“What’s in a name?” To answer, here’s mine:
G – Gregarious, A – Ambitious, R – Resilient, I – Innovative, M – Motivating, A – Adventurous
Hometown: Thousand Oaks, CA
Fun Fact About Yourself: I am SCUBA-certified and have gone open-water diving with sharks!
Undergraduate School and Major: University of Notre Dame, Chemical Engineering
Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Fresh Curry Chefs, Co-founder
Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of the school’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? I decided to go to UCLA because of the resources and opportunities the program provides for students transitioning into the tech industry. In conjunction with AnderTech, the student-run club also known as the “Gateway to Tech,” the Parker Career Center primes students for a career in tech through personalized coaching and interview prep. Additionally, students have the opportunity to work with the Easton Technology Management Center to pursue a Technology Leadership specialization, which prepares students how to be a leader of change in a technology-driven world. I am strongly convinced that these resources, combined with a curriculum emphasizing leadership and communication, will help me successfully transition into a Product Manager role in tech post-graduation.
What makes Los Angeles such a great place to earn an MBA? The locational advantage of getting an MBA is an unparalleled educational experience with opportunities to study, work, and network in a city thriving with diversity, dynamic businesses, and amazing year-round weather. LA is the world’s third largest metropolitan economy and its seaside tech hub, Silicon Beach, has over 500 startups and companies. Going to school in this city provides me the opportunity to pursue an academic internship, attend DOJs, and network with industry professionals in the same city where I go to school. And the post-class beach days aren’t so bad either!!
What quality best describes your MBA classmates and why? What has stood out to me about my class the most is their embodiment of Shared Success, which is one of Anderson’s three pillars of success. Even though we’ve only had a short summer term together so far, this characteristic undeniably defines our class. The second-years went above and beyond in helping our class transition into the currently remote program and engaging the class in innovative ways throughout orientation and summer term; subject-area experts readily offered help to the rest of the class taking accounting; and people are constantly reminding each other about program application and assignment deadlines. I am thrilled to be a part of a class that exemplifies these values.
What makes you most excited about getting your MBA at UCLA Anderson? What makes you most nervous about business school? UCLA Anderson has been my dream school since I was a sophomore in high school! I am beyond excited to finally be pursuing my MBA here.
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: In 2019, I left my 9-5 engineering job to pursue an idea. That idea turned into a business, and I am extremely proud to be a founding member of my company, Fresh Curry Chefs.
What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? My work experience is in the energy industry, where I learned everything from designing, selling, and servicing gas turbine power plants to starting my own company in the foodtech space. Here, I’ve discovered a consistent passion for innovation, product development, cross-functional collaboration, and strategy. I knew that I needed to take this passion and turn it into a full-time position, so I decided to pursue an MBA so I can build the skillset and network to become a Product Manager in the tech industry.
What other MBA programs did you apply to? NYU Stern, Columbia Business School, USC Marshall
What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? In one of my interviews, I was asked the question, “How would someone who doesn’t like you describe you and why?” It definitely tripped me up, but it was a unique way for the school to assess my cultural fit into their cohort.
How did you determine your fit at various schools? I chose MBA programs based on three factors: Location, Culture, and Class Profile. Having lived all over the country for college, internships, and jobs, I had a pretty good sense of where I wanted to live (and where I didn’t, for that matter). I wasn’t willing to compromise the location of my program because I wanted to start building my network and strengthen my experience with an academic internship in the city where I studied. Second, I knew I needed to attend a school with a cohort that shared my own values, so culture was a huge factor for me. I primarily looked for programs that had a collaborative culture mixed with an emphasis in leadership. For me, UCLA was the perfect match because of its unique integration of leadership into its curriculum and teaching effective leadership skills through communication and collaboration. Lastly, I looked at class profile. I wanted to make sure that the school I chose had a pipeline into the industry I wanted to go into, and that I could utilize the on-campus recruiting resources to attain my post-MBA career goals.
What is your favorite company and what could business students learn from them? My favorite company is Salesforce. Not only did they disrupt the market with their CRM, the company is dedicated to a philanthropic purpose. Their 1-1-1 business model encourages employees to give back to the community and they have a unique business unit dedicated to transforming nonprofit and educational organizations through technology. Salesforce helps its ohana (family) work with a sense of purpose and inspires employees with its philanthropic spirit.
DON’T MISS: MEET UCLA ANDERSON’S MBA CLASS OF 2022