Corporate charisma, managing your manager, and the business climate in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties are among the topics on tap Tuesday, March 26, during CSU Channel Islands’ (CSUCI) inaugural Taste of the MBA event.

The mixer, followed by a moderated panel, will be 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Alhecama Theatre, 215-A, E. Cañon Perdido St., Santa Barbara.

A second Taste of the MBA, featuring a selection of topics and speakers, will take place 6-7 p.m. April 8 in room 2515 of the Bell Tower on the CSUCI campus.

Both events are open to the public and designed to let prospective students in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties know what a master’s in business administration (MBA) can do for a career and how the CSUCI MBA program can help students reach their goals.

“We are incredibly excited to offer our first Taste of the MBA series of events this spring,” said Susan Andrzejewski, interim dean of the Martin V. Smith School of Business & Economics.

“The events will give prospective students the opportunity to hear from some of our faculty and to learn a little bit more about our outstanding MBA program,” she said. “The event also provides a great opportunity for MBA alumni and community partners to reconnect with the program.”

The Santa Barbara event will open with light refreshments and networking, followed by a panel of CSUCI faculty who will discuss hot topics in business and marketing.

How to Manage Your Supervisor, The Art & Science of Being Charismatic and How the Real Estate Market is affected by Economic Trends in Ventura & Santa Barbara will be discussed by the panel, which will be moderated by Neil Kreisel, KZSB AHA for Education radio host.

“CSUCI is an important asset to Santa Barbara and we want everyone in town to understand how great an opportunity it is to get a first-class MBA locally,” Kreisel said.

The program includes evening and online classes, as well as classes at the main CSUCI campus in Camarillo and a campus in Goleta.

Miguel Delgado-Helleseter, assistant professor of economics, will discuss how fluctuating economic trends affect the real estate market and vice versa — economic data MBA students will learn how to interpret.

“Some of our big issues are labor market trends,” Delgado-Helleseter said. “A lot of the type of work that grows in our counties is low-paying work, so there are questions about the long-term sustainability of that.

“Especially when it’s work involving construction as we don’t build a lot of housing and there’s very little construction work. We will also talk about the impact of the mudslides on the rental and home-sales markets.”

The panel for the April 8 Taste of the MBA event on the CSU campus will be moderated by MBA alumnus Ramesh Lori. Topics include: This Ad’s for You, Effectuation Theory of Entrepreneurship: Principles & Process, and What an MBA Can Do for Your Career.

MBA instructor Doug Lane will talk about how he started his career as a lab technician at a small hospital in Chico and never had an interest in business until the day his boss asked him to approach a CEO about a sale of some technical equipment.

“He looked like a deer in the headlights,” Lane said. “It was then I realized business is all about communication. I wanted to be able to communicate with business people in their own language.”

After Lane earned his MBA, he said it held the key to all kinds of opportunities. “I realized having a strong science background with an ability to understand business is a phenomenal thing,” he said.

Lane and others involved in Taste of the MBA hope to inspire prospective students interested in entrepreneurship, but also those in various fields from science to engineering to performing arts to consider the value of pursing an MBA at CSUCI.

To RSVP, visit

— Kim Gregory for CSU Channel Islands.