Video: Why Go to Business School in San Francisco?

Golden Gate University is located in downtown San Francisco in the heart of the Financial District. In this video, Dr. Gordon Swartz, Dean of GGU’s Ageno School of Business, reflects on the city’s reputation and position in the business world.

Dr. Swartz’s holds a DBA from Harvard University and has extensive and varied experience that combines business school teaching, research, and administration — with strategy consulting and development of high-growth organizations. As vice president of MarketBridge, Inc., he led major marketing, sales strategy, and transformation efforts for Fortune Global 500 companies.

Getting an MBA degree at GGU in San Francisco, specifically in the “FiDi”, gives students access to a wealth of expert working faculty and networking opportunities in major business areas such as finance, accounting, taxation, marketing, project management, and IT management. Throughout its 115-year history, Golden Gate University has become an integral part of the San Francisco business world — with over 16,000 alumni residing in the San Francisco Bay Area alone.

Starting a Career in Supply Chain–the Right Field for Me

Anne-Mari Parkkinen (MBA ‘08) is a Supply Chain Analyst at Sonic Manufacturing Technologies.

A career in Supply Chain is not often on the minds of people that are starting an MBA program. I didn’t have a clear view of what I wanted to major when I applied. During a two-day orientation for international students at GGU, the line for the Supply Chain program table not as long as the others—only because people like me did not know much about it. When I got to the table and met program chair Richard Dawe, I began to discover that the Supply Chain career would the right fit for me.

I don’t consider myself a ‘math person.’ I like the fact that much of my job requires human judgment and making a proper interpretation of data.

What is Supply chain? 

The Supply Chain includes everything that happens from raw material to the end product in a customer’s hand. This includes many things such as procurement and logistics — getting the right products or services to where they need to be.  All companies are complex, and if their employees only think about the end product, it may be more expensive to get it to the customer in the long run. Everyone talks about product price in terms of Supply Chain, but it includes logistics and dealing with manufacturers and choosing the best one that can deliver the part ASAP. There are various roles in the field such a logistics expert, Supply Chain analyst (as I am), or Supply Chain manager just to mention a few.

Because Supply Chain is so important to a company’s bottom line, more people need to take advantage of opportunities in the field. Every type of company needs logistics or supply chain professional, and there are many vacancies. There is also a trend of manufacturing returning to the U.S. which will increase demand.  Supply Chain is also a very good field to enter because it relates to all industries.

The demand-to-supply ratio of jobs to qualified individuals is six to one.
— Supply and Demand Chain Executive Magazine (2016)

Why I Like It

Supply Chain jobs can be surprisingly rewarding. This career fits my love of research and solving logical puzzles. Supply Chain is not a mathematical discipline, and I don’t consider myself a “math person.”  I like the fact that much of my job requires human judgment and making a proper interpretation of data—how to sort it and decide what the most important factors are.  I enjoy doing the research to help me come to my conclusions. Another part of what I love about my job is getting to find out about every physical aspect of a product and learn what makes it work.

My Experience at Golden Gate University

I got an MBA from GGU with a field of study that included Operations, Supply Chain Management, International Logistics, and Project Management. Here is what I liked most about my experience:

  • The faculty teach from their real-world experience
  • Many fellow students were working adults, which gave me more insights into the supply chain and its wider business context.
  • The education is actually relevant to what I need in my job today.
  • Classes are very interactive and conversational. We are problem solving all the time rather than hearing lectures.

I really enjoyed studying in GGU and would absolutely recommend it to everyone who is thinking about pursuing their career with MBA.

Request information about Golden Gate University’s MBA program >>

Free 10-week Course in Small Business Development at GGU

The Entrepreneur Center at Golden Gate University will offer a free, 10-week course for those looking to turn their business ideas into reality. Held at the university’s downtown San Francisco campus, the intensive Small Business Preview Course prepares individuals for launching a small business by providing the foundational knowledge essential for success.

Participants will work in a collaborative environment in which they use each other as advisors and sounding boards. They will leave the course with a strong foundation for their business or entrepreneurial plan, a clear direction for the business, and knowledge of what it takes to get started. The course is relevant to all kinds of business environments such as technology, service, retail, or nonprofit.

