Executives in Residence

As the largest general business membership organization in north San Diego County, I feel very blessed that we have a great public business college in our backyard.  Of course, I am speaking of California State University of San Marcos. Their College of Business Administration (CoBA) is an exceptional resource for the North County business community.

Their undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs empower students to advance in their careers whether they are just starting out, advancing through leadership, or building the next great company. Their graduates serve the workforce needs of North County and their skill and drive help fuel the local and global economy. One of the aspects I respect the most is that CoBA works closely with our business, nonprofit, and community partners. 

That brings me to a valuable aspect of CoBA called Executives in Residence (EIR). EIR’s are local business professionals, retired or still working, that interface directly with CoBA students. How does this program work, you may ask.  All CoBA students, regardless of their major, must participate in a Business 300 (BUS 300), a class that helps students with practical skills needed to land a job and advance a career.  BUS 300 includes building a resume, starting or beefing up a LinkedIn profile, learning how to network, participating in mock interviews, and much more. In the BUS 300 class, each student is assigned an EIR. EIR’s conversely, are matched up to approximately 20 BUS 300 students for a semester.  At a minimum, the student and EIR meet one-on-one twice.  The first meeting is approximately one hour long and the second one is about half of that. Through both of these meetings, the EIRs review skills, aspirations, resumes, LinkedIn profiles and more.  The idea is to connect these aspiring students to experienced professionals.

Tito Zamalloa is a seasoned marketing professional who teaches two sections of BUS 300 each semester.  Tito’s corporate experience includes stops at HP, McDonalds, H&R Block, PEPSICO and more. He feels the EIRs add significant value to the overall BUS 300 content. Tito commented, “The Executive in Residence program offers invaluable mentorship to the growth of aspiring business majors. It leverages the wisdom and experience of seasoned executives to cultivate the professional growth of students and equips them with practical insights and skills they can apply in the business world.”

Esther Petros, an Accounting major and recent BUS 300 student, agrees with Tito. She commented, “The value of the ‘Executive in Residence’ program has been huge in my educational journey. I was challenged to go outside my comfort zone and enter new environments that encouraged me to develop and expand my network.”

One of the challenges CSUSM has is getting people to volunteer their time to serve as an EIR.  Michelle Tilman is the Coordinator for the EIR’s in the BUS 300 program. Michelle noted, “The Business Professional Development course at the CSUSM College of Business Administration would not be possible without our Executives-in-Residence. With extensive business backgrounds, our Executives serve as both instructors and coaches, playing a crucial role in helping students enhance career readiness, set post-graduation goals, and successfully launch their careers.”  Michelle noted that providing this great exposure for the students requires approximately 30-40 EIRs each semester.  Not a small number.  

If you like to pay forward what you have experienced and received, consider becoming an Executive in Residence with CSUSM. It is a very rewarding experience to meet and mentor the upcoming workforce, leaders and entrepreneurs. To find out more, email Michelle at [email protected]. As the saying goes, “it takes a village”, why not become one of the “village people”.