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Be Frugal in the New Year
Point. Click. Create Your Own Website
Alumni Spotlight
Career Week Recap


Volume 3  |  Issue 5

December 2013



Come hear author and CPA Clare Levison talk about how it's cool to be smart about your money. She has appeared on major radio and television networks across the country, and now she's coming to Western International University (West) with her simple yet compelling message about how to better manage your personal finances. Stop by, get smarter about your money, and pick up a signed copy of Clare's new book — Frugal Isn't Cheap. Spend Less, Save More and Live Better — at a 25% discount.

Date: Thursday, January 9, 2014
Time: 6:30–7:30 pm MST Presentation, 7:30–8:30 pm MST Book Signing & Networking
Place: Western International University
1601 W. Fountainhead Parkway, Rooms 103-104, Tempe, AZ 85282
Presenter: Clare Levison, CPA
Author, AICPA National Financial Literacy Spokesperson, VSCPA Board of Directors 2010–2013
RSVP: laura.lee@west.edu

Complimentary refreshments will be served.

At the event, Clare will take you down the path she took from accounting student to CPA to author and spokesperson for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). She'll also talk about how her volunteer work fueled the passion she has today for helping others manage their money better.

According to Clare, "Money is such a taboo topic, but you can't improve your money situation if you don't talk about it." She plans on sharing some of her proven tips for frugal living, so you can start off the new year with smart and easy ways to save more money.


As West continues to take steps toward making higher education more affordable, we are always looking for ways to help our students and alumni be more financially successful. We hope you will join us on January 9 to hear Clare's smart and savvy advice for managing your money better. Here is a little more background about Clare:

How did you end up writing a book on personal finance?
I started my career in corporate finance, but became interested in personal finance after getting my CPA and doing volunteer work with the VSCPA. One day, I was talking with the editor of a local newspaper, and he asked me what I would do if I could do anything. I told him that I would write. It just so happened that he was looking for someone who could write a column for his newspaper on personal finance, and so I did. I received a lot of encouraging emails and that ultimately led me to write my book.

What do you like to tell people about managing their money?
Make it a priority to save, and stop focusing on material possessions. Focus more on your quality of life—the things that don't cost anything but make you happy, like spending time with friends. Personally, I find it really empowering to let go of materialistic goals and focus on those more important things, what I call "real wealth."

If Frugal Isn't Cheap (as your book title says), what is it?
Being frugal is smart. It's about making a conscious decision about every penny you spend. You can still have discretionary money that you spend on things you enjoy, but you have to be aware and not spend money you don't have. It all comes down to creating a balance and always looking for ways to save money and improve your finances.

How are you different than other personal financial experts?
I'm not preachy, and my message is simple: Be responsible and be smart about your money. It's not complicated, and it's fun. It feels good to see money going into your retirement fund or other savings. It feels good to be debt free.

Do you have any New Year's resolutions?
I eat out too much, so that's definitely an area that I can work on to save money. I also have another idea for a book, so I might get started with that. It would be a book for parents to help them teach their kids about money while modeling good financial behavior themselves.

Clare Levison


To give yourself a competitive edge in the career market, create and launch a professional website. It's free and easy to do with the Website Builder tool at OptimalResume.com.™ You'll be able showcase your skills and abilities in a professional and attractive way, plus provide links to your social networking profiles and index your site to improve your "Google™ footprint."

  • Web Builder enables you to post resumes, letters, videos, etc. that you have created with OptimalResume.™ Review each of these carefully (or create new ones) to make sure they are done well and are up to date.
  • Meet with a West Career Coach to go over your OptimalResume portfolio and come up with a website strategy.
  • Choose from a variety of templates and determine what elements come up first when a person visits your site.
  • Add a photograph of yourself and relevant widgets with links to your blog or social media sites.
  • Consider adding a passkey if you want to keep your website confidential, though making your site public could give you more exposure to recruiters and employers.
  • Preview your site, make any last-minute changes and then launch it. The "Hits" counter will tell you how many people visit your site.
  • Index your site with major search engines to improve your site's visibility.
  • Update your website regularly with new links, skills and information.

Building and maintaining a website has never been easier. If you have any questions along the way, don't hesitate to reach out to a West Career Coach. You can also sit down with a coach to get feedback once your site is complete.

Point. Click. Create

Account Consultant, Medical Devices
Kimberly-Clark Healthcare
Arizona and Las Vegas, NV

A few years ago, Alfredo Matute found himself out of a job. However, it took him just three months to find a new employer and a great new position. How did Alfredo land a job so quickly? He believes his MBA in International Business from West played a big part.


How did your West degree help you?
The people I interviewed with said they were impressed that I had earned my MBA in International Business from West. My degree, along with my work experience, helped me stand out from the other people applying for the job.

