GGU’s Master of Science in Finance Program Admitted to CFA Institute University Affiliation Program

We are pleased to announce that the Master of Science in Finance (MSF) Program at Golden Gate University has been admitted to the CFA Institute’s University Affiliation Program. The CFA Institute is a worldwide organization that promotes ethics and education in the financial services industry. It awards the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Certificate in Investment Performance Management (CIPM) designations, and provides continuing education to the industry. Its membership includes over 100,000 Chartered Financial Analysts around the world.

Each year, the CFA Institute conducts a survey on the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in the field of finance, and the results are used to develop the topics covered in the CFA program curriculum. To be accepted into the University Affiliation Program, GGU had to provide documentation that our MS Finance curriculum covers a large majority (at least 70%) of such topics. Membership in the University Affiliation Program signals to employers that the MSF curriculum is closely tied to the practice of financial management, and prepares students for the CFA exams. It also reflects GGU’s ongoing commitment to keep pace with the financial services industry. This affiliation will give GGU funding to award five scholarships per year for students sitting for the CFA exams.

Finance and Economics Department Chairwoman Dr. Andrea Anthony commented: “We plan to leverage this new affiliation to strengthen our current investment course offerings to stay focused on the most relevant tools and topics needed in the investment industry.”

Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA) is a registered trademark of the CFA Institute.


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.


Financial Planning Alumnae Will Be Panelist at Women in Leadership Event

Nicole Middleton is CEO of Strategy Squad Insurance Services and will be a panelist at the 5th-annual Women in Leadership event on October 25, 2017. A graduate of GGU’s Master of Science in Financial Planning program (’17), she is a strong supporter of women’s empowerment issues.

Strategy Squad Insurance is a family-owned wealth management firm based in Oakland, CA where Middleton specializes in creating strategies for women and their families to protect and grow their wealth—through holistic financial planning, insurance, and investment management. She is also an active member of the Financial Planning Association of San Francisco’s NexGen Leadership Committee and the Urban Financial Services Coalition.

We invite you to read Middleton’s recent post on the GGU blog in which she discusses the five biggest things she learned in the Master of Science in Financial Planning Program.

Special Event

Women in Leadership

Join us and hear a distinguished panel of professional women share stories, tips, and insight on how to navigate a successful career. This free event is open to anyone in the GGU community and the public. Come to chat and enjoy food!

Date: October 25, 2017
Time: 5:30 – 8 p.m.
Where: Golden Gate University, San Francisco [directions]


5:30 – 6:30 pm — Registration begins / networking
6:30 – 7:30 pm — Panel discussion and Q&A
7:30 – 8:00 pm — Post-panel networking

Questions? Contact the Ageno School of Business at

Driven to Succeed: Armenian Student Continues Marketing Career in San Francisco

Tsovinar Yenokyan is a student in Golden Gate University’s Master of Science in Marketing Program (’18).

Tsovinar Yenokyan has been driven to succeed from an early age. She started to work at age 16, which was not common in her native country of Armenia, and began what she calls her, “long-lasting relationship with marketing.” Two years later, she took a Brand Manager position at Starcom Mediavest in Armenia. At 21, Tsovinar launched a marketing agency based on forward-thinking “lifestyle” targeting. While earning an MBA at American University of Armenia, she met a classmate and together they opened a bakery and café called “Cupcake Place.”

Tsovinar decided to come to GGU in San Francisco to get a master’s degree in marketing. “I came to San Francisco to get new perspectives, gain more knowledge, and realize my ambitions. San Francisco is a great generator of tech innovation that impacts the entire world. San Francisco, particularly downtown, is a great place to make professional connections and build a career.”

Tsovinar outside GGU in downtown San Francisco.

A Real-World Education at Golden Gate University

“I love my school,” Tsovinar says. “GGU has great professors. Most importantly, they are professionals who bring real-life experiences to the class.” For example, her Data Analytics course was taught by Dr. Nabanita Talukdar who has conducted quantitative and qualitative analyses for L’Oreal, Procter & Gamble, and other major companies.

In the Data Analytics class, Tsovinar created a quantitative report focusing on Airbnb units using statistical indicators such as which San Francisco neighborhoods have the highest demand, consumer satisfaction numbers, and rental prices. Through using a programming language called R, Tsovinar and her peer team created a prediction model for hosts to estimate the fair price of their rental properties.

GGU has great professors. Most importantly, they are professionals who bring real-life experiences to the class.

