Bank of the West VP and Adjunct Faculty Member Shares Management Insights

Bank of the West is rapidly modernizing its services for our mobile, need-it-now world. But its business is all about people: serving diverse customers with different ideas about their money. As a VP, Branch Manager at the company, Victor Shin leads consumer bankers and operations staff — a diverse group of that come from different ethnic backgrounds and with varying personalities. A Senior Adjunct Professor at GGU, Shin leverages his high-level experience to teach undergraduates who will become the next generation of managers and executives.

“In the past, management practices were more top-down in attitude,” he says. “In the new generation of management, you have to come in as a ‘people-relater.’ People are different–and they are not you. The technical disciplines of management such as marketing, accounting, and finance are important but dealing with people is the nitty gritty stuff.”

Shin says that he got to an executive-level position in banking because he is naturally competitive and has the willingness to learn. His EMBA from GGU (’04) was part of his learning journey. “The degree is geared toward C-Level thinking. I was exposed to other senior managers in the classroom,” he says. “The GGU faculty are practitioners of their fields and deal with fortune 100 companies all the time. They were able to tell us what those companies are looking for in leadership. I try to bring the same approach to my undergraduate classroom.”

10 Management Insights from Victor Shin

1. As much as we want people to see what managers see, sometimes they don’t; so, you have to provide direction on how to do something in their own way.

2. Dealing with difficult situations is necessary; nobody likes conflict, but it is going to happen.

3. Managers have realized that they are not mind readers. They need to ask what people are thinking.

4. Likewise, if you don’t express your philosophy to your staff, they won’t know it.

5. People want core values established so they can achieve a goal as a group.

6. You have to be human and transparent because people are motivated by people they can trust.

7. Both new-school “organic” and more authority-based management approaches have value.

8. Management by objectives (MBO) is effective because it gives you a way to document and track quantitative goals, and refocus people if they get off track.

9. You need acumen in the three basic disciplines of business, but you must execute in a way that’s going to translate into success. The disciplines are Technical Skill (knowing what you are doing), Soft Skills (many of them related to Emotional Intelligence) and Self Determination / Motivation. Eventually, we all have to be accountable for our own actions and path in life. That is what people will see and hopefully emulate when you do it correctly. Communicating what you do along the way will help immensely. But at the end of the day, it is up to you.

10. When hiring, fit with the overall team is important. I like people that are open to trying all the wonderful kinds of foods that we have in the Bay Area. It shows they are open to new cultures and experiences.

More about Victor Shin, MBA

Victor Shin has over 20 years of experience in the financial industry in the San Francisco Bay Area, along with being a Senior Adjunct Professor at GGU since 2013. He has held various senior positions at major institutions such as Washington Mutual, Wells Fargo, Comerica Bank, and First Republic Bank. Shin also serves on the board of the Asian Business League of San Francisco and The Presidio Dance Academy. He earned a BA in Management and Accounting from Sonoma State University (’96).

 

President’s Report: Dr. David J. Fike Outlines GGU’s Present and Future

President David J. Fike joined Golden Gate University two years ago and has ushered in changes to keep what it offers to students fresh and responsive to rapidly changing times. He says: “Through economic booms and busts, GGU has remained impressively committed to providing a high-quality, pragmatic and professional education to working adults. That historic and ongoing commitment is our mission and our promise.”

During Dr. Fike’s tenure, new educational routes and degrees have come online that are specifically designed for career advancement for working adults:

Here are some facts gleaned from the report:

About GGU

  • For the second consecutive year, Washington Monthly ranks Golden Gate University America’s #1 School for Adult Learners in its annual College Guide and Rankings.
  • EMBA faculty—more than 80% of them—are scholar-practitioners, active professionals in the real world of business.
  • The incoming Board President, Randall W. Merk,  is a GGU graduate (MBA ’85) who is retired Executive Vice President of The Charles Schwab Corporation and past President of Schwab Financial Products.

About our Students

  • 89% are over 25.
  • 44% of undergraduates are people of color and 62% of first-year law students identify as a minority.
  • 48% of undergraduates are online students.

About our Graduates

  • 68,000+ graduates and climbing
  • GGU had the highest mean earnings of adult students 10 years after graduation among four-year colleges for adult learners.

What’s Next?

Dr. Fike reports that the Framing Our Future initiative will introduce new degrees and programs, integrate degree and credentialing programs for greater student flexibility, expand its partnerships with the business community, and implement strategic priorities and capacity building for continued leadership in the future.

