Business Leaders Share Professional Advice as Professors for a Day at CSUN Nazarian College

Alumnus Steve Rabuchin of Amazon's Alexa Voice Services.

Alumnus Steve Rabuchin is Amazon Web Services vice president for worldwide revenue operation. Photo courtesy of Amazon.

While he was a student at CSUN, Steve Rabuchin ’85 (Organizational Systems Management) discovered his passion for business, landing an internship during his senior year and being offered a job at IBM upon graduation.

Through the “Professor for a Day” program, Rabuchin returned to CSUN this fall to share his journey as a successful businessman and now Amazon Web Services vice president for worldwide revenue operation.

The “Professor for a Day” program is held every October by the David Nazarian College of Business and Economics and aims to connect students with professionals who share industry insights, job interview advice and stories of their own journeys.

“Professor for a Day is a crucial initiative for us,” said Chandra Subramaniam, dean of the Nazarian College. “Our students hear from successful professionals who typically happen to be alumni — people who were once in their shoes as students — giving them the confidence that they can be just as successful, while also lending them firsthand career advice they would otherwise not have access to.”

 The program presents students the opportunity to hear from experts in a variety of industries on how to apply what they’ve learned in college in a “real-world” environment, as well as how to get their careers started.

During his virtual presentation in the Operations Management class taught by professor Amir Gharehgozli, Rabuchin shared his career journey, as well as insights from his work at Amazon — particularly the company culture, which highly promotes innovation.

Rabuchin also encouraged Matadors to apply at Amazon as they start their careers.

“We are constantly seeking top talent across a wide variety of backgrounds,” he said. “For people who like to invent, there’s no better place to build than Amazon Web Services. There are a lot of opportunities, and I think CSUN students would fit great there.”

Deanna Austin has participated previously in the program and continues to share her knowledge with CSUN students. Photo courtesy by Leyla Sade.

Alumna Deanna Austin, chief commercial officer for Princess Cruises, shares her knowledge with CSUN students during a past Professor for a Day program. Photo courtesy of Leyla Sade.

Deanna Austin ’90 (MBA, Business Administration) was another notable speaker at this year’s Professor for a Day program. The alumna is the chief commercial officer for Princess Cruises, leading teams that create and optimize global revenue for the cruise line.

During her presentation, Austin shared with students valuable information on how to choose the right career path and went into detail on how to earn a promotion, emphasizing the importance of participation, as well as offering relevant resources for dealing with inequality at work.

Austin also gave students business tips, including revenue-management strategies, sharing her decision-making process, time management advice and her approach to resolving conflicts.

“I truly enjoy connecting with students to help them think about their future career. If I have helped at least one student, then I have succeeded as the Professor for a Day,” Austin said.

In addition to Rabuchin and Austin, nearly three dozen other prominent guest speakers — including many alumni — shared their experiences with students during the program.

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