Graduate Student Ambassadors
AGSM Graduate Student Ambassadors
AGSM Graduate Student Ambassadors are a select group of business student leaders dedicated to serving and representing the graduate business programs at UCR. Ambassadors assist the school as hosts for official events, work with school staff and faculty on projects and recruiting, and act as guides for prospective students.
Being a Student Ambassador gives you greater exposure to professional networks, puts you in front of leaders in the community and builds your leadership portfolio.
Get first-hand knowledge of student life and academics by contacting a graduate student ambassador.
Graduate Ambassador Leadership Team
Shane Marquez earned his bachelor’s degree at UCR in business administration, and he is now studying for his MBA. Since returning to higher education, he has found a calling in management focusing on organizational development and human resources. After consulting with peers and faculty, he decided to pursue his MBA because the course of study aligned with his professional and aspirational goals in the entertainment, organizational development, or human resources sectors.
Chief Ambassador Riya Yadav is committed to enhancing diversity initiatives within the program and amplifying diverse voices. Professionally, she gained more than two years of valuable experience in international sales at a fintech company after she earned her undergraduate degree in finance and marketing. Her personal mission is to advance financial inclusion through data-driven strategies; to further her expertise in the domain, she is pursuing an MBA focusing on business analytics and strategy. Riya spends her personal time supporting international organizations, including the United Nations, UN Human Rights, and WomenInTech. In 2022, she had the honor of representing India in the UN Young Leaders Program.
As an international student, Tini Anh Nguyen graduated with a bachelor’s degree in finance from San Diego State University and then returned to her home country, Vietnam, to work as a financial consultant. This experience sparked her interest in management, a field she had always been interested in but hadn’t had the chance to explore. Now working towards an MBA degree and serving as vice chief ambassador, Tini’s goals include building connections with fellow students, offering support as a reliable friend, and actively seeking professional opportunities to become a project manager.
After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in history, Cassidi Sandefur explored several career paths before choosing accounting. With four years of experience in corporate and nonprofit accounting, Cassidi is pursuing her MBA with a concentration in accounting to develop her expertise while also expanding her knowledge of the broader business world. After graduation, she intends to sit for the CPA exam and continue her career in corporate accounting. As vice chief ambassador, Cassidi helps prospective students feel more at ease with the application process and the challenge of starting a graduate program.
With plans to work in the music industry, MBA student Nia Pascual is continuing her master’s education with a focus on marketing at UCR. She earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in management at the School of Business along with a minor in psychology. As an AGSM student ambassador and the organization’s director of marketing, Nia is part of the supportive community at UCR, where she has made long-lasting connections on campus and beyond.
Currently the AGSM student ambassador director of outreach, Sandy Reyes-Moran advocated for the underprivileged, both within the UC system and the Riverside Community, while earning a B.S. in business administration with a concentration in management at UCR. During that time, Sandy conducted research within the Honors Program and supported other honors students, CollegeCorps fellows, and K-12 students in the Riverside Unified School District. She was recognized as an outstanding leader for her service as a University Honors ambassador and the inaugural ambassador to the California Volunteers’ CollegeCorps. As director of outreach, she will continue to support student success and will be a voice for AB 540 Dreamers like herself.
With a strong mathematical background, Shawn Wang is currently working as an IT data architect, where he uses his talent and expertise in data science and applied mathematics. With a willingness to learn and grow professionally, he focuses on building networks and developing his leadership skills as he pursues an MBA. As an AGSM student ambassador and the organization’s director of mentorship, he is building on the inclusive community at UCR and mentors undergraduate students and international students during the graduate school application process.
MBA & Professional MBA Ambassadors
After completing her bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance, Pooja Bhatia started her own retail business in India. She has a passion for creativity and design, which she incorporates into her business ventures, adding an artistic touch to her professional path. After successfully nurturing her business for three years, she decided to further enhance her acumen and gain international business exposure by pursuing an MBA at UCR.
