STUDENT BIOS

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Maria Dominguez

Major: Business Administration – Entrepreneurship option 

What are your interests? My interests include sculpting, painting, traveling, volunteering, dancing, and playing board games with my friends.  

What is your dream career? I don’t want to simply be in the world. I want to change the world and make it a better place. My dream career would be to own a business that makes a positive and meaningful impact in the lives of others through the use of art and innovation.  

 

Why did you join EMP? I joined EMP because of my passion for entrepreneurship. I love to learn about what makes a successful entrepreneur and why. One of the many reasons I joined EMP is that students can interact with a range of business mentors across different industries. Although every mentor may not relate to my particular interests or chosen field, I can still learn valuable lessons that I can’t learn inside of a typical classroom.

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Ricky Rachmat

Major: Business Entrepreneurship

What are your interests? ​I love anything about technology and the business side of it, it's a very interesting subject that I've been digging into lately. I also love to help people in any way I can, it's one of my passions that led me to choose entrepreneurship major. The other things I love would be trying out different kinds of foods across the world and learning something new along the way.

What is your dream career? I am currently pursuing to become a social entrepreneur through the startup I'm currently establishing. My favorite part about being a social entrepreneur is that you get to work in improving/leaving an impact on someone's life.

Why did you join EMP? As an entrepreneur you're always learning, I see EMP as a really great opportunity for me to learn on how to be a better entrepreneur. I've also heard it everywhere that having a mentor in your entrepreneurial journey would make a huge difference. It's not only that, every session of EMP is always an interesting session because we always have a guest speaker talking about their journey. These opportunities are not something you can find anywhere, this is a privilege for all Fresno State students to be able to enroll in this program. Thus, I decided to join EMP because I know that EMP offers something very valuable towards my entrepreneurial journey.

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Chris Echevarria

Major: Business Administration - Entrepreneurship 

What are your interest? I enjoy spending time with friends and family. I make time to enjoy life such as traveling, concerts, movies, reading, or going to the gym. I am always up for an adventure, but in some instances prefer to just stay home and enjoy a more calm peaceful time to recharge. Music and sports are a huge part of my life. I am most passionate about music and soccer! 

What is your Dream Career? My dream career is becoming a successful Entrepreneur! There isn't many businesses for some of the hobbies that many, myself included, enjoy doing. That is a big reason why I am choosing to become an Entrepreneur. I am aware of the sacrifices and struggles that come with that type of life but that is exactly why I am confident it is for me. I want to wake up everyday happy about the career choice that I made. Whatever path I decide to embark on, I know it will involve sports in one way or another. 

Why did you join EMP? Professor Stearns was talking about the program during class asking if students were interested in joining. When I heard what the program focused on and how committed both students and mentors were, I knew I had to join. The program builds skills and traits that are not just beneficial for individuals in business but also in any career you choose. I wanted to surround myself with positive individuals who seek to better themselves! EMP did not just sound like a program but it sounded like a family. 

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Marin Winek

Major: International Business 

What are your interests? I enjoy traveling, dancing, listening to music, and spending time with my loved ones. 

What is your dream career? I am seeking different career objectives in the upcoming years such as teaching English abroad and working for a startup company. My ultimate career goal is to be the owner of my own business, but I hope to gain experience before doing so. No matter what career I choose, I always want to be helping others and make a positive impact through the work I do. 

Why did you join EMP? I feel that there is so much to gain by thinking as an entrepreneur in both the workplace and in life. I joined EMP because I wanted the opportunity to connect with other like minded peers, and to gain knowledge from community leaders in business. I know that I will grow significantly through this program and I look forward to seeing how it shapes me as a future business woman. 

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John Petrogonas

Major: Business Administration: Entrepreneurship and a Certificate in Marketing

What are your interests? In the past I have worked internationally in sales, management, and business development, and I enjoy interacting

with people from different countries.

