Keys to Being a Successful Business Communicator


Communication is arguably the most important factor to success in the contemporary economy. What do business students need to know about successful communication in the workplace? Mihaylo Advisory Council member Zack Swire and CSUF Business Communications Professor Jodi Jewell share tips from the pros for being a successful business communicator.  

New technologies and an increasingly diverse workplace have made communication the lifeblood of the professional world. Regardless of industry, the career outlook favors those who can communicate well through oral, written and technological mediums.


Zack Swire

Zack Swire

Zack Swire is a member of Mihaylo’s  Marketing Advisory Council and president and CEO of Swire, a Glendora-based advertising agency, and Jodi Jewell is a Mihaylo business communications professor. These two pros share some of their best tips on how to communicate more effectively.

Business communication courses are the best way to master the fundamentals. Swire says they are vital in developing communication skills. “Classes are certainly helpful as they provide a foundational element for effective communication,” he says. Swire has advised professors on incorporating new technologies to their coursework, including social posts, LinkedIn profiles, video chats and more. This has ensured that CSUF courses are accurately representing the contemporary business world.

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Mihaylo Welcome Seminars Prepare Newcomers for Graduate Programs

“The secret to getting ahead is getting started.” – Mark Twain

Incoming graduate students at a previous MBA Welcome Event

Incoming graduate students at a previous MBA Welcome Seminar

Mihaylo’s graduate program welcome seminar gives incoming students a chance to prepare for the rigorous and rewarding educational experience that these programs offer aspiring business professionals.Hundreds of incoming Mihaylo graduate students can relate to the concept of “getting started.”  These students can ensure a successful start to their program by attending the Mihaylo Welcome Seminar – an orientation event designed for newly-admitted graduate students.

“We are pleased to welcome newly admitted graduate students to the Mihaylo College of Business and Economics. We are ready to support these students in their graduate program and career development,” says Melissa Lopez, the director of Mihaylo Graduate Programs. “We will answer questions and impart helpful information so Mihaylo students can establish a valuable support network.”

Meetings with faculty and fellow incoming students, presentations about programs to assist in academic and career goals and workshops with advisors will acquaint newcomers with the policies, resources and culture of Mihaylo and CSU Fullerton. This makes a large campus smaller and provides a chance to network, which is vital to success in the contemporary business world.

Graduate students will attend the all-day MBA Welcome Seminaron Aug. 22. Incoming Full-Time MBA and Full-Time Employed (FEMBA) participants will attend separate events. In addition to the MBA Welcome Seminar, international MBA students will attend the International Student Seminar on Aug. 20, which will include specific information on immigration regulations, CSUF’s programs for international students and other resources for student success. International students with questions about the International Student Seminar should contact the CSUF International Programs Office.

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Mihaylo Alumnus Uses Business Degrees to Propel Him to Success as an Entrepreneur and Author

A Mihaylo undergraduate and MBA alumnus, Michael Oates shares his success as an entrepreneur and author of the historical novel Wade in the Water. He gives practical advice on how to succeed as a startup in the Southern California restaurant industry and shares the inspiration for his novel, which discusses one of the worst natural disasters in American history.

Michael Oates. Image from

Michael Oates. Image from


Michael Oates, owner of Café Hidalgo in downtown Fullerton and author of the historical novel Wade in the Water, is a 1992 graduate of Mihaylo’s MBA program. During the past 20 years, he has used the knowledge gained from his degrees to become both a successful entrepreneur in the restaurant industry and an author. Oates credits much of his success to his Mihaylo education.

“Receiving my MBA from CSUF has given me confidence and credibility in both the restaurant industry and the business community at large,” he says. “Yes, there were a lot of classes to take, exams to study for, papers to write and a wealth of knowledge to absorb, but the benefits went far beyond that.”

He believes that the practical skills he learned in his classes has helped him perform basic accounting, marketing and management for his business, yet he believes that it is the reputation and commitment attached to a top-notch college education that opens doors. “Higher education, especially a program such as Mihaylo’s, where heavy class loads and high expectations are the norm, builds a strong, resilient character that others see, colleagues are drawn to and bosses cannot help but notice,” he says.