Applications are due by May 31, 2017
Learn more >>

Michelle Foster – who is creating 2Grow Learning, Inc. and the 2Grow Unlimited Foundation – is a graduate of the most recent course. “I have always been an entrepreneur at heart,” she says. “Attending the class helped push me forward and start thinking about finally making my dream a reality. I refined some ideas and considered new ones to take my concept out of my head and into reality. I got support and advice from two dozen fellow students who were going through the same process. The class enables people like me to take their vision, education, and experience and start making them a reality.”

The Small Business Preview Course will take place Saturdays from June 10 to August 19, 2017 from 9am-Noon, at Golden Gate University’s San Francisco campus. Applications are due by May 31, 2017. More information is available at

The course will be taught by LouAnn Conner, Founder and CEO of SagaciousThink and consultant to start-up businesses. SagaciousThink supports companies by offering operations excellence either as interim management or in a project or consulting capacity. Prior, Conner held senior leadership positions at Booz Allen Hamilton, Honeywell- TSI, and Pricewaterhouse Coopers.

Driving 10,000 Miles to Attend GGU’s Small Business Class

By Michelle Foster 

I received my MBA  from GGU in 1988, and have been working since in a variety of roles which built upon my education – from startups to giant corporations and everything in between in a variety of industries. I think I can safely say that over the years I have become a “Jill-of-all-Trades.”

In 2016 I was laid off from a very stressful job four days before Christmas, and in mid-January I received an email from GGU regarding the free Small Business Course. The timing couldn’t have been better!

We were not only able to share the driving to and from Los Angeles and San Francisco, but also work on refining our business plans and discuss what we had learned in the Saturday morning classes.All ten thousand miles driven this quarter were definitely worth the effort!

I have been putting the pieces together for a massive educational media and philanthropy business concept for nearly twenty years. In looking back at the last seven jobs I had held I realized that all but one of these jobs had ended badly for one reason or another. That’s not to say I hadn’t done well in these positions or learned from the experience I gained in them – it was, however, a wake-up call to realize that I am and always have been an entrepreneur at heart, and that to continue working for others was not only a recipe for more disaster but would not further my progress towards my true calling. It was time to “get real.” I am creating two organizations – 2Grow Learning, Inc. (a for-profit) and the 2Grow Unlimited Foundation (a non-profit). The two organizations will work together to provide educational and philanthropic resources on a large scale worldwide.

The FREE  Small Business Preview Course takes place Saturdays
from June 10th, 2017 to August 19th, 2017 at GGU’s San Francisco campus.
Applications are due by May 31, 2017

Because I live in Los Angeles I asked if there was anyone else in Southern California who might want to attend the program, and I was referred to fellow entrepreneur Freddie Scott. Every Friday morning for ten weeks Freddie and I left Los Angeles, drove to San Francisco, attended class for three hours on Saturday morning, and hit the road back to Los Angeles as soon as class was over so we could be back in time for dinner on Saturday evening. We were not only able to share the driving to and from San Francisco, but also work on refining our business plans and discuss what we had learned in the Saturday morning classes.

Attending the GGU Small Business Program helped push me forward and start thinking about finally making my dream a reality. I was able to refine some ideas that needed refining, consider ideas I had not thought of before, and take my concept out of my home office (and my head) and get the support and advice for it from two dozen people who are going through the very same process themselves. What I love most about this program is it enables people like myself to take their visions, education, and experience and start making them a reality. The best part is that ultimately as our businesses take shape they will contribute to the economy as well.

All ten thousand miles driven this quarter were definitely worth the effort!

About the Small Business Preview Course

This intensive, ten-week Preview Course is designed to prepare you for small business ownership by providing you with a foundation of knowledge essential for success. You’ll work in a highly collaborative group of peers who will act as your advisors and sounding board as you develop business concepts through a series of weekly assignments and a final, capstone presentation. By the end of the course, you will have a foundation for a strong business plan, a clear direction for the business, and knowledge of what it will take to get started on your small business journey. Go to the GGU website for more information on the course and to apply. Applications are due by May 31, 2017.

Cognitive Science, Machine Learning, and Business Analytics: An Interview with Johnson & Johnson CIO Stuart McGuigan

Would you please talk about your cognitive science background and your transition to business? Was this a leap?

I was part of the first attempt at cognitive science in the 1980’s, as the discipline was inventing itself. We researched psychologists of all types, computer science researchers but also linguists, philosophers and even a few math/stat folks. This afforded me the opportunity to learn about anything and not be overly focused on one approach.

