Cal Poly students were advised on how to succeed financially in any economic climate during Radical Paths to Success Saturday.
The motivational symposium was hosted by Cal Poly Pomona graduate Dr. Khosro Khaloghli in his 35,000 square foot castle, Castello della Costa d’Oro, located in Cambria. Speakers and panelists talked about their experiences as entrepreneurs and inspired students to be well-rounded and follow their dreams. Two-hundred students attend the free symposium; attendees were bussed from the Cal Poly campus to Khaloghli’s house.
“Do what you love and do it your way. If you fall, get up — don’t ever give up,” Khaloghli said.
As the first speaker, Khaloghli told his story of immigrating to America from Iran with nothing and achieving the American dream. Financial success is the easiest in the world, he said; all it takes is compromise and sacrifice.
Khaloghli spoke on finding success as a real estate developer. He invested all of his money into an apartment complex, personally found occupants and offered the tenants a package of swim and martial art lessons.
“I became a millionaire in 59 days,” he said. “You make your money on the purchase, not the sale.”
He told students to find out why they work hard in school because the drive of knowing what they want will help achieve goals faster.
“Do unpaid internships, think of interviews as meetings and come up with ideas for work on your own time,” he said.
Haruka Minami Khaloghli, Khaloghli’s wife, was the second speaker of Radical Paths to Success. She spoke about student life in China and how there wasn’t enough space at the colleges when she graduated from high school.
“Seven percent of high school graduates went to college,” she said.
Students in China attended college for free but the colleges would choose where to send students for jobs after graduation. With a degree in Japanese, Haruka was disappointed when she was sent to Japan to be a university teacher, she said. Her advice was to not be sad or disappointed, but to figure out how to turn things around.
“Real quality of life in happiness is constant improvement,” she said. “Don’t be afraid to fail; when you do fail, think that you are close to success.”
After the speeches the symposium became an interactive question-and-answer segment led by Dr. Khaloghli with guest panelists Kim Leone Olenicoff, Fred Sisson and Lori McGuire.
Sisson started his company REC Solar while attending Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.
“Everyone is saying the market is tough,” he said. “Break out of the common mindset and find what opportunities are being missed.”
Child development freshman Brieana Higley-Anderson attended the symposium with Cal Poly’s peer educating group Peers Understanding Listening Speaking and Educating (P.U.L.S.E.).
“The thing I took away from it was seven out of 10 times you fail, and failing is just a step to success,” she said. “We didn’t really get to see his house though. He could have come to Cal Poly campus to give the speech.”
Industrial engineering junior Phillip Akhzar wasn’t thrilled with the symposium either, he said.
“I really only appreciated when Khosro talked,” he said. “Other than that I didn’t get much out of it.”