MSGL’s New Recruitment, Marketing and Alumni Relations Manager

February 20, 2012 § Leave a comment

Some of you may know me, some maybe all too well, but for those that don’t, here’s a brief introduction:  My name is Scott Handley and I’m the newest member of the MSGL team.  I’ve been married for just over a decade to the love of my life, I’m the father of two courageous and curious boys (4 & 8), I’m a Fly Fisherman (lately just in my day-dreams), a history buff, a baseball romantic, a Navy Veteran, and a member of Cohort 53, which is set to graduate in a couple months. Working at USD over the past 6 years has been a blessing to me and my family and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to continue doing so as the Recruitment, Marketing and Alumni Relations Manager for the MSGL Program.  In this new capacity I look forward to continuing the tradition of recruiting and yielding quality students with diverse professional backgrounds and impeccable character.  I also look forward to maintaining MSGL’s relationship with the military and helping Veterans and those on Active Duty  to utilize their hard earned education benefits. Lastly, I look forward to continuing a dialogue with our current students and our incredibly accomplished and connected alumni network.

MSGL is a Graduate Program in the one of the best Business Schools in the country and that’s something you should all be incredibly proud of.  I know I am.  With that being said, I have one small request:  Stay in touch while you’re in the program and after you graduate.  MSGL is only as strong as its students and alumni.  There are many ways to stay in touch: Facebook, Twitter, this blog, and of course, e-mail.   Tell us what you’re doing after graduation, what you learned during your study abroad or even a recent promotion, career move or activity you’d like to share with everyone.  We would also like to hear about life as a current MSGL student.  You can simply send your stories to me in any format and I will ensure they’re posted appropriately.  I’m going to do my best to ensure you all know what’s going on at USD.  There is nowhere I would rather be than on one of the most majestic campuses in the country.  Not only is it beautiful, it is one the most dynamic and intellectually stimulating places I have ever been.  I encourage you all to take advantage of it.

Exciting times are ahead in the MSGL program and I’m thrilled we’ll be on this journey together.  Please don’t hesitate to contact me anytime if you have any questions, comments or concerns:

Bob’s remarks at C52’s Graduation

December 29, 2011 § Leave a comment

 This is an excerpt from Bob Schoultz’s Professor of Impact Speech he gave at Cohort 52’s Graduation on 2 Dec 2011


Up until a few days ago, I was, at least in title, the director of the MSGL program.  And it was part of my job to tell you what I thought you should be getting out of the MSGL program – and you heard me tell you things like:

–         Don’t forget to see the forest for the trees. You have to get at least adequate grades, but much of the value of this education is with the speakers and other events we offer.

–         Learn to compromise and work with people different from yourselves

–         Take advantage of the overseas study opportunities if at all possible

–         Build credibility in your cohort by being a great team player. This will create a network that you can call on for the rest of your life.

–         Learn how to network and build relationships outside of your cohort, through the many other doors that MSGL offers.

–         Pay attention to the things you study in our curriculum that you like, and those you may not like – to help you find where your talents and passion lie.

So you’ve heard me tell you all of this before, and if you didn’t, you weren’t listening.

So now I’m going to tell you some of what I’ve learned in MSGL as the director.   While I haven’t taken the courses in the program that you all have –  You ALL know more about Finance, and Marketing, and Project Management and International Business than I do – at least the academic parts of it.  So here’s what I have gotten out of my OJT of being the Director of MSGL for 6 years:

–         I’ve realized that business is a more diverse than I had suspected.  It runs from being a small business owner, to running a huge multi-national corporation and everything in between.

–         I’ve learned that success has many definitions and is very complicated.  To say:  “He or she is Successful” – means different things.  What does it mean to you?  How you spend our time, your energy, and your resources tells us and others what your values are and how we define success for ourselves.

–         I’ve learned that task oriented and relationship oriented people frequently have trouble getting along – yet they both need each other.   The process, that is, HOW you get something done, is often as important as WHAT you get done.   I hope you have learned that as well.