At the time, I was trying to use Artificial Intelligence models (Minsky’s Frames) to understand the relationship between learning, memory and attitude change. I had social, memory and experimental psychologists as well as cognitive scientists supervising my work, which proved to be challenging as no one faculty member particularly cared about defending my work as a whole. But I picked up a little bit in a lot of areas.

These skills, when put together, helped me enter work on projects that involved things like machine learning and intelligent computer-assisted instruction with Aerospace and Defense Research and Development at Honeywell. After that, I had the opportunity to work in a data science group at Merck & Co., where I could apply my understanding of behavior change and do things like price elasticity, promotion response, and marketing experimental design.

We are using machine learning techniques to predict the likelihood of trauma-care products needed in a given region based on weather, holidays and, other predictors.

I ultimately found my way into IT where the data is created (or not), and the capability to bring advanced analytics to major problem solving and the development of people-centered solutions is enabled.

Does cognitive science have a relation to what you are doing today at Johnson & Johnson?

I would like to say that I was smart enough to know that the methods and tools I learned in graduate school would be relevant to me as Johnson & Johnson’s CIO. This is not at all the case!

There are two primary aspects of my cognitive science background that are extremely useful today.

  • The first is the statistical methods that we use to try to comprehend human cognitive behavior, which advances our understanding of consumers’ and patients’ behavior. We have long applied tools like predictive modeling to be able to identify what the next best action is to take.
  • Now, with machine learning, the system continuously and manually updates the model without human intervention. This means that the productivity of our data scientists can be greatly enhanced. With the ability to create machine learning models that extend the reach and power of each data scientist, we can leverage the creative work our professionals produce and extend it more broadly throughout the enterprise.

To lead a data science group, it is helpful if you are an “outgoing introvert”…who enjoys sharing that work with people, creating teams that do this valuable work, and persuading business leaders that this is an area well worth the investment.

 How did you get into the pharma industry?

My father had a long career in marketing, which resulted in my being born in Cincinnati, Ohio, while he was working at Procter & Gamble. Because of his career, I had always been intrigued by the idea of applying cognitive science techniques to marketing. So, once I decided it was time to get serious about establishing my career, I interviewed for a variety of positions, including a marketing job at Merck & Co.

Within its U.S. business, Merck & Co. had created a small group of what we now call data scientists, where we worked on things like promotion response assessment, hospital purchase probability modeling, conjoint analysis, and extrapolative methods for product forecasting. I don’t think there was any other time in the pharmaceutical industry until now, where a company like Merck & Co. would have hired someone like me. This gave me an opportunity to join a marketing development program where I rotated through roles like managing marketing research and product management. This business foundation has been enormously useful in my career leading IT organizations.

Johnson & Johnson U.S. Headquarters

What are the specific applications of data analytics at Johnson & Johnson? 

Data science is being applied to almost every business and function within Johnson & Johnson. It is being used to help us better understand and target consumer micro-segments in order to meet our people where they are – from the grocery store to the home. It is being used in the supply chain organization to understand how to create an agile response to emerging consumer demand locally, while planning on a global basis. We are using machine learning techniques to predict the likelihood of trauma-care products needed in a given region based on weather, holidays and, other predictors. Ultimately, we are using data science to identify and create people-centered solutions that help meet our consumers’ needs.

At Johnson & Johnson, I have been involved in all areas of data analytics. We have a group of about 30 data scientists in our IT organization supporting Janssen pharmaceuticals. I have played a role in establishing a group of supply chain professionals to model the supply chain flow, end to end. And most significantly, Johnson & Johnson created technology environments that allow us to break down the complexities of modeling, and support the massive amounts of data and power required for today’s techniques.

Is there a type of person that data science appeals to?

I don’t know if there is one type of data scientist. Data science work typically requires someone who is interested in math and in understanding the relationship of metrics to the real world. It requires the type of person who gets excited about finding and quantifying relationships that no one understood before. To lead a data science group, it is helpful if you are an “outgoing introvert”. An introvert can be defined as someone who gets their energy from quiet time working alone, while an “outgoing introvert” is someone who enjoys sharing that work with people, creating teams that do this valuable work, and persuading business leaders that this is an area well worth the investment.

One of the most important soft skills required for a top-performing data scientist is the ability to understand what your business partner is trying to do… If you take the time to ask your business partners, you may be surprised at how happy they are to share their work with you. 


