Riordan Podcast

Podcast Episodes

 
Episode 00

Roxanne Mendez
5th Executive Director of the Riordan Programs

Welcome to Episode 0 of the Riordan Recorder!

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Join us as we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Riordan Programs by hearing the stories of the most important aspect of the Riordan Programs Legacy, our alums.

Roxanne Mendez is the 5th Executive Director of the Riordan Programs

Rebecca Stuart is the host, producer and editor of the Riordan Recorder.

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Episode 01

Alex Lawrence
Riordan MBA Fellow Alum Class of 1996 and current Advisory Board member for The Riordan Programs

Topic: Mentorship and giving back

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In this episode we speak with Alex Lawrence the former Executive Director of The Riordan Programs. Alex gives his insight on the role that mentorship has played in his life.  He talks about the moment when he first met his professional mentor Professor William Ouchi and how Professor Ouchi helped to change his life. As an alum of the program, former Executive director and now an Advisory Board member, Alex actively volunteers to help out The Riordan Programs and share about how giving back is an important part of his life.

Biography

Alex is the Assistant Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid at UCLA Andersons School of Management. Prior to that, he was the Executive Director of The Riordan Programs from 2004 to 2012. Alex graduated from Drexel University with a BS in Electrical Engineering and went on to receive his MS in electrical engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology. And later received his MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management.

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Episode 02

Edward Shelton IV
Riordan Scholar Alum Class of 2001 Riordan MBA Fellows Alum of Class of 2006

Topic: Giving back

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In this episode Edward talks about the role that giving back plays in his life and way he makes time in his busy schedule to help young people prepare their applications for college and graduate school. He also discusses the importance of the role that The Riordan Program plays in giving back to our society.

Biography

Edward is a Director of Development at Recurrent Energy, a North American clean energy company. Edward has been a part of the development team at Recurrent since 2012. He got his B.S.E., in Mechanical Engineering from Princeton University and his MBA from Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

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Episode 03

Love Streams
Riordan MBA Fellows Alum Class of 2000

Topic: Dealing with Life’s Challenges

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The journey to success often involves challenges this month we hear about the stories of two Riordan alums who have faced challenges in their respective careers and the growth that resulted from their adversity.

Biography

Love shares with us her personal story of getting let go from her job. In this episode we hear about how this Riordan alum turned this negative experience into a learning experience.

Love is a National Account Executive, of Client Partnerships at HYFN (Hi*fen). She got her BS at New York University Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Marketing. HYFN is a full service technical creative agency. In her role at HYFN, Love manages agency of record relationships with clients. She directs cross functional teams to deliver projects ranging from video production shoots to website design and development. She works to grow current client partnerships and build new business.

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Episode 04

Dr. Portia Jackson
Riordan Scholar Alum Class of 1998

Topic: Why life challenges are essential for growth

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Portia talks about how challenges are an essential for our personal growth. She shares her personal challenges that have affected her along to way through her career including her academic challenges and losing a loved one and facing a serious health scare.

Biography

Portia received her Bachelor’s degree in Cultural and Social Anthropology, with a minor in Spanish, from Stanford University, her Masters of Public Health degree from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, and went on to get her Doctorate of Public Health from UCLA. She is a female entrepreneur who works as a coach in the area of self-care for professionals. Her background spans the private and nonprofit sectors, as well as the federal government and academia. Starting this fall, she will be an Assistant Professor of Public Health at California State University, Los Angeles.

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Episode 05

Satiya Witzer
Riordan Scholar Alum Class of 2001

Topic: : College: you’re doing it wrong- all the mistakes I made I my first year of college.

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In this Episode Satiaya Tells the story of how she navigated college and looks back at some of the mistakes she made along the way and what she would have liked to do differently. She also gives some advice to first generation colleges students on how to make the best of your college experience.

