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Seven graduate students recognized for distinguished academic accomplishment

News + Events : Seven graduate students recognized for distinguished academic accomplishment


The College of Business congratulates the seven Graduate Business Distinguished Achievement honorees for 2014.

These students receive special recognition from the university during commencement week. In addition, one student is selected as the college’s Graduate Hood Recipient, to be recognized at the Graduate Honors Convocation.

The 2014 Graduate Business Distinguished Achievement recipients and descriptions of their work follow:

Noah Wheeler

2014 Graduate Hood Recipient

Master of Science in Accountancy

Noah WheelerNoah’s culminating experience project discussed the history and development of International Accounting Standards, providing a detailed analysis of the recent efforts of the United States to converge its current accounting standards (GAAP) with International Accounting Standards, and including predictions on the future of the convergence effort.

Noah successfully completed the Assurance Immersion internship at Burr Pilger Mayer during summer 2013 and will begin working as an Audit Associate at Burr Pilger Mayer in the fall of 2014. While he was working towards his MSA degree, Noah and his friends initiated the idea of starting a new organization, called Graduate Students in Accounting Association (GSAA) and he became its first president. In this capacity—and in addition to being a new father—Noah dedicated hundreds of hours to making this organization a success. GSAA’s recruiting events helped students connect with the professional accounting community, for example the fall 2013 Recruiting Season Kick-Off Reception hosted nine regional, national and international firms.

Noah regularly served as a panelist for Graduate Business Programs recruiting events and new student orientations. He graduated in December 2013, and his dedication to SF State continues. He recently returned to campus to talk to current students about their job searches as part of a GSAA alumni panel.

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Rachel Artz

MBA with a Concentration in Sustainable Business

Rachel ArtzRachel’s research project involves working with real data from her current employer, a wine importer that imports wine from Argentina and Chile and sells it to distributors around the country. Her project analyzes the carbon emissions of three wine distribution channels. At the end of the project, her employer will understand which distribution method emits the least amount of carbon equivalents, and more specifically, which legs of the trip emit the least amount of carbon equivalents.

Rachel was a graduate assistant for Professor Joel Nicholson and helped him with the research and writing for his textbook, crafting exam questions, and grading exams for his online international business course. She is involved with the SF State chapter of Net Impact and served on the Local Engagement Task Force for the Net Impact Conference in 2013 which organized off-site activities for conference attendees at Tesla, Google, Facebook, and more. Rachel currently works at Vine Connections.

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Alan Gordon

MBA-MIB (Nice Program)

Alan GordonAlan’s research project analyzed the practices of Activision Blizzard to determine how the company has been able to achieve and maintain success in an industry that has matured far more rapidly than any other entertainment medium. He provided recommendations to A-B management to continue their success in an ever-evolving industry and the need to adapt quickly to disruptive technology, for example cloud gaming.

Alan is an active member of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Committee and the Young Professional’s team. He worked with the Los Angeles City Council as a member of the Hollywood Community Plan Update Advocacy Team. He is currently in the Board of Directors for the Sunset + Vine Business Improvement District and a member of the Hollywood Entertainment District Big Ideas Marketing Committee. Furthermore, he works with PATH (People Assisting the Homeless) to help feed, house and rehabilitate those living on the streets of Hollywood.

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Minji Kim

MBA with a Concentration in Sustainable Business

Minji KimMinji’s research project was a strategic analysis of Twitter. In November 2013, Twitter held an IPO, which placed the company in a different business environment. Based on Porter’s Five Forces Model and the VRIO Framework, her project examined the company’s strengths and offered suggestions on how to sustain their competitive advantage.

Minji served as the social media officer for the International Business Graduate Association (IBGA) in fall 2013 and worked with its leadership team to provide opportunities for students to network with leaders of international companies. She also worked as a research assistant for Professor of Marketing Sanjit Sengupta. Off-campus, Minji interned at Fame House as a marketing assistant. During her internship, she managed the social media accounts and curated articles about the music and tech industry for round-up papers. She also worked on digital and offline marketing strategies for the company’s customers, such as MINUS label, Richie Hawtin and Matador.

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Amandira Mochtar

MBA with an Emphasis in Finance

Amandira MochtarDira’s research project is a strategic analysis of Tesla Motors, Inc. The project’s aims are to give a comprehensive analysis on the company’s strategic competitive advantages and the electric luxury vehicle industry. The project will formulate strategic actions and recommendations to overcome its possible shortage of lithium-ion battery pack supply risk.

Amandira is a recipient of the 2014 CFA Review Course Fellowship and assisted with the set up of the CFA-level review class provided by CFA San Francisco. He worked as a graduate assistant for Joel Nicholson, professor in the Department of International Business. In this role, he helped manage the iLearn site and the Pearson’s MyLab website for the International Business and Multicultural Relations online course. Dira also served as the social media co-manager for Net Impact.

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Scott Molina


Scott MolinaScott’s research project partners with Recology, the San Francisco-based resource recovery company. The project aims to provide a full-case analysis on the company and to help identify opportunities that allow it to expand the reach and success of its Waste Zero program with particular regard to the adoption of, and participation in, recycling and composting programs.

Scott is involved with Net Impact and served as its finance co-leader in spring 2013 and fall 2014. He helped develop the program for the 2013 National Net Impact Conference, which was held in San Jose. Scott has just signed on as a marketing specialist at Ahnu, an outdoor lifestyle footwear brand in Richmond, California. He plans to take advantage of the numerous volunteer opportunities they offer with foundations such as the Wilderness Land Trust, Breast Cancer Fund and Soles4Souls.

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Rahnuma Sanjana

Master of Arts in Economics

Rahnuma SanjanaRahnuma’s interest in economic development stems from her experiences growing up in Bangladesh. In the summer of 2013, she worked on a temporary project—Development of Manpower Export and Profiling of Migrants from Bangladesh—with The World Bank. This research dealt with the historical development of government policies related to manpower export, the methods and channels of remittance, their levels and sustainable ways to achieve higher labor-force security for migrant workers in foreign countries. Rahnuma’s academic excellence was recognized by the Department of Economics in spring 2013, when she was awarded the Ramona K. First Award.

Rahnuma worked as a graduate assistant for the economics department, where she assisted professors in the introductory economics courses and provided research assistance. Rahnuma has also been an active member of the Economics Students Association (ESA) at SF State.

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