Career and Educational Paths in Finance


An interview with David Kaczorowski, MBA, Adjunct Professor of Finance in the Ageno School of Business


Would you please tell us your professional experience and what you teach?

David Kaczorowski

After getting my undergraduate degree in finance at Boston College, I worked in actuarial analysis at Liberty Mutual Insurance. It was a great job, just not for me. So I went back to school for an MBA at Yale University and transitioned into the investments industry. After school, I spent five years in the investment banking industry working as a capital markets equity analyst. Those are the people who publish reports on stocks and rate them buy/sell/hold. After that, I spent two years managing a private portfolio for an individual investor, called a family office. Around that time I started teaching in the Master of Science in Finance at GGU, and now I do it full time. I teach Portfolio Management, Investments, and Derivatives at GGU.

Why do you like teaching?

What I like most about teaching is bringing practicality to the classroom. When I was in school some of the material I learned was very useful, some not so much. Now, after seven years in the industry, I have a decent idea of which concepts are used in investing and which ones rarely leave the textbook. The most satisfying part of teaching for me is to say to a class: “Now listen up, this is how it’s really done.” That’s something I think GGU does better than most. We’re located right next to the financial district and most of our teachers are working professionals. When students come here they expect a close connection to the real world. It’s something I wish I had when I was in school, and I’m really excited to bring it here.

I have a decent idea of which concepts are used in investing and which ones rarely leave the textbook. The most satisfying part of teaching for me is to say to a class: “Now listen up, this is how it’s really done.” That’s something I think GGU does better than most.

What do prospective students most want to know when they are considering a Finance career?

Many of them just want to understand what careers are available. In my field, in particular, students often come to me for help because they’ve done stock picking for a personal account, find it intellectually rewarding, and want to do it as a career. Most don’t really know what careers are out there, how they differ, and how to get them. Personally, I think that’s the whole point of grad school. Students have a few years in the working world and know enough to understand the areas that excite them, and so they go back to school to refine the road map.

What skills are needed for a finance career?

I might not have thought this when I was a student, but the business school core classes go a long way in a financial career. That goes especially for statistics and accounting, both hard-to-learn subjects but very useful in the real world. Just the other night I was having dinner with a friend who works in the financial industry, and we dug into how the interest rate environment will impact the Sharpe ratio of the fund he manages. It was right out of a textbook.

Communication is also extremely important, both in front of a crowd and one-on-one. Investment banks and hedge funds are famous for having a lot of strong personalities. It makes life a whole lot easier if you have the skill to, as they say, “tell someone to go to hell in such a way as to make them think they’ll enjoy the trip.”

We’re located right next to the financial district and most of our teachers are working professionals. When students come here they expect a close connection to the real world. It’s something I wish I had when I was in school, and I’m really excited to bring it here.

What are the upsides and downsides of the career?

As with most careers, the people you work with are a major part of the job. In my time in the business, I’ve known a few truly impressive minds: people I like to call “stock whisperers.” Getting to know them and watching them work has been a great part of the job. Hopefully a little of that skill rubs off. As for the downside, I’ll go back to what I said about strong personalities. Finance can be really fascinating stuff, but some jobs have a whole lot of grunt work, stuff that isn’t why you got into the business. The stereotype about working oppressive hours is true, and it’s no fun.

How should people decide where to apply for jobs in Finance?

I always tell students to keep an open mind about the next step in your career and don’t get too focused on one particular job. Who knows, you might take a detour that you end up liking more. At the moment, wealth management and real estate finance jobs are in demand, and equity analysis is less in favor. That doesn’t mean you should tailor your career to what gets you a job at this exact moment, but we have to skate to the puck. If you find yourself going down the wrong road on a career you don’t love, switch. Don’t waste your time.

What are misconceptions are there about the Finance field?