Biography

Satiya is a Los Angeles native and graduate of USC. After earning her certified public accountant (CPA) license and becoming an audit manager with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), she pursued an MBA from UCLA Anderson. She then joined Hewlett-Packard's HR Mergers & Acquisitions group after graduation where she led global deals and was promoted to Deal Principal. Most recently, she transitioned from the corporate sector into graduate school admissions, returning to UCLA Anderson to serve as an Admissions team member in 2016.

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Episode 06

Karina Arellano
Riordan MBA Fellows Alum Class of 2005

Topic: College Tuition: the biggest obstacle to graduation

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In this episode Karina tackles the difficult topic of how to pay for college tuition. She shares with us how she was able to pay for both her undergraduate degree and her graduate degree on her own. And talks about the difficult choices she had to make along the way.

Biography

Karina is a Director of Access & Reimbursement at Amgen, and a multinational biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Thousand Oaks, California. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Red Cross, Ventura County Chapter. Karina got her B.B.A. Business & B.A. Economics, from Loyola Marymount University and her MBA from University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School.

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Episode 07

Brian Henry
Riordan MBA Fellows Alum Class of 2009

Topic: Living out your passion

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In the Episode Brian talks about his transition from working in Corporate America to risking it all and following his passion of music to becoming a full time DJ. He tells the story of how and why he made this risky decision and what his life is like now as he lives out his passion as DJ B Hen.

Biography

Brian graduated from Moorehouse with a BA in Economics in 2006 After graduating from Morehouse College, he declined a full-time offer to work on Wall Street, and instead went on to lead West Coast Entertainment Sponsorships and Music Marketing for Verizon. He now devotes all of his talent and energy to spreading his love for music at exclusive venues and private events across the nation as DJ B. Hen.

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Episode 08

Christina Flores
Riordan MBA Fellows Alum Class of 2007

Topic: Choosing between your passions

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Christian Flores from a young age was very passionate about Opera and dreamed of becoming an Opera singer. In this episode she walks us through her journey of deciding between her two passions.

Biography

Christina is currently a Senior Manager at Capital One in their Home Loans division, leading the Special Loans, New Loan Boarding and Year End Reporting operations teams. After spending her senior year of high school as a Riordan Scholar, Christina went on to attend Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she graduated with a Bachelor's of Science in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. She went on to also obtain a Master’s in Business Administration from the MIT Sloan School of Management. Christina has worked for a number of companies during her career in operations including Deloitte Consulting, Nestle U.S.A. and Amazon. Throughout her career, she continues to be an advocate for diversity in STEM fields through academic and professional recruiting, volunteer activities and mentoring efforts.

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Episode 09

Sid Shah
Riordan MBA Fellows Alum Class of 2005

Topic: : An International Business Perspective

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Sid has successfully launched businesses in the US, India, and China. In this episode we find out more about his international career journey and perspective.

Biography

Sid is a Senior Principal at BCG Digital Ventures with 15 years of experience in successfully launching and operationalizing companies from the ground up, advising corporate and high-profile clients, structuring investments, and building partnerships. Sid has successfully launched businesses in the US, India, and China. In this episode we find out more about his international career journey and perspective.

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Episode 10

Jessica McLemore
Riordan Scholar Alum Class of 2011

Topic: Life after College - Living Abroad in Japan

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In this episode we hear about Jessica’s post graduate life in Japan.

Biography

Jessica is a recent college graduate, she earned her Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), in East Asian Studies from Princeton University. She moved to Japan shortly after graduation to accept a position as an Assistant Language Teacher with the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program.

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Episode 11

Albert Valencia
Riordan MBA Fellow Alum Class of 1997

Topic: What I Overcame A Story of Triumph

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In this episode we hear the story of Al Valencia, whose parents immigrated to America in hopes of giving him a better life. Al talks about his struggles though elementary school as a Filipino American his perseverance through a difficult high school, and hardships in college.

