Meet UCLA Anderson’s MBA Class of 2018

UCLA's Joyce Truong in the Class of 2018

UCLA’s Joyce Truong in the Class of 2018

Joyce Truong

UCLA, Anderson School of Management

Assistant Dean’s Scouting Report: “A rare combination of someone who is very smart but can think creatively at a very high level.”

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: Driven, introspective, curious, humble and empathetic

Hometown: Chatsworth, CA

Fun Fact About Yourself: Kind of the opposite of fun, but I don’t like beer, coffee or cake, which are staples of business school students’ diets.

Undergraduate School and Major: Stanford: B.A., Human Biology and M.S. Management Science and Engineering

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:

L.E.K. Consulting, Associate (San Francisco)

Google, Compensation Specialist (San Francisco)

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: During my last year at Google, I led the design and implementation of the company’s annual bonus program. I vastly improved the time-consuming and inaccurate bonus projection process with our finance counterparts, saving our teams dozens of hours of work per week and reducing the margin of error of our projections to <1%. Most recently, I led the effort to deprecate an archaic bonus calculation practice, which will contribute to more fairness and transparency for over 20,000 employees.

Looking back on your experience, what advice would you give to future business school applicants? For the essays, it might be tempting to dive right in and just get them over with. But you’d be doing yourself a favor if you put in a lot of time upfront asking yourself some essential questions: What are my biggest values? What 2-3 things do I need to be happy? Will an MBA help me find what I’m looking for professionally and personally? Don’t unintentionally constrain yourself by thinking about these questions in terms of how they’ll translate into a 750-word essay. Instead, treat your b-school essays as an opportunity for true introspection. The more time you spend figuring out who you think you are and what you think you might want, the more authentic your essays will be and the more direction you’ll have if and when you go to business school.

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? Location was the biggest factor in my decision to come to UCLA Anderson. Ever since I started Stanford, I was intent on coming back to LA to be closer to family. I also felt that I would have the right kind of support from the amazing career center, Parker, to get out of my comfort zone and pursue what I initially thought were “stretch” career paths for me. And finally, I had a wonderful experience interviewing at Anderson. My interviewer, a second year student at the time, was the perfect balance of easy-going, successful, genuine and intelligent. I knew that I wanted to be at a school with others who shared that same attitude. 

Tell us about your dream job or dream employer at this point in your life? My long-term professional goal is to start my own impact investing fund in the healthcare and/or public education space. My interest in healthcare stems from my background in biology and my work with healthcare and life sciences clients during my consulting days. I also have a deep personal connection to public education. As a graduate of an underperforming public school in Los Angeles, I am very aware of how lucky I am to be where I am today. My parents, my sisters, and I would be nothing without the opportunities afforded to us from being able to earn a college education. A personal and professional goal of mine is to make college matriculation a reality for anyone who wishes to achieve it.

On a more general level, impact investing draws upon my skills in strategy and quantitative analysis while addressing my desire to find personal fulfillment from my work. Impact investing is also a relatively nascent field, making it dynamic and ripe for innovation. I firmly believe that data-driven, strategic investments in innovative, socially-minded organizations will be a major driver of change for today’s most pressing issues, and I hope to be a part of that movement.

My short/medium-term professional goal is a bit more traditional. Post-MBA, I hope to have a successful career in investment banking. I plan to learn the ins-and-outs of finance and be surrounded by extremely high-performing peers in order to position me well to become a leader in impact investing.

What would you like your business school peers to say about you after you graduate from this program?  I’d like my peers to think of me as ambitious, accomplished, compassionate and collaborative. Most importantly, I hope to be recognized as someone who does well by doing good.

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