–         I’ve learned (again) that we have to be careful who we trust – but we do need to trust people and we WILL get burned.  Taking a chance and trusting people we don’t know is something we have to do.  But it is better to be burned sometimes, than to never trust.  Will Rogers said  he’d rather be the guy who buys the Brooklyn Bridge, than the guy who sells it.

–         I’ve learned that Academia is its own culture with its own values, norms and expectations.  These have worked to create the best University system in the world here in the US.  These values and norms are somewhat different than the world of business, or a non-profit, or government, or the military where I spent much of my life, because there is a different mission.   But all of these different cultures – military, business, academia, etc. all seek to serve the greater good, and are made up of people seeking the confluence of their own, and their institutions best interests.  And in all of these cultures, there are people who will put their personal interests above those of their group.  That is just the way it is.

–         I’ve learned a lot from my students. They tell me what they have experienced in their professional lives while in MSGL, and after leaving MSGL.  I continue to hear that good leadership is uncommon.  I have learned that most people who get into leadership positions are unwilling to take the risk to trust other people, nor to delegate.  Perhaps its because they’ve never been trusted by their leaders.  But it’s interesting, most trustworthy people are willing to trust others.  Beware of those who don’t trust anyone…

–         I’ve learned again that building a team is hard work, and requires compromise.  I had a lot of experience with this in my military career – that was different.    The team we built as the staff running MSGL took some work and we had some rough spots, but we worked through them, and I’m proud of WHAT and HOW we were able to do our jobs.    We came from a number of different backgrounds. But we had time and the good will to work things out. For you in this program there was more pressure and frequently, you had little time to work out misunderstandings.

–         Team work is hard.  The French Philosopher Jean Sartre said – “Hell is other people.”  Team work is particularly difficult when working across cultures.  The only thing harder than working with a team to get a job done, is working without a team to get a job done.  People who are good at facilitating working in teams are golden, and rare.

–         Public Speaking – I’ve sat thru Duane Trombly’s Public Speaking class several times, and attended his toastmasters club, where two of your cohort mates are members.  I’m violating half of his commandments in this presentation, but they are important guidelines that I refer to when I am called upon to speak.  I haven’t mastered them yet.

–          Business Ethics – teaching the business ethics class has been fascinating for me.  Cynics say that business ethics is an oxymoron, like military ethics, or military intelligence.  Like a smart seal or marine.   But in fact because there is so much latitude in Business activity, when the only ‘official’ standard is the minimums imposed by the law, it is a very interesting field.

–         I recently read that, while there are a number of great role models of successful businesses which  take care of a broad range of stakeholders and are considered ‘socially responsible,’ there are very few which actually  maintain that standard of business behavior for extended periods.    It seems that there is a certain gravity to ethics in the market – and to the behavior of CEO’s. But as you read in “Built to Last’ – the best companies maintain not only a successful, but also an ethical culture over  decades, aht that is what distinguishes the best businesses over time.

–         Business is NOT a profession – there is no required ‘Ethos’ and no governing body which enforces standards, like there are for law, or medicine, or even the military.   That offers a lot of freedom to those with initiative, as well as less accountability for those who are unethical.  The MBA Oath movement begun at Harvard was an attempt to move Business toward being a profession and it has sputtered. There are VERY good people, who are also good at business.  And as we all know about the bad guys

–         I’ve learned something about project management, but not enough.  If I had taken the PM courses, I WOULD get PMP certified.

SO now that I’m no longer the director of MSGL, and I’ve learned all this stuff, what am I going to do now?   I have been asked this a lot.  And I respond by saying:  “I don’t know. ”

The short answer is that most importantly, I want to work with people I like  respect and trust, and secondly, doing something we enjoy and find useful and meaningful.  So far I’m enjoying being ‘in transition’  – and  I am already learning a lot.   I thought I knew a lot before, but being back in the networking game, and looking for a job,  I’m learning more.  Some of you may have read my blog essay about being ‘in transition’ – and though I’ve only been ‘unemployed’ for 2 days now, I’ve learned a few things thinking about this process over the last couple of months.