I personally have some political frustration about how our industry is viewed by the rest of the world. We in finance are too often seen as the evil empire. The fact is, finance and investing serve a vital need in the economy. Also, the reputation for being a cutthroat industry isn’t always accurate either. Out here in the Bay Area, there is a general attitude of cooperation, and that permeates into the industry. The finance industry here has a strong connection to Silicon Valley, and it adopts some of the same habits of collaboration and innovation.

Sadly, the stereotype is true that there are few women in the industry. In the local CFA Society there are 3,500 charter holders and only about a quarter of them are women. I never really knew why that is, but I hope it changes sooner than later. “Doctor Who” is a woman now, so anything is possible.

I always tell students to keep an open mind about the next step in your career, and don’t get too focused on one particular job. Who knows, you might take a detour that you end up liking more.

How do you start networking for a finance career?

Networking is definitely helpful. The industry runs on relationships and having the right ones can make a big difference. Many local professional organizations, like the CFA Society, hold events that are open to the public. I’ve met all sorts of interesting people at those events who become good friends. Another element to launching a career is doing it for yourself. A public speaker I once heard said about being a writer: “If you want to write, then write.” When I started in equity analysis I opened a personal investment account and bought stocks for myself. I kept clear notes and models that supported my positions and stood ready to talk with anyone about them. If you want to do any career you don’t have to wait for the job, you can do it today. If you want to invest, then invest.

What should prospective MBAs consider when selecting a specific graduate program?

This is a tough one. When I chose my program the biggest criterion was the personality of the school. Schools like Harvard and Wharton are great, but they weren’t for me. My class at Yale was full of misfits. There was a merchant marine, a rape counselor, a stealth bomber pilot, lots of really interesting people. I learned more from them over bad Chinese food than I did in the classroom. That’s why the campus visit is crucial. You have to go there and see the place for yourself, talk to the students and professors, and ask yourself whether you feel at home on an emotional level. It can be really hard to determine that, and a person can only visit so many schools, so it takes some luck to find one that really resonates.


About David Kaczorowski, MBA

Dave (David) Kaczorowski has worked in finance for more than 13 years. An experienced investment manager of private and family office portfolios, he has investment expertise in all the five major asset classes and experience in the holistic management of a family office. His most recent position was as the primary investment manager for a highly diversified family office portfolio. Prior to that position, he spent five years in the investment banking industry as an equity research associate, covering technology companies. His resume in the industry includes Signal Hill Capital, Wedbush Securities, and Stifel Financial. He also spent seven years as a financial analyst in the actuarial department of Liberty Mutual Insurance Group. He is a CFA charter holder.


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Video: Data Security Primer for Accountants

Certified Public Accountants handle, store, and transmit huge volumes of confidential client information. The news is filled with stories about cyber hackers, but something as simple as a misdirected email can create enormous damage.

As CPAs, we have legal and professional obligations to protect our clients’ information. In this video, Prof. Ric Jazaie provides a brief overview of our obligations, and the basic steps accountants should take to protect confidential client information.

Prof. Jazaie and Dean Fred Sroka then go on to discuss how data protection reviews, consulting and audits can be a great value-added service for CPA firms. This video is ideal for accountants who want to take advantage of one of the many blossoming niches within the accounting profession—and learn to avoid data security trouble of their own.

If you have any questions about adding these services or researching data security issues feel free to reach out to Ric Jazaie at RJazaie@ggu.edu.


About Ric Jazaie

Professor Ric Jazaie has over 17 years of progressive auditing and investigating leadership experience. He is an experienced internal auditor and a fraud investigator with extensive experience in computer forensics and in law enforcement. His areas of expertise include fiscal audits, internal performance and operational audits, forensic accounting and litigation support, as well as, information technology audits and investigations of federal, state, local government organizations, as well as, medium sized privately held companies. Jazaie holds a Master of Accountancy in Forensic Accounting from Golden Gate University.

Netflix Marketing Expert Talks Shop with Students in a GGU Business Analytics Class

A case study on the data analytics successes of Netflix came to life with a visit to a Business Analytics class by Andrew Massena, who serves as Senior Technical Project Manager at Netflix. Massena came by at the invitation of Tsovinar Yenokyan, a student in the Master of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications program (’18).

