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.



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.



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.



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.



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.



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.



Aaron Byers
MBA Class of 2016

Aaron Byers is a second year Full-Time MBA Candidate focusing on Human Resources Training and Development. This summer Aaron interned at Beckman Coulter, providing sales education support to the Global Sales Operations department. He worked closely with the training management team to develop and implement pragmatic and engaging training methods used to enhance the effectiveness of sales representatives and regional sales managers. 

Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Aaron graduated with honors from Case Western Reserve University with a dual degree in American History and Psychology and a minor in Theatre.  



Germaine Chen
MBA Class of 2016

Germaine Chen is a second year Full-Time MBA candidate and Merage Fellow focusing on Finance and Operations. This summer Germaine interned at Pacific Life as an Operational Excellence intern. She worked closely with cross-functional groups to develop and manage projects to improve in business performance and business processes.  

From Irvine, Germaine graduated from California State Unversity, Long Beach with a Bachelor of Science in both International Business and in Finance. She also spent a semester abroad at Singapore Management University.



Anne Crook
MBA Class of 2016

Anne Crook is a second year Full-Time MBA candidate focusing on Marketing. This summer Anne interned with Niagara Bottling, focusing on marketing management. She worked closely with management to develop consumer insights and strategic plans, and assist in the execution of consumer marketing solutions.

Anne graduated from Wichita State University with a Bachelor Degree in Entrepreneurship. She is originally from Wichita, KS and has lived in Stamford, CT and San Francisco, CA.




Christine Kelly
MBA Class of 2016

Christine Kelly is a second year Full-Time MBA candidate and Merage Fellow focusing on Decision Technologies. This summer Christine interned at Mend, a startup that provides on demand emotional support to people going through trauma, loss or heartbreak.  She provided support on broad marketing efforts, ecommerce strategy, process documentation, investor pitches and product and editorial development.  She worked closely with Mend’s solo female founder, Ellen Huerta, as well as coaches, content contributors and customers associated with Mend.

Christine graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor of Science in Operations Research and Information Engineering. She is originally from San Diego, CA.



Brandon Scott
MBA Class of 2016


Note: Brandon is studying abroad in Shanghai during the fall quarter.

Brandon Scott is a second year Full-Time MBA Candidate focusing on Strategy and Entrepreneurship. This summer Brandon interned at Cox Automotive, providing support to the Strategic Analysis & Corporate Development departments. He analyzed potential acquisitions and provided support in determining the potential profit for the company's different business units.

Brandon graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Finance. He is originally from Dallas, TX.



Ann Marie Steffa
MBA Class of 2016

Ann Marie Steffa is a second year Full-Time MBA candidate and Faculty Fellow focusing on Human Resources. This summer Ann Marie interned at Pacific Life Insurance, within the Operational Excellence team that develops continuous improvement solutions for various business areas. She supported the team to develop projects that aim to increase efficiency, effectiveness and productivity, while achieving cost reduction.

Ann Marie is originally from Bogota, Colombia (South America) where she graduated from the Universidad de los Andes with Bachelors in Economics and in Business.