Board Fellowship Program


By Ana Carolina Pinaya

In the last few months I have been amazed by how Business School is so much more than taking business-related classes.

Of course the classes are a cornerstone, discussions can be very insightful, solid technical skills are a requirement for any job and faculty is inspiring. But I found that being an MBA student is much more than attending and participating in classes. It is about networking and meeting new people and participating in events. It is about exploring the different opportunities to collaborate with both your school and the community.

One of the most exciting opportunities the GSM has provided me is the Board Fellowship Program. The objective of the program is to offer board-readiness training to participating MBA students (Fellows) and placement on the Board of Directors of partner non-profit organizations as non-voting (or adjunct) members.

As part of the program, I participated in a full-day professional training on the necessary skills one should possess or develop as a board member, and I had the privilege to be placed in the Board of Directors of Watermark. Watermark’s mission is to increase the representation of women in leadership positions by empowering its members to make their mark in their companies, careers and communities. It is a non-profit organization focused on giving women opportunities to network and develop skills to grow their careers through a series of events, workshops and webinars.

As a professional woman, and somebody that had been involved in internally promoting diversity in the companies I worked with, Watermark’s mission and work is very close to my heart. Since the beginning of the program, I had the opportunity to participate on the yearly Board Retreat, which gave me insight on how a strategy is developed in a NGO. It was also a very interesting experience to observe the dynamics of a 100% female board meeting and to interact with some of the most successful women in Silicon Valley. For the rest of the program, my commitment is to help Watermark executing their strategies for growth.

Experiences like these are the most valuable assets somebody can get out of business school, and I am grateful I am having the opportunity to be a part of the program and make a positive impact in the community.

Take some time to explore Davis after your GSM visit

One of the most important factors for me when applying to business school was the location. As far as college towns go — Davis is a gem.

After my class visit at the GSM, one of the things I wish I had done was explore the town a little more. Choosing a graduate school is a big deal, especially deciding where you want to live for the next two years. So my advice to anyone planning to visit the GSM, is to tour Davis too. Here are my pro-tips for things to do in Davis after your class visit or interview.

1. Stroll through Downtown Davis. Located an easy walk or bike ride from the Gallagher Hall, Downtown Davis is lively and full of all the usual college town amenities – bars, restaurants, night clubs, coffee shops, and shopping.

2. Ride a bike. Davis is an amazing town for bike riding. There are miles of bike trails that crisscross the city, designated bike paths, and beautiful scenery. If you can’t bring your own bike, there are several shops in town that will rent bikes by the hour. Be sure to ride the 12-mile Davis bike loop that takes you around the entire town.

Here’s map of some of the bike loops you can enjoy.


And check out this cool time-lapse video of a guy riding the whole loop.

3. Explore the UC Davis Arboretum. 100 acres of beautiful gardens for active recreation or peaceful contemplation, and plant collections from all over the world. Ride your bike around the Arboretum loop, take a stroll, learn about some plants, or feed some ducks. Just remember to take your allergy medicine in the spring.

Keep an eye out for the biggest cactus I’ve ever seen. It’s HUGE!


4. Grab a drink at a bar downtown. Downtown Davis has everything for everyone who likes to imbibe – beer bars, cocktail bars, wine bars. Get a taste of the local flavor at G Street Wonderbar. Order a Moscow Mule and play The Simpsons arcade game. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

 5Enjoy the City Park farmer’s market. Every Wednesday evening and there is an excellent farmer’s market with vendors selling locally grown fruits and veggies, cheeses, meats, and crafts. See live music from spring through fall. It’s a great place to take a group of friends, chill on a blanket, eat some food, and enjoy the great Davis weather. If you plan your class visit for a Wednesday, you should NOT miss the farmers market.

6Visit the Rhustaller Farm and Yard. E. Paino is a GSM alumnus who’s brewing and selling incredible craft beers just a couple of miles outside Davis. The Rhustaller Farm & Yard won’t be open again until March 20th, but if you can’t wait that long you can visit their tap room in downtown Sacramento.



Blog by Rachel Peri – Class of 2015

“You’re Doing It All Wrong”

Mackenzie's blog

I am writing from the other side. That’s right. I made it. Graduated. Took that MBA bull by the horns and held on tight for two years until the program flung me violently off into the real world – and into my dream job. But that’s beside the point.