Massena presented on the topic of Marketing Analytics, and the class participated in a discussion about the Netflix Leading with Data initiative. Netflix uses algorithms to help predict user needs and behavior. Visiting Assistant Professor and Director of Math Programs Dr. Nabanita Talukdar (and the class instructor) observes that: “Netflix has thrived because of its superior customer data and analytics. Data analytics gives Netflix the ability to predict what customers might want and provides an understanding of consumer trends.”

What I learned in the class, such as using the R data-analysis tool, will apply to my work on day one.
–Tsovinar Yenokyan
MS, Integrated Marketing Communications (’18)

Over the last six years, Massena has managed multi-team efforts such as launches in France, Germany, Australia, Japan, and worldwide. His areas of responsibility included ensuring proper catalog encoding and deployment, certifying region-specific configurations, new language support, and App submissions. Last year, Massena managed the effort of Netflix to enable downloading of content to mobile devices. His primary job is running the Netflix NRDP (Netflix Ready Device Platform) Program. He coordinates a cross-functional effort to deliver the latest version of the SDK to device partners (Sony, Samsung, LG, and others) on an annual basis.

Tsovinar Yenokyan, Student (5th from left), Nabanita Talukdar, Instructor (6th from left), and Andrew Massena, Senior Technical Project Manager at Netflix (7th from left)

Yenokyan says: “I started my own marketing firm in Armenia, and came to the US to expand my career and learn new skills. I want to continue my marketing career, and I need to be able to analyze data no matter where I go. For example, if you have a large customer data set, you need to know exactly who you want to reach. What I learned in the class, such as using the R data-analysis tool, will apply to my work on day one.”

About the Business Analytics Course

The Business Analytics course’s focus is the practice of business-oriented analytics using statistical methods using the R statistical software. The course introduces analytical techniques applicable for solving common business problems, techniques to analyze social media, and techniques to study data on Web and app users. Students are expected to acquire practical knowledge of computing and interpreting – correlations, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, t-test, regressions analysis, cluster analysis, statistical significance, run power analysis and compute effect size. During the course, apart from learning statistics and software R, students will be introduced to the concept of Application program interface (API) in the context of data retrieval from Twitter, Facebook, and Google Analytics. Upon the course completion students expected to be able to select the right statistical method corresponding to the business problem. Compute and interpret results of a statistical analysis and produce practical business recommendations.

REQUEST INFORMATION ABOUT GGU’s DATA ANALYTICS PROGRAMS AND CONCENTRATIONS >>

McFarland Publishing Contracts Public Administration Professors to Pen Five Books

By Joaquin Gonzalez, Mayor George Christopher Professor of Public Administration at the Ageno School of Business at Golden Gate University

McFarland Publishing has contracted four GGU Public Administration professors and me to write five more books on Public Administration. This publishing house, a leader in academic and nonfiction titles, recognizes GGU’s unique capacity to contribute to real-world solutions for the Public Administration community around the world. No public administration program in the San Francisco Bay Area has been granted such trust, confidence, and respect. I am proud to say that my co-authors/co- editors are also graduates of GGU’s Public Administration program.

These five publications–as yet untitled–will cover street-level policy concerns that are intriguing and controversial:

Spring 2018: GGU Ageno School of Business Associate Professor and GGU alum Dr. Mick McGee (MPA, DPA) and I team up for an eye-opening compilation on legalized marijuana and what cities are doing to manage this “growth” industry.

Fall 2018: This book will focus on how cities, states, and the Feds are helping veterans—especially in this period of mass drawdown—that I will co-edit with Dr. McGee and GGU alum Roger Kemp (MBA, MPA, DPA) who is a distinguished adjunct professor here.

Spring 2019: Dr. McGee and I examine what cities are doing to reduce or entirely eliminate chronic homelessness.

Fall 2019: Dr. McGee and I dive into the topic of needle exchange programs and including the opioid crisis, as well as how citizens and communities are acting on this serious concern.

