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MBA Class of 2011: Where are they now?

Michael BertonlinaMichael Bertolina

Vice President, Entertainment Marketing & Acquisitions
Independent Studio Services, Los Angeles, CA

Partner/Vice President, Business Development

All Things Comedy LogoAll Things Comedy, Los Angeles, CA

I head two departments at ISS, the largest provider of film props for the entertainment industry. We provide everything from prop rentals and weapons, to manufacturing and graphic services for the lion's share of US film & television productions.

I head the product placement division which connects brands with productions for hands-on promotion opportunities within scripted film & television content. I also oversee all prop procurement activities for both our internal rental inventory and individual productions.

Additionally, I work with a comedy podcast network called All Things Comedy; the brainchild of headline stand-up comics Al Madrigal and Bill Burr. I drive new business through podcast sponsorships, brand integrations, and strategic partnerships.

While I worked in the entertainment industry before pursuing USF’s MBA, the degree gave me a new set of skills; from business modeling, to brand marketing, to negotiation, to leadership. I draw on my USF education every day.

Read more from Michael about ISS at Fast Company's CoCreate blog.


Lock BinghamLock BinghamSterne Agee Logo

 

Financial Advisor
Sterne Agee, San Francisco, CA

I provide portfolio management and retirement plan design for individuals and small businesses to help them reach their goals. In some ways, this job is exactly like launching a new business because I’m the CMO, CFO, and CEO at the same time. I enjoy it because I help people on an individual and personal level.

I worked as a financial advisor before business school, but the USF MBA degree has enabled me to operate at a much higher level. I not only better understand the market, economy, and investments, but also marketing, strategy, and process. I made some important and lasting friendships in school and held three internships that were each in different industries. Each has made a different impact on my current work.

Any advice for current and prospective MBA students?
Keep learning and adapting.


Sabeen AhmedSabeen AhmedSolutionSet Logo

 

Manager, Operations
SolutionSet, San Francisco, CA

After graduating from USF (and with 8 years of work experience in advertising/marketing), I joined SolutionSet, a San Francisco-based digital marketing consultancy. I currently direct a team of 20 project managers on site at Google to build and execute global email marketing strategies for flagship Google products including Adwords, Google Analytics, Google + and Google Wallet. Beyond managing my team, responsibilities include revenue forecasting, project scoping and resourcing, and client services management.

I spent my early career working on Madison Avenue in traditional advertising with a focus on print, radio and TV; getting an education in San Francisco forced me to explore how the digital marketing space would expand my opportunities, particularly in light of the industry momentum in the Silicon Valley.

My USF MBA pushed me out of my comfort zone. I experienced new activities including teaching (economics TA), serving as a board member on a non-profit (Young Women Social Entrepreneurs) and running the sustainability in business organization (Net Impact). Learning these valuable organizational and leadership skills provided a confidence that has strengthened my work every day.

Any advice for current and prospective MBA students?
Invest in gaining an authentic understanding of your natural strengths and choose a career path that leverages those strengths; it will lead to success and contentment in your career.


Pat HendryPat HendryCity Ventures Logo

 

Vice President of Land Acquisition
City Ventures, San Francisco

I lead the acquisition efforts for City Ventures in Northern California analyzing and acquiring property for urban development of residential towers and mixed-use projects across the Bay Area. My position involves a plethora of skills that I gleaned from the MBA degree including financial and investment analysis, corporate management, and more practical business skills such as leadership and public speaking.

The variety and versatility of the MBA electives are unique at USF. I was able to sample a private equity course one semester and negotiations the next. These courses, amongst many, prepared me for the entrepreneurial world of real estate where one day I am interfacing with our Wall Street private equity partners on a distressed debt acquisition, and the next day I am negotiating the removal of farm animals from one of our properties.

Any advice for current and prospective MBA students?
Network, network, network. And wear sunscreen.


Pamela DangPamela DangSVB Analytics Logo

 

Senior Associate
SVB Analytics, San Francisco, CA

I am responsible for the valuation of early stage private companies in the technology sector and managing daily operations in the organization. I learned the fundamentals of valuations and venture capital while at USF and learned of the position through company research and networking with USF alumni.

USF MBA courses in valuations and financial statement analysis helped prepare me for this position. I develop relationships with founders and management of start-up companies and work with them throughout their company’s development cycles. Thus, the general knowledge I gained in marketing, finance, and business strategy enables me to better understand my clients.

Any advice for current and prospective MBA students?
Invest time to discover your strengths and interests. Do this by strategically selecting internships and proactively networking with alumni/professionals working at companies or in careers that interest you.