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Professor Thomas Explores the Growing Field of Marketing Analytics

ThomSunilMihaylo Marketing Professor Sunil Thomas has a passion for marketing analytics, a rapidly-growing field that requires business savvy, technical skills and attention to detail. Thomas recounts his personal background, the outlook for the marketing analytics industry and strategies for student success at CSUF and beyond.

Sunil Thomas is a marketing professional with an emphasis in marketing analytics, and his research has included studies of slogans, brand image revitalization and brand placement. Combining an educational background, professional experience in the consumer-goods industry and research studies as a professor, Thomas teaches courses that provide an overview of marketing and specialized marketing analytics studies for both undergraduate and graduate audiences.

“Marketing analytics is a field that’s growing rapidly, and companies are actively seeking students who have analytical skills,” Thomas says. “To meet this demand, the marketing and ISDS departments have created a joint Marketing/ISDS concentration.” This program combines technical education and a marketing emphasis to create well-rounded graduates. Students can utilize this training to participate in projects that help major corporations improve their performance and service. “In the past, my students have worked on projects for companies such as Honda, Starbucks, WMF and General Motors,” Thomas says.

Mihaylo’s MBA program provides a particularly strong opportunity for aspiring business professionals, Thomas contends. “Students at CSUF’s MBA program get individualized attention as well as access to the resources and infrastructure of one of California’s largest business schools, “ he says. “In other words, they get the best of both worlds.” Thomas teaches MKTG 565-Strategic Marketing Intelligence and MKTG 443-Marketing Analytics as part of Mihaylo’s MBA program, which has programs in business analytics, marketing and information systems, among others.

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Richard Parry: A Management Professor with a Legal Perspective


Professor Parry

Risk management and business law are important aspects of the contemporary business world.  CSUF Management Professor Richard Parry uses his experience as a litigator to teach these subjects in Mihaylo’s MBA program. He shares the outlook for this industry, practical tips for students interested in pursuing such a career and the factors that set the MBA program apart as a world-class opportunity for aspiring professionals.

Richard Parry has a unique background for a business professor. Prior to pursuing an academic career, he was a civil litigator, representing plaintiffs and defendants in product liability cases in Los Angeles and Orange County. He graduated from the University of Denver and received his law degree from the Loyola of Los Angeles Law School.

Parry’s specialty is risk management, specifically relating to business litigation. He has written several scholarly articles about protecting the constitutional rights of both employee and employer in the contemporary business world, including Protecting Employee Rights and Prosecuting Corporate Crime: A Proposal from Criminal Cumis Counselwhich appeared in the Berkeley Business Law Journalin 2013.

Parry believes that business law and risk management are growth industries.  “The cost of litigation and the risk of criminal prosecution of businesses make this an area of exceptional importance to companies,” he says. “The best way to get a job in this or any field is networking.”  For an introduction, he suggests that undergraduates take MGMT 246 – Business and Its Legal Environment. “It is the most important college course you will ever take,” he says. The course covers criminal, civil, contract, employment and constitutional law as it relates to the business world. “Students interested in risk management may also participate in the on-campus Financial Risk Management Association,” he says. This student club meets on Tuesdays at 4 p.m. during the fall and spring academic semesters. Students can contact Jeff Jolley for more information.

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Mihaylo’s Full-Time MBA Program Lands a Graduate at Disney

Written by Kaleigh Krish ’14

After graduating from Mihaylo’s full-time MBA program, Hai Ong ’13 works within The Walt Disney Company’s Corporate Credit & Collections department. “It is a great feeling to be part of a company that produces amazing products,” says Ong, who appreciates working for a company that provides a variety of experiences due to the number of different lines of business. “Our team works with ABC, ESPN, Licensing, and the Parks to put smiles on peoples’ faces in every corner of the globe.”