Spring 2020: Dr. Kemp and I are joined by another GGU alum, Willie Britt (DPA), for a book that examines senior-citizen services.

As seasoned public affairs experts, we will bring together a vast network of colleagues from universities, to governments, to journalists. However, a bulk of the writing will come from practitioners from the field who are active members of leading public administration organizations such as the International City/County Management Association, American Society for Public Administration, and the American Planning Association. Many of the articles have been vetted by cutting-edge professional publications like Governing, Planning, PM Magazine, and PA Times. Some Doctor of Public Administration and Executive Master of Public Administration alums have also agreed to contribute their research papers as chapters in these volumes.

…if you visit the GGU library, you will see a wall of books written by our faculty and alumni.

Five Publications Add to GGU’s Existing Body of Work

In my close to two decades at GGU, I am always asked by curious students, colleagues, and community members: “Do you write books too? You know like famous professors?” My answer has always been a humble, “Yes.” And, usually, I add that if you visit the GGU library, you will see a wall of books written by our faculty and alumni.

In the last two years, Dr. Kemp and I have authored Immigration and American Cities, Corruption and America’s Cities, Privatization in Practice, and Small Town Economic Development (with long-time Connecticut economic development manager Jonathan Rosenthal). Before the end of the year, our latest project on Cities, Citizens, and Eminent Domain will join this series.

Why do we write these kinds of books?

There is an increasing demand from classrooms and citizens for discussions on up-to-date, practical, and hands-on experiences and innovations in the Public Administration field. Walking down city streets, you will notice that America’s economic growth has not benefited everybody. While there are Americans who are getting more affluent, there are also many who are living on the streets or dealing with drug abuse and other social ills. For instance, while we know that concerns relating to our aging population will catch up with us, our cities were are not prepared for the massive return of U.S. veterans.

Thus, we must share not only the basics and the classics of our professions but also share practical nationwide solutions that work and expose those that do not work. Community leaders and regular citizens want to read about them so they can make smart suggestions at town hall meetings and better engage politicians and hold them accountable.

After browsing through GGU faculty publications, you will notice that many of our publications delve into real-life practices in business and other fields like mine. Most of our publications are more readable by what I would call the broader “Amazon.com audience”—not just students, but even “Regular Joes”. I like it that way.


About Dr. Joaquin Jay Gonzalez

About Joaquin Jay Gonzalez III, PhD, is Mayor George Christopher Professor of Public Administration at the Ageno School of Business of Golden Gate University, San Francisco, California. He has taught at the University of San Francisco, the National University of Singapore, and De La Salle University (Manila). He was Commissioner for Immigrant Rights for the City and County of San Francisco for close to a decade and has worked for the World Bank (Washington, DC) and the Institute On Governance (Canada).

Jay is the author of more than a dozen books including the recent Corruption and American Cities: Essays and Case Studies in Ethical Accountability. Gonzalez has also written a book on the theme of boxing, From Pancho to Pacquiao: Philippine Boxing in and Out of the Ring, and has demonstrated his boxing moves while training American soldiers on Philippine Relations.


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New Bachelor’s Degree Concentration in Data Analytics Gives Students In-Demand Skills

For over 100 years, Golden Gate University has developed innovative programs that keep pace with the rapidly changing world of business. A new undergraduate concentration in the cutting-edge field of Data Analytics will prepare the next generation of business professionals to unlock the potential of Big Data. A shortage of 1.5 million managers and analysts with the understanding of how to use these data has caused salaries for data analytics professionals to exceed $100,000 in the San Francisco Bay Area. The demand is also broad because Data Analytics skills are relevant to virtually all industries and disciplines such as Finance, Marketing, HR, IT, Operations, Supply Chain, and more.

