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Career Conversations

Career Conversations is a unique opportunity for each student of the BUS 495 Senior Experience course to have a one-hour career conversation with a volunteer about their career goal and resources available to them. Volunteers will mostly be comprised of successful alumni who have excelled in their respective fields. 

Career Conversation Advisors

Idayat Akindele


Idayat serves as a Global Marketing Communications Manager at Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. After completing her Bachelor's in Global Business Management, she's held roles in brand management, marketing, and communications across sectors like healthcare, transportation, hospitality, and biotech. She also earned her MBA from the Rady School of Management at UCSD.

Idayat consistently applies her knowledge from CSUSM, emphasizing networking, leadership, and brand growth. Her dedication to marketing drives her aim to bolster brand positions in the market. Outside of work, she values family time and loves spending her free time reading and traveling.

To schedule a Career Conversation with Idayat, please visit Idayat's Calendly

Stephanie Collins


Stephanie is a project manager professional (PMP) and has worked in the IT and Broadcast industry for the last 5 years. She has experience with creating processes, running large programs, and managing projects for corporate infrastructure, broadcast facilities, and Esport events. Her work style is casual and direct when it comes to communication.

She can help you find what kind of work will make you excited each day when you log on or head to work. Stephanie is a hardworking, passionate intrapreneur who likes working with people to gather information and find solutions. Her ability to listen to your needs will enable you to create a plan to help you find your career path.

To schedule a Career Conversation with Stephanie, please visit Stephanie's Calendly


Winona Estanislao


Winona graduated from CSUSM in 2019. While she was in school, she was working for a retail company as the HR Admin Support where she gained some experience in Talent Acquisition. Shortly after she graduated, she was hired at a staffing firm as a Recruiter, where she started her career in Talent Acquisition and Recruiting. 

Working at the staffing firm is where she realized her passion for this role. She enjoys speaking to people and assisting them with finding the career path that aligns with their background and goals. Now, Winona works as a Senior Technical Recruiter for Infracore, and IT company, where she not only helps the candidates find the right role for them but also contributes to the growth of the company.

To schedule a Career Conversation with Winona, please email Winona

Marcella Graham


Marcella Graham is a marketing professional in HealthTech and a small business owner. In 2021 Marcella started her business The Root Remedy a health and beauty supplement brand that targets gut health.

Marcella brought her expertise in market research, strategy, and influencer marketing prior to launching The Root Remedy. Her professional expertise landed her product in a major retailer within 3 months of launching.

She also mentors women on life, level-up, and business advice through her brand The Small Business Barbie. She’s scaled this brand to 20k followers with over 1 million views on TikTok in less than a year.

Marcella has pitched for executives at Cantu Beauty, Rare Beauty, Ulta Beauty, and UCLA, raising $30,000 of non-dilutive funds. She’s also been in business programs with Goldman Sachs, Grid110 L.A., and UCLA Venture Accelerator.

To schedule a Career Conversation with Marcella, please visit Marcella's Calendly

Rebecca Harness


Rebecca Harness is an accomplished Human Resources Professional with over 7 years of experience in  human resources and 5 years of experience in business operations within the manufacturing sector. With a proven track record of optimizing processes and driving efficiency, she has successfully overseen complex supply chains, streamlined production workflow and HR processes, and overall enhanced employee satisfaction and engagement. Rebecca is committed to creating a positive and inclusive workplace environment that aligns with her company’s mission of fostering growth and success for all its members. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, spending time with friends, baking, cooking, and consuming copious amounts of coffee.

To schedule a Career Conversation with Rebecca, please email Rebecca

Rachel Jacobs


Rachel graduated from California State University San Marcos in Spring 2020, with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing. She currently works for a Digital Marketing Firm in San Diego, California, and was recently promoted to Projects Manager.

She loves what she does and she very excited to start the Career Conversation Program to help others grow within their professional career!

To schedule a Career Conversation with Rachel, please email Rachel

Madalynn Liechty


Madalynn is a Vice President Practice Director at Robert Half International. For the past 5 years, she has specialized in staffing administrative, customer service, HR, and operational roles. Madalynn is a leader in her field and partners with organizations throughout San Diego County.

By focusing on networking, business development, leadership, and recruiting Madalynn has been able to put her bachelor’s degree to good use throughout her career. She is a CoBA alumni graduating Summa Cum Laude in Business Management. She is passionate in her field creating relationships and helping people find their next career. When Madalynn is not working, she enjoys the outdoors or finds her next book to read.

To schedule a Career Conversation with Madalynn, please email Madalynn



Justin is a dynamic professional with a passion for leadership and a strong foundation in business management. Holding a Bachelors in Business Management from Cal State San Marcos (Class of 2017), Justin's educational journey has been marked by determination and commitment. He furthered his academic pursuits by attaining a Graduate degree with a specialized focus in Organizational Leadership from the University of Redlands, demonstrating his dedication to advancing his skill set.