Hai Ong ’13

As a Credit Coordinator, Ong builds customer and department relationships while collaborating with internal and external stakeholders to ensure that sales and purchases are credit-assessed and evaluations are published in a timely manner. Ong also ensures that systems containing credit risk information are updated to support accounts receivable reporting and portfolio analysis.

Ong attributes his career at The Walt Disney Company to his education at Mihaylo College’s full-time MBA program.

Along with a comprehensive curriculum, Mihaylo also provides full-time MBA students with networking events and workshops connecting them with working professionals; this was how Ong landed his current job with The Walt Disney Company.

During a Meet & Greet at Mihaylo, Ong was introduced to Stephen Helper, North America Director of Corporate Credit & Collections, and generated a close professional relationship. While having coffee, Helper told Ong about a job opportunity at Disney. After three interviews, Ong was offered the position of Credit Coordinator.

“The interview process was challenging; but the key for me was to be myself, stay calm and relaxed throughout the interview,” says Ong. “The assessment was similar to what the position required– so I suggest studying the job description and doing your homework beforehand.”

Ong joined the full-time MBA program in the fall of 2011.

“An entrepreneurial environment, along with action-oriented and innovative thought leaders, form the backbone of Mihaylo’s full-time MBA, which attracted me to this
program,” says Ong.

In addition to the comprehensive course work, Ong took the opportunity to participate in Mihaylo’s Leadership Academy, which focuses on the development of leadership skills. The academy strives to teach effective leadership practices through professional development seminars, workshops and experiential sessions.

Ong says one of his most exciting experiences was being selected to participate in the Applied Security Analysis Program (ASAP). This program is designed to provide real-world, hands-on experience in securities analysis and portfolio management using real-world money

“At the end of the program, we generated very positive returns that went back to the school to support the tutoring center,” says Ong.

Ong’s advice for students who may be considering an MBA is simple: “Prospective students should take the time to reflect on their work experience, their abilities and their ambitions. Good self-assessment will help answer the question, ‘Is an MBA right for me?’” says Ong.

Ong adds that if an MBA is the right fit, then the degree can bring many benefits, which will enhance a candidate’s career path. Most importantly, MBA students will have great networking opportunities.“The MBA program held doors open for me, providing opportunities to meet and network with representatives from some of the world’s best companies,” says Ong.

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Mihaylo College’s MBA Celebrates 50 Years

In 1963, the Master’s in Business Administration program was created in the division of business and administration at the soon-to-be-renamed Cal State Fullerton. Fifty years later, the division of business has grown into the largest business school in California – Mihaylo College of Business and Economics – and the MBA program now serves hundreds of students each year.

Among the accomplishments and honors garnered by the students, faculty and administration within the MBA program, was the nationally lauded transition from a required comprehensive examination or thesis to a capstone course. The course integrates all of the disciplines in a live case consulting project for each MBA graduate. The innovation in MBA education won the Leavey Award for Excellence in Private Enterprise Education in 1991.


Mihaylo College of Business and Economics

In the last five decades, the program has evolved with the demands of the business landscape, and Mihaylo College currently offers a full-time MBA program along with Flexible MBA and Fully Employed MBA programs. Princeton Review named Mihaylo’s MBA a “Best Business Program,” and U.S. News and World Report ranks Mihaylo among the “Best Graduate Schools, Business” for the part-time MBA program.

We are proud to celebrate Mihaylo’s award-winning MBA program, which has helped shape the careers of more than 3,300 graduates, who have had a pronounced effect on Southern California business.

SOURCE: McLaughlin, Laurie (2013). Mihaylo College’s MBA Celebrates 50 Years. Fullerton: Mihaylo Magazine, p. 11

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Roadmap To Success

It’s your journey…Shouldn’t you create the map? Successful business planning leads to successful business results. Take the most important step and build your business solidly from the very beginning or use this tool to grow an existing enterprise. In this interactive workshop you will learn how to break apart the components of the business plan into manageable steps, define your business succinctly, research your competition and target market, develop your operating and marketing plans, and start understanding your financial statements.