Alan Cortez Gurrola is pursuing an MBA with a concentration in business analytics, and as an AGSM student ambassador, he looks forward to making connections across industries. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business management and marketing from La Sierra University, where he worked as assistant director of Career Services focusing on employer relations and internships. He currently serves on AGSM’s Student Association Marketing Committee and assists with marketing projects for a startup. Ultimately, he is interested in consultant roles in business analysis and development applying his skills in analyzing key metrics and strategic advising.
Having worked six years in hotel operations and sales management, MBA student Harman Dhillon realized she was most passionate about the project management aspects of her professional roles. She plans to pursue a career in project management and hopes to serve as a mentor to others in their professional development. Harman earned bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in international business at Cal State San Bernardino.
After completing a bachelor’s degree in finance at UCR, Connor Donald returned to his alma mater to pursue an MBA. He sees this course of study as a gateway to a career managing corporate finance decisions. As an AGSM student ambassador, Connor makes all students feel welcome and included and ensures everyone has the chance to hear about the varied opportunities at UCR.
PMBA student Tuyen Do earned her bachelor’s degree in supply chain management in Vietnam. She previously worked in supply chain consulting and will establish her career in that field after graduation. Tuyen readily shares and exchanges her knowledge and experience with other students interested in supply chain management and consulting.
Cesar Gonzalez-Madrigal is a first-generation college graduate, having earned his degree in psychology at UCR. During a two-year tenure in the nonprofit sector, he assisted in database management and donor research and developed a newfound interest in data-driven decision-making, which led him to pursue an MBA with a focus on business analytics. His diverse background and commitment to leveraging data for business success makes him a dedicated AGSM student ambassador eager to share his business experience while inspiring others to pursue their unique paths to success in higher education and beyond.
After completing a master’s degree in architecture, Mrinal Hulkoti, worked for her family’s construction firm as a project manager for design deliverables. With the desire get into the corporate arena and to enhance her skills, Mrinal decided to pursue an MBA with a concentration in management and marketing at UCR. As an international student, she appreciates the student diversity at AGSM and is connecting with potential master’s candidates from different fields and helping them pursue a graduate degree at UCR.
Prachuirtha Kishtagari was a client servicing executive in a digital marketing startup and transitioned into an operations role for a consumer goods company. She is pursuing an MBA to learn about myriad job functions, which will augment her skills as a business leader in the operations and supply chain field.
In addition to his role as a graduate student ambassador, MBA student Daniel Lan also serves on the AGSM Student Association Marketing Committee. He earned a B.S. in managerial economics at UC Davis with minors in Chinese and communications. Daniel also earned media marketing training with a nutritional technology startup company and was a project manager and committee coordinator in leadership training for a city development project launch. His experience includes knowledge and practice in developing solutions to promote sales and profit for an agribusiness company, as well as communication, data analysis, marketing promotion, and project coordination.
Phannel Li has held a variety of professional roles, including investigative journalist and global marketing and corporate communications head at tech startups. During her postgraduate study in consumer psychology and neuromarketing at the University of Hong Kong, she became an independent brand strategy consultant and columnist working with digital transformation strategy consulting firms. She speaks several languages and is a yogi and amateur musician; she has also visited 20 countries both as a student and for work. Her interest in a wide range of subjects supports her advocacy for minority groups and sustainable development. As an AGSM student ambassador, her understanding of various cultures and diversified backgrounds helps others pursue their aspirations. Her post-MBA goals include becoming a thought leader in marketing and international business promoting social innovation, gender equality, sustainable fashion, and cross-cultural understanding.
As a double major in anthropology and philosophy during her undergraduate education, Wangda Lu spent nearly a year as an intern at Morgan Stanley focusing on private wealth management. As an AGSM student ambassador, Wangda brings his unique way of thinking and different perspectives on business issues based on philosophical thinking into the UCR Business School family. He also uses his Chinese cultural background to help students from different regions to succeed at UCR.
