2017 MBAs To Watch: Tiffany Lu, UCLA (Anderson)

Tiffany Lu

UCLA, Anderson School of Management

Age: 28

Hometown: Arcadia, CA

Fun fact about yourself: I won our company’s annual poker tournament.

Undergraduate School and Degree: Duke University; B.S. in Economics

Where did you work before enrolling in business school? Arcadia Academy (Educational Consultant); Paradigm Talent Agency (Human Resources and Electronic Dance Music Tour Coordinator)

Where did you intern during the summer of 2015? Moelis & Company in Los Angeles

Where will you be working after graduation? Moelis & Company, Investment Banking Associate

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School VP of Marketing for Admissions Ambassador Corps; Investment Banking ACT (Anderson Career Team) Coach; VP of Career for Asian Management Student Association; A-Days Planning Committee; Net Impact Board Fellows; Event Coordinator for Yoga Gives Back (nonprofit aimed at alleviating poverty amongst women and children in India)

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? My background, already fairly non-traditional for business school, is extremely non-traditional for investment banking. I initially thought I wanted to go into HR, but after taking accounting and finance classes, I found myself drawn to banking. I’m proud of utilizing the knowledge I gained from my classes, guidance from the career center, and extensive network of Anderson alumni in the industry to secure my internship. I absolutely loved my summer at Moelis and can’t wait to start full-time.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? As an educational consultant at a boutique private tutoring business, I designed a proprietary set of materials for the Critical Reading and Writing sections of the SAT. I taught the curriculum to my students and helped all of them raise their scores in both sections by at least 100 points. Seeing my students, a lot of whom are not native English speakers, improve their scores and become more confident in their test-taking abilities is definitely my proudest professional accomplishment.

Who is your favorite professor? Professor Eric Sussman gives incredibly engaging lectures on accounting; he is fantastic at explaining extremely complex and confusing material while keeping the classes light-hearted and entertaining (his three-hour classes always fly by). I also appreciate how he holds his students up to a high standard and pushes them to give their best effort, often sacrificing his limited free time to provide constructive feedback on our work because he genuinely wants us to learn and improve.

Favorite MBA Courses? Corporate Financial Reporting with Professor Eric Sussman and Global Supply Chain Management with Professor Christopher Tang

Why did you choose this business school? I knew I wanted to work and live in Los Angeles after graduating from business school. In addition to its physical location in the city, Anderson has a very strong network in LA. But it wasn’t until I visited campus that I fell in love with the school: I sat in on a class, chatted with some current students, and realized that Anderson would be a great fit for me.

What did you enjoy most about business school? The most enjoyable part of business school was the classes. I absolutely love being in the classroom, learning from world-class faculty and my accomplished classmates. I was able to take a wide array of classes in subjects that were directly related to my career path (such as Corporate Finance and Advanced Accounting), but also in areas such as real estate, supply chain management, and sports.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from business school? Don’t be afraid to take risks, and don’t underestimate what you’re capable of before you try.

What was the most surprising thing about business school? It took me longer than expected to adjust to student life. I thought since I had worked in education for 2.5 years before starting business school that the transition wouldn’t be too arduous. Turns out, teaching is very different from being a student.

What was the hardest part of business school? It was very difficult to maintain the healthy lifestyle that I had been used to before I started school. I used to practice yoga for 90 minutes six to seven times a week, and I swore to myself that I would continue to do so in business school, but it just wasn’t practical given the limited amount of time I had and all of the commitments (class, extracurriculars, and recruiting) that needed to be prioritized. Now I feel lucky if I can squeeze in a practice once a week.

What’s your best advice to an applicant to your school? Reflect and be honest with yourself about what your short- and long-term goals are. Know that things can always change and Anderson has the resources to help you pivot into whatever you decide to do, but you should think carefully about how your strongest skill sets can align with your goals, and ensure that all of this is conveyed through the application.

“I knew I wanted to go to business school when…I decided I wanted to transition from working for a small business to a larger company.”

“If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…trying to get into business school.”

Which executive or entrepreneur do you most admire? Elon Musk. He is a visionary leader and so completely dedicated to his mission to improve and save humanity.

What are your long-term professional goals? I want to stay in finance long-term, but I’ve always had a soft spot for the entertainment industry, so perhaps a position that touches both.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? My parents, my boyfriend, and my high school English teacher turned dear friend who reminded me to stay grounded and focused when I was struggling to drink from the proverbial business school fire hose.

Favorite book: Lord of the Flies 

Favorite movie: L.A. Confidential

Favorite musical performer: Empire of the Sun

Favorite television show: Breaking Bad

Favorite vacation spot: Taiwan, where I was born and most of my family still reside

Hobbies? Yoga

What made Tiffany such an invaluable addition to the class of 2017?

“Tiffany is a student that the staff here will remember for years to come because of her ability to approach the unknown as an opportunity to learn something new. Tiffany embraces everything she takes on with enthusiasm and dedication and she is one of the hardest working students I have met at Anderson. I worked extensively with Tiffany as she pivoted from tutoring and education into investment banking and was impressed at how focused she was in applying herself to that process. She has carried that same level of commitment into the many leadership and extracurricular activities that she is involved with at Anderson. Additionally, Tiffany is an extremely personable individual who is able to connect across all levels of personalities. Yes, she is extremely bright and nailed her IB interviews, but I have no doubt she received multiple internship offers because the people she met during the interviews genuinely liked being around her and wanted to have her on their team.”

Britta Schort
Outreach & Career Advisor 
Investment Banking, Investment management, Real Estate, Energy & Utilities,
UCLA Anderson

 

DON’T MISS: MBAS TO WATCH: THE STORIES OF 100 EXTRAORDINARY GRADUATES FROM THE CLASS OF 2017