Inspiration in Armenia

Tsovinar credits the launch of her career at 16 to her mother, who was working on becoming a laser physicist until the Soviet Union collapsed. Her mother began a second career as a market developer for Coca-Cola and advanced to become the company’s CEO for Armenia. She then took the job of CEO of Armenia Wine.  “Armenia is famous for world-class wineries and Armenians are probably the most hospitable people in the world; we like to make each person that visits our country or our home feel special. You can ask my boyfriend about Armenian hospitality; he gained eight pounds from my mother’s cooking.”

On Being an International Student

“GGU is a perfect place for international students. Each student has an advisor and mine has been helpful in answering questions about student Visas and my curriculum. San Francisco is a city with its own heart and soul. I love this city. I have never seen such a contrast of people with so many different interests and backgrounds in one place. It’s a warm and welcoming place.”

Request information about GGU’s Master OF SCIENCE in Marketing PROGRAM  >>

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.


Deconstructing Mr. Damore’s Google Diversity Memo

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

Maybe Tom Cruise of Jerry Maguire fame should play James Damore in the movie version – “It’s not a memo, it’s a mission statement.” Besides, the same thing happened to Jerry Maguire when he wrote his. And of course, Tom and Mr. Damore do share an important characteristic: they are both males.

Maybe we should focus on “males” for a moment. I was thinking a writing a “memo” about how the “traits” of men NOT cited by Mr. Damore in his memo purporting to assess dispassionately Google’s diversity programs (sourced to the exactly the same scientific “evidence” cited by him in that memo) such as a stronger tendency to “narcissism” and “taking dangerous risks”. These traits (to follow Mr. Damore’s logic) may suggest that the preponderance of males in the senior leadership of Google is “not good for the company.” Indeed, consider how Google’s parent Chief Financial Officer, Ruth Porat, has in the view of Wall Street analysts, has done more for the company’s shareholder value than any other officer, male or female. (Of course, she first had to overcome her “female” tendency to shy away from intensive numbers work!)

Mr. Damore’s memo is very selective about the supposed biological and genetic traits of “men” that he makes reference to – namely, only those that support the overwhelming presence of men in the ranks of Google employees, such as males’ “higher drive for status.” But let’s put aside for the moment and concentrate on what Mr. Damore said about women.

First, he starts off with the polemic technique of setting up mythical “straw men” (Sorry for the gender reference but that’s the way some common figures of speech roll.).

He attacks the leftist “moral… biases” he accuses his employer of embracing in shaping their diversity policies, as opposed to the right-wing biases he later endorses (Let’s “de-emphasize empathy”) in his memo’s conclusions:

Google’s Biases

At Google, we talk so much about unconscious bias as it applies to race and gender but we rarely discuss our moral biases. Political orientation is actually a result of deep moral preferences and thus biases. Considering that the overwhelming majority of the social sciences, media, and Google lean left, we should critically examine these prejudices.

Left Biases

  • Compassion for the weak
  • Disparities are due to injustices
  • Humans are inherently cooperative
  • Change is good (unstable)
  • Open
  • Idealist

Right Biases

  • Respect for the strong/authority
  • Disparities are natural and just
  • Humans are inherently competitive
  • Change is dangerous (stable)
  • Closed
  • Pragmatic

Only facts and reason can shed light on these biases, but when it comes to diversity and inclusion, Google’s left bias has created a politically correct monoculture that maintains its hold by shaming dissenters into silence. This silence removes any checks against encroaching extremist and authoritarian policies. For the rest of this document, I’ll concentrate on the extreme stance that all differences in outcome are due to differential treatment and the authoritarian element that’s required to actually discriminate to create equal representation.

Where is his evidence that Google lives by what he calls the obvious bias that “all” differences in outcome are due to differential treatment, or that discrimination is “required” to create “equal” representation? He has merely asserted that Google has based its personnel policies on these extreme and authoritarian straw men. But that’s just his opening amateurish, Sophistic trick. He goes on to cite as though it is settled science a series of findings in selected research studies that “suggest” that:

Men and women differ in part due to biological causes and that these differences may explain why we don’t see equal representation of women in tech and leadership. Many of these differences are small, and there’s significant overlap between men and women, so you can’t say anything about an individual given these population-level distribution.

