Building Your Career: UCI & You


Building Your Career: UCI & You

Creating Change Inside & Outside the Organization

Monday, January 23, 2017
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
UCI Applied Innovation

Innovation! It's today's buzzword. Join the UCI Alumni Association, the Paul Merage School of Business, the Beall Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship for an insightful panel discussion "Creating Change Inside and Outside the Organization" Hear how three accomplished UCI alumni successfully became agents for change and growth in the world of entrepreneurship.

Learn how to become an entrepreneur or intrapreneur. You won't want to miss this exclusive opportunity to network with distinguished alumni and connect with peers. Barney Ellis-Perry, C.E.O. of the UCI Alumni Association, will be moderating. Heavy hors d'oeurves and drinks are provided. Reservation is required.

Registration: $10 per person
Dress Code:
Business attire
Free self-parking available

About the series:

Our role in helping you grow in your career doesn’t stop once you’ve graduated from UCI! We want to help our young alumni continue to advance in their industry. Join us for our first quarterly alumni career series, BUILDING YOUR CAREER: UCI & YOU. Each quarter we will be hosting a special event designed to help young alumni professionals advance their career.

Meet Your Speakers:

Gina Heitkamp, M.B.A. '14

Co-Founder & CEO, Middle School Moguls

Gina Heitkamp is a tech-savvy MBA who aims to inspire young girls through toys, media and technology. Before graduating from the UCI Paul Merage School of Business, Heitkamp spent her early twenties building and managing social platforms and later worked as a go to market consultant for a wide range of businesses from startups to fortune 500 companies. Heitkamp believes that Middle School Moguls is the perfect way to turn her passions and expertise into a business that inspires future generations.

Jermaine Griggs '05

Founder & President, Hear and Play Music

Jermaine Griggs is a minister, musician, entrepreneur, mentor, and public speaker. Born and raised in Long Beach, CA with humble beginnings, Griggs always envisioned making an impact in the world. At the tender age of 16, he started Hear and Play Music, an instructional music company specializing in teaching piano by ear. With only $70 and a vision, he bought the name and launched the company that would not only change his life but hundreds of thousands of musicians around the world through his software, books, DVDs, and online training programs.

Fourteen years later, more than 2 million aspiring musicians download his free online lessons every year and over 300,000 loyal students receive his regular newsletters and correspondence.  His success has allowed him to give back to his community, family, friends, charities and causes.

He supports Operation Jumpstart of Long Beach, where he gives his resources and time as a mentor and donor. He also supports Mentors International, Rady Children’s Hospital, The Brain Observatory at UCSD, Boys Scouts of America, The Boys and Girls Club, The Haitian Project, Save Darfur, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and others. As a result of his success at a young age, Griggs started attracting the attention of the business world. He's been featured on MSN’s “Top 10 Superstars Under 30” alongside Mark Zuckerberg, Yahoo, Kiplinger, Dun & Bradstreet’s “Top Young Entrepreneurs,” Aetna's “African American” Innovators, MSNBC, HGTV, and more. Jermaine was a participant in the Young CEO Leadership Conversation with Chancellor Gillman.

Neil Sahota '97, '00, M.B.A. '03

World Wide Business Development Leader & Master Inventor, IBM
Adjust Professor, UCI Paul Merage School of Business

Neil Sahota is a UCI alumnus many times over, with three undergraduate degrees, one master degree, and 24 certificates. He has an impressive track record of advising global Fortune 500 companies on business strategy, as well as partnering with start-up companies to generate the next generation of cutting edge products. Currently, Sahota is an IBM Master Inventor and Ecosystem Engagement Manager in the IBM Watson Group. With more than 15 years of experience in business, he works with high growth business partners to ideate next generation products/solutions. IBM has developed new products and services in the areas of Business Analytics, Smarter Healthcare, Smarter Energy, Mobile Channel Development, and Social Media Solutions with his guidance and expertise.

In addition to his professional work, Sahota actively volunteers his time to help non-profits and foundations. He is a dedicated life member of the UCI Alumni Association and was a former member of its Board of Directors and Executive Committee. As the former VP of Programs, he developed the Anteater MeetUps, Virtual Roundtables, and cross-school partnerships for joint events.

Sahota leverages his experiences to help UCI, exemplifying an attitude of giving back, opportunity, creation, and developing the next generation of volunteers. He is an exceptional ambassador of the university by connecting UCI faculty, staff and students with IBM and local organizations to showcase UCI research areas. Some of the UCI programs, departments and centers he actively supports include: A Hundred Tiny Hands, UCI Financial Literacy Program, TedxUCIrvine, the Center for Global Leadership mentor, UCI Extension, Merage Business Analytics MBA Focal Program, Merage Business Plan Competition, the ANTrepreneur Center, National Science Foundation i-Corps Program, The Center for Investment and Wealth Management, Merage Corporate Partners Program, Chancellor’s Club, and the UCI Career Center.

Sahota supports entrepreneurs in defining their products, establishing their target markets and structuring their companies. He is a member of the Tech Coast Angels; a judge in the Donald Bren School of ICS Butterworth Product Competition; and a mentor in the K5 Launch accelerator program. Mr. Sahota also serves on the Board of Directors for the Orange County Marathon.

This program is brought to you by the following sponsors:

UCI Alumni
(949) 824-2586
UCI Applied Innovation