Do Chambers of Commerce Matter in the 21st Century?

From the world’s largest cities to towns with fewer people than the Mihaylo student body, chambers of commerce are pivotal in advocating for the business interest of communities. Photo from Pixabay

From the world’s largest cities to towns with fewer people than the Mihaylo student body, chambers of commerce are pivotal in advocating for the business interest of communities. Photo from Pixabay

Decades ago, joining the local chamber of commerce was one of the premier ways of building a business’ reputation, network, funds and contacts. In today’s wired world, Yelp, Kickstarter and LinkedIn fulfill many of these needs. However, local communities need the support and representation that chambers provide more than ever.

Google almost any city or town and among the top results is the local chamber of commerce. Established to promote the business interests of the communities they serve, chambers attract visitors, encourage investment, seek to create a pro-business regulatory environment, and support mutually beneficial outcomes for the diverse employers and workforce of an area.

With the rise of the internet, many observers sang the swan song of the chamber institution. But for many business leaders, chambers remain an integral way of building face-to-face and virtual contacts needed to keep their operations running.

Helping a Chamber Maximize Its Potential

To explore the mission, activities, opportunities, challenges and future of chambers of commerce, I conducted an extensive communication audit of the Greater Coachella Valley Chamber of Commerce (GCVCC) as my graduate project to earn my M.A. in communications at Cal State Fullerton. Continue reading

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Mihaylo Economics Professor Robert Michaels Retires After 47 Years of Teaching

Robert Michaels says he has witnessed the Cal State Fullerton business program develop to world-class standing: “We are one of the most published institutions in the country not offering doctoral degrees.”

Robert Michaels says he has witnessed the Cal State Fullerton business program develop to world-class standing: “We are one of the most published institutions in the country not offering doctoral degrees.”

Mihaylo Economics Professor Robert Michaels has spent more than 47 years studying and teaching business. His specialty is industrial economics, particularly related to the electricity and natural gas fields. He looks back on his career, with advice for today’s students and alumni considering opportunities in economics.

For Robert Michaels, an economics career began as an extension of science coursework at the University of Chicago in the 1960s. “I was in college and like all smart kids in those days, I studied science,” he recalls. His university did not offer business majors, so economics courses were available as electives. “I took an economics elective in my third year, and I did well in it.”

By the time he completed his undergraduate degree with an economics focus in 1965, he had studied under the late Nobel Prize laureates George Stigler and Robert Fogel.

While working for the nonprofit Institute for Defense Analyses in Washington, D.C., Michaels recognized the importance of an economics education. “I realized economics provided a knowledge of the world that other people did not have,” he says. Continue reading

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Business Leaders of Tomorrow: Mihaylo Grads Share Their Stories and Advice

Each student at this year’s commencement has their own story, background and experiences that are part of the mosaic of the Class of 2017. Among the nearly 2,900 Mihaylo students graduating this month are four business students, who share their experiences and advice for their fellow graduates.

Claire Kim ‘17

Claire Kim ‘17

Claire Kim ’17

For business major and health science minor Claire Kim’17, involvement in CSUF has meant serving on the ASI Inc. Board of Directors and participating in the Women’s Leadership Program. She recognizes that her time at Mihaylo has transformed her and her fellow graduates.

“We come from an institution of higher learning. A college committed to balancing theory and practice and using diversity and entrepreneurial spirit as leverage to produce globally-aware business leaders,” she says. “We come from a place where students are encouraged to think outside the box, to engage and challenge ourselves through various avenues. To not just speak about our goals, but to act, organize, analyze, engineer and truly express them.” Continue reading

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Two Mihaylo Seniors To Share Inspirational Messages at Commencement

“Success in college doesn’t require genius, it requires dedication and hard work,” says Luc Ceci ’17. In addition to a career in finance, Ceci would like to eventually teach college students and impact a future generation of business professionals.

“Success in college doesn’t require genius, it requires dedication and hard work,” says Luc Ceci ’17. In addition to a career in finance, Ceci would like to eventually teach college students and impact a future generation of business professionals.

Two student speakers, Luc Ceci ’17 (accounting and finance) and Fabian Silva ’17 (marketing), will speak at the Mihaylo College commencement ceremonies on May 20 and 21.

Commencement for Mihaylo students will take place on two days later this month, with students graduating on either Saturday, May 20, or Sunday, May 21, depending on their concentration.

The class of 2017 will hear from two fellow students: accounting and finance senior Luc Ceci will speak on Saturday, while marketing senior Fabian Silva will speak on Sunday.

Luc Ceci ’17

“Success in college doesn’t require genius, it requires dedication and hard work,” says Ceci. The accounting and finance senior has been involved in the Business Honors Program, the student board of the Finance Association and the Executive Council Mentorship Program. Continue reading

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Finance Internship Course Helps Students Launch Their Careers

The FIN 495 – Finance Internship course provides a combination of professional experience, faculty insight and student collaboration to build first-hand knowledge of the field. “We discuss the working environment, how the student’s work impacts the company, how to relate to their supervisor and co-workers, understanding the company culture, and how to exit the internship with the best career potential,” says Finance Lecturer Dick Huebner, who teaches the course.

The FIN 495 – Finance Internship course provides a combination of professional experience, faculty insight and student collaboration to build first-hand knowledge of the field. “We discuss the working environment, how the student’s work impacts the company, how to relate to their supervisor and co-workers, understanding the company culture, and how to exit the internship with the best career potential,” says Finance Lecturer Dick Huebner, who teaches the course.

For hundreds of Mihaylo finance majors, FIN 495 – Finance Internship has facilitated career development for students as they assist actual organizations and develop partnerships between the business college and the Southern California community.

For most finance students, internships are the key to developing the skills, experience and connections necessary for a successful and rewarding career in the industry. Mihaylo students receive academic credit for internships with organizations in Southern California and beyond through FIN 495, a course open to both undergraduate and graduate finance majors.

By developing a partnership between the university, organizations in the community, and students, the course relates to such high-impact practices as collaborative learning between students and external entities, experiences with complexity and diversity, and feedback on student activities.

Students fulfill at least 120 hours in the service of a company approved by CSUF’s Center for Internships and Community Engagement (CICE), which can be one’s current employer if it is in the appropriate field. Working with a site supervisor and Mihaylo Finance Lecturer Dick Huebner, students partake of a professional and academic experience that helps them maximize their exposure to the financial industry. At least junior standing, a 2.5 GPA and introductory finance course prerequisites are required to enroll. Continue reading

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