Real-World Skills

The Data Analytics concentration in the Bachelor of Science in Business program will give students an edge by providing hands-on experience with tools that are essential to today’s workforce. These include:

  • Dashboards such as Tableau
  • Analyzing Social Media data using R Language
  • SAS software to analyze Big Data sets
  • Data mining
  • SQL for manipulating and reporting data
  • Data extraction, transformation, and loading

After finishing each course, students can market themselves immediately to employers in a hot job market.

Beyond the Data Analytics concentration, GGU’s Bachelor of Science in Business program provides a broad foundation for success that includes training in management and other fundamental disciplines—plus opportunities to develop interpersonal effectiveness and leadership qualities.

Going Back to School?

The concentration in Data Analytics is ideal for those seeking to complete a bachelor’s degree as a working adult in their 20s, 30s, and beyond. Graduates of this program can enter the job market a step ahead of competitors who may have earned a degree earlier in life. In addition, Golden Gate University was named the #1 university for adult education in the US (Washington Monthly) because its programs are geared toward the needs of working professionals. Courses are taught either online or at the downtown San Francisco campus by faculty who are accomplished practitioners in their fields.

We invite you to take the next step in your career by filling out a request for information form.

Free Event: Mastering Human Resource Management for Small Businesses & Startups

Small businesses and startups need more than just profits or investors to keep growing. Finding the right people to help them realize their vision is paramount. Unfortunately, human resources rules and regulations have to be considered and can be a barrier to moving forward. If you want to hire the very best people without a hassle, we invite you to hear from a panel of HR experts at a free GGU event: Mastering Human Resource Management for Small Businesses & Startups. Hosted by GGU’s Ageno School of Busines, the event is open to GGU students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the general public.

The event will be s. A networking opportunity and refreshments will follow the panel presentation.


Mastering Human Resource Management
for Small Businesses & Startups

Thursday, July 27th
Golden Gate University [map], Rm. 5200-5202
RSVP for this free event >>


Panelists

Katya Korepanova is an alumna of GGU’s Master of Arts in Industrial-Organizational Psychology program and currently leads HR and Culture at Leanplum—where she builds culture, onboarding, employee relations, and benefits programs. Leanplum is the most complete mobile marketing platform, designed for intelligent action. Their integrated solution delivers meaningful engagement across messaging and the in-app experience. Leanplum offers Messaging, Automation, App Editing, Personalization, A/B Testing, and Analytics.

Doug Devlin is an alumnus of the GGU Master of Business Administration program and CEO of Zuman. Zuman was founded in 2012 with a simple mission: to transform the people operations experience and help employees grow their companies. Zuman provides the premium single-source cloud solution for human resources, payroll, benefits administration, and talent management for better people operations.

Meet our moderator

LouAnn Conner is the Director of the Small Business Program at GGU, where she develops and leads programs supporting the success of up-and-coming small businesses. The proud recipient of Outstanding GGU Adjunct of 2015, LouAnn is Founder of SagaciousThink, LLC. LouAnn teaches a variety of courses in International Business and Strategy, Context of Business, Managerial Analysis and Team Dynamics and Entrepreneurship.

Again, this event is absolutely free and we invite you to register online.

Data Surgeon: Andrey Aredakov of GGU’s Master’s in Business Analytics Program


“Would you rather have a surgeon who knows everything from books or surgeon who has actually done your kind of operation?” That is how Andrey Aredakov sums up his teaching philosophy in the master’s degree in business analytics program at GGU. “Knowing a formula for standard deviation doesn’t help much in business. One has to apply it to solve concrete business problems.” For this reason, Aredakov gives his students a data set and challenges them to unlock its potential and communicate the results. In the real-world of business, these insights will give their colleagues what they need to make decisions.

Aredakov works as a Data Analyst at a major search engine company based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Colleagues from various sectors of the company approach him to make sense of an enormous data flow that is expanding by the millisecond. This data flow emerges from user behavior, digital advertising customers, and information from mobile devices. Aredakov presents data results to the various “clients” in the company such as product managers, project managers, and engineers—as well as members of the finance, marketing, and sales teams.