Justin McEwen served more than eight years in the U.S. Air Force before taking his talents to the civilian sector. He earned his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology at California State University, Fullerton and graduated at the top of his class. He now holds a position with the U.S. House of Representatives, serving as a Wounded Warrior Fellow managing the Military and Veteran Affairs portfolio for a local congressional representative. Justin plans to pursue a career in philanthropy serving the public good and addressing the root causes of the social issues in which he is interested.
Having worked for nine years developing consumer insights for the India market in the field of media and apparel e-commerce, Snigdha Ojha wanted to expand her career and ascend to the decision-making level for product development, where she can concentrate on products and services that serve the consumer better. This desire motivated her decision to earn an MBA degree. She appreciates the help of the admissions team and is pleased to be moving forward with her education and professional goals.
Passionate about financial literacy and business, Melanie Pineda is preparing for a career as a financial analyst. She is pursuing an MBA at UCR, where she earned a B.S. in business administration with a concentration in finance. As an AGSM student ambassador, Melanie is making genuine connections with others and “giving back.”
Second-year AGSM Student Ambassador Jinnatul is earning an MBA with a concentration in information systems. She specializes in data analytics and business intelligence and is particularly interested in data-driven insights in support of informed decision-making within organizations. She is also active in the organizations Women in Data Science Worldwide and AnitaB.org to promote inclusivity and advocate for women within the analytics space.
Shan Ramasubramanian boasts four years of professional experience in AI and ML. He began his career at Amazon and then was founding ML engineer at Zocket specializing in advertising technology. Currently pursuing his MBA, Shan is working toward a career as an AI product manager. He previously served as the city fundraising manager at Making A Difference Foundation. As an AGSM student ambassador, he’s looking forward to bridging the realms of academia and industry.
Grant Rueca is a second-year MBA student, and he works as a student marketing assistant for the Career Development Center. Grant specializes in marketing and is passionate about telling the emotional and motivating stories of businesses. He is dedicated to serving and representing AGSM as a graduate student ambassador and to maximize his goal of making a positive impact at the graduate school.
After earning his mathematics degree at the University of Stuttgart, Emil Shirokikh began his professional career as a project manager at a well-known life insurance company in Germany. Later, he made a strategic shift to Capgemini, where he thrived in roles as a business analyst and eventually as an IT consultant. He is earning an MBA to support his goal to establish his own company, Belto.
After establishing an academic foundation in branding and marketing with her bachelor’s in mass communication, Ishita Singhal acquired experience at organizations like Deloitte, the World Wildlife Fund, and Teach for India. She plans to make social responsibility a part of an organization’s DNA to drive societal and environmental change. Pursuing an MBA will accelerate her career and help her harness the trifecta of brand reach, marketing, and social responsibility to grow the good in businesses. As an AGSM student ambassador, she hopes to gain global perspectives while connecting with her diverse cohort at UCR.
Aleksandr Smolin graduated with a bachelor’s degree in computer science in 2022 and was a computer science instructor. He decided to pivot to business so that he can more effectively impact the outcomes of the projects he’s working on. As an AGSM student, he aims to learn more about the different aspects of business and management while concentrating in finance.
Frances Tang is a distinguished graduate from San Jose State University, where she earned her degree in global operations management. Transitioning into various marketing roles within the tech and startup landscapes, Frances cultivated enhanced brand visibility and fostered authentic, meaningful connections with key target audiences. Recognizing her talent and enthusiasm for marketing, she made a conscious decision to delve deeper into this field. As an international student from Taiwan, Frances is bridging cultural gaps, fostering networking opportunities, and leveraging AGSM student ambassador events to expand her professional connections and share her rich industry experience.
