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The Merage School Experience

The Merage School Experience Learn more about the student experience below.

Our focus on leadership development is unique from other MBA programs. The Merage School methodology relies on an intense team-oriented experience to enhance your leadership skills.

  • Every student is assigned to a small cross-functional study team of 4-6 members.
  • You will work with your same study team intensely throughout the core curriculum.
  • The leadership role is shared among the team, with members providing unique contributions.
  • The team’s network of support helps you explore and develop your own leadership style.
  • Teams are created with geographic location and functional diversity in mind, giving every team a chance to work with individuals with a unique background.

Survey results from a recent graduating class prove the effectiveness of our method:

While only 35-40% of our students entered the program in managerial roles, more than 75% exit the program holding supervisory or leadership positions.

The following are just a few of the major companies where our alumni have risen to leadership positions: Alcon/Nestle, Allergan, Boeing, Coca-Cola, Deloitte, Disney Resorts, E! Entertainment, Experian, Ingram Micro, PIMCO, Taco Bell, eV3.


Hybrid FEMBA Facebook Technical Recruiter Eddie Pak on his FEMBA Journey
Balancing Work, School and Life FEMBA Alumni Features

Comprehensive Support

We provide individual guidance, support and coaching from the time you apply to the time you graduate. As a student, you have access to dedicated on-site student services staff members who advise you on the details of your academic life, including identifying which classes best meet your career goals. Our student services team organizes and runs the new student orientation, all three residentials and periodic social or networking events. The team also manages course registration, receipt of faculty course materials and secure student parking permits.

Our personalized approach to learning and program delivery eases the transition of incoming FEMBA students back into the academic lifestyle. We recognize the multiple demands on time of working professionals and take care of many details so that you can focus on the higher value aspects of your educational experience.

Gina HeitkampGina Heitkamp, Class of 2014
Co-Founder, iBesties: Middle School Moguls

"I can sit in a meeting with a C-level executive and understand the language and offer my own opinions with confidence."

  • UCI Business Plan Competition Winner: First PlacePre-MBA position: General Manager, Cody Ventures Corporation
  • Undergraduate: BA in Comparative Literature, Cal State University, Long Beach
  • Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/ginaheitkamp
  • Specialty areas: Entrepreneurship, marketing, branding, consumer insights, market research, product development


Hamaad Akmal

Hamaad Akmal, Class of 2008
Vice President, Sales Operations at Dana Innovations

"I was able to develop and execute a strategy for my company and we are now light-years ahead of where we started."

  • Pre-MBA position: Senior Manager, Supply Chain Process at Gateway
  • Undergraduate: BA, Psychology, UC Riverside
  • Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/hamaad
  • Specialty areas: Program Management, contract negotiation, product marketing, business development, enterprise software


Katie Bianchi

Katie Bianchi, Class of 1996
Chief Human Resources Officer, Advantage Sales and Marketing

"It's so rewarding for to me to watch the different levels and ages of graduates get involved and network with each other."

  • Merage School positions: Dean's Leadership Circle, Dean’s Advisory Board
  • Pre-MBA position: HR Administrator, In-N-Out Burger
  • Undergraduate: BA in Psychology, Wellesley College
  • Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/pub/katie-bianchi/61/999/794
  • Specialty areas: Succession planning, performance management, workforce planning, hospitality, change management, talent acquisition


Jon Rettinger

Jon Rettinger, Class of 2011
President and Editorial Director, TechnoBuffalo, LLC

"I wouldn't be on a path to where I want to go, if it wasn’t for a Merage MBA."

Commentator on CNBC and Fox Business as well as contributing writer to Wireless Week. He ranks in the top 5% globally in social media influence and was one of OC Metro’s top 40 under 40 for 2011. 

  • Pre-MBA position: Marketing Manager, Nexa Technologies
  • Undergraduate: BA in Religion and Classics, University of Rochester
  • Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/jonrettinger
  • Twitter: @jon4lakers
  • Specialty Areas: social media, consumer electronics, journalism


Jason Pecora

Jason Pecora, Class of 2011
Director, Marketing, VOD/PPV/Digital HD at Fox Filmed Entertainment

"I was able to completely change my career path from making a connection through a Merage School alum."

  • Pre-MBA position: Dealer Parts and Service Manager at Nissan North America, Inc.
  • Undergraduate: BS in Marketing, University of Arizona
  • Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/jmpecora
  • Specialty: Competitive Analysis, marketing strategy, product launch, advertising, direct marketing, integrated marketing, strategic planning

The Merage Student Association is an energetic society which provides social, learning and networking opportunities with a busy calendar of social and educational events for all Merage students. At the core of the Student Association are individual clubs and student associations which can increase your knowledge in a given subject area and broaden your network outside of the classroom.

Whether you want to strengthen your leadership skills, start a business or improve your golf swing, the Merage School has many clubs and associations that make it easy for you to find fellow students who share your interests.