So now that YOU are about to graduate, you are moving into a new phase of your lives – you too are ‘in transition.’   You enrolled in this program to either ENHANCE your career, or to help you to CHANGE your career.  Starting this weekend, you don’t have any homework, or any assignments due.  Take a breather, but not too long.  Be thinking about ‘What’s Next?’  and put together your plan.  Good luck….

A New Chapter

December 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

Thoughts from MS in Global Leadership assistant director for marketing John Ruzicka on his upcoming transition to a new job…

A New Chapter.

MS in Global Leadership Information Session

December 1, 2011 § Leave a comment

My Farewell

November 12, 2011 § 2 Comments

I’m leaving my position as the Director of USD’s Master of Science in Global Leadership program voluntarily, after a bit more than 6 years serving in that position.  It has been a great six years, but I think now is a good time for me to leave.  I have done most of what I wanted to do,and I am happy with what we’ve done. I have also learned a lot and grown during my time here – not just in the waistline!  But all good things must come to an end.   It is time for me to figure out what I want to be when I grow up, so it is time to move on.  As I leave, I want to provide a brief retrospective on my time in MSGL.

MSGL alumni, current students, prospective students, and friends of the program are invited to celebrate with me on Nov. 30th at 5pm on the USD Campus.  Details and RSVP can be found here – and we certainly hope to see many of you that evening.

Below is a list of what I’m most proud that we have accomplished over the last six years.  “We” is Stephanie Kiesel, John Ruzicka, Sam Chung, Suzy Wadsworth, the MSGL faculty (USD tenured and adjunct), and the many students and alums who have given us ideas, time, and energy to make things happen.  It has truly been an honor and pleasure to work with this team and these students, and I’m proud to have been part of what we’ve done:

