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
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.”
Fiona Tang ’17
For Fiona Tang ’17 (marketing and ISDS), her Cal State Fullerton experience, which includes service as president of the Chinese Student and Scholars Association of CSUF (CSSA CSUF) and vice president of marketing for Mihaylo Leadership Scholars, brought her to the realization that there are three steps every student must take to succeed, which she has dubbed “the three musts.”
“First, we must believe in ourselves. Stay focused on your mission, believe in yourself and your own destiny, and focus on the big picture and your big dreams.”
“Second, we must be willing to take initiative. You never know what’s going to happen.”
“Third, we must be willing to take risks. Being outside our comfort-zone is what enables us to grow, not just as students but in the world of business as well.”
Gabriel Sedeño II ’17
For entertainment and hospitality management senior Gabriel Sedeño II ’17, the Cal State Fullerton experience has shown him that adversity is no barrier to success as a student or professional.
During his time as an undergraduate, the first-generation student encountered difficult work and class schedules and the divorce of his parents. Yet he also has held leadership roles at ASI, the Latino Business Student Association, Sales Leadership Center and Business Inter-Club Council (BICC).
“My advice to you all: pursue a career and lifestyle that will be fun for you. If you are not enjoying life, then I am sorry to tell you, you are not living right,” he says.
Turkan Velieva ’17
Finance senior Turkan Velieva ’17 is an assistant to Real Estate and Land Use Director Sandy Bond and a member of Phi Beta Delta while completing a commercial real estate lending internship at American First Credit Union in La Habra.
She is confident that the education she and her peers have completed will propel them to success. “We have the whole world in front of us,” she says. “The diploma we earn today will open the doors to our new journey, our careers.”
An introvert as a student at Fullerton City College, Velieva overcame a fear of public speaking thanks to Charles Schilling, a public-speaking instructor at her community college. Schilling will be rooting for Velieva at this weekend’s commencement.
Velieva has best wishes for her classmates. “I hope that you live your life with joy and meaning, without any pain,” she says, “and I hope that you are grateful for each step.”