“Storytelling and good communication are part of the job of a business analytics or data analyst professional,” says Aredakov. “This is not about the book knowledge or the statistics. It is about taking out what is unnecessary and telling a kind of story to colleagues that will help them grow the business. The trick is not to create many slides that are full of data charts, but come up with one slide that leaves out everything extraneous and makes finding the solution easier.”

Transforming data into a story liberates a fundamental business asset and gives professionals what they need to improve a company’s product, efficiency, and bottom line. “In today’s world, we have a lot of data and computers that help us compute anything in a short time,” Aredakov says, “but all these numbers require interpretation. Only an expert can provide that.”


Learning R
Aredakov’s students are using R, an open-source statistical tool for business that is dramatically simpler than query languages such as SQL and scripting languages such as Python. You can get results sets, such as the “correlogram” below, in a matter of seconds just by calling the function. The example below correlates car MPG performance (top left box) with various factors such as the number of cylinders (column 2).

About Andrey Aredakov
Andrey Aredakov has worked as a quantity/quality researcher in media, web, and advertising analytics for the last twelve years. His specialties are media and Web analytics, as well as competitive research. Aredakov earned a PhD degree in philosophy at Moscow State University. After working as a data analyst at various companies in Toronto, he moved to San Francisco and joined a major search engine company.


Request information about Golden Gate University’s Business Analytics master’s degree >>

What Everyone Planning to Get an MBA Should Be Reading, Every Day!


By Terry Connelly, Dean Emeritus of the Ageno School of Business at Golden Gate University

When I first started the entry-level Wall Street training program at Salomon Brothers, our first instruction was simple: Force yourself to read The Wall Street Journal, end to end, every weekday. If you are planning to pursue Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree, that advice is still good.

Today’s vast new array of digital media offers the aspiring MBA student a range of choices to keep up with business and economic affairs. Perhaps there are too many choices—so many so that you can focus on the Web sites that fit your personal world-view. And yet..the precious time in your life that you devote getting an MBA offers a tremendous opportunity to challenge your preconceived notions, rather than reinforce them. Learning other points of view will help you as you advance in your career.

Most business magazines are like a day-old sandwich. Web sources that are committed to near real-time news are helpful.

The New York Times (front section): Don’t focus so much on the business pages—those are yesterday’s news. The front pages and even the Op-Eds will offer far more clues as to what will move events and markets and commerce today, and even more so, tomorrow.

The Economist: This British journal is the quickest way to get something all MBAs need: a world view. You will find that The Economist has its own, distinctive, world view. In reading this, you will confront ideas different than your own, early and often, in your schooling. So go ahead and argue with our British friends and figure out your own view of things, and absorb the incredible amount of carefully crafted and thoroughly researched reporting and perspective it provides every week—especially in its in-depth special sections.

Financial Times: While you are in the “British Reading Room” perusing the Economist, also look at Financial Times, which will offer you a perspective on American business, finance, and politics that, as they used to say of Schweppes soda, is “curiously refreshing.” You will want to keep up with Brexit and the doings of the European Community institutions, the Eurozone, German competitors, and French upstarts (Watch that space.).

The Financial Times does not do a bad job covering the Asian region either. You can add Singapore’s Straits Times for that, or better yet, Bloomberg’s Live TV around midnight Pacific Time—when the stock and bond and currency trading day has already started. Speaking of Bloomberg, consider its Businessweek because it is reinventing itself as a more focused journal.

Terry Connelly’s Best Websites for Aspiring MBAs

The New York Times (front section) >>
Financial Times  >>
The Economist  >>
Straits Times (Singapore) >>
Bloomberg’s Live TV >>
Bloomberg’s Businessweek >>
Recode >>
Axios >>

Sidewire >>

Expert Discussion and Commentary

No, I am not going to close with a recommendation of The Washington Post, despite their good information leaks over the decades. Instead, I suggest you get fresh information. Sign up to get the daily online D.C. webcast chats on Axios or Sidewire (the latter of which I have the privilege of contributing to). They limit discussions to those who are experts in their field and summarize current issues that are not discussed in routine press headlines. Their discussions also reveal what to look for during the day and how to stay just a smidge ahead of events related to your industry, your investments, and your general peace of mind.