Women, on average, have more:

  • Openness directed towards feelings and aesthetics rather than ideas. Women generally also have a stronger interest in people rather than things, relative to men (also interpreted as empathizing vs. systemizing).
  • These two differences in part explain why women relatively prefer jobs in social or artistic areas. More men may like coding because it requires systemizing and even within SWEs, comparatively more women work on front end, which deals with both people and aesthetics.
  • Extraversion expressed as gregariousness rather than assertiveness. Also, higher agreeableness.
  • This leads to women generally having a harder time negotiating salary, asking for raises, speaking up, and leading. Note that these are just average differences and there’s overlap between men and women, but this is seen solely as a women’s issue. This leads to exclusory programs like Stretch and swaths of men without support.
  • Neuroticism (higher anxiety, lower stress tolerance).This may contribute to the higher levels of anxiety women report on Googlegeist and to the lower number of women in high stress jobs.

Note that contrary to what a social constructionist would argue, research suggests that “greater nation-level gender equality leads to psychological dissimilarity in men’s and women’s personality traits.” Because as “society becomes more prosperous and more egalitarian, innate dispositional differences between men and women have more space to develop and the gap that exists between men and women in their personality becomes wider.” We need to stop assuming that gender gaps imply sexism.”

Mr. Damore’s source for these scientific “suggestions,” which he nonetheless concludes are “universal across human cultures,” are eminently “heritable,” and “exactly what we would predict from an evolutionary psychological perspective” is none other than – wait for it —Wikipedia! Such sourcing would not make it past a freshman sociology class…or even one in high school. But leave that aside. He also asserts that when a society becomes more “prosperous and egalitarian” these disparate tendencies between men and women become more pronounced and embedded. Even if that conclusion were undisputed (which it isn’t) surely he does not consider that America – or even Silicon Valley – is becoming more “egalitarian!”

Indeed it is possible that Mr. Damore in fact “proves” too much. If he’s right that to achieve success in tech, women must overcome embedded pre-dispositions in their very nature, but that these differentiations also can “evolve,” would it not be useful in terms of such evolution to provide them some extra support to do so in order simply to broaden the base and scope of collective human talent. Moreover, would it not be “good for the company’ to go out of its way to hire women who have shown the “grit” to overcome their natural deficiencies in terms of working with “things” or doing mathematics?

Mr. Damore also employs the trick of “acknowledging” that these ‘on average” characteristics overlap among men and women to some degree, and are not automatically the case with each individual male or female. But this point subtly introduces the old saw that “the exception proves the rule.” More importantly, it puts the burden of proof on women in any job interview in tech to show that, to put it bluntly, they have as an “individual,” overcome their biology and genetic makeup! How would Mr. Damore enjoy having to prove in every interview that he is not a narcissist?

In his conclusions and suggestions, Mr. Damore reveals his own biases. He states as an incontestable fact (without supporting citation other than an indirect reference to a book by one Dr. Farrell who asserts he has proved that women actually earn more than men) that there is no income disparity whatsoever between men and women doing exactly the same work. He supports this claim with the fatuous claim that since women spend more than men, we ought to “reconsider our assumptions” in terms of male/female workplace bargaining power.

He says: “Yes, in a national aggregate, women have lower salaries than men for a variety of reasons. For the same work though, women get paid just as much as men. Considering women spend more money than men and that salary represents how much the employees sacrifices (e.g. more hours, stress, and danger), we really need to rethink our stereotypes around power.”

And this is the logical mind The New York Times David Brooks admires as compared with the judgment of the CEO of Google, who has the common sense to recognize a direct attack on Google’s corporate values and female employees as a group when he sees it. Does Mr. Brooks also support the scientific “reasoning’ in Mr. Damore’s closing recommendation (in addition to de-emphasizing empathy and morals in diversity practices) that Google also should stop alienating conservatives: “Alienating conservatives is both non-inclusive and generally bad business because conservatives tend to be higher in conscientiousness, which is required for much of the drudgery and maintenance work characteristic of a mature company.”

Perhaps Mr. Brooks will at some point enlighten us on how he feels, as a conservative columnist, about being more cut out for sheer drudgery (did Mr. Damore mean Matt Drudge?) than progressives.

In self-defense, Damore has penned another note, this time in The Wall Street Journal, where he asserts: “In my document, I committed heresy against the Google creed by stating that not all disparities between men and women that we see in the world are the result of discriminatory treatment.”

Please read the original memo, including the excerpts included in this blog, to determine for your self whether that is in fact what Mr. Damore said. Disputation about ideas is fine; in fact, I like Mr. Damore’s suggestion that similarly affected men should be allowed to attend special sessions designed for women to address assertiveness issues. But what’s good in Mr. Damore’s memo is overwhelmed by its overall devotion to Alt-Right cant that Google is entitled to disown. After all, the Supreme Court has decided in the campaign finance realm that corporations are people, too, in terms of the First Amendment, and more recently, that they can even assert and enforce religious beliefs. I do not see any evidence that Mr. Brooks has challenged those holdings. Yet he attacks Google’s CEO for acting on them and instead embraces Mr. Damore’s rather obvious misuse of selected scientific studies about “evolutionary psychology” — that Mr. Brooks knows do not go as far as Mr. Damore stretches them — to fit his own biases.

