2018 MBAs To Watch: Tazia Middleton, UCLA (Anderson)

Tazia Middleton

UCLA, Anderson School of Management

“Outspoken advocate for diversity, inclusion and equity.”

Age: 30

Hometown: Dublin, CA

Fun fact about yourself: I kayaked with my best friend and killer whales off the coast of San Juan Island.

Undergraduate School and Degree: Cornell University – Major: Applied Economics & Management, Minor: Law & Society

Where did you work before enrolling in business school? Wetherby Asset Management – Senior Investment Associate

Where did you intern during the summer of 2017? The Boston Consulting Group – San Francisco

Where will you be working after graduation? The Boston Consulting Group – Consultant

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: Co-President, Black Business Students Association; VP Diversity, Inclusion & Community, Anderson Student Association; Consortium Liaison

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I’m most proud of leading a team of my classmates to host Anderson’s Embracing Diversity Conference. Diversity is an issue we consistently try to push forward at Anderson, so it was great to welcome over 100 diverse prospective students campus and show them all of the great things our community has to offer.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? My greatest professional achievement was the relationships I built with my clients. The fact that some of my clients still keep in touch lets me know that I did my job well.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? My favorite Anderson professor is Elisa Long who taught my Data & Decisions (statistics) course. She brought the material to life by sharing how she used statistics to guide her through a personal health issue. Not to mention, she earned major cool points by showing an episode of The Price is Right where we cruised through all the rounds using statistics principles from class.

What was your favorite MBA Course My favorite course was Negotiations Behavior with Professor Miguel Unzueta. The in-class simulations taught me a great deal about my own negotiation style and allowed me the opportunity to test out new techniques.

Why did you choose this business school? I chose Anderson for its best-in-class career services center and the collaborative student culture. I wanted an MBA program that would help me attain my career goals without fostering an overly competitive environment.

What is your best piece advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? We are very big on cultural fit at Anderson. In your application and interview, make sure to let us know why you are a good fit for Anderson and how you intend to make it a better place during your two years here.

What is the biggest myth about your school? The biggest myth about Anderson is that we are a bunch of laid-back surfers. Although Anderson students definitely give of some chill vibes, they are also some of the hardest working changemakers I have ever encountered.

What was your biggest regret in business school? I don’t have many regrets from business school, but I do wish I got to know more of my classmates sooner. I’m definitely making up for lost time now.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? I most admire my classmate, Anna Goldberg. She is a fearless leader and fierce advocate who has pushed forward numerous diversity and inclusion efforts at Anderson.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? No one pushed me in the direction of business, but my mom always encouraged me to advance my career through education.

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…looking for opportunities to apply my financial services background to a nonprofit role.”

If you were a dean for a day, what one thing would you change about the MBA experience? I would create more opportunities for students to step outside of their MBA bubble to engage with members of the surrounding community.

What are the top two items on your bucket list? 1) Catch salmon in Alaska; and 2) Make fancy cheese somewhere overseas

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? I want to be known as a person who always brought her best authentic self and fostered an environment for others to do the same.

What is your favorite movie about business? The movie Joy is a great example of the importance of being your own biggest advocate.

What would your theme song be? “Bigger than my Body” – John Mayer

Favorite vacation spot: Anywhere on the ocean

Hobbies? Fishing, whale watching, guitar, bowling

What made Tazia such an invaluable addition to the class of 2018?

“Tazia is not just someone her class knows, she’s someone everyone in her class knows made an impact while at Anderson. I was fortunate to get to know Tazia when she was deciding on where to go for business school and from that first conversation I knew that if we were fortunate enough to have her spend her next two years with us it would be great for her but even better for UCLA Anderson!

The biggest impact that Tazia has had at Anderson is that she made conversations about diversity comfortable and informative. Most schools struggle with breaking the norms of their students of staying in their own social circles. Through fireside chats, a successful conference on diversity, and having everyday conversations with everyone, she has made dialogue universal – regardless of country of origin, ethnicity, race, gender, or sexual orientation. We are a much better connected environment in large part to Tazia.

Professionally, she has also set the bar as a much sought after consultant who has shared what she learned and the secrets of her success with her peers, the 1st year class behind her, and even prospective students as a tireless recruiter for the next crop of Anderson’s Best and Brightest. We look forward to watching Tazia’s career ascend as she re-enters the world of work!”

Gary Fraser                            
Assistant Dean, Full Time Student Affairs

 

DON’T MISS THE FULL LIST:

100 MBAS TO WATCH IN THE CLASS OF 2018