For people who consider themselves data scientists first, what hard and soft skills do they most need in the business world? 

One of the most important soft skills required for a top-performing data scientist is the ability to understand what your business partner is trying to do. If you take the time to ask your business partners, you may be surprised at how happy they are to share their work with you. You can learn a lot in a short period of time about their business strategy, about the capabilities that are needed to accomplish business objectives, and the barriers that your business faces in accomplishing those goals. Once you have this knowledge, you can aim data science techniques at overcoming the most important obstacles. If you have helpful solutions to answer your business’ most critical problems, you will find a ready audience.

Lastly, what one thing would you like people to know about your field or your work at J&J?

Many individuals know about Johnson & Johnson from our Band-Aids® and baby products. But in reality, our two largest businesses are pharmaceuticals and medical devices. We are a health technology company fueled by empathy, and we ultimately attract people who are interested in our core mission which is helping people live longer, healthier and happier lives. If you’re interested in the opportunity to contribute to humanity in this way, and would rather develop people-centered solutions then say, tune search engines or adjust hedge fund algorithms, then we have a place for you!

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

Public Administration Ethics and Donald Trump’s Firing of James Comey

By Dr. Jay Gonzalez, Professor and Chair of GGU’s Department of Public Administration

The recent firing of FBI Director James Comey by President Trump has livened up the usual quiet summer of the Executive Master of Public Administration (EMPA) program at Golden Gate University. This issue is front and center in discussions about Public Administration ethics and the politics-administration dichotomy. As is typical for our program, we have law enforcement agents in the summer class, including FBI agents as well as CIA professionals. It’s a good time to be in an EMPA class at Golden Gate University.

In the fall, when the EMPA program ramps up, students and professors will have plenty to discuss during the introductory course called Theory, Ethics, and Practice in Public Service. The firing raises the classic politics-administration issue of whether politics or partisanship should be allowed to seep into the work of neutral public service. In other words, should civil servants just follow the whims and wishes of elected politicians? The incident will also be used for a case study for this and other classes. Bringing current issues into the classroom reflects GGU’s approach of making real-world scenarios a part of the learning experience.

Bringing current issues into the classroom reflects GGU’s approach of making real-world scenarios a part of the learning experience

Loyalty to What?

In Washington, it is normal for the presidential victor to change heads of cabinet-level departments — from secretaries to undersecretaries — as well as leaders of bureaus or agencies like the FBI or CIA. So, there is no doubt that what President Trump did was well within his legal mandate. However, what is being questioned by many is the political interference in the administrative neutrality of career civil servants. Assisted by FBI career agents and analysts, Director Comey’s actions as a public servant do not favor one party or another. The FBI’s Russia investigation and its conclusions will be based on data and evidence, not politics. The loyalty of men and women in the FBI — including Comey during his tenure — is to the Constitution and the American people, not to the Presidency. This allegiance is also the biggest difference between public and business organizations.

The Saturday Night Massacre

In 1973, the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General both resigned after refusing to follow Nixon’s presidential directive to fire Special Watergate Prosecutor Archibald Cox – in an incident that became known as The Saturday Night Massacre. In the context of class discussion, the question is: What is the parallel between the Nixon-Trump political sagas? Both Nixon and Trump doubted the sworn public servants’ capacity to fulfill their administrative mandates in a non-partisan way. Thus, both presidents disregarded long-time career civil servants’ experience and tenure. Trump felt that an ounce of presidential loyalty is worth more than a pound of Russian investigative intelligence. “Director Comey, YOU ARE FIRED!”

Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox (center) was fired by Richard Nixon in 1973.

The Watergate affair unfolded in an era of television, newspaper, and radio. Now, news is 24/7. Besides the traditional sources, breaking news flows to you on your phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop. Even if you are not looking for news, you will get notifications on Twitter, Facebook, or email. This makes the scale of public knowledge and exposure of the Comey firing 100 times greater than the Saturday Night Massacre. Armed with smart phones, everyone is a reporter. With so much Washington drama coming through our newsfeeds, there’s never a dull moment in the EMPA program!

For more on the Nixon-Trump correlation, watch the Jay Gonzalez television interview that aired on The Filipino Channel (TFC), ABS-CBN News, and KTSF Channel 26 on May 11, 2017.