These sources will help you figure out how to meet the first and mandatory challenge that awaits those who seek to be leaders: defining reality. Most people come to their new jobs with illusions which may have served them well in previous positions but will lead to poor results in their current one. Occasionally, a leader has to shatter the illusions of their team with a cold dose of truth, like the “BI Running Platform” analogy found in more than one business school case study.

Defining reality provides what successful athletes and CEOs alike refer to as acute “situational awareness.” If you want to make the most of your post-MBA moments, use your MBA “free time” to learn how to always know the score and the time left on the clock.


About Terry Connelly

Terry Connelly is an economic expert and dean emeritus of the Ageno School of Business at Golden Gate University, California’s fifth largest private university and a nonprofit institution based in San Francisco with award-winning online cyber campus. With more than 30 years experience in investment banking, law and corporate strategy on Wall Street and abroad, Terry analyses the impact of government politics and policies on local, national and international economies, examining the interaction on global financial markets, the U.S. banking industry (and all of its regulatory agencies), the Federal Reserve, domestic employment levels and consumer reactions to the changing economic tides.

Terry holds a law degree from NYU School of Law and his professional history includes positions with Ernst & Young Australia, the Queensland University of Technology Graduate School of Business, New York law firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore (corporate, securities and litigation practice in New York and London), global chief of staff at Salomon Brothers investment banking firm and Cowen & Company’s investments, where he served as CEO. In conjunction with Golden Gate University President Dan Angel, Terry co-authored Riptide: The New Normal In Higher Education (2011). Available on Amazon.com, Riptide deconstructs the changing landscape of higher education in the face of the for-profit debacle, graduation gridlock and staggering student debt, and asserts a new, sustainable model for progress. Terry is a board member of the Public Religion Research Institute, a Washington, DC think tank and polling organization, and the Cardiac Therapy Foundation in Palo Alto, California. Terry lives in Palo Alto with his wife.


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Top-Tier Finanical Analysts & GGU Community Discuss Amazon Stock at Special Event


Golden Gate University’s Investment Research Club hosted a special group discussion at its downtown San Francisco campus: Amazon: blockbuster or bubble?  Organized by GGU’s Investment Research Club, the event was attended by graduate students in the GGU’s master’s degree in Finance program, as well as professional asset managers from around the finance industry.  GGU students were able to participate in a group analysis of a stock and the professional back-and-forth that characterizes the varying orientations and opinions of top analysts.

David Kaczorowski
David Kaczorowski

The event kicked off with a presentation by GGU’s Prof. David Kaczorowski, who spent five years in the investment banking industry as an equity research associate, covering technology companies such as Cisco. Kaczorowski gave a comprehensive review of Amazon’s business strategy, which includes its core third-party platform business, Cloud Services, Amazon Marketplace, and Amazon Prime. The company’s  “land-and-expand” strategy with its third-party selling platform has been effective, despite its low profitability. However, Amazon is building on its platform with high margin services like Amazon Marketplace and Amazon Prime.

Kaczorowski continued, saying that the company will find new ways to be profitable and its stock will push higher. Although many believe Amazon’s stock price is peaking, he concluded that it had room to grow despite barriers internationally—such as the dominance of Alibaba in China and a possible protective stance of European countries.

Howard Aschwald
Howard Aschwald

The next presenter was Howard Aschwald, Chief Investment Officer at Quantum Capital Management. A GGU graduate (MBA, Finance & Financial Planning, ’85), he offered the opinion that Amazon stock is overvalued, although the company is strong and its stock had a more stable price during the crash than its competitors.  GGU’s Hank Pruden, onetime instructor of Aschwald at GGU, commented on the technical analysis issues of Amazon stock. In response to various perspective offered by attendees, Aschwald replied in an industry maxim: “You can torture the numbers until you get them to say what you want.”



