Alumni Zoom Trips

Join Dee Kayalar, our Assistant Director of Alumni Engagement, as she interviews USD alumni from all over the country to discuss COVID 19's impact on our lives and how best to navigate the job market now and in the future.  If you wish to be considered for a future edition of Alumni Zoom Trips, please contact Dee at

Corporate Travel Post COVID-19

Mike Daly '93

Mike Daly joins us from Atlanta where he currently serves as VP of Sales for the online corporate travel booking company Serko. Having started his travel career at United Airlines after being laid off by the NY Mets due to the MLB players strike, he was key to the development of online booking at Travelocity, Sabre, Freebird and Deem. 

 Here are some highlights from our conversation:
  • Volumes are down 90-95% in corporate travel
  • Domestic air travel numbers will be based on quarantine levels by state, company restrictions, and individual's risk perception
  • More technology and infrastructure in place today due to 9/11 that will make it easier to return to travel post-pandemic 
  • This is a great time for inner reflection and reaching out to professionals in your career fields of interest. Don't be afraid to take chances and risks.

Recording Date: June 24, 2020

How to Land and Succeed in International Jobs

Teresa Jenna, '78

An international engagement expert and a former UNICEF director, Teresa Jenna has over 20 years’ experience directing global health and international development projects in Asia, Africa, Middle East and Latin America. 

Highlights from our conversation:

  • Be proactive, get involved in community groups, contact local chambers of commerce, study company websites, news/press pages, make a list of key names, create a list of questions, and practice introducing yourself
  • Support the BLM movement by not judging, observing, watching, and listening. Even in this time of protest, make sure to wear your  mask!
  • Target Washington DC, NYC and Silicon Valley for jobs in the global marketplace.
  • Field experience is a must to work in the global humanitarian field. Start contacting the UN groups and large nonprofits like Habitat, Save the Children, and Gates Foundation for current job/internship/volunteering opportunities.

Recording Date: June 8, 2020

LGBTQI Nonprofit Leader Shares Her Leadership Story

Sandra Nathan ‘70

Joining this episode from Tuscon Arizona is Sandy Nathan - Interim Executive Director of The Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice—whose 20+ years of career experience spans philanthropy, government and the non-profit sector.

Key insights & advice from our chat:

  • Nonprofits hit extremely hard by Covid19 with 20% of nonprofits in LA forced to close their doors
  • Communities of color and the elderly disproportionately affected by coronavirus 
  • Do acts of random kindness and live and lead from the heart
  • Create strong boundaries about when you start and end work, especially in this remote work environment

Recording Date: May 29, 2020

CV19's Impact on the Sports Industry and How to Become PMP Certified

Christian Martin, M.A., PMP, PSM

An agile coach and sports tech operations consultant, Christian Martin, MA, PMP, PSM joins us from San Francisco to talk about COVID-19’s impact on the sports industry, tips for remote work success and benefits of getting PMP and PSM certified.   

Key highlights from our conversation:

  • Cost to sports industry from CV19 $12B+
  • This is good time to start up a new business – fail forward now while the economy is still fluctuating
  • Hone in on your focus zone, apply the pomodoro technique
  • PMP focuses on 12 knowledge areas essential for every project manager 

Recording Date: May 22, 2020

More to a Law Degree Than Just Law

Frank Tepedino

A retired engineer, maritime attorney, and senior management executive, Frank Tepedino shares his advice for those interested in a legal services pathway and alternative options for graduates in law.

Key highlights from our conversation:

  • Need to continue to build the educational and technical skills to transition among different career paths
  • Knowledge of the law is important to any career
  • Consider going back to school or widen the scope of your job search to other cities

Recording Date: May 4, 2020

Career Tips from a Female Global Banking Executive

Leonie Sandelbaum IMBA '14

Deputy COO EMEA (ING Wholesale Banking)

Leonie joins us from Germany to share her career journey in global banking and tips for those interested in employment opportunities in Europe.

We cover the following topics:

  • Difference between today’s global economic downturn and the recession of 2008-9
  • How to break into careers with ING Bank in Netherlands and areas for current vacancies
  • What it means to be a female executive in a male-dominated industry
  • Importance of learning coding

Recording Date: May 1, 2020

Student Loan Advice, CFP Careers and Caring for Aging Parents During COVID-19

Morgan H. Smith Jr. '87, IMBA '96

Wealth Management Professional, Worthpointe

Morgan H. Smith Jr., author, speaker, and experienced financial advisor, shares advice about student loans, CFP careers and how to care for aging parents during this time of social distancing. 

You will hear Morgan discuss:

  • Benefits of having an MBA degree
  • Requirements for CFA candidacy and keys to success in financial management
  • Student loan advice including jobs offering debt relief
  • Importance of having Power of Attorney, a password manager and other helpful tips for caring for aging or sick parents

Recording Date: April 21, 2020

Leading and Working Virtually

Dima Ghawi, MBA '04

Dima Ghawi, a keynote speaker, qualified coach, former IBM executive and business consultant shares her tips for leading and working virtually.

We cover the following topics:

  • Importance of using this time to reflect, build new relationships and learn from others
  • Tips for international women to get ahead in the workforce
  • How to keep virtual teams motivated
  • How to look good on Zoom calls (have good lighting!)

Recording Date: April 15, 2020

Leading in Uncertain Times

Garry Ridge MS '01

Longtime Chairman and CEO of WD40 and adjunct professor of leadership development at the University of San Diego Garry Ridge candidly shares his experience leading through a pandemic.

Here are some key insights and inspiration:

  • Don’t waste a crisis - be able to pivot, have more compassion, continue learning
  • Over-communication is key especially during times of crisis
  • Graduating seniors will go into a business climate that’s kinder and more aligned to learning
  • Keep making contacts, network virtually as there will be huge opportunities after the crisis

Recording Date: April 6, 2020

Career Tips from a Google Sales Leader

Aaron Blumenkranz ’97

Google’s Head of Sales for Southern California and former Salesforce employee, Aaron shares advice and tips for landing your dream job (with Google).

Here’s a little preview of what you’ll find:

  • Target B2C businesses performing well
  • Have high business acumen, show curiosity, come with your own batteries, have a track record, be coachable
  • Research the company well before an interview
  • Learn about A.R.M. – Aaron’s criteria for business deals

Recording Date: April 5, 2020

Infectious Disease Experts Share the Latest on COVID-19

Dr. Moe Abouzari '99 & Dr. Jesse Hall '95

Infectious disease experts Dr. Moe Abouzari, Medical Science Liaison at Thermo Fisher Scientific, and Dr. Jesse Hall, Chief Medical Officer at Sublimity Therapeutics, share the latest updates and information on CV-19.

You will hear Moe and Jesse discuss:

  • Latest updates about CV19 including likely spread, testing, and treatments
  • Impact on patient recruitment for clinical trials
  • Different areas of science and medicine available to science majors
  • Key skills for careers in science and medicine
  • Value of alumni connections, networking events, and LinkedIn for job search

Recording Date: April 1, 2020

Tips for Navigating Nonprofit Job Search through COVID-19

Andrew Holets MS ’17

CEO of Pro Kids, a nonprofit organization serving youth with life skills through sports and education, Andrew shares tips for navigating nonprofit job search through CV-19.

We cover many topics including:

  • Pro-Kid’s adjustment to CV19 through e-learning and meeting the hunger needs of youth
  • Importance of adaptive leadership, over-communication, and asking for help       
  • Value of being nimble, collaborative, flexible, and patient   
  • Understanding the importance of volunteering and creating community connections

Recording Date: April 1, 2020