Full-Time MBA Program
Meet the MBA Student Ambassadors

If you want to gain the perspectives of real students, our Merage MBA Student Ambassadors are definitely the people you should connect with. They’ll give you the inside story and answer your questions about the Merage MBA experience and why they chose the Merage School for their MBA.  They can also host you on campus for a class visit, lunch with students, or a tour of campus.



Melanie Henderson
MBA Class of 2017

Melanie Henderson is a first year Full-Time MBA candidate and Faculty Fellow focusing on Finance.

Originally from Roseville, California, Melanie graduated from the University of California, Irvine with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Economics and a Minor in Management. She also spent a semester abroad at the University Autònoma of Barcelona in Spain, holds a Professional Certificate in Accounting from the University of California, San Diego, Extension and is a licensed Certified Public Accountant in the state of California.


This summer, Melanie is working as a Corporate Finance, Strategic Planning intern at Taco Bell in Irvine.



Justin Latino
MBA Class of 2017

Justin Latino is a first year Full-Time MBA candidate and Faculty Fellow focusing on marketing and entrepreneurship. He lived in Bogota, Colombia for 5 years where he started up a hostel and a destination management company that organized meetings, events and incentive travel programs for international corporate clients.

Justin graduated from Cornell University with a degree in Hotel Administration. He is originally from Worcester, MA, but has also lived in Hawaii, Macau, Argentina and travelled around the world on a Semester at Sea.


Justin is working as a Digital Marketing Strategy Consultant for Hotel Belmar in Menteverde, Costa Rica this summer. He will also be studying abroad in Vienna, Austria for Fall Quarter.



Peter Lin
MBA Class of 2017

Peter Lin is a first-year Full-Time MBA Candidate with an emphasis in Strategy. He is a CFA Charterholder, with over 6 years of relevant finance experience. Prior to attending the MBA program, Peter was a Senior Risk Analyst working in the Capital Markets division of a major Canadian bank. He implemented regulatory requirements of the Volcker Rule. More specifically, the Customer Facing Trade Ratio metric.

Originally from Toronto, Canada, Peter graduated from Ryerson University with a Bachelor of Commerce degree, specializing in Finance.


Peter is spending the summer as an Equity Research Intern at ROTH Capital Partners in Newport Beach.



Ryan Platt
MBA Class of 2017

Originally from the Los Angeles area, Ryan received a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from the University of California, Riverside.

Prior to attending the Paul Merage School of Business, Ryan played professional baseball after being drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers organization. He later took on roles in the mortgage and insurance industries. At Bank of America, he analyzed and resolved various issues on a portfolio of loans to mitigate risk and reduce financial losses for the bank and its clients. In the insurance industry, he worked as a Risk Management Advisor where he created, presented, and implemented strategies to improve clients' financial and protection positions.


This summer, Ryan is working as a Strategy and Finance intern at Sports1Marketing in Irvine.



Laily Sharifzadeh
MBA Class of 2017

Laily Sharifzadeh is a first year Full-Time MBA candidate and Merage Fellow focusing on HR and Operations. Prior to her Business School journey she worked at UCLA Health as an Administrative Specialist for the Patient Communication Center. Laily is fluent in Farsi (Persian) and has a passion for service and leadership.

Laily graduated from University of California, Los Angeles with a Bachelor Degree in both Communications and Theater. She is originally from the Southern California area and has lived in Redlands, Chino Hills and Upland.


This summer, Laily is working as a Graduate Intern in the Health Innovation department of Kaiser Permanente in Tustin



Livia Sponseller
MBA Class of 2017

Livia Sponseller is a first year Full-Time MBA focusing on Real Estate. Before pursuing her MBA at UC Irvine, Livia was working at Transwestern specializing in Tenant Advisory within the commercial real estate sector of the DC Metropolitan area. She worked closely with office space tenants to help align their real estate needs with their company growth goals.

Livia is originally from Washington, D.C. and graduated from Virginia Tech with a Bachelor Degree in International Studies and Business. Due to family ties in Italy she is fluent Italian.


This summer, Livia is working at fashion and apparel company, Z Supply LLC, as a marketing intern.