After all, what is wrong with Google doing its best to push forward that “evolution” – in terms of further developing the range of female talents and traits? My own personality has been scientifically assessed as a Myers-Briggs INTJ type – but with pronounced non-conforming characteristics of Expressiveness, Acceptance, and Rationality. But nobody can pick out these typologies just from my walking into an interview room or an office. But so-called ‘traits’ of a particular sex or race are just the opposite – they can be assumed by mere physical appearance.

This is precisely why biases based on the mere physical reality race and gender, in fact, compel special attention in terms of the workplace. We have, in fact, ”evolved’ from reliance on racial and gender stereotypes. You say you do not endorse stereotypes – yet you cite research to the effect that they are the MOST reliable indicator of human behavior. Why?

Girls can’t code! All Google is saying is “Yes they can if given a chance!” That’s not discrimination, as Mr. Damore asserts, that’s justice.

This article appeared on the Huffington Post on 8/14/17.

About Terry Connelly

Terry Connelly is an economic expert and Dean Emeritus of the Ageno School of Business at Golden Gate University. 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). Riptidedeconstructs 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’s Psychology Chair to Lead Discussion at Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California

Dr. Tom Wooldridge, Chair of the Department of Psychology at GGU, will be leading a discussion at the Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California in September. The discussion will follow a lecture by Kathryn J. Zerbe, MD and focus on secret-keeping and how bringing secrets to light in psychotherapy can result in positive outcomes. Dr. Zerbe is a well-known expert in the field of eating disorders and the author of several books including The Body Betrayed: Women, Eating Disorders. Attendees will get an inside look at a master clinician’s thinking about the complex clinical situations presented by patients with eating disorders.

Dr. Wooldridge will comment on the issues raised by Dr. Zerbe’s presentation. He is an authority on the subject of eating disorders and the author of Understanding Anorexia Nervosa in Males: An Integrative Approach (Routledge Press, 2015). His second book, an edited collection entitled Psychoanalytic Treatment of Eating Disorders: When Words Fail and Bodies Speak, will be released through the prestigious Relational Perspectives book series with Routledge in late 2017.

The Secret Life of Secrets: Toxic Effects of Preconscious Knowledge on the Development of Eating Disorders, Psychosomatic Illness, and Countertransference Reactivity

Kathryn J. Zerbe, MD with Discussant Tom Wooldridge, PsyD, CEDS
Wednesday, September 13, 7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Location: 530 Bush Street #700, San Francisco
Register >>

We invite you to learn more about GGU’s master’s degree in counseling psychology  program.

Leadership Experts to Speak at Braden Lecture Series at GGU

Golden Gate University is welcoming a prestigious group of thought leaders to the 2017 Braden Leadership Speaker Series. The lectures will take place at the San Francisco campus from August through December and are free to the GGU community and the public. This year’s speakers will discuss leadership in the context of timely issues such as women in the workplace, mindfulness, and managing change.

Lunch and Learn

Join us for any of these free talks from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. Lunch will be provided.






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Lori Granger has taught a mindfulness curriculum for over ten years. She began her mindfulness journey through Zen meditation while working as a market-research based broadcasting consultant. She currently serves the GGU community as the head of Wellness Resources.

SEPTEMBER 12, 2017





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Don Rath is VP of Corporate Tax at Synopsys where he leads finance transformation and finance leadership development. Previously he served as Senior Vice President, Global Tax and Corporate Risk Assurance (CRA) with Symantec Corporation, responsible for worldwide tax compliance, planning, and tax controversy as well as the company’s internal audit and advisory function.

SEPTEMBER 26, 2017





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Izzy Chan’s award-winning documentary feature on breadwinner moms and at-home dads, The Big Flip—Stories from the Modern Home Front (2016), premiered at the Austin Film Festival and Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival.

OCTOBER 10, 2017



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Philz Coffee’s unique blends, community-oriented stores and one-cup-at-a-time approach have drawn a cult following nationwide. Founded by Phil (Jacob’s Dad) with Jacob by his side, the first store opened in the Mission district of San Francisco in 2002.

