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Love and Business Make a Successful Pair for Newlywed SMBA Grads

Tram and Christian SMBA program

It’s not always advisable to mix business and pleasure, but when Tram Ho and Christian Salgado first met in 2017 through a mutual friend, something clicked. What started out as a friendship eventually turned into a serious relationship, and the pair soon found their personal and educational paths converging towards the same destiny.

“I personally felt luck was on my side and immediately knew she was the one,” said Christian.

“Christian has been one of my biggest supporters in life,” said Tram. “He keeps me accountable for my goals!”

One of the early goals in their relationship was to obtain an MBA degree, and once the young couple decided to pursue it together, they found it easy to choose California State University, Long Beach (CSULB). In 2020, they enrolled in the Saturday Master of Business Administration (SMBA) program, attracted by its affordability compared to similar local programs and the hybrid class schedule that accommodated their full-time jobs. The program’s two-year timeframe and its inclusion of an international travel experience confirmed their decision.

“Growing up in the Los Angeles area, CSULB was always well-known as a successful institution,” Christian explained, “especially when it came to business.”

“The SMBA cohort style program allowed me to build deep and purposeful connections with my peers over two years,” said Tram. “It was through this program that I got to meet professionals who introduced me to the digital marketing and social media field, which encouraged me to leave my HR career. It’s never too late to make a change!”

“I am in my current role now thanks to the SMBA program,” said Christian, who is a Revenue Operations Team Lead at a tech start-up called, which was founded by a fellow CSULB alumni. “In fact, I used some of the concepts I learned in the program and applied it to the interview [for this job].”

Going through the SMBA program together was a beneficial experience that strengthened Tram and Christian’s relationship on many levels. As they supported each other at home and in school, they shared their commitment to the SMBA program as well as the knowledge they gained from it. 

“It allowed us both to build on our separate careers,” said Tram. “It also gave us a chance to learn each other’s perspectives across multiple topics in school.”  

“One thing we did well was communicate,” added Christian. “An added benefit was bouncing off ideas with one another regarding projects coming up or business workflows. We still talk about some of what we learned to this day as a couple.”

After donning black caps and gowns to walk together at their Summer 2022 graduation ceremony, Tram and Christian were soon wearing white on their wedding day.

“Our wedding was a mixture of emotions,” said Tram, “but it was all beautiful and we felt very loved from our family and friends.”

“We had two of our SMBA colleagues there to celebrate with us,” added Christian. “Graduating and getting married in the same year was an awesome feeling!”

Click here to learn more about the Saturday Master of Business Administration program.


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