Mike Abary ’88 earned his Business Administration degree with a concentration in marketing from Cal State East Bay and is now a senior vice president over at Samsung. “My degree provided me with a foundation on which to rely upon,” said Abary. “Skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, and understanding people – these were fundamental skills I learned from Cal State East Bay that I have carried throughout my career.”
Abary wants current CSUEB students to know that pursuing their careers is a journey that should be enjoyed, and the steps taken and the skills gained are more important than the destination. He went on a journey and 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.
“Never stop believing in yourself, and never let perceptions about attending a state school stop you from reaching for the sky,” said Abary. He says he is proud to be a CSUEB grad because the school provided high quality academics, is down to earth, and diverse. “I was always ambitious, always driving for higher positions, and my next goal is becoming a CEO.”
We have no doubt that we’ll soon be writing a story about Mike Abary’s promotion to CEO!
Alumnus Derek Gordon, ’86 mass communications, a San Francisco based marketing veteran loves story telling. “I discovered that I love to tell the stories about people at work changing the world,” he said. “So, after some initial twists-and-turns, I started my current path working with non-profits. I ran communications for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation for about seven years and then Yerba Buena Center for the Arts for two.”
It was at this time that a friend had convinced him to work at an Internet start-up during the tech boom of the late 90’s. Gordon considers it the best move he ever made because his company invented e-learning and he enjoyed an enormously successful IPO. Gordon is now working as the Chief Marketing Officer at Pathbrite, an early stage start-up in the education technology space.
Gordon’s says his advice to CSUEB students is to “learn to write well. Learn to present yourself well. And never stop learning. The world changes at an amazing pace these days and you can’t possibly imagine the sorts of skills and knowledge you’ll need 25 years from now, so never stop learning.”
With such a vibrant track record in the marketing field Gordon is a great example of what you can achieve at CSUEB!