  • Sam has worked with MSGL the faculty and students, and with USD’s ITS department to create what I believe is one of the top hybrid graduate programs in the country.  We exceed most of the criteria I have found for evaluating excellent hybrid and on-line programs for quality and variety of on-line and web-based interactive tools, and the service we provide students.
  • John Ruzicka has changed the student ratio in our cohorts from nearly 90% military to somewhat over 50% in our most recent cohorts. When I arrived, the program was almost completely dependent on a government grant and Graduate Education Voucher Scholarships supporting military students. Both the grant and GEV are gone, and our enrollment exceeds what it was in those days.   Our cohorts are now approaching the diversity they need to optimize the student learning experience.
  • Stephanie has managed the program superbly. I’ve often said she’s the best ‘XO’ I’ve ever had, and I’ve had some very good ones.  She keeps all the records and details in order and can quickly find any email she’s ever sent or received.  She understands the finances and the numbers well, and knows where all the bodies are buried.  She continues to find creative ways to serve our students in negotiating the stipulations of the various scholarship programs that fund their education.  In particular, she has made it a personal crusade to help students untangle the confusing and frequently changing regulations associated with the new, Post 9-11 GI Bill. I’ve frequently said that Stephanie has a sixth degree black belt in bureaucratic jiu-jitsu, and has successfully worked ‘the system’ to serve hundreds of our students, as well as students in other programs.
  • Suzy is one of the best connected, most widely liked, and versatile people I know at USD.  It seems she can coordinate and facilitate anything. As our program has evolved, she organizes more events and additionally has stepped up to working admissions, and alumni outreach, catering, and contacts with local businesses.  She is truly a jack of all trades.
  • The MSGL Faculty have become proficient in WebCT, Horizon Wimba and a number of other technologies to facilitate learning outside of the classroom. This was not easy (for them or me) and was a real culture shift for many of us.  This process was helped when Dean Pyke agreed to a stipend to help further incentivize taking the time and trouble to learn new technologies and teaching methods unique to MSGL in USD.  As a group, the faculty continue to get very strong overall marks for their teaching, flexibility, and support to student learning – both in the classroom, and on-line.
  • We went from NO overseas study opportunities – an embarrassment for a program in ‘Global Leadership’  – to three.  This began with Phil Hwang’s support to our students participating in his Global Leadership Conferences in Shanghai and Beijing, to Denise Dimon and Jaime Gomez creating a special course for our students in Buenos Aires, to our students accompanying MBA and IMBA students in various locations in Europe, and now Cindy Pavett taking MSGL students this past summer to Shanghai. We now offer overseas study opportunities in China, Buenos Aires, and Europe, and last year, 45% of our students took advantage of at least one, and often 2 or more of these.
  • We created an MSGL Advisory Council, which started out as a Friends of Bob group, but is now evolving into a significant addition to the MSGL program.  Its goal is to help build the bridge between the business theory our students learn in the classroom to the practical realities of the rough and tumble world of competitive business. The Advisory Council is doubling in size, expanding its function, and will rename itself the “MSGL Executive Cohort.”
  • We have made significant improvements to the curriculum – largely as a result of feedback we’ve gotten from our students and alumni.  While we still have a robust Project Management curriculum, we have reduced it from 8 credits to 5, and have added two courses into the curriculum – Finance for Global Business, and Marketing for Global Business.
  • We now bring in lunch time speakers from the San Diego business community twice a semester to our Friday lunches and open these up to all cohorts.  We video record all of them to ensure that these sessions are available virtually to our Distant Learners and those students from other cohorts who are unable to get away from work to attend.
  • We have created a robust alumni network.  With the help of Stephanie and Suzy, John Ruzicka has built a social media network that has put us in touch with a large percentage of our nearly 700 alums, and brought many ‘long lost’ alums back into our community.  The work he has done in social media has broken new ground at USD, and has broadened our influence and outreach.  This helps us to continue to serve our alums while also encouraging them to continue to serve us, by sending good student candidates our way.
  • We worked with the faculty to refine our program goals and objectives to build a common theme into the program:  Succeeding in International Business.  That was not there before.   The MSGL program was initially created as a multi-disciplinary program with bits and pieces from a variety of disciplines that contributed to a degree in ‘global leadership’ without a specific context.  “Learning to Succeed in International Business” is what we now offer and is what our students want and expect to get out of our program.
  • We have developed one of the most robust student (or ‘customer’) feedback programs in the University.  Student course evaluations are tailored to each specific course, and each cohort is debriefed at the conclusion of each semester.  Detailed on-line course evaluations and the results of the cohort debrief are provided to each faculty member at the end of the semester.  This helps faculty with feedback they can use to improve their courses, while providing a necessary accountability measure for students to grade faculty on their effectiveness in teaching.
  • In general, we have sought to create a culture clearly dedicated to serving our students.  We do our best to serve their academic needs and ambitions, their administrative needs in dealing with various bureaucratic entities, their social needs for a sense of community with other students and cohorts, and their professional needs for networking and professional development.  We have truly tried to make it clear that we are there for our students, and we have done our best to meet all reasonable, and even some unreasonable requests.  It is gratifying to me that we continue to get very positive feedback regarding our service to our students.   At the students’ request, I am always proud to recognize Stephanie, Suzy, Sam and John for their sincere and uncompromising service to students, ‘above and beyond the call of duty,’ during graduation ceremonies.

I’ve been blessed with a great team, and many great students.  In the last year, during our weekly staff meetings, I frequently pointed out how wonderful it has been to work with this great team, noting how well I thought we have worked together.   I also pointed out that this would not last forever.  I wanted us to appreciate what a good thing we had while it lasted, and I have very much appreciated this special time in my life.

I am proud of the role I played in helping this team and these students make the above improvements to MSGL, and I hope that the upward trend, following the Japanese concept of ‘Kaizin’ – constant improvement – will continue after I step down as Director.

