Riordan Podcast

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Latest Episodes

Welcome to Season 2 of The Riordan Recorder

Welcome to Season 2 of the Riordan Recorder! This season we are honing in on topics that affect underrepresented minority (URM) students in business school. In our opening episode, we talk with the Executive Director of the Riordan Programs about what listeners can expect to learn on the new season of the Riordan Recorder.

Featuring: Roxanne Mendez, Executive Director, The Riordan Programs

You‘re Admitted Into B-School, You Are Enough

In our first episode, we talk with Denice about what strategies she utilized once she was an MBA student and her advice to admitted URM’s.

Featuring: Denice Gonzalez-Kim ‘19
Riordan Scholars ’04, Riordan MBA Fellow ’14
Director, Strategy and Transactions at EY-Parthenon

Creating an MBA Blueprint…Am I MBA Material?

Riordan All-Star Satiya Witzer shares strategies for URM students applying to business school.

Featuring: Satiya Witzer ’13, Riordan Scholar'01

Director, Human Capital M&A, Private Equity Services at Alvarez & Marsal

B-School Entrance Exams, Do Not Give Up

Sean shares his experience with both the GMAT and GRE and strategies he recommends for applicants. Sean also discusses the importance of community and how he eventually achieved his highest score.

Featuring: Sean Moore II, Riordan MBA Fellow ’19

Building Your Quantitative Profile 

Learn about how Riordan Alum Catherine Valle made it into business school without having the cookie-cutter business school applicant profile.

Featuring: Catherine Valle, Riordan MBA Fellow ’18

Investment Banking Associate at Avivar Capital 

How To Prepare for The MBA Interview 

Any interview can be daunting. Chandler shares several strategies applicants can utilize when preparing for an MBA program interview. Chandler also discusses great strategies for social impact applicants.

Featuring: Chandler Arnold 

Stacy Blackman Consulting

B-School, Getting to Know Yourself

In this episode, Christian walks us through the MBA essay writing process and tips you can apply to share the authentic you. 

Featuring: Christian Trigg, Riordan MBA Fellow '21

Season 1

 Dr. Justin Martin on My Doctoral Journey

Completing my PhD Dissertation: My Biggest Challenge so Far

This episode talks about challenges, we all go through them but seem to forget that other people struggle too. We tend to compare our struggles and behind the scenes issues with the finished product camera ready versions of others. Today Justin shares with us his behind the scenes journey of his most difficult challenge that he has face to date, the completion of his doctoral dissertation.


Justin is a Professor of Psychology at Whitworth University in Spokane Washington his interest in higher education is can been seen clearly in his professional background prior to working at Whitworth, he worked at University of California Berkeley, Bethel University and San Francisco State University. He received his BA in Social Welfare with a minor in Education from UC Berkeley, his Master’s in Education from Harvard University Graduate School of Education and most recently his PhD in Education and Human Development from UC Berkeley.


Juan Lopez on Beginning my Doctoral Journey

Juan has recently embarked on his lifelong dream of earning his doctorate. In this episode he discusses the difficulties he encountered before even beginning his PhD program. He also shares about his passion and reason for getting a PhD, in order to further research of the lack of Latino male representation in higher education.


Juan is a first year Higher Education Administration doctoral student at Texas A&M University. He received his Master’s in Education Administration, from The University of Texas at Austin. Prior to that he attended UCLA, where he double majored in Political Science, Chicano Studies and minored in Education. During his time at UCLA he was a Gates Millennial Scholar.


Scott Torres on Blazing the Trail

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.


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.


DaVeon Smith on From Humble Beginnings to an Ivy League University

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.


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.


Miguel Marshall on Cross Boarder Entrepreneur

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.


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.


Desiree Davis Stolar on Fear was my motivation

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.


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 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.


Torianna Peete on It's just me. The story of being the only woman in the office.

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.


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.


Jarrod Fong on Decades of Leadership

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.


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.


Sid Shah on An International Business Perspective

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.


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.


Jessica McLemore on Life after College - Living Abroad in Japan

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


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.


Brian Henry on Living out your passion

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.


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.


Christina Flores on Choosing between your passions

Christina 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.


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.


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

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.


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.


Karina Arellano on College Tuition: the biggest obstacle to graduation

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.


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.


Welcome to Episode 0 of the Riordan Recorder!

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.