What is your Dream Career? My goal is to own and operate a successful company that gives back to the communities we operate in around the world. In addition, I want to sponsor local youth sports teams in the countries where we do business as my father did. I love spending time with family, traveling, cooking, and learning, and I'm bilingual.

Why did you join EMP? I joined EMP for a few reasons. The first being that I believe I have an entrepreneurial mindset but also lack a mentor for guidance. Over the past few semesters fellow classmates and professors have recommended the program to me. So I thought I should push myself out of my comfort zone and join the entrepreneurship mentor program for my senior year at Fresno State!  

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Elvira Gonzalez

Major: Civil Engineering 

What are your interests? My interests include art, painting, listening to music and watching ballet. I enjoy long walks at the park, in general mother nature. I'm a woman who loves to stay creative.

What is your dream career?  My dream is to bring value into this world by helping to solve the housing crisis and give future generations a better chance at becoming homeowners. Not only do I want to be a civil engineer to build structures, I want  to beautify society with my designs through both restorations and new builds.

Why did you join EMP? I joined EMP because I would like to expand my knowledge beyond engineering. I would like

to be guided and gain professional skills through the mentorship at EMP. I believe it is an honor to obtain a mentor. I'd like to learn from the experiences of the mentors to gain a better understanding of what it takes to become successful.

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Kevin Robles

Major:

What are your interests? I love making things and learning new ways to improve them. I’ve always been into making videos and illustrations. Currently, I have been testing promotional videos for products using 3d software. I'm combining traditional

marketing techniques with new tricks using cgi. I have also been making animations for fun to post online or send as memes to my friends. Eventually I plan to use what I have learned from Virtual reality, Augmented reality and character animation to combine with my product promo videos.

What is your Dream Career? I want to be a digital content creator, using my brand (っ◔◡◔)っ ✨Nexus Hue✨ 

My goal is to help small businesses in the Fresno area promote their products and businesses online. Helping them

expand and increase sales to make their businesses more sustainable.

Why did you joined EMP? I joined EMP to network with students and mentors. I’d like to find local businesses that need help promoting their products online. I am also looking to collaborate with other creators or businesses that want to impact our

community positively.

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Mukesh Reddy Chinreddy

Major: Bachelors degree in Computer Science and Engineering from SRM University, India - Masters in Industrial Technology, Fresno State

What are your interests? I listen to a lot of Electronic music and love to attend concerts as well. I would like to explore places and also try different variety of food. When it comes to skills, I elevate myself as a decent negotiator, balanced problem solver and good at analyzing the situation/problem.

What is your dream career? After Bachelors my interest

towards entrepreneurship has motivated me to choose Industrial Technology. I believe technology, innovation and

youth brings a huge difference from time to time and generation to generation. I feel myself that there is lot more to

accomplish in this journey of life.

Why did you join EMP? I am here at EMP to travel with entrepreneurial like minded people and also get exposed myself to the real world and I am glad that I chose myself to be part of this amazing journey.

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Colton Cunningham

Major: Clovis Community College - Mechanical Engineering

What are your interests? Within mechanical engineering, I am interested in mechanical systems and energy efficiency. The hobbies that I enjoy are reading, dog training, surfing, hiking, exercising, pottery, and working on my truck.

What is your dream career? My goal is to obtain a bachelor's degree from Fresno State in mechanical engineering and to work locally in the central valley at an engineering firm. So far, I have accomplished working as a S.T.E.M Tutor at Clovis Community College, and I am currently working as an intern at Lawrence Engineering Group. The achievements I have received is winning 1st place at Clovis Community Colleges catapult competition and 1st place at Reedley Community Colleges integration bee. Additionally, I am skilled in Calculus, Physics, Chemistry, Excel, and Matlab.

Why did you join EMP? I joined EMP to obtain skills that are essential to working in a professional environment, but are not heavily focused on in a university. As an engineer, I wanted to develop communication skills, problem solving skills, and how to conduct myself in professional environments. Lastly, I joined the EMP because of the professional network that it provides. I think I am much more likely to be successful in my career because of the skills and connections that I am going to gain in the EMP. 