Read the President’s Report >>

Our Examination of HP’s 3D-Printing Business — Part of an Award-Winning Financial Analysis Presentation

By Gannon Kim (BS,  Accounting Concentration ’17)

Earlier this year, I was a part of a student team representing the GGU Investment Research Club (IRC) that won the regional CFA Institute Research Challenge  (prevailing over graduate schools across Northern California). The competition required teams to research a publically traded company, create a written report, and deliver a group presentation to a panel of financial services professionals. During this year’s competition, we were tasked with analyzing HP Inc. and presenting a buy, hold, or sell recommendation of its stock.

Part of our presentation included an analysis of HP’s 3D printing business, which we felt was a promising endeavor for the company and the key to its future revenue growth.

The portion of the 3D-printing market that prints in plastic material – rather than metal – is of interest to HP. The lucrative nature of these types of products (along with soon-to-be expiring patents of the technology) has attracted a huge upswing of new entrants to the market. This threatens the positioning of current market stakeholders: Stratasys (addressing high-end, commercial-grade needs) and 3D Systems.

HP’s First 3D Printer

HP released their first 3D printer in 2016, the HP Multi-Jet Fusion 3D Printing Solution. The product is bridging the gap between high-end (Stratasys) and entry-level product offerings (those made by 3D Systems and start-ups) — by creating one of the world’s fastest, production-ready machines.

Our team determined that  HP’s ability to leverage their supply chain & production scalability, partnerships, and brand reputation will help them — in the words of HP’s 3-D Printing President — “disrupt the $12 trillion manufacturing industry and […] democratize manufacturing.”

In terms of the research process, one take-away from this experience was recognizing the power of conducting a ‘channel check’ — i.e. going into retail stores & interacting with sales staff or asking experts (such as Professor Jain) about their insight about a company.

Consulting with an Industry Expert

As most of the team members had limited familiarity with the 3D printer products & its market, we turned to the insight of Pravin Jain, a mechanical engineering professor at Santa Clara University. His in-the-field expertise provided us with a better understanding of HP’s strategy for 3D products. HP aims to build an ecosystem for its 3D printers and has become very involved in the product development process (which includes the development into the software, material inputs & supplies, and 3D-scanning process) and has since reached out to its academic partners to take part as well.

Drivers of HP’s promising future include the strategic and synergistic alliances that it makes with software companies (e.g. Autodesk, Siemens in order to create a more streamlined product), materials suppliers, and users (for direct input on how the device is being used, performance & improvement benchmarks, etc.). From our channel check, we found that HP is approaching manufacturing businesses (i.e. Nike, BMW, Johnson&Johnson) and research institutions to test its technology.

Overall Analysis of HP

There are three key points that are worth highlighting about HP overall.

1. It is financially “healthy,” having a high cash balance and is looking to return it to investors (making significant stock repurchases in the future).

2. It has a strong management team, with the leadership of CEO Dion Wiesler who adds a wealth of industry experience through his roles in Acer and Lenovo consumer electronics divisions.

3. It maintains dominant positioning in the core business (printers and PCs) – and has the potential for the 3D printer business unit to help the firm grow organically.

However, we are concerned about the state of its core business,  as the market has matured and HP faces increased global competition. Revenue has also been declining (since 2015). In addition, the company derives more than half its revenue abroad and has justifiably invested to create a global supply chain – sourcing materials, labor, and clients from other countries. By consequence, any significant changes to U.S. foreign policy can present some amount of geopolitical risk (but was not predictable at the time, particularly with a transition of a new U.S. executive administration).

Our presentation for the competition was more “cautionary” in nature, and we felt that prospective investors probably should not “buy-in” while current holders of HP stock should not head for the exits.

Research Process 

In terms of the “research process,” one takeaway from this experience was recognizing the power of conducting a channel check – i.e. going into retail stores & interacting with sales staff or asking experts (such as Professor Jain) about their insight about a company. Of course, reading online reports can give a good picture, but there is more to gain when it is supplemented by direct interactions.

Hold Recommendation

Our investment rating for HP was “Hold” (neither bull nor bear) because there was quite a lot of positive/negative trade-offs taking place. Our presentation for the competition was more “cautionary” in nature, and we felt that prospective investors probably should not “buy-in” while current holders of HP stock should not head for the exits.


San Francisco CFA Investment CompetitionInvestment Research Club members with Finance Professor Dave Kaczorowski, CFA (competition mentor) at far left. Continuing left to right: Zhe-Yuan Zhang, William Xu, Gannon Kim (author of this blog post), and Hemal Patel.


