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SMBA Alumni Testimonials

Class of 2022

Aylin Lopez E

Aylin Lopez Escamilla

"I chose CSUSM because of the program’s flexibility, especially for working individuals. The program allowed me to continue working full time while also pursuing my MBA. Having the opportunity to lead a team of diverse individuals, allowed me to enhance my leadership skills."

- Aylin Lopez Escamilla 


Class of 2019

 Shana Mezzanatto

Shana Mezzanatto-McNair
Co-Owner LLC
Neuro Trauma ICU RN

"As a critical care nurse for over 15 years, I did not have a business background. I was intimated by the idea of being surrounded by educated individuals who had already mastered the basics. This genuine fear was eliminated when I found that the SMBA program was encouraging non-business majors to fulfill their dream of getting an MBA through CSUSM. Now, as a graduate of the SMBA program, I can tell you that the hard and soft skills, the small class sizes, access to experienced professors, and the connections I have made are undeniably one of the most invaluable gifts I have received. If you are driven, looking to meet some amazing leaders and professionals to help you grow as an individual and as a professional, then enrolling in the SMBA program will be the best decision you could make for your own future."

- Shana Mezzanatto-McNair 



Class of 2017

Liliane Lendvai
Liliane Lendvai 
Blair Search Partners

"The CSUSM SMBA program equipped me with the tools, knowledge, and connections necessary to thrive in my career. I was impressed by the caliber of professors, the rigor of the curriculum, and the overall positive experience I had in the program. The classes were fast-paced, yet comprehensive. The curriculum covered a range of topics and made frequent use of case studies to illustrate the points. Also, as I specialized in International Business, I was especially appreciative to conduct my required internship in Germany.

However, I believe that the most important part of a worthwhile experience in a MBA program comes down to the connections one makes during their time throughout the program. In order to succeed with any career, one needs to have a firm grip on the pulse of the community, an understanding of who its key players are, and the ability to integrate oneself into this extensive network of connections. CSUSM’s SAMBA program delivered this in full with its range of guest speakers, events, internship opportunities, and more. If you want to expand your network, develop a strong business acumen, and increase your competitiveness in the workforce, then this program is for you."

Liliane Lendvai

Class of 2016

luke froning

Luke Froning

"The CSUSM Specialized Accelerated MBA program was one of the best decisions I could have made for myself. CSUSM has great professors with real world experience and business success. The cohort style system allowed me to make great connections with students from many different cultural backgrounds, and it helped with my understanding of international business practices. The accelerated coursework challenged me to meet short deadlines in an efficient manner, and it mirrored the type of deadline that one would see in the work environment. At the end of my program, I traveled to Germany for class and an internship with a German IT company. The experience in Germany gave me a new perspective on how other countries do business, and it allowed me to apply the knowledge I gathered from my International Business specialty. I highly recommend the Specialized Accelerated MBA program!"

Luke Froning

Solveig Halldorsdottir

Solveig Halldorsdottir
Ryni endurskodun ehf

"The SMBA program at CSUSM was a challenging, fast-paced program that prepares you for the real world of business. The instructors in the program have close ties to the business world and emphasized on teaching from experience. Having the option to finish a MBA in one year was especially appealing to me as well as the cohort format of the SMBA program.  Through the cohort format the focus was both on teamwork as well as individual contribution and the cohort grew close as a group that supported each other. The program helped prepare me for my career by improving my time management skills, public speaking and organizational skills."

Solveig Halldorsdottir

Michelle Svoboda

Michelle Svoboda
Marketing or Market Research
Integrated Practice Solutions

"The decision to pursue my MBA has advanced my professional career and provided me with a valuable set of tools.  I was able to gain a set of skills that I use daily in the workplace. What has been an exceptionally useful is the learned ability to collect and analyze data, using a variety of collection methods and programs for analysis, to provide my company meaningful insights about the changing market.  Those insights directly impact our executive teams sales and marketing strategies.  I have no doubt that those who choose to earn their M.B.A. at CSUSM will be making an excellent decision for their future."

-Michelle Svoboda

Aaron Ross

Aaron Ross
Grey Falcon Properties

"The SMBA program at CSUSM is incredible. I earned my MBA in 15 months of exhaustive and exhausting work. During the program, of the many valuable lessons learned, the single most valuable to me was targeted market analysis. With it I was able to formulate a statistical test that challenged a key assumption in my property management business. With the results of that test I was able to improve both mine and my client's cash flow. Business is about the bottom line and the SMBA Program improved mine."

Aaron Ross


Marvin B. Millar
Marvin B. Millar
Product Manager
U.S. Army
 "CSUSM’s SMBA program is an excellent program.  It is especially a great fit for professionals who don’t want to or can’t be away from their field for an extended period. As a military officer, time away from my career is lost time and being able to complete the program in 15 months was invaluable.  Those months were hard but productive and helped prepare me for my next job as a Product Manager in the U.S. Army.  The cohort format closely mirror integrated product team functions/processes as you leverage varied personal experience and expertise to basically come up with products multiple times throughout the program.
-Marvin B. Millar