The Merage School offers unique experiences that complement our students’ in-class education both in Orange County and worldwide. From the moment you step on campus, you are exposed to the myriad of opportunities available through clubs, competitions, speaker events, conferences and more. During your second year, you have the option to study abroad in a quarter-long international exchange or a week-long international study program providing a first-hand look at the global economy.
|Core Groups||Collaborate with classmates and navigate your first-year core classes together with a focus on teamwork|
|Presentation Skills Program||Personalized, specific feedback helps develop your presentation skills and improve your performance under pressure|
|Real-World Projects||Put your skills to use with real-world projects, including the Merage Consulting Projects course and the New Venture Competition|
|Centers of Excellence||Our seven Centers of Excellence provide networking opportunities and programs with executives and entrepreneurs|
|Clubs & Organizations||The Merage Student Association is home to more than a dozen clubs with interest in the different business disciplines, as well as philanthropy|
|Global Alumni Network||Connect with our alumni in California and around the world
Caleb Downey is a first year, Full-Time MBA candidate and Faculty Fellow born and raised near Denver, CO. He graduated from the United States Air Force Academy with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management. After graduation, Caleb worked for the Air Force as a Software Project Manager.
Caleb chose the Merage School for the outstanding career center and caliber of the student body. He plans on pursuing a career in project management with an eventual goal of becoming the chief operating officer of a defense industry company.
When Caleb isn’t working, he is enjoying the beautiful beaches around Irvine with his wife and dogs or attending music festivals with friends.
Jeff Goyer is a first year, Full-Time MBA candidate focusing on finance and consulting. He was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada and graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas with a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting. After graduating, he participated in MGM Resorts International’s Management Associate Program for a year, rotating throughout the various finance and accounting-related functions throughout the company. Upon completion of the program, he worked as a senior financial analyst for The Mirage Hotel and Casino, primarily focusing on the Hotel and Food and Beverage divisions of the property.
In his free time, Jeff enjoys reading, going to the gym, listening to music, and watching any and all sporting events, primarily hockey which is his favorite sport.
Max Lechner is a first year Full Time MBA candidate and Merage Fellow focusing on general management. Max was born and raised in Colorado and attended undergrad at the University of Colorado at Boulder where he majored in economics.
After earning his bachelor degree Max joined the United States Marine Corps where he served as an Intelligence Officer with the First Marine Logistics Group in Camp Pendleton. He went directly from the Marine Corps to UC Irvine and chose Merage because of its small class sizes and focus on digital leadership. Max enjoys the outdoors, sports, and tinkering with random contraptions when he has free time.
Joy Mina is a first year, Full Time MBA candidate and a Merage Fellow. Joy grew up in Orange County and graduated from UCI with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. While her degree she acquired 3 years of technical internship experience in the Software, Aerospace and Defense Industries. Following graduation Joy worked as a QA Engineer, a Technical Sales Associate, then spent the next 3 years as a Software Engineer.
Joy returned to UCI to pursue an MBA at the Merage School in order to pivot into marketing and general management roles. While at Merage, Joy hopes to further develop her leadership skills and cultivate a deeper understanding of business practices.
When she is not working, Joy is outside, on a trail with her dog, at the beach, in a pool, cooking or doing yoga.
Matthew Morris is a first year, Full-Time MBA candidate focusing on marketing. Matthew grew up in Natick, Massachusetts and graduated from Boston College with a Bachelors of Arts in Communication and a minor in History. After graduating Matthew was hired by his alumni magazine to take a road trip across the United States, culminating in an article about an archeological dig to uncover raptors in Wyoming. Following that he taught English to grade school students in Gwangju, South Korea. He moved to Los Angeles about four years ago where he handled marketing responsibilities in International Distribution at Sony Pictures Entertainment working with clients such as Netflix, Amazon and iTunes. While at Sony he was considered a Subject Matter Expert in emerging cinema technologies: High-Dynamic Range (HDR), Dolby Atmos, and Auro-3D.
In his free time, Matthew likes to explore the OC (especially its diverse food culture), head into LA to see his favorite bands, and cheer for the Boston Celtics from his living room couch.
Marissa Testa is a first year, Full-Time MBA candidate and Faculty Fellow focusing her studies on digital marketing. She is originally from upstate New York, but has lived in New York City for seven years prior to starting her MBA at UC Irvine. She attended The Fashion Institute of Technology for undergraduate studies where she majored in Advertising and Marketing Communications with a minor in English.
After graduation, Marissa landed a job in a rotational program at Haddad Brands where she spent a year working in six facets of the wholesale industry. She went on to earn a position in the Marketing department where she was responsible for the planning and implementation of all in-store, digital and public relations related initiatives for Levi’s Kids. Marissa is getting her MBA to switch industries to either technology or healthcare.