Biography

Mr. Valencia is a partner at Ervin Cohen & Jessup LLP, he is a skilled attorney in real estate and general business matters with experience working for Am Law 100 law firms representing a broad range of clients from Fortune 100 companies to high net worth individuals, with the business acumen of previously being a business consultant with global consultancy firms. His specialties include: Commercial real estate transactions, purchase and sale transactions, joint ventures, commercial leasing, and financing.

He received his JD from the University of California, Los Angeles - School of Law, prior to that he received his BA, in Rhetoric and Economics from the University of California Berkeley.

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Episode 12

Willie Alford II
Riordan MBA Fellows Alum Class of 2003

Topic: The Art of Asking for Help

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Biography

Mr. Willie Alford II is the Head of Endowment, Foundation & Health Care Relationships at Western Asset, a leading global investment manager specializing in fixed income. Immediately prior to Western Asset, Mr. Alford held several roles at the hedge fund manager, Evolution Capital Management, including Derivatives Trader, Special Situations Trader and Managing Director of Investor Relations. Previously, he was a Trader on the Investment Grade Credit desk at Morgan Stanley. Mr. Alford began his career as a Business Associate with Western Asset Management. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Harvard University.

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Episode 13

Jarrod Fong
Riordan MBA Fellows Alum Class of 1992

Topic: Decades of Leadership

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In this episode Jarrod share with us his leadership journey from taking on volunteer positions as a leader in the Riordan Fellows Program to his current role as Managing Director at JPMorgan Asset Management.

Biography

Jarrod is the Managing Director at JPMorgan Asset Management he has been with the company for almost 20 years. He received his MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business and his BA from UCLA Jarrod has been in positions of leadership for decades and in this episode Jarrod gives us his insight on what makes a good leader. He also talks about his leadership to becoming the Managing Director dealing with billions of dollars, journey and the role that the Riordan Programs played. And give advice on how to develop your own personal leadership potential

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Episode 14

Torianna Peete
Riordan MBA Fellows Alum Class of 2008

Topic: Topic: It’s just me. The story of the experience of being the only woman in the office.

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Torianna shares the story of her experience in the corporate world as a woman of color. Discussing the barriers and stereotypes that she faced and overcame on her way to a position of leadership in her company. In this episode we hear of her clever strategy to use sports as a way to break into the boy’s club society of Corporate America and raise to a position of leadership.

Biography

Torianna Peete was born and raised in Southern California. She received a dual bachelor’s degree in Economic and International Studies from University of California, Irvine. It was through her studies she discovered her love of finance. She became a Stock Analyst for a small boutique firm for a couple of years. After working at EBH Financial she took a position as a Hedge Fund Operations Specialist – Team Lead at Deutsche Bank within Alternative Investments. Within one year she was promoted from Senior Associate to a Team Lead. After working many years within the Hedge Fund Industry she decided to go to grad school in New York and expand her knowledge in the World of finance. Torianna received her MBA from NYU Stern School of Business in 2013 and joined JP Morgan Chase & Co. within the Investment Bank as a specialist in Strategies and Business Development. After working in the Investment Bank and promoted to VP, Torianna decided to move back to California with JP Morgan Chase within a new role, VP - Relationship Manager III.

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Episode 15

Ramsey Jay Jr
Riordan MBA Fellows Alum Class of 2002

Topic: Empowering Dreamers To Become Achiever

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Ramsey talks about his new book “Empowering Dreamers To Become Achievers”(Living your life without fear and limitation): We all dream of a better life, filled with prosperity, purpose and happiness. But if life isn't working out the way you thought it would, or if you feel like you started with two strikes against you, you might be tempted to give up and say, "Nothing's ever going to change." But that's not true. People just like you change their lives every day and achieve their dreams. Are they smarter than you? NO. Are they more talented than you? NO. What's their secret? They have a PROCESS that gets them motivated, keeps them disciplined, allows them to recover from setbacks quickly, and helps them identify role models who help them along the way. In this podcast Ramsey Jay, Jr. reveals his 3Ps, a one-of-a-kind process, that helps dreams become Possible, Probable, and then Predictable.

