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Monday, October 18, 2021

MBA students to work on initiatives in Sacramento

Four UC Davis Graduate School of Management students chosen for Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson’s Mayor Fellowship were honored on April 6 for their work in their communities.

The UC Davis fellows each receive a $2,000 stipend from the management school for the 12-week fellowship, which started in mid-February.

Students work with the Mayor’s office on various initiatives involving economic development, housing, education and the arts.

Steven C. Currall, dean of the management school, said the school’s contribution shows UCD’s commitment to the mayoral fellows program.

The program is an important part of UCD’s outreach in the Sacramento region, he said.

“This is an opportunity for our students to make a contribution to the city of Sacramento,” Currall said. “It’s a way for them to engage in a non-classroom learning opportunity.”

UCD MBA candidate and Mayoral Fellowship winner Jacqueline Jaszka studied economics at UC San Diego for her undergraduate studies and is working on a homelessness initiative with Sacramento. She said the program provides students with real life experience and knowledge.

“It’s inspiring to work with people passionate about what they’re working on,” Jaszka said. “It’s nice to have a mayor dedicated and driven to making change.”

Johnson said the fellows will provide a vital service to the city in a difficult financial climate.

“When you have a tough economy, you’ve got to be creative in tough times,” he told the Sacramento Bee. “You’ve got to find ways to do more with less.”

The Mayor’s office had five fellows from Harvard last summer. Johnson added the program was not just about utilizing limited resources, but also how to “cultivate our young talent” in the region.

Rani Chu, UCD MBA candidate and UC Berkeley alumni, studied Chinese in Beijing, along with working at UC Irvine. She hopes to go back into working in higher education.

Chu is involved with Johnson’s art’s initiative, “For Art’s Sake,” a renewed effort to revitalize K Street and the commercial heart of downtown Sacramento, and emphasized the program’s good networking opportunities.

“We get to work with high profile, strong business leaders,” Chu said. “If there wasn’t an established partnership between UCD and the mayor’s program, I wouldn’t have thought of applying. The school did a good job of promoting the fellowships.”

Courtney Sweetin, a UCD MBA candidate, BYU alum and former public school teacher, is involved on the Johnson’s education initiative hopes to work with school districts in the future or work as a consultant in a firm for education. She is currently designing and planning collaborations between parents and schools to improve student performance.

Tre Borden, an MBA candidate at UCD, is working on the mayor’s green technology initiative.

Other fellowship winners include Brittany Purdy, who is seeking a B.A. in psychology at Sacramento State and working on the mayor’s volunteer initiative, and Hafiza Arikat, a master’s candidate at Sacramento State who is working on the mayor’s education initiative, STAND UP.

ANGELA SWARTZ can be reached city@theaggie.org.

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