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Bencherlie Long

Major: Business Administration - Option - Accounting 

What are your interests? The Gathering, hiking, traveling (states/countries), learning to cook, BJJ (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu), and anything technology related. 

What is your dream career? My dream career would be having the ability to better myself and my community. At the moment, I am not sure what that career will be, but I would love the chance to give back to the community whether it is in accounting or real estate. I want to help others and spread information that people need in order to better their quality of life and give students the ability to reach their own potential. 

Why did you join EMP? I joined EMP because I believe this program would help improve my professionalism in the business world as well as help improve my networking skills. Naturally, I am an introvert so pushing my comfort levels would help grow my soft skills. I would be able to surround myself with professionals and other students who are career oriented. Learning about the city I was raised in also peaked my interest as well and I am excited to learn more about Fresno.

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Briseda Dominguez-Martinez

Major: Business Marketing 

What are your Interests? Painting, Reading, Networking, and Traveling. 

What is your Dream Career? I would love to become a digital marketer and social media manager to help small businesses grow in traffic, sales, and brand awareness. I realize how important small businesses are so I would like to help them grow while also working a side hustle on sales with the company I have partnered with - Immunotec. 

Why did you join EMP? I joined EMP because I would love to have an open door to more opportunities, new experiences, and access to resources that can help me reach my goals quicker than through my own means. I am confident that I will excel in all that I do, especially through a strong support system like EMP. 

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Timofey Volkov

Major: Mechanical Engineering 

What are your interests? I enjoy being a Maker. I like to design and produce products using a wide variety of manufacturing processes, including 3D printing and other advanced manufacturing methods. Enjoy the process of having an idea, to creating a 3D digital model of the idea, and then eventually holding it in my hands. This process can take as little as 45 minutes at times. At other times, I enjoy driving around to explore and taking small hikes in the local mountains. 

What is your Dream Career?

I would like to eventually open my own manufacturing company. I want to manufacture parts for clients but also future product/inventions I develop. I also would like to be a teacher as well, while the manufacturing company is running during the day by employees or automated by robots. I currently am teaching and training advanced manufacturing at Fresno State as well as the newer local high school CTEC. I do enjoy teaching and would like do continue doing so.

Why did I join EMP?

I joined EMP for the connections, knowledge, and resources that would be available to me, to help build myself and my future. I believe that this program can fill in some voids I have in my knowledge and skill set, which would greatly increase my chances of bringing future inventions/products to market, and with some logistics to know with starting up and running a company. 

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Manny Gonzalez

Major: Mechanical Engineering 

What are your interests? I enjoy reading books and continuously learning new things. Particularly, personal development and technology-related topics. Some of my favorite books include, “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, “Think and Grow Rich”, “Rich Dad Poor Dad”, “Structures: Or Why Things Don't Fall Down”, and just about any physics-related books. 

I also enjoy designing. For the past 3 years, I’ve worked as a design engineer. First at Tesla in 2019 and Tashjian Towers in 2020. I find it very rewarding to design products to solve issues or to optimize our lives. Third, besides designing, I enjoy creating and building hands-on. Most of my hands-on projects have been in construction, technology prototyping, and manufacturing. Through the many projects I’ve worked on, I’ve had the opportunity to gain skills in masonry, excavation and concrete, computer programming, robotics, welding, machining, and mechatronic assemblies. 

What is your dream career? I don’t have a specific dream career in mind. I do know that my dream career would have to include much of what I am doing now. That is, designing and building. Moreover, my dream career would also include providing value to people. I hope to improve my design, manufacturing, and construction services in the future. Although not a dream career, one of my dream projects consists of designing and building a revolutionary suburb of homes like no other. These homes would be highly energy and water-efficient with very modern functionalities. 

