“I never had one day off for two years—work five days a week, many times very long hours, [then] all-day Saturday class, all-day Sunday homework and meeting with your team. It was exhausting—just like opening your own business!”
Those are the unflinching words of CSULB graduate Devorah Allen-Solorio, who attended the first cohort in the university’s Saturday MBA program from 2010 to 2012. Despite the intense time commitment that was need to complete her degree while working full-time, the Saturday MBA program’s unique schedule, online access, expert instructors, and international travel component all provided just what she needed to take the next steps on her career path.
“This was the only program at the time that offered Saturday-only classes,” said Allen-Solorio of the CSULB program. “I was travelling pretty regularly for work during the week, so being able to work remotely was perfect. Plus, the price was less than a comparable program.”
While completing her degree, she was also working as the Senior Manager of Quality and Training at an international transportation company. Since graduation, she has earned the designation of Certified Professional of Learning and Performance (CPLP) through the Association of Talent Development. She also holds certificates in Workplace Coaching and Workplace Investigations.
Allen-Solorio stated that the Saturday MBA instructors were helpful, using humor at times to make the content interesting and relatable regardless of each students’ different backgrounds. Real-world work scenarios were incorporated into the curriculum, while an overseas study abroad trip to Argentina expanded everyone’s perspective on how certain industries operate in other countries.
“I believe it gave me the well-rounded view anyone that starts a business needs—from finance to accounting, to dealing with people, IT, marketing, and so forth,” said Allen-Solorio of the program. “It gave me confidence to know that the knowledge is in there, I just need to pull it out to make good business decisions.”
With a master’s degree and related professional experiences on her resume, she had the skills and knowledge to open her own consulting business, Allen-Solorio Consultancy, LLC. Operating out of the South Bay and Barstow areas, and covering all of California and Arizona, Allen-Solorio specializes in live instructor-led training on the prevention of sexual harassment and abusive conduct, which satisfies the management and employee training that is mandated by the state of California for employers with five or more employees. This includes everything from hotels and restaurants, to telecom, transportation, and logistics companies, to financial institutions and agriculture. As a result, Allen-Solorio has consulted and trained thousands of hours on topics including management, new supervisor skills, coaching, leadership quality, emotional intelligence, sexual harassment prevention, critical thinking, and managing customer expectations.
Recently, Allen-Solorio celebrated her success by buying a ranch in her new home base of Newberry Springs, which she shares with her wife and a growing house full of friendly dogs and cats. The ideal location allows Allen-Solorio to travel between workplaces in Los Angeles, Bakersfield, and Las Vegas.
“There’s lots going on right now!” she exclaimed. “I just booked four new clients, and I have several days of training coming up—super busy! I will continue to train on the prevention of sexual harassment, in addition to leadership, management and employee soft-skill courses. Life couldn't be better!”