After rewarding myself with vacations to Hawaii, Nepal, and Australia along with some much needed relaxation after the grueling and incredible MBA program at Davis, I finally could get some distance and look back at my experience. And I am writing to tell everyone who is lucky enough to still be there that you are doing it all wrong.

Don’t skip class. Seriously, about half of the math nerds in there have done the calculation for how much we are paying for every 15 minutes in the classroom and you don’t want to think about how much you are throwing down the drain if you skip a single one. (Note: I skipped a grand total of 8.) And when you are there, pay attention. Shut the laptop once in a while and take notes by hand. Do whatever you have to do to really listen. There isn’t a single day that goes by that I don’t wish I could pull exactly what my professor said in Strategy out of my sleeve in a meeting, and dear me, I would give anything to go back and master accounting (it is the key to everything in business). And definitely take classes outside your discipline. Make yourself as valuable as you can in your future.

Oh, and while you are at it, please network more. I had an informational interview schedule of at least one every two weeks. I wish I had done three a week minimum. That “MBA halo” doesn’t last forever – and you wouldn’t believe the people you can get to sit down with you while you are in the program.

Now, definitely join a club. Join three! Attend to a club event. Make a difference in your school community. Help set up for an event. Also, make sure you play IM sports – or if that’s not your thing – go cheer on your awesome GSM classmates in the big game. Make a sign! (ASM has all the supplies in the clubroom…)

And play way more. Have a beer with your friends after class. Or red wine, if that’s your druthers. Enjoy the student lifestyle; I can promise you it does not last forever, for better and for worse.

I think what I am saying is: you are probably doing some of this and doing it really well. Do more. You are here for so many reasons – to get a job, to jumpstart your professional life, to meet likeminded motivated individuals, to have unforgettable experiences. You are not actually doing it all wrong, but I guarantee you that you are not taking advantage of all the amazing opportunities that you have in front of you right now.

So, you’re not doing it all wrong at all. You’re doing great. Be present, work hard, and have fun. You’ll be amazed where you end up. I promise.

“Dress (and Research) for Success”

I tapped my toes nervously in the waiting room outside the office where I would shortly be having my interview. I looked down and saw I was wearing neon green spandex running tights, a loose button up shirt, and my slightly scuffed running shoes.

What might have been a nightmare for almost anyone else (equivalent to realizing you went to the interview in your underwear), just reminded me of how thankful I was for the sweat-wicking properties of my interview outfit at that moment.

“Mackenzie?” My interviewer at one of the USA’s major sporting brands stuck her head out of the room. She had a sporty ponytail atop her head hinting she may have gone running that morning and was wearing (similar to my outfit) running tights and a baggy sweater. As I got up and walked through the door into her office, she said with a smile, “Nice tights! You look like you already work here.”

A week later I was suited up head to toe in the most classic corporate America interview wear possible interviewing for a job at a top level insurance company.

While these are two extremes on the spectrum, the lesson is applicable everywhere. Know your industry and know the company culture where you are going to be interviewing. Some more granola or sports oriented companies won’t even consider you if you come dressed in a full suit (“S/he just wouldn’t fit the culture”). Others it would be a seriously bad decision to wear neon green of any kind in the interview.

Before an interview, you should be researching your company extensively online (probably set up Google alerts to know of any recent news), but also talk to as many people as you can who have contact with the culture (second years and peers who have already interviewed, alumni who work in the company, and more).

You only have one chance for a first impression – dress, and research, for success!

Blog by Mackenzie Guinon – Class of 2014



UC Davis is world renowned for its expertise in the agriculture industry.  This is one of the main reasons I chose to attend the MBA program here.  Food and cooking have always been passions of mine which have turned into a desire to launch a career in the agribusiness sector.  As students at the Graduate School of Management (GSM), we have access to the latest advancements and cutting edge technology in the food and beverage world.  Speakers often visit giving talks about what the future holds in this challenging but ever important mission to grow crops.  I knew I would be surrounded by a bunch of “Aggies” here in Davis and couldn’t wait to soak up all the information available.  What I didn’t realize was that my education would expand beyond agribusiness into an exciting world of cultural cuisine.