Biography

Ramsey earned a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in finance from the Craig School of Business at California State University, Fresno, where he was a five-time all-conference track and field athlete. Ramsey also earned a Masters in Business Administration from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, where he was voted speaker of the 105th graduating class.

Ramsey is a Wall Street trained finance professional who has more than a decade of global investment management experience including working in the capacity of ‘Director” for years at alternative investment firms. Ramsey’s expertise includes high yield, bank loans, distressed credit, multi-strategy credit, private debt, and private equity.

Ramsey is also a widely recognized expert on leadership development, and motivational speaking, driven by his mission to “Empower Dreamers to Become Achievers”, the title of his 1st book to be released in Spring 2016. His mission has been the cornerstone of his commitment to serve his community and to inspire those he meets to not only to dream but to realize their dreams. He spends his free time speaking to youth at schools, colleges, universities and organizations that serve the underprivileged youth.

His 3P's methodology, (Possible, Probable, Predictable) has provided the pragmatic framework enabling his followers to achieve academic, professional, and civic centered success. Named by EBONY Magazine as one of the top “30 Young Leaders Under 30”, in February 2016, he was invited to make opening remarks at the White House where President Obama and the First Lady hosted an event honoring Ray Charles.

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Episode 16

Tammy Funasaki
Riordan MBA Fellows Alum Class of 2008

Topic: Stress as your friend

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This episode deals with stress. Stress generally is viewed negatively and gets a bad rap in our society, it’s associated with images such as someone pulling their hair out, it makes you think of that final exam or the big presentation you will give to your boss. For most people the word stress triggers a negative emotions like anxiety and worry, but it is an integral part of our modern day life. In this episode Tammy talks about her experiences with stress and how she learned to make stress a positive motivating factor in her life.

Biography

Tammy is the Vice President of Business Development at Evolution Capital Management. She got her BA in International Business from the University of Southern California and her MBA from New York University Leonard N. Stern School of Business. Her work experience includes companies such as Lexus, Marriott International and Goldman Sachs.

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Episode 17

Miguel Marshall
Riordan MBA Fellows Alum Class of 2013

Topic: Cross Boarder Entrepreneur

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In this episode we hear from Miguel a cross boarder entrepreneur who was born in San Diego but raised in Tijuana. Miguel now lives and works in Tijuana, and his love for his home city has inspired him on his quest to try to help make Tijuana one of the most prosperous boarder cities in the world, we hear about what exactly defines a cross boarder entrepreneur and why this passion is so important to him.

Biography

Miguel is the Founder and CEO of Centro Ventures, an urban development group focused on revitalizing emerging communities through high-impact infrastructure projects mostly in real estate and urbanization. He holds a Bachelor degree in Accounting from Centro de Enseñanza Técnica y Superior Universidad in Mexico and one in Business Administration from City University of Seattle.

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Episode 18

Desiree Davis Stolar
Riordan MBA Fellows Alum Class of 2010

Topic: Fear was my motivation

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In this episode Desiree shares how she was able to overcome her fear of speaking up in class at business school and ended up speaking in front of the entire nation on the popular TV Show Shark Tank.

Biography

Desiree Davis Stolar is a graduate of the University of Virginia (2007) and Harvard Business School (2015). Stolar spent most of her career as a consultant for Fortune 500 media, tech and retail companies on brand strategies, loyalty programs and product features. During graduate school, she accidentally shrank a beloved cashmere sweater in the dryer and decided to do something about it. Right in the Harvard Business School dorm rooms, Stolar and a few classmates launched a patent-pending product (Unshrinkit) that unshrinks shrunken wool clothing.