I do plan to continue to teach Ethics for Global Business in the MSGL program and I have been asked to  serve as the chair of the new MSGL Executive Cohort for the next year.  In that capacity I hope to serve the new director and continue to serve our students and alums.  As I move on to other endeavors,  I plan to remain engaged with MSGL, as an adjunct faculty member, and as a member of the Executive Cohort.  I look forward to staying stay in touch with the many friends I’ve made in the program –current and former students, former colleagues on the staff, and in the faculty, who are now an important part of my network, as I move on.

Thank you all.  Bob Schoultz

What’s Next? Navigating Your Career After MSGL

October 3, 2011 § Leave a comment

Update:  This event was a great success!  See video footage of the entire panel discussion on our Facebook page “Ustream Live” tab.

Join us for the first MSGL career learning event of its kind: a Buenos Aires-themed networking event and engaging panel discussion with four successful MSGL alums sharing their stories of life post-graduation.

Led by Dr. Jaime Alonso Gomez, this is sure to be a very practical and thorough discussion with plenty of take-aways no matter where you are in your career.

When: Friday, October 28, 5:30 – 8:00pm
Where: USD Campus, Joan Kroc IPJ, Rooms A & B

RSVP now!

Sean Kelley, Cohort 10, Staffing Director, Microsoft Corp.
Michelle Sullivan, Cohort 48, Managing Director, Sullivan Global Consulting
Vay Shire, Cohort 45, Manager, Vendor Operations, Encore Capital Group
Inna Zozulyak, Cohort 47, Sr. Manager, HR and Communications, International Stem Cell Corp.

Our theme for the evening will be ‘Argentina Dreaming’, with plenty of Malbec and appetizers. If you had the privilege of visiting Buenos Aires with our study abroad program, consider this a great way to reunite with your fellow travelers. If you weren’t able to make one of those trips, this evening will be a great taste of what you missed.

Or as Dr. Gomez has been known to say, “we’ll enjoy a glass of wine while we discuss the meaning of life!”

This event is open to MSGL alums, current students and prospective students and their spouses/significant others. Please RSVP here and contact us at with questions or updates. MSGL program information can be found at

What’s Going On? September Newsletter

September 16, 2011 § Leave a comment

What a great summer we’ve had!  With study abroad trips to Europe and China, we had several students exploring and experiencing the global economy first hand.  Back at home, we welcomed a new group of students and said goodbye to another.  Read on for more…

Alumni Lifelong Learning
Mark your calendars for the evening of October 28, as we finalize details for a lifelong learning event where we will host a panel discussion led by Dr. Jaime Alonzo Gomez.  The discussion will be based around the topic of navigating your career post-MSGL.  This will be a great networking opportunity, and we’re simply looking for a way to give back to our strong and engaged alumni network.  Stay tuned for more details on this event.

Study Abroad
This summer we had 15 students visit Berlin & Istanbul and 13 students study in Shanghai, China.  Cohort 53’s Scott Handley wrote a great summary of his European experience in the MSGL Student/Alumni blog.  We’re still waiting for the full report from those who went to China in August, but initial feedback is that it was a great trip as well.  Keep an eye on the Student Blog for more about China.

We’re holding an open information session on campus for all interested candidates on the afternoon of September 22.  The presentation will begin at 4pm, and will be followed by Q&A and an informal reception where candidates can talk with students and alumni.  Of course we’d love to see those of you in San Diego at this event, since we advertise to the prospective students that they’ll have a chance to chat with students and alums alike.  Please use this link to RSVP or forward on to others who may be interested in learning more about the program.

PMP Honor Roll
We know that many of you have earned the Project Management Professional certification.  We’ve started an honor roll to highlight your achievements.  Please let us know if we should include you on the list of PMP certified alums.

Cohort News
We’d like to congratulate Cohort 51 on their recent graduation from the program and welcome Cohort 55, who will be on campus all next week.

Thanks to so many of you who continue to send us great candidates for the program.  We hear from so many of you regularly and always appreciate you recommending the program to your friends, family, & co-workers.  Here’s hoping you have a great fall season, wherever you are!

P.S.  If you didn’t see this in your email inbox recently, please let us know and we’ll add you to the list.

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