The best part of my job is experiencing the full-time "real world" and simply learning more about the company. I'm continuing to learn how to keep an office going as well as handle random situations that come up in this environment. Career services taught me how to present myself and follow up after an interview. Not to mention their fabulous career counselors taking a look at my resume and offering feedback. The CSC played a great role in my getting my first "real" job.”

Allison Foertsch

Allison F.

Psychology '10

Doctoral Student, University of Southern California

“As an undergraduate research assistant in Psychology, I explored the interplay between emotion and cognition across the life span under the direction of Dr. Marisa Knight. This experience, as well as other teaching and service activities at USF inspired me to pursue a career in psychological research. After admission as a doctoral student to the University of Southern California, I have embarked on new lines of promising research on how changes in cognitive processes influence affective experiences and well-being throughout the life span. My experiences at USF have molded me into an excellent researcher, mentor, and teacher; skills I would be lost without. My work has earned me two prestigious fellowships, including one through the National Science Foundation. I believe it is our responsibility as scientists to turn our research into communicable results that the community can learn about and benefit from. I hope to share my research intergenerationally in a way that engages all age groups and motivates discussion on how science can translate into better lives”

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Arturo Vega F.

Sociology
Management, Environmental of California

“I just got an email from the internship and job opportunity from USF. I came to the interview and got hired. I was there only one time and they really helped me a lot. They gave me a lot of information and explained everything in detail and I have been receiving emails from them and thanks to the emails I got hired.”

Daniel Estrada

Daniel E.

Sociology
Facilities Operator, Ustream

“My new position is the Facilities Coordinator for a growing startup specializing in live streaming media, Ustream. I got the position after being working temporarily for a couple of months and proving that I had what it takes. The best part about my new position is that I wear many hats and experience something different every day. Having various internships/work experiences during my USF career showed my new employer that I can do anything and everything. The Career Services Center allowed me to develop as a student, job seeker, and professional. All the resources available pushed me to build my work experience, resume, and interviewing skills.”

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Anna K.

MBA Candidate, University of San Francisco
 
“When I was an undergraduate at USF, I fell in love with the culture, the mission, the values, the people, and the environment of USF. I always knew that I wanted to further pursue higher education and get my masters but I wasn't sure exactly what I wanted to do. After graduation, I was lucky enough to become an employee at USF and that just increased my commitment and love for USF. I work under a great boss who challenges and supports me and with his guidance I was able to start the part-time MBA program. I’m currently enrolled and I am in awe of how wonderful the professors are and how interesting the curriculum is. It is not just about business; it’s about providing you with the tools to be the kind of leader who can change the world from here, from anywhere. It is life altering and incredibly exciting!”