Ask about the undergraduate Finance Concentration or MS in Finance degree >>

Juggling Real-World Responsibilities with Undergraduate Studies at GGU

Mohammed Khalil (BA ’17) did not yet have an undergraduate degree when he sat down for an interview for a claims adjuster position at Progressive Insurance, but he had an edge. “I got the job because they saw that I could hold down all of my responsibilities at once—the GGU degree studies, my kids, and three jobs,” he says.

Mohammed tells us that with real-world responsibilities, he had no time to waste on administrative hassles or studies that were not a true stepping stone. “Everyone at GGU is committed to helping you,” says Mohammed. “For example, you call about class registration and within two minutes you have someone on the phone to help you. Even the librarians were absolutely brilliant in helping me make my research faster. That is the advantage of how GGU operates.”


Undergraduate-Mohammed-San-Francisco
“I didn’t know if I could handle school and work. Because I had such amazing teachers and student support, it allowed me to be the best student I could be. GGU is an absolute blessing.”

Charting His Future

GGU offers an introductory class that helps adult students like Mohammed clarify their goals and plan their classes through graduation. Mohammed says: “In this course, my instructor told us to listen to our inner voice, find out who were are, and be ourselves.” This last piece of advice hit home when Mohammed connected his love of interacting with the clientele at his family’s Mission-district store – one of his three jobs at the time! — and going into management.

Mohammed’s professors also were more than a source of book learning: “All they care about is helping you to succeed out there. For example, Dr. Yergler, my teacher in a management class, was passionate about making us live up to our potential in our careers.”

Proving Himself

Golden Gate University is geared to serve adults such as Mohammed who may not start an undergraduate degree right out of high school.  “When you come back to college at my age you feel like the older kid on the block and want to put your stamp on everything you do.” Mohammed certainly did–graduating magna cum laude from GGU this year.


Request information about GGU’s undergraduate degrees >>

An Accounting Master’s Degree in One Year for This Golden Gate University Student

Joe Byers is taking advantage of the option of finishing a Master’s Degree in Accounting in less than a year at GGU. This opportunity is available only to students like Joe who have a BS from GGU with an accounting concentration. Known as the Path2CPA program, it allows undergraduate coursework to be applied to the graduate level. Students also get to skip GRE and the graduate school application process.

 

Ranking of Best Universities for Adult Learners Is “So Needed”

For the second consecutive year, Washington Monthly ranks Golden Gate University America’s #1 School for Adult Learners in its annual College Guide and Rankings. Forbes contributor Richard Eisenberg wrote that the Washington Monthly list “is so needed” [emphasis his] because of the sheer amount adult-learner students (nearly half of higher-ed enrollees), and how different their needs are from those under 25. For example, older students want flexible scheduling, online classes that fit their busy lives, as well as credit for life experiences that have been “classes” in and of themselves.

Eisenberg highlighted a few choice quotes from Washington Monthly’s hour-plus video seminar about adult education:

  • “The best colleges for adults tend to be regional public universities, private schools, and community colleges that U.S. News doesn’t even rank.”
    — Paul Glastris, Editor in Chief of Washington Monthly
  • “Today’s students are not all 18-year-olds walking into a brick building every day, with mom and dad sending checks.”
    –Courtney Brown, Vice President of Strategic Impact at the Lumina Foundation
  • “The environment for higher-ed programs that have a focus on older adults seeking purposeful engagement is still evolving as universities try to find the business model that works for them.”
    –Marci Alboher, Vice President, Strategic Communications, at Encore.org.

The participation of Encore.org in the video seminar is significant because of the organization’s mission of supporting meaningful second careers for older adults with resources such as the Encore Career Handbook.  Supporting second  (and first!) careers for adults has been fundamental to Golden Gate University’s mission for over 100 years, which is no small part of its #1 ranking.

Why GGU Was Ranked #1 by Washington Monthly

To compile the rankings, Washington Monthly reviewed data from the Department of Education’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) survey, the department’s new College Scorecard database and the College Board’s Annual Survey of Colleges. The metrics that determined GGU’s rating include:

  • ease of transfer/enrollment
  • flexibility of programs
  • services available for adult learners
  • percent of adult students (age 25+)
  • mean earnings of adult students ten years after entering college
  • loan repayment of adult students five years after entering repayment
  • tuition and fees for in-district students

Related postGoing Back to School in your Mid-20s, 30s, or 40s–It’s Golden Gate University’s Specialty by Jelena Ristic Kelleher, JD, Interim Associate Dean and Director of Undergraduate Programs.

Golden Gate University Ranked #1 in US for Adult Learners for Second Consecutive Year

For the second consecutive year, Washington Monthly ranks Golden Gate University America’s #1 School for Adult Learners in its annual College Guide and Rankings.

