Golden Gate University
San Francisco is one of California’s cities best known for its well-developed high-tech industry and its business center. Efforts are being made to develop other fields, such as human capital, which is a collection of traits such as knowledge, talents, skills, abilities, experience, intelligence, training, judgment, and wisdom possessed individually and collectively by individuals in a population.
Golden Gate University (GGU) believes that the development of human capital is as important as technological developments – after all “your mind is your business” (Dr. John Fyfe, Executive Director for the Office of the President at GGU). This is why this university enables advanced studies, according to market needs, for the working population, who wish to get ahead in the labor market, but are too busy at work. These students are older than the usual students in advanced studies at the state’s universities, with an average age of 35.
GGU’s success comes mainly from the fact that most of the courses fit the students’ interests and work-experience, while meeting the market’s needs. The university is located in the business district of the city, next to public transportation, making it physically accessible, and offers many evening and night courses, making the timing accessible for working students. Each year, about 1,300 students attend to 30 different programs, such as law, accounting, management, human resources, etc. Many students are participating in Management and Human Resources studies, with the understanding that managing people is a complex task. While some of these students come to GGU to deepen their knowledge that relates to their work, others come to change their practice, as they become aware that in order to remain relevant in the market, you must adapt yourself to its needs. Many of GGU’s lecturers are working part-time, so their additional work is within the labor market. This way, they can give an up-to-date perspective and deal with relevant issues in class while connecting between the theory and the practice. By enabling mid-career professionals to return to school and get further credentials, this university help developing San Francisco’s human capital: These students acquire education and management skills, so the more knowledge and skills they gain, combined with the experience and wisdom they already have, they can make the most out of their jobs, produce more and get ahead at work (and get better salaries on the way).
At the same time, in order to advance, the development of human capital is not enough. GGU emphasizes maintaining its connection with the Alumni community, in order to create a successful network of people that will help each other. This Alumni community may help its graduates in the labor market. The market of advanced studies can be competitive, but this Alumni community is the added value of GGU. There are 68,000 people in this Alumni community, and GGU works very hard in order to become a large and cohesive community of graduates that will enable a wide range of connections, to assist its graduates as much as possible.
As a graduate, I do belong to an Alumni community, but I never understood its value. At the beginning of this year, The Milken Innovation Center arranged an Alumni meeting of graduates from all years. During this meeting, I was fortunate enough to meet a large number of talented people, that I wouldn’t have met unless I this Milken’s Fellow Program. This Alumni’s meetings contribute to strengthening the program with its graduates, as well as helping them get ahead in the further. In my opinion, whenever we meet someone, we should not think of what that person can help to us but in what way we can help him, which I believe is the essence of the Alumni community, and this Milken’s Alumni meeting illustrated this to me, so now I understand GGU’s added value (this Alumni community) and appreciate it properly for emphasizing this, as this is not a simple task.