Spotlight Story

Laura Rosenthal MBA 96 Designs and Builds Her Own Career

What opportunities, decisions and events have shaped your professional life?

After earning my UC Davis MBA, I went to work in finance at Hewlett-Packard. I gained so much valuable experience working for a large company, but I realized after having my first child that I wanted more flexibility in my work schedule.  

When my daughter turned one, a friend asked if I’d help her manage a residential development project. She knew I had the budget management skills, and liked what I had done on my own remodel. She needed my help 15 hours a week, much of which could be done from home. It was a perfect fit, and was the “jumping off point” for my career in construction management/design and my company, Meridian Construction and Design, based in San Diego.

My focus is on high-end luxury homes. One of the highlights of my career is having the opportunity to remodel the home of Aaron Rodgers, the quarterback of the Green Bay Packers.

What are you passionate about in your work?

My favorite aspect of my work is the sense of accomplishment and completion I feel when a homeowner moves into their newly completed home. We have transformed or in some cases, created from the ground up, a beautiful environment for families. I love that my work is project based–that there is a clear start and finish.

Currently, I can only take on a limited number of projects as I am still actively raising a family. I recently hired someone to work with me full-time, but still focus on balancing work and home life. When my kids are older, I plan on expanding my company to take on more, larger scale projects.

What is the most significant thing that’s happened to you since graduating?

The most amazing thing that has happened to me since graduating from the GSM is the birth of my two children, Natasha, 15, and Benjamin, 12. As grateful as I am for my UC Davis education, nothing compares!

Your favorite GSM memory?

My favorite memories are the daily interactions I had with fellow students and professors. I found the entire experience so enriching and fulfilling.

How do you support and participate in the GSM now? Why is it important to support graduate business education?

Living in Southern California, I find myself missing my connection to UC Davis. There is a small contingency of UC Davis graduates here in the San Diego area. I plan on attending a UC Davis Art, Wine and Science alumni event this month hosted by the College of Biological Sciences. I plan on taking part in more UC Davis events and rebuilding that connection to the campus.