Although our full-time MBA program has 45 students, we are an extremely diverse group.  Which brings me to the meat and potatoes of this posting.  After just one quarter in Davis I have been introduced to all kinds of delicious new recipes and cooking styles.  In October, a few of my classmates from India invited us all over for a traditional meal.  All we had to do was provide drinks and silverware and they took care of the rest.  We arrived to a feast of dishes prepared to perfection by Rahul, Zalak, Sriram, and Gaanesh (All Class of 2016).  The air was filled by the smell of Daal, Chana Masala, Zeera rice, Gulab Zamun, Papad, Rotis, and Raita.  An even more formal gathering was arranged soon after called the Diwali Festival.  This included traditional Indian food along with Indian dances and games.

Later in October it was time to head east to the Philippines.  This meal featured small pork rolls called lumpia that I think I could eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  NOM!  Filipino night also included pancit bihon which we washed down with some calamnsi juice.  Soon after we ventured north to the Sichuan Province in China.  Luckily my roommate Elizabeth Liu(AKA Mother Liu Class of 2016) toned down the spices so that our American taste buds could live to see another burger.  Sichuan night was unforgettable because the food never stopped coming!  Double cooked pork, Ma Po Tofu, mushroom stew, cucumber salad, stir fried pork, kung pao chicken…you get the picture.  We ate for dayssss.  Literally though, we were eating some of the leftovers 4 days later.

Sichuan night was such a hit that we had to do another round of Chinese cuisine.  We switched it up and wandered to Northern China with the Meng Dynasty (Li Meng class of 2016).  Peking duck, dumplings, Nu Rou, shrimp stir, and green bean stew were prepared flawlessly.

I would be foolish not to include the largest feast of the first quarter, Thanksgiving.  This was not just any Thanksgiving feast.  It was a giant potluck that brought together full- time MBA, part- time MBA, and Masters of Accounting students.  For many international students this was their first Thanksgiving and the requirement was to contribute any dish you may serve at a large holiday meal.  All the classics were present including turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, and stuffing.  But as you meandered along the feeding tables there were many new additions that provided exciting flavors.

I am now far too hungry to continue writing about the mouthwatering meals we MBA students have shared together.  It has been a wonderful surprise being able to experience so many authentic cultural cooking styles in such a short period of time.  But really the most important aspect of this unexpected education has been the ability to bond with classmates.  Simply being around one another away from the classroom setting really allows you to get to know the people sitting all around you during that Financial Accounting course.  Food has a way of bringing people together and here at the GSM we couldn’t agree more.  This quarter we will be continuing our world travels to my roots in Portugal when we cook up linguica, morcela/blood sausage, and a splash of tawny port to cap it off.  NOM NOM NOM!

Blog by Jeff Ornellas – Class of 2016

Volunteering at Habitat for Humanity

photo 1

Last Friday, a bunch of us had a fun day out volunteering at Habitat for Humanity in Sacramento!

Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit, faith-based housing organization established in 1993.  Habitat for Humanity works with people from all walks of life to build decent, affordable homes for families in need. Their goal is to eliminate poverty housing world-wide and to make decent shelter a matter of conscience.

We got the opportunity to sort through piles and piles of clay tiles, re-arrange their stock of doors and door frames, dismantle rows of lighting fixtures, price and display various merchandise for sale at their ReStore outlet, and just be of help to the staff.  Not only did we had a great time hanging out, but we also got a good work-out lifting and moving heavy items!


Thanks for making this happen, C4C!  Can’t wait until the next volunteering activity!

WiL. I AM by Yoyo Wu

(Left to Right) Onyeka Enwerem, Vice President and Director of Finance; Yoyo Wu, President of WiL; Kanupriya Verma, Director of Marketing

(Left to Right) Onyeka Enwerem, Vice President and Director of Finance; Yoyo Wu, President of WiL; Kanupriya Verma, Director of Marketing

If you are a fan of the Black Eye Peas or, please don’t be disappointed that I am not highlighting your musical idol or think I made a typo. That being said, I am glad to introduce to you the WiL in GSM: the Women in Leadership Club.

WiL club is one of the smallest clubs operated through the Associated Students of Management (ASM), but also one of the clubs with the longest reach. Why? Because our goal is to effect and enhance the experience of every woman and everyone who works or will someday work with a woman. Our mission is to serve UC Davis Daytime MBA students and alumni through professional and social activities geared towards the development of future women business leaders.