About Dr. Jay Gonzalez

jay-gonzalez-speakingDr. Jay Gonzalez is a Mayor George Christopher Professor of Government and Society. He has authored 13 books, including Corruption and American Cities and Privatization in Practice. Dr. Gonzalez has worked as a public servant with the governments of the Philippines, Singapore, and most recently the United States — as Commissioner of Immigrant Rights for the City and County of San Francisco. In 2005, he received a Special U.S. Congressional Recognition for his public and community service.

Request information about the Master of Public Administration program >>

What the House GOP Isn’t Telling You About Their Obamacare Repeal Bill: “If you like your workplace health care plan, you probably can’t keep it!”

Absent from the half-time celebration at the White House of the one-vote passage of the American Health Care Act (“ACHA”) by the GOP-controlled House of Representatives, there was many statements about both premiums and deductibles going down and pre-existing condition coverage continuing as a result of this legislation. But no one in the Rose Garden or the Rotunda of the Capitol building was heard to utter the famous magic words associated with the ObamaCare passage from Day One: ‘If you like the health plan you have now, you can keep it!”

Certainly, it has been clear enough for a while that, under ACHA, if you are on Medicaid, you are looking at an $880 billion in overall funding reduction, so million of those depending on Medicaid coverage will lose at least part of that.

The same result applies for those who purchase policies on the ObamaCare Exchanges with direct subsidies from the Federal treasury because those subsidies will be replaced by substantially lesser advanced tax credits that will, therefore, force choices for less generous coverage.

In addition, if your state chooses to waive the Federal requirement that your individual (ie non-workplace) market plan include ten “essential” coverage elements—like maternity and infant care, mental health, prescription drugs, hospitalization)—you will lose whatever benefits are waived no matter what your pay. And there will be even greater coverage degradation of existing policies if protections for those with a pre-existing medical condition (Here’s a list of them.) are waived by your state and you somehow lose coverage for over 63 days, and in any event whatever coverage of your condition is not waived will cost a lot more.

But nobody on the GOP side has acknowledged that the famous “you can keep it” phrase regarding your family’s current health insurance policy quite possibly will no longer apply to the 160 million persons (nearly 50% of the marketplace) currently receiving their health care coverage through plans provided by their employers. How did this happen without virtually any public notice of this element of the GOP plan until the very morning it passed?

It should have been clear enough that at least those who work in many small businesses across America and get their health insurance though their employer would be at risk to losing coverage. The late-April revisions to the AHCA offering states the options to waive essential benefits and pre-existing condition protection against price discrimination would apply not only to the ObamaCare Exchange and individual marketplace but also to the small group market relevant to firms with 50-100 employees or less, depending on the relevant state regulations.

But even employees of our largest public and private companies could have their current coverage limited or eliminated, as the Wall Street Journal pointed out on the morning the House voted.  Under the ObamaCare rules now, a big company can choose the benefit package of any state to apply to its employees in all states—a rule that hardly matters while all policies are required to provide the ten essential benefits.

If just one state (as Wisconsin’s governor has already suggested he would consider) chooses to pursue the coverage waivers under the new AHCA, a big company could simply impose this ‘lowest common insurance denominator” of coverage to all its US employees, unless the current rules are changed (but the ACHA leaves them place). As a further result, the Obamacare ban on lifetime caps on insurance benefits would also be undercut for any insurance coverage remaining after the waivers take effect.  If you still think the GOP plan won’t affect you because you have a job with insurance, think again.

Neither the GOP generally, Speaker Ryan and his leadership team, nor President Trump ever campaigned on the platform to “repeal and replace your workplace healthcare policies.”  It surely seems that somebody’s got some explaining to do: the town hall meetings during the current Congressional recess might be a good place to start.

About Terry Connelly

terry-connellyTerry 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 of 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). 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 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.

GGU Online: Librarian Support for Students

Over 4,500 GGU students took online classes last year — a large number considering GGUs modest size. To make life easier for online students, Librarians at the GGU Business Library are working hard to support them with the content and services they want.

LibGuides – Masters of Curation

Research librarians love searching for information, but this may not be as fun for students on a deadline. Librarians have created over 60 LibGuides which save students time when researching a specific topic. How many sources of great information do you have about economic forecasting, just off the top of your head? Not many?