Unshrinkit Background

Unshrinkit has been featured on The Today Show, Bloomberg, Boston Globe and many other media outlets. The company was a 2015 MassChallenge Top 26 Finalist and it beat out 15,000 firms to be a top 10 finalist to win a Super Bowl commercial with Intuit Quickbooks. Most notably, Unshrinkit aired on Shark Tank in November 2015 and is available for purchase at select Bed Bath & Beyond stores.
www.unshrinkit.com

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Episode 19

JaMarr Brown
Riordan MBA Fellows Alum Class of 1998

Topic: Your Future Starts Now

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As a Keynote speaker JaMarr often has to opportunity to talk to college students, in this episode he discusses his own experience in college as well as shares some advice from his talk "Your Future Starts Now." about what a college student needs to know now in order to reach their potential in the future.

Biography

JaMarr is a Keynote Speaker, Author, Business Coach. And presently the National Sales Director at Ipsen a global specialty-driven biotechnological group. He has over 20 years of experience in sales working with companies such as Bard, Allegan and Oasis. He received his BSAD in Marketing from Wittier College. And his certificate in Pharmaceutical marketing from UCLA.

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Episode 20

Beza Ayalew
Riordan Scholars Alum Class of 2017

Topic: The Impact of Riordan Programs in my Life.

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In this episode we get a sneak peek into the experience of being a Riordan Scholar from three time alum of the program Beza Ayalew

Biography

She is a high school student at Hawthorne Math and Science Academy. She first came to the Riordan Programs in 2014 as freshman and has returned to participate in the Scholars program every year since. Let’s hear her story.

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Episode 21

Pierre Le Veaux II
Riordan MBA Fellows Alum Class of 2007

Topic: First generation college students

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Pierre shares with us his journey to success as a first generation college student. Pierre came from a background in which the expectations placed on him by society was only to graduate high school, not only did he do that but he graduated with his Bachelor’s degree in only three years and then went on to graduate with his Masters as well. In this episode Pierre, speaks about the challenges that he experienced as a first generation college students, not only the balancing of his new class load and work study job but the additional challenges of having his father being incarcerated for many years, and trying to help out his mom financially.

Biography

Pierre joined Goldman Sachs as an Investment Advisor after receiving his MBA from The Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia. While at Darden, Pierre was selected as a Portfolio Manager with Darden Capital Management. Prior to completing business school, Pierre worked as an Analyst at Profit Investment Management in Silver Springs, Maryland and as a Consultant for Personnel Decisions International (PDI), a global consulting firm. Pierre earned his undergraduate and graduate social science degrees from California State University, and he currently serves as a Board Member to CLIMB Inc. (501c3) and Community of Unity (501c3). Lastly, Pierre lives in Manhattan with his wife Jasmine who is a Litigation Attorney and their kids Kamala and Pierre III. Although New York based Pierre still has personal and professional ties to California.

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Episode 22

George Bahamondes
Riordan Scholar Alum Class of 2004

Topic:First generation college students

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George grew up with a single mother household in which they lived paycheck to paycheck and faced several challenges such as bankruptcy and foreclosures. However George’s mom was very committed to helping her son to get the best education, and he internalized this became empowered to be a great student. George went on to excel in high school and college and this led him to becoming the first in his family to receive not only a college education but a Master’s in Business as well.

Biography

George Bahamondes is a Vice President at Deutsche Bank focused on real estate and specialty finance valuation and research coverage. He has covered the FIG sector since 2009 and has accrued extensive valuation, advisory, and transactional deal experience across several verticals, including banks, REITs, asset managers, financial technology, and specialty finance companies.

 

Prior to assuming his current responsibilities, George provided strategic M&A and capital markets advisory services to institutional clients as the lead analyst of Deutsche Bank's Financial Institutions Group in Los Angeles. George began his career as an analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in the  Financial Institutions Group where he helped complete M&A and capital markets transactions totaling ~$7 billion in value.

 

George received a B.S. in Business Administration (Finance) from USC's Marshall School of Business and minored in Spanish. He is a Southern California native and is currently based in New York City.

