Alumnus Mike Abary ‘88 Senior Vice President of Sony Electronics began his college career as a Business Administration major with a concentration in marketing. Mike said “My degree provided me with a foundation on which to rely upon. Skill sets such as critical thinking, problem solving, and understanding people – these were fundamental skills I learned from CSUEB that I have carried throughout my career.”
Mike wants students to know pursuing their careers is a journey that should be enjoyed, and the steps taken and the skills gained are more important than the destination.
In college he recalls working 20 to 30 hours per week, but found working part time without a degree presented limited opportunities. After college he pursued a career as a stock broker but found that was not the right path for him: the dynamic wasn’t right, people in the field were much older than him and he just wasn’t passionate about that industry. So he decided to head south of CSUEB (instead of north) and discovered Silicon Valley. Later he found his true calling in technology product marketing at Sony, a place that felt rewarding and effective in a positive way to people’s lives.
Mike said, “I often go to electronic stores and listen in on many shopper’s conversations to see why they choose Sony when they make purchases. There’s nothing more gratifying than to know your work affected their decision to purchase, and to believe you will positively affect people’s lives through the products you bring to market.”
When asked if he knew he would be a SVP of Sony, Mike replied, “I was always ambitious, always driving for higher positions, and my next goal is becoming a CEO.”
Mike’s advice to students is, “Never stop believing in yourself, and letting perceptions about attending state school stop you from reaching for the sky.” He states he is proud to be a Cal State East Bay Alumni because the school provides high quality academics, is down to earth, diverse, and he met his wife at Cal State East Bay.