GGU Librarian Teresa Lee created this research guide for Economic Forecasts and Indicators

Library Search Portal – Leave Google and Wikipedia in the dust

With clickbait articles and thin journalism clogging Google results and interested parties fiddling with Wikipedia pages, the GGU online catalog is a must for students. Librarians curate and update the library’s search portal that serves up citation-worthy results from a collection of approximately 40,000 print books, 175,000 e-books, and 54,000 e-Journal titles. Librarians work closely with GGU faculty, so the collection is tailor-made to student needs.

The library makes the research experience more effective by teaching students to find, evaluate, and use appropriate resources. In keeping with GGU’s real-world approach to learning, we make sure to have current, easily-accessible content available through the library.

—James Krusling, Library Director

Subscription Databases – “You get what you pay for.”

As any business student knows, the “good stuff” is worth paying for. That’s why the library staff subscribes to over 100 databases covering all disciplines taught at the university. The subscription databases include heavy-duty research reports and articles; esteemed publications such as Harvard Business Review; publications for very specialized disciplines such as supply chain management; best practices articles that are often behind paywalls; and business mega-databases such as EBSCO’s Business Source Complete that carry tens of thousands of business articles.

GGU Business Library Digital Resource Facts
Librarian-created “LibGuides”: 65
Subscription databases: 112
Electronic journal titles in the collection: 54,513

Virtual Support – “I’ve fallen down on my research and I can’t get up!”

Librarians provide one-on-one research support by email, instant messenger, and phone.

Online Research Skills – “Oh, that was the best practice…6 months ago!”

Librarians help teach research skills that are crucial in a rapidly changing business landscape where best practices and strategy changes in a matter of weeks. This happens both in the classroom and via video modules online.

Popularity – Students are using the digital library.

Here are some stats for 2016 as reported by Library Director James Krusling:

Electronic articles viewed: 150,665
eBook requests: 72,263
Database searches: 194,191
Electronic industry reports viewed: 43,526

Krusling says: “The library makes the research experience more effective by teaching students to find, evaluate, and use appropriate resources. In keeping with GGU’s real-world approach to learning, we make sure to have current, easily-accessible content available through the library.”

Not Just Online

There were 121,638 visits to the library in 2016. The GGU Business Library is at the center of a modern space that enables individual and group learning complete with customizable furniture, mobile whiteboards, and technology-enhanced collaboration stations. It also provides great convenience for students through its sharing of space with eLearning, Tutoring Services, The Center for Teaching & Learning Excellence, and the GGU Law Library.

Library photo: Saul Bromberger & Sandra Hoover Photography

Learn more about GGU’s online classes >>

The Intersection of Supply Chain Management, Sustainability, and Education

By Rex Ryan Magadia

Rex Ryan Magadia graduates in 2017 from GGU’s MBA program with a concentration in Global Supply Chain Management.

In one of my favorite books, Connectography by Parag Khanna, the author states that “Supply Chains are the greatest blessing and the greatest curse for civilization. They are an escape from the prison of geography, creating economic opportunities where none existed, bringing ideas, technologies, and business practices to places that lack the advantages of good climate and soil or other propitious variables. Now for the bad news:  Supply chains are “…also a conduit for plundering the world’s rain forests and pumping emissions into the atmosphere.”

Businesses are here to stay. Thus, looking through this paradigm, the next logical step is to ensure that businesses are run in the most sustainable and ethical way possible. This is done by developing good governance practices and taking a holistic approach when it comes to managing the social, environmental, and economic impacts of a business’s product and service life cycles. Examples include any policy or business practice that addresses human rights and labor, the environment, and anti-corruption in supply chain operations. An example may be creating more sustainable products that have fewer environmental impacts and ensuring that worker rights are respected throughout the supply chain.

It is not just the world’s rain forests which are at risk. For example, in the Philippines where tens of millions of people rely on healthy oceans/reefs for food, income, and protection from storms, supply chains are the mechanism that enables overfishing. Fish is the primary source of protein in the Philippines and if the global supply chains which operate in the Philippines are not managed in a more sustainable way, this vital life-support system will eventually disappear, leaving tens of millions of people in a state of low food security. My family is from the Philippines, and it’s been a goal of mine to teach environmental and supply chain sustainability there someday.

My GGU education was focused on real-world success from day one.

Career Transition

After I completed my B.S. in Environmental Engineering from Cal Poly, I worked as an engineer. I felt that my career path would be limited moving forward without having some sort of business background. In addition, I had been introduced to the concept of supply chain management and I saw this as the ideal field for me to pursue my passion for sustainability.