WiL club is active in organizing activities to bring in benefits to future women business leaders. For example, we have a tradition of great activities like the annual “Mock-Tails with the Dean” during every fall quarter, providing an opportunity to all students to communicate with Dean Currall face-to-face. We also work to sponsor students to attend the annual Women in Leadership Conference in Haas, UC Berkeley. Lastly, we innovate new activities such as “Speed Mentoring”, inspired by Speed Dating, which connects second-year and first-year students in one-on-one mentoring sessions sharing interview skills and lessons.

This year’s board of WiL club comes from very diverse backgrounds. I, Yoyo, am the WiL President. I am a Chinese student with 5-years of auditing experience and the proud mother with a 15-month little girl. I realize the subtle balance women in business have to maintain as they have more social identities to handle, that was why I decided to lead the WiL club and try to help women leaders find out the balance to ensure success both in career and family life. Onyeka, our Vice President and Director of Finance, is from Nigeria where she worked as an engineer. She is very versatile, just to name some of her many talents: dancing, photo-shopping, and engineering. Kanu, our Director of Marketing, is from India and was also a mechanical engineer before she came to GSM. She plans to pursue marketing, using her instincts and skills to help WiL club with innovation and new ideas.

In our nearest upcoming event, WiL club will introduce some successful business women leaders to GSM students, sharing stories of their successes and failures. Then, WiL club will co-host another guest speaker event with Entrepreneurship and Innovation Society club. Looking forward to those exciting and inspiring events in May!

Net Impact BBQ



Last Thursday, the Net Impact Club hosted our very first BBQ of the quarter.  As is the GSM’s culture, food served were bought  from local sustainable sources.  Delicious homemade condiments and sides were also served to accompany burgers and hotdogs.  Delicious!  Way to go, Net Impact!


Two very important announcements were made during the BBQ.

Important Announcement 1:  Recipients of the Net Impact Public Interest Internship Fund were named!  The Public Interest Internship Fund helps first-year UC Davis Graduate School of Management MBAs spend their summer working for a nonprofit organization while earning enough to pay basic living expenses.  This Fund is entirely student-run through Net Impact and is made possible by donations from the GSM community.  Each year, classmates voluntarily donate 1-2 days pay to the Net Impact Public Interest Internship Fund.  The donations are collected and allocated through an administrative review process based on merit and need.  Recipients are students pursuing unpaid, or low paid, internships with non-profit or mission-driven organizations.


This year, our winners are John Churchman and Filippos Stavrinidis!!  Congratulations to the two winners!  They most definitely deserve the funds they are receiving from Net Impact.

Important Announcement 2:  It was Matt Auman’s birthday!  As always, he will again turn 18 this year!  Happy Birthday, Matt!  Hope you had a great one (filled with no studying, lots of food and beer, good friends and the best jokes of the quarter.. *wink*)!


IM Sports: When I Say ‘BOOM’, You Say ‘GSM’!

I’ve talked before about Intramural Sports. And I’ve talked a big game. This year, the GSM has participated in soccer, softball, volleyball, basketball, and yes, even inner-tube water polo.

I’m pleased to announce that the GSM has brought home not just one, but TWO championships this year. It took 3 quarters and a few attempts, but we finally won some t-shirts! (T-shirts are the extremely coveted prize for winning an IM league.)

Here are some shots of our winning teams:

Co-ed Volleyball:

Co-ed Soccer:

GSMen’s Night: Revenge of the Nerds

GSMen’s Night was a huge success this year, thanks to a few hardworking ladies. The evening’s theme: Revenge of the Nerds. And the GSM gentlemen arrived looking the part…

The men were served snacks, lasagna, freshly-deep-fried corn dogs, and other various fried foods- think Snicker’s Bars. (The ladies got their hands on a deep fryer, and they weren’t afraid to use it.) Our fearless GSM Ambassador leader tasted her very first corn dog. And then, she had her very second corn dog. Check out that smile!

One of the best games of the night was mini-bicycle races. The relay-style race was hilariously entertaining. Here’s a snapshot for you:

All in all, GSMen’s night was a hit. I think the nerds were revenged…