CFO Builds Global Business Skills in the Executive MBA Program at Golden Gate University

Like many GGU students, Sam Martin (EMBA ’17) knew that showing initiative in his career development would impress company leadership. After consulting for Napa wineries for a decade as a public accountant, he seized an opportunity to join a wine company as CFO / Controller with 12 staff members to manage. Because Dana Estates Winery has its headquarters in South Korea, he says: “It put me on a different expectation and trust level. The Executive Master of Business Administration would prove my commitment and expertise.” It was the right time to go back to school.

Martin says he needed to immerse himself in all aspects of business — primarily in sales and marketing — because the winery is a multinational enterprise that exports to South Korea, Canada, China (Hong Kong), and Sweden.

Sam Martin (EMBA ’17)

“Exposure to other professionals was a huge plus in my decision to come to GGU,” Martin says. I was able to have informal discussions with my fellow students on BART on the way to school in San Francisco.” One member of his cohort managed a large team at a healthcare company, which exposed Martin to new leadership ideas. Another student brought real-world IT situations into class discussions. “Listening to my fellow student talk about his travels and sales pitches helped me to gain an expectation of what our traveling salespeople should be doing,” says Martin.

Listening to my fellow student talk about his travels and sales pitches helped me to gain an expectation of what our traveling salespeople should be doing.

As a relatively new manager, Martin says he benefited from the instructors’ first-hand knowledge of soft skills that are critical for the human resources aspects of his job. Developing personal leadership and strategic management skills were also valuable steps forward for Martin.

“The courses are designed to help students to analyze situations and think beyond the immediate benefit to the company,” he says. “This included social responsibility, as well as taking the perspective of the world marketplace, to ensure that the best decisions are being made. An example is to create an enduring two-way street where the company treats the customers with the utmost respect to earn their business and, at the same time, grows the customers’ respect for our team. It takes both sides of the equation to develop a strong relationship and grow the company. That is important for us as an international company.”


Learn more about the Executive Master of Business Administration at GGU >>

Announcing GGU’s Corporate Fellows Scholarship for the Executive MBA Program

GGU’s Executive MBA (EMBA) is a demanding, transformative experience. Unlike many other “executive” programs, it is not a spin-off from a traditional MBA for full-time students. The EMBA is geared specifically for real-world success.

We’re pleased to announce a Corporate Fellows Scholarship of 50%.

  • Covers 50% of EMBA tuition
  • Limited to 15 recipients
  • Cannot be combined with any other grant or scholarship offered by GGU

To qualify for consideration for the Corporate Fellows Scholarship, EMBA applicants must:

  • be employed by a company operating in the U.S.
  • have at least 5 years’ experience managing people, projects, or businesses.
  • apply to the EMBA program by the August 3, 2018 deadline.


About the Executive MBA

The EMBA program at GGU is based on more than 115-years of proven success developing and delivering programs for working professionals, and it was designed to leverage the real-world professional experience and knowledge of the EMBA participants with GGU’s renowned active and practice-based learning methods.

As you complete GGU’s 16-month EMBA program, you will gain confidence not only from advancing your knowledge of business and leadership concepts, but also from mastering and applying what you learn to boost your professional performance.


More than 80% of EMBA faculty members
are scholar-practitioners.


From day one, you will have the opportunity to connect with a peer group of accomplished, high-energy professionals, in the heart of San Francisco’s thriving business district. You will join an active alumni community that is 68,000-strong, and you will benefit from a network of corporate partnerships and entrepreneurs that GGU has forged for over a century in the center of this world-changing business hub.

As a participant in the EMBA program, you will collaborate with and learn from executive coaches and instructors who are influential business leaders and who transform GGU classes into dynamic learning laboratories. More than 80% of EMBA faculty members are scholar-practitioners, and they will constantly challenge you to enhance your business knowledge and hone your leadership skills by solving real, meaningful and practical business problems.

Again, we invite you to apply for the EMBA program by the August 3, 2018 deadline to be considered for the Corporate Fellows Scholarship of 50%.  Winners will be notified by August 10, 2018.