OCTOBER 24, 2017


NOVEMBER 7, 2017





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Sameer B. Srivastava is AssistantProfessor and Harold Furst Chair in Management Philosophy and Values at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and is also affiliated with UC Berkeley Sociology.

NOVEMBER 21, 2017





As CEO of BPM, Wallace focuses his attention on leading strategic initiatives that raise the Firm’s national prominence through the expansion into new markets, concentration on specialty services and business combinations in key markets.

NOVEMBER 28, 207





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In addition to his leadership role at Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, Ramsey serves on the Board of Trustees at the California CPA Education Foundation.

DECEMBER 5, 2017





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Bruce Braden is the CEO and Founder of F2 Oilfield Services in North Texas and NEOK Energy, LP in Oklahoma. In addition to operating energy service companies, Bruce also uses his entrepreneurial and leaderships skills in the real estate market where he devotes a majority of his time and energy.

His investments include The Stanford Storytelling Project, the Braden Diabetes Center at Marin General Hospital, and GGU’s School of Taxation. Braden is an active member of the Golden Gate University Board of Trustees and was a GGU Taxation instructor from 1978 to 1981. In recognition of his significant contributions to the university’s educational capabilities and services, GGU awarded Braden with the Amicus Award in 2012.

A Stanford University undergraduate alumnus and veteran of the United States Army, Bruce holds an MBA with a concentration in Taxation from Golden Gate University (’74).

For more information on the event please write

Should I Get a Master’s Degree in Taxation?

By Eric Lee, Lecturer and Director of Academic Quality & Training, Golden Gate University

I posed this exact question to my mentor, a tax partner at KPMG, one of the Big Four public accounting firms, in the 1990s. At the time, I had completed one year as a tax staff. My mentor answered my question by simply stating, “Yes, assuming you want a career in taxation.”

Thus, it quickly became a matter of “when”, not “if”, I should get my master’s degree in tax. Why was timing so important? Taking graduate-level tax classes is challenging. I wanted to take classes when I did not have other substantial commitments outside of my full-time job as a tax staff. In fact, I planned to avoid Spring semester courses because that was during the busy season when tax preparers often work 55-hour weeks.

Education for the Real World

Shortly after that conversation with my mentor and having just passed the CPA exam, I decided the time was right to begin taking classes toward the Master of Science in Taxation degree at Golden Gate University. Fast forward 25 years, I have enjoyed a very successful and rewarding career in taxation as a member of senior management at a very large public accounting firm.

I started my education at GGU in the evenings, walking the short distance from KPMG’s office to campus. I quickly realized that the classroom experience was like none I had ever had. The courses were led by faculty with substantial academic and real-world experience, bringing in concrete real-world issues and challenges. My fellow students had diverse real-world experiences, including working in small and large public accounting firms, corporate tax departments, and governmental agencies. The diverse student backgrounds helped trigger engaging classroom discussions as we explored the technical material.

I started my education at GGU in the evenings, walking the short distance from KPMG’s office to campus. I quickly realized that the classroom experience was like none I had ever had.

The reality is that the Internal Revenue Code is both voluminous and complex. The two thick volumes of the Code are longer than the seven Harry Potter books, combined! Further, the Code is supported by six volumes of Regulations, IRS Revenue Ruling and Procedures, and endless amounts of tax case law. It is impossible for any one person to learn it all. The magic of a Master’s Degree in Taxation from GGU is that it teaches you how to research, read, and apply the myriad of tax law to a taxpayer’s set of facts. So, even if you have never seen a set of factual circumstances before, you will know how to identify the potential tax issues and find the solution.

Another major benefit of getting a Master of Science in Taxation at GGU is the material learned is very relevant in the real world. Many times, I applied what I learned during class the next day on the job in a client situation. After three years of experience in public accounting, you begin having client contact. Talking directly to clients who are paying a substantial sum of money for your tax guidance can initially be intimidating. However, the knowledge gained during classes gave me the confidence to ask appropriate questions to understand the client’s facts. Also, by understanding not only the tax law — but also the underlying theory and purpose of the tax law — gave me the ability to explain tax issues and tax law to the client in layman’s terms.

Getting a master’s in taxation degree, especially while working, is not easy. But, neither is the tax law. Despite missing a few Monday Night Football games over the years, I never regretted my decision to get my master’s in Taxation degree.

About Eric Lee, CPA

Eric Lee is an accomplished professor with 20 years of university classroom experience, a CPA, 20 years of public accounting experience, and author of 5 published books. He holds a master’s degree in taxation (’97) from Golden Gate University.


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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