My greatest challenge in completing my degree was to achieve academic excellence in my role as a student/scholar while also finding the time to develop and meet goals that I’ve set in regards to my personal roles such as son, brother, lover, climate activist, teacher/mentor, and explorer.

My mission is to dedicate my life to helping others acquire the requisite knowledge, skills, and values to build a just and sustainable world.

My GGU education was focused on real-world success from day one. In an introductory global supply chain management (GSCM) course, Dr. Richard Dawe had us complete a Career Questionnaire & Career Plan to help us set a path for the rest of our graduate degree studies. Many, if not all, of my subsequent accomplishments were a direct result of the initial planning steps and actions that I took early in that introductory class. When it comes time to join a world-class supply management organization, I will be readily qualified and have the necessary knowledge and experience to do so.

GGU faculty members have had an immensely positive impact on my development as a student and as a human being. I’d like to give special thanks to Dr. Richard Dawe as well as Dr. Douglass Carlberg (Global Supply Chain Management Applications & Analytics) and Professor Howard Bernstein (Management Information Systems).

Changing the World

I believe that sustainability and climate change are the defining challenges of our generation. For this reason, I have worked to develop chain sustainability and climate change as my two primary knowledge areas. Over the course of the next ten years, I plan to work within this space and gain as much relevant experience and knowledge as I can. Ultimately my destination is education. As mentioned above, I’d like to one day teach supply chain sustainability within the context of climate change at the university level, perhaps in the Philippines. What I love about teaching and tutoring is the one-on-one interaction with students. As Dag Hammarskjold, Nobel Peace Prize recipient once said, “It is more noble to give yourself completely to one individual than to labor diligently for the salvation of the masses.” My mission is to dedicate my life to helping others acquire the requisite knowledge, skills, and values to build a just and sustainable world.

About Rex Ryan Magadia, CPSM, CPSD

Rex Ryan Magadia‘s accomplishments include: a 4.0 GPA in GGU’s MBA Program, GGU GSCM Outstanding Award Winner (2017, ISM 2016 Graduate Student of the Year (Northern California Chapter), APICS 2016 L.L. Waters Scholar, APICS supply chain management magazine regular contributing author, APICS Editorial Advisory Board Member, and CSCMP Scholarship AGC Ambassador Award Winner (2017).  Magadia is also in the process of writing a 10-part series for APICS Magazine in which he will highlight a particular skill that young professionals will need to succeed in an increasingly dynamic and complex global supply chain environment. Rex is a certified CPSM (Certified Professional in Supply Management) and CPSD (Certified Professional in Supplier Diversity).

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MBA Graduate Students Honored by Prestigious Supply Chain Organization

Rex Ryan Magadia (MBA ’17) and Zhaoqian (Anna) Zeng (MBA ’17) have won awards from the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals – San Francisco Roundtable (CSCMP-SFRT). Both students selected a concentration in global supply chain management at GGU and study at the San Francisco campus. The pair was selected for the 2017 honors on the strength of their academic accomplishments and essays on their future careers in supply chain management. Zeng received a scholarship award and Magadia won a trip to the national CSCMP conference where he will represent GGU among the thousands of participants.

Left to Right: Rex Ryan Magadia; Dr. Richard Dawe, Director and Professor, Global Supply Chain Management Program; and Zhaoqian (Anna) Zeng

Zeng’s undergraduate degree in law has helped her develop analytical and deductive reasoning skills along with an understanding of detailed laws, regulations, and customs. Magadia’s undergraduate degree in environmental engineering from Cal Poly reflects his engineer’s penchant for details, and he is also passionate about the intersection between the supply chain and societal issues. Born and raised in the central valley of California, he is the first member of his family to earn a college degree.

Both scholarship recipients are highly focused on the coursework and activities outside the classroom such as membership in CSCMP and attendance at local events. One of the reasons they chose GGU was the close affiliation that we have with industry, particularly through the excellent local professional organizations like CSCMP-SFRT. We truly believe that the habits you form in school will be those you take to your career.

—Dr. Richard Dawe, Director and Professor, Global Supply Chain Management Program

In the near future, Zeng wants to focus on the management of international trade operations while Magadia is interested in the advanced technologies and the supply chain’s impact on future society, sustainability, and risk factors. He will also be honored next month with the ‘Outstanding Student Award’ for the Global Supply Chain Management program this year.

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