Alumni Stories


David Newhouse, EMBA '19

Currently: Business Analytics Consultant
Campus: San Ramon
Prior Education: University of California, Berkeley & Michigan State University



"I am always going to be interested in pushing myself to stay active and be a lifelong learner."

I retired from Kaiser Permanente after 37 years as an Ob/Gyn physician. In 2007, I won the Kaiser Permanente National Diversity RJ Erickson award for my work using analytics to improve physician service scores. I was also a top ten innovation award winner the same year by Diversity, Inc Magazine. 

  • Why did you choose Saint Mary's College?

    I chose Saint Mary’s College based on several factors. My daughter had graduated from Saint Mary's and had a great experience. The EMBA program was highly rated and less expensive than other schools. The school was close to where I live. The program had flexible scheduling and was a hybrid program – on-campus and online. Finally, the culture of the school was of high ethical standards.

  • What was the most valuable thing you learned in the Executive MBA program?

    That I wasn’t “too” old to go back to school and learn new skills. There was a fear that I wouldn’t do well. My instructors and classmates were very helpful so that I would succeed.

  • What did you learn about yourself?

    I realized I still had the ability to learn new skills. Not only that, I realized I had the patience and endurance to finish the whole program. The other thing I learned is that I am always going to be interested in pushing myself to stay active and be a lifelong learner.

  • How did the program benefit your personal and professional growth?

    At my stage in life being retired, that remains to be seen. There is age discrimination and I hope that getting my MBA will show that I still have things to offer. Things don’t always reveal themselves as to their value at the current moment. It was years before my MPH program became valuable when I got into leadership roles. As Steve Jobs said, it may be years before the dots line up. Patience is a wonderful virtue.

  • Discuss your classroom and online experience

    I tried both the pure on campus and the hybrid program. Between the two, I much preferred the hybrid. While I enjoyed being on campus, the San Ramon site was more modern and comfortable to spend the day in. It was also close to home. The hybrid portion was also usually recorded which made it much easier to review materials after the lecture. Having class every other Saturday also gave me some free weekends.

  • What capstone project or travel trip did you go on?

    Our capstone project was with the nonprofit organization, Oasis. A few of us went to their annual festival to help out and learn more about their organization. It was a fun day time trip. I also took the trip to Japan which was an amazing adventure. I really enjoyed it and would recommend it to any student who has the time and can afford this optional course.

  • What advice would you give someone considering pursuing their MBA?

    Have a clear idea of what your goals are. Know the different programs that are offered so that you find the program that fits you well. Consider taking some online courses if you are going into analytics so you have a basic understanding before starting the classes. It really makes a difference. Check out different banks for financing your student loans as the rates vary widely. Have the support of your spouse and workplace or it can become a lot tougher. Make friends with your classmates. They come from a variety of backgrounds and you can all help each other. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Try to buy your books used. Apply for a scholarship grant. There are several that are available. Participate in class. It makes a big difference. Have fun. I miss it now that the program is over.


My Life, My Family, My Future


Robert, a US Air Force Veteran, explains how he leveraged his military training to succeed in the EMBA program – but realized his family is what keeps him going. 

Robert Cramer, EMBA '20

Currently: Systems & Data Support Manager for SEAL (Sobrato Early Academic Language)
Campus: Moraga
Prior Education: University of Maryland University College, Community College of the Air Force



"The hybrid format of EMBA means I get to be home for dinner."

My name is Robert Cramer and I am a veteran of the United States Air Force. I am 29 years old and currently work as the Systems Administrator for Valley Montessori School in Livermore CA. I am currently attending Saint Mary’s College of California in the Executive MBA program with a dual focus in Global Business and Business Analytics.

  • How do you balance school and work?

I couldn't have balanced this schedule without the support of my family, especially my wife, Katelynn. We have to create schedules for everything and balance work, family time, study time for me and study time for my wife, as she is in school full-time as well. It is a task that takes tremendous effort and self-discipline, that said, if you put in the effort, your professors and the entire business department are there to assist when needed.

  • What’s the most valuable thing you learned in the Executive MBA program thus far?

First perseverance through doubt, work stress, financial stress, family stress. Second, you’re only as good as your network. Keep open lines of communication with peers and colleagues. Third, if someone else can do it, you can do it. Amid the stress of real life, family schedules, financial responsibilities, and my job, I am encouraged to think big. If someone else, like a CEO or CFO is able to go through the program, so am I.

  • What are you learning about yourself?

I really enjoy this type of classwork and I think it has really helped me refine my career path moving forward.

  • How is Saint Mary's Executive MBA program benefiting your personal and professional growth?

I feel like I am growing intellectually and developing high-level business skills. This learning experience has shown me some key do's and don'ts and imparted decades of practical wisdom from our many professors that I am able to immediately leverage. 

  • How has what you learned in the military prepared for the rigors of the EMBA program?

In the United States Air Force there is a lot of expectation. They require that you be resilient and rise to every occasion as an opportunity to better yourself. Regardless of the stress or time constants. The goal is the job and the job must get done. My military experience has instilled in me the ability to believe in myself and my skills. It forced me to stand even under the most tremendous pressure. To push myself beyond my perceived limits, because I am capable of achieving anything I take ownership of provided I apply myself. I learned that It is important to understand that you will not achieve anything great unless you step out of your own way and get comfortable being uncomfortable.   

  • Discuss your classroom and online experience (benefits of the hybrid program?)

The hybrid aspect of this course is 90% of the reason I enrolled. It allows me enough flexibility to work full time and pursue my degree while spending time with my family. Getting together with my cohort every other Saturday has really helped maintain that inclusivity and comradery. 

  • What capstone project or travel trip did you go on?

I went on a travel trip to Japan and it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. The business, culture, food, scenery, and temples were amazing.  The cities and people were fascinating. I plan on attending the next travel trip as-well in order to obtain a focus on global business as well as business analytics.

  • What advice would you give someone considering pursuing their MBA?

If I could give any advice it would be, just get comfortable being uncomfortable. If you can overcome that discomfort, you will gain amazing opportunity, growth, networking and monetary dividends in return for your perseverance. If you think you don't have the time or you have a family and can't imagine juggling it all. You can. This is an investment in your future. 


Retirement Reimagined

David was apprehensive to go back to school after 50 but with a great support system from his family, faculty, and classmates he realized his fears were unwarranted.