"Business is a tough place to work in. I often have to remind myself that I have to treat everyone with kindness even in a tough situation. The professors and faculty at CBU never ceased to amaze me by the amount of kindness they always gave to their students."

Quick Facts

Program: B.S. in Business Administration
Concentration: Management
Graduation Year: 2013 and 2014
Current Job Title: Owners of Cothran & Merchant Goosehead Insurance Agency Inc.
Hometown: Fontana, CA and West Covina, CA
Current City: West Covina, CA

Life at CBU

Why did you choose your major? What interested you in this particular field of study?
Phillip: Business is what came natural to me, I knew I wanted to be a business owner. Both of our families were full of entrepreneurs, it’s what Nisha and I both knew best.
Nisha: I chose business admin as my major because I have always loved the concept of business. Business can be used in every aspect of life, which is what excited me. I wasn’t locking myself down to one specific skill set.

What did you think about your professors?
Phillip: They are fantastic. The professors at CBU are what sold me on this school. On all other tours of different schools, I never had a professor speak to me. When I toured CBU I had professors speak to me along with the dean of business.
Nisha: The professors are the best part of CBU, I was always able to get office time with them to go over anything, whether that be a subject in the class or my walk with God. They took hours outside the classroom talking to me about my likes, dislikes, love languages, everything! I know I wouldn’t even be a business owner today without them.

Did you complete an internship?
Phillip: Yes, I did. I did an internship at Sunny Components, a small family business. It was a great experience. I noticed the gap between the textbook and the application of the lessons taught to us in a classroom. I was able to grow from my internship because of that.
Nisha: Yes, I completed an internship with Amanda Carroll State Farm. It was a very beneficial experience to me. It allowed me to see that I really did enjoy insurance. This internship led me to owning and operating my own insurance company.

Did you participate in anything else at CBU?
Phillip: I was a part of the Accounting Society, I played rec sports, ISP and studied at Oxford for my International Business course.
Nisha: I was in the marketing club and the Accounting Society and studied at Oxford. The marketing club and Accounting Society allowed me to meet new people within my major and also grow academically. Studying at Oxford was one of the best memories I had at CBU. It was a great experience to study in a different country, learn about culture and have fun with some of your classmates!

Life after CBU

What have you done since graduating?
Phillip: After MBA graduation, Nisha and I opened our own insurance agency with Goosehead Insurance. I’m the president of Christian Business Partners in San Dimas, member of the Chamber of Commerce Fontana, the incoming rotary president of Fontana, and I sit on the Miss Fontana Scholarship pageant board.
Nisha: After college, Phillip and I got engaged one month later, four months after graduation we went to training in Dallas, TX for one month to open our Goosehead Insurance office. We got married six months after opening our office. I sit on the board for the Fontana Women’s Club and Miss Fontana organization, I’m a member of the Woman Republican National Committee, and I started my own fashion/lifestyle blog where I’m sponsored by Nordstrom and Ann Taylor.

How has your major and time at CBU prepared you for your life and career after college?
Phillip: My major prepared me to set up my office, go over my business contract, interact with customers, interact with our staff, and so much more. My time at CBU prepared me to be a God-loving husband, friend and successful business owner.
Nisha: My major prepared me to own my own business by giving me the skill sets of ownership, contract law, customer interaction and marketing. We knew that owning our own company would be challenging but our professors gave us the ability to succeed. I never imagined I would need to apply statistics in my workplace, but I currently have five different Excel spreadsheets on my desktop and backed up on a hard drive because they have become my life and I don’t know what I would do without them! 

Is there anything you learned at CBU that you still use in your professional life today?
Phillip: Everything. I use accounting and marketing every single day. Small family business management is what truly helped me succeed in the day to day activity of owning a small business.
Nisha: Kindness. Business is a tough place to work in. I often have to remind myself that I have to treat everyone with kindness even in a tough situation. The professors and faculty at CBU never ceased to amaze me by the amount of kindness they always gave to their students.

How are you making a difference in the world? How are you living your purpose?
Phillip: We are able to help people in a time of crisis for them. I like knowing I’m the guy that my customers call when something happens to their most insurable interest; I like knowing I can help them!
Nisha: I believe my purpose is to help people. I feel the most fulfilled when I have helped a situation. Whether it is helping someone in a daily activity, or going to someone’s home when a disaster hits and telling them that their insurance is going to help them with everything.