Why did you join EMP?  Students in engineering are placed in courses such that we are not as exposed socially, compared to other majors. Therefore, networking can sometimes be a struggle. I understand that networking can allow me to expand and share my skills. Also, I understand the immeasurable value of obtaining a mentor. Even if not directly related to my field, a mentor can allow me to develop a new perspective. Between networking, information, and mentors, I believe 

EMP has a lot to offer beginning professionals. 

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Kara Hernandez

Major: Business Administration - Marketing

What are your interest? I enjoy kayaking, bike rides, and anything that involves being outside. I was born and raised in Clovis, and currently live in Fresno. I am a huge fan of my home town. I have already planted roots here, and I hope to become an integral part of the community that shaped me, and be able serve and give something back to it.

What is your Dream Career? I currently bartend and serve at a restaurant and I love it. I thrive in this fast paced and sometimes stressful environment, and I hope to find a career with that same vibe.

Why did you join EMP? I was referred to this program from another student who was involved, and did not know what to expect. Originally, it sounded like a great opportunity to connect with others who had the same goals and vision as I did and also a chance to improve my professional skills. As I learned more, it became apparent I would have a chance to really challenge myself and step out of my comfort zone. I also look forward to meeting my mentor and connecting with those in my community who can help guide me on my educational journey. I am excited to learn in a place different from a traditional classroom and gain the hands on experience that this program can provide. I am so grateful for this opportunity and cannot wait to make the most of it.

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Dirk Tharpe

Major: English Literature

What are your interests? I love writing and creating stories that allow the reader to feel enrapt with my words and scenes. I have recently become dedicated to is the martial art form of Muay Thai. 

 

What is your dream career? My ultimate goal is to become an established writer while using teaching as a retirement job to

pass on my life experience and teachings. I always have something on my mind that I want to improve on or start. I always push myself to be better and to accrue the best life experience possible. I currently have two jobs and this was a goal of mine to have last semester because I wanted to make use of my time efficiently while working 50 to 60-hour weeks and appreciating the days all the same. I did not want to simply live for the weekend, I wanted to live for every day and improve every day. Life has more to offer than just Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Why did you join EMP? I joined EMP because I thought it would be a great opportunity to get together and grow with likeminded people. I have always wanted a mentor to help guide me through my life, so this was another draw. I want to be a writer and being a writer is very similar to having your own business. Rather than trying to sell a product, you are trying to sell people your ideas.

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Marcus Beh

Major: Business Administration - Entrepreneurship

 

What are your interests? I used to be very passionate on the creative industry and was hoping to be a travel photographer/filmmaker one day. But eventually, I’ve realized that my passion died down, and I’m doing this as a hobby.

What is your Dream Career? Currently, my goal is to own a business in the future and grow it to its fullest potential. Other than that, my personal life goal is to be happy at what I’m doing and be the best version of myself that I can be. Most people misunderstood this statement, but what I meant is finding a balance between my professional goals and every other aspect of my life. However, that doesn’t mean that I’m lazy, I still strive to be great in the Entrepreneurship space and I am as determined and passionate as everyone else.

Why did I join EMP? I joined EMP hoping to learn more about the practicality of Entrepreneurship. Most schools teach the "What" of Entrepreneurship, not the "How". With the mentors' guidance, I believe I will be on my way to reaching my goals. I also hope to have a community where I get to meet like-minded people and network, learning from every one of them to fine-tune our skills further. 

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Zeferino Oshiro

Major: 

Business Administration - Entrepreneurship - minoring in Fashion Merchandising

What are your interests? My interests include photography and

fitness. In five years, I see myself living a fulfilling life while having a strong relationship with my family and friends.

 

What is your dream career? My career goals are to have a

career in the Fashion Industry and my long term career goal is to become a decisive, proactive, and reliable

entrepreneur. I see myself graduating from Fresno State with my BS in Business Administration and a Minor in Fashion Merchandising, also have earned my MBA from an undetermined university. I see myself with an established

clothing and lifestyle brand.

 

Why did you join EMP? I hope to improve my communication skills, develop a broader perspective on career options, and to identify and achieve my career goals through the help of mentors.