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Specialized MBA Student Projects

SMBA student presentation
SMBA students

Professinal Experience 

Specialized MBA students have an average of 6 years of professional work experience. The class cohort is a mix of part-time working professionals and full-time students. While these students have less work experience than our fully employed MBA students, they offer specialized knowledge in the business areas listed below.

Team Size and Project Availability

Specialized MBA students may work on their own projects or in teams of 2. The project needs of the sponsoring organization will dictate the number of students needed. Specialized MBA student projects in June and conclude in August.

Specialized Knowledge

Students enrolled in the Specialized MBA program offer advanced business knowledge in the following areas:

  • Business Analytics

    Students use technologies to transform information into insights. They can help businesses make better decisions by generating better reports and can manipulate historical data to search for patterns that can produce forecasts.
  • Supply Chain Management

    Students optimize material and information flows in multi-stage production-distribution networks. They implement tools for sustaining strategies for managing global supply chains.
  • International Business

    International students offer knowledge of how to gain a competitive advantage in an increasingly dynamic, hyper competitive and globalized environment.

SMBA stats

*Data from the class of 2021.



Hedayat Alibeiki, Ph.D.

Hedayat Alibeiki, Ph.D
Assistant Professor
Operations and Supply Chain Management

Dr. Alibeiki is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Operations and Supply Chain Management. He received his Ph.D. in Operations Management from McGill University in 2017. Before joining California State University San Marcos, he taught Operations Management at undergraduate level. He worked as a data specialist in John Hancock/ Manulife and also served as operations consultant in financial and healthcare sectors.

His research interests include Game Theory and Mechanism Design in Supply Chain Management as well as Healthcare Analytics. He is an active member of INFORMS (Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences) and has presented his research at INFORMS, POMS (Production and Operations Management Society), CORS (Canadian Operations Research Society) Annual Meetings.

Eric Rhodes

Eric Rhodes, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Dept. Chair Global Business Management
Eric Rhodes is Director of Global Business Management and Assistant Professor of Management in the College of Business Administration at California State University San Marcos.  He earned his PhD in Business Administration from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, his J.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and his B.A. from Appalachian State University.  His research examines how organizations communicate, strategize, and adapt in a rapidly changing global business environment.  Dr. Rhodes has published in business and social psychology journals, presented his research at conferences in North America, Asia, and Europe, and has more than a decade of international business and legal experience in China and Southeast Asia. He has been an active member of the California bar since 1999, speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese, and enjoys competing in iron-distance triathlons.  

Nima Zaerpour

Nima Zaerpour, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Operations and Supply Chain Management

Dr. Nima Zaerpour is an assistant professor of Operations and Supply Chain Management. He received his PhD in Operations Management from Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, the Netherlands in 2013. Prior to joining California State University, Dr. Zaerpour was an assistant professor at VU University Amsterdam. In addition, he has had visiting positions at the School of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Georgia Tech and the School of Management, University of Science and Technology of China.

His research has been published in leading journals among others are Production and Operations Management, Transportation Science, IIE Transactions, European Journal of Operational Research, and International Journal of Production Research. His research interests are Facility Logistics Management, Distribution Logistics Management, Supply Chain Management, and Terminal Operations Management; in particular studying recent innovations in these areas. He serves as a reviewer for top tier journals such as Operations Research, Production and Operations Management, Transportation Science, IIE Transactions, Interfaces, Transportation Research Part E, International Journal of Production Research, International Journal of Production Economics. He has developed Warehousing Decision Support tools and has served as consultant for Supply Chain and Logistics companies.

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