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Episode 23

DaVeon Smith
Riordan Scholar class of 2011

Topic: From Humble Beginnings to an Ivy League University

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In this episode DaVeon, a first generation college student, talks about his journey from South Central Los Angeles to Hanover, New Hampshire where he attended the prestigious Ivy League University Dartmouth College. At a very young age he had his sights set on an Ivy League education. He talks about his experience as a person of color attending an Ivy League University and his transition from college in to corporate America.

Biography

DaVeon is an Advisor Marketing Representative at Capital Group American Funds and a recent graduate from Dartmouth College where he earned his Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Sociology.

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Episode 24

Scott Torres
Riordan Scholar class of 1999; MBA Fellow class of 2005

Topic: Blazing the Trail

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Scott shares his story of being a first generation college student. In this episode he talks about why he was so committed to his own education. He speaks about how The Riordan Programs influenced him as a high school student to broaden his mind and expectations for himself. This very personal story touches on hardships including being evicted from his family home as a child all the way through Stanford and ultimately Harvard Business School.

Biography

After completing the Riordan Scholars program, Scott attended Stanford University where he majored in Economics and Psychology. Scott is passionate about increasing access to high-quality public K-12 education for youth from low-income communities. He has dedicated much of his career to this pursuit, after getting his MBA from Harvard Business school he went on to work for Finance and Operations at The Department of Education, New York City. Scott now serves as the Founding Director of Operations for an early-start tuition free public charter middle school serving the Los Angeles neighborhoods of Exposition Park and Leimert Park called Libertas College Preparatory Charter School.

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Episode 25

Danisha Danielle Wrister
Riordan MBA Fellows Alum Class of 1997

Topic: : What I overcame- a story of triumph.

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Born in Los Angeles, Danisha Danielle Wrister was raised by a single father and a mother who was in and out of her life. . Her life dramatically changed when she became pregnant in her early twenties. Tragedy struck when the father of her child was diagnosed with cancer and died ten weeks after her daughter’s birth. Two months later, she was laid off from her job. Danisha shares her journey from single mother on WIC, to the owner of a multi-million dollar commercial real estate business, Real estate expert on HomeFreeFOX and Host of OWNShow on Oprah.com.

Biography

She graduated high school early went to UCLA at 16, graduating with a BA degree in Mass Communications with a specialization in Business Administration.

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Episode 26

Michael C. Robinson
MBA Fellow Alum Class of 2005

Topic: Meandering Journey

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In this episode Michael takes us through his meandering journeying to success and shares with us the many obstacles he overcame.

Biography

Michael C. Robinson is Director of Broadcast & Media Operations with American Public Media | Marketplace, where he manages a team of audio engineers for the company’s Los Angeles and New York bureaus. He began his career in media & entertainment in 2003 as a broadcast systems engineering consultant, while also working as a film and TV extra.

Michael is a proud 2011 MBA alumnus of the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business and a 2005 Riordan MBA Fellow. He obtained a Bachelor of Science in Music Engineering Technology in 2000 from his beloved “Home by the Sea” – Hampton University. Michael is also an active member of the National Association of Broadcasters, Screen Actors Guild, and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. He has appeared on numerous television shows including: CSI: Miami, How I Met Your Mother, and Scandal.

Michael recently returned to Los Angeles to continue his career in the media & entertainment industry and enjoy the sunshine!.

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Episode 27

Christian Duncan
Riordan MBA Fellows Alum Class of 2007

Topic: : Graduation Day

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In this episode, Christian walks us through the experience of his graduate school graduation day. He shares about what this day meant to him and his family. How grateful he is to have had his dad -who was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease- present at the ceremony.

Biography

Christian is a Senior Manager with Accenture Strategy, aligned to the Communications, Media & Technology industry group in North America, with a passion for innovation, new product development and growth strategy. He earned his BS in Electrical Engineering from UCLA and his MBA from Cornell University - S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management.

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