One of the many reasons she chose Merage was the strong digital focus. She knows she will gain valuable, cutting-edge information that is relatable to the ever-changing digital economy. She is also looking forward to receiving her Certificate in Digital Transformation which will further prepare her for a career in digital marketing.
Outside of class, Marissa enjoys participating in new fitness classes at the ARC, lounging at Corona Del Mar, and trying all of the great food Orange County has to offer.
Robby Ahn is a second year Full Time MBA Candidate and Faculty and Management Fellow born and raised in Irvine, CA. He graduated with his Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Public Policy from The University of California Los Angeles.
Prior to attending the Merage School, Robby spent over four years working in Operations Management for Hyatt Hotels at three different properties. His most recent position was at Hyatt’s flagship property, The Hyatt Regency Chicago.
With his emphasis in General Management and Marketing, Robby hopes to transition to a corporate LDP when he graduates. He spent this past summer interning for T-Mobile at their HQ in Bellevue, WA as part of their highly competitive L2E (Leader to Executive) program.
Get in touch with Robby: firstname.lastname@example.org
Aaron Concha is a second year, Full-Time MBA candidate and Faculty Fellow focusing on Marketing. Aaron was born and raised in the Greater Los Angeles Area, graduating from Whittier College with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Minor in Chemistry. Upon graduation, Aaron joined the Army and served the next four years as a Health Care Specialist. Aaron completed his Summer internship at Blue Shield of California, working in the Markets, Individual Family Plans department.
Aaron currently serves as MSA (Merage Student Association) President. The MSA enhances the student experience beyond the classroom through professional and social events, scholarships, competitions, clubs, conferences and speakers.
While at the Merage School, Aaron takes advantage of the location and spends his days at the beach surfing and playing the guitar.
Get in touch with Aaron: email@example.com
Dan Costigan is a second year Full-Time MBA Candidate focusing on finance and is pursuing opportunities in investment banking and private equity. He chose to pursue an MBA at the Merage School of Business due to the program’s emphasis on individual development from an academic and career standpoint. The smaller program size allows for more individual attention while allowing for more active participation and leadership potential both inside and outside the classroom. Dan believes the Merage School’s strategic location in Orange County also provides unmatched exposure to many industries and companies in the Southern California region.
Dan is originally from Saint Louis, Missouri. He received his bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Boston College. Prior to his MBA, Dan worked as a wholesaler for global asset manager, Pioneer Investments, where he acquired his Series 66 and Series 7 trading licenses. Dan spent this past summer as an associate intern at Stables Partners, a private equity search fund and is currently an equity research intern at Roth Capital.
Get in touch with Dan: firstname.lastname@example.org
Stephanie David is a second year Full-Time MBA candidate and Faculty Fellow concentrating in marketing and entrepreneurship. Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, Stephanie graduated from Allegheny College with a degree in Art History.
Prior to attending The Paul Merage School of Business, Stephanie worked for Carnegie Robotics as a financial specialist. At CRL, Stephanie managed the financial analytics, job costing, and forecasting for Department of Defense contracts and commercial robotics endeavors. She also acted as the finance department’s project manager and fully implemented the company’s transition to a new accounting system. During the past summer, she interned with Edison Energy, providing marketing and sales support. She is currently interning with Daniel Fine Art Services providing art consulting and marketing services to clients in the hospitality industry.
Stephanie decided to pursue a MBA to combine her passion for creativity with her quantitative job experience as she transitions into a marketing career. She chose the Merage School for emphasis on its team dynamics, the diverse student body, small class sizes, and dedicated career center.
Outside of class, Stephanie is a professional dance instructor, avid long distance runner, and active yogi. In her spare time she enjoys volunteering and home brewing.
Get in touch with Stephanie: email@example.com
Luana is a second-year Full-Time MBA Candidate and Faculty Fellow. Luana received a Bachelor degree in Law from Curitiba Law School in Brazil and earned her Master degree in Corporate Law from University of Alcalá de Henares in Spain. Luana has 8 years of experience as a business executive and lawyer, both in multinational companies and law firms. This past summer, Luana worked both at Donahue Schrieber Realty Group, and at a digital marketing startup. Last year her group won 1st place at UCI’s 2017 New Venture Competition.
Luana chose The Paul Merage School of Business for three main reasons. First, because of the impressive alumni, admissions and career center individuals she interacted with while visiting the school. Second, because of Merage’s outstanding faculty and curriculum. Third, because of the school’s location, which is home to some of the most innovative industries in the country, and to a vast number of investment funds.
Outside class, Luana loves travelling, learning about different people and cultures, and enjoying the outdoors with her family and friends. Luana is fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese.
Get in touch with Luana: firstname.lastname@example.org