Event Status: Open Event Fee: $25.00
Event Date: 2/27/2013 Register By: 2/27/2013
Time: 6:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Contact: Elizabeth Arteaga, (714) 564-5200
Center: Orange County SBDC
Event Location: 2323 N. Broadway Rm 107, Santa Ana, CA   92706-1606

To register for the event please click the link below;

Creating Your Roadmap to Success-The Art & Science of Creating a Successful Business

 Learning from the Masters

California State University Fullerton’s Center for Leadership is proud to present its 4th Annual Spring Conference; Learning from the Masters Lessons about Overcoming Adversity from OC Business Founders and CEO’s. This event provides an opportunity for business executives to gain knowledge and insight from business founders and CEO’s regarding……

California State University Fullerton’s Center for Leadership is proud to present its 4th Annual Spring Conference; Learning from the Masters Lessons about Overcoming Adversity from OC Business Founders and CEO’s. This event provides an opportunity for business executives to gain knowledge and insight from business founders and CEO’s regarding overcoming adversity and the importance of leadership. Graduate students looking to build on their leadership skills are strongly encouraged to attend. There are over seven highly qualified speaker confirmed and new speakers are being added weakly.

Confirmed Speakers Include:

Dennis Kulh – Chairman of the Los Angels Angels of Anaheim

Michael Jay Solomon – Former President, Warner Brothers International Television

Richard Afable – President/CEO, Hoag Memorial Hospital

Steve Fortunato – President/CEO, RoomForty

Tyler Russell – founder, KX 93.5 Laguna Beach’s only FM radio station

Ronald Stein – Fonder PTS Staffing

Thomas Phelps – Partner Mannett Phelps

Location: Fairmont Hotel in Newport Beach

Date: Friday, May 3, 2013
Time: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
For more details please visit;

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Flash Back

In late January, new graduate students took part in a one-day Welcome Seminar, introducing themselves to one another and the Mihaylo College of Business and Economics community. All students participated in seminars that included Academic Success, Leveraging your Business Graduate Degree, and Career Strategies for your Graduate Programs. The seminars prepared students for adjustments to the graduate program curriculum ahead, and expanded students’ insight in career search strategies.

Closing the Welcome Seminar, students attended an Ice-Cream Social event in the Scott O’Brien Innovation Room, indulging on ice cream with all the fixings and last minute networking with fellow students and faculty. Students ended the Welcome Seminar feeling prepared for their future at Mihaylo College of Business and Economics and eager for what lie ahead in their Graduate Studies journey.

The Welcome Seminar had high reviews from Graduate Students, claiming it was a great stepping stone into their first semester. An overwhelming amount of students felt the experience provided great networking opportunity and time to socialize with fellow MBA and other Masters Programs classmates. The incoming Graduate Students felt it was successful in honing the key preparatory topics for incoming graduate students. The staff and faculty worked hard and a special thanks goes to speakers Associate Dean Professor Tarantino, Interim Director Dr. Kondo, Diane Mazzey, Farifteh Shahbazian, Dr. Beenen and Ms. Guerrero.

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Flash Back Internship Seminar

In early February, representatives from the Center for Internships and Community Engagement (CICE) and the International Programs spoke to graduate students about Internships and how they are intrinsic in resume building and positioning students as top candidates for today’s competitive job market. Internships are the perfect opportunity for Graduate Students seeking professional experience to combine with current academic studies, ultimately becoming a better-rounded applicant for a future career.

The seminar detailed the internship process and how to use the CICE resources to build resume experience through academic and professional internships. The CICE are instrumental in ensuring that academic and professional internship opportunities follow strict risk management guidelines while providing students an enriching and meaningful experience. Following the CICE, International Programs spoke about internships for international Graduate Students and their additional requirements and mandatory steps to take for those students who were interested.

If you are interested in an academic or professional internship, see your academic advisor ASAP in SGMH 4210 (by appointment only), stop by the CICE office in Langsdorf Hall, Room 206 and International Programs Office in University Hall, Room 244.


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