How GGU Was Chosen

To compile the rankings, Washington Monthly reviewed data from the Department of Education’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) survey, the department’s new College Scorecard database and the College Board’s Annual Survey of Colleges.

The metrics that determined GGU’s rating include:

  • ease of transfer/enrollment
  • flexibility of programs
  • services available for adult learners
  • percent of adult students (age 25+)
  • mean earnings of adult students ten years after entering college
  • loan repayment of adult students five years after entering repayment
  • tuition and fees for in-district students

Read the article in Washington Monthly >>

Starting a Forensic Accounting Career at Golden Gate University

By Joey Byers
Bachelor of Science in Business, Accounting Concentration (’17)

I decided that I wanted to be an accountant a year before my exit out of military service. My aspirations were either to become a CPA and open a firm or to become a forensic accountant for a government agency that pursues fraud investigations. I have always wanted to get into some type of investigative field. This began in my youth when I thought being a crime scene investigator or detective would be fun. As an adult, my interest shifted to forensic accounting which is essentially a field of “number detectives.” After watching a few episodes of the TV show American Greed, my interest solidified.

I’m currently completing an undergraduate business degree at GGU with a concentration in Accounting. I shopped around for accounting master’s programs in the Bay Area, but other schools didn’t have as many specialized classes in accounting like GGU offers. The curriculum was the same reason I chose GGU for an undergraduate degree in the first place. GGU not only offers a competitive Master of Science in Accounting (MSA), but also offers a concentration in forensics which happens to be in line with one of my career goals.

The Path2CPA Program

I am taking advantage of the Path2CPA program to finish the MSA program in just one year after finishing my undergraduate business degree. Students like me can get a head start in an accounting career and save time and money in the process. If you were to apply in earnest to the master’s degree program without having an accounting-focused undergraduate degree, the amount of time to complete the program effectively doubles. Fortunately, GGU lets you reduce the time-frame to one year. It’s worth noting that you’re able to take upper-level courses in the undergraduate program.

At my current job, I wear several hats. I own the Accounts Receivable process; reconcile numerous General Ledger accounts at month, quarter, and year end; review and approve expense reports after the departmental managers; and work a lot with compliance issues relating to sales, use, or local taxes. I also have cross-functional roles working closely with the legal and sales operations departments. Now that I am approaching the next phase of my accounting career, it has become apparent that becoming a CPA is a must.

I am taking advantage of the Path2CPA program to finish the Master of Science in Accounting program in just one year after finishing my undergraduate business degree. Students like me can get a head start in an accounting career and save time and money in the process.
—Joey Byers, BSB (’17)

My Advice for Future CPAs

In addition to my educational path, I would like to share some things that I think will help other people who want to start an accounting career.

Being adaptable. Expense reporting systems, accounting systems, month-end close applications, etc., are always changing, so you have to keep up. Also, you might be tasked with managing implementation projects, comparing different systems and then training colleagues on them, doing a month-end close, researching compliance, and gathering audit evidence all on the same day. You should be adaptable and learn to accept the change and the growing pains that might result from it.

Having Technological Intelligence. Knowing Microsoft Word and Excel inside and out will help you immensely. Knowing complex and generic formulas are a must. In some instances, you could be manipulating a General Ledger or other data dump with tens of thousands of line items. If you don’t know your way around Excel, it will eat up hours which doesn’t look good to employers in a time crunch.

Knowing It’s Never Too Late. My message for people who may want to start a career in accounting is that it is never too late. But after you start, don’t stop and understand that sacrifices might have to be made. As an adult coming out of the military, I couldn’t wait for long to begin my career; and a degree is mandatory in the accounting profession. If you can get an entry-level accounting position, accept it. Certain accounting topics in school might become easier for you if you’re getting real-world experience.

If you’re planning on getting your CPA, doing a 1-year Path2CPA stint to get a master’s degree at GGU is the way to go. While getting the degree, I will sit for the CPA exam. The MSA Forensic Accounting concentration is focused on real-world applications and case studies. It is a specialized field, and the program is designed with the Certified Fraud Forensics (CFF) exam in mind. Once I have completed all the requirements for the CPA and go on to test for the CFF designation, my career trajectory is relatively limitless.


LEARN MORE ABOUT STUDYING ACCOUNTING AT GOLDEN GATE UNIVERSITY >>

A Master’s Degree in Accounting in One Year? GGU Offers New Path2CPA Program

GGU-outsideGolden Gate University now gives its undergraduate students the ability to earn a Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) in as little as one year after completing a bachelor’s degree with an accounting concentration. The new Path2CPA program lets students apply a number of their undergraduate courses to an MSA – making the “step up” to a graduate degree both quicker and less expensive.  The bachelor’s-to-MSA route also removes the hurdles of taking the GRE and completing an application for grad school.