Kevin J. Thiphavong earned his bachelor’s in interdisciplinary studies focusing on public policy, sociology, psychology, and education at from UC Berkeley, where he also served as the president of the student-veterans club creating networking events and building a community for his peers. After completing his degree, Kevin worked for a Washington, D.C.-based communications as a senior research associate focused on qualitative research and consulting federal government agencies. Kevin is pursuing an MBA to learn technical skills required for management roles to complement the leadership skills he gained serving in the U.S. Navy. During his time in military service, he was deployed to Afghanistan and Bahrain in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and was honored with multiple personal and unit awards.
Raina Williams is a recent graduate from UC Riverside in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance. She is furthering her education at UCR as a first-year graduate student, pursuing a Professional MBA. Her intended concentration is Marketing; with that, she is aiming for a career that will optimize her financial skills learned in her undergrad experience with a market-focus. As a Graduate Student Ambassador, her goals are to engage and make connections with her fellow cohorts, while utilizing Ambassador exclusive events to enhance her professional experience.
Master of Finance Ambassadors
Vinayak Goel, a finance professional with more than three years of experience, demonstrates mastery in over-the-counter derivatives, reconciliations, and strategic customer acquisition. Committed to pioneering responsible finance, he’s currently pursuing a master’s degree, driven to innovate financial products and forge high-impact collaborations for a thriving and equitable financial future.
Shivani Narayanan is a finance professional with five years of experience in the fields of finance, accounting, auditing, and tax across India and Australia. Having honed her skills in two diverse markets, she is now planning to broaden her horizons in the U.S. financial market by pursuing her master’s in finance. As an AGSM student ambassador, she is dedicated to sharing her wealth of experience with incoming students to help them make a smooth transition into the university.
Master of Professional Accountancy Ambassadors
A.J. Espinosa previously worked as the sales and marketing assistant for the CEO at California Apparel News in Downtown Los Angeles. He earned his undergraduate degree in global studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and he is now earning a Master of Professional Accountancy at UCR. A.J. makes it a point to travel to new places, both globally and domestically, and he is planning a trip to Oslo, Norway. He’s also planning a career in accounting as a CPA at an entertainment, nonprofit, or international accounting firm.
After earning her bachelor’s degree in art, Yingling Liang decided to explore new fields of study in search of a different career path, and she is now earning a Master of Professional Accountancy at UCR. Her goal is to gain the essential skills and knowledge necessary to master career challenges and to succeed at major corporations and accounting firms across the globe.
Thorsten Lin earned a dual bachelor’s degree in economics and real estate and is now earning a master’s degree in professional accountancy. With a diverse professional background in taxation, consulting, and real estate analysis, he is driven by a strong interest in finance and consulting as he works toward a rewarding career in these fields.
After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in sports science, Shujuan (Isabella) Zhang worked as a physical education teacher and swimming instructor at several international schools in China. She came to UCR to pursue her CPA credentials and opportunities in auditing and taxation. Shujuan enjoys helping people and sharing information with others.
Master of Science in Business Analytics Ambassadors
Yu-Kai Chen is earning a master’s in business Analytics, his second master’s degree, as he eyes a career in supply chain management. He interned in Vietnam during his undergraduate studies and plays basketball.
Zih Yu Chen has a deep interest in the renewable energy industry and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in business analytics at UCR after valuable experience at Deloitte. By integrating her data analytics and business acumen, she plans to drive innovation and efficiency in renewable energy supply chain management.
After completing an undergraduate degree in finance at UCR, Shail Desai worked as a financial analyst and fine-tuned his expertise. Throughout his professional career, he appreciated the value of data analysis and its application in across sectors, and he realized the next step in his journey was returning to UCR to earn a Master of Science in business administration and continuing his career in finance, which is the area he says is his “field of passion.”
After earning his bachelor’s degree in electronics, Ankit Malhotra discovered his interest in data science and analytics while working as a data analyst for Uber and Financepeer and decided to expand his career with a Master of Science in business analytics. Ankit is fond of teaching and is a consultant mentor with Newton School. He aims to be a pioneer in the analytics industry making use of math and technology to grow businesses.