Justin has had a hand in various leadership roles and is finding his way towards leadership in hospitality and Human Resources. His fervent dedication to driving teams toward success is undeniable, making him a prime candidate for the roles he assumes.

Outside the professional sphere, Justin's interests and hobbies add color to his well-rounded persona. Regular attendance at Toastmasters public speaking group exemplifies his commitment to personal growth, while his volunteer work at his church underscores his sense of community. Justin also finds joy in cooking, as he and his girlfriend embark on new recipes in the kitchen every week. They also love to travel locally & go to the gym together. 

To schedule a Career Conversation with Justin, please email Justin


Quynh Pham


Quynh is a Project Excellence Consultant at Leaderology, a Management Consulting company specializing in team and leadership development. She is a highly motivated, first-generation graduate who earned her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from CSUSM. During her tenure at CSUSM, Quynh served as Management Society’s President her senior year, and received the prestigious accolade of the James R. Meindl Student Leadership Award, given to only one graduating senior each academic school year who demonstrated outstanding leadership on campus.

Throughout her prolific career, her diverse work experience has been structured and
strengthened by several industries, spanning from the complexity and meticulousness of the financial advisement arena to the discipline and stamina of the health and fitness industry. Quynh also works as a researcher and is dedicated to advancing studies in the field of Organizational Behavior, with an emphasis in Leadership.

To schedule a Career Conversation with Quynh, please visit Quynh's Calendly

Courtney Reeves


Courtney is a 2016 CoBA alumna and graduated with her degree in Business Administration with a focus on Management and Organizations. She was actively involved on campus, including serving on the Executive Board for Alpha Xi Delta. Courtney met her now husband through the Senior Experience program and they got married in 2020.

She is currently a Sr. Account Manager at a boutique Staffing Agency in San Diego. She started her role one month after graduating from CSUSM and has been with the company for over 7 years now. For the past 5 years, she has led the day-to-day delivery for large enterprise accounts and helped place hundreds of candidates in Software Engineering, Marketing, Project and Program Management, among many other positions for clients including Intuit, Netflix and Coinbase. Outside of work, she enjoys cooking, traveling, and spending time with family and their dog Moose.

To schedule a Career Conversation with Courtney, please visit Courtney's Calendly

Mike Steigerwald


Mike, a native of Escondido, California, is a Senior Consultant on the Sales Strategy at West Monroe. He joined West Monroe in 2022 as a graduate intern and returned in 2023 after completing his MBA at UC Irvine’s Merage School of Business where he focused on Strategy & Analytics.

Prior to West Monroe, Mike earned his bachelor's degree in business management from California State University, San Marcos, and went on to work in retail management and outside sales for Sherwin Williams, where he managed several $1M+ retail stores and contributed to the successful launch of a new retail location and sales territory. Outside of work Mike volunteers as a consultant and project manager for Seed Consulting Group, a non-profit that provides pro bono and “lo bono” consulting services to sustainability focused start-ups and non-profits.

To schedule a Career Conversation with Mike, please email Mike

Madison Trice


Maddie is a 2018 CoBA alum whose emphasis was in Management and Organizations. During her time in CoBA Maddie was heavily involved with the CSUSM Management Society, serving as President in her senior year, and was part of the Professional Mentorship Program, all while working full time. After graduation, she began working in HR as a Recruiting Coordinator for a local San Diego tech company. Currently, Maddie works as the Head of Human Resources for a small tech start-up based out of the Bay Area. Maddie is excited to be giving back to CoBA as a Career Conversation Advisor and is confident she can provide her students with best practices to land a job that fits their goals and aspirations.

To schedule a Career Conversation with Madison, please visit Madison's Calendly

Sally Tsai


I work as a Talent Acquisition Compliance and Reporting Analyst at Thermo Fisher Scientific, focusing on TA operations and organization effectiveness. I’ve been at my company for two years and in my role for 1.5 years. I’m excited to contribute to the community of upcoming business professionals and help pave the way for the future!

To schedule a Career Conversation with Sally, please email Sally

Kristina Winder


Kristina is a Purchasing Manager at Fili D'Oro, a luxury Italian linens company specializing in supplying 5-star hotels, cruise lines, and restaurants. In her role, she leverages her expertise in procurement, price negotiation, and logistics to ensure a seamless experience for her clients.

After earning her B.S. in Global Business Management from CSUSM, Kristina has worked in the finance, fashion and textile industries, amassing skills and insights. Her fluency in three languages has also enabled her to gain an international perspective on business through living and working abroad. Additionally, Kristina holds a certificate in sustainable fashion studies, showcasing her passion for environmentally responsible materials and practices.

To schedule a Career Conversation with Kristina, please visit Kristina's Calendly