GGU’s accounting programs are recognized as some of the best in the nation. Students get an edge in a crowded job market by choosing a specialized accounting concentrations. Most of GGU’s accounting courses are taught by instructors who are also practicing professionals — many working at “Big Four” firms in San Francisco’s Financial District.

For many students, the MSA will satisfy the 150-hour education requirement to become a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Other students can take electives that deepen their knowledge and help them get to the next step.

Four In-Depth Specializations

GGU provides concentrations that allow graduates to enter the job market with relevant, in-demand skills. These areas of focus offer students the uncommon opportunity to choose the most rewarding path for them.

Financial Accounting & Reporting: Theory and principles that frame a wide range of problems and issues encountered in the accounting profession.

Forensic Accounting: Courses in fraud auditing, financial statement investigations, complex discovery and data management, the role of the expert and expert report, bankruptcy and insolvency, economic damages, valuation, and lost profits.

Internal Auditing: Assisting students to become Certified Internal Auditors (CIA) as defined by the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA).

Management Accounting: Positions students to achieve the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) and/or the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) designations.

If students are not sure which specialty is right for them, staff advisors and faculty mentors can help them find the specialization works best for their career goals.

I am taking advantage of the opportunity to finish the MSA in just one year after getting my undergraduate business degree at GGU. Students like me can get a head start in an accounting career and save time and money in the process.
—Joey Byers (Bachelor of Science in Business, ’17)

Why GGU is the Best Option

In a competitive job market, a degree from an accredited university with a national reputation is an advantage. GGU has been part of the accounting community in the San Francisco’s Financial District for decades. The relationships among local students, faculty, and alumni have formed a natural pipeline from classroom to the executive suite. Local firms also look to GGU for new talent to fill positions in a growing field with increasing need for specialized skills.

Path2CPA Highlights
Earn an MSA in as little as a year
Apply undergrad credit to your grad degree
Skip the GRE and grad school application
Get real-world skills from in-depth concentrations


Are you a Golden Gate University graduate?
Alumni receive a 30% discount for the Path2CPA Program.


REQUEST INFORMATION ABOUT ACCOUNTING AT GGU >>

San Francisco is the Place to Be for Graduates Looking for a Job

A casual search of LinkedIn uncovers thousands of high-paying tech and business jobs in San Francisco. Shortages in the healthcare management and business analytics fields, combined with rapid growth in the tech sector, have driven abundant work opportunities.

Despite this promising outlook, recent graduates of any field face competition from their peers and those with greater experience. Choosing the right city to start a career can give graduates an edge in finding a great job.

It comes as no surprise that San Francisco has been named the best city in the US for recent graduates to find a job by the highly respected American Institute of Economic Research (AIER). The study looked at a number of factors, including unemployment rate, labor force participation, and how many people worked in emerging industries.

Located in San Francisco’s Financial District, Golden Gate University is situated as an ideal launch pad for graduates looking to advance a business career or break into a new one. GGU’s faculty often make a short walk – some literally across the street – to teach courses. Many currently work for international companies with a worldwide impact such as Google. Direct exposure to working professionals creates valuable networking and mentoring opportunities for students. Golden Gate University’s roots in the Bay Area business community go back more than 120 years, a history that has created a natural pipeline from the classroom to the executive suite.


“San Francisco is a great place to look to for work. There are a lot of magnificent local companies like Uber, Google, Facebook, Salesforce, Apple, Microsoft, Charles & Schwab—and the list goes on. I believe this city has opportunities for everyone, whether a graduate is looking for a career in Marketing, Human Resources, IT, Finance or Accounting. As the technology hub of the world, the number of startups growing every day.”

—Jatin Jaiswal (MBA candidate, ’18)
President Student Government Association


The Best City, Period

AIER also named San Francisco as the best city in the world for higher education when considering both quality of life and practical considerations. The survey found that the factors prospective students value most – the percentage of an educated population and diversity – are hallmarks of what locals call The City. AIER researchers also considered factors such as employment rate (a low 3.1% in San Francisco); arts and entertainment; the presence of science, technology, medical, and engineering workers; biking and walking options; and public transportation. As far as getting around, the new transit station a block from campus and its 4.5-acre rooftop park only adds to the appeal of GGU’s downtown location.

If you are interested in learning about San Francisco’s reputation and position in the business world, we invite you to watch this video with Dr. Gordon Swartz, Dean of GGU’s Ageno School of Business.


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