October Newsletter

A Message From Our Co-Leaders:
Celebrating 10 Years of the EMBA Program

November 4th will signal a monumental event for SF State's EMBA program. We will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of the program. When we were students, we remember interacting and gaining so much from our cohorts and from the faculty. We learned not only about their experiences and the different industries, but also about their cultures and backgrounds. The 10th Anniversary event will give us and all alums and faculty an opportunity to reconnect with those they met while in the program, as well as a chance to meet other alums and faculty who have participated in the program throughout the past 10 years.

In addition, the event will also celebrate the international nature of the students by showcasing food and entertainment from around the world. Join us in celebrating a great program at the Downtown Campus (835 Market Street, San Francisco) on November 4th, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. To RSVP, please visit http://www.sfsu.edu/~alumni/events.html#emba

Hope to see you there!

Elisa Tsang & Scott Marsic
Co-Presidents, SF State EMBA Alumni Association

New Alumni Networking Group
by Emily Cohen Raskin

The SF State EMBA Alumni Association is happy to announce the launch of our new Alumni Networking Group. Well, it’s not really a new group, but rather a re-invention of the Mentorship Program we launched two years ago. One of the most engaging aspects of the Mentorship Program turned out to be the networking dinners we held on a bi-monthly basis for all of the students and alumni involved in the program. So engaging, that we want to invite more alumni to join in.

Beginning in February 2012, the Alumni Networking Group will hold a dinner every other month. It’s a great opportunity for current students and alumni to meet, share a meal, and discuss relevant topics. . . whether it’s help with a thorny situation we’re facing at work, getting advice for an upcoming job interview, or sharing a great business article we’ve just read.

Want to get involved? In January 2012, we’ll be sending you an invitation to join the Alumni Networking Group, so please watch for it in your in-box. Or, feel free to send Emily Cohen Raskin and Elisa Tsang—Alumni Networking Group Co-Chairs—an email (sfsu.emba.mentorship@gmail.com) to let them know you’re interested. Once you’ve joined the group, you’ll be invited to the bi-monthly networking dinners, which will be held at a variety of downtown SF restaurants.

Executive Lessons from Steve Jobs
by Scott Marsic

This month, we have been witness to an endless parade of stories about Steve Jobs. Newsweek ran a full magazine (not just a section, but a full magazine front to back) on Jobs. Newspapers and blogs have run stories about Steve the Innovator, Steve the Visionary, Steve the Failure, Steve the Transformer, Steve the Redeemer, and of course, Steve the Icon. For nearly two days after his death every Facebook feed I received mentioned him at some level. I think it's more than fair to say that if you spent any time living in the last 30 years then Steve's life's work has somehow permeated the fabric of your being, re-engineered the lifestyle of your generation, and written a story or two in your own personal journal.

So as SF State EMBA students and alumni, what lessons can we learn and apply from this one man? The possibilities really are endless, although the one that has really stuck with me is that Steve Jobs was just that - a man. Nothing more, nothing less. He lived, he worked, he loved, he died. What is poignant about this progression though is that he moved through each of these life phases with unyielding vision, passion, dedication and consistency. And what was the drive behind all of this? To answer this, all we need to do is look to his 2005 Stanford commencement address as millions around the world have already done. Certainly family and faith played a huge part, yet it was his understanding that he, like everyone, is one day going to die. For Steve, this realization was his most useful tool in confronting and making the tough decisions that everyone, especially those in business, must make everyday.

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life."

Times of tragedy often inspire us to reflect on our own lives and take stock of what is important. After some period of time, we may be inspired to move forward in an enlightened, possibly more mature, possibly more driven way. Perhaps Steve's legacy to us is to truly live out the often coined mantra "carpe diem", or seize the day. So, how do we do this in our respective business settings? I think there are more than plenty of paths for each of us to explore, although if we stay with Steve through this, then one must concede that the path should include elements of vision, passion, dedication, and consistency.

Vision. It need not be big or small, but take some time and define a vision for yourself, your group, your product line, your company. It's your roadmap. And it can change. But define it.

Passion. Be passionate in whatever you do, even if you do not like what you are doing today because passion, while an emotion, is also a learned skill. Tomorrow you might be doing something more in line with your vision and you'll want that passion to be an integral part of your internal fabric.

Dedication. Be dedicated to your passion and your vision. Give it all that you've got.

Consistency. Steve showed us that consistency matters. Be there for your family. Be at the meeting if you said you'd be at the meeting. Make the tough decisions and stand behind them. This doesn't necessarily mean being an uncompromising ideologue, but it does mean weathering the storms of life with a sense of vision, passion and dedication.

In closing, we all know that today's business climate is certainly challenging, if not downright uncertain. People like Steve Jobs should inspire us to "think differently" and explore life as though tomorrow will be your last. Life really is short, so make today count in every aspect of your life. Carpe diem.