The Investment Research Club’s meetings are open to students and the public. 
For more information contact Gannon Kim (MA Finance, ’17).

About the Investment Research Club

The GGU Investment Research Club is intended to allow students to participate in an enjoyable intellectual exercise while learning the time-honored and effective methods of the business. We are a group of students who have a passion for finance and investing. We meet regularly to collectively research, analyze, and value companies from an investor’s perspective. Through research, networking, and guest speakers, we will gain practical skills, industry knowledge, and connections to help each other increase our aptitude with investments. The Golden Gate University Investment Research Club consolidates University and member resources to develop an educational platform which strengthens our understanding of investment research and provide practical experience in company analysis.

What Makes for Quality Online Education?

online-library
by Doug Geier, GGU’s Director of eLearning and Instructional Design

Online education is enormously popular, with the number of online students in the US growing to over 6 million in 2015. This is true at Golden Gate University, where many students get their degrees or certificates 100% or partially online. Online classes provide a way for many students to fit education into their daily lives, an opportunity that they may not have otherwise.

If you become a GGU student, you will soon realize that you are at a school that takes online education seriously – 94% of students who took 80% or more of their courses online favorably rated the overall quality of their education at GGU (2016-17 GGU Graduating Student Survey).

More than an Internet Connection

At GGU, we think online learning is more than a medium or a convenient way to learn. Quality online learning is built with many elements – not just an instructor and an Internet connection. Here are the features of GGU’s quality eLearning experience:

  • Faculty experience in an online environment
  • Opportunities for interaction among students and instructors
  • Stimulating and engaging eLearning
  • Integrated online learning platform for interaction, multimedia, and assignment submission
  • Dedicated eLearning department to ensure proper student and faculty proficiency
  • 24/7 support team for technical issues students may have
  • Curriculum that connects learning to the real world

Creating the GGU Online Experience: The eLearning Department

I have a passion for online learning because it provides an opportunity for all students to participate in course activities, contribute to the discussion, and engage with one another. (No one has a “back-row” seat in online learning.) It’s also a great supplement to classroom learning and provides a great deal of flexibility for the adult learner.

One of the building blocks of the GGU online experience is the eLearning Department, which I lead. The eLearning instructional designers have experience and training in both technology and education—and how the two come together for effective teaching and learning. Through GGU’s Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence, the instructional design team supports faculty in the effective use of technology for education.


Golden Gate University has been recognized for excellence in online education for its MBA, Counseling Psychology, and graduate-level Accounting programs.
Learn more about GGU’s accolades >>


Even though we have been offering online education for over 20 years, we are always seeking to improve the student experience. We stay on top of the latest trends and effective practices by monitoring educational blogs, publications, and sites related to technology, online learning, and higher education. Educause Learning Initiative, EdSurge HigherEd, the Online Learning Consortium, and WCET are all wonderful sources of information and inspiration. We also exchange ideas with others in the online education community through attendance at conferences and meetups. Most importantly, we listen to feedback from students and faculty and strive to continually improve the quality of online education at GGU.

My Experience as an Online Student

I hear positive feedback from our online students, but I also share this perspective as a fellow online student at GGU. I’ll be completing my MBA degree this year, most of which I have taken online. If the courses had not been challenging and provided the opportunity to interact with fellow students and the instructor, I wouldn’t have remained engaged and interested. As a working professional, I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish this if not for effective online courses.


About Doug Geier

Doug Geier is the Director of eLearning and Instructional Design at Golden Gate University where he oversees LMS support, instructional design, help desk and proctored testing services. He was a 2012 participant in the Online Learning Consortium’s (OLC) Institute for Emerging Leadership in Online Learning and continues to be an active member of the OLC community–serving as a volunteer, presenter, and conference track chair. Doug is also a member of the Substantive Change Committee with the WASC Senior College and University Commission and a part-time MBA student at GGU. In previous roles, Doug has held positions in educational software publishing and online learning as a producer, content developer, and instructional designer.