What responsibilities do you have in your new job?
I was hired by Kimberly-Clark Healthcare to be an Account Consultant in the Medical Devices/Respiratory Division. I train medical professionals on how to use our products and spend a lot of time in Intensive Care Units (ICU) and emergency rooms consulting during procedures with our products.

How does what you learned at West help you in your job?
West really improved my critical thinking, which is important in my job since it is so detail-oriented. While out of a job, I came up with the idea to register a limited liability company (LLC) to explore the import/export business. My international degree helped me understand how the laws, taxes and trade agreements vary from country to country.

Why did you choose West to help you focus on international business?
I researched a number of universities and felt that West had the best courses in international business. When I took some of these courses, I found the information very up-to-date, and I still refer to my text books because the information in them is still relevant.

Where would you like your career to take you?
I enjoy my current job and see myself staying there for several years, but ultimately I’d like to go into the Global Marketing Division for Kimberly-Clark Healthcare in Atlanta. I’m already involved in marketing, but I’d like to do it on a global level. I recently interviewed with leadership in marketing to express my interest in Global Marketing. Hopefully, I'll achieve that goal soon.

You’re very involved in West alumni activities — why?
I like being surrounded by educated professionals. I also think it’s really important to stay connected with people. It’s how you find out what’s going on in the business world. Through networking, you develop professional relationships that can lead to different opportunities and valuable referrals.

Alfredo Matute


Students and alumni came together November 12–14 to celebrate National Career Development Week at West. There were many interesting discussions, as well as valuable information about current career tips and trends.


Career Coaching
During the week, West alumni and students took advantage of complimentary, one-on-one coaching sessions via phone or online for help with everything from resumes to salary negotiation. Special thanks to career coaches Julie Chahboune, Eleanor Augur and Norm Meshriy for their time and expertise.

Career Webinar
West hosted a career webinar led by Kathryn Scahill, a career coach and National Certified Counselor, on developing a personal career plan called Putting Your Career in Motion through Goals & Actions.

MBA Panel Discussion
West wrapped up the week with a discussion panel that explored the educational and business experiences of MBA industry professionals. Speakers included West faculty and members of the local business community. The discussion provided useful information about what to look for in an MBA program, as well as tips for career progression, industry changes and benefits of an MBA in various fields. Many thanks to the following panel members for their active and insightful participation:

Chris Filandro, CIO, Meritage Homes & West Faculty
Dan Ernest
, Controller, Greater Phoenix Economic Council
Debra J. Stevens
, Director of Marketing and Communications, Phoenix Children's Hospital
Julie Jakubek
, The Julie Jakubek Agency, Allstate Insurance Company
Michael Gorbitz
, President, Alberta Oats Milling, Ltd.
Aram Chavez
, Lecturer, Arizona State University College of Technology and Innovation
Panel Moderator: Dr. Lisa Klein Pearo
, Business Program Chair, Western International University

Click here to view a recording of the MBA panel discussion.

West Fall Webinar Series
Below are links to the entire fall lineup of West career webinars:

The Value of Listening: Using Social Media to Understand Your Customers and Competitors
Dr. Lisa Klein Pearo
, Business Program Chair, Western International University

Social Media Use In Social and Behavioral Science
Dr. Jennifer E. Lee
, Behavioral Science Program Chair, Western International University

Aligning IT and Business
Dr. Jimmie Flores
, Informatics Program Chair, Western International University

Putting Your Career in Motion through Goals & Actions
Kathryn Scahill
Career Coach & National Certified Counselor

West MBA Panel Discussion – MBA Industry Trends & Highlights

Career Week Recap

Why manage your career on your own when you can get complimentary One-On-One Career Coaching through West? Whether you need a new resume, interview tips, networking ideas or website advice, our professional career coaches are here to help. To get started, go to the Fast Track Career Tools page after you log into the West alumni website.


shop west store

Go to shopweststore.com, and register to get special offers delivered right to your inbox. Then look around and treat yourself to some new West-branded gear—maybe a Blackhawk Backpack, neoprene tablet stand, organic cotton polo or microfleece jacket to keep you warm this winter. You can also pick up e-Certificates for your favorite West students or alumni. They range from $10 to $100 and make great gifts!

A great way to stay involved with West is to attend or volunteer at our alumni events. You can also volunteer to be a mentor
and help fellow alumni or current students chart a career course and reach their professional goals. To find out about all alumni networking and volunteer opportunities, email laura.lee@west.edu.

Laura Lee
Alumni/Career Resources Manager
602-429-1110 or laura.lee@west.edu

Alumni Reenrollment
1-866-948-4636 or inquiries@west.edu




For more information about our on-time completion rates, the median loan debt incurred by students who completed their programs, and other important information